Intel Gamer Days 2019: What to Look for in a Gaming Laptop

0Share
Intel Gamer Days 2019: Gaming Laptop Buying Guide

While the desktop computer reigns supreme for most PC gamers, the gaming laptop is a good alternative for players who travel often. Your large desktop tower (plus accessories) will have a hard time fitting into your carry-on luggage. This is where the gaming laptop shines. Its portability makes it easier for you to play your favorite PC games on a plane or in a hotel room. If your budget allows, a gaming laptop can also be a good addition to your desktop computer. Steam, a popular PC gaming platform, offers a cloud save option so you can start playing a game on your desktop computer and continue it on your gaming laptop. So what exactly do you need to look for in a gaming laptop? 

Processor and Graphics Card

The processor and the graphics card will make up most of your gaming experience (and your budget). NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards are arguably the best options on the market now. With real-time ray tracing, DLSS, VR, and G-SYNC support, the GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards allow you to experience smooth game play. Pairing one with a 9th-Gen Intel® Core™ i5 or i7 CPU would be ideal. If money is no issue, you can get the ultimate gaming experience with a 9th-Gen Intel® Core™ i9 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card.

A good mid-tier build would be the MSI GS65 Stealth with a 9th-Gen Intel® Core™ i7 and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 GPU.

MSI 15.6" GS65 Stealth Gaming Laptop
MSI 15.6" GS65 Stealth Gaming Laptop

If you’re looking to go all out, the Gigabyte AERO 15 features a 9th-Gen Intel® Core™ i9 and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 GPU.

Gigabyte 15.6" AERO 15 OLED Gaming Laptop
Gigabyte 15.6" AERO 15 OLED Gaming Laptop

Screen

There are many elements that go into a laptop screen. The most obvious one is size. A 15.6" screen is considered the standard for gaming laptops, but you could also opt for the larger 17.3" screen; however, you will be giving up some portability because of the increased dimensions and weight.

Resolution is also important. Most gaming laptops still embrace Full HD 1080p, due to the smaller screens. You’ll still get a decent number of pixels per inch (ppi). There are gaming laptops with UHD 4K displays, but it’ll be more difficult to reach higher frame rates due to the sheer power and performance needed. Also, you’re definitely going to have to crank the dpi setting up unless you want to read text on your screen with a magnifying glass.

A screen with a high refresh rate is especially important for fast-paced games like racing, fighting, and first-person shooters. A Full HD 1080p screen with a 144Hz refresh rate would suffice. You should also consider getting a screen with NVIDIA G-SYNC technology. G-SYNC syncs the display refresh rates to your NVIDIA GPU to eliminate screen tearing, as well as minimize stuttering and input lag.

For a 15.6" screen, Lenovo offers the Legion Y7000 with Full HD 1080p resolution and 144Hz refresh rate.

Lenovo 15.6" Legion Y7000 Gaming Laptop
Lenovo 15.6" Legion Y7000 Gaming Laptop

The AORUS 15-WA-F74ADW also offers a 15.6" Full HD 1080p screen, but with a higher 240Hz refresh rate.

Aorus 15.6" 15-WA-F74ADW Gaming Laptop
Aorus 15.6" 15-WA-F74ADW Gaming Laptop

If you want the larger 17.3" screen, give the MSI GL75 a look. In addition to the large screen, the GL75 also has Full HD 1080p resolution and 144Hz refresh rate.

MSI 17.3" GL75 Gaming Laptop
MSI 17.3" GL75 Gaming Laptop

Want to experience UHD 4K? The Gigabyte AERO 17 features a 17.3" UHD 4K screen.

Gigabyte 17.3" AERO 17 HDR Gaming Laptop
Gigabyte 17.3" AERO 17 HDR Gaming Laptop

Want UHD 4K and G-SYNC? The MSI GT75 4K Titan might be the one for you.

