I must confess that it's been a while since I've delved into hardware, and that was back when it was easy to compare processors and graphics cards against eachother. While I'm doing a crash course on getting myself to speed, I was hoping perhaps you folks could help me with a burning question...
Later this year I want to slurge out and get a decent rig to play games on (since my current PC is starting to show its age), but I've also been considering perhaps going for a gaming laptop as opposed to a PC, as the mobility would be rather nice as my work sometimes takes me away from home for some time. I'm sure there'd be a premium to pay for this, however I'm really not clear on how much a premium this would be, or more importantly, whether the mobility is worth the extra cost to me. I guess to get my question more consise:
If I was to buy a PC for £850-1000, how much could I be expected to pay for a laptop which would match the performance of a PC that sort of money could get me?
If you're talking just the tower, no OS included in the cost, an equivalent laptop would cost close to $2500 or more. Gaming laptops are a ripoff, but it's the price you pay for portability.
For example, i seen a ~1500 gaming laptop that still doesn't beat my Desktop PC. I built my PC a little of 2 years ago for ~1500.
There are laptops that game decently at under~1k. That little 11' Alienware is a little beastie and it's about ~1000, the mx11 i believe.
As for my advice in a nutshell. If you think it's worth about a grand for you to game while not at home then by all means do it. Otherwise get more for your money by building a Desktop machine. I personally wouldn't buy a gaming laptop, but i don't travel much, i spend too much time gaming at home already
sometimes up to double depending on whats in the laptop, also bare in mind your stuck (usually) with whatever video card you get, even drivers are a bitch to update (usually force/mod drivers) - desktops are so easy to upgrade, hell my old Q6600 rig i can give it a new video card 2 years later and it will perform as good as a new rig (stock i7 920 vs Q6600 @ 3.5ghz - not too bad for the age) - cant say the same for laptops.
Comes down to wether you need it for portability - if not then get a desktop.
If you want high-performance gaming, you should build/buy a gaming PC. They have more future-proofing (easier to swap out parts) and have better gaming performance overall. You also have the advantage of multiple and large monitors.
Gaming laptops are built mainly for people who are on-the-go a lot, and they're also handy if you go to a lot of LAN parties. Based on numbers I've seen before (2005 figures), a decent laptop was purchasable for $2000 while a comparably-equipped PC ran for about $1000.
As you go up to the high-performance models, a $2000 laptop has most of the modern amenities (i7, large 17" WUXGA or UXGA* screens, a top-of-the-line graphics card, a heap of HD space, and a decent load of RAM). For the same $2000 price tag, a gaming PC can have the same card in CrossFire or STI with more RAM and, of course, multiple optical drives and hard drives.
* WUXGA = 1920x1200; UXGA = 1920x1080 ("full-HD")
*Edit*: Oh, and not to mention, the high-performance gaming laptops weigh a ton. Your shoulders and/or back will hurt after a while, unless you grab a rolling laptop bag for it. There's also the heat problem, which plagues some laptops more often than others. On the other hand, desktop gaming PCs usually have better heat control which leads to better performance and a longer lifetime of your computer components.