What You Need To Know Before Getting Your First Gaming Laptop

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If you are spoilt for choice, we got your back. When getting a new laptop, one would look at the normal requirements such as screen size, quality of display, price, and processor, but getting a laptop for playing games comes with a whole set of additional considerations for your gaming needs.

This is especially so if you are converting from gaming on a desktop to a more portable laptop. Read on for some tips on what you need to know before getting your first gaming laptop.

Performance vs Price

Performance vs Price

It doesn’t matter if your main concern is affordability or performance — if you’re buying a gaming laptop, you will definitely be paying more than double what you would have paid for a desktop or a normal laptop. In fact, you might even be paying higher for less performance or something of equal performance.

As an estimate, a gaming laptop that costs you $2000 will likely have the same performance or perform worse than a desktop PC that costs you just $1000. What you pay for is the portability of the laptop— cramming so many components into a laptop isn’t easy!

Nowadays, the more powerful graphic cards are also quite sizable and weighty, which means that gaming laptops sacrifice other components in order to remain light and portable! This usually takes the form of CPUs or GPUs, meaning that the level of performance is lowered.

The first thing to do is decide if the portability is worth paying a much higher price. Next, consider exactly which model of gaming laptop you should get by comparing the FPS of the various models you are considering.

Use a game that you play as the basis of comparison so you know which model works best for your particular game. You can also consider doing productivity testing and comparing the results of the test.

Keeping your gaming laptop cool

Regardless of if yours is a normal laptop or a gaming one, any laptop used for gaming with an acceptable performance will generate heat. Though the internal heat won’t differ much from that of a desktop PC, the heat expelled in a laptop is generally done via radiator ports or large fans and is expelled downwards onto the surface which your laptop is on.

This results in more noticeable heat generation and can cause your laptop body to heat up.

Hence, this means that it is an unwise idea to game with your laptop directly on your lap. Notwithstanding the possible damage the heat generated could do to your family jewels down there, your own body heat could also cause the laptop to be even hotter than it already is, leading to reduced performance and eventually even shortening your laptop battery’s lifespan.

Given that a laptop’s heat exhaust ports are usually on the bottom or back of the device, blocking these ports results in a slower cooling time. If you are gaming, it is ideal to place your laptop on a flat hard surface that is slightly raised, allowing for clearance so that airflow can take place and cool your laptop down.

If you are gaming on your lap or in bed surrounded by soft duvets or pillows, the material traps heat and insulates it– not ideal for a laptop’s longevity.

The hefty issue of power adapters

The hefty issue of power adapters

Just like how a gaming laptop is essentially a souped-up version of a normal laptop, so is the adapter for the power cable of your gaming laptop. Some retailers may refer to it as a “transformer” or “converter”, but it all means the same thing. Inevitably, this will be quite large in size and heavy in weight given the amount of power it needs to convert.

What this component does is convert the incoming AC input from the wall socket into a DC of the appropriate voltage and wattage that your laptop requires. Since higher FPS means higher CPU and GPU performance is needed, then it should also come as no surprise that the laptop will need a larger wattage and voltage to run.

This in turn means that more space is needed for heat dissipation to occur. Though smaller and lighter alternatives are available, they are likely to be very costly.

Hence, you must remember to factor in the weight of the power adapter when you are considering the portability of a gaming laptop. If you intend to game on the go, keep in mind that you will need a socket and space for you to plug in your laptop and adapter.

This is especially so if you play heavily and the battery cannot last you for the whole trip.

What to expect regarding noise levels

If you are looking for a quiet experience, gaming laptops may not be the right device for you. Putting aside the usual noise generated when browsing the web or typing documents, the actual gaming itself will be accompanied by louder sounds coming from the internal fans. As the strain increases on your CPU and GPU, the fans have to work harder to dissipate that heat.

Though the fan speed can be controlled using the built-in settings found within the control panel of your laptop, it is not wise to change it to a slower speed as it means sacrificing the performance of your laptop.

The fan noise does have some differences from one laptop to another, so if noise is something of particular concern to you then you might want to look out for reviews or even test out the laptop at a brick and mortar store before your purchase.

Be realistic— don’t expect that you can play at the highest performance settings if a baby is trying to sleep next to you.


And with that, it brings us to the end of the article where we have summed up some of the major factors you should consider before purchasing a new gaming laptop! Be sure to think through these carefully before you go out and make that expensive purchase decision.

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