You’ve just spent a ton of money to pick up the newest computer game on the market – so why waste it on a laptop with jerky graphics and insufficient processor speeds? What you need is a gaming laptop, but with so many different options on the market, how can you choose the best gaming laptops for your needs?
First, let’s look at some of the different components that make laptops great for gaming. You’ll want to consider each of these when evaluating potential laptop purchases.
To understand why RAM is so important to gaming laptops, think about how you feel when you’re running out the door to perform a series of errands… You need to pick up the dry cleaning, drop off the library books and grab five separate items from the grocery store. But along the way, your mental power is also being spent driving your car safely, choosing the most effective route, thinking about what you’ll cook for dinner later that night and a hundred other things.
So what are the odds that you’ll remember everything on your grocery list after all this other activity?
Your computer’s memory functions in much the same way – especially while gaming. Not only does your computer require memory to power its basic running processes, it must also rely on this resource within the games you’re playing. This means memory (RAM, in this case) is being spent remembering where you are in your game, how many bullets are left in your weapon and how much gold is left in your account. The more complex the game, the more variables there are that will require RAM to process correctly.
You’ll find that today, nearly all laptops sold commercially come with at least 2 GB of RAM. And while this is sufficient for most operations, you’ll likely need much more for your favorite computer games to run smoothly. The best gaming laptops have at least 8 GB of RAM, although 4 GB can be a nice compromise between functionality and cost.
The next thing you’ll want to look for when searching for the best gaming laptops is the graphics card that’s installed. Typically, there are two types of graphics cards:
- Integrated graphics cards – Integrated cards are the most common types of graphics cards on commercially-produced laptops today. They are cheaper to produce than dedicated graphics cards because they do not require separate processing units, but are instead soldered-on to the main processor. Because they do not have any dedicated RAM, their gaming performance suffers compares to dedicated graphics cards.
- Dedicated graphics cards – Separate graphics units are a must for gamers. Although these units are more expensive, they prevent the jerky, stuttering feeling that occurs when a new game is played on an inferior laptop.
When choosing a gaming laptop, don’t settle for models with integrated graphics cards. A dedicated card is a must, with the latest models from the GeForce GTX series and AMD Radeon HD lines coming in at the top of the pack.
Component #3 – Central Processing Unit (CPU)
Although your gaming laptop’s CPU isn’t nearly as important as its RAM capabilities and graphics card when it comes to performance, it’s still something you’ll want to look at when evaluating potential purchases.
Typically, the speed of your CPU is listed in gigahertz (GHz) and reads something like this: “Intel Core i5 2.66 GHz with TurboBoost 3.2 GHz.” While you don’t need to know exactly what these numbers mean, there are a few specifications you’ll want to meet when purchasing a gaming laptop:
- At least 1.8 GHz processing speed (any lower and your gaming performance may suffer)
- Either an Intel i5 or i7 processor (i3 versions are not fast enough to power some games)
- “Sandy Bridge” processors (these processors include the latest Intel Core CPU advances)
Beyond these specs, you’ll find that the best gaming laptops have advanced audio cards to enhance the gaming experience, as well as powerful screen resolutions that best showcase the level of detail in today’s gaming graphics. Look for these features, as well as the requirements described above, when buying your next gaming laptop in order to get the most out of your purchase.
Novatech is a UK computer manufacturer and retailer that was founded with a simple ethic of supplying high quality products at the lowest possible prices with excellent customer service. The company holds true to that philosophy today and has now grown to be one of the UK’s most trusted technology companies.