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How to Select a Laptop for Gaming

Gaming is fun, and while a lot of people love gaming on their consoles, there are diehard PC and laptop gamers out there who swear that nothing beats a PC or laptop for gaming. 

And they're right.

A gaming laptop can provide a much more powerful gaming experience than a console, and with the right laptop, you can play all of your favorite games on the highest settings.

But you have a budget, and you might not need the Razer Blade 15 when the Dell G3 15 offers enough power.

How do you choose a laptop for gaming that's perfect for the games you play?

Laptop Specs to Look for as a Gamer

Graphics Card (GPU)

Graphics cards are the most important feature because you can't swap them out on laptops. And while bottlenecks can occur when you have a CPU that isn't able to keep up with your GPU, this is less of a factor with laptops than PCs.

A good way to determine what GPU will work for you is based on your gameplay.

Entry-level gamers will find that the GTX 1650 offers more than enough power to play most games on medium-to-high settings. It's not as expensive as the 1660 Ti, but it will be able to play Destiny 2 on high at 62 FPS, Rocket League at 135 FPS, and Black Ops Cold war at 32 FPS on high.

Mid-range cards can play all modern, AAA titles, but they're still not the absolute "best." The RTX 2060 is a good mid-range card that can play Assassin´s Creed Valhalla at 48 FPS on ultra, CoD Modern Warfare at 62 FPS on QHD, and any MMORPG at the highest setting.

If you want to enjoy VR gaming or 4K, you'll need to go after the more expensive GPUs, which should allow you to game for years without much of an issue in quality.

We recommend searching for benchmarks for the GPU you choose to see what level of performance it offers for the games you play. Notebook Check and GPU Benchmarks are two great resources that can help you choose a GPU that's powerful enough for your needs.

CPU

CPUs can be a bottleneck for even the best GPU. If you're playing World of Warcraft, Apex, Fortnite, low-end CPUs will be fine. Newer CPUs are going to be better, but a general rule of thumb is;

Core i5 processor – good for more games if you have a powerful GPU

Core i7 CPU is great if you're on a tight budget

Core i9, Ryzen 7, or Ryzen 9 are going to be powerful CPUs that will offer years of high-end gaming with the right GPU

RAM

RAM, or memory, is important because it stores all of your game's active components so that it can be accessed rapidly. But with GPUs having their dedicated RAM, you can often get away with 8GB of RAM as an entry-level gamer, although 16GB or more is ideal.

Everything Else

A few other things to think about are:

Battery life

Display

Storage

Peripherals

Storage is a major concern. In the ideal world, you would use an SSD drive for all of your storage needs, but games today are massive. It's not uncommon to have an SSD and HDD drive.

You want to be sure that the HDD is 7,200-rpm and not 5,400-rpm, which will greatly impact performance.

Gaming laptops are a great investment if you want to have mobility in your gaming. Use the information above to help you find a laptop that fits your budget and can run the games you play the most.

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