Gaming Laptop Buying Guide
Just like desktop computers, laptops have numerous functions. It is used for desktop publishing, video editing, browsing the web, and more. One of its popular uses is for gaming.
Amidst the popularity of tablets and other gaming consoles, a wide selection of gaming laptop still remains in the market. Hardware specifications play a very essential role in achieving a good gaming experience. The following features are important to take into consideration before making that purchase.
When buying a laptop for gaming, it is best to get the one with the latest or highest graphics chipset. Remember that games also evolve and may require a higher video card specification in the future, so it is best to check if the laptop model allows upgrades.
Integrated graphics are cheaper than discrete graphics. It also saves battery life. However, for solely gaming purposes, discrete graphics offer a better 3D resolution. But the good news is that a gamer can use two or more graphic cards, one integrated and one discrete. Both allow a laptop to run at a low power and then switch automatically when needed for gaming. NVIDIA and ATI are two of the top providers of high-end discrete and integrated graphic solutions.
Random Access Memory
The RAM or random access memory is very vital in choosing a gaming laptop. A bigger RAM capacity means that the laptop will be able to accommodate more programs. These applications can be opened simultaneously without slowing down the device. Higher memory also means high-resolution games will respond timely.
Aside from the built-in memory, graphic cards also have their own eandom access memory. This is used by the video adapter for 3D gaming, each game requires a specific system requirement, so it is best to check it first to know how much memory your laptop really needs.
Gaming Laptop Processor
Another deciding factor in purchasing a laptop for gamers is the processor speed. The processor is basically the brain of the laptop. Its performance greatly depends on the processor speed. This also means that speedy processor laptops are of the latest release and are expensive.
Intel’s Atom, Pentium or Celeron and AMD’s E Series can handle the basic laptop functions like typing, playing music, and internet browsing. They are a little cheaper, but may not be able to handle serious gaming tasks. You may expect Intel i7 and above or AMD A Series to do the job much better. In fact, AMD currently offers accelerated processing units that combine processor and graphic chipsets functions for optimal speed.
Regular hard drives that are found in laptops can still be useful in playing games, data streaming, and movie watching. Good specifications include at least 500gb storage that runs in 7,200 revolutions per minute.
Current generation laptops provide solid-state hard drives or SSD. These hard drives help the system boot faster and applications open quickly. SSDs are particularly quiet and give off less heat. When using SSDs, some game graphics may show less stuttering and smoother texture. Since, solid-state drives perform up to three times faster than the regular mechanical drives, it is more expensive. If you have the extra cash, pair up SSDs and run it in RAID 0 to make games with heavy graphics load instantly. The state drives should still be accompanied by regular hard drives for mass storage.
Some laptops and Ultrabooks have built-in flash caches, usually 16gb or 32gb. These caches are also paired with mechanical hard drives to increase speed. Although flash caches are not as efficient as SSD, it still does a good job in decreasing boot time and allows data storage at the same time.
Screen Display for Gaming Laptops
High quality graphics should come with appropriately sized screen display. For 15 inches screens or monitors, 1600 x 900 display is fine. But according to most gamers, the bigger, the better. 17 inches up to 22 inches display will deliver striking images. It is enough to handle 3D games.
It is recommended to avoid devices that use IPS panel technology because it causes slow pixel response time that can obviously hamper with gaming. IPS quality is still okay but not for gaming.
For a more brilliant and impressive gaming experience, it is advised to get a laptop that has a widescreen ultra-extended graphics array with 1920 x 1200 pixel display.
The quality of monitors can also be tested by scanning it for dead pixels. This is a physical test that a buyer can check immediately when buying a laptop.
Prices for Gaming Laptops
Costly laptops usually offer more advanced specifications. However, models depreciate quickly because a new one is developed almost every month. Buying the latest model only a few days after its release tend to cost more money than waiting to acquire it several months after.
Prices also vary according to brand names. Gaming Laptops with the same specifications but from different manufacturers can only differ in price, label, and packaging. Start by searching for affordable gaming laptops
Keeping in mind what laptop models provide upgrades can save you cash. This means that you will just have to buy the parts whenever the need for higher specs arises. Storage drives, graphic cards, and RAMs are the hardware parts that are commonly upgraded. Be sure to take note of the prices of each upgrade. This is because there are instances when the total amount of the peripherals costs the same as a new laptop.
Extra Amenities for Gaming Laptops
Most games available use keyboard controls to navigate. A laptop with a durable keyboard should be taken into consideration. Another option is to look for ports that allow the use of external keyboards. Material used in making laptop keyboards are mostly light and less sturdy compared the external ones.
Nowadays, games can be bought and downloaded from a website. But there are still developers that sell their games in CDs. For installation purposes, it is best to have a laptop with optical drives or extra USB ports for portable DVD writers.
Overall, the factors to consider in buying gaming laptops boil down to its hardware specifications and price. There are hundreds of models and brands out in the market that can cater to the need and system requirement of every hard core gamer.