Gaming Laptop Buying Guide

When choosing a gaming laptop, it is important to know the technical specifications. Always put more emphasis on buying a laptop with a good CPU and GPU, as these components are not upgradeable on most laptops.

Even though many PC gamers like to play on their desktop, there are times when you need something more portable. A gaming laptop is a tiny, portable gaming computer with enough processing power for gaming. A gaming laptop is the perfect solution for playing the latest games on the go or at home in a small space.  Similar to the search for gaming PCs, gaming laptops initially appear like normal laptops. However, laptops that are not designed for gaming do not provide the user with a dedicated graphics card.

They often only have a limited cooling system and therefore cannot handle the heat generated during gaming. Instead, you need a gaming laptop if you want to play the latest games on the go. A gaming laptop offers the same gaming experience as a gaming PC with hardware like a dedicated graphics card, effective cooling, and improved specs, but on the go. It can be intimidating to know where to look first, as there are numerous brands and different configurations to consider.

Choose an Operating System

An operating system has always remained the central framework through which we control everything. While Windows has long been the gold standard for computer games, other platforms like macOS and Linux have their place as well.


After a series of releases, Windows from Microsoft has really changed. The latest Windows 10 is an operating system that works quickly and efficiently. If you are one of those gamers who want wide support and compatibility for almost all games, Windows 10 is the right choice.

Apart from the fact that Windows is updated regularly, there are even more reasons to buy a Windows laptop, as the latest Windows 11 is about to be released by Microsoft. Windows will provide users with an easy experience while giving them a healthy amount of choice for custom modifications. So, a gamer who wants to get started right away should opt for Windows.


Linux is not a single operating system, but the core of many, but this popular platform is used by some users who prefer simplicity and the ability to customize many elements. Linux only has about a 3% market share, which is partly why not many gaming laptops come preloaded with it. However, Linux offers a higher level of customization compared to other platforms.

You can install lightweight Linux distributions and even run Android on Linux. Moreover, the state of games on Linux is evolving every day. There are plenty of games that can run natively on Linux. However, you should rather stick to Windows until you know exactly what you are getting into.


The popular Apple patented OS has been admired by users for its ease of use and simple workflow. However, gamers looking to invest in a gaming laptop should be aware of macOS’s limited compatibility when it comes to gaming. Not only is the hardware less supportive since macOS is Apple exclusive but the OS itself is not a steady environment for gaming.

While there are games like Cuphead, League of Legends and Minecraft: Java Edition that run well on a Mac, gamers will struggle to find their favourite games on macOS. However, macOS is a good addition for professional users looking to create a good workflow. Moreover, macOS 12 is the latest iteration and comes with more features. The OS is releasing to the public this year later.

Selecting Processor

The processor is the brain of a laptop and therefore an important component to consider when buying a laptop. All games and applications run on the processor. To play modern games that place high demands on the hardware, you need a really powerful processor. One way to look for a high-end processor is the clock frequencies (GHz – gigahertz). The higher the core speed, the higher the performance of the processor. Of course, you won’t get far with an entry-level Intel Core i3 and a high clock frequency.

An Intel Core i5 or Core i7 with a high clock frequency would be a better choice. Comparing core speeds between AMD and Intel processors can also be misleading. Rather, pay attention to the core speeds between processors of the same series of a certain brand. As games become more advanced, their dependence on cores increases. A laptop with a quad-core processor would be the ultimate in performance. When considering the number of cores in a processor, a similar method must be used as with core speed.

Intel processors are usually recommended for gaming laptops, and that is what you will find in most cases. Look for laptops that come with at least a new generation Core i5 processor. Core i7 series processors offer more features. The latest generation processors are designed to perform better while being more efficient.

Choosing a Graphics Card

Generally, the higher the number of the card, the better its performance. Older laptops may offer a GeForce RTX 20-series graphics card, which is powerful but older than the GeForce RTX 30-series. Ideally, you should invest in the latest technology, as it is not possible to upgrade a graphics card in a laptop later. The most advanced RTX 3080 Ti graphics card can add about $1,000 to $1,500 to the price of a laptop, which means it’s often cheaper for gamers to opt for an RTX 3070 graphics card, which lowers the cost significantly.

Regardless of which graphics card you choose, you should check how much RAM is available on the card. A graphics card with 12 GB of RAM is likely to be more powerful than one with 4 or 8 GB of RAM. GPU RAM, also known as VRAM (Video Random Access Memory), is a special type of RAM that supports your system’s graphics card.

