What is a Gaming Laptop? Best Guide to Gaming Laptops

What Is A Gaming Laptop

What is a gaming laptop, and how can one help you? 

In simple terms, a gaming laptop is a portable computer that has the ability to play games smoothly. These machines are much faster than normal laptops, have better graphics cards, and can be more powerful since they are designed for gamers. 

So, if you want to start playing video games or just want something that will run them well without breaking down in a few months and short on space, it might be time to invest in one of these. 

In this guide I will break down what makes a good gaming laptop and which components matter the most so that way when you’re ready to buy one you can make an informed decision! 

So now that we have broken down some of the basics let’s get into what really matters-the specs! 

Here’s my list: 1) Processor – 2) Video Card – 3) Memory – 4) Storage – 5) Features




How Will Gaming Laptops Fare In 2022?

If you’re wondering what the future holds for gaming laptops in 2022? We are here to tell you there will be a new wave of innovation for portable gaming with Intel releasing their new 14-Core 12th-generation processors. That will surely make massive differences in performance and graphics quality.

AMD is also making advancements with their new Ryzen 6000 series line-up. Are these the chips that will 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% more multi-threaded performance. Plus, up to 2x more graphics performance, compared to their Ryzen 5000 Series of processors.

Plus, Nvidia released their new RTX graphics (RTX 3080 Ti 16GB VRAM) boosting, Ray Tracing, DLSS and so on. Frame rates will go through the roof, and we haven’t even mentioned hi-res 4K 144Hz displays. Or sophisticated features like advanced cooling systems.

The next few years look promising for gamers who want the most from their gaming laptops! But, to answer the question, what is a gaming laptop? Read on as we dive into their main components and features.

What Is A Gaming Laptop, The Component’s

What is true, the latest gaming laptops are durable and come with high-end processors, which means you will be able to play games like never before. They are also great options for those who want the power of a desktop but need something portable.

You will also have loads more storage space and much more and faster memory than you can fit inside any normal laptop. Meaning you can run many more programmes simultaneously, store much more, and experience overall better portable gaming performance.

What is a Central Processing Unit?

Who would have thought the latest laptops for gaming would have evolved into the monstrous ray-tracing gaming machines they are today. When I say gaming, I’m not talking about classic Solitaire, the game I’m sure we’ve all played at some stage, the game that helped cure boredom or passed the last hour of your day.

I mean, high end, fast action all-out wargaming, COD style. However, all this would not be possible without the various tech companies designing new and improved hardware, like Intel or AMD, with their CPU chips.

A CPU is the general term for a Central Processing Unit and the brains inside your gaming laptop. It’s a small chip that performs calculations on the data you are sending it and will then create outputs like spreadsheets or graphics.

The CPU has different processors, called cores and if they have more than one (Core). This will allow your computer to do multiple tasks at once or to streamline processes, so they don’t take as long. 

The clock speed of a processor determines how many calculations per second can be done by a single core. If it is too slow, it will lag and not be able to render content in time (like YouTube videos). The higher the clock rate, the faster your computer will run and handle everything you would ever need with ease. 

For example, whenever you need to do something on your laptop, like opening a file or installing new software, the CPU will execute those commands and create an appropriately-sized window for you to interact with.

Some programs are more stressful than others which means they require more processing power from your CPU. If the CPU is unable to keep up with these requests quickly enough, it may slow down because it has switched tasks to engage in other less demanding tasks.

What is a Graphics Processing Unit?

The graphics processing unit, or GPU for short, is an extremely important part of any gaming laptop. It handles all images on your screen and provides the fastest speeds when rendering graphic-intensive tasks like gaming!

A graphics processing unit (GPU) speeds up the process when creating and rendering graphics, including videos, images, and animations. They can be discrete, which means a standalone graphics card. Or integrated, this means they share the same chip as the processor and then soldered to the laptops motherboard.

The difference between the two is night and day. A laptop with a discrete graphics card would be best for gaming because it has its own memory and cooling. Therefore, it can produce much more power and process much more data compared to it’s integrated nephew. But will also generate more heat. 

Integrated graphics have limited power because they share the chip with the CPU. Therefore, the power it can generate will be limited. It’s worth noting that a laptop with integrated graphics isn’t the wise choice for high fidelity gaming, although a good choice for games such as Minecraft and Roblox. Games such as these are less demanding of graphics power.

Related: Integrated Vs Dedicated Graphics

What is Random Access Memory?

Another huge important component of any gaming laptop is memory. RAM stores data although on a short-term basis. Allowing for quicker access than if the data was stored elsewhere, such as hard drives or via an SSD (solid-state drive). 

On purchasing your laptop, it will already have some (RAM) built-in and you could always purchase more to increase its performance if needed at a later date.

The amount of memory a laptop has can make all the difference when it comes to gaming. For instance, if you’re planning on playing games like League of Legends, which require constant updates and can use up around 4GB RAM, then having 8GB will be enough for your computer’s demanding needs!

Although 16GB would be an excellent start instead – this also happens to be known as “the sweet spot”. Previously, it was 8GB, but games have come on leaps and bounds, now it’s better to have 16GB RAM instead.

