Choosing The Best Gaming Laptop: A Simple Guide for Beginners

Playing games is always a pleasant pastime. With the best devices, you get to play high-definition games without annoying lags. While desktop PCs are still irreplaceable for gamers, gaming laptops are making their way to serve you an unforgettable gaming experience.

Gaming laptops offer the best specs out there, with the flexibility to carry them anywhere you, please. You can also use them for other work or personal responsibilities, due to their high performance. Editing videos or processing large spreadsheets will be a breeze—talk about killing two (or more) birds with one stone.

When it comes to buying a gaming laptop, there are tons of choices for you to pick from. Choosing one can be a rather confusing process, especially when you have limited knowledge about computers. Picking the right specifications is crucial as upgrading gaming laptops is not always possible. Don’t know where to start? This article will walk you through finding your gaming laptop soulmate. 

Here are some important features of a gaming laptop that you need to look for.

Display

A good display will show your game’s graphics in the best way possible. A vibrant, detailed graphic can tremendously enhance your gaming experience. This depends on a few qualities:

  • Screen size. A lot of gaming laptops come with display screens sized around 15 to 17 inches. Ask yourself how big you want the screen to be since this comes down to your personal preference. Be aware that laptops with larger screens tend to be heavier.
  • Resolution. The bare minimum is 1920 x 1280–anything below that won’t guarantee you clarity. Yet keep in mind that higher doesn’t necessarily mean better. Consider the capacity of the GPU while looking at the display’s resolution. You might need a high-performing GPU if you want to run games on a 4K display, for instance.
  • Refresh rate. This basically means how many times the display redraws images per second. If it’s too low, lags will happen a lot. 60Hz is the average for regular laptops, while gaming laptops generally offer higher ones like 144Hz or 240Hz. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother your gaming experience will be. Still, remember to pay attention to GPU capacity.
  • Graphics card sync. This technology allows the display to sync with graphics cards, reducing the occurrence of screen lags, tearing, and ghosting. Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync are mostly available on high-end gaming laptops.
  • Screen type. You might want to try getting an OLED screen for your gaming laptop display. It’s capable of producing pixels with deeper black levels, which improves the game graphic’s colour display. Another thing to remember is to avoid getting touchscreen displays. It might be fun and fancy, but a touchscreen display is simply unnecessary and drains the battery faster for gaming purposes. If the display of your choice still disappoints, connecting your gaming laptop to an external monitor is always an option.

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CPU

The CPU stands for Central Processing Unit, which is pretty self-explanatory: it processes everything going on while you use the laptop. CPU has a significant impact on your gaming experience, as it controls the frame rates and even battery life. With a good CPU, you can overclock it to make your games faster. This is done by pushing your graphic card’s speed to its maximum.

There are many kinds of CPUs to choose from for every budget level. The top-tier CPUs are the Intel Core i7 and AMD Ryzen 7 series, available on top-notch gaming laptops. Besides gaming, these CPUs also support other heavy work such as editing or rendering videos. Intel i5 processors are decent enough to support your gaming activity if you have a tighter budget. However, AMD processors are said to be cheaper yet perform better than their Intel counterparts.

CPU Processor
CPU

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Graphics Card/GPU

This piece of hardware is the main determiner of your gaming experience. GPU, or graphics processing unit, functions to accelerate pixel creation for the moving images you see in the games. A bad quality GPU will just frustrate you while running your games. That’s why it’s crucial to pick a high-performing one since you can’t upgrade or replace it later on.

The terms graphics card and GPU are often interchangeable and may cause confusion. Simply put, GPU is a part of a graphics card. GPU is the circuit manufactured by either Nvidia or AMD, while graphics cards are made by brands like Asus, Gigabyte, EVGA, and MSI. Although the brands are different, most graphics cards are compatible with any brand of laptop. For example, it’s possible to fit an ASUS graphic card into an MSI gaming laptop.

RAM

Like its name, Random-access memory (RAM) serves as temporary storage while your laptop processes things. The bigger your RAM is, the more programs you can run simultaneously. This matters when you want to do heavy tasks like playing games or rendering videos.

For everyday use, 4 to 8GB RAM is powerful enough to support you in doing basic activities. Yet more is needed when you want to use your laptop for gaming primarily; never go lower than 16GB. Most gaming laptops are already equipped with a minimum RAM of 16GB. This part is generally still upgradeable, so no need to worry.

Laptop RAM
RAM

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Storage

PC games tend to take large chunks of your storage. Hence it is essential to provide enough storage to play them smoothly. Gaming laptops often come with hard disk drive (HDD) storage of around 512GB to 1TB. While it is definitely spacious enough, you might want to opt for another type of storage: solid-state drives (SSDs).

SSDs have gained more popularity over traditional HDDs in recent years, and it’s for a few good reasons. Compared to HDDs, SSDs generally work faster because they don’t use moving mechanical parts to write data. SSDs also have a relatively long lifespan and cost more per gigabyte. The good news is you can use both HDD and SSD all at once, as HP Pavilion gaming laptops offer. The roomier HDD can function as storage, while the SSD makes the laptop run quicker.

Keyboard

This actually boils down to your preference but read along if you have zero ideas about good built-in keyboards. The first noticeable thing about gaming laptops is their backlit keyboards. A lot of gaming equipment comes with LED lamps, and keyboards are not an exception. Some even offer RGB lighting that you can customize as you like.

The keyboard of a gaming laptop should require the right amount of pressure to type on. It shouldn’t be too hard to press, nor too soft so you might accidentally make typos. This will support the anti-ghosting feature, which lets you mash a combination of keys. A good keyboard also has an n-key rollover feature that ensures scanning every button press individually.

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