Gaming laptops have become widely popular over the past few years. The main reason people opt for laptops instead of desktops is that laptops have an integrated periphery, such as a monitor and a keyboard that you’d have to purchase separately otherwise.
Even though gaming laptops cost considerably more than desktop counterparts, you can still get a powerful machine for a reasonable price.
When talking about gaming machines, it refers to the most powerful commercial computers available on the market. In other words, they have the latest and the most efficient hardware today.
That also means that every component matters and that each component’s performance is important. With that in mind, let’s have a look at the inside of a gaming laptop and what makes it powerful, indeed.
For a gaming laptop, graphics are everything. If you want to run the latest games on ultra-high graphics settings, you’ll need a GPU that can make it happen.
Two major manufacturers provide you with such GPUs, Nvidia and AMD Radeon. So what’s the difference? This is an extensive debate but let’s try to summarize as much as possible.
Nvidia has powerful GPUs, especially the newest GeForce 20 series powered by Pascal GPU architecture.
Nvidia GPUs are more suited for gaming enthusiasts who are picky about even the 1% difference in gaming performance.
However, their GPUs are generally very expensive with the most powerful Titan RTX costing $2,500 alone.
Still, the Titan has 576 tensor cores with 24GB of GDDR6 memory, which is hard to beat these days.
On the other hand, AMD Radeon is more than a fair competitor to Nvidia. They also have powerful GPUs, such as the RX 570X series powered by the latest AMD Navi – the next-generation 7nm GPU architecture.
AMD’s GPUs are far more affordable, but they do slightly lack in performance compared to Nvidia.
In the end, it comes down to the personal preference, but if you’re really picky about performance, you will go for the Nvidia regardless of the price.
The next most important component is the CPU. Many gamers are allergic to gaming performance falling below 60fps (Frames per Second) so a powerful CPU is a must.
When it comes to CPUs, again we have two major manufacturers and competitors; Intel Corporation and AMD.
This is where things get complicated as bot manufacturers provide you with exceptional CPUs. So far, Intel was the undisputed champion when it came to per-core performance.
However, recently the AMD released the newest Ryzen family of CPUs that are overshadowing the Intel’s 9th generation of CPUs.
Again it comes to personal choice. Intel is more expensive, whereas AMD is affordable and they are both exceptional when it comes to performance. For an ideal gaming laptop, the CPU power is a factor to focus on.
More cores (logical and physical), as well as higher frequency, is simply a must for gaming-grade CPU. Let’s compare the best from both sides.
- AMD Ryzen 9 3900X – Cores 12, Threads 24. Base clock – 3.8GHz, Boost clock – 4.6GHz. L3 cache 63MB – TDP: 105W.
- Intel Core i9-9900K – Cores 8. Base clock – 3.6GHz, Boost clock – 5.0GHz. L3 cache 16MB – TDP: 95W.
Working memory, random-access memory or RAM is the key component in every computer configuration, including laptops.
This is a component to binds everything together. So, how much should a gaming laptop have when it comes to RAM?
A bare minimum would be 8GB of RAM for an average machine. However, when it comes to gaming performance, it’s pretty much the higher, the better.
Therefore, 16GB of RAM is ideal, whereas 32GB or even 64GB is more than you need but nice to have. RAM comes with a DDR (Double Data Rate) extension, such as DDR4, which is the standard for good performance.
Go for the SSD
Normally, people wouldn’t pay too much attention to the storage capacity or the type within a laptop. After all, it’s just for storing data, right? Wrong!
The usual Hard Disk Drives (HDD) are nowadays being replaced by more expensive but also far more efficient SSDs (Solid State Drives).
So what’s the difference and how does it affect gaming performance? SSDs are based on an integrated circuit (electrical) whereas HDDs are electro-magnetic with lots of moving parts (mechanical).
This makes SSDs a lot faster and more efficient than their predecessors.
In other words, SSDs are more shock-resistant, they are silent, have quicker access time and lower latency.
Although HDDs are more durable, SSD can last just as long with proper care and they have a much lower failure rate.
SSDs top storage space is 100TB, whereas the best HDD can hold only 16TB. Needless to say, SSDs by far outperform HDDs which is crucial for gaming.
However, their biggest downside is that they have a limit of how many times data can be written and erased before the drive utterly fails for some unknown reason.
One of the disadvantages of laptops is that you cannot choose the type of display you want alongside the rest of the configuration but you can, however, choose a screen size.
Make no mistake, a lot of gaming laptop screens have exceptional display quality, reaching QHD+ (3200×1800) or 4K resolutions.
The ideal screen size for gaming would be a 17-inch laptop. They’re are generally bulkier and heavier, but that’s the price of a proper gaming rig.
You can’t expect the best graphics from a 15” laptop that only supports Full-HD resolution. If you’re about to pay a considerable sum for a gaming laptop, you might as well get the best from everything, including the display.
The best gaming laptops for 2020
In the end, here are a few of the best gaming laptops announced for 2020 that should help you find the one that suits you the most.
- MSI GS75 Stealth
- Asus ROG Zephyrus S
- Razer Blade Pro 17
- Acer Predator Triton 900
- Asus ROG Strix Hero III
Choosing a gaming laptop is not an easy task. After all, you want the best quality and performance for the money you’re about to spend.
That’s why it’s important to do good research and find a configuration that will suit your every gaming need.