Gaming Laptops – Four Factors to Check Before Buying
Gaming laptops are becoming more and more popular with the computer buying public. Once a true gamer wouldn’t dream of buying a laptop for gaming, but now that laptop performances have increased a hundred fold since the first laptops came on the market, even some die-hard gamers are switching over to the other side.
Even so, many gamers still favor Desktop PCs for gaming, mainly because they’re cheaper but mostly because PCs are much easier to upgrade. Notebook computers are not very suitable for upgrading so your system can go out of date very quickly.
Regardless, if you’re in the market for a gaming laptop, there seems to be new systems coming on stream almost daily. So you shouldn’t have a problem finding a laptop that will meet your needs, as long as you keep a few factors in mind.
Here are four major features you should check before buying your gaming laptop:
Since your gaming system will be handling heavy visuals, graphics and 3D video you need a very robust video card that can get the job done. Many recent laptops now sport dual graphics with either SLI technology (NVIDIA) or CrossFire technology (ATI). Regardless, you should check to see if you have at least 512MB of video RAM, many now have 1 Gig of RAM or more. Most gamers go with NVIDIA GeForce 8800M, 9800M and ATI Radeon HD3870 or higher ones as they hit the market.
Some recent laptops now sport 3 GPUs such as the Toshiba Qosimo X305-Q708 which has a couple of GeForce 9800M GTS cards via SLI configuration, plus it also has a GeForce 9400M for quieter operation.
You need a powerful processor to perform all those applications with ease, we now have dual-core processors in most gaming laptops. Higher end models now sport quad-core processors which will deliver more than enough power to handle most games. You should get at least 2GHz processing speed, and many processors go higher such as the Intel Core2 Extreme X9000 processor which has 2.8GHz. Keep in mind, some systems can be overclocked, such as the Asus W90Vp-X1, at an amazing 3.28GHz.
Another consideration for a gaming laptop is the all important display, native resolution and sound quality. Obviously, you want the best display so check the actual quality of the images on your laptop. Is there any glare? Are the colors brilliant and true? Are the images sharp and clear? Many gamers now go with bigger displays of 17, 18 or even 20 inches and look for a system that gives HD playback. Note if you have 1080p display which will give you true High Definition. Many high end laptops come with WUXGA (Widescreen Ultra eXtended Graphics) 1920×1200 with 16:10 screen aspect ratio.
Sound is also important in gaming so you want the best speakers and sound quality. Many systems are now sporting HD or Blu-ray Drives so this is something to check for if you want superior viewing visuals and sound.
Since games, videos, music… all take up a lot of space, most gamers go with as large a hard drive as they can afford. At least 200GB of space, and many go for even more up to 1 TB terabyte of space. Solid State Drives are not yet common in gaming laptops but it is something to consider since these can last longer because you have no moving parts like you have in a hard drive. Higher end gaming laptops now have Solid State Drives but cost is still an issue.
Also remember to check the speed of your hard drive, 7200 RPM is faster than a 5400 RPM system. Since top performance is your ultimate goal, getting the fastest hard drive speed is essential. For this reason many gamers go with a SATA hard drive(s) which gives the best performance.
There are a few other things you might want to check out when buying a gaming laptop. One being style and looks; most of the higher end laptops will have plenty of style and pizazz. If the style and flash of your rig is important to you, than it is something to consider when buying your system. Perhaps, another less shadow and more important issue is warranty. Does your spectacular looking rig have a good warranty should things go south? The more expensive the rig, the more you should check the warranty, even buying an extended warranty for your brand new gaming laptop. Years of happy worry-free gaming should be your ultimate goal.