Before you start purchasing your favorite PC video games, you need to make sure your laptop is up for the task. Your regular computer may not be able to handle the heavy graphics and intense gameplay on some of the more recent releases from the top gaming studios. If you’re a serious or casual gamer, it may make more sense to buy a dedicated gaming laptop. This way, you won’t be disappointed when trying out the newest releases. Here are some essential tips to follow before you go out looking for the perfect gaming laptop.
The first thing you’ll need to determine is your budget for your new laptop. It’s best to go with a brand new computer for your hobby because a used laptop may already be obsolete. Generally, if you have a bigger budget, you’ll be able to afford some of the top performing laptops. For those who may not have an extra $3,000 laying around, there are still plenty of inexpensive laptop options that can give you a solid gaming experience for around $700.
To start with, you’ll need to look at each laptop’s processing power. This information will be labeled in the unit’s CPU specifications. Your new computer’s processing speed can help you get a better gaming experience. The two most popular brands to choose from for a CPU are either Intel or AMD. AMD’s Ryzen CPU line is a great option if you’re looking for a powerful performance. Intel’s powerful Core i7 line can also do the heavy lifting needed to run newer games.
Most video games have extensive and detailed graphics that enhance the playing experience. A solid laptop option will be loaded with a highly-capable graphics card that can elevate the visual intensity of your games. The most common options for graphics cards are NVIDIA or AMD. Some of the details you’ll need to know to check the quality of your laptop’s graphics card are GPU, or graphics processing unit, core clock, interface, memory bandwidth, and video RAM.
Another feature you should investigate before settling on a laptop is its RAM. RAM stands for random access memory, and it helps your computer handle multiple tasks at once. If you plan to use your laptop for other things, such as surfing the internet or typing documents, you’ll need to make sure the RAM is sufficient. Look for a laptop that has either 8GB or 16GB of RAM.
Then, you’ll need to choose your laptop’s size. A bigger laptop typically means a larger screen. If you’re planning to take your laptop everywhere, you may need to size down to a smaller screen for better portability and a lighter weight. A good size recommendation for this situation would be 13 inches. A larger screen, such as 17 inches, can be a good choice for someone who isn’t planning to take their laptop out too much.
With a laptop, you should also look at battery power. A big, bulky laptop may include a larger battery pack inside, but this may get hot and feel even heavier if you’re transporting your computer anywhere. Likewise, a smaller and sleeker laptop may not be able to handle too much time solely on battery power. More intense games may also suck your battery power out at a faster rate, so you may want to invest in a portable battery charger.
Next, consider the storage options you’ll need for your new laptop. Your computer’s storage is centered in its hard drive. Laptop storage options are typically either SSD or HDD. A higher capacity drive means you’ll be able to run your larger games much more quickly and efficiently. Most gamers prefer the performance of SSD over HDD.
The way your games sound also matter. Many games of today have higher production values, similar to feature films. Games like Activision’s “Call of Duty” from top designers and company CEO Bobby Kotick, have changed the gaming experience to help immerse players into a new and exciting world. To fully appreciate the details from your game’s sound, try using a high-quality pair of headphones or attach an external set of top speakers to your laptop.
The last thing to think about before choosing the right gaming laptop for your preferences and budget is the keyboard. Laptops typically have a built-in trackpad as well, so make sure your keyboard and trackpad combination is ideal for your style of playing games and the way you type and maneuver your fingers. Sometimes, it’s also helpful to add an attached mouse to the keyboard setup to get a better experience during play.
Buying a gaming laptop is an important decision. Make sure you educate yourself about the possible options you’ll need for your favorite games so you don’t have to invest even more in laptop upgrades later down the road.