For the ultimate gaming experience, it’s no secret that a gaming PC crammed full of performance based components is the way to go. For some of us however, a huge clump of plastic and metal closely resembling a small aircraft is just far too impractical to consider. The demands of the modern world require some of us to live our lives on the move, and for that, we need portability.
If you wish to marry gaming performance with practicality, a gaming laptop could be the device for you.
It’s going to cost you
We’re not going to sugar coat it. Without making some serious compromises on gaming performance, a top of line gaming laptop is a hefty investment. Compared with building a similarly speced desktop PC yourself, the outlay will end up considerably more. But some of us don’t have the time, knowledge or inclination in building our own gaming PC. For us, it’s best to bite the bullet and get the best specs your budget will allow.
When you consider budget laptops enter the market as low as £200, you’ll have to up that to at least £600 if you require even the slightest degree of gaming sophistication. Even for that, you’ll do well to consistently run anything newer than a game around 3 years old, and that will likely be on lower resolutions. For those of us who simply aren’t willing to compromise on the gaming experience, you’re looking at no less than £1000.
Components are key
Obviously, if you’re after a laptop than can provide you with the tools for modern gaming, power must be considered a premium. Central to your laptop’s performance is the GPU, so ensure you get the best graphics card possible within your budget.
The vast majority of mid-to-high end gaming laptops are kitted out with the Nvidia GeForce GTX M series of GPUs. Purpose built for laptop use, the gap between compact and mobile laptop GPUs and their beefier desktop cousins is closing. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M is a decent benchmark, with a number of today’s gaming laptops offering amicable 3D gaming performance. For the perfect balance between power and price point, consider the GTX 980M.
Model Pictured- PC Specialist Vortex IV X15-970
The other components involved are markedly less imperative to your gaming rig, and some trade-offs can be made when looking to shave some pounds off the price tag. The processor for example, is not heavily invested enough in your gaming performance to warrant a high priotity. Even so, your CPU will almost certainly be developed by Intel, and ensuring it houses a quad-core system will give your laptop that extra leg up when running power hungry software. Thankfully, a number of the latest generation of Intel i7 processors come with quad-core as standard, and without a costly outlay.
Your other major purchasing decision will revolve around the on board storage. Striking a balance of space and speed is hard to come by, especially without spending an arm and a leg. Digital downloads are ever strengthening their grip as the number one medium for new game purchases. Whilst this modern approach brings us pleasing levels of convenience, it requires us to invest in an ever larger amount of storage to house our games library. Sega’s new Total War title, Attila, is a mammoth 35GB download. The standard 1TB hard drive you’ll see in the majority of gaming laptops is therefore a necessity. But to run these graphically impressive creations at respectable frame rates, you’ll likely need to pair your HDD with a much faster (and predictably more expensive) SSD. To squeeze out the best of both performance and capacity, buy as much SSD as your budget will allow.
Model Pictured- MSI GS60 2PC Ghost
In all likelihood, the main reason behind buying a gaming laptop is the increased portability. Just how portable your system is comes down to you. There is no great flexibility in how large gaming laptops come, with the range of systems likely to come between 15 and 18 inches. Lugging around a hefty 18-inch system full of expensive and heavy components can prove difficult, as can its use when on board a train for example.
Consider how often you might be using your laptop on the move. If the only reason you need a laptop is to transport it too and from your mates, then a larger system will be fine. But if you’re planning to use it on the move, you might have to consider a more compact system. However, as is the case at every crossroads we’ve met so far, that comes with a performance cost. The larger systems tend to be kitted out with more powerful components, and thus a larger price. So again, striking a balance between performance and size can be an ordeal.
Model Pictured- Aorus X7 V2-CF1
One major negative counting against the purchase of a gaming laptop is upgradeability (or lack thereof). A pre-built gaming laptop will render you helpless when ageing parts require an upgrade. Such is the breakneck speed which computing components advances at, you could be left with an obsolete system within a couple of years. Try to extend the life cycle of your gaming laptop by maximising the power of those internal components upon initial purchase. Even if you feel like you don’t need to that extra GPU power right now, pretty soon you probably will.
The draw of a gaming laptop is undeniable. For those of us who need a portable device for work and for fun, marrying the thrill of high-level gaming with practicality is a match made in heaven.
Despite the numerous buying considerations to make for gaming laptops, our advice can be neatly summarised into a single sentence. Pick a screen size, and hunt for the best set of specifications your budget will allow.
Gaming Laptops at Ebuyer.com
As can be seen from the web of complicated processes above, choosing the right gaming laptop is not an easy decision. Thankfully, Ebuyer.com have an unprecedented range of products, stepping in at each and every conclusion. Top gaming brands, from PC Specialist and MSI to Asus and Aorus, are available to any type of gamer.