With most AAA games it is recommended to have at least 8GB, where for some games like Call of Duty Warzone, it is recommended to have 12GB RAM. It’s worth noting, gamers are running more programmes while gaming. Like, recording their gameplay with Nvidia GeForce Experience, Twitch etc.

If there were one piece of advice that I could give about purchasing a new laptop and especially one designed with video gamers in mind. Is that before making any purchases, research what kind of system requirements are required for the game(s) you intend to play? You may save money in the long run.

A memory module is a circuit board that holds the memory components and the gold pins provide a connection to the motherboard. In addition, 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 you get with desktop computers (DIMMS) and are a perfect choice for laptops because of their small form factor.

The latest standard is DDR5, which delivers the highest possible performance, whereas older models use DDR3 or DDR4 as their default type instead. Unlike desktop computers that commonly come with four slots for RAM typically used by gamers, most laptops only have two slots. 

The average laptop for gaming will come with 8GB of RAM already installed, which is commonly two sticks of 4GB. But this could be upgraded to 16 or 32 gigs and, in some cases, 64GBs. However, it would be best to replace your original 2x4GB with 2x8GB or 2x16GB. Plus, purchase the same speed as well. Since performance depends on both numbers for each type (size/speed).

How much RAM you need for gaming will depend on how much gaming you do and of course your workflow. Yet, 16-32GB offers the perfect balance for multitasking, streaming, watching YouTube videos, or running other programs while playing games.

If not many other programs are running while you’re gaming, then 8GB should work just fine. The sweet spot though for RAM is 16GB because that will give you the best performance in games while using other resource-hungry programs at the same time without bottlenecking anything, which can really lead to some frustration.

  • 8GB is the recommended min for gaming
  • 16GB is known as the sweet spot
  • 32GB for multitasking, streaming, gaming etc

Gaming Laptops Storage

It’s rare to find any laptop 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 more options where you can preserve your data. Like, solid-state drives instead of noisy spinning platters.

In my opinion, it is best to have an SSD rather than an HDD, well, at least to boot your laptop. Having an SSD will mean faster performance and zero wait time when loading programs or swiping through screens plus, everything happens instantaneously (even booting).

However, if you already own a laptop that only has an HDD and it’s possible to install an SSD, it would be one of the best ways to boost its responsiveness, and you may be surprised by how much. If that’s you, it would be worth checking if your laptop can take an SSD and also which one. SATA or M.2?

But, thankfully most new gaming laptops come with SSDs as their main-storage solution, but there are still some that offer both options. (HDD+SSD) Storage is one of the first things I look at when shopping for a new laptop, 2nd only by the graphics card and CPU! 

However, it’s still true 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, whereas SSDs don’t have that problem.

If you’re a gamer, your laptop is likely going to be your most valuable possession. In order to keep it in tip-top shape and have all the games that you want to play at the ready, your storage is key.

Even though there are many other factors to consider when choosing a laptop, in my opinion, one of the most important factors is determining how much storage you need. Plus, does it come with an SSD or HDD, or both? Most new laptops come with M.2 drives, and those are the laptops you must consider first.

If you are anything like me, you may also use your laptop for work, therefore, space for your work files and folders, and your family, wedding and crazy party photos. And space for videos, software, and don’t forget the operating system, which takes a chunk of your storage as well.

As a guide, a 256GB SSD would be ok for most users. Those that play light video games such as Minecraft, Roblox and you would still have room for photos, files, and may be a few videos.

A 512GB SSD would be an ideal solution for most casual gamers who also use their laptop for college work. However, if you play the latest AAA games, like Call of Duty Warzone, a 512GB SSD would be ok to start. But that game alone takes the best part of 100GB, so that needs your consideration.

The perfect solution would be to have at least a 256GB SSD as your boot drive and a 2nd SSD or an HDD, either a 512GB or 1TB size to store games, photos etc. Although, I don’t recommend HDDs simply because I like to enjoy a fast and responsive laptop, so it’s SSDs or nothing with me.

Gaming Laptop Key Features

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.

First Stop, Considering The Graphics Card

Your first consideration should always include a powerful dedicated graphics card with at least 4GB of memory. This will help run all those fancy games on high settings without dropping frames all over town. However, if your desire is to experience Ray Tracing and DLSS, then you would need no less than an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060. With that, you can enjoy the huge performance gains that DLSS brings.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with the older Nvidia GTX mobile discrete cards. They still would offer a decent gaming experience. The problem lies in the fact, within two or three years, a GTX card may not be powerful enough to keep up with the demands of new game releases.

The best option would be an Nvidia RTX 30 series graphics card. If you’re shopping on a budget but want to experience enhanced graphics features opt for a machine with an RTX 3060 or one with an RTX 3050. But, if you’re not too fussed about spending your money, and you’re looking for the best gaming experience. Then check out laptops with Nvidia RTX 3070’s or RTX 3080 graphics.

Typically, you can’t upgrade the GPU inside a gaming laptop. That is unless you’re highly skilled and have access to very specific tools or know someone who does. It would be best to purchase yourself an entirely new machine this time around to make sure the graphics card is suited to the kind of games you play.