RAM and Storage

The RAM is the memory that manages all background applications and tasks, so it should be enough to run them all simultaneously. Actually, 8 GB of RAM should be enough for a gaming laptop, otherwise more would be better. And buy a laptop where the RAM can be expanded to at least 16 GB to meet the demands of future applications and updates. SSD storage increases the laptop’s performance and response time, and should be at least 256GB for a gaming laptop. 512GB SSD gaming laptop would be a really good choice and HDD would be an added advantage.


There are different levels of portability for gaming systems, ranging from “lift with the knees” to “normal laptop”. In general, the more powerful a laptop is, the less portable it is.

Minimal Portability (17 – 18 inches)

If you want to keep your laptop on your desk at home or simply move it between rooms, a system with a 17- or 18-inch display like the Alienware 17 is ideal. Laptops in this size range tend to be the most powerful because they have plenty of room for heat-generating components. However, they are hard to transport, difficult to fit in most bags, and consume too much power to use for long periods without being plugged in.

Medium Portability (15 inches)

If you want to use the gaming notebook on your lap and carry it around more often, consider a 15-inch notebook like the OriginPC Eon15-S. These systems weigh between 4.6 and 7.2 pounds and have an average battery life of 5 hours and 50 minutes.

Best Portability (13 – 14 inches)

If you’re always on the go, consider 13- or 14-inch notebooks like the Razer Blade. Notebooks of this size typically weigh less than 5 pounds and have longer battery life, with an average endurance of 7 hours and 38 minutes. However, 13- and 14-inch gaming laptops typically don’t come with the most powerful CPUs or GPUs because they simply don’t have enough room to dissipate all that heat.


Screens are often overlooked, but they are of enormous importance. If you don’t connect your laptop to a monitor, you will see all your games on the integrated screen.


Most gaming laptops have 15- or 17-inch screens, but there are also some large systems with 18-inch screens and a handful of 14-inch systems. Which size you prefer is a matter of personal preference, but remember, the bigger the screen, the bigger and heavier the laptop.


Never buy a screen with less than 1920 x 1080 pixels. It’s rare to find a screen with a lower resolution, but if you do, run. 4K screens (3840 x 2160) are an option on some gaming laptops, but you may still need to dial down some settings, especially if you enable ray tracing. More and more laptops are shipping with a 1440p center, which is an excellent choice.

Refresh rate

Most laptops you see have a 1080p resolution and a 60Hz display. And for many gamers, that is absolutely sufficient. Higher resolution screens (2560 x 1440, 3840 x 2160) are pretty, but often don’t achieve more than 60Hz. Therefore, 1080p is the best option for some gamers. Some manufacturers offer FHD displays with a faster refresh rate of 144 Hz, 240 Hz or even 360 Hz for smoother gaming. Of course, to take advantage of these, you’ll need an excellent GPU and you’ll have to play with settings where frame rate is more important than graphical accuracy.

Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync

Some gaming notebooks, particularly on the high-end, support technologies that sync the display with the graphics cards, which eliminates screen tearing and ghosting.

Avoid touch screens

Touchscreens aren’t bad per se, but they are unnecessary on gaming laptops (aside from some 2-in-1 models). They shorten battery life and can make the display overly glossy.


More and more gaming laptops are shipping with OLED display options. These often have slower refresh rates than LED displays, but deeper blacks and more vivid colors. However, some gamers are concerned about the possibility of burn-in with these displays.


You’ll probably spend countless hours pounding away at your laptop’s keys. A good gaming laptop must have a keyboard that can withstand that. You also need to be able to use it comfortably. Pay attention to the key travel so that the keys move easily and aren’t too flat and hard. The keyboard should feel good and provide good feedback. Look for laptops with a backlit keyboard, which will come in handy during long night gaming sessions. Some laptops also have multi-color backlighting for certain keys, which can be customized using built-in software. However, this has more to do with looks than function. Not to mention that these kinds of features drive up the cost.

You can also invest in separate mechanical keyboards that are specifically designed for gaming. They are generally better than laptop keyboards and last much longer. You can even get keyboards with customizable backlighting, which we mentioned earlier. But that’s not all, of course. To get the most out of gaming laptops, you’ll also need to equip them with the right accessories. Keep an eye out for dedicated gaming mice. They offer more features that are very useful while gaming. Gaming laptops also heat up a lot, so a cooling pad can be helpful as well. Next, you should get yourself a Steam account. There’s a great selection of free titles there, as well as great deals that come out every weekend.


Laptops, even the most expensive ones, are not known for offering excellent sound quality. Nevertheless, you should not set your expectations too low. First of all, pay attention to the position of the speakers. If they are under the case and facing downwards, there is a good chance that they will not be loud enough, especially if the laptop is placed on a desk.

