Gaming laptops are not like ordinary laptop computers. They are a different kind of beast whose purpose is to bring the virtual digital world to your space. Engaging games are demanding, the virtuosity and ability of an ordinary computer cannot match these demands.
There are a set of requirements that a computer must meet to be considered part of these powerful machines. Smooth gameplay is the product of technological prowess coupled with performance. Games like Witcher 3, Grand Theft Auto V and Wild Hunt do not roll on simple computers that are why you need better and capable machines to enjoy your game fully.
The question most people ask me is which specifications or features should I look at when selecting a good laptop that will allow me to play without limitations. There are certain aspects of a laptop that makes it game worthy. It is more of a combination of some essential performance specifications that one particular aspect.
Enjoying smooth gameplay at a high frame rate should be your primary concern. You should also be concerned about the design especially the chasing lines aggressiveness and the keyboard that you get.
In addition, if you know the specific features to focus on you can find yourself spending much less for performance levels that are sufficient for smooth play. Let us jump right into play and define the things that you should know before buying a gaming laptop.
Watch Out on The Graphics Cards (GPU)
Games are highly graphical. It goes without saying that the performance features of the graphics cards on the laptop are a primary issue of concern. The market offers the gaming world two primary options which are AMD and NVIDIA. These are brands that offer a variety of cards. When considering a laptop, you should ensure you get the right graphics card. Unlike the desktop that allows you to have two graphics cards, the laptop can only operate on one.
If you are into intense gaming, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 is the choice for you. It is VR ready and can deliver impressive frame rates. You can try out Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 which is better, but you should know that the value to performance ratio is steep. You may have to pay significantly more for a laptop with a particular card. I have not discussed much AMD because most of the gaming laptops that you will find in the market are installed with Nvidia.
Connectivity of Gaming Laptop
This is the most overlooked aspect of a gaming laptop, you have to make sure that the laptop you are buying has at least two or three regular types a USB port and you don’t USB type-c connector because you won’t be able to connect your favorite gaming mice, mic or gaming headset with the type-c connector.
Also, you want to be sure that the laptop you are buying has at least 2 traditional 3.5-millimeter connector these helps a lot when you are willing to connect additional gaming peripherals with your gaming laptop.
The Display Quality Matters
There is no value in having smooth frame rates and wonderful graphics without a matching display. You must be concerned about the display of the laptop. Here are a few sets of guidelines that I share that will be helpful when choosing the right display.
The first aspect of the display that should interest you is the resolution. Anything less than 1920×1080 will give you a muddy display. You can go for QHD (2560×1440). Secondly, I know you may be yearning for a touchscreen laptop. Please leave that for Candy Crush because it is unnecessary and you will pay more. Then there is matte or glossy. While this is more of a matter of preference, matte tires you so you will not like your laptop glossy or matte.
Let me introduce OLED for those who have not heard of it. OLED is an acronym for Organic Light-emitting diode. It is simply a panel consisting of a film of organic compounds. These compounds can produce light when they are electrified. The color and display that is delivered are amazing. This feature is only available on the Alienware 13 R3 OLED laptop.
You should also check out if the laptop has G-sync or FreeSync. These features improve the display by supporting the graphics cards. They eliminate graphical tears improving your view.
The Sound You Get
You get the full experience if the sound is just of high quality as the display and graphics. Many people do not focus on the sound because you can always enhance it with external speakers. However, if you are buying a laptop consider getting MSI-exclusive, Nahimic software and you will thank me for the surround that you get. Alienware’s Dell Audio software will also impress not to mention the famous Dolby Home Theater V4.
The Brains and Workhorses of The Operation: CPU and RAM
These two should have probably been the first on the list. The processor and the RAM are always important performance enablers because the CPU handles the game’s physics calculation and it is also responsible for the movement of the characters. It is imperative that the performance level of the CPU influences your gaming. The RAM holds the memory that will be accessed on call.
I will blatantly tell you the laptop must have Intel inside and nothing else for the processor and it should be at least 6th Gen Core. Set your bare minimum at Core i5. Check out the clock speed. The clock speed is the number that is suffixed by GHz. If you are going for a Core i5 processor, then it should be not less than 3.4GHz.
For the RAM, do not fall below 8GB but look to get 16GB. However, you should note that the RAM is not as important as the CPU and the Graphics card that you host.
Keyboards, Touchpads, and Chose SSD Over HDD
How good you play will depend on the tools you have for the task and that are the keyboards. Consider the key depth. It should be between 1.5 and 2 mm. The actuation of the keyboard is also essential. 60 grams is ideal especially if the keyboard gives you a springy and spongy bounce. A customized keyboard is much better. Backlighting and other forms of accessorized keyboards may help cheer your mood when playing. Let me make it simple for you. Try out the keyboard if it is what you can use to play.
The simple reason why you would choose an SSD over HDD is speed. The extra speed means faster game load times. If you cannot get hold of SSD for whichever reasons, then look out for at least 1TB of the hard drive.
The other aspect that you should know is that you should look out for the following brands; Alienware, Lenovo, Asus, MSI, Razer, OriginPC, HP, Acer, or Gigabyte/Aorus. I am not marketing any brand, but these brands are known to deliver.
I’ve spent days researching for the ideal gaming laptop. However, anyone will tell you that the most essential feature of a good gaming laptop is the GPU or graphics processing unit the GPU is what’s in charge of handling the graphics in a game, and therefore the better your GPU the higher frame rates you’ll see.
Furthermore, with so many high textures in modern games, I would suggest looking for a card with at least 2 gigabytes of ram. Personally, I would also recommend using Nvidia not only if I found Nvidia cards to be very reliable but they also come with many unique graphics options.
My recommendation would be the i5 Intel processor or the i7. However, for gaming, you can probably get away with an i-5. When it comes to the resolution the numbers do not need to be that high there’s no sense in going for a 4k screen where most games won’t be able to play at that resolution.
Another thing you should definitely check out before purchasing is the fan noise, most laptops are going to rev up the fans during intensive sessions but some do tend to make more noise than others.
This is a guest contribution by Rezan Ferdous, a guy who’s been into computers, tech, and gaming as long as he can remember. He’s a geek and has built computers his whole life. He eats, breathes, and sleeps these types of stuff and have also worked in this industry. He blogs about these stuff at 10HighTech