Five requirements that a good gaming laptop must meet

Five requirements 

that a good gaming laptop must meet

Five requirements that a good gaming laptop must meet

You have it clear, for reasons of space and mobility you want to buy a gaming laptop. You must be clear, first of all, that it is an important investment since if you want to play with all the guarantees and ensure that it will have a long useful life, you should forget about the low-cost models.

I know it may sound contradictory to combine gaming notebooks and low-cost models in the same sentence, but the truth is that it is very easy to understand. Due to the enormous popularity that this type of equipment has acquired, most manufacturers have expanded their catalogs to include, at least, an economic line that includes several models with which to reach the user who is looking for a gaming laptop, but who has a reduced budget.

Within this category, we could include almost all models that have a price (without offers or promotions) between 700 and 800 dollars. All those grouped around this category have things in common:

  • They have 8 GB of RAM, a very tight figure that will end up being insufficient in the short term.
  • They have quad-core and eight-thread processors. As in the previous case, they are enough today, but when the arrival of the new generation consoles takes place, a transition will take place whose end is clear, and that is that we will need a greater number of cores and threads.
  • They mount low-mid-range graphics cards, whose performance is already beginning to be insufficient to play in 1080p with guarantees. GTX 1050 is one of the best examples.
  • They use small size SSDs (256 GB). The tendency of current games to occupy large amounts of space is more than evident, so having an SSD with little space will not bring you more than problems.
  • The cooling system mounted on this type of equipment is obviously not at the same level as that of other higher models. It is true that they normally need to dissipate less heat, but this does not mean that they should not meet minimums.

Choosing a cheap 700 $ gaming laptop, equipped with a quad-core and eight-thread processor, 8 GB of RAM, a 256 GB SSD and a GTX 1050 will allow us to play, today, in 1080p with medium qualities to almost everything, but its useful life is going to be very limited.

Given that a gaming laptop represents a very important investment, and that its expandability is usually very limited (and very expensive), we must fine-tune the choice to ensure that we can take advantage of it for a minimum of three or four years, and to This is why we must look for a team that meets, today, with the following requirements:

1.- A good gaming laptop must have a CPU with six cores and twelve threads

A good gaming laptop must have a CPU with six cores and twelve threads

It is the minimum that we must look for if we want to make sure that the gaming laptop that we are going to buy will have a long useful life.

With the arrival of the next-generation consoles, scheduled for later this year, there will be an exponential increase in the minimum and recommended requirements to play. It may not happen during the first year, but we will begin to notice it considerably from the second year of life when intergenerational developments are less and less.

If we have a quad-core and eight-thread processor we can play, but not optimally. Remember what happened with the transition from the two cores and four threads to the four cores and eight threads. The first stage was present during much of the intergenerational transition to PS4 and Xbox One, and the second during the final stage of both. Well, that is what we are going to live again with Xbox Series X and PS5.

What processors should you look for?  Luckily we do not have to go to the most expensive, from a Ryzen 4 4600H or a Core i7 10750H we will move at an optimal level when choosing a gaming laptop since both processors have a high IPC and add up to six cores and twelve threads. Remember that the Core i5 10 series for laptops have four cores and eight threads.

2.- 16 GB of RAM is the new standard

16 GB of RAM is the new standard

I know what you are thinking, that today almost everything can be played perfectly with 8 GB of RAM, and yes, it is true, but again we return to the issue of the intergenerational transition that will mark Xbox Series X and PS5, and what We explain in detail reviewing what happened in the last transition.

In the stage of Xbox 360 and PS3, we could play perfectly with 2 GB of RAM, and in fact, when PS4 and Xbox One arrived, there was a stage where we could play without problems with 4 GB of RAM, but little by little. the requirements increased to 6GB and eventually 8GB.

Some current games already consume more than 8 GB of RAM, and they only work really well when we have 12 GB of RAM. Well, that same situation is what we are going to experience with Xbox Series X and PS5. We will not see a radical increase in RAM memory requirements in all games, but it will be produced gradually and will end up standardizing the 16 GB.

