Today, over 3 million people in the world play video games. While the vast majority prefer to play mobile games, console and PC gamers still make up a decent proportion of the gamer population.
Perhaps you’re a PC gamer but would like something more mobile. In that case, you should consider having a laptop gaming setup.
What should you consider when getting a gaming laptop though? In this article, we’ll show you how to create the ultimate setup so you can not only game like a pro, but also do it in style and comfort.
Get the Right Laptop First
Before you can even get started on your gaming laptop setup, you need to first get the right laptop! With so many different brands and devices to choose from, where do you even start?
Below, we explore some factors you should consider. In the meantime, if you want to look at some laptops for inspiration, hop over to here.
“GPU” stands for “graphics processing unit.” As the name suggests, this is what is responsible for your graphics, so you might also know it by the name of “graphics card.”
Today, most games are dependent on the GPU, so the graphics card in the gaming laptop you choose is very important. Typically, you have 2 choices: Nvidia GeForce GTX or RTX. For some other gaming laptops, you’ll find the other major brand: AMD.
If you’re a newbie or casual gamer, most Nvidia GTX graphics cards will suffice. If you’re on a budget and want something decent, try the RTX 2060.
Otherwise, if you’re a hardcore gamer and need something that’ll blow you away, some GPUs to consider include the RTX 2070, 2080, or 2080 Ti.
For gaming laptops, you won’t be able to replace your GPU easily, so make sure you think long and hard about your choices.
“CPU” stands for “central processing unit.” The GPU works hand-in-hand with the CPU to provide you with a smooth gaming experience. This means that if you’re going for something on the higher end for the GPU, you need to do the same for your CPU.
New and/or casual gamers can probably get by with just an Intel Core i5 processor. Otherwise, you might want to spend a little extra on an i7 instead. You can even overclock something like an i9 if you wish.
Like the GPU, you won’t be able to replace your CPU easily either. So again, you’ll want to be extra sure that the CPU you choose is one you’ll be happy with for years to come. But in most cases, the GPU will be more important than the CPU.
“RAM” is short for “random access memory” and it’s basically your laptop’s short-term memory. As you might imagine, gaming will take up a lot of RAM, so you probably won’t want to go with the bare minimum, even if you’re a casual gamer.
Normally, with a non-gaming laptop, you’ll want at least 8GB of RAM. So it’s very possible you can get by with just 8GB. However, we highly recommend that you get at least 16GB.
The good news is, unlike the other 2 components, RAM can be upgraded in the future. So you can start off with 8GB and if you don’t feel like that’s powerful enough, all you need to do is put more RAM into your laptop to give it a boost.
You’ll have 2 choices when it comes to storage: hard drive or solid-state drive (SSD). If you’re looking at cheaper gaming laptops, you’ll usually find just a hard drive with 1TB on them.
But if you opt for something a little pricier, then you’ll usually get a small SSD as well. In this case, it might be worth spending a little bit more to get both a hard drive and an SSD.
Like with RAM, you can always upgrade in the future if you’d like to. So you won’t have to worry too much about getting storage just right in the beginning. For those of you on a budget, you might want to start small and upgrade as needed.
Resolution and Refresh Rate
At the very least, you’ll want to get a 1920 x 1080 display, nothing less.
As for the refresh rate, 60Hz is the bare minimum. There are some better laptops that offer 114Hz or even 240Hz refresh rates. With those, you’ll need a top-notch GPU to make the most of it.
Many gaming laptops come with additional technology, especially those that are on the better end of the spectrum. In particular, Nvidia has G-Sync and AMD has FreeSync.
These work with your graphics card to give you smoother gameplay. These pieces of technology should eliminate ghosting and tearing from your gaming experience.
The look of your laptop will matter a lot too. After all, you’ll be staring at it whenever you’re playing your favorite games. And because of its portability, you’ll probably want to go with something that’s sleekly designed if you’re always on the go.
The first part of the design you need to consider is the screen. If you’re not going to be connecting your laptop to a monitor for gaming, then this is extremely important. The screen size comes down to personal preference, but just remember that if you get a larger screen, your laptop will weigh more.
Gaming Laptop Accessories
Once you’ve selected a gaming laptop, you’re not fully ready to game just yet. It can be a pain trying to game with just a trackpad and all the bare features of a laptop. So naturally, you should pick up some additional things to make your life easier.
If you’ve bought your laptop for its portability, then the screen may not be big enough for gaming on the regular. For those who spend the majority of your time gaming at home, you don’t want to be sitting close to your laptop, cramped into a tiny space and barely enjoying all the graphics the game has to offer.
What you want to do is buy a monitor to plug your laptop in. The size will depend on how big your desk is and how you want to immerse yourself in the experience. In general, we’d suggest a monitor that’s 24 or 25 inches.
Yes, your laptop already has a keyboard built in. But it’s not fantastic for gaming, as its main purpose is for things like word processing, after all.
If you’re getting a monitor and you have a home setup, then you should get a gaming keyboard as well. These have mechanical keys, which help you with better gaming.
Even if you’re a newbie gamer, there’s no way you’re going to play your computer games with a trackpad. Even a small generic mouse won’t suffice, as those aren’t very ergonomic and will cause your hands to cramp up or even worse, become injured.
Gaming mice are specifically made to fit people’s hands perfectly and to prevent them from becoming injured. They also usually have removable weights so you can further personalize how your mouse feels under your hands.
Gaming mousepads are different from regular ones. The main difference is the size, as they’re huge in comparison.
What this does is it ensures you don’t run out of space when you have your sensitivity set very low for first-person shooters. You’ll have the entire mat to work with, without worry that your mouse will fall off the edge.
Gaming headphones are very important too. Earbuds won’t cut it when you need to hear footsteps above, below, behind, and in front of you. Plus, sound just falls flat on cheap earbuds.
With a good pair of gaming headphones, you’ll be able to hear every single detail, which will give you an edge against the competition.
If you’re used to playing games on consoles, it won’t hurt to pick up a few different controllers. A good choice is the Xbox controller, especially since it’s not restricted to Xbox use only.
Get the Optimal Laptop Gaming Setup
Now you know what to look for when you buy a gaming laptop. In addition, you know the best accessories to get so you can have the best time possible with your PC games.
With our ideas for the best laptop gaming setup, you’ll be able to game for long periods of time in comfort and total bliss. You won’t have to worry about getting easily preventable injuries that’ll keep you out of the game.
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