A laptop is not the best form factor for a gaming computer. This is due to the low performance of the cooling system and limited upgrade options.
Which laptop is better to buy for gaming: specifications and manufacturers
When choosing a gaming laptop, you should pay attention to the following features:
Technical characteristics (video card, processor, RAM, resolution and screen size);
In addition, price is important.
Features and specifications of a gaming laptop
Gaming laptops are expensive. Therefore, you should immediately select a device that is in the price range of 'from 60 thousand rubles' (for 2017). Laptops that are cheaper are unlikely to be equipped with a sufficiently powerful video card, processor or cooling system.
But the price is not an indicator of 'playability'. So, ultrabooks Dell XPS 13 (2017) cost much more than 60 thousand rubles, but they are not suitable for games. It is necessary to pay attention to the technical characteristics.
Only two processor families are suitable for games – Intel Core i5 and i7. Everything else, including chips from AMD, will not be able to provide sufficient performance.
In this case, it is desirable that the laptop is equipped with a desktop processor. Chips from Intel, intended for use in mobile computers, are marked with the letters Y or U. These processors are not suitable for games, as they have a reduced peak performance in order to reduce power consumption and heat.
For gaming laptops, processors from Intel are suitable, which do not have any letters, or are marked with letters Q, HK, K. Such chips provide sufficient performance in games.
Nevertheless, if you do not plan to play modern projects at maximum settings, any processor from the families Intel Core i5 and i7 will do.
An integrated video card (series Intel HD Graphics or even Intel Iris) is fundamentally not suitable for modern games. Various 'casual' and old projects, she can still 'pull', but when it comes to something newer than GTA San Andreas, such a graphics accelerator fails.
To play comfortably, you need at least a discrete graphics card. And the more productive it is, the better. The optimal configuration for 2017 is a video card with 2 GB of GDDR5 video memory. Better, of course, more, but this will increase not only the cost, but also the price.
The minimum video card suitable for modern games is NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980. But, of course, it is better to purchase a more productive model. Such as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060-1080.
The more RAM a laptop has, the better. The minimum required volume is 8 GB. True, with so much RAM, the laptop will only “pull” very old or not too resource-demanding games.
The optimal amount of RAM is from 16 to 32 GB. This is sufficient for most modern games.
Laptops with 64GB of RAM are extremely rare. For example, such a volume can be found in the top configuration Asus of the ROG GX800, the flagship gaming laptop that sells for 5,500 euros (approximately 380,000 rubles as of September 2017).
Diagonal and screen resolution
Flagship mobile video cards (including NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080) can produce eye-pleasing images at 4K resolution and a frequency of about 30-60 frames per second. However, on a 15.6-inch screen, you still can't enjoy all the beauties of HD due to its small size.
The minimum screen size for a gaming laptop is 15.6 inches. Large displays provide a better gaming experience, but reduce the portability of your computer. The optimal resolution is as follows:
15.6 inches – Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels);
17.3 inches or more – 4K.
It is also worth remembering that the higher the screen resolution, the stronger its power consumption. 4K displays drain the battery about twice as fast as FHD – regardless of diagonal.
Among the specialized gaming features that significantly improve the gaming experience (and in some cases significantly increase the cost of a laptop) are:
Mechanical keyboard or simply increased key travel. Makes playing dynamic shooters and similar projects enjoyable, since it allows you to better control the behavior of the character;
Support for desktop video cards. Unfortunately, only one gaming laptop – the Razer Blade – does this, but it delivers maximum graphics performance;
Reprogrammable keyboard. Many gaming laptops have a dedicated keypad or touchpad that you can customize by hanging the necessary hotkeys on them;
Ultra-thin body. Some gaming laptop models (like the Aorus x5 v6 or Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming) have dimensions that are similar to those of classic mobile computers. This makes them more portable, but significantly reduces their autonomy. For example, another ultra-thin laptop – the Razer Blade – has a battery life of less than 4 hours.
The following companies make the best laptops for gaming:
Razer launches flagship gaming laptops. So, for example, the Blade and Blade Pro models presented by her in 2016 were distinguished by completely gaming 'stuffing' like NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards, 32 GB of RAM and 2 TB SSD-drive installed in the PCIe slot for maximum speed. And all these premium components somehow fit into a thin case. In addition, Razer has come up with a unique laptop 'upgrade' system – you can connect an external graphics card to the Blade through a special block. The disadvantage is quite predictable – the price.
Dell has two lines of gaming laptops, one expensive and one not so expensive. The first is the Alienware series, which offers 'absolutely gaming' devices with both attractive design and powerful performance. But if you just want to play, and not brag to your friends, you can purchase models from the Inspiron Gaming series – they are an order of magnitude (!) Cheaper, but they offer only slightly inferior characteristics.
Asus produces gaming laptops in the ROG series – and the devices included in it are really capable of replacing a desktop PC, consistently delivering, for example, all 60 fps at maximum speed in Overwatch. At the same time, they are not that too expensive – you can also find a relatively 'budget' model like the Strix GL502, which is sold for about 100 thousand rubles.
Gigabyte makes everything, and so does gaming laptops. This is not to say that the models behind her authorship offer something completely unique, rather they are “strong middlings”, which differ in a good combination of price and technical characteristics.
HP launches Omen series gaming laptops. They offer superior performance and a host of additional features (such as Bang & Olufsen speakers) to offer a delightful gaming experience. There is only one drawback – the build quality of such laptops is lame on all legs.
Aorus is not the most famous company. But, nevertheless, its notebooks are of the highest performance. For example, the Aorus x5 v6 delivers a stable 120 fps in Overwatch on ultra settings. You will have to pay for this with the loudest noise of the cooling system fans and an unattractive design. But the laptop is almost cheaper than all the others on the list.
In the following articles, our experts tell you how to choose a laptop for work, the secrets of choosing a laptop for study, the main criteria for choosing a home laptop, as well as our main expert to answer the question – which is better – a tablet or a laptop.
Attention! This material is the subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a purchase guide.