Gaming laptops have been getting better and better over the years, some gamers are now even considering switching to laptops, instead of relying on desktops. With the specs improving for gaming laptops, the prices overall have come down. Of course, the best-known gaming rigs still cost well over $2,000. But cheaper laptops with gaming specializations are commonly available also. What really makes a gaming laptop are the specs, not the labels. If you are aiming for a low-cost option, you won’t be able to have it all. Some features may eventually have to be sacrificed. Read below to learn about what you can let go and what to keep when buying a budget gaming laptop:
Must Have: A Good GPU
Unlike with desktops, the graphics card on a laptop cannot be changed. Therefore, this is the feature you should spend the most money on when buying a gaming laptop. Graphics cards offer two important functionalities; one if the ability to hook up multiple monitors, and the other is displaying the game’s graphics in the best quality possible. If you don’t really need multiple monitors, buy the best card with a high-end graphics focus that your budget allows. For example, if you need Full HD graphics, buy a card that facilitates Full HD without also worrying about multiple monitors.
Must Have: A Top-End Processor
The processor determines how speedy the machine is and also how well it can run the graphics card. Therefore, don’t buy a gaming laptop with a low-end, older processor. Even if you are looking at gaming laptops under 300, the cheapest on the market, choose an Intel i-range processor. While both Intel and AMD processors have their pros and cons, when it comes to gaming, Intel easily beats AMD. The Intel Core i7 is the best processor currently available for any type of gaming computer. Though if you want a Core i7 processor, you will have to pay $500 or more for a machine with this CPU. The price is well worth it. Intel Core i5 is also a good choice for budget laptops, and is quite well suited for moderate gaming needs.
Must Have: Good RAM Capacity
The RAM capacity doesn’t necessarily render graphics better, but low levels of RAM may cause games to lag or not run at all. For modern games, RAM should be at least 8GB or higher. Most mid-range gaming laptops do have 8GB. Don’t go for 4GB of RAM if you can help it. It’s enough for normal processes, but you won’t be able to play newly released titles.
Forgo: Big Screen
Don’t buy a touchscreen, period. Touchscreens cause laptops to overheat and they are just problematic. Bigger screens are great for playing, but may cost you extra just for the size. Therefore, cut back on screen size and instead spend that money on RAM or CPU.
Forgo: Thin Frame
The cooling system is one of the most important features in a gaming computer. The thinner the laptop is, the less cooling power the machine would have. Therefore, it’s just not worth it to buy a thin gaming laptop. Deal with the bulk and enjoy the excellent cooling system.
Some gaming laptops cost more because of gimmicks like touchscreens near the keyboard or LED lighting. Forget all these things and focus on the graphics card, processor, and RAM mainly.