The advancement of technology has simultaneously made our lives vastly simpler while also making it more difficult at times. A contrast that is sadly true for laptops as well. The sheer variety and number of things to keep in mind, such as CPUs, GPUs, RAM, resolution, and refresh rates, can seem a bit overwhelming at first.
Well, do not worry, as that is where we step in to try and simplify the matter so that you can confidently make an informed decision when purchasing a new gaming laptop. Keep on reading for a quick rundown on what you need to look for.
Features to Look for When Buying a New Gaming Laptop
Let’s start by quickly talking about the actual physical size of the laptop, as this will impact your decision. Besides being smaller, or more compact, with small laptops having smaller screens and bigger laptops having larger ones, what is actually important is that a bigger laptop also has the physical space to store better cooling fans, more RAM slots, and just better components. It is for this reason that you will want to go with a larger model.
With that out of the way, let’s get to the serious stuff. A CPU stands for Central Processing Unit and is basically the brain of your machine as it is responsible for processing and executing tasks, calculations, and instructions. The better the CPU, the more efficiently it can perform instructions and decoding. Related to that, CPUs also consist of cores.
These cores allow the CPU to perform multiple instructions at once, making general usage on the device much faster. It is thus recommended to look for a CPU with multiple cores (at least 6) and look for newer processor chips, such as anything around and above a 10th Gen Intel Core-i7. A good CPU is particularly important for strategy games and games with lots of assets and values that it has to keep track of.
GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit and refers to the graphics card of your laptop. When it comes to graphics cards, things are a bit easier regarding what to look for. The two main graphics card distributors and manufacturers are Nvidia and AMD.
Nvidia’s top-line GPUs fall under the labeled “GeForce” series, while AMD’s are labeled under their “Radeon” series. There is absolutely no way to say with definitive certainty which manufacturer is better. Ultimately, it comes down to personal taste and select areas where one has the upper hand on the other.
Because of this, it is recommended to watch a couple of breakdown and comparison videos on YouTube if you are really looking for something specific. You want to look for a GPU within Nvidia’s GeForce GTX (or even their RTX series) and AMD’s Radeon RX 5000M series.
Also, to really simplify things, keep this in mind: the bigger the number is next to the name of the card, the better the performance will be. This is a big simplification, though, and this is not always the case; however, it is a general point to keep in mind.
OK, this one is incredibly important for gaming. Keeping with the thought that the CPU is the brain, it should also be seen as long-term memory. On the other hand, RAM is its short-term memory, where things (instructions, triggers, data) are stored while it waits for the CPU to fetch said information.
Just like with the GPU, the bigger/more RAM you have, the better, generally. The more RAM (measured in GB) you have, the faster your computer will finish processing and executing tasks. In today’s world, 8GB of RAM is seen as a standard and advisable amount for any productive setup.
When it comes to gaming, you ideally want to push that up to around 16GB of RAM. The only thing to be aware of is that large amounts of RAM can raise the general temperature of your laptop. Cooling, proper ventilation, and good fans are essential to keep your device healthy.
Storage – HDD or SSD?
The last thing to discuss is the type of memory storage drive to go with. This is another complicated matter that is subject to a lot of debate. To simplify things, an HDD (hard disk drive) offers a lot of storage at a lower price, with most entry-level gaming laptops now coming with 1TB of storage.
An SSD (solid-state drive) is much more expensive than an HDD and generally comes with less storage. That said, they are also much faster, allowing you to access data, boot up your system or finish loading screens in no time.
Try to look for a laptop that features both memory types; this will allow you to store most of your stuff on the HDD while still using the SSD to boot up your system and perform tasks quicker.
And that is our brief guide on what to look for when shopping for a new gaming laptop. Hopefully, this was able to be of assistance!
Read also: Are Gaming Laptops Good for Everyday Use?