The only thing that every player needs, however, is a decent machine to smoothly process all those freshest games that are in fact quite demanding and large in size. PCs may offer more expansion options and are easier to enhance, but right now it’s all about single, portable, self-contained laptops that will allow you to play your favourite games almost anywhere, so if you ever plan on buying, or upgrading such a beast, here are a few tips that will help you make the right choices…
3D graphics engine
The graphics card (GPU) is one of the most important components for gaming laptops, due to the fact that almost all modern games are created in 3D and are high on detail. Mainstream laptops are usually powered by Intel, but this graphic unit isn’t powerful enough to run a serious game. Instead, if you aim for manufacturers like Nvidia, or AMD, then you might find the one of best GPU chips out there, essential for maximum performance (and the more – the merrier). So, it’s important to prioritize your laptop around your GPU, but remember that state-of-the-art chips, however, generate heat, consume more power and will limit you to substantially sized notebooks, due to much needed space for cooling systems and large batteries.
Size isn’t always everything, so when it comes to buying RAM, you don’t have to overdo it. It is said that between 8 and 16GB should be more than enough for a smooth gaming run, but vendors also sell up to 32GB of RAM. This pretentious configuration of 32GB may pay off in extreme content-creation scenarios, but in general, you should focus on GPU more than anything else. Once again, be careful not to buy more than you need, when it comes to RAM.
Intel has somehow managed to convince people to spend loads of money on CPU, but that simply should not be the case with gaming laptops. Yes, CPU with a higher clock speed and more cores will help with video encoding and photo editing, but when it only comes to 3D gaming… once you’re above a certain threshold, it won’t do you justice. For instance, Alienware models may have the fastest CPU, but it will consequentially also require larger fans and bigger packages. It is said that dual-core Core i5 is enough for most titles you’ll end up playing and it also supports Hyper-Threading, too.
You want something that’s sensible here, a machine with a resolution that dwells around 1920x1080, not something luxurious an extravagant like RazerBlade’s 3200x1800 display. Still, whatever tickles you fancy, but to be frank, try to find a display that reduces the need for anti-aliasing, that doesn’t kill frame rates and that simply isn’t overkill. Vast majority of gaming notebooks contain LCD displays, which are good for faster response, but their off-axis view is almost terrible, while IPS panels have that colour accuracy, but they naturally cost more and you can’t find them easily in the first place.
Every gamer knows that the keyboard revolves around the WASD directional keys, and Alienware company produces keyboards with a solid steel feel, especially when you’re struggling to survive and you have the need to crush something (YOUR LAPTOP) physically in the process. Still, gaming laptops usually use the same scissor-switch keyboards as any other productivity laptop, but those mechanical keyboards won’t fulfill your desire for a thinner, streamlined chassis design, unlike those amechanical types that may sound insane, but MSI is developing new models in order to make everything more compact.
Finally, pay attention to the fact that if your laptop drains a lot of power, it will need big fans to fight the heat and to make less noise, too. Still, you’ll never know what you are up against until you play at least 10 minutes of a performance-demanding game, so remember to put a machine under maximum gaming stress before you buy it. Also, you might be able to upgrade your RAM, maybe even drop in a larger SSD/hard drive, swap out the wireless card, but it’s an impossible mission to upgrade your CPU and GPU properly. With this in mind, it’s better to focus on finding a stock gaming laptop that suits all your needs and then just stick with it for a couple of years, or so, rather than to do a risky laptop surgery that your warranty won’t cover.