Things to Consider while choosing a Gaming Laptop
There are many factors to consider while buying a gaming laptop. You might feel lost among the various types of graphic card categories and how they affect a laptop's performance. Perhaps you are not sure about which panel to pick. Or you might be unaware of technical terms like DLSS and Ray Tracing. So, here are some tips that will ease the process of picking a good gaming laptop.
6 Tips for a Good Gaming Laptop (2022)
1. Choose an Operating System
An Operating system has always been the central to a computer - whether a gaming laptop or otherwise. While Windows has been proven to be the gold standard for computer gaming for a long time now, other platforms like macOS and Linux have their utilizations too. In our case, Windows is the definite choice to make, mainly for software compatibility when it comes to games.
Over it's last few releases, Microsoft’s Windows OS has truly transformed a lot. The latest Windows 11 was a little buggy at first, but now has become an OS that performs faster and more efficiently than it's predecessor. However, if you are the type of gamer who wants a wide range of support and compatibility for almost every game out there, Windows 10 is the best option to choose since it is stable and almost every PC game works well on it.
2. Know your Processor (CPU)
How to test a processor
A processor is the brain of the system, and when you’re investing a sizeable amount of money in a product, the preference should be for a brain that can think fast. Here are the points you should keep in consideration while judging a CPU:
Companies like Intel and AMD update their processors on a yearly basis, and the different generations are a handy way to categorize them. Newer generations are built on newer technologies and are faster and more power-efficient. For instance, an Intel i7-11700K (11th Gen) is comparatively faster than an i7-6700K (6th Gen). When you’re looking for a new laptop, try getting the latest generation processor.
One of the principal factors in selecting a processor is finding out its clock speed. Without becoming too technical, the clock speed of a processor is essentially the speed at which a processor can calculates binary instructions. Clock speed is measured in GHz, which means a 3.2 GHz CPU will execute at a frequency of 3.2 billion oscillations per second.
However, as newer processors have been released, their design and architecture have been updated, and this means that old CPUs with a higher clock speeds might often be outpaced by newer ones running on lower clock speeds.
Clock speed is essential for gaming since the faster a CPU’s frequency, the better will be the gaming experience. Especially for more complex games, like open-world ones where rendering the environment involves a massive amount of parallel calculations, this factors in very heavily.
Number of Cores
Just like clock speed, a CPU with multiple cores for better performance is a great option. Cores act like unique units that help a CPU multitask and get work at a great pace. This happens when a single task is divided into different sections, and each individual thread is given to different cores for effectively parallel processing.
3. The Graphics Card (GPU)
Similar to a laptop's CPU that handles various instructions, GPU performs the same function for graphical intensive processes, including video output and gaming. GPUs are independent processors that are designed and used specifically for very intense tasks like rendering. A good GPU is an asset for a gamer who desires high frame rates and a smooth gaming experience with the best graphics settings.
An integrated GPU refers to a graphics card that shares its space and memory in the same place as a CPU. The term integrated states they are integrated together on the same chip. So a CPU with integrated graphics will be able to tackle both CPU and GPU processes together.
Due to the shared memory and other features, integrated GPUs are lower in performance when compared to dedicated GPUs. Therefore, integrated graphics are better suited for casual gamers looking to play games with lower graphic requirements, which generally focus on video outputs such as Netflix or YouTube.
4. Random Access Memory (RAM)
A computer's short term memory, the RAM, is responsible for handling multiple processes like playing games and opening multiple apps on a computer while working in collaboration with the CPU. This is different from a Hard drive that stores files and data more permanently.
The RAM is an internal storage device available in different sizes such as 4, 8, 16, 32 GB and so on. The bigger your RAM, the more applications/games (/Chrome Tabs) it can process simultaneously.
You might have come across your potential laptop having an SSD, HDD or an, SSHD, or a combination of these. Old school hard disks contain magnetic disks that are accessed by a pin that physically rotates and moves up and down.
Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
An HDD offers numerous advantages, such as the availability of a wide range of capacity (14TB), and is very low in cost as compared to an SSD. It also suffers some drawbacks. Since an HDD uses moving parts that physically commit data to the disks, the read/write speed of the drive is slower compared to an SSD.
Furthermore, HDDs have a lesser lifespan than SSDs as, over time, their disks burn out, and the entire drive needs replacing.
Solid State Drives (SSD)
Obviously HDDs are no match for the speed of an SSD (Solid State Drive) that has everything on a single circuit board with no moving parts. Off late, SSDs have become cheaper to produce and are now edging HDDs out completely.
6. Picking the right screen
Screen resolution is one of the factors that will directly influence your gaming experience. The most common resolutions are 1920X1080 (Full HD/1080p), 2560×1440 (2K, 1440p) and 3840×2160 (4K UHD). The resolution of the screen display directly impacts the visual quality of your game - higher resolutions means more clarity and detail. A higher resolution also leads to more processing power demanded by the game and should be balanced with other factors like frame rates and rendering speeds.
Most gaming laptops are shipped with a Full HD display. The reason behind this is to ensure that the laptop you purchase gives enough frame rates without any loss.
Going for a Full HD display is a great option. However, if you’re looking to invest heavily in a gaming laptop that has powerful features, you can safely go for a 4K display.