Things To Look Before Buying a gaming laptop

This is the ultimate guide on how to buy a gaming laptop and what you can expect from an expensive or cheap laptop so let’s start with how much money you can spend?

While this may seem like an obvious question it’s actually not that easy to answer; we’re all gamers and we’d probably buy a supercar if we had the cash to do so, right? Well tough because you should be asking yourself: “how much money can I realistically spend on a laptop?” The price range for budget offerings starts at $500 and goes up from there. Of course, there are exceptions as Razer recently offered their Blade 14″ Gaming notebook which was slightly under $2000 (it is now over $2200). If you want the best of the best you can get laptops like MSI GT80 or Aorus X7 Pro with price tags more than $3000 without tax.

What will I be using my laptop for?

There are two reasons why you’re playing games on your computer; either you need to get work done (school, homework, etc) or you want to play games . While both scenarios share a common feature of needing a powerful machine, each has different needs and it’s very important for gamers to know what they’ll require from their machines. For instance, if you’re going to use your notebook as a primary source of entertainment (gaming and streaming) then buying a thin and light model not only saves space but also reduces heat output which is key for laptops.

How important is portability?

If you’re planning to be moving around with your laptop a lot, then portability is absolutely key . This means that you’ll need to get something light and thin which can still deliver on games play, has decent battery life, good wireless connectivity (like Wireless AC) and an adequate keyboard/trackpad. It’s also worth noting that some gaming notebooks are of the “ultra-portable” category which comes at the price of compromises in performance; the MSI GS70 was one such example of this but they are becoming more scarce as manufacturers focus on making ultra-thin models or simply offer their standard 15″ models on slimmer chassis like Asus ROG Strix GL502.

What do I need in a gaming laptop?

Once you’ve decided on your budget and what your needs will be, the next step is to start asking yourself what features are important for you. There’s no right or wrong answer here but there are certainly some key specs that gamers should consider:

Processor/GPU: This is probably one of the most important things to consider when buying a gaming notebook; however keep in mind that while high-end CPUs and GPUs require more power they also offer more performance so if you’re willing to spend extra money on it then go ahead! The current mid-range offerings (i7-6700HQ and GTX 960M) can get the job done nicely especially if you’re planning to play on a lower resolution. However, if you want to take your performance to the next level you can go for something like an i7-6700K and GTX 980M which will definitely have no problem maxing out pretty much any current AAA title . Also note that while some “gaming” laptops offer a GPU upgradeable slot, not all do so make sure you check before buying.

Screen: The screen is actually one of the most important if not THE most important device in a gaming laptop; it’s where all the magic happens ! If your laptop doesn’t have a good display, everything else goes down with it. While IPS screens offer better color reproduction and wider viewing angles at the expense of reduced viewing angles and contrast, TN screens offer the best response times and reduced ghosting but suffer from poor viewing angles. Also if your budget allows it, you can always go for 120Hz or 144Hz displays as they bring the in-game experience to a whole new level!

Battery: This is one of those few things where gaming laptops often trade blows with ultraportables; both categories usually have lower than average battery lives due to components used (more powerful engines = more heat generated = less time spent on idle) so you should expect get at most 3 hours on any 15″ model. However, if you are planning on using your notebook for studying/working while still playing some games here and there then it might be a good idea to find a model with a high-capacity battery which can provide more juice in heavy use.

DisplayPort: If you have an external monitor, then this is the port you’ll need to connect it . The thing is that not all gaming notebooks come with them so before buying one ask yourself whether your machine will be limited without one.

Ports: In most cases, laptops will offer at least 2 USB 3 ports and 1 or 2 USB 2 ones, most of them even have an HDMI port for outputting video on external displays but there are some manufacturers who prefer going for mini DisplayPort outputs instead. Also note that while some gaming models do indeed have a VGA output (and they are very much appreciated for this fact), it’s usually incompatible with modern standards so if you want to use your laptop on an external display, make sure the port is compatible with DisplayPort or simply go for an adapter.

Optical Drive: This might not be that important anymore since most gamers either download their games through Steam or opt not to have them altogether but if you’re still looking for one then don’t forget to check which format your games come in. Some manufacturers offer Blu-Ray drives while others are restricted to DVD burners only making them useful only as USB/external hard drive enclosures; I’m personally a fan of LG & Lite-On combo drives because they do both jobs equally well!

What is it about gaming laptops that makes them so attractive to the average consumer?

The same things that make any other notebook attractive to consumers, really… The way I see it is that if you’re going to pay a premium for a laptop then you might as well get the best bang for your buck and even though gaming notebooks are much more expensive than regular models, they also offer a lot more performance which is why gamers still opt for them instead of PCs.

Also, there’s always something cool about having an engine larger than most desktop computers powering your games from inside your backpack.

Power: Gaming notebooks tend to be very powerful machines with no compromise on performance; these machines can handle pretty much any current AAA title with ease as long as your graphics card is up to the task.

Battery Life: As I’ve said before, gaming notebooks are usually not good at this whole “on the go” thing due to their power-hungry hardware but there are some exceptions. Lenovo Y50 has a pretty impressive battery life for a 15″ model with an Intel Core i7-4710HQ CPU and Nvidia GTX 860M GPU which can provide up to 7 hours of continuous browsing or 4.5 hours of video playback without connected AC adapter which makes it one of few machines that can be used both as a powerful desktop replacement and as an ultraportable notebook! Also if you’re planning on using your laptop mostly at home then most manufacturers offer external AC adapters with very long cables.

