Are Gaming Laptops Worth It?


Asus ROG Strix SCAR III

Gaming became more popular over recent years, and people of all ages seem to jump on the gaming train. However, many people underestimate the cost of gaming and how much they have to spend to get started. A decent gaming PC that is powerful enough to run the newest game on the highest graphics can easily cost $1,000 or more. Because of this, many people think of buying a cheaper gaming laptop instead. So, are gaming laptops worth it?

Gaming laptops are only worth it if the user needs the portability. A gaming desktop outperforms a gaming laptop in any area and can be upgraded as well. It is only recommended to buy a gaming laptop, if the owner actively takes the laptop to other places, like the park, friends, work, or vacation.

The most significant advantage of buying a gaming laptop is clearly its portability. Most laptops fit in regular backpacks, so it is easy to take them to other places. However, as gaming laptops have more powerful components build in, they tend to consume a lot more power and to heat up a lot.

Because laptops can be taken anywhere, they should be as small and thin as possible. But this results in a smaller space for all the different components. When we put a powerful graphics card and CPU in a small area, the graphics card and CPU will heat up. This is why more powerful gaming laptops are usually a bit larger, as they need enough space to fit all the components and to guarantee enough air cooling.

Desktop PCs usually do not have this problem, as PC cases can be purchased in different sizes, which can easily fit all components while maintaining proper airflow.

Speaking of components, it is a lot easier to upgrade or replace parts in a gaming desktop, than in a gaming laptop. Desktops can be opened (usually) on the front/backside, where the owner can access all cables and components. But with a gaming laptop, it is much more difficult to replace specific parts, as they are harder to access, and not all aftermarket components can fit in the system.

Especially the monitor is a problem, as it will usually stay as long until the owner decides to buy a new laptop, or it breaks. So, if the system features a screen that you do not like or has a low refresh rate, you’re stuck with it. 

Choosing the right monitor for a gaming desktop is super easy, as the market provides many different models, so everyone can find a monitor that fits his needs (high refresh rate, high resolution, ultrawide screens, FreeSync, and G-Sync).

Pros of Gaming Laptops:Cons of Gaming Laptops:Pros of Gaming Desktops:Cons of Gaming Desktops:
PortabilityLow battery lifeFully customizableNot portable
Decently powerful componentsTend to heat up a lotMassive selection of componentsNeeds more space
High screen refresh ratesHigher cost for less performanceStay quiet with a good PC casePowerful gaming PCs tend to consume a bit more power
Fewer options for upgradesEasy to upgrade
Produce a lot of noise Future proof

In terms of performance, there are gaming laptops that can run the newest games on high graphic settings, and high FPS (frames per second). However, such gaming laptops usually cost a lot more and consume a lot more power. The average battery life of a gaming laptop is about 3-5 hours, but it strongly depends on the games that are played. 

Side note: In comparison, regular laptops have a battery life of about 10 hours or more, which is a massive benefit for traveling. Without proper care, batteries drain faster over time, additionally to low battery life. However, there are steps you can take to fix a fast-draining battery.

Building a gaming PC that is capable of running all new games on the highest graphic, plus Raytracing on great FPS, costs about $1,100-$1,300. However, not everyone who purchases a gaming laptop only uses him for gaming. Many people buy gaming laptops for work and school, as they take advantage of the more powerful components.

Is a gaming laptop better than a regular laptop?

Gaming laptops can handle more data and demanding office tasks better than a regular laptop because the more powerful hardware is designed to process more data in a short time. This results in fewer freezes, input-lags, and system slowdowns, which is a significant advantage for work and gaming.

However, regular laptops share longer battery life and less weight, as they don’t have heavy components built-in. On the other hand, gaming laptops last longer than regular models. Gaming PCs and laptops are designed and built to handle current and future game standards, while regular PCs and laptops are more designed to run existing software.

How much should I spend on a gaming laptop?

Gaming laptops can be found for about $600 in online stores, but such budget laptops can’t run new games on high graphic settings. For a laptop that is capable of running new games on max graphic settings, it is recommended to spend around $1,000.

If you are looking for maximum performance, you can spend over $2,000, for example, for the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15. This laptop features an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super, Intel Core i7-10875H, 240Hz IPS Type FHD, Windows 10, and even more.

However, buying such a high-end gaming laptop is quite an overkill, as you can find other laptops that can run the same games for much cheaper. As already said, spending around $1,000 is recommended to get a laptop that lasts for a few years.

Robert Hörgstetter

Hey, my name is Robert, the founder of this site, and I've made it my mission to show you and other people the best games for mobile or console, tips & tricks or how you can save money buying games.

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