How To Choose The Gaming Laptop You Need?

Yes, it is true that on other occasions we have told you how to choose a laptop based on the use you are going to give it. But this guide to choosing the gaming laptop you need focuses especially on that, on giving you the keys so that you know what you should take into account before choosing one to play. It will surely support you and help you when it comes to solving some doubts about laptops for gamers.

Content

  • 1 How much do you want to spend on a gaming laptop?
  • 2 You need a dedicated graph
  • 3 You must have a CPU compatible with the chosen GPU
    • 3.1 What are the best gaming processors?
  • 4 Enough RAM in a gaming laptop
  • 5 SSD internal storage
  • 6 The screen is also crucial in a gaming laptop
  • 7 The cooling of gaming laptops
  • 8 Which gaming laptop keyboard is better?
  • 9 Ports and connections
  • 10 Lightness and autonomy
  • 11 Best Gaming Laptop Brands
  • 12 Final Tip

How much do you want to spend on a gaming laptop?

We cannot start this guide to choosing a gaming laptop without taking into account your budget. Be clear that if you want to have the best features to play at high resolutions and games with premium requirements, you will have to pay a lot. Especially if we take into account the price of some components such as graphics that have skyrocketed in recent times.

In cheap gaming laptops, it will be practically impossible to find a dedicated graphics card unless they are products on sale or have other components such as older-generation processors. Something similar happens if, for example, you are looking for gaming laptops for less than 800 dollars. Although in these cases you can find something more “mid-range” that can help you if you are not very demanding.

If, for example, you have a little more budget, we are no longer going for 1,000-dollar gaming laptops. Here you can find newer generation processors, graphics like the RTX 3050, and storage capacities of up to 1TB.

And of course, if you want the most of the most, you will have to go for the most premium models, whether they are the 1,500-dollar gaming laptops or the 2,000-dollars gaming laptops. But to find out if it is worth spending more or less, we are going to see what are the components and requirements to take into account when choosing the best gaming laptop according to your case.

You need a dedicated graph

Gaming GPU
Gaming GPU

Keep this in mind when choosing a gaming laptop: you need a dedicated graphics card. This is equal to or more important than having a good processor, which we will talk about later.

In our comparison of the best 4K and 1080p graphics cards, we have told you which are some of the best for gaming at 1440p and 4K in case you want to take a look at them.

When we decide to buy a laptop for home or professional use, indeed, the CPU is usually more important than the GPU. But this is not the case with gaming laptops. Although the vast majority of models that are sold “to play” already incorporate it, in some cases the power and performance may not be enough for certain games.

A video memory or VRAM of 4 GB may be enough depending on the type of game you like, although for the newer ones (and taking into account those that will come out in the future) you should have a little more capacity. The best way to not make a mistake is to check the minimum GPU requirements to play without a problem.

If you have a high budget, it will be best to opt for the latest generations of Nvidia RTX. For example, to play at 1440p you can use the Nvidia RTX 2060. On the other hand, for higher resolutions, it is best to go for an RTX 3070 at least.

You must have a CPU compatible with the chosen GPU

We cannot expect a good gaming laptop to work optimally simply because it has state-of-the-art graphics: it must be accompanied by a high-performance processor that allows it to work efficiently. Otherwise, what is known as a bottleneck will occur. Although we are always going to have some minimal incompatibility between components, it is best to use the best bottleneck calculators to ensure that both pieces are compatible.

Some games come with specific recommendations that you must have a 4.0GHz processor, so you already have more or less marked the path that you should follow when choosing. If, for example, you intend to opt for an i5-10400F with an RTX 3080, you will have a slight bottleneck. But it will get worse if you lower the performance of that processor with, say, an i3-710.

What are the best gaming processors?

Gaming processor
Gaming processor

Beyond the generation of the processor, the most important thing when choosing a gaming CPU is to prioritize its IPC over the total number of cores. The IPC is the number of operations that a processor can perform each cycle. For its part, the more cores a processor has, the more simultaneous tasks it will allow us to perform on the gaming laptop.

Most current games require more IPC before more cores. Even in some cases, when it is the opposite, it could worsen the performance of the laptop.

Our general recommendation is that you try to opt for a CPU such as the i7-12700H, possibly the best mid-high-range CPU for gaming. But if you can’t find a model with this specific chip, an older version will suffice.

If you want a good processor that won’t be outdated by upcoming playable titles, check out our guide to the best Intel and AMD gaming processors.

Enough RAM in a gaming laptop

RAM for gaming laptop
RAM for a gaming laptop

RAM is another essential component when choosing a gaming laptop, and you should not confuse it with the GPU. Although in many cases we see models to play with 8GB, the truth is that you have to take into account that the laptop will run the operating system and other programs in addition to your games. Therefore, we consider it very short if you are going to use your laptop for something other than gaming. Of course, forget less capacity like 6GB or 4GB. It won’t do you any good.

If you want to play without problems and with guarantees, when you choose a gaming laptop, make sure that it has at least 16GB of DDR4 RAM at 3,200 MHz.

