Gaming laptop or gaming PC?
How to choose a gaming laptop
Processor and graphics card are the two most important features when choosing a gaming laptop. If you're after the best graphics, virtual reality, multi-tasking and speed, only the most powerful options will do.Shop all gaming laptops
Gaming laptops include a graphics card and it's arguably the most important thing to consider. NVIDIA and AMD are the main makers of graphics cards and both have options for each level of gaming.
|Entry||Basic gaming, eg: Minecraft||MX150 or 950M||RX 550|
|Entry to mid-range||World of Tanks, DOTA & CS:GO||GTX1050 & GTX1050TI||RX 560 / RX570|
|Mid-to-high performance||Standard virtual reality and mainstream titles at low to medium settings||GTX1060, GTX1070||RX580|
|High performance||High performance graphics||GTX1080 & GTX1080TI||RX VEGA|
The processor (or CPU) is the brains of the operation. It defines how well your laptop runs and how well it can multi-task. Intel processors are typically used alongside NVIDIA graphics cards and AMD's Ryzen processors are typically used alongside AMD graphics cards.
|Entry||Basic gaming and multi-tasking||Intel Core i3||AMD A9 / RYZEN 3|
|Entry to mid-range||Suitable for mainstream gaming||Intel Core i5||A10 / RYZEN 5/ FX Series|
|Mid-to-high performance||Ideal for multi-tasking whilst playing mainstream games||Intel Core i7||A12 / RYZEN 7/ FX Series|
|High performance||High performance, server grade for any task||Intel Core i9||RYZEN Threadripper|
Gaming laptops - all you need to know
Although a graphics card and processor are the most important components, there are other features that will affect the performance of your gaming laptop.
RAM - RAM (random access memory) affects speed and performance. 4GB is the minimum needed for respectable gaming performance, but 8GB and 16GB will offer greater speed and multi-tasking. Basic games require less RAM than mainstream titles, whilst more RAM may be needed for good performance with high-end games and virtual reality.
Processor speed - Processor speed is measured in GHZ (gigahertz) and the faster the GHZ the better when it comes to gaming. 2.5GHZ is the minimum recommended speed for mid-range gaming performance.
Proccessor cores - The number of cores a processor has defines how well it can multi-task. Dual and quad are the most common, with quad cores likely to be the better option for working on more than one thing at once.
Storage - Gaming laptops are likely to have both HDD (hard disk drive) and SSD (solid state drive) storage. Data saved in a SSD is typically fast to access and can speed up the performance of your laptop.
Size - Smaller laptops, around 14 inches, are easier for gaming on-the-go, whereas a 17 inch laptop might be better for use only at home.
Display - If graphics are important, then look out for gaming laptops with higher screen resolution.
Fans - With so much processing power, a gaming laptop needs built-in fans to keep it cool and optimise gaming experience. Fans are especially important if you intend on overclocking your laptop.
What is overclocking? - Some gaming laptops enable components to run at a higher rate than they were intended. This is called overclocking. While this can provide additional performance benefits, it's important to ensure your laptop has the right care and cooling to handle a higher level of performance or you may risk components overheating.
Why choose a gaming desktop?
Power and performance - In general desktops will be faster and more powerful than laptops. They also have more flexibility when it comes to upgrading, as you can add RAM, a graphics card and other components far more easily.
Storage - Desktops are likely to offer more storage than their laptop counterparts, giving you more room to keep game, video and image files.
Personalisation - Gaming towers are designed to look the part too, with bright designs that show off internal components. And you can choose the keyboard, monitor and other accessories you want to go with it.
Choosing a monitor
You've got the gear, now get the games. Discover the latest releases with our gaming calendar.
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