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Buying a Gaming Laptop: How to Choose the Right Configuration - LaptopUnder 500

Buying a Gaming Laptop: How to Choose the Right Configuration

Gaming laptops are unique beasts, unlike regular notebooks, with solid components, colorful looks, and premium costs. Indeed, They have to be. If you want to enjoy demanding games like "The Witcher 3:" or "Grand Theft Auto V," discover virtual environments and play at high frame rates. They're also a distinctive species in terms of design, with more bold edges on the chassis and colored keyboards.

Depending on your budget, lifestyle, and gaming preferences, you may wind up paying anything between $500 to $5,000 on a machine that weighs between 4 and 20 pounds. You can find the best gaming laptop deals online following the guidelines and recommendations below.

Graphics

The GPU is the soul of any contemporary gaming laptop. It analyses the information and transmits signals to the monitor, displaying the images on the screen. Because this procedure might be demanding when playing games, you'll need a separate GPU with a dedicated memory, known as VRAM (video memory).

Despite the widespread belief that more is better for gaming PCs, a typical gamer should be fine with 4GB of VRAM. Most gaming laptops come with Nvidia GPUs; however, if you prefer AMD, you may customize your system with the help of some manufacturers.


For Beginners


Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050/1050 Ti
  • At 1920 x 1080, this GPU can play demanding games like Mass Effect: Andromeda or Witcher 3.

  • Capable of displaying outstanding graphics such as water reflections and natural-looking hair.

  • At 4K, you may need to modify the settings a little.

  • You can use VR gear with this GPU.

  • A step down from 1060, the GTX 1050 will deliver respectable framerates in mid-range games such as Battlefield 1 at low settings.

  • The 1050 Ti is somewhat more powerful, and it can support Oculus Rift and other VR gear.

  • Serious gamers searching for a high-performance Laptop will most likely be disappointed.



Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080
  • Nvidia's middle child, the 1070 GPU, is VR-ready and can deliver excellent frame rates.

  • It's not nearly as good as the 1080 GPU.

  • On top of the line for titles like Hitman, you can anticipate some extremely fluid visuals at 1080p and 4K.

  • Gaming laptops with a 1080 GPU consistently outperformed the category average in high-end titles like "Rise of the Tomb Raider."

  • Capable of supporting all of your virtual-reality excursions.

For Average Gamers


Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060
  • The GeForce GTX 1660 is designed mainly for FHD gaming.

  • Real-time ray tracing and deep learning cores are included.

  • The GTX 1660 outperforms the GTX 1060 in terms of performance.

  • The RTX 3050 is a substantially smaller GPU.

  • With DLSS, it likely matches the performance of the GTX 1660 Ti.

  • The RTX 3050 also supports ray tracing, albeit its weak heart won't allow much of it.

  • The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 laptop graphics card is a powerful mid-range gaming card.

  • Combining DLSS and Real-Time Ray Tracing could result in more lifelike visual effects over earlier GPUs.

  • The power consumption is comparable to the RTX 2070 and 2080 Max-Q models.


For Hardcore Gamers


Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080AMD Radeon RX 6900 XTNvidia GeForce RTX 3070
  • Today's finest graphics card is the RTX 3080.

  • You can now obtain ray-traced performance that beats the frame rates you'd get from the top RTX 20-series GPU if you didn't have it.

  • With 4K performance, that's a smidgeon behind the RTX 3090—and all for a third of the price.

  • There is a reason it's not the top graphics card, and that's because it's not significantly superior to RTX 3080.

  • The RTX 3070's ability to match the top-tier Turing graphics card for less than half the price is also amazing.

  • A 4K GPU that doesn't require much tweaking to get usable.

  • DLSS increases performance and other characteristics with just a minor loss of clarity.

Because two are better than one, Nvidia's Scalable Link Interface (SLI) setup allows some laptops to have two GPUs. Up to four GPUs may work together with this technique, enhancing image quality for improved rendering at exceptionally high frame rates.


Nvidia Max-Q Design: Instead of focusing on performance, Max-Q prioritizes efficiency. The system produces less heat and uses fewer fans due to less electricity consumption. As a result, you'll get a device that's quieter and cooler than a conventional gaming laptop while being almost as powerful.

 

CPU and RAM

If the GPU is a gaming laptop's heart, the CPU and RAM are its brain and hippocampus. The processor on your laptop is in charge of anything that isn't related to visuals—for example, completing some calculations and controlling non-playable characters in a game. It also has an impact on the performance of your non-gaming software, such as your browser, operating system, and productivity apps. Before purchasing a new CPU or RAM, keep the following tips in mind.


