What is a gaming laptop, and how can one help you?
A gaming laptop is a portable computer that can play games smoothly. Gaming laptops are much faster than everyday laptops, have better graphics cards, faster processors, more RAM, storage, and better battery life. Overall, they are much more powerful but also more expensive than regular laptops.
So who needs a gaming laptop? If you are planning on playing video games and are short on space. Or need a powerful laptop for video editing. Or if you are running heavy-duty software like Solidworks, you may also need one.
Why? Because a gaming laptop will do all these things, and well without you experiencing stuttering or lag. My advice would be to invest in the best gaming laptop your budget can afford. But, you do not necessarily need the best laptops because you will find plenty of budget gaming laptops that are more than adequate for playing video games.
In this guide, I will break down whats a gaming laptop. I will also explain what makes a good budget laptop. And I will also highlight which components matter the most when shopping for a new gaming laptop for beginners and for more experienced gamers. So keep reading so you can make a better-informed decision.
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How Will Gaming Laptops Fare In 2022?
If you are wondering what the future holds for the latest gaming laptops in 2022? We are here to tell you there is a new wave of innovation for gamers on the go. First up, Intel released their new Intel Core 15, i7 and i9 12th-generation processors. They’ve made massive differences in performance and multitasking ability.
AMD is also making advancements with their new AMD Ryzen 6000 series line-up. So they may finally close the gap against Intel’s dominance. AMD states; their 6000 series mobile processors will offer 11% more single-threaded performance. Up to 28%+ multi-threaded performance. And twice as much graphics power compared to their 5000 Series mobile processors.
As for the graphics revolution, NVidia released the new NVidia GeForce RTX 30 series GPUs (RTX 3080 Ti 16GB VRAM and RTX 3070 TI). That has boosted AI features, including Ray Tracing and DLSS. And this means you will hit maximum frame rates playing the latest game titles like Call of Duty Warzone on your laptops. We haven’t even mentioned the new high-resolution 4K 144Hz displays you can get with the new Razer Blade 15 laptops. Or advancements in sophisticated features like the laptops with the best cooling systems you now get with some of the latest MSI vs ASUS laptops.
Clearly, the next few years look promising for laptop gamers who want the most from their new gaming laptops. All that said, for us to answer the question, whats a gaming laptop? You must read on as we dive into what makes these powerful laptops tick. And their components and features.
A Laptops Component’s
The latest gaming laptops are durable and stylish and come with high-end processors, including Intel and AMD CPUs. And NVidia graphics so you can play the latest games like never before. Gaming laptops are also great options for those who want the power of a desktop but need something more portable.
They now have loads more storage space and much more and faster memory (DDR5 RAM) inside than everyday laptops. So you can run many more programmes simultaneously, store much data and transfer this data much faster than on anything else. However, the components mentioned above are not the only things you must consider when choosing a new gaming laptop.
There are other things you need to know. So you can better understand “whats a gaming laptop”. You also need to understand the battery life and power, plus features like RGB keyboards, anti-ghosting and N-Key rollover technology. Also, the refresh rate of the display, the resolution and the screen size. All important aspects of a gaming laptop that will directly affect your experience.
What is a Central Processing Unit?
A CPU is the general term for a Central Processing Unit and the brains inside your gaming laptop or any computer, for that matter. The CPU is a small silicone chip soldered to the motherboard. The CPU is one component in a gaming laptop that you can not replace or upgrade. Well, not easily anyway. The CPU performs calculations on the data you are sending it. Then it will create outputs like spreadsheets or graphics that you see on screen.
The CPU has different processors called Cores. The cores work seamlessly with the clock speed to quickly process the tasks you are doing and will then send the results to the Random Access Memory. But only temporarily. If the CPU has more than one (Core). Your gaming laptop would be able to do multiple tasks at once. The CPU can also decide to streamline the processes, so they do not take as long. Note: the more Cores your gaming laptop has, the more tasks you can do simultaneously and faster.
