It's a difficult choice deciding between a console or a computer.
Each gaming platform has a dedicated fanbase that stands behind the advantages of its system compared to others.
In the following guide, we will specifically focus on gaming laptops vs. PS5.
We will weigh the main features you should consider before buying and help you determine which of the two is best for you!
Performance and Price
If you’ve got enough money to spend, the sky really is the limit with gaming laptops.
The PS5 may have an incredibly optimized system (more on that below), but in terms of raw power, a gaming laptop reigns supreme.
Let’s take the Razer Blade 15 as an example. The 4K UHD 144Hz edition includes a 12th Gen Intel Core i9 14-Core CPU and the best GPU currently available, the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti.
With 1TB of storage and 32GB of DDR5 RAM @4800MHz, this beast competes head-to-head with the most high-end gaming desktops.
The Razer Blade 15 is also available in a QHD 240Hz edition and a competitive FHD 360Hz version.
Whatever you want in gaming performance, the Razer Blade 15 will be able to handle, and more!
If you're into competitive shooters, you should easily reach 300-400 FPS in Valorant @1080p, or a stable 60 FPS @4K in Red Dead Redemption 2.
Before you close the article and buy a Razer Blade 15, most of us will be shocked at the price. The 4K UHD edition retails at around $4,000.
Yes, it's literally the price of 8 PlayStation 5's or two above-average gaming desktops.
With that being said, the point we are getting across here is that if you have the money, gaming laptops may be expensive but they definitely outperform all consoles.
If you're just an average-joe or looking to get into gaming for the first time, let's step back into reality and also look at a more 'affordable/popular' gaming laptop.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 retails for just over $1,000 and includes an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H processor, featuring 8 cores and 16 threads, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM @3200MHz, and a 15.6" Full HD 144Hz 3ms IPS Display.
The Helios 300 is somewhat of an entry-level gaming laptop but has enough power to play just about anything at a reasonable frame rate.
When weighed up against the Razer Blade 15 benchmarks, you'll likely see frames drop to 150-250 FPS in Valorant @1080p, and 80 FPS @1080p in Red Dead Redemption 2.
As always, you should consider the value of a gaming laptop because it really is all-inclusive.
There’s no additional screen that must be bought, and the device itself functions as a portable workstation.
Therefore, when comparing it to a PS5, it's not only a gaming device but a multi-purpose tool that you can do many tasks with.
Currently, the PS5 only has one set of specifications.
As the years go by, we will likely see a re-release, upgraded, or pro version of the PS5, but for now, the specs are as follows:
An 8-Core 3.5GHz AMD Zen 2 CPU, a 10.3 teraflop AMD RDNA 2 GPU (comparable to an NVIDIA RTX 2070), 16GB of GDDR6 RAM, 8K resolution capability, and 825GB of storage.
Retailing at around $500, the PS5 is incredible value for money.
To put things into perspective, the PS5 GPU power alone would retail for $400-$500 if it were an NVIDIA RTX 2070 GPU sold on release day.
Another strong quality of the PS5 is how unbelievably well optimized the system is.
How is it that a lower-tier CPU and GPU can outperform a full gaming desktop that would struggle to hit 4K as promised by PlayStation?
Well, the reason is that game developers can spend more time ensuring games run to their highest potential if they have a single set of hardware to optimize.
The most daunting part about buying a gaming laptop or PC is how long it will run the latest games. That's where the PS5 and other consoles put gamers' minds at ease.
Although you're not getting the highest frame rates, gameplay will always be smooth, and the frames will always be synced.
There is minimal visual tearing, stuttering, or jittering.
You may not have the highest detailed image like a PC would, but the overall experience will remain enjoyable for longer.
But the PS5 also promises 120 FPS @4K, you may ask? Isn't that an incredible resolution that will emit detailed and textured gameplay?
Well, yes, but Sony is somewhat misleading with their 4K promise on the PS5.
The PS5 will have the ability to play games at 4K, but most games that have been released to date aren't optimized to play at this resolution and certainly not at 120 frames per second.
You’ll likely see a game like Call of Duty Warzone reaching 120 FPS, but at a reduced 1080p resolution.
On the other hand, GTA V, which has recently been re-released on the PS5, can be played at 4K but is locked to 60 FPS. Therefore, take Sony's 120 FPS @4K with a grain of salt.
Game developers will mix and match resolution and frame rates to optimize performance and keep your game running as smoothly as possible.
One final matter which must be discussed is the additional expenses that come with a PS5. A PS5 will require a television or monitor in order to play.
Televisions with a high refresh rate are usually a no-no because they’re over-priced.
Monitors to look out for would therefore be a 165Hz 24-inch AOC C24G1A display, or, alternatively, a 60Hz 28-inch 4K BenQ EL2870U monitor.
These monitors retail for around $200, so again, add that to the initial $500 expense of your PS5.
PlayStation also requires a subscription to its online services, so users can play multiplayer games with their friends.
A 1-month subscription is $10, whereas a 1-year subscription is $60. If you're playing on a gaming laptop, however, online services are free, and there are no subscriptions.
If you're noticing a pattern here, things on the PS5 slowly start to add up over time.
