How to Choose a Gaming Laptop

Between the GPU, CPU, screen and keyboard, you’re buying a whole rig when you get a gaming laptop. Here’s how to pick a good one.

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  1. This was a really helpful guide for people without much laptop experience. I thought you covered a wide variety of relevant topics.
  2. I got a laptop with the 1060 3gb, and while the 3gb isn't great, I have learned that it's the same GPU as the 6gb version just with the RAM cut down...unlike the desktop cards.

    For CPU I have the i5 6300HQ, which I'd say is the minimum for a decent gaming laptop. Less than 4 physical cores doesn't really cut it in many games, especially with the low clock speeds most dual core CPU's have.

    RAM, my laptop has 16gb, 8gb built in and a slot that takes up to a 16gb chip for a max of 24gb or DDR4 2133. This should be plenty for a while.

    The laptop came with a 1tb HDD at 7200rpm, but it had an open M.2 slot which I put an 850 evo 500gb in immediately.

    The down side has been the screen, while 1080p, it was a TN panel and not a very good one. I've since upgraded it to an IPS. I don't have gsync, but I'm told that is either a BIOS or driver limitation and not because of the GPU.

    This is my laptop:
    https://www.amazon.com/FX502VM-Gaming-Laptop-NVIDIA-i5-6300HQ/dp/B01LXO0PO2/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1531157774&sr=8-6&keywords=asus+fx502vm&dpID=41RQViYVZQL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

    Got a nice deal on the price on Black Friday.
  3. A touchscreen kills battery life??? It's just another mouse input, yo.

    And yes you can upgrade the GPU on the some laptops, if it has a thunderbolt port.
  4. I disagree with "never get lower than FHD resolution.

    For 1050 GPU 720P Screens will work perfect and will be a cheaper option.
  5. If I was buying a gaming laptop I would buy one with a great screen and a fast CPU with an integrated GPU. Then buy one of those separate External Graphics Card Docks. You can put whatever GPU you wanted in there and could readily update your GPU. This would give you a great laptop for everyday use and when you thought you needed to game somewhere you could bring the External Graphics Card Dock.
    Questions for people who game on laptops:
    1) Are you always plugged in when you game? Percentage of time.
    2) Are you always at home when you game? Percentage of time.
    3) Do you always know a head of time that you will be in a place where you want to game and would bring your External Graphics Card Dock with you? Percentage of time.
    4) Percentage of time gaming vs other computer usage.
    5) Do you game with a mouse/controller, I couldn't imagine anyone gaming with the trackpad?
  6. Also, don't buy a gaming laptop.
  7. Thin and light gaming laptops are awesome if u have the money and well designed.
  8. I think recommending laptops with Thunderbolt 3 ports would be a good way to extend the longevity of laptop by adding the option to connect an external GPU (eGPU).
  9. AnimeMania said:
    If I was buying a gaming laptop I would buy one with a great screen and a fast CPU with an integrated GPU. Then buy one of those separate External Graphics Card Docks. You can put whatever GPU you wanted in there and could readily update your GPU. This would give you a great laptop for everyday use and when you thought you needed to game somewhere you could bring the External Graphics Card Dock.
    Questions for people who game on laptops:
    1) Are you always plugged in when you game? Percentage of time.
    2) Are you always at home when you game? Percentage of time.
    3) Do you always know a head of time that you will be in a place where you want to game and would bring your External Graphics Card Dock with you? Percentage of time.
    4) Percentage of time gaming vs other computer usage.
    5) Do you game with a mouse/controller, I couldn't imagine anyone gaming with the trackpad?


    External docks are not mobile. plus , After Nvidia Decided to make The Mobile GPU the same Chip of the desktop GPU , the External Docks became not needed at all.

    Besides , External docks are very expensive and if you put the money in a better Gaming Notebook that would be a better solution.

    and finally , The external dock only uses 4 lanes , and not 16 lanes . The Thunderbolt bandwidth is not good enough yet. which means , the internal GPU will be faster . unless you want something more than GTX 1080
  10. emeraldsmines1990 said:
    After Nvidia Decided top make The Mobile GPU the same Chip of the desktop


    There is an interesting thing about that. The mobile 1060 3gb isn't the same chip as the desktop part. The 1060(m) 3gb is actually the same chip as the desktop 1060 6gb, but with 3gb VRAM. I wasn't aware of that when I bought my laptop with the 1060 3gb, but after doing additional research, I was pleased to see that while the desktop parts naming is disingenuous, the mobile parts are as the naming scheme implies.
  11. Where are the 12"-13" laptops with FHD and 1050 (or Kaby-lake G)? I bought the GS43VR last year (alienware 13" was barely smaller), but it's still too big. All I want is an x230 with 1050-level GPU. And no, 2-in-1 is not an option (looking at you, surface book 2...not safe doing tech support)
  12. mathew7 said:
    Where are the 12"-13" laptops with FHD and 1050 (or Kaby-lake G)? I bought the GS43VR last year (alienware 13" was barely smaller), but it's still too big. All I want is an x230 with 1050-level GPU. And no, 2-in-1 is not an option (looking at you, surface book 2...not safe doing tech support)


    Then wait for the next nvidia GPU Gen to come with lower power and higher performance.
  13. I have an Alienware 15 R3 with 4K screen, i7-7700HQ, GTX 1070, 32GB DDR4-2400, 512GB PM981 M.2 and 1TB Samsung 850 Pro, Intel Wireless 9260, and I absolutely love it!!

    I upgraded the following myself: Upgraded the RAM from 16GB to 32GB, replaced the data drive (HDD) with a SATA SSD, switched the Killer Wireless 1535 to Intel 9260.

    Best laptop I've ever owned!!
  14. LordConrad said:

    Best laptop I've ever owned!!


    I suspect your laptop gets pretty warm with that GTX 1070 in there. Have you repasted your CPU and GPU?
  15. AgentLozen said:
    LordConrad said:

    Best laptop I've ever owned!!


    I suspect your laptop gets pretty warm with that GTX 1070 in there. Have you repasted your CPU and GPU?

    No. The laptop gets warm but not overly so, the heatsink and fans are doing their job nicely.
  16. Completely not mentioning a) screen types and their considerations or b) how size correlates to cooling/noise/throttling is a letdown for a gaming laptop article
  17. "Never get a gaming laptop."
  18. Now I'm going to do it because you told me not to.
  19. I’d be happy with a laptop that doesn’t require disassembly just to upgrade any of the drives, RAM, or wi-fi card, or battery.
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