  • Choose an Intel processor from the 9th generation or an AMD processor from the Ryzen 4000 series. The more recent CPU you select, the better. The i9-11th Gen and AMD Ryzen 9 5000 series are two recent launches.

  • The essential requirement is a Core i5. The Intel Core i5 is the slowest processor you should consider when purchasing a new gaming PC. Models with dual-core Core i7 processors are a modest step up.

  • The Quad-Core Processor Is the Best. If you're looking for a Core i7 CPU, go for a quad-core one rather than a dual-core one. By glancing at the end of a chip's model number, you can tell if it's dual-core. The prefixes HQ or HK are used on quad-core Core i7 CPUs. The HK chips are the quickest and can even be overclocked.

  • Clock Speed Is Important. When choosing a CPU, keep in mind that larger numbers equal quicker speeds. A Core i5 CPU running at 3.4 GHz will be considerably faster than one running at 2.6 GHz. Some of Intel's new processors can be overclocked, which means that the processor's speed can be changed using an application.

  • Is 8GB of RAM Enough? Don't go with anything under 8GB of RAM. It's nice to have 16GB, but it's not as crucial as having a quicker CPU or graphics processor.

 

Display

What's the purpose of having buttery-smooth frame rates and stunning graphics if your laptop's display is abysmal? So, below are a few recommendations to consider when choosing a display type for your new gaming laptop.

Screen Resolution

Any gaming laptop should have a minimum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Users praise the bright colors and details of QHD (2560 x 1440) or 4K (3840 x 2160) screens.

G-Sync or FreeSync Technology

Most gaming laptops include displays that feature Nvidia's G-Sync or AMD's FreeSync technology. These are meant to remove unattractive graphical tearing and blurriness on displays ranging from 1080p to 4K resolution.

Type of Screen

  • Touch Screens: Touch screens are now available on certain gaming laptops. It is useful if you play games like Candy Crush. On most gaming PCs, however, this functionality is unneeded.

  • Glossy vs. matte screen: Glossy displays are popular because of their brilliant colors, but the glossy surface is prone to glare. On the other hand, a matte panel is free of annoying reflections. But some users complain of washed-out color and detail.

  • OLED display: This technology enables smaller, more energy-efficient displays with stunning color and contrast.

 

Keyboards and Touchpads

Don't get so caught up in specs that you overlook the quality of the keyboard. You'll be bashing on those keys every time you play a game or go online, so they should be comfy and attractive.


Here are a few things to be on the lookout for:

  • Key Travel: Ideally, the keys should provide forceful input while being unobtrusive.

  • Actuation: It refers to the ideal amount of force required to depress a key, resulting in a lovely, springing bounce. Less actuation on the keyboard makes it seem mushy and slows you down.

  • Anti-Ghosting: This is a valuable feature for players who need to hit many buttons at the same time to perform a powerful strike. Anti-ghosting is the ability to press multiple keys simultaneously and get recognized by the system.

Best Keyboard

Laptop manufacturers are beginning to appreciate the mechanical keyboard's noisy, clicky thrill. These keyboards are known for their wonderful springy feedback and unique clicking sound. They provide some of the greatest operations on a laptop.

Keyboard Customization

Backlighting on a decent gaming keyboard should be programmable. Aside from the installed light display, some software allows you to develop patterns and connect them to your lighting configuration and the accompanying game.

 

Storage

When it comes to gaming laptops, quicker is usually better, so SSDs, which enable lightning-fast file transfers, are so popular. That added speed translates to faster game loading times and fewer unpleasant pauses when your drive can't keep up with the game's asset production rate.

Unless an SSD is out of your pricing range, get a 1TB hard drive with a 7,200-rpm speed instead. Rather than choosing between the two, we suggest getting a system with both an SSD and an HDD. That way, you can store your games and essential data on the fast SSD while still having enough space for anything else.

Audio Quality

When it comes to gaming, music is equally as crucial as graphics. Yes, you most likely have a headset that you use most of the time. Sometimes you want to use the speakers available on your laptop. One of the best is the MSI-exclusive Nahimic audio software, which provides some of the greatest surround sounds for both headphones and speakers. The Dell Sound software is a good second choice, while Dolby Home Theater v4 from Lenovo is the third-best in the market.

 

Portability

What Kind of Portability Do You Require? There are several levels of mobility when it comes to gaming devices. The more powerful a laptop gets, the less compact it becomes.