One of the most significant advantages gaming laptops have vs consoles is the variety and the sheer number of available games.
Using distribution platforms such as Steam, Origin, or Epic Games, users will have access to literally thousands of games.
Additionally, these games are often on sale and at a much cheaper retail value when compared to PS5.
Not only will gamers have access to more games, but they will also have the ability to mod.
This means extra content, features, and extended storylines, all made by the gaming community for free!
As long as you've got enough power in your gaming laptop to keep those frames high, the world is yours.
Although PlayStation 5 might have fewer games than PC, they do come with the luring temptation of PS5 exclusives.
Exclusives are games that are only made for particular consoles. Popular games such as Spiderman and The Last of Us are highly enjoyable and are available solely on the PS5.
You've also got to consider that although gaming laptops have more to choose from, it doesn't mean that the game you choose will necessarily run on your laptop.
PC games have various specification requirements, and sometimes developers do not optimize their games for everyone.
Therefore, at least when you buy a game on the PS5 store, you know your console will be able to play the game how it was intended.
Most gaming laptops are not pre-installed with the latest and necessary apps you need to play games and talk to friends.
Before you hop into Valorant or Fortnite for the first time, you will need to install apps such as Epic Games, Steam, Discord, and Origin.
These may not be all the apps you need, but they're essential to start off your gaming experience.
Once the apps are installed, you will need to configure settings, assign download destinations, and learn how the 'check-out' store process works.
In basic terms, if you're a newbie to gaming, it can be a bit overwhelming on your first day.
The positive side, though, is that once you've got the hang of things, you'll have access to much finer details when compared to consoles.
In terms of a social aspect, you'll be able to create your own Discord channel where you and your friends can post links and share music.
Gaming-wise, you'll be able to seamlessly browse the internet in-between rounds or monitor performance using the NVIDIA or AMD panel.
The PlayStation 5 is dedicated to gaming and multi-media apps, so it will come preloaded with everything you need. Y
ou simply have to turn on your console and insert your favorite game (or download it from the store).
Talking to friends is as effortless as inviting them to a 'party' with a maximum of up to 16 players.
Inviting them to play with you in co-op is also simple, whereby you'll need to click on their profile and 'invite to game.'
How does this differ in terms of gaming laptops? Well, remember you'll need to download specific apps to play or chat with friends.
If they don't have Discord installed, you won't be able to chat, and if they don't have the specific game on Steam, Origin, or Epic, you won't be able to play with them.
PS5, therefore, is built so that everything works from the get-go. There may be fewer features overall, but for gaming noobs, it's very easy!
Maintenance and Updates
When things are going well on a gaming laptop or PC, there’s nothing quite like it.
Frames are high, the gameplay is smooth, and the graphics are realistic with excellent detail.
However, a gaming laptop does not always remain consistent, and every once in a while, you’ll need to update your graphics card driver, game, or even the processor.
These updates can make your gaming experience even better, and in rare cases, make things worse. The same can be said for apps; they're always releasing something new.
What this means is that you'll have to do some maintenance for gaming laptops.
Now, we're not talking about physically cleaning your gaming laptop (but that is a great idea), but rather keeping everything up-to-date in terms of software, apps, and games.
You'll sometimes need to manually look for drivers or check the properties of your app to ensure it is the newest available version.
If you fail to do this, you may experience crashes or a drop in performance.
One day your Warzone might be pushing 100 FPS (frames per second) easily, and the next, it's dipping into 40 FPS.
You'll then have to check that everything is up-to-date and no other apps are conflicting with your games.
In other words, the added power and performance that comes with a gaming laptop also translates to a responsibility to maintain it.
Similar to its user interface, PlayStation 5 makes it as easy as possible when it comes to updates, and you probably won't have to worry much about drivers.
When switching your PlayStation 5 on, you'll either be prompt with a system update that automatically fetches and downloads the file or receive a game update when you click the selected title (you can also turn on auto-updates).
Everything is therefore given to you to ensure your PS5 is maintained and performing at its best.
This sounds like the PS5 is the better of the two gaming machines, right? Well, not necessarily.
The gaming laptop will come with a lot more drivers and software updates because it simply offers more features.
For example, A PS5 isn't going to need multiple graphics drivers as a gaming laptop would.
Furthermore, since you have the option of Discord or TeamSpeak on a gaming laptop, more updates will follow to improve your experience, whereas the PS5 does not include these apps at all.
With that being said, the PS5 will retain its performance in most cases, and you won't have to go diving into files to locate a driver or software that needs updating.
If you're not tech-savvy and want to play as soon as you get home, then the fluidity of the PS5 might be for you.
Most gaming laptops have the ability to upgrade their storage and RAM. Using an M.2 SSD will make your computer faster and more efficient.
It's not going to particularly increase gaming performance per se, but it will decrease loading times between menus and allow you to interchange between titles faster.
RAM, on the other hand, will increase system responsiveness and slightly improve the frame rate.
Users should always be warned, though, that a gaming laptop cannot replace a full-size gaming PC.
