When it comes to gaming, one of the debates that have been going on for years, and still persists, is whether you, as an avid gamer, should choose a gaming laptop or a desktop rig. Of course, this debate wouldn’t have surfaced in the past, because it was when desktops were an inevitable part of any gaming enthusiast, while laptops were simply used for performing just regular computing tasks. However, with brands offering a wide range of gaming laptops, in different budgets, the competition between the two devices has grown in recent years.
Though you might love playing your favorite games on a large screen, enjoying every aspect of it with great sound and amazing graphics, you might also at times wonder if a gaming PC would be a viable investment, a good one at that, if not better. To help you make your decision, here is a guide on gaming laptop vs. desktop, the various factors to be considered before making your buying decision.
Gaming Laptop vs. Desktop [Detailed Guide]
Of course, whenever there is a battle between laptops and desktops, the very first aspect of consideration would be portability, and the obvious winner is the laptop. This applies to game laptops as well. While portability is a straightforward strength of gaming laptops, the machines often came equipped with less capable hardware when compared to desktop rigs. But, this is not the case anymore, because several modern gaming laptops are both powerful and portable.
If you are a professional gamer constantly participating in tournaments, purchasing a gaming laptop would be the right decision. In this case, even if you happen to like a machine that is heavier, it is most likely to be lighter than a gaming desktop, which makes the laptop the winner anyway. Not to forget, the hassle of having to carry all the peripherals, including the cables, keyboard, etc. along with the desktop, which gets eliminated with using a gaming laptop.
In order to analyze the performance of a gaming rig, you need to look at both the CPU and GPU specifications. In fact, the performance of a gaming laptop or desktop is way more vital than portability, especially if you are into competitive gaming. In terms of the CPU for gaming, what you need is at least a quad-core processor, and a processor with a higher number of cores will only improve the machine’s gaming performance. As the number of cores increases, so will the power of the CPU, which in turn generates more heat, and gaming laptops may not be efficient enough in cooling quickly and adequately.
When it comes to the system’s GPU, both gaming laptops and desktops score equal. With a gaming laptop, you have the option to use an external GPU, or eGPU, which basically connects your device with an external graphics processor (one that resides outside the machine) through a high-speed connection, thereby enabling you to attain adequate bandwidth to process the required graphics to play your games with proper quality. With a gaming desktop, as you would be aware, you have the option to completely change the existing GPU for a more powerful one.
One of the most attractive features of a gaming desktop is the level of customization it allows you to perform. With some basic knowledge (and a few tools) about computer and its hardware components, any user would be able to rip apart a gaming desktop to equip it with components they desire. From the memory to storage to CPU and GPU, you can customize or replace anything and everything you know will be required for your gaming needs.
On the other hand, while their compact nature is a huge selling point for gaming laptops, it turns out to be a hindrance when it comes to customization. Due to their compact size, those machines do not usually come with additional space where you can install upgraded components; furthermore, disassembling a laptop is also not widely recommended, since all of the components are built-in.
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Storage is another important feature required to ensure smooth gameplay. With most of the latest games requiring ample storage space, this is something you cannot overlook. While today’s gaming laptops come equipped with decent sized SSDs, their compact and portable size, once again, makes it impossible for you to add additional SSDs or HDDs for your extended storage needs. However, you can choose to use external storage. With a gaming desktop, you get sufficient space to install more SSDs or HDDs and enjoy a better gaming experience.
It is an undeniable fact that the display of your machine can actually make or break the whole gaming experience, making it immersive or otherwise. As far as gaming laptops go, you will be able to find models that come with different screen sizes, offer full HD displays, and some also come with 4K displays, with great refresh rates as well. While this will certainly give you an immersive gaming experience, the edge that gaming desktops have in terms of the display is that you can use any monitor you like and also multiple ones to add to your gaming experience.
Of course, your overall gameplay will never be authentic and immersive without amazing sound quality from the device you use. Fortunately, modern gaming laptops come equipped with excellent and advanced sound systems to deliver incredible sound output, just so you can enjoy your games to the fullest. With a gaming desktop, you always have the option to choose from a variety of sound output options, allowing you to transform your room into a full-on home theatre. And no gaming laptop can compete with the sound output you can get from a surround sound system connected to your gaming desktop.
When pricing comes into account, it is well-known that you can build an entire gaming desktop from scratch for an amount less than what you would spend on a top-notch gaming laptop. If you are into advanced gaming, you should know that you wouldn’t be able to get a proper gaming laptop for under $1000 which can handle all the latest industry-level games.
Which Should You Choose?
Perhaps the huge advantage of going with a gaming laptop is that it is an all-in-one machine, one that comes with all the necessary components and peripherals built-in, can be used anywhere, and the perfect choice for travelers. On the other hand, gaming desktops allow you to customize it to your liking and are budget-friendly as well. Ultimately, the right answer to this question depends on individual users.
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