You could always plug in an external GPU, though you would need either a Thunderbolt port access or purchase an external video & graphic card adaptor to plug into a USB port. This way, you can experience the power of desktop graphics on your portable gaming machine.

Read: There are 28 Nvidia RTX 3000 series laptop variants

How Much Processing Power Do You Need?

Image Credit: Lenovo

Many things go into choosing the perfect processor. It can quickly become complicated and an extremely daunting task for some. You want to get one that will give you the best performance possible for your money.  

Some CPUs are very powerful, which makes them perfect for gaming. While others are best for casual use, have fewer cores and lower clock speeds. However, if you’re looking for some serious power in your rig. Then choosing a laptop with Intel’s new and improved speedy 12th Gen 14-Core i7 or i9 processors would be top of the tree in terms of raw processor performance. 

The new AMD 6000 series processors would be perfect and would possibly offer the best overall gaming experience, which may well rival the latest Intel 12th Gen processors. I’ve experienced both their 4000 series processors and 5000 series options first hand. Which are all fast and capable gaming processors with no less than 8 Cores and 16 threads and still a great choice today. Yet, if your budget is a bit tighter, an AMD 3000 series CPU would also be OK, just not the best for high-fidelity gaming.

How Many Processor Cores?

Understanding how many CPU Cores you need for gaming can save you money in the long run. You should settle for no less than a quad-core processor. A 6 Core processor would be better, meaning you can do more simultaneously and much smoother. 

Choosing an 8-Core CPU will give you longevity. What I mean by that is there will come a time when quad-core processors become obsolete. Like dual-core processors have become.

It is also worth noting, the CPU is one component inside a laptop that cannot be upgrade. So it will be stuck with you to the very end. So it’s worth investing in the best CPU your budget will allow, if you can stretch to an 8 Core CPU go for that. Even though at present, there are no games that will use all eight Cores, may be four but not eight. Plus, the performance of your gaming laptop would enjoy the extra cores, am sure.

Experience G-Sync?

G-sync is a technology for those who want to take their gaming experience up a notch. It provides gamers with an improved display by synchronizing the monitor’s refresh rates and GPUs. With this, users can expect smoother graphics as well as an overall improved gaming experience.

Enabling G-sync will help eliminate screen tearing and minimize any stutter and input lag. Your in-game scenes will appear instantaneously, and things will look cleaner and sharper. The end result will be a stunning visual experience. Plus, you may gain a competitive edge over your enemies.

But, not all gaming laptops come with G-sync functionality. To enjoy G-sync technology, your laptop must specifically support it. Or, you could buy a compatible external monitor that has G-Sync support.

Experience Ray-Tracing?

Ray-tracing is a rendering technique used in 3D computer graphics to produce images by tracing the path of light as pixels in an image plane, giving realistic images. The term “ray-tracing” was coined when people started using this process for rendering images in the 1980s.

The ray-tracing 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.

Nvidia introduced this technique when they released their RTX 20 series mobile GPUs, the RTX 2060, 2070, and RTX 2080. As these were the first mobile GPUs to feature dedicated ray-tracing cores.

Since then, Nvidia has released the RTX30 series laptop GPUs, the RTX 3050/Ti, 3060, 3070, and RTX 3080, featuring 2nd generation RT Cores and will offer maximum Ray-Tracing performance. And now they’ve released the new and improved Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti that have a whopping 16GB memory inside.

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 have included extra fans to counterbalance the intense heat from powerful GPUs and CPUs. 

Now you can play games on your portable device 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.

What is a 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!! 🙂

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.

Related: Best Laptops for Minecraft

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 that require dedicated graphics, fast processors, plenty of RAM, and bags of storage.

Then you might need something with serious hardware under the hood. These machines usually cost more money but can run games at much better resolutions and faster speeds than regular laptops.

So before you open up your wallet or dust down your purse, you might want to consider what type of games you’re playing before making this purchase.

What is the difference between a gaming laptop and a regular laptop?

The main difference between a gaming laptop and a regular laptop 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 may include a powerful graphics card, large memory capacity, sufficient storage space, faster CPU clock speeds with more cores and threads which helps you do so much more simultaneously. 

Games are complicated. They have loads of different tasks that need to be processed and images need to be rendered as quickly as possible for the next scene to be shown on screen and without delay. If the hardware doesn’t have the power to do this, the games will just crash!

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.

Another difference might be accessories. I mean, accessories such as gaming headsets are not required for use on a regular laptop– nor would you need high-speed wireless mice with RGB lighting. Accessories like these would only be beneficial with the use of a gaming laptop and not a regular everyday laptop.

Gaming laptops also offer backlit keyboards, high refresh displays, and other display technology not required for normal laptops. Finally, the sound quality on gaming laptops is generally much better than on a standard laptop.

Read Next: Best Laptop For Solidworks


In this blog post, we have explained; “what is a gaming laptop” and highlighted what components you should consider before buying a new laptop for gaming.

We hope that 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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