Gamers of all ages and levels of professionalism are found everywhere as gaming has become one of the most popular forms of entertainment, even providing careers for those who are serious about it. Understandably, the specs they need in a laptop will differ based on which aspects are most important to each individual.
Many gamers still prefer a PC over a laptop and have set up a dedicated gaming area at home. There are many good reasons why a desktop is a better choice than a laptop if you game a lot. However, some people want a laptop so that they can get together with friends for a social evening of gaming or because they can take it with them wherever they go and play anywhere. We highlight the optimum requirements for a gaming laptop, mostly avoiding the minimum requirements, as the former will provide the best gaming experiences.
The foremost decision confronting the buyer of a new laptop is whether to go for an integrated central processing unit (CPU) or a discrete graphics processing unit (GPU). There are differences between GPUs for laptops and desktops. For normal, daily tasks, the integrated CPU in a laptop will cope adequately. Laptop CPUs are gaining in performance. However, as we are looking at laptops specifically for gaming, a discrete GPU is almost certainly what you want, given that most games are designed for this.
Currently, your options are the AMD and Nvidia series. AMD offers the Radeon RX 6000M series, which caters to entry-level gaming, mainstream gaming, premium gaming, and top-of-the-range VR with the highest settings graphics (RX 6300M, RX 6700M, 6800M, RX 6850M XT). AMD is also primed to release a brand-new discrete GPU series during 2022. Nvidia’s latest series is the RTX 30- (from RTX 3050 to RTX 3080 Ti). Naturally, prices increase as you move from entry-level to top-level gaming GPUs. You can find some options to consider at https://www.lenovo.com/gb/en/faqs/intel/intel-graphics/.
The 12th Gen Core from Intel was released in 2022 and is thus the latest on the market at present. Anything with a model number that starts with less than 12, don’t settle for it. You are better off waiting until you can afford the 12th Gen Core, or better yet, the Core i7 CPU or Intel Core i9-12900HK. Keep in mind that you cannot upgrade the CPU.
If you can only get the 8GB that comes with a GTX 3050 or 3050 Ti, you should consider a GTX 3060 or higher. These models may come with 16GB, which is what you really need for gaming. In some cases, the RAM can be upgraded but rather start with the recommended 16GB than settle for the minimum 8GB.
You may not have to choose between a solid-state drive (SSD) and a hard drive (HDD) as many gaming laptops provide both, with the SSD acting as a boot drive. A 1TB HDD may be paired with a 128GB SSD. A bigger HDD, such as a 2TB, is possible with an upgrade, but check first that your laptop allows upgrades. It will cost less to upgrade the HDD substantially than a small increase in the SSD.
Unless you use a monitor, the laptop screen will determine what you see. The 15 or 17-inch screens are the most common. Before going bigger, bear in mind that the screen size will increase the weight and size of the laptop.
The minimum resolution required is 1920 x 1080. While 3840 x 2160 is available, it can be problematic with ray tracing, So, it is better to settle in the middle with a 1440p.
The optimum is 1080p resolution and a 60 Hz refresh rate display. If you prioritise frame rate over graphical fidelity, couple this with a powerful GPU to make the most of higher frame rates between 144 Hz and 360 Hz.
You may want to stay away from touch screens as these overtax the battery, which is already low on a gaming laptop. Games were not designe with a touch screen in mind.
Monitor panel types include VA, TN, OLED, and IPS. OLED display options of 120Hz refresh rates don’t provide much benefit. IPS displays with better refresh rates are already being manufacture. Up to 360 Hz is find with IPS panels and faster displays.
These specs will help you find the best laptop for gaming.