Gaming laptops usually have the speakers facing up. Also, check the specs and look for statements like “Powered by Dolby” or “DTS Surround.” The involvement of a renowned audio company is a good indication that the sound quality is excellent.


At the very least, you should be able to upgrade RAM and storage. However, if you also want to upgrade the CPU and GPU, you can do so with some gaming laptops like the Origin Eon 17x and the Alienware Area 51M. However, you will have to pay a higher price for these laptops. They are also much bulkier because they have some desktop-grade components, such as the CPU.


One of the strengths that distinguish desktops from laptops is the versatile connectivity. However, that does not mean that you will not find a notebook with a comprehensive selection of ports. The gaming notebook you choose should have at least three USB ports, at least one of which is USB 3.0.

Since laptops have relatively small screens, you should also have a Mini DisplayPort or HDMI port to connect a larger external monitor. A WLAN card can also be installed, but an Ethernet port is also required to ensure a reliable and uninterrupted Internet connection for online gaming. Other ports, such as the SD card slot and VGA output, are not essential, but still nice to have.

Cooling Mechanisms

A laptop’s cooling system is something that many gamers overlook. Before you click “Buy Now”, you should take a look at the following features: Heatpipe, cooling inlets, and the number of fans. A heat pipe absorbs heat and safely transfers it to the laptop’s fans for cooling. You can examine the inside of most gaming laptops by visiting the product page and clicking on the heat pipe image. This is the heart of the cooling system that keeps the parts cool while gaming.

Most gaming laptops have two fans for cooling. If you find a laptop with more fans, you should check its entire cooling system. Laptop fans need a lot of blades and a high speed to cool properly. For a laptop’s fans to work, it needs ventilation from all sides. Make sure that your possible system has enough vents on all sides to let the air through.

Battery Life

When you play with your laptop, keep it plugged in to maximize the GPU’s performance. If you don’t, your notebook might last for an hour. Aside from gaming laptops, most ultraportable laptops without discrete GPUs last longer than gaming laptops in our tests. A gaming notebook won’t last 8 hours in business. Some may last longer, but the screen suffers, and you don’t want to play on a dark, dim, or inaccurate screen. More gaming laptops support barrel chargers and USB Type-C. The latter won’t be enough for gaming, but it can increase efficiency.


Which laptop brand will you buy? We won’t push you one way or the other, but here are a few things about some of our top brands to think about as you do your research.


Alienware is known for its distinctive spaceship design with otherworldly lighting and offers a solid price-performance ratio with high-end equipment. Outside of the given configurations, however, there is not much room for customization. The company usually offers a 1-year warranty with on-site service after remote diagnostics.


The company’s Republic of Gamers-branded laptops have a sleek stealth-fighter design and impressive features. However, Asus does not offer many customization options. As for warranty, the Taiwanese tech giant usually offers a 1-year international warranty with accidental damage coverage and 30-day Zero-Bright-Dot protection with 24/7 support.


Lenovo notebooks are synonymous with understated design. However, the sleek looks hide surprisingly high-quality specifications that do not burden your bank account. There are 4 to 5 configurations of each model and a one-year warranty.


MSI’s gaming notebooks are often big, black and red, although the company has recently shown with the Stealth Thin that it can be a bit more discreet. Of course, you will always see the trademark Dragon logo. MSI includes its Dragon Center software, which was recently redesigned. It allows system monitoring, multiple performance profiles, fan control and keyboard backlight customization.

Gigabyte and Aorus

Gigabyte and its sub-brand Aorus offer some diversity. Gigabyte tends to be on the lower end of the price spectrum and offers more color options, while the Aorus models are slim and thin. Regardless of which model you choose, you get Fusion software for RGB customization. Aorus units feature Command and Control for easy overclocking.


Acer is known for its affordable hardware, but it has also impressed us with innovations like the ridiculous Predator 21X with a curved display and mechanical keyboard. The PredatorSense app lets you monitor CPU and GPU utilization and adjust the fan speed.


You wouldn’t immediately associate HP with gaming laptops, but the company has made steady strides in the industry with its Omen series. HP’s gaming laptops come standard with a one-year limited warranty that includes free shipping if your system needs service.


When choosing a gaming laptop, it is important to know the technical specifications. Always put more emphasis on buying a laptop with a good CPU and GPU, as these components are not upgradeable on most laptops. You can always upgrade the RAM and storage later. We hope this gaming laptop guide has made it clear what you need to look for when buying a gaming laptop.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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