Gaming Laptop Buyer’s Guide

Gaming Laptop

Bigger and better, gaming laptop computers (rigs) are virtually king of the hill in terms of size and performance in the mobile computing world.

Rigs go against the trend of owning sleek laptop computers. When you are a gamer, your purpose is to use a laptop that takes the fantasy world of games and make it appear real.

For that to happen, gaming rigs tend to be monster machines that push the limits of performance and sometimes your budget.

Rigs are essentially desktop replacements laptops on steroids. These machines come with premium components capable of producing some unbelievable frame rates and graphics. But this kind of performance can cost you.

Gaming laptops can cost $1500 or more and in excess of $5000 with upgrades. You can shop around and get rig `for a reasonable price.

For these prices, gaming notebooks offer big keyboards, big screens, high-res displays and a wide range of audio and video ports. Users may even get some media extras too such as Blu-ray drives, integrated TV tuners and media control buttons.

For the best 3D gaming performance, we recommend that you spend the most you can afford on the fastest components for your gaming notebook computer.

At the very least, go with a machine that has a high-end Intel Core 2 Duo processor, though for serious power, go for a Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Extreme or Core i7 if your budget allows.

Corei7 is really a beast or a beauty, depending on your point of view. It has multiple processing cores, baked-in memory controllers, large caches and Turbo Boost Technology. Basically the Core i7 is a kick ass processor that will take your gaming experience to a whole new level.

Recognize however that with a faster, more potent CPU, your system will run hotter and drain battery power a lot quicker. So you would not want to stray far from a plug for too long.

By the way, you may want to check out our notebook processor guide to get the skinny on the various CPUs on the market.

You would also want to ensure that you don’t scrimp on graphics when purchasing your gaming laptop computer. If you are a serious gamer, getting a machine with integrated graphics is out of the question.

What you’ll need is a dedicated graphics processor with 256MB or 512MB of memory. You certainly wouldn’t go wrong with a high-end NVidia or ATI graphics card.

Some faster rigs may bump things up a notch or two by including two cards with NVidia’s Scalable Link Interface (SLI) technology offering 1GB worth of dedicated graphics memory.

And some other rigs really go all out by offering 500GB RAID-array hard drives and two optical drives.

With regards to RAM, get the largest amount you can. Ideally, you want 4-6GB of DDR3 memory. But if that is outside your budget, 2GB is the absolute bare minimum. You can go here for more info on laptop memory.

And what about storage space? Games are big and need gigabytes of storage. Furthermore, given the demanding nature of the latest games, they need a hard drive with fast spindle speed.

We recommend a desktop-caliber hard drive spinning at 7,200rpm or more. If your budget allows, go for a solid state hard drive (SSD), which is a drive with no moving parts. A SSD is typically lighter, more durable, uses less power, provides faster data access and offers greater reliability than traditional, spinning hard drives.

The main drawbacks of SSD are that it typically offers smaller storage space and costs more than a traditional hard drive.

If you are buying a premium gaming notebook computer and multiple hard drives are an option, then you might want to buy a SSD as a storage drive for games.

Having a SSD as a second hard drive would mean that your system wouldn’t be hindered by poor storage space. For gaming on the go, wireless networking capability is a must. You would want a fast wireless connection to play online games and to download gaming updates and patches in order to keep the bugs out of your play.

Go for 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless standard or you may try the Wireless N, a newer standard which offers longer range and faster data rates. Bluetooth is another wireless option that is a great addition to your gaming laptop if you want to connect a premium wireless keyboard to your system for enhanced play.

We also suggest you purchase a gaming notebook with at least a DVD burner. DVD burners are often the default optical drive on more costly notebooks and gaming laptops. But it won’t hurt to check if the rig you are interested in has a DVD optical drive.

Next-gen Blu-ray drive is a high-end feature on some gaming rigs. Many top games are on Blu-ray so it makes sense to consider this option.

You are still safe with buying games on DVD but games on Blu-ray is the future. A rig with a Blu-ray drive can also play your favorite Blu-ray movie.

If you follow this simple guide, you should know the fundamentals required to buy a decent gaming laptop. And remember to shop around before you make a decision. Are you searching for programming laptop instead? Take a look at this article “Top Best Laptops For Programming Buyer’s Guide”. Happy gaming!

 

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This article and images were originally posted on [ESIST.Tech] October 25, 2017 at 012:30 PM

Credit to Author Elizabeth Diane  ESIST.tech contributor.

 

 

 

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6 Replies to “Gaming Laptop Buyer’s Guide”

  1. I’m on a budget of 1k and I want a laptop with Nvidia graphics chip which can smoothly run all the games but if I’m going for power I’m not getting good battery life nor a good display or keyboard. Can you suggest a good laptop for me?

  2. You seem to know what you are talking about and it is so hard to find someone to help with advice on this stuff that is not sales orientated. I was hoping you would be able to help me.

  3. thank you so much without you I would not have a good gaming laptop. I looked at some and on other sites they are over a 1000 dollars

  4. I know some time has passed since this article was created, but I felt compelled to write a comment. In March 2017 I bought the new Alienware 15 R1. Almost fairly speced out (i7 4710HQ, 970M, 16GB ram, 256 SSD, etc). I have to say during this year it was been awesome! The keyboard feels like quality, I can game on the go, but I have some reservations recommending this setup to others. I paid a little over 2,000 USD for this laptop… With this money, I could have bought a beast of a desktop along with a portable laptop to boot. I didn’t listen to my peers, and went ahead…

  5. Can you point me in the direction of these reviews? I actually don’t see any. I want to buy a laptop for gaming.

  6. Great article, I was wondering what your thoughts are on the zbook studio g4 in comparison to other gaming laptops?

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