Most gaming laptops now have multi-core processors. (Between six and fourteen cores). For example, the latest Razer Blade gaming laptops come with Intel Core processors with up to 14-Cores. So they can run any program, app or play any AAA game all while running multiple other tasks. You can type an email, record a video, and browsing your documents folder without experiencing any lag or slow down in performance.
However, this kind of processing power is not completely necessary for most laptops for beginners. Ideally, you want an AMD or Intel Core processor with at least 4 CPU cores. A six or eight Intel Core or AMD processor would be better and would offer a better quality gaming experience. For extreme multitasking, you might want to consider a 12 or 14-Core CPU.
The processor’s clock speed (measured in gigahertz, GHz) determines how many calculations per second can be done by a single core. The higher the clock rate, the faster your gaming laptop will run and will help it do more things at once. If it is too slow, your gaming laptop will lag and not be able to render the content in time.
For example, whenever you need to do something on your new gaming laptop, like opening a file or installing a new piece of software. The CPU will execute those commands and create an interactive appropriately-sized window. However, some programs are more stressful than others. Some require more processing power from your CPU. For gaming, not all games are CPU intensive, but many are. And for multitasking, while playing games, it is best to look for a CPU with a higher clock speed.
Understanding how many Cores you need for gaming can save you money in the long run. So you are not buying a gaming laptop with more cores than you need. We have written a detailed article here to help.
What is a Graphics Processing Unit?
The graphics processing unit is one of the most important specs to consider when choosing a laptop for gaming. GPU, for short, handles all images on your screen and provides the fastest speeds when rendering graphic-intensive tasks like gaming and video editing or other demanding rendering task.
There are two types of graphics. First, a dedicated GPU, means it is discrete, a standalone graphics card that needs its own cooling solution to help keep it cool. Dedicated GPUs are also the most powerful graphics solution which helps speed up the process when creating and rendering graphics, including videos, images, and animations. While some cheaper gaming laptops can also have integrated graphics and they share the same chip as the processor and are soldered to the motherboard.
However, gaming laptops with discrete graphics cards are the best option for gaming because they are more powerful and have their own memory. And because they need there own cooling is one of the main reasons why gaming laptops are more expensive.
As for Integrated graphics, they share the chip with the CPU. So the power they can generate will be limited. It’s also worth noting that a laptop with integrated graphics isn’t the wise choice for gamers who play high fidelity AAA games. But, they would be a wise choice for gamers who play games like Minecraft and Roblox. Games that are far less reliant and the GPU power and where having a speedier CPU and more RAM is more important.
Related: Not sure which graphics solution to choose for your new gaming laptop, we wrote an article comparing Integrated Vs Dedicated Graphics you might find that a useful read!
Who Needs A Dedicated Graphics Card?
You need a dedicated graphics card if you want to play the latest competitive game titles and experience the highest frame rates. A powerful dedicated graphics card with at least 4GB of virtual memory would be a good start. It will help run all those fancy games on high settings. However, if you desire to experience Ray Tracing and DLSS, you need at least an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card like the one on the HP Omen 15.
However, older Nvidia GeForce GTX GPUs would still offer a decent gaming experience. And would make an excellent laptop for beginners. But the problem is in two or three years. A GTX GPU may not be powerful enough to keep up with the demands of new releases.
If you want the best option for gaming, then an Nvidia RTX 30 series graphics card is the one. If you’re shopping on a budget and want to experience enhanced graphics AI features, opt for a machine with an NVidia RTX 3060 or an NVidia GeForce RTX 3050. But, if you’re not too fussed about spending your money and looking for the best gaming experience. Check out the latest Alienware vs Razer or MSI vs ASUS gaming laptops with the latest Nvidia RTX 3070s Ti and NVidia RTX 3080 Ti graphics.
Can You Upgrade The GPU?