Low portability

A system with a 17 to 18-inch display, such as the Alienware 17, might suffice if you want to keep your laptop at home and keep it on your desk or carry it between rooms. Because they have ample capacity for heat-generating and cooling components, laptops in this size range are generally the most powerful. They are, however, bulky, difficult to pack into most backpacks and consume too much power if you want to use them unplugged for long periods.

Medium Portability:

Consider a 15-inch notebook if you want to use the gaming laptop on your lap and tote it about more frequently. These devices weigh around 4.6 to 7.2 pounds and last approximately 5 hours on a single charge.

High Portability:

If you're always on the go, a 13- or 14-inch laptop like the Razer Blade is a good choice. Notebooks in this sized range often weigh less than 5 pounds and have a longer battery lifespan, averaging 7 hours. However, because 13 and 14-inch gaming laptops don't have the capacity to disperse much heat, they generally don't come with the most powerful CPU or GPU.



Budget: What You Get for Your Money

So, given your budget, how high-performance can you get? While it is true that you get what you pay for, you would be astonished at what specs you can get in the best gaming laptop under 1000 dollars only.

A 1080p monitor with good color reproduction, accuracy, and brightness may usually be found under $1,000. Your system will likely have a 1TB hard drive spinning at 5,400 rpm and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 or RTX 3050 GPU. There are still a few Core i5 processors available in this price bracket. Still, quad-core Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 processors with 8-16GB of RAM can be found in the majority of laptops.

You'll almost certainly receive a quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU with at least 16GB of RAM if you spend $2,000 to $3,000 for a laptop. With these specifications, you may play any game at its top settings without experiencing latency or tearing. You can have a high-resolution monitor, a bespoke paint job, and up to four SSDs in RAID configuration for this price.

 

Pros and Cons Of Famous Brands

Now that you have fixed your budget and have a general concept of what you're searching for, there's one last thing to consider.

Which laptop brand are you planning to purchase? We're not going to try to persuade you one way or the other. But, while you're doing your research, consider the following aspects regarding some of the most well-known firms.


AlienwareAsus
  • Distinctive design and lighting.

  • High-end specs.

  • Customization is not possible.

  • The company offers a 1-year warranty (with on-site service).

  • Sleek, stealth fighter design.

  • Impressive specs.

  • Customization is not possible.

  • Offers a 1-year international accidental damage coverage and a 24/7 tech support


MSIRazer
  • Hulky, red-dragon-themed design.

  • MSI devices include 4 SSDs, a mechanical keyboard, and a digital touchpad into a single machine.

  • The company offers a 2-year limited warranty.

  • Lightest and slimmest devices.

  • Storage and resolution can be configured.

  • The company offers a 1-year limited warranty.


HP OmenAcer
  • Average design and specs.

  • Offers one-year limited warranties that include free shipping when your system needs service.

  • It has a vast range of designs and specs.

  • It provides a one-year limited warranty that requires you to pay for the cost of shipping in case service is needed.


Gigabyte/AorusLenovo
  • Aorus has an elegant and lightweight design with high-end specs.

  • Gigabyte has a bulky design and is less expensive.

  • 2-1 year warranty.

  • Understated and plain design.

  • High-quality specs at very reasonable rates.

  • 1-year warranty.



Conclusion

This year, the finest gaming laptops will shine brightly in what might be a challenging year for PC technology. Great gaming laptops will not be long behind when new Intel, AMD, and Nvidia GPUs and CPUs are released. Maybe even some that aren't too expensive. To wind up our detailed post, below is a list of concise forms of tips explained above.

  1. For low-end games like Candy Crush, don't get a gaming laptop. An integrated graphics card can readily support these games.

  2. Touch displays should be avoided. They are more costly and deplete the battery.

  3. Laptops with a screen size of 17 or 18 inches are often more powerful but less portable, whereas 13-, 14-, and 15-inch screens are simpler to carry but sometimes lack higher-end components.

  4. Make sure the keyboard is a good fit for you. Take a trip to the store and check out the keyboard before you buy it if you can.

  5. Laptops with a low-resolution display should be avoided (less than 1920 x 1080).

  6. Purchase solid-state storage. Invest in a solid-state drive (SSD) for speedier game installation and loading times.

  7. Suppose you want to play virtual reality games with an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. In that case, you'll need a laptop with at least an Intel Core i7-6700HQ CPU, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, and an HDMI 1.3 connector.

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