What to look for in a gaming laptop in 2023- (Detail Buying guide)

Though many gamers still prefer PC to play games, when it comes to portability there is no contest for laptops, as it contributes to playing games on the go which is highly in demand.

Having a beast-powerful configuration in a gaming laptop is a dream to many, and if you establish a proper gaming laptop according to your gaming needs, it has the capacity to even provide you with a desktop-like experience.

Buying a gaming laptop is not affordable for everyone, honestly over the years with growing competition gaming laptops’ prices are reduced immensely.

Before initiating a discussion on laptop gaming setup, let me tell you that it is not necessary to build an expensive structure, as a lot depends on your use and which game you play on the laptop so let us differ on What to look for in a gaming laptop.

Also Read: Best gaming laptop with a display port 

Minimum requirements to play games on a laptop

What to look for in a gaming laptop

Below are quick system requirements to play games on a laptop, these are the especially good specifications for users who are looking for the best affordable gaming laptops and if you want to run heavy games you can consider recommended requirements.

  • Processor: 10th gen intel i5 or Ryzen 5 
  • Graphics card: Nvidia GTX 1650, RTX 3050, or AMD Radeon RX 5500.
  • Ram: 8GB DDR4 with an upgradable slot up to 16GB.
  • Storage capacity: 256GB SSD with the upgradable slot.
  • Display size: 15.6″ to 17″ with Full HD resolution.
  • Refresh rate: 120hz or above.
  • Battery life: up to 3 hours.

Recommended requirements 

  • Processor: 10th gen intel i7 or Ryzen 7 or above.
  • Graphics card: Nvidia RTX 3060 or AMD RX 6600 and equivalents.
  • Ram: 16GB DDR4 with an upgradable slot of up to 32GB
  • Storage capacity: 512GB SSD with the upgradable slot.
  • Display size: 15.6″ to 17″ with Full HD or  QHD resolution 
  • Refresh rate: 144hz or above.
  • Battery life: up to 3-5 hours.

What to look for in a gaming laptop



Before beginning your search for the best gaming laptop setup, you need to determine what you are going to do with the laptop.

Queries like Are you looking only to play games, or do you want to use it for high-end work, are the most typical question you must ask yourself.

If you play basic games especially AAA titles up to 2018 you can set up a gaming laptop on a budget easily, whereas if gamers like to play 4K games on high settings in this scenario you have to configure a powerful gaming device.

If you are skimming for work such as editing, programming, and designing.

Let me tell you unless and until you are not doing high-end work where a lot of graphics and animation is involved you do not need to set up high specs gaming laptop.

Editing work requires more CPU for processing & uploading, and yes rendering uses GPU power yet if you work on basic software and edit 1080 videos you can manage with a regular laptop that has a powerful CPU with multiple cores, 8GB ram & SSD drive.

For designing too if your laptop delivers good visuals and accuracy in colors, you do not need a gaming laptop set up, just a 2GB dedicated graphics card and 100% Srgb color gamut enough to assist you in designing work.

So let us conclude for designing work on animations and graphics you need a powerful laptop, the same goes for editing work on 4k where a lot of animative color-accurate images are involved, for this profession suggestion is to go with high gaming or content creator laptop.


Best Graphics card for gaming: 

is graphics card necessary for Solidworks

The best laptop setups for gaming, need a dedicated GPU but is it really necessary to choose RTX laptops? so let us find out the myth around the Dedicated graphics card.

Before going into such details if you do not familiar with which brands are available in the market, let me tell you, for graphics cards a few popular brands are AMD, Intel, and Nvidia.

Among all, you should consider the Nvidia graphics card as you have multiple choices when it comes to dedicated graphics cards into the laptop segments.

Whereas Intel has not yet started with their dedicated GPUs and AMD has some great video cards but they are limited in the market, Nvidia ruling the GPU section and they have some powerful GPUs for gaming.