Typically, you can not upgrade a laptops graphics card. That is unless you’re highly skilled and have access to very specific tools. Or you know someone who does. It would be best to purchase yourself an entirely new machine. But this time ensure the GPU is suited to the games you play. The other solution would be to connect an external GPU. You would need a Thunderbolt port, or you can purchase an external video and graphic card adaptor. An external GPU will allow you to experience the power of PC graphics on your portable gaming machine.
What is G-Sync?
G-sync is an advanced technology that will help take your gaming experience up a notch. It works by synchronizing the monitor’s refresh rates and your dedicated GPU. With G-sync enabled, expect smoother graphics and an overall improved gaming experience. It helps eliminate screen tearing and minimize any stutter or input lag you may experience in your games.
G-sync also helps improve in-game scenes because they will look much cleaner and sharper. You may also gain a competitive edge over over your enemies. However, not all gaming laptops come with G-sync functionality. Another option is to buy a compatible external monitor that has G-Sync support.
What is Ray-Tracing?
Ray-tracing is a rendering technique used in 3D computer graphics. It works by producing images by tracing the path of light. The algorithm traces rays against pixel boundaries at every point where they intersect until the point where they are either absorbed or emit another Ray back out onto the rendered scene. This process makes your game scenes look more realistic on screen.
NVidia introduced this technique when they released their GeForce RTX 20 series mobile GPUs, the RTX 2060, 2070, and RTX 2080. And the first mobile GPUs to feature dedicated ray-tracing cores. Since then, Nvidia has released the NVidia RTX 30 series laptop GPUs, the RTX 3050/Ti, 3060, 3070, and RTX 3080, featuring 2nd generation RT Cores and will offer excellent Ray-Tracing performance. And now NVidia have released the new and improved Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti and the Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti GPUs have a whopping 16GB memory inside and 3rd generation RT Cores.
What is Random Access Memory?
RAM stands for random access memory. It is where your gaming laptop puts data, so your system can access it quickly albeit on a short-term basis. Much quicker than if the data was stored elsewhere, such as on your hard disk drive or SSD (solid-state drive).
The RAM is another hugely important component of a laptop. And especially a gaming laptop. The amount of memory your gaming laptop has can make all the difference. For instance, if you play games like League of Legends, which require constant updates and can use up to around 4GB RAM. Then a gaming laptop with 8GB of RAM will be fine. However, 16GB would be an excellent start – and this also happens to be known as “the sweet spot for gaming”. Which previously was 8GB of RAM.
Gamers may need to run other programmes while playing their games, like video recording and system monitoring software. So it is better to have 16GB RAM. Yet, most video games will run fine with just 8GB of RAM. But there are some like Call of Duty Warzone that recommend 12GB RAM. So it depends on the games you play to how much RAM is best.
PRO TIP: If there was one piece of advice about purchasing a new gaming laptop. Ensure you research the recommended system requirements for the games you intend to play to help save money in the long run. Did You Know? Increasing your laptop’s memory (RAM) is one of the most affordable ways to improve its performance.
What Is A Memory Module?
A memory module is a circuit board that holds the memory components and the gold pins provide a connection to the motherboard. The type of memory module used in laptops is called a SODIMM (small outline dual in-line memory module). These are about half the size of the ones that you get with desktop computers (DIMMS). They are a perfect choice for gaming laptops because of their small form factor.
The latest standard of RAM is DDR5, which delivers the highest possible performance. You will find this new standard on most gaming laptops released in 2022. However, older DDR3 or DDR4 memory types are still knocking about and are used as the default type instead.
Most gaming laptops will have two slots for the RAM unlike desktop computers that commonly come with four slots for the RAM. The average laptops for gaming will come with 8GB of RAM already installed, and mostly it will be two 4GB sticks. But you can also upgrade most gaming laptops with more. Some can take as much as 16 or 32 gigs of RAM. And in some cases, 64GBs of RAM. But that would be overkill for most users.