GPUs: The hardware inside the average gaming machine is what makes this whole “gaming” thing possible in the first place so it’s pretty obvious that laptops which are equipped with high-performance graphics cards will be able to run games on high settings giving you much smoother, more responsive performance than regular notebooks. Also keep in mind that manufacturers often use mobile versions of desktop video cards inside their gaming models so if you want to play games at ultra quality settings then having an external GPU dock might come in handy. I personally recommend EVGA’s one since it doesn’t require any driver installation and fits both 15.6″ & 17″ laptops!

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Which manufacturer should I buy my laptop from?

This is a very subjective question and there’s no right answer for it really since different people have different preferences. I see Clevo as the more affordable option with some of their models rivaling even Alienware in terms of performance but they don’t offer as many customization options as MSI, ASUS or similar brands so if you’re looking for a more customized laptop then those manufacturers might be more up your alley. Also note that some manufacturers need service from only one company which means that if something breaks then you won’t get a spare part from another supplier; this can prove to be problematic especially after extended use.

Configuration Options: Most respectable gaming laptop manufacturers offer plenty of configuration options for their machines allowing you to choose exactly what you want without paying for things you don’t need.

Repairability: If something breaks down, will it be easy to fix? Manufacturer often use proprietary parts which can be difficult to replace since they’re not easily available and this often leads to a hefty repair bill. Also keep in mind that if you have a bad warranty that doesn’t cover repairs then it might prove more cost effective to just buy a new laptop instead of getting your current one fixed. I’d recommend getting at least 2-year warranty on your machine if possible; good warranties are usually offered by the manufacturers themselves but third party sellers like Amazon sometimes offer even better deals!

Customer service: Many reviewers complain about very bad customer service from all the major manufacturers but I haven’t seen this myself since most laptops are covered by 2-year warranties which usually make all the “post-warranty” support issues disappear. Most big gaming laptop manufacturers also have very active facebook pages where you can reach them in case of an emergency.

What software should I get for my new computer?

Almost any machine produced after 2010 will come with Microsoft Windows preinstalled, if not then you’ll have to buy it separately so I recommend getting Windows 10 since it’s much more customizable than its predecessors! If you don’t have much experience with computers or aren’t planning on doing too many customizations then Windows 10 Home/Pro might be enough for your needs but if you want to take full advantage of your laptop’s hardware then Windows 10 Pro is definitely the choice you should make.

Anti Virus: Many people recommend to get at least “trial” versions of antivirus software but when it comes to gaming laptops I’d stay away from them since they’ll often slow down your machine, especially if you travel with your PC a lot! If protection against viruses is something that you need then using Microsoft Security Essentials or similar software would be more than enough so don’t waste money on unnecessary antivirus licenses! Note that if you want full-blown anti virus security for your desktop/laptop machine then installing multiple VPNs at once can eliminate most risks by encrypting all of your internet traffic and making it unreadable to anyone trying to intercept it!

Cleaning Software: Using good cleaning software is highly recommended since they can find and remove lots of unnecessary files from your PC which makes the system feel much snappier after you’ve deleted them. I use Ccleaner but you might want to check out some alternatives first before settling on one or another. If you’re using old hardware then simple partition deletion can often fix small problems with performance so I’d recommend doing that too if all else fails.

Cloud Storage: Storing your files on remote servers has become very popular recently, especially for smaller items like documents and pictures since it’s a cheap way of safely storing data outside of your computer’s filesystem(s). For larger media like games and movies I’d recommend getting an external HDD instead since it’s much faster than any Cloud storage (if you don’t store your files on SSDs that is). Dropbox is probably the best cloud storage software out there due to its lightweight footprint but other cloud providers like Google Drive, One Drive or Amazon are also worth checking out.

Gaming Software: If you’re interested in taking full advantage of your machine’s hardware then dedicated gaming software can be useful for automatically overclocking your GPU/CPU depending on the game that you’re playing. MSI Afterburner was one of the first dedicated gaming utilities created for this purpose but nowadays most high-end machines have their own internal overclocking features so that one isn’t very necessary anymore. If you want to go the extra mile and overclock your PC properly then I’d recommend checking out Heaven Benchmark or Unigine’s Valley benchmark since they’re often much more demanding than most games!

Networking Software: if your computer is connected to a bigger network then it might be necessary for you to install some networking software that can handle multiple connections at once through one interface, especially if you are playing multiplayer games on your machine. I mainly use Hamachi which does its job quite well but there are other alternatives like Evolve or GameRanger which are worth checking out before settling on one or another. Note that these kinds of tools do introduce security risks by exposing all of your computer’s IPs to the internet if you don’t have a good enough firewall so I’d recommend getting one of those as well, especially if you’re using your computer for online gaming!

Partition Management Software: If you want to manually manage separate partitions on your hard drive then it might be necessary for you to install some partition management software. This kind of software usually provides an easy way of creating and destroying new partitions on your HDD which is useful when trying different operating systems without overwriting valuable data with another OS update or something along those lines. One tool that I would definitely recommend is EaseUS Disk Copy since its interface is very simple yet powerful, giving ordinary users a great platform to work with!