Gaming laptops are power houses capable of dealing with the massive performance requirements modern 3D games have. A regular store-bought laptop might have a few perks, but with the standard 1GB RAM configuration, a lousy 1.6GHz CPU and a built in graphic card, you are sure to get some pretty low FPS in almost any modern games that hits the market… that’s if they will run on such a low spec laptop.
Some things to look for in a gaming laptop :
The first and most important thing is the graphics card. Almost all standard models carry a built-in graphics card which sucks away available RAM to run properly and display the actual image. The first thing to look for in a gaming laptop is, of course, a dedicated graphics card, preferably, one made by ATI or nVidia. These are the two leading giants in all that is graphics card, be they desktop graphics cards or mobile laptop graphics cards. Even if you want to game perfectly on your laptop, you have to make sure that it carries a high end graphics card from these two manufacturers. There are plenty of low-end graphics cards designed for something else (movie watching, good image display in graphics editing programs, and whatnot).
Some of the newer models of laptops have incorporated the SLI interface and can carry up to two cards which run together to display the perfect image in all its glory.
Also, a few newer models even offer the possibility of true 3D gaming, with 3D glasses and all that. These don’t come cheap just yet, but if gaming is your dogma, then you simply must have one of these babies!
Newer Graphics Cards from nVidia, for example, have the dual-GPU technology built into them, so it would be like having an SLI configuration with just one graphics card. These beauties also pack quite a punch since they carry about 1 GB of dedicated memory, so you know you’ve got it right when you get one of these.
System memory – RAM
On a gaming laptop, the largest amount of system RAM you can get, the better.
A large amount of RAM installed on a gaming laptop will allow you to run the newest games, and, if your laptop has a built-in video card, then some of that RAM will be shared with the video card, so a large amount is needed for both graphic processing and software running.
Although it’s not recommended that a gaming laptop have a built-in video card, you could probably get away if the RAM installed is in the 2-4 GB range. That way, you are sure to be able to play the latest games, but not with all specs maxed out. Let’s face it; a built-in graphics card just cannot handle such requirements the newer games have.
CPU – The gaming laptops overall speed will be determined by the processor it carries
A laptop with a decent dual core CPU will probably do just fine if the other specs are maxed. Take notice that if you choose to go with high-end CPU for your gaming laptop, the heat build up could be pretty big, and this can impact the overall system performance. To counter this, a metal case would be recommended for your gaming laptop, since plastic cases are heat insulators, but metal is a heat conductor thus helping the heat dissipate a lot faster. Look for cooling options that go with your new gaming laptop, since a small fan might not be enough when the beast runs the newest game …
Another thing to look for in your gaming laptop is its hard drive. I’m not referring strictly to the storage size, but that’s important also if you want to install a lot of games and spend eternity in gaming heaven! A good starting hard drive would be in the 100-250GB range as storage goes. The thing you should be looking for in a gaming laptops hard drive is its speed. Look for the ones which carry the 7200 rpm hard drives. Those are a lot faster than the traditional 5400 rpm HDDs. But since technology evolves at a faster pace nowadays, you should keep an eye out for the prices of SSD (Solid State Disks) which don’t require spinning disks to run, thus conferring a lot of durability to the hard drive and a longer life. It is the fastest hard drive on the market today, but it does have a big price tag attached to it. The storage isn’t great on these things, but that’s why you should be looking for more developments being made and maybe get one when the price range is convenient for you. You won’t regret doing this.
As a conclusion, when choosing the best gaming laptop out there, try to figure out your budget first, and set the following specs in accordance:
RAM- this is one of the two most important features your gaming laptop has to have! Aim at 4GB specs configuration and never settle for anything less.
Dedicated video card- look for the ones that carry an nVidia dedicated card or an ATI model, or, even cooler, a dual card configuration with two cards hooked up in SLI mode.
Processor- this one is could get pretty hard to choose, but aim higher than 2 cores. Don’t go with the single core CPU, since you’ll be cursing the day you did so. Systems tend to freeze up when they can’t handle the amount of data being processed. Make sure you are ready and get yourself a Quad Core CPU if possible.
Hard Drive- I would say go with the SSD all the way, but, if it’s too expensive, then choose a 7200 rpm hard drive for your gaming laptop.
Screen Size- if it’s a gaming laptop, you want to make sure you can see what you’re aiming at in your game. So anything that goes 15.4 inch diagonal and above should do just fine.