Many gaming purists still vouch for desktops when we talk about performance. ButMyou won’t be able to carry around desktops to your friend’s place!
Gaming laptops are portable and these days they perform at par with top end desktops. You can run games like GTA 5, Middle Earth Shadow of War and Star Wars Battlefront 2 without any hiccups on the latest rigs that deliver ultimate graphics with faster FPS.
The machines also handle VR applications like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive which can transform the experience to another level.
Gaming laptops offer the latest specs and hardware so that you can enjoy the best resolution with a smooth gameplay. A combination of hardware components is responsible for running your game and some of them deserve consideration if you want to get the right machine.
Often, many people ask –
What is the most important aspect in a gaming laptop?
If you ask any geek, he will tell you that it is the GPU or the graphics card. But that alone cannot get your game running; you also need an efficient processor and substantial RAM to get the best gaming experience.
Let’s explore a bit about each of them!
The graphics card can be considered the heart of your gaming laptop. You should invest in a serious graphics card or GPU that is integrated in the motherboard.
The GPU brings the display alive by processing the gaming data and delivering it to the monitor. Intensive games demand the GPUs to work very hard and you will want to get a graphics card with adequate video ram or VRAM.
The main player in the area of GPU in the current market is Nvidia with their GeForce GTX series. The latest offering comes in 10 series configuration like the GTX 1080. Nvidia has the monopoly in the market as AMD Raedon chipsets still rely on old technology and yet to be upgraded.
What should I Look At?
There are a couple of things that decide whether the game that you plan to play on your gaming laptop would run smoothly. We take a look at each of them below.
1. The GPU which includes the Graphics Card
The general rule in case of GPUs is that higher model numbers denotes higher performance. The latest Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 can smoothly run demanding games like GTA 5 and Rise of the Tomb Raider with the resolution and special effects set at high.
But the GTX 1080 is really costly and on found in high end machines.
The minimum you should go for would be the Nvidia GTX 1060. It comes with 6 GB VRAM which should be sufficient for most gamers. You shouldn’t go for a GPU that offers less than 4 GB VRAM.
You can play games like Witcher 3 and Effect: Andromeda at 1080P with some of the special effects without compromising on FPS. It can also be run on 4K with a few adjustments and get a pleasant VR experience by connecting your Vive or Rift headsets.
Now you can also go for the expensive Nvidia’s Scalable Link Interface (SLI) which supports two GPUs. Using the platform up to 4 GPUs can function together for improved rendering and better graphics scaling.
2. Processor and RAM
Now we are talking about the brain of your gaming platform which is made up by the processor and RAM.
What is the RAM?
8 GB of RAM should be enough for running most of the high end games out there. You can go for 16 GB, but it is less important than getting a faster GPU or processor. Most of the laptops meant for gaming tournaments need a good 16 GB of RAM. Don’t go in for anything less than 8 GB though – your games just won’t run.
The other thing to note is that you need DDR4 or DDR5 RAM. Anything lesser than that isn’t going to work and they are not going to compliment either the CPU or the GPU.
What is the CPU?
The processor tackles all non-graphics related aspect of the game like physics calculation and stores the settings and so on.
Here too, AMD fans would be disappointed as the market is owned by Intel. The minimum to look for is the Core i5 which is considered the slowest one. The 7th Generation Core i7 CPU offers satisfying performance which utilizes the Kaby Lake chipset. Intel Core i7 processors, it should be noted, utilize hyper threading technology which ensures that the cores are utilized to its maximum.
Intel Coffee Lake, the new 8th generation CPU announced last year might just be what you are looking for.
They are promised to be as much as 40% faster than the last Sky Lake processor announced by Intel and offer more cores. As a result, they also offer better clock speeds and is available for both the Core i5 and Core i7. It’s definitely something that you should look forward to.
Also, remember to check the clock speed. It is natural that a 3.4 GHz processor will be faster than a 2.4 GHz one.
Why Should You Avoid the Intel i3 Processor?
You can also go for Core i3 but your game options will be limited. You don’t want to spend on an i3 model for many different reasons-
– They are significantly less powerful than the Core i5 and Core i7.
– They do not offer hyper threading technology that can help your computer multi task easily, by combing and utilizing all the cores as needed.
– You won’t be able to play the latest games on an i3 without hiccups.
3. Dual-Core or Quad-Core?
If you are going to buy a Core i7 processor, go for a quad-core.
Dual-core Core i7 can be considered a step up from the Core i5. The suffixes at the end of the model number of the chip will tell you if it’s quad-core- look for the alphabets HQ or HK.
Your target should be a quad-core Core i7 HK chips, which are faster and can be overclocked.