Gone are the days where you need a super-expensive liquid-cooled desktop to play the latest AAA+ games. The technology we need has become so advanced that it can be fit into a regular laptop shell. These "Gaming Laptops" have become extremely popular over the last few years.
The ability to have a high-quality and powerful gaming rig that can be picked up and thrown into a backpack is a game-changer, meaning more and more people than ever before are considering buying one.
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What is the Difference Between Gaming Laptops & Normal Laptops?
There is a massive difference between gaming laptops and normal laptops, and in this article, we will explore those differences. The main difference is the components used.
Your processor is the brain and control room found in both regular laptops and gaming laptops. This little chip is responsible for making thousands upon thousands of decisions every single second it is turned on. The more demanding the tasks that you ask your computer to do, the harder this little control room is going to have to work.
For gaming laptops, you will need a processor that is strong enough to supply the other parts during gaming. Both your RAM and your GPU will require more processing power when gaming, and standard laptops will often not have enough.
For gaming, you should really be looking at an i5 processor equivalent or higher. This is because CPU affects FPS (frames per second) so an i5 or higher CPU will ensure that you get a silky smooth gaming experience.
GPU - Graphics Card
Perhaps the most crucial difference between gaming laptops and normal laptops is the addition of a dedicated graphics card. This is where the magic happens. Your graphics card is responsible for taking vast amounts of data and translating that data into what you can see on your screen.
Most normal laptops come with an integrated graphics card. This is usually designed by Intel and has very little ability when it comes to gaming. Integrated graphics cards will be more than enough for web browsing and social media but will be practically useless if you load up an AAA+ game.
A dedicated graphics card is designed by a separate company, usually Nvidia or AMD. These cards are designed specifically for gaming and are one of the biggest differences between normal laptops and gaming laptops.
The best cards are currently the RTX range from Nvidia, capable of activating ray tracing, a technique used to develop incredibly detailed textures and worldscapes.
RAM - Random Access Memory
When your CPU makes a process, it stores its memory of that process inside your RAM. This is essentially a cheat sheet that allows it to make the same process more efficient. The more RAM you have, the better supported all of the other parts of your laptop will be.
Gaming laptops will generally come with a much higher amount of RAM. This is because RAM affects FPS (frames per second), placing a high demand on the machine. When you buy a gaming laptop, make sure that it has a minimum of 8GB of DDR4 RAM, any less, and you will struggle to play AAA+ games.
Most gaming laptops come with a keyboard designed for gaming. This means that they often come with features such as RGB lighting and customization that allow you to map different keys and colors. You might even have a mechanical switch system inside that allow for accurate button presses and incredible response.
You may also have anti-ghosting keys that prevent you from clicking the wrong key during high-pressure team fights.
One thing you should bear in mind when looking at gaming laptops is that to allow for their high-end graphics cards and high-speed, high-performance processors, and there must be a cost.
That cost generally materializes in the form of poor battery. Gaming laptops generally have an awful battery, making them impractical when they are unplugged from a Powerpoint.
High-performance graphics cards put out an extraordinary amount of heat. This means that you need to keep your gaming laptop cool to maximize performance.
Gaming laptops will usually come with overhauled fans and heat syncs as well as copper vent pipes. This draws heat away from the parts that might be in danger at a higher temperature. High temperatures could ruin your gaming experience by slowing down the video memory or, worse, could fry your parts.
When you are loading games from your storage, you will want the fastest possible to reduce loading times. Gaming laptops will usually come with a more modern SSD. SSD or Solid State Drive is the quickest, most efficient form of storage and has replaced the old Hard Drive system.
A normal laptop will usually come with an older Hard Drive system.
You must buy a gaming laptop with an SSD; without one, you will be sat at the loading screen for more extended periods, ruining your experience.
Can a Gaming Laptop be used as an Everyday Laptop?
Gaming laptops make for incredible everyday laptops if they are cared for properly. They have overhauled performance parts that destroy daily tasks. Loading screens and boot-up time will be massively improved, and the display will usually be a lot better than the ones you get in normal laptops.
The only places where a gaming laptop might suffer is in the portability and battery life category. Every gaming laptop has a battery issue, and to fit the important parts like your graphics and RAM, gaming laptops are usually a lot heavier.
If this doesn't bother you, then you could definitely use a gaming laptop in the place of regular laptops or business laptops.
How Do I Turn a Regular Laptop into a Gaming Laptop?
If you already have a normal laptop and you want to play some games but don't want to fork out for a new gaming laptop, there are still ways you can overhaul your rig without having to build a new gaming laptop.
The best way to do so is to purchase an E-GPU. An E-GPU is essentially a plug-in GPU enclosure. They can be plugged into your laptop's USB slots and can have almost any dedicated graphics card slotted into them. This allows you to keep your laptop light when you don't need the power.
If you are going to consider buying an E-GPU, it is important to make sure you have the USB slots free.
Differences Between a Gaming and Business Laptops?
Even though the best gaming laptops and business laptops have a higher spec list than you would find inside a normal laptop, there are a few important differences.
Laptops made for business are usually designed to tackle important work tasks.
This means they will have features related to that purpose which include -
Are Gaming Laptops Better Than Regular Laptops?
Gaming laptops are generally better than regular laptops in everything performance-based. Gamers require more speed, power, and video memory to optimize their gaming experience.
Normal laptops do have the edge in battery life, but they suffer under strain, especially for gaming purposes. A normal laptop will also be better when it comes to portability as its parts weigh a lot less than higher end laptops designed for gaming.
Best Regular Laptop for Gaming?
If you have decided you prefer normal laptops but want to buy one that can handle some basic gaming, then you should read our article on the best laptops for Roblox. These laptops are designed to play basic games like Minecraft and Roblox and may even play some higher-end games at a push.
Remember that a regular laptop will always struggle when it comes to playing games that require more graphical ability. To play these games, you should be considering a laptop designed with gaming in mind.
Now you know the key differences between a laptop made for gaming, a regular laptop, and a business laptop. This should make it a lot easier when it comes to purchasing your next rig. Remember that laptops designed for gaming come with a lot more power and a lot more ability but lower battery.
Jake Redman is a UK-born-digital nomad & founder of Ultimate Quality Content, a collective of high-end copywriters formed to provide detailed insight into everything technology-related. Jake is the definition of a man-nerd. He gets excited over things like processor architecture, ray-tracing, & is an avid E-Sports fan, specifically League of Legends. When he isn’t writing detailed tech-related articles, Jake can be found performing fire-breathing shows & wields a dragon staff, or on the sofa playing Mario Kart.