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How to choose a laptop for gaming and the best gaming laptops

gaming laptops

Computer gaming reached new popularity over the past two years, at least since the quarantine started. In fact, Financial News Media predicted that the gaming industry will see rapid growth. Whether you started playing Call of Duty, Nier, Minecraft, Pubg or any other game, chances are that you are one of the many people who became interested in playing video games. If you are planning to take the gaming experience to a new level, you probably are looking to invest in a laptop for gaming. The market is filled with so many gaming laptops. Therefore having an understanding of the specs will help you choose the perfect one.

laptop for gaming

Important factors to consider while shopping for a laptop for gaming

Display Resolution: This is the count of pixels in each dimension. For instance. a desktop with 1920 X 1080 pixels will have that many pixels in each of its dimensions. The higher the resolution, the better the clarity. Ideally, you may want to go for a 4K or 1440px. 

Refresh Rate: It is basically how fast your display screen refreshes. It is a measure of how many times the screen updates in a second. It is best to go for something that is 120Hz or higher. 

GPU (Graphics Processing Unit): GPU is very crucial for gaming. It is used to process the graphics that are seen on the screen. PC Gamer lists some of the best graphics cards in 2021. It includes Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080, AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070, AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT and others. Typically, the best graphics card are the ones that ensure there is no lagging and the play performance is smooth.

CPU (Central Processing Unit): The CPU is a very important component of any computer. It helps the computer to process data. A CPU has cores in it. A rule of thumb is that the more the cores, the better the performance. The best CPU for gaming are the ones that have a quad-core or an octa-core. 

Storage: Downloading games take up a lot of storage space. Generally, a game will take up from 25GB to 100GB of storage space. This is only an estimate and the range could get a bit higher or lower. 

The RAM contains the data that your computer is using at that moment. There are games that work well with 8GB. At the same time, there are others that need 32GB RAM. It is recommended to go for the 32GB one especially if you want to multitask. Say you want to use Discord as you play a game. 

laptop for gaming

How to check the above specifications in your laptop?

Display Resolution: Right-click on the desktop. Select the ‘Display Settings’ option. You will find your laptop’s display resolution. Make sure that it is set to the recommended level which is also the highest resolution on your laptop. 

Refresh Rate: In the ‘Display Settings’ page itself, scroll down and you will see the ‘Advanced Display Settings’ option. Click on it and you will see the refresh rate. You can change it in the drop-down menu. 

GPU and CPU: Right-click on the taskbar. Select the ‘Task Manager’ option from the menu. It will open the ‘Task Manager’ window. Select the ‘Performance’ tab. You will find your laptop’s GPU and CPU details. To see how many cores your CPU has, select the CPU option. The details are listed on the page. 

RAM Storage: Go to ‘Settings’ and click on the ‘System’ option. You will see the ‘Display Settings’ option. Scroll down the sidebar and select the ‘About’ option. You will find your computer’s RAM capacity. 

Laptop for gaming

HP – Pavilion 15.6″ Gaming Laptop

laptop for gaming
Image Courtesy: HP

This HP model uses the Nvidia Geforce GTX graphics card that is recommended by gamers. It has a full high definition resolution that is 1920 X 1080 pixels. 

Its storage space is 8GB RAM. It has a built-in Ryzen 5 processor with four cores (quad-core) from AMD. Given its CPU and GPU, this laptop for gaming provides an excellent gaming performance. It has two fan systems allowing you to play for long without worrying about any heating issues. 

Price: US$ 699.99 in HP’s official store. Check out at Amazon

Acer Aspire 7 Laptop – A715-42G-R2M7

laptop for gaming
Image Courtesy: Acer

The Acer Aspire 7 comes with the Nvidia Geforce GTX graphics card and a 10th generation intel processor CORE i7. The CPU and the GPU combine to give a high-quality display in its 15.6-inch screen. Its screen resolution is 1920 X 1080 pixels. Moreover, it has a hexacore processor.

It has a RAM storage space of 8GB. It is equipped with dual-band WiFi 6 that improves the system’s network speed significantly. As explained by Acer, the WiFi 6 “improves the average network throughput by up to 3 times and reduces latency by up to 75% compared to Wi-Fi 5.” 

Price: US$ 769.99 in Acer’s official store. Check out at Amazon

Dell Alienware M15 R3 Gaming Laptop

gaming laptops
Image Courtesy: Dell Alienware

Many gamers consider this to be the best laptop for gaming. It has a better storage space with 16GB RAM. It is equipped with the NVIDIA GeForce video card and a 10th generation intel core processor i7. Dell Alienware has a full high definition (FHD) resolution. 

While buying this model, Dell allows you to upgrade some features like the storage space, graphics processor and keyboard for an additional price. This laptop is not the best option if you have budget constraints

Price: US$ 1579.99 in Dell’s official store. Check out at Amazon

Read also: List of 10 Best Gaming Laptops Reviews

Can you upgrade a normal laptop to a gaming laptop?

A commonly asked question is whether a laptop’s processor can be upgraded. The answer is mostly no especially if the processor is attached to the motherboard. Even if your laptop allows you to upgrade the processor you need to take certain factors into consideration. You should ensure that the motherboard’s and processor’s sockets are compatible. Then, you should check if your laptop’ BIOS (Basic Input/ Output System) can run the new processor. 

As for the graphics card, you cannot change them. However, you can get an external graphics card. It can be connected using the laptop’s ports.

To know if you can upgrade your laptop’s RAM, you can check via this website. Once you find the suitable RAM you can change to it using these steps listed by Crucial who is referred to as the “memory and storage experts.”

Written by Renuka Kennedy

Renuka Kennedy is a journalist and freelance writer. She covers topics including fashion, art, entertainment, technology, luxury and lifestyle features. She has experience working for the digital teams of different publications. She is familiar with writing SEO friendly content. Her works have appeared in #legend, Gafencu, Screen Rant and Republic World. As a journalist, she likes to tell engaging stories. She is particularly passionate about covering sustainability in fashion. She is from Chennai, India and holds a BA in English degree from Stella Maris. She also graduated from The University of Hong Kong with a Masters of Journalism degree.