Building a custom gaming laptop or customizing one model is not rocket science. However, it is essential to be familiar with common laptop / PC parts that comprise a gaming laptop. If you have experience in using laptops, then customizing one for yourself will not be a problem. Just make sure to go through all the details to confirm that everything that you need is included in the item list of your next gaming machine.
For those who are about to build or customize a gaming laptop for the very first time, here are some tips that will help you to build the optimal system. You might be familiar with some of these things, but going through them once more will not cost you anything but a few minutes.
The GPU: The Heart Of a Gaming Laptop
GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit. Gaming PC’s and laptops should come with high-performance GPUs that enables them to run all the latest games smoothly–preferably at high detail settings. With a gaming machine, the GPU is a make or break thing. There are many important things to consider when choosing a GPU; first of all, it should have its own memory. Normally, off the shelf laptops with integrated graphics do not have dedicated video memory, but for a gaming laptop it is absolutely crucial that the GPU has onboard memory.
It also has to be a GPU from one of the main graphics card manufacturers–NVIDIA or AMD. Both of these manufacturers make excellent GPUs–the tricky part is to choose one that is powerful enough to play all current games at good quality settings. This is easier said than done since these companies change their model names and numbers on a regular basis. A video card from a more recent generation with a higher number is not necessarily faster! Here you will have to be observant, read reviews and research the particular GPU model before making a final decision.
Gaming Laptop Screen Size
This is a mostly a matter of individual preference, as it affects the size and bulk of the laptop as well as the overall experience. However, make sure to research features such as native resolution, aspect ratio, contrast, viewing angle and general quality related matters.
Some would argue that the size of a gaming laptop screen should be at least 17 inches and that bigger is better, as it enhances your gaming experience to play on a large screen. On the other hand, this also poses a problem in the transportation department, and some prefer laptops–gaming or no gaming–small and convenient.
How Much And What Type Of RAM Should You Get?
Random Access Memory or RAM is not directly responsible for the processing power in your computer but ensures that running lots of programs and services at once doesn’t cause lag. Laptop Ram is known as SO-DIMM or Small Outline Dual Inline Memory Module. The current flavor is DDR3 RAM and the capacity is up to you, but a minimum of 4 GB of RAM is recommended in general these days. However, 8GB RAM is good to have to ensure a lag-free environment with optimal response time.
Memory speed is an overrated factor–the difference between 1333MHz and 1600MHz DDR3 is too small to be noticeable in most circumstances.
Processor / CPU – The Mind Behind The Machine
When opting for gaming laptop CPU (Central Processing Unit), make sure to go with the latest CPU on the market, since it will be more power-efficient in general. The choice is mainly between Intel and AMD, and Intel is the current market leader although AMD is hot on its heels with the Llano/Fusion platform. AMD is also the more affordable option, so it might be a good option in a budget system. Also, remember that Intel’s quad-core mobile processors can handle twice the amount of threads (“virtual cores”), so in essence a quad-core AMD CPU is the equivalent of a dual-core Intel CPU.
Hard Drive or SSD – More Storage or More Speed
A room hard drive is always nice to have in a gaming laptop, considering that a single game can take up 50GB of storage space or more. Mechanical hard drives for laptops (2.5″) are available in 1000GB sizes or more, but 750GB is a more common alternative due to form factor issues. One thing that matters is the RPM number (rotations per minute) of the hard drive. A hard drive with 7200 RPM is slightly faster than a 5200 RPM hard drive but none of these options even come close to the performance of an SSD (Solid State Drive).
An SSD is by far the fastest option but also the most expensive and only available in smaller capacities. Therefore, most users opt for a hard drive when the laptop only has room for one drive. If a dual-drive configuration is possible, the SSD becomes very appealing to use as the main/boot drive because of the huge increase in overall system performance.
Mobility with power becomes easy with custom gaming laptops, but make sure that your gaming laptop is up to speed by considering the above factors.