However, if you want to improve the performance of your new gaming laptops, you should always replace the original 2x4GB of RAM with 2x8GB or 2x16GB of RAM. And make sure that you purchase the same RAM speed and make. Since performance depends on both numbers for each type (size/speed).
How Much RAM Do I need?
When you buy a gaming laptop, you should also consider how much RAM you need for gaming. Mostly it will depend on what games you play and your workflow. But, 16-32GB of RAM offers the perfect balance for multitasking, streaming, watching YouTube videos, or running other intensive programs while playing games.
However, 8GB of RAM should be enough for most users and would work just fine in most video games. But as I have said before, the sweet spot for RAM is 16GB. This amount will offer the best performance while running other resource-hungry programs at the same time as your games. And without bottlenecking anything, which can really lead to some frustration.
- 8GB of RAM – Recommended Min for Gaming Laptops
- 16GB of RAM Offers the Best Balance – (The sweet spot)
- 32GB of RAM for Multitasking and Streaming, (Overkill for most users)
Gaming Laptops Storage
The storage is one of the first things I look at when shopping for a new laptop for gaming. 2nd only by the graphics card and CPU! And these days, it is rare to find one with only an HDD as the storage solution. HDDs seem to be becoming obsolete. But when gaming laptops first came out with hard drives, they were alright, reliable and durable. Nowadays, there are many better options where you can preserve your data. Like, solid-state drives instead.
Gaming laptops with SSDs are much better than ones with HDDs. They offer faster performance and zero wait times when loading games, programs or swiping through screens. However, it is true, that an HDD would give you much more storage space for less money than an SSD would. But, there is less chance of losing data with an SSD because hard disks are prone to break due to moving parts. SSDs don’t have that problem.
Did you know? Installing a 2nd SSD or replacing an HDD with an SSD is one of the best ways to boost the responsiveness of any laptop, gaming or normal. But, thankfully most new gaming laptops come with SSDs as their main-storage solutions. But there are still some that offer both options. (HDD+SSD). Keep reading to see how much storage is best.
How Much Storage Is Enough?
How much storage you need with your new laptop would depend on what you plan to do with it. If you do other things like school work or actual work? Then you might be better with having more storage space. But the more storage it comes with, the more expensive it will be.
However, a 256GB SSD would be ok for most users. It would also be enough for those who play light video games like Minecraft and Roblox, with plenty of space for photos, files, and videos. And for casual gamers a 512GB SSD would be an ideal solution. While those who play more advanced AAA games, like Call of Duty Warzone, a 512GB SSD would also be enough. But you may not be able to store as many video files or photos because that game alone takes the best part of 100GB of storage space.
The perfect storage solution would be to have a 256GB SSD as your boot drive (most gaming laptops have at least this) to store your operating system and programmes you might use. Then, have a 2nd SSD or HDD, something like a 1TB size and use that to store all your games and large files. But, I don’t recommend HDDs, most definitely not if you want to enjoy a fast and responsive gaming laptop.
Gaming laptops are a great way to get the power of a desktop with all its mobility. Yes, they can be pricey, but you will save money in the long run by not having multiple systems for different purposes. Before you can enjoy that mobility, you should consider these must-have features before purchasing!
The graphics card, the processor, the storage capacity, and the RAM size. All important factors when buying any gaming laptop. But these, although important, are not the only factors you need to consider.
There are also display options like G-Sync with screen sizes varying by resolution type, along with refresh rates. Would you prefer 17-inch or 15-inch, or would you need something smaller like a powerful 14-inch Razer AMD laptop? We haven’t even mentioned what gaming laptop accessories you will need. Things like a gaming headset, mouse, external keyboard and in most cases, a laptop cooling pad. If only if it’s used as a comfortable place to type or for allowing better airflow.
So without further ado, let’s dive into the primary aspects of choosing the best gaming laptop for your money. What you don’t want is to be spending more money than you need. Nor should you end up with a system not compatible with the games you play.
