Until a few years ago, gaming laptops had been greeted with mockery and derision. The logic was, “Why would you pay more for a ‘gaming laptop’ than for a desktop which, for the same price, has much more powerful specs?” Add to that the fact that gaming laptops aren’t as good at getting rid of heat and they’re heavy and (usually) ugly, and you can see the argument.
But things can change a lot in the tech world in just a few years, and it’s safe to say that some game-changing things have happened to make gaming laptops more viable than ever (although the best are still around). something luxury).
Here’s our take on whether a gaming laptop is worth it in 2019.
Let’s start with the fact that in order to get a gaming laptop capable of running most modern games in high quality, you’re always looking for over $ 1000 (at the time of writing this would likely give you a GTX 1060 GPU. 1080p display – not bad at all.) Gaming on the go doesn’t come cheap.
And this is also a crucial thing to consider. Do you plan to play a lot on the go or will you be playing mostly at home? Because if it’s the latter, then for the same price as a powerful gaming laptop, you could get a really good gaming desktop. and a lightweight portable laptop for working on the go. Consider that your gaming and your laptop can be two separate things for the price of a gaming laptop.
If you like the idea of being able to play in different rooms in your home, remember that services like Steam Link allow you to stream between your devices at home, so you can keep playing from your powerful desktop computer. to a laptop or even a phone.
If you travel a lot or like the idea of taking your entire game collection to a friend’s house for a game night, then the case for getting a gaming laptop becomes more solid.
On paper, gaming laptops are pretty close to their PC counterparts. For example, just look at the laptop version of the Nvidia GTX 1080 GPU and the desktop edition, and you’ll see that their benchmarks aren’t too far apart.
However, that doesn’t tell the whole story, as laptops tend to have their components underclocked – sometimes quite drastically – in order to ensure that laptops don’t overheat. Laptop OEMs have a lot of wiggle room with limited clock speeds on GPUs, and they can sometimes run 30-50% lower than their desktop counterparts.
The lesson here is to always check the GPU (and CPU) clock speeds when buying a new laptop, as this will vary even if it’s technically the same hardware, and it will be almost certainly a little lower than a desktop equivalent.
Also, keep in mind that big, powerful gaming laptops get noisy – probably louder than a tower PC – because the thermal setup has to work a lot harder to get all that heat out. This remains a widespread problem.
Weight and construction
This is where a lot of gaming laptops fall – they’re so irremediable ugly. Glowing or RGB touches, chunky designs, and aggressive touch fonts are the order of the day. But things are slowly changing on this front too.
For the most part, high-end gaming laptops will still contain GPUs and a degree of ventilation that will give them a significant form factor. But there are exceptions, and if you’re willing to spend the money, you can get some incredibly thin and light gaming laptops – like the MSI GS65 Stealth or weaker but thinner Dell XPS 15 2 in 1.
Cheaper options have also become more accessible thanks to the increasing power of low-power graphics chips. Particularly noteworthy are Nvidia’s MAX-Q GPU chips and AMD’s Vega M chips.
These GPUs are a bit weaker than their non-MAX-Q counterparts but consume much less power and are designed for thin-form laptops. For less than $ 700, you should be able to hunt down laptops with Radeon Vega 8-10 GPUs, which will be enough for mid-range gaming (and not be a burden to carry with you).
Gaming laptop technology is improving and when it comes to balancing performance and form factor, great efforts have been made in recent years to better meet the needs of the midrange.
In the high end you’re always looking for big spend and bulky builds, and when you spend $ 1500 you might be wondering if you could split that into a home gaming rig and a laptop instead. lightweight for when you are on. the green light. (With the rise of game streaming services like GeForce Now and Shadow PC, it’s getting easier and easier to play the best games on low-end hardware too, and that’s going to keep getting better.)
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