Gaming Laptops and Gaming PCs Guide | Argos

Gaming Laptops
and PCs Guide

Discover why games look and play so much better with
the power and graphics of a gaming laptop or PC.

Gaming laptop or gaming PC?

    Gaming Laptop - The key benefits of gaming laptops are that they're portable, easy to setup and ready to use straight out of the box.

    Gaming PC - If ultimate processing power and upgradability are more important, and lack of portability isn't an issue, then you may be better suited to a desktop.

    Performance - Desktops are traditionally more powerful, but there's now less difference in speed and graphics between desktops and laptops than ever before. A laptop with the right graphics card and processor is more than capable of top gaming performance.

    Upgrades - It's far easier to upgrade a desktop as you can add RAM and storage space, or a new graphics card. Bear this in mind when choosing a new laptop, as you may want to future-proof by buying a more powerful model.



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.

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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.

  Ideal for
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.

  Ideal for
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.


Gaming desktops and monitors

An alternative to a gaming laptop is to choose a gaming desktop and monitor. They often have eye-catching designs and can offer more power and performance than a laptop.

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

    Resolution - A full HD resolution of 1920x1080 is considered the minimum monitor resolution for gaming. Higher resolutions are available, but this comes at the cost of refresh rate speed. It's important to find the right balance between screen quality and your graphics card - a sweet spot with fast frame rates and a quality display.

    Refresh rate - Refresh rate defines how fast images change on the monitor. The faster the refresh rate, the smoother your gaming experience will be.

    Motion blur - Blur reduction decreases the amount of time a frame appears on screen, meaning you should see less colour streaks and blurring for more stable gameplay.

    Screen size - Screen sizes range from around 21 inches to 32 inches. The best size depends on how far you like to sit from the screen.


Components and accessories

As well as complete laptops and desktops, you can also find individual components if you're looking to upgrade or replace any current parts.


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