Improved Cooling Solutions
Previously, PC gamers were ridiculing gaming laptops for having a high chance of overheating. But this problem has become less common because gaming laptop designers like Razer who are a great brand have improved the cooling with extra fans to counterbalance the intense heat from powerful GPUs and CPUs. They also features chamber cooling technology which has further helped with cooling. You can play games on a gaming laptop without worrying about it heating up too much!
Although the fans are known to be quite noisy. It’s better than experiencing a short life span for your laptop. Plus, it’s nothing a decent gaming headset wouldn’t sort. And, even though temperatures can still get high (95+degrees) considering, that’s almost boiling point. Still, processing chip manufacturers, such as AMD and Nvidia, have stated this is normal. Their mobile processors can operate reliably at 95C or above for many years at a time.
Gaming Laptop Vs Gaming PC
When comparing a gaming laptop vs a gaming pc, there are pros and cons to both options. But it is no surprise that the latest gaming laptops have closed the gap somewhat. With advances in both technology and design, these devices offer a leveller playing field for portable gamers.
Plus, with their portability, gaming laptops are far superior. And, I love the fact that I can take my laptop wherever and whenever; if there is no power outlet nearby, then it’ll just need recharging when I get back home!
Not only does this make travelling with one much easier and way easier than lugging around bulky equipment as a PC would require – you won’t even notice what weight has been taken off at all once they’re gone.
Thanks to the latest technology from INTEL, NVIDIA and AMD. Gaming laptops can perform so much better! They’re way more powerful than ever before, making them perfect for playing high-quality PC games, whether that’s at home, on the train, up in the air on a plane, and possibly even in an automobile. Jokes!! 🙂
WHATs A GAMING LAPTOP: FAQs
What is a Gaming Laptop Vs Regular Laptop?
Is it worth buying a gaming laptop? They are more expensive, and the specs are higher than a regular laptop, but do you really need one? If you already know, what is a gaming laptop? Then you’ll know they are very different from regular laptops. The best thing to do is think about what you want out of a laptop before you buy one. Do you want to use it for simple tasks like browsing the web, typing up essays, or playing casual games like Minecraft with Friends, Candy Crush Saga or Angry Birds? If so, there is no point in spending so much money on something that will only use less than 5% of its power.
In that case, a regular laptop would do, so save money and stop worrying about which gaming laptop to choose. Regular laptops will work just fine. Plus, they are typically cheaper than gaming laptops and have more battery life. But if you’re looking to play high graphics demanding games on your new machine. I mean, games such as Call of Duty Warzone, Apex Legends, or Valorant. The type of games require dedicated graphics, fast processors, plenty of RAM, and bags of storage.
What is the difference between a gaming laptop and a regular laptop?
The main difference between gaming laptops and regular laptops is that gaming laptops are designed and manufactured for playing video games. They generally have a number of specific features to maximize the performance. These features include powerful graphics cards, large memory capacity, loads of storage space, faster CPUs with high clock speeds and more cores and threads.
One of the biggest differences between regular laptops and gaming laptops are the cost/features. Regular laptops typically cost much less than a gaming laptop. They also lack some of the high-end specs that make them suitable for a particular application. And another difference might be accessories. I mean, gaming headsets are not required for use on a regular laptop– nor would you need high-speed wireless mice. Accessories like these would only be beneficial with the use of a gaming laptop and not a regular everyday laptop. Gaming laptops also have backlit keyboards, high refresh displays, and other display technology not required for normal laptops.
In this blog post, we have explained; “what are gaming laptops” and their components we have also highlighted what laptop spec for gaming beginners you should consider to help you decide which laptop for gaming is best for you.
We hope you have found this post informative. If not, please let us know in the comments section below, and we will be sure to expand on any points of confusion or questions that may arise.
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Until next time, cya!! 🙂