What should I look for Well, it is very simple, a gaming laptop that has at least 16 GB of RAM. The cheapest models usually mount memories with quite limited speeds (between 2,400 MHz and 2,666 MHz), but in mid-range models, the most normal thing is to find frequencies of 3,200 MHz.

3.- Graphics card: where is the recommended level?

Graphics card: where is the recommended level?

It is a complicated answer, as it depends on the resolution you want to play at. Today most gaming laptops use 1080p screens of different qualities with refresh rates that can range from 60 Hz to 300 Hz. It has been chosen, curiously, to prioritize the resolution-refresh ratio, rather than to carry out a gross increase in resolution.

It goes without saying that a gaming laptop with a more powerful graphics card will be able to take better advantage of a 144 Hz 1080p panel, as it will be able to achieve higher FPS rates that will better fit with that high refresh rate. For example, an RTX 2070 Super Mobile is a good choice if we want to play in 1080p and take advantage of a 144 Hz monitor.

Since most gaming laptops are sold with panels that use 1080p resolution, we are going to stick to that level when leaving you a couple of specific recommendations that will serve as a reference. Please note that these recommendations are intended to ensure good user experience and long service life.

We should not go down from a GTX 1660 Ti to play in 1080p. AMD does not have a direct match. Lower models such as the GTX 1650 Ti and RX 5500 Mobile perform well in most cases but are not powerful enough to guarantee that long life we ​​referenced.

If we are going to use a 120 Hz panel with a 1080p resolution, it is advisable to look for an RTX 2070 Super Mobile. AMD has no equivalent right now.

4.- Storage: HDD, SSD and minimum capacities in a gaming laptop

Storage: HDD, SSD and minimum capacities in a gaming laptop

The storage unit is a point that generates many doubts when choosing a gaming laptop, and it is perfectly understandable, since it is a fundamental component that can affect the overall performance of the equipment, and greatly limit its possibilities and its useful life.

Nowadays, most low-end and mid-low-end gaming laptops use 256 GB SSDs, a capacity that is, by all accounts, insufficient to cover the needs of any character who plays minimally seriously. I'm not exaggerating, a current game easily takes up 60 GB, there are titles, like Call of Duty Warzone, that take up more than 200 GB. Do the math, the numbers don't lie.

Some manufacturers solve this problem by combining a 256 GB SSD with a 1 TB HDD, a good solution as long as the second drive runs at 7,200 RPM. We can leave the space on the SSD reserved for our favorite game, and use the HDD for the rest. It is a good option in a gaming laptop, and quite inexpensive.

In the mid-range and high-end models, the most normal thing is to find yourself directly with high-performance SSDs with a capacity of between 512 GB and 1 TB. To be honest, 512 GB may be "short" ahead of schedule, so I recommend that you look for a minimum capacity of 1 TB.

So what should I look for? The truth is that there are two good options, opt for a gaming laptop with an SSD of at least 256 GB that is supported by a 1 TB HDD at 7,200 RPM or buy a model that has an SSD of at least 1 TB.

5.- Gaming laptop and cooling system: why is it so important?

Gaming laptop and cooling system: why is it so important?

A gaming laptop has high-performance components, and it is clear that these generate considerable heat. If we take into account how tight the internal space is in this type of equipment, we will instantly realize how important a good cooling system is.

If we buy a gaming laptop that produces high heat and does not have a cooling system capable of keeping temperatures under control we may not have problems in the short term, beyond small drops in performance due to thermal throttling, but it is likely that in the medium or long term, some of the components end up suffering irreversible damage. In case this happens we will have to face a very expensive repair, or perhaps it will be more costly to buy a new laptop directly.

As I have indicated above, heat also affects the performance of the computer. The vast majority of current processors and graphics cards use dynamic frequencies that are supported by a turbo mode that increases the working speed if the temperatures and the power are at optimal levels. Hence, a gaming laptop with the same hardware as another can perform more or less than that depending on its cooling system.

What should I look for It is very difficult to assess the cooling of a laptop without testing it, but generally most of the major manufacturers offer details of the cooling systems they use, and that can help you get a rough idea. When you buy your laptop, doing a stress test that takes it to the limit will help you see if it is really capable of keeping temperatures under control.


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