Is 32GB of RAM worth it for a gaming laptop? The truth is that for shared use between gaming and homework or studying, that amount of RAM is not necessary. Especially since it will make the budget higher than you possibly expect.

Internal SSD Storage

Internal SSD Storage fo gaming laptop
Internal SSD Storage fo gaming laptop

Note that, for example, Fortnite requires 80GB on a PC. Others like Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War on PC require 125GB with Ultra graphics. Therefore, the internal storage of your gaming laptop is also essential.

If you are not one to play many different titles at this level, you may be fine with 512 GB. Although if possible, always opt for a minimum of 1TB so that the team can use it without any problem. And while some mechanical hard drives are cheaper, keep in mind that an SSD is much faster.

In our guide we tell you the differences between SSD and HDD for gaming and if they speed up games or not. Although of course, you can always use an external hard drive or some cloud storage to have more space.

The screen is also crucial in a gaming laptop

Screen for gaming laptop
Screen for gaming laptop

The majority of gaming equipment is 15.6″ in size as a general rule, although some, like MSI gaming laptops, exceed 17″. However, the size of the screen is not all that you should consider.

You should go for an FHD or Full High Definition display, which is 1080p. You can also choose from the best 4k or ultra-high-definition laptops if your budget allows it.

Another feature that you should anticipate in your new gaming laptop is the refresh rate. The larger it is, the more fluid the image is. Although there are 60Hz models, we prefer 144Hz as the standard. On the other hand, the Adaptive-Sync technology is responsible for synchronizing that refresh rate with the frames per second and will avoid some typical problems such as stuttering (a momentary sudden stop) and tearing (graphic distortion that can be seen on the screen ).

For desktop PCs, many gamers go all out and opt for 8K gaming settings.

Cooling of gaming laptops

Cooling of gaming laptops
Cooling of gaming laptops

Throttling occurs when some component such as the CPU or GPU slows down to protect itself from potential damage such as overheating. Therefore, the cooling of your gaming laptop is another important factor to take into account.

Something very similar can happen when we overclock it to make it work faster. This consumes more light and produces more heat in your components, something that again puts you at risk if you don’t have a good cooling system.

Some gaming laptops like MSI use a technology known as Cooler Boost that is practically one of the best in this type of equipment.

Which gaming laptop keyboard is better?

Gaming laptop keyboard
Gaming laptop keyboard

Gaming laptop keyboards usually have RGB lighting, something that can help us beyond design. For example, if you are one of those who play in dark or low-light environments, it will be practically necessary for you. But it also allows you to customize some keys with which you play and thus have more localized controls visually. Of course, the style that he brings is something that all players like.

But this is something personal. What should matter about a gaming keyboard is, for example, the type of keyboard (preferably mechanical) and the built-in technologies, such as anti-ghosting and n-key rollover.

Something similar happens with the travel of the keys, being between 1.5 and 2 mm the most ideal for gaming laptops. Some models include macro functions per key with which you can record a sequence of keystrokes and execute them with just one keystroke.

Ports and connections

Ports and connections
Ports and connections

Before this issue could be decisive, but currently, the vast majority of gaming laptops include enough connection ports to play. Above all, they are essential if you want to connect other peripherals such as gaming monitors or transfer files, data, and videos from other devices.

The most advanced ones will come with built-in Thunderbolt ports, essential if you are a streamer and want to generate 4K files at high speed. Something similar happens with USB-C ports, already incorporated in all gaming laptops. Although you should watch the version of this if the transmission speed is important to you.

Lightness and autonomy

The last features that we consider important when choosing a gaming laptop are its size, weight, and battery. It will largely depend on the size of the screen and the type of components that make it up. If you are going to opt for a 17″ model, do not expect to have the lightest. Try to find the right balance between size and weight.

As for the battery, its thing will be that it has an autonomy of at least 5 hours (at least). Although there are optimized models that can last up to 8-9 hours at full capacity. The battery has to be powerful because the graphics, video, and audio of the latest games consume much more power than the typical software and applications that we usually use on a home laptop.

Best gaming laptop brands

Although this indeed depends a bit on personal tastes and your budget, we can talk about the best brands of gaming laptops. Some have better reputations than others, some include the latest processors and GPUs, while others opt to polish their designs. Among them are Acer, Lenovo, MSI, and Asus.

Final Tip

Before finishing, we want to recommend that when choosing a gaming laptop you compare the greatest variety of possible models. Surely it will be difficult for you to find one with the exact characteristics you are looking for, but you can always find one that is close to what you need.

Since a gaming laptop with state-of-the-art specs will cost a good amount of money, you can look for discounts or directly second-hand/refurbished. And we also recommend our guide to know how to choose custom laptops in case you are looking for something more personalized.

Also, read about Tips For Buying Your First Gaming PC What should I look for?

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Abram left his e-business studies to devote himself to his entrepreneurial projects. In 2017, he created the company Inbound Media and wrote articles about high-tech products for his Chromebookeur site. In 2019, Chromebookeur was renamed Macbound and became a general purchasing advice site. Today, Abram manages the development and growth of Macbound, surrounded by a young and talented team.

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