MSI 17.3" GT75 4K Titan Gaming Laptop
MSI 17.3" GT75 4K Titan Gaming Laptop

Storage

PC games require a great deal of storage—some even require more than 100GB. While capacity is important, you will also want to opt for a solid-state drive (SSD) instead of a regular hard disk drive (HDD). SSDs tend to be faster when it comes to read and write speeds, allowing you to load games more quickly. They also don’t have moving parts, which eliminates the chances of mechanical failure. If you’ve ever experienced a GTA V loading screen before, you understand the pain involved.

Another option is to opt for a gaming laptop with a lower-capacity SSD and supplement it with an external hard drive. We recommend that you find one with either a USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (20 Gb/s) or Thunderbolt™ 3 (40 Gb/s) port.

The Lenovo Legion Y540 features a 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD.

Lenovo 15.6" Legion Y540 Gaming Laptop
Lenovo 15.6" Legion Y540 Gaming Laptop

RGB: Yes or No?

No, RGB lighting isn’t going to make your gaming laptop any faster or more powerful. But it will let you outshine the competition (sorry). While aesthetics is the main selling point of RGB lighting, you can get some practical use out of it. For example, you can sync your gaming laptop’s keyboard to a supported game to illuminate only the keys in use, or even flash red when you get hit. You’ll be more likely to sync them with other gaming peripherals for a more uniform look. There’s nothing like having your gaming laptop’s case, keyboard, mouse, and headset all pulsating through a variety of neon colors as you take on players in competitive games.

Enjoy the RGB keyboard of the ASUS ROG GL503GE Strix Scar Edition or go all out with the MSI GE63 Raider RGB.

ASUS 15.6" Republic of Gamers GL503GE Strix Scar Edition Gaming Laptop
ASUS 15.6" Republic of Gamers GL503GE Strix Scar Edition Gaming Laptop

Not into the whole RGB aesthetic? MSI offers the GS75 Stealth, a sleek, understated laptop with a thin, light design. The keyboard supports RGB lighting, but you can change it to simple white backlighting or turn it off completely.

MSI 17.3" GS75 Stealth Gaming Laptop
MSI 17.3" GS75 Stealth Gaming Laptop

Additional Things to Consider

Ports
Some gaming laptops will sacrifice ports for a thinner design. If you’re planning to jump into VR with your laptop, you’ll want to make sure your gaming laptop has the necessary ports.

Built-In Keyboard
Gaming laptops also vary when it comes to the keyboards. The keyboard layout may differ, depending on the size of the laptop and the inclusion of the numeric keypad. A laptop keyboard with a keypad means that the keyboard and touchpad will be off-center. A keyboard without the keypad will have a nice centered keyboard, but you’ll be giving up the extra keys. Due to gamer’s affinity for mechanical keyboards, some manufacturers have also tried putting a low-profile version in their laptops, but they are a bit too bulky.

Battery Life
While your gaming laptop should be able to be able to last a few hours on a single charge when running everyday tasks, like browsing the Web or answering emails, playing games will require you to find a power outlet.

Recommended Accessories

Unless you’re aspiring to become that one gamer who played Dark Souls with the Donkey Kong Bongo Drum controller, you probably don’t want to play on your gaming laptop with just the touchpad. At the very least, you will want to purchase a mouse. If you play a lot of competitive multiplayer games, you should also invest in a good headset for voice chat so you can communicate with teammates. You might want to play certain games, usually a console game that’s been ported over to PC, with a controller. Looking to start streaming on Twitch or Mixer? You could use the built-in webcam on your gaming laptop or purchase an external webcam.

Gaming Mice
Gaming Mice
Gaming Headsets
Gaming Headsets

Now that you know what to look for in a gaming laptop, you can join the festivities as we celebrate PC gaming with Intel® Gamer Days 2019. From August 30 to September 8, Intel® and its respective partners will provide unique experiences and deals for the PC gamer. Intel® is no stranger to PC gaming—the unlocked 9th-Gen Intel® Core™ processors are often found in many mid-tier and high-end gaming builds, where gamers can overclock them to their preferences.

Looking for a gaming laptop we didn’t mention here? Please click here for more options.

Close

Close

Close