Parent’s Guide: What to Look for in a Gaming Laptop

what to look for in a gaming laptop

Did you know that more than 65% of American adults play video games on a regular basis? This activity can stimulate you mentally while also helping you get rid of stress. Most gamers play their favorite games on computers, particularly on specially designed gaming laptops.

But what if you don’t have one and intend to buy such a device in the near future? Do you know what to look for in a gaming laptop? What makes gaming computers so special and what are the best gaming laptops out there?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions then keep reading. You’ll learn everything you need to know when it comes to how to buy a gaming laptop.

The GPU or Video Card

GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit and it’s a special type of processor dedicated to rendering images and videos. Most computers and laptops have it. However, gamers should pay special attention to this component as it’s one of the most important when it comes to gaming.

Any video game, particularly the new ones, need to run hundreds of complex, high-resolution images per minute. The CPU can do a good job, but it can do an even better job if it’s helped by a high-performance GPU.

Next time when you buy a gaming laptop, check out the GPU or video card information. Some of the best video cards out there have at least 2GB of RAM and belong to the Nvidia GTX category. However, the Radeon video cards are also good.

Buying a gaming laptop with a great video card allows you to play your favorite games with all the visual details set to maximum. Ideally, your video card should have 4GB of RAM, but 3GBs are also sufficient if your budget is smaller.

Opt for SSD When It Comes to Storage

Back in the days, your only option was an HDD (hard disk drive) when it comes to data storage. Today you also have an SSD which stands for solid-state drive. This is a more advanced type of media designed to store data on computers and laptops.

The main advantage of an SSD over an HDD is that SSDs are much faster. You can transfer and retrieve data quicker if your laptop is equipped with an SSD. As a result, your games will load faster and you can copy important game files quicker.

However, SSDs are also more expensive. If your budget is limited, go for a combination of SSD + HDD. Some laptops have an SSD of 128GB and an HDD of 1TB. You should opt for this combination or something similar if you want to wait for less while your game is loading.

Make Sure Your CPU Has Multiple Cores

If the GPU is the graphics processing unit, the CPU is the central processing unit. This is the heart of your gaming laptop and you shouldn’t plan on saving money or making compromises here. The better your CPU is, the more enjoyable your gaming experience will be.

Today’s CPUs have 2 cores, 4 cores, or even 6 or 8 cores in some cases. Ideally, you should go for a gaming laptop that has multiple cores, preferably 4. This means that 4 processing units are tackling programs and applications while you play games or do anything else on your computer.

As a result of this “teamwork”, you will be able to do more with your gaming laptop. For example, you can browse the internet, listen to music, play YouTube videos, and chat with your friends on Skype, all at the same time.

Make sure that your gaming processor belongs to the latest generation and clocks at 3.0Ghz or more. Intel’s i5, i7, and i9 processors are ideal for gaming and they will allow you to play virtually any game. The AMD Ryzen processors are also good examples in this case and they offer optimal gaming performances.

A 15.6-Inch Display or Higher Is Recommended

If you plan to spend a lot of time playing your favorite games, a large display is likely more suitable for you in this case. Gaming laptops usually feature displays with a size of about 15.6 inches. If your budget is higher, you can also go for a 17-inch display.

Having more screen real estate is recommended when you play video games. This will ensure a more immersive gaming experience and you’ll be able to see your opponents/enemies better.

Larger displays also make it easier and more pleasant for you to watch movies, TV shows, or anything else that floats your boat. If you don’t plan on routinely carrying your gaming laptop around the city, go for a larger display and you won’t be sorry afterward. Check out for a good selection of laptops with a large screen.

Full-HD Resolution Is Perfect for Most Games

We talked about getting a large display, but this is not synonymous with screen resolution. The resolution of your display refers to the numbers of pixels that can be used to show images. Some of the most common resolutions are Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) and 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels).

As you can probably imagine, the higher the resolution, the clearer the image. Advanced displays with a 4K resolution can reproduce sharp images, vivid colors, and crystal-clear details. You’ll be able to see more digits, letters, and colors than ever before.

However, if your budget doesn’t currently accommodate a 4K gaming laptop, make sure that you at least go for a Full-HD one. This type of resolution is still very popular and it allows you to see a lot of sharp details while playing video games.

As an added benefit, you can likely get more hours of battery life from a Full-HD display in comparison with a 4K display. That’s because the laptop’s battery needs to supply fewer pixels with electricity if you go for a Full- HD display. More battery life means more hours of uninterrupted gameplay.

Can’t Help but Falling in Love With an RGB Backlit Keyboard

A backlit keyboard is one of the most appreciated features of a gaming laptop. It simply adds life and color to your machine and it can take your gaming experience to the next level. Most gaming laptops come with an RGB backlit keyboard.

This feature allows you to customize the colors of your backlit keyboard. Special software allows you to pick from hundreds of colors in different combinations of red, green, and blue. In some cases, you can even assign certain keys to feature a particular color, so you can see them easier.

Apart from being able to see your keys in the dark, backlit keyboards also make your gaming experience more interesting. This feature can improve your typing speed and you can even set different light intensities, depending on how dark is in your room at that moment.

Don’t Skimp on RAM

Random-access memory or RAM is the “space” where information is processed and programs are run on your computer. The more GBs of RAM you have, the better. This means that your computer will run faster, it will load more applications, and allows you to multitask at a rapid pace.

In this day and age, a minimum of 8GB of RAM is recommended for gaming laptops. Even if you don’t plan on playing the latest and most advanced games, having more RAM is likely better than having less.

Apart from RAM, make sure that your gaming laptop also has expandable slots. An extra slot for additional RAM will be useful in the future if you want to upgrade your laptop. You’ll just buy another 8GB or 16GB of RAM, add it to your computer and make it relevant for a few more years.

Get as Many USB Ports as You Can

If you’re a hardcore gamer, chances are that you’ll be using a lot of computer peripherals and accessories. For example, most gamers use a wireless keyboard, a wireless mouse, gaming headphones, maybe a microphone to communicate with teammates in the game, etc.

All these peripherals need to be synchronized with the computer in some way. This is done through USB ports. The more USB ports your gaming laptop has, the better. Most gaming laptops come with 2-3 USB 3.0 ports and this is a good thing for you.

If you occupy all these ports with peripherals and don’t have a free slot to charge your phone, for example, there is another solution. You should go for a high-speed USB hub that features multiple slots and can accommodate all your USB port needs.

What to Look for in a Gaming Laptop Is No Longer a Mystery!

Hopefully, now you know what to look for in a gaming laptop and you can make a more informed decision. The first thing is to set the correct budget. Once you have decided how much you should spend, see multiple laptops from a wide variety of brands.

It would also help you to ask a few gamer friends and see what suggestions you receive. Chances are that hardcore gamers know better what gaming laptops are worthy of your money.

For more interesting tips about games and gaming in general, please check out the other articles on our website.


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