While PCs remain a favorite among many gamers, sometimes you need something a bit more portable. Gaming laptops are the rig on the go that will allow you to get gaming whenever and wherever you want. But, buying a gaming laptop is easier said than done because there are a lot of options to consider. Below you’ll find a guide on how to pick the best gaming laptop. You can also check out https://setapp.com/how-to/best-gaming-macbooks-2021 if you’re specifically interested to buy a gaming MacBook.
Things you need to Look for in a Gaming Laptop
The right display can significantly improve your gaming experience. But, there are more factors to consider than just the size.
- Resolution – For a fantastic gaming experience, you have to look for laptops that pack a higher resolution like 4K or 1440p screens than the standard 1080p screens.
- OLED – These screens don’t rely on the backlight, but produce their own light. These screens can achieve deeper black levels and can provide you clear images when you’re playing high-resolution strategy or action games with a lot of scenes set at night.
- Refresh rate – Opt for a higher refresh rate because then the action on-screen will appear smoother. Go for 120Hz, 144Hz, or higher refresh rates.
When it comes to the display, you might want to avoid a touch screen. While they’re not inherently bad, but they seem to be unnecessary for your gaming experience. Also, they make the display overly glossy and kill battery life.
The CPU is the brain of the laptop. Your choice of CPU will significantly impact everything – the frame rates that you see in games to battery life and even response times of applications.
Three features matter the most when you’re looking for a gaming laptop –
- Clock speed – This defines the number of cycles that a CPU executes per second. A higher clock speed would mean a faster CPU.
- Core count – A CPU multitasks with the help of multiple cores. Each core acts as an individual unit. Octa-core (8 or more) CPUs are great for gamers.
Make sure to study the CPU specs properly before making your choice.
Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) creates the pixels that form the images on the screen when gaming. Both GPU and CPU are key to enjoying high-resolution gameplay and smooth frame rates. For this, make sure that the CPU and GPU of the gaming laptop can hit consistent frame rates while rendering the appropriate resolution of your external display. Also, if you’re planning to invest in a 144Hz screen, ensure that GPU can achieve 144 FPS (or higher) consistently.
HDDs are old news and they’ve long been outperformed by SSDs (solid-state drives). SSDs utilize a type of flash memory that electronically reads and writes blocks of data. They also load programs faster and cut down on the system startup time. They even have a longer lifespan than HDDs.
Entry-level gamers might be satisfied with an internal SSD, but if you are expanding and graduating to becoming a pro-gamer, you might want to consider getting an external SSD as well. This will help you to store as many games as you want without slowing down your system.
Random Access Memory (RAM) is a memory that stores data temporarily and can be retrieved by the CPU. Also, RAM allows you to run multiple processes at once. How much RAM you need depends on the type of games that you wish to play. Typically, 32GB RAM is considered to be ideal for gaming and you can increase RAM as your requirements change. Usually, RAM is upgradable in most gaming laptops.
Most gaming laptops feature meticulously engineered cooling systems that prevent the system from overheating even after hours of gaming. However, the internal workings of the cooling system continue to consist of fans, vents, heatsinks, and cooling pipes. Also, you might face difficulty comparing the cooling system of one gaming laptop to another from just the manufacturer’s description. You have to read real-life reviews to understand the performance of the cooling system and then you can make your choice.
For a desktop-like gaming experience, you need to consider the laptop’s input and output options. Here are some of the input features that you should watch out for.
- Gaming mouse – Laptop touchpads are comfortable for daily use, but gamers prefer a mouse. So, make sure that you can connect a mouse to the laptop for customizable and precise movements during the game.
- Mechanical keyboard – An external keyboard can be easily connected to the laptop through a USB because laptops usually don’t come with mechanical switches.
- Audio and headset – Check that the laptop has adequate ports to connect your gaming headset for a life-like gaming experience.
So, which gaming laptop is perfect for you? To make the right choice, you have to identify the features that you value the most and require for your gaming experience. It simply wouldn’t be enough to compare the features of the different gaming laptops available in the market without knowing what you want or the kind of games you plan to play.