The rest of the components on a gaming laptop, such as the graphics card and CPU are almost impossible to upgrade. This is because they are soldered to the motherboard, so what you have when purchasing your gaming laptop is what you'll need to stick with throughout its lifespan.
You can, however, plug in an alternative keyboard, mouse, and headset.
Adding a little more comfort through peripherals isn't going to improve raw performance but can make your gaming experience more enjoyable.
Upgrading your gaming system can feel overwhelming for some people. Isn’t it better for your gaming system to work right out of the box and stay that way?
Well, the PlayStation 5 is great because everything is bundled together and designed to work without making major alterations.
Whether you buy the digital or disk PS5 version, one piece of hardware that will run out sooner or later is the storage space.
Similar to a gaming laptop, the PS5 does have an option to increase storage by adding an M.2 SSD. PlayStation recommends you use one that includes a heatsink.
Therefore, some good options would be the WD_BLACK 1TB which is around $150, or the WD_BLACK 2TB, which is also around $300.
As a gamer, the more storage space you have, the longer you'll 'future-proof' your system before needing another upgrade.
Consequently, you'll need to consider, do you play the same game all the time or do you play multiple games which will require multiple updates?
If you lean towards the latter, more space is always better, so take the leap and save money in the long run.
As stated above, the great news about the PS5 is that the storage is the only component you'll need to upgrade, which now brings us to the question: how long will my PS5 last compared to a gaming laptop?
In terms of longevity, your gaming laptop can last anywhere between 3 to 5 years, considering how you use it.
The duration will differ depending on how you physically take care of the device and what games you intend to play.
If you want to keep up with the latest videogames, you might eventually have to drop the in-game settings from high to medium and eventually to low.
As graphics improve, so will the demand on the system.
If you're an old-school gamer and enjoy the classics, well, you could theoretically keep your laptop for 5+ years, as long as the battery doesn't burn out and the screen is maintained.
A normal console life cycle is anywhere between 7 to 10 years. In other words, the PS5 will be supported by game developers for that duration.
Games released on PlayStation 5 are optimized for the console, so whatever you play for the initial 5-7 years will likely perform great!
The downside is that after 7 or so years, a new console will be released (Perhaps the PlayStation 6!), and then the current PlayStation 5 will receive a ‘ported’ or ‘not-so-optimized’ version of newly released games.
We can see a great example of this with Cyberpunk 2077.
The game was riddled with bugs, and the graphics had been turned all the way down when comparing the initial trailer footage to real gameplay on the PS4.
However, when the game was released on the PS5, it was a great improvement, especially in frame rate and overall smoothness.
The PS5 will therefore give you a lot of good years, and it will likely outlast your gaming laptop.
But wait, outlast means the PlayStation 5 will retain its promised performance for longer, that is, at minimum, a steady stream of 60 FPS (frames per second), which is good enough for most gamers, but not always good enough for hardcore gaming enthusiasts.
When buying a gaming laptop, you could specifically want excessive frame rates of 100-300 FPS, and therefore, as the years go by, it will drop to a mediocre 45-80 FPS depending on the game.
The gaming laptop isn't broken; it's just unable to hit those high frame rates as it did in the past, and if you're a performance enthusiast, this would make the gaming laptop unplayable.
The PS5, on the other hand, had 60 FPS to start with and retains that value for much longer. As a console gamer, you can't miss what you didn't have to begin with.
Pros and Cons of Gaming Laptops
Pros and Cons of Using a PS5
Gaming Laptop Vs PS5 FAQs
How many GB does a PS5 have?
The PS5 advertises an internal storage space of 825 GB via a Custom NVME SSD.
However, once you include the actual system software, you're actually looking at around 667 GB, more or less.
Most PS5 games are around 45-70 GB (there are exceptions of some reaching 100 GB), so eventually, you will need to install an additional M.2 SSD.
What is the maximum refresh rate for a PS5?
PS5 advertises that the system can run some games at 120 FPS. Therefore, the maximum refresh rate that you can actually get an advantage out of is 120 Hz.
If your monitor or TV is over 120Hz, let's say 240Hz, that will work perfectly fine, but you'll be capped at the 120 FPS and 120 Hz limit.
Does the PS5 have RTX?
Yes, one of the coolest features of the PS5 is its ability to support ray tracing.
Ray tracing (or RTX) was introduced by NVIDIA with their 2000 series and is a rendering technique that produces realistic lighting effects by imitating light in a natural environment.
In other words, certain games on the PS5 will have the ability to look even better!
If you're looking for higher frame rates and a multi-purpose device to also work on, then a gaming laptop will be for you.
It may come at a higher cost initially, but if you're a gaming enthusiast, there's a lot more on offer.
Alternatively, if you lean more towards the casual side of gaming and want to sit back and relax with friends, the PS5 is a great option.
Whatever system you decide to choose, they both provide a great gaming experience!
Andrew White is the founder of TechGearoid, a leading technology review & information website that is designed to help consumers make better decisions when it comes to their IT purchases. As a specialist tech writer (nerd) with over 10 years of experience, he enjoys writing about everything there is to do with modern technology & the newest market innovations. When he isn’t providing value for his readers, he’s usually drinking coffee or at the beach. Andrew lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and family.