As someone how was recently researching laptop specs and lamenting this exact question of whether to buy a gaming laptop or a normal laptop, here’s what you need to know.
What’s the difference between a gaming laptop and a normal laptop?
Aside from obvious differences like power and design that go in favor of a gaming laptop, they also usually have a better, longer-lasting battery, a higher screen frequency or refresh rate, and a sturdier body but are also (much) more expensive. They’re built for gaming but will make average Joe’s life much more enjoyable and efficient even if he/she is only using it to browse the internet or watch movies on Netflix.
Graphics card (GPU)
Most new gaming laptops come with a powerful Nvidia Geforce RTX graphics card. It’s a nerd’s wet dream, and it can run the latest AAA titles on the highest settings. But it can also make your video editing software run at lightning speed.
Gaming laptops come equipped with an i5 or i7 high-end performance processor from Intel. The powerful processor makes the game run and loads smoother. The same goes for your apps, and especially the resource-hogging Google Chrome browser. If you’re like me, you probably have a dozen tabs open at any given time, and I don’t mean in bars.
I wouldn’t buy a laptop, gaming or not, without at least 16GB of memory to make it somewhat future-proof. Memory is the most important component in my eyes, and you shouldn’t skimp on it. You can always upgrade your (gaming) laptop with more physical memory if needed.
Hard Drive (HDD)
All of the components that I’ve mentioned above make your computer run fast and smooth, but if you have a slow hard disk, you might still see some lag between apps. Luckily, gaming laptops come with a so-called SSD hard disk, a solid-state storage device that is faster and more power-efficient than a conventional, spinning disk, hard drive. That being mentioned, gaming laptops actually have both types of hard disks inside the – SSD that you’re using for games, movies, apps, and normal HDD that you can use to save other types of data, like photos or documents.
Should you buy a gaming laptop?
From my (recent) experience, I can tell you that now that I’ve used a gaming laptop for the first time in my life, there’s no going back to a regular laptop. Although I won’t use my new (gaming) laptop primarily for gaming, instead of everyday tasks like writing, YouTube, and Netflix, the ease of use and speed is a gamechanger.
The same graphics and processing power that can open and run the newest blockbuster games like Cyberpunk 2077 is also used to run the Google Chrome browser and various apps and Windows Explorer.
Opening windows, switching between apps and browser tabs is seamless and makes me smirk even as I’m writing this and thinking about it.