Most of the today’s laptops are made for web browsing, multimedia, and work, focusing on low battery use, light weight and being slim, but there is a niche that requires high performance and does not care about those things – gamers. If you’re a gamer we’ll tell you what to look for when you’re purchasing a laptop that will be used mostly for gaming.
In order to play the latest games on high settings – performance is the most important thing to look for in a laptop.
The GPU as in normal desktop computers is the most important part when it comes to gaming. For the best gaming experience, you should aim at Nvidia’s video cards GTX 10xx series like GTX 1060/1070/1080 or high-end GTX 9xx series video cards like GTX 970/980. Of course, all laptops including those are pretty expensive but we’ll talk about the price a little later.
If you’re not willing to spend that much on your gaming laptop you can get one with GTX 1050 or GTX 940/950 which will still deliver decent performance and you’ll be able to run all the latest games on little lower settings.
The CPU is the second important part in a gaming laptop. It won’t be a bottleneck in a gaming laptop as laptop manufacturers usually put good enough CPU’s on laptops that have high-performance GPU’s, so you should not worry about it.
We would not recommend getting a low power CPU from Intel’s U series like i5-7200U as they have lower performance than their normal series. For the best performance get a laptop with a CPU from the HQ series like i7-6700HQ although the latest “U” series chips from Intel are getting better.
Another good choice would probably be an AMD Ryzen chip, but they’re still not out on the market yet, so we’ll review them when they’re released.
8GB of memory will be enough for all modern games and for the best experience get 16GB. Nothing much more to say here.
When we’re talking about gaming on a laptop, cooling is one of the most important things! You should NOT get a thin laptop like an ultrabook as their cooling is very limited due to the space limitation. A laptop suitable for gaming must have very good cooling, so look for those things:
- Thick back side with ventilation grills – usually laptops designed for gaming have thick back sides which help for ventilation and keeps all components cool.
- 2 or more fans – high-performance components need a lot of air circulation, that’s why laptops designed for gaming usually have more than one fan. Aim for 2 or more fans!
- A lot of ventilation grills – look on the bottom of the laptop, aim for as much ventilation grills as possible. If you’ve chosen a laptop that is not designed for gaming (the above 2 dots), at least look for a lot of ventilation grills which will help to keep it cool during gaming sessions.
Get a laptop with an SSD! Not really required for gaming, but if you’re going to spend a bunch of money on a gaming laptop, it must have an SSD. It speeds up the overall work with the operating system and applications a lot.
You can’t have the same gaming experience on a laptop as you can on a desktop computer, but still, there are a few things to look for.
Display size and resolution
Gaming on a laptop is not very comfortable as laptops are small. That’s why you should aim at bigger laptops like 17″ ones or no less than 15.6″.
When we’re talking about resolution, get a 1920×1080. Bigger resolutions than this won’t give you any benefit on this small screen. You won’t be comfortable using any application as everything will look too small on higher resolution. In games your video card will struggle with higher resolutions, so you don’t have any benefits for higher.
A backlit keyboard is always a good thing to have. It’s very useful in dark rooms and at night. Not only for gaming, but also for daily use it’s very comfortable to always be able to see the keys clearly.
If you’re looking for a gaming laptop you must be ready to spend a lot more money than a usual low-end laptop.
The starting price point of gaming capable laptops is around 750$ for entry level gaming laptops and goes up to over 4000$ for the most insane laptops on the market. In our opinion somewhere around 1000-1400$ is enough for all modern games on medium-high settings.
What not to look for?
If you’re getting a gaming laptop there are a few things you should not expect from this laptop.
- Small, slim – a gaming laptop MUST NOT be small, slim and light. A good laptop for gaming should be bigger and thick with good ventilation, so if you expect this from a gaming laptop – just forget it.
- Last long on battery – nope, gaming capable laptops have high-performance components and they need a lot of power, so if you’re looking for more than 2-3 hours (max) of battery time, this is not possible in most cases.
- Lightweight – with the bigger size, good ventilation and high-performance components you can’t expect a gaming laptop to be lightweight. Most of them weight like a brick, also their chargers weight like bricks too.