Frame rate drops, slower load times, glitchy graphics. These are all symptoms that your gaming laptop is beginning to enter its golden years. Unfortunately, this is the nature of all gaming laptops. No other hardware is run as hard as a gaming rig. We push our laptops to the absolute limit to squeeze every inch of performance possible. This eventually leads to parts degrading.
This isn't a problem that can be fixed per se. Every gaming laptop and even every gaming desktop will begin to breakdown eventually. When this happens, you will need to swap in faster, stronger parts or purchase a new gaming laptop.
This can be daunting for newcomers to the scene. The thought of these costs can be pretty offputting.
This is a hard question to answer in a straightforward manner. We will look into the exact factors that play into a laptop's lifespan in this article, but you can use this for a general estimate:
Premium Gaming Laptops
Premium gaming laptops like Razer or Alienware will last between 5-6 years. The parts used will be high quality and future-proofed as much as possible.
Budget Gaming Laptops
Budget gaming laptops from brands like HP or Lenovo will usually last between 3-4 years, depending on how hard you run them and how "budget" they actually are.
GPU - Graphics Processing Unit
Your graphics card is the part of your laptop where the magic happens during gaming. This will be the part that defines your gaming laptop as an actual gaming machine.
The GPU converts data into visuals. This means the stronger the card, the better the graphics you are going to get.
Unfortunately, good graphics cards produce a lot of heat. This is easy to deal with inside a desktop. There is a lot of room for airflow and larger fans. You could even get a water cooling system.
In a laptop, temperature control is the biggest problem that gamers face. If parts get too hot, it severely lowers their lifespan.
Finding a laptop from a brand that has a good approach and focuses on cooling systems is a good decision.
Acer, for example, utilizes carbon fiber fan blades and copper sync pipes in their best gaming rigs. These are excellent at dispersing heat.
Remember, the stronger the graphics card inside your rig, the more heat you will have to deal with. For this reason, it can be smarter to opt for cards like the GTX 1660TI over the newer RTX range as the Raytracing cards produce a crazy amount of heat. Any gaming laptop will struggle to disperse this much heat.
If you want to improve gaming laptop performance and keep up with the newest games over the next few years, you will want to pick one with parts that are "Future Proofed."
These parts are at the cutting edge right now, which means they will take longer before becoming obsolete.
You may end up spending more to get the latest generation CPU and a dedicated graphics card from the last two years, but this is the only way you will ensure that your gaming laptop doesn't just become incapable of playing modern games.
This is one of the reasons why you can find older systems with higher specs for relatively cheap. They are a quick fix; they will be great for a few years but will become practically useless for gaming relatively quickly.
Bad Part Synergy
You need to make sure you do your research when looking at a new gaming laptop. Sometimes the part list seems good on paper, but they just don't work well together in practicality.
A strong example of this is if your processor isn't as strong as your GPU. This often happens when manufacturers cheap out on the processor but offer a good graphics card. This may seem appealing, but a weak graphics card will cause a bottleneck.
When this happens, it will cap your other parts at 0-70% of their full ability. This can make a $500 GPU run like a $100 GPU.
Make sure all of your parts are roughly equal in strength and ability for the best possible experience. This will help your laptops last.
Tips to Make Your Gaming Laptop Last
Maintain and Manage Laptop Battery Life
Most people have terrible habits when it comes to their devices' batteries. No laptop battery should ever be left plugged in. This will seriously damage your laptop's battery and, in the future, will ruin your other parts.
Gaming laptops are notorious for having poor laptop battery life, but it is vital that you leave them unplugged once fully charged.
This will drastically improve your gaming laptop's battery life.
Prevent Physical Damage
Make sure that you keep your laptop away from physical harm. This means that you should buy a case and securely transport your laptop.
The inner workings of your laptop are pretty fragile. A serious drop or impact can easily cause important parts to dislodge. This can be catastrophic and may result in your laptop becoming a useless heap of junk.
You should also be aware of the environment that you keep your laptop in. Make sure you keep your laptop out of direct sunlight and away from other heat sources. This can quickly overload your laptop's cooling system, which places a doomsday clock on your rig.
Clean your Gaming Laptop
If you want your laptop to last longer, you should make sure you maintain it properly.
Dust is the number one killer of laptops. Due to the way that the fans pull in air to disperse the heat, they also pull in a lot of dust. The best way to keep on top of this is to clean your laptop of any dust and the surface it is located on.
Every month or so, you should also spray your vents with canned air to dislodge any blockages.
Cooling Pads are Cool
One of the best and most effective ways to ensure the life of your laptop and its parts is to buy a cooling pad.
These cooling pads are cheap and effective. They comprise of a laptop pad that you place your laptop onto as well as several high-powered fans on the base. These fans are much more powerful than those already in your laptop and will help disperse the heat much more efficiently.
Replace the Right Parts
Replacing the parts in a laptop is not as easy as in a desktop. If you are looking into buying a new laptop, it can be a good idea to look for one with additional upgrade slots or easy to access and remove parts.
Some laptops are not designed to be upgraded. If you have a laptop like this, then you will not be able to prolong the life of your laptop with new parts.
If you have a laptop that is capable of receiving upgrades, then you should look at replacing the following after 2-3 years.
Swap to a Monitor
One way you can easily take some of the strain off your laptop is to plug it into a monitor. This means your laptop no longer has to use its display. This will prolong the display panel's life, meaning it will not degrade as fast as usual.
Getting the best possible warranty at the time of purchase is a great way to ensure the health of your laptop for a few years. A good warranty will cover you against most damage, as long as you didn't cause it.
If you run your laptop extremely hard, this means you might be able to have your parts swapped out while the laptop is still under warranty.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Do Gaming laptops last longer than normal laptops?
When it comes to gaming vs regular laptops, the lifespan depends upon your usage. If you did not game on your gaming laptop, it would last a lot longer than a normal laptop. Gamers demand a lot more from their hardware; however, depending on how much you game, the life span may be shorter on a gaming laptop.
How long do laptops last on average?
Normal laptops can last between 2-8 years, depending on their starting ability and your usage. If you only need a laptop to do light browsing and social media, today's modern laptops will be sufficient for many years to come.
Does gaming reduce laptop life?
Running modern AAA+ games is a demanding task that takes a lot of processing power and graphical ability. Game developers are always pushing the limits on what modern hardware can do. This means that the newest games are designed for the latest parts.
Older parts will struggle more and more as time goes on. This means that running a gaming laptop hard will eventually lead to a reduction in life. Unfortunately, that's just the way it goes in the gaming world.
How to Make a Gaming Laptop Battery Last Longer?
There are a couple things you can do to improve laptop battery life. While the battery life on gaming laptops tends to suck, you should always try and unplug your rig when fully charged. Even if this means you simply have to plug it in again later. You should also avoid leaving it charging overnight as this overcharge can lead to battery problems.
The world of high-end gaming is an expensive one. This is the cost that we pay in order to play the newest and most exciting games.
The price tag attached to most gaming laptops is enough to put newcomers off. However, these rigs are vastly superior to regular laptops in every way.
They will make everyday tasks a lot easier for years to come, make viewing content a lot more pleasurable, and most importantly, they will keep you in the hot-seat, fighting aliens, racing supercars, or shooting your friends in the back.
In our opinion, they are worth every penny.
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.