Buying a Gaming Laptop? Here is What You Need to Know

As young gamers have grown into working adults, they have more income to spare and more expectations for their PC specifications. The ideal PC will allow them to keep up with the latest games while offering high frame rates and quality definition. Although it seems like the trend to set-up or purchase a complete gaming desktop, many gamers, both long-time and budding, are looking to buy gaming laptops instead.

Times have changed, and using a laptop for gaming is no longer disapproved of, thanks to the huge improvements in their quality. Several years back, laptops didn’t allow for much customization, and their systems couldn’t handle what desktops could. Indeed, laptops of today allow more room for custom-building, although not to the same extent as desktop computers.

If you are looking to splurge on a gaming laptop, there are models that are built with complete and replaceable graphic cards – a sign of new, innovative progress made in tech today. has some of the best gaming laptops on the market. But before you look through the fast-growing variety of laptops that are available, here are some quick criteria to help you identify what you need in a gaming laptop.

The games you play

In our first two criteria, we assume that you’re looking for a laptop for gaming purposes. Thus, a very important but simple question is: what games are you looking to play?

A few games focus more on their entertainment factor, rather than on the quality of their graphics. Examples include Overwatch, Minecraft, WoW, and League of Legends – games that may not serve the most impressive graphics but are popular for being highly entertaining.

This is not to say that works of art can’t be produced without intensely sharp graphics – games like Undertale, Stardew Valley, and Hollow Knight consist of pixel art or have a nostalgic retro feel to it. 

If the games mentioned so far are the ones you tend to play more frequently, and you know you won’t be playing games like Cyberpunk 2077 (which has exceptional graphics) then you won’t have to spend so much on your gaming laptop.

Games with strong graphics will require a much more powerful graphics processing unit (GPU). Laptops with better GPUs often cost a bomb, and just like desktop computers, it is among the most costly, yet important parts of the laptop. Laptops with mid-grade GPUs are sold at much more affordable prices, while still packing a punch in other functions.

On the other hand, if you intend to play the latest games with strong and sleek graphics, be prepared to spend a lot more on your laptop. There are models capable of smoothly running these games, but remember that the finer its performance, the higher their cost will be.

Finally, take note that some games have been designed to run optimally on only one type of graphics technology. There are many games like that, including those like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which performs better on NVIDIA graphic cards than on their AMD counterparts. For the best gaming experience, try to research on the graphics technology that certain games were built for, as this will determine the GPU you want in your laptop.

Buying a Gaming Laptop? Here is What You Need to Know
Gaming laptop specs matter

The specs you need

The second criterion requires you to think about other activities you will be doing on your laptop. Here is a list of most common activities done on the computer, each matched to the specifications required for optimal performance.

  • Opening emails: Nearly all laptops can serve this function
  • Working online: Additional RAM of at least 16GB. If you tend to play games while leaving browser tabs open, consider increasing your RAM further.
  • Photo editing: Computer processing unit (CPU) – Intel i7 or i9
  • Rendering videos: CPUs – Intel i7 or i9, or the AMD Ryzen 5 or 7. GPU – Nvidia RTX 2070 or 2080
  • Streaming or viewing 4K HD videos: a more powerful of GPU – RTX 2060, or its AMD equivalent
  • Video calling: Quality GPU, and any high-definition webcam.


With so many specifications you want in a gaming laptop, having to decide on a budget is a painful but necessary step before deciding on the model of your choice. Be sure to prioritize the features you want the most on the laptop – this will make it easier to scrap some of your less ideal choices. More importantly, they will help you decide which features to abandon without feeling too bad about it.

As a general guide, high-end laptops begin at a minimum price of around $2500, those in the middle tend to cost anywhere between $1200 to $2500, and the most affordable ones range from $700 to $1000.

Recommended Gaming Laptops

Here is a recommended list of gaming laptops by some of the most popular names on the market. Their prices range from expensive to affordable, each with a concise list of features to differentiate them from the rest.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus

The Zephyrus laptop by ASUS boasts one of the sleekest designs amongst today’s gaming laptops. The trackpad is combined with the number pad, nudging users to use a gaming mouse if they want to. Additionally, the keyboard has been shifted to the very front, so that you don’t have to rest your perspiring hands on the PC during gaming sessions.

The design makes it more convenient to use the wrist rest and to plug in a keyboard if you prefer to. The laptop is designed to handle games with sharp graphics, accommodating high frame rates with ease. At a price of $3299.99, some of its best features are:

  • RTX 2080 graphics card
  • 32GB RAM
  • Storage: 1TB
  • Intel i7 processor (9th generation)


The Strix II by ASUS is a standout amongst mid-range gaming laptops. Despite its more conventional design, the PC comes with a vibrant RGB gaming keyboard, which a classic feature of gaming PCs. Promising a competent gaming experience, this model includes features such as:

  • RTX 2070 graphics card
  • Intel i7 processor (8th generation)
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD

The laptop has ray-tracing features and can accommodate a maximum of 60 frames per second. Anything more than that is a struggle, so you may not be able to go beyond 60 fps, ultra settings, for games like Modern Warfare. However, this frame rate still meets the minimum standard for a sleek gaming experience, giving you good value for its price of $2099.00.

MSi GL Series GL65

The MSi GL Series GL65 is similar to the GL73, with some downsizing made to its features, of course. The laptop’s features are the following:

  • GTX 1650 graphics card
  • Intel i5 processor (9th generation)
  • 8GB RAM
  • Storage: 512 GB NVMe SSD

This laptop may not allow you to multitask at the same speed of higher-end models, so just bear in mind that you may struggle to do streaming on this PC. On a bright side, the laptop doubles as a great PC to get work done. The majority of games, including Cyberpunk 2077, can be run on this model – you will just have to play at medium settings. Sold at a sweet price point of $800, the MSI is great for those who are just getting into gaming.

Gaming laptops have improved vastly in their performance, with some of the best features to ensure a smooth gaming experience for customers. With just a little research into your favorite games, as well as the specs you need to carry out other tasks on the computer, you’ll be able to settle on your desired laptop in no time at all.

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