For instance, while considering an affordable gaming laptop, there are chances laptops come up with an Nvidia 2GB graphics card.

Some of the lists are MX150, 250, 350, and 450, now these are decent for certain works for example video editing but not optimized for playing games.

However, if you play basic games such as Minecraft and Roblox you can push your gameplay with a 2GB graphics size, as playing Minecraft does not demand graphics power as much as other games do.

Another very popular game among gamers is GTA 5 this game requires graphics for sure, if you are on a low budget, you can manage the game with 2GB GPU as the minimum requirement is 1GB.

Though I firmly believe that for smooth gameplay Nvidia GTX 1650 is a must, and for triple-A games, up to 2018 GTX 1650 is recommended GPU, however, you can pick even higher modules as well.

When it comes to gaming setup there is no such term as a beginner, as performance entirely depends on the game you are going to play on the device.

Moreover, there are many laptops that are presenting RTX 30 series GPU, the latest modern games are very power-hungry that utilize GPU a lot and the latest requirement is higher, for instance, cyberpunk 2077 runs smoothly on Nvidia RTX 3060.

Overall Nvidia RTX 3060 is something that is ideal for a future-proof setup and anything above this is going to make your gaming performance smooth especially for streaming you can consider a higher-range GPU.


Conclusion on GTX  Vs RTX laptops:

RTX laptops are excellent at any given time but again if you are looking for budget gaming setups then you have to toil to discover a laptop for smooth gaming.

The GTX 1650, 1650ti, and 1660ti are the most reasonable choice, as on this GPU you can play games such as GTA5, Fortnite, and apex legends.

Whereas for modern games Nvidia RTX 3060, 3070, and 3080 are the popular choices for gamers.

Moreover when it comes to AMD, for entry-level gamers AMD Radeon RX 5500, RX 570, RX 590, and RX 5600 XT are a few amazing choices, these are some of the equivalents to GTX 1650 and for high-end gaming, AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT, 6700 and above is what you should aim for.

Also Read: is 400mbps good for gaming 

Best Processor for gaming laptops

After GPU what is necessary for a laptop is its rugged CPU, so Yes a good processor is needed for gaming, and for that matter for regular work as well, you can not ignore a good processor for laptop gaming setups.

Let me tell you, to run heavy applications and software, the CPU plays an influential part and these gaming applications are quite heavy therefore gaming devices are built-in with a separate GPU & CPU.

So, a combination of CPU & GPU is going to be a decisive factor in your gaming machine, However, if you are not aware of laptop technology then it’s quite confusing which brand of CPU is best for playing games.

For instance, a popular name in the market for CPUs is Intel for obvious reasons it’s one of the oldest and still produces the best CPU that performs really well.

Now in the last few years, Intel is getting good competition from AMD Ryzen CPUs, and they are rising in the market.

In fact, many gamers nowadays prefer AMD Ryzen laptops over Intel, overall both are excellent to pick but for a gaming laptop, AMD has the slightly upper hand and if you look for work and gaming then Intel is also a good choice.

AMD is making some of the most affordable CPUs in the market, on a budget their most popular processor are under 900 dollars.

Their prevalent choices are Ryzen 5600H and 4600H both of them designed with 6 cores, whereas above 1000 dollars you get 8 cores efficient CPU like Ryzen 7 4800H, 5800H, and above.

When it comes to Intel, there are many emphatic picks you get but they are a little costly, in a similar range around under 800 dollars you get 4 cores CPU from 9th gen intel i5 to 10th gen intel i5. 

However, in recent times 12th gen intel processors and Ryzen 6000 series processors launched in the market, and Intel performed better than Ryzen yet as discussed you have to spend above 1200-1500 dollars to get 12th gen CPUs.

Moreover, for a budget between 1100 and 1500 dollars, you can get 11th gen intel processors with 8 cores which are a pretty amazing performer in gaming.


Ram memory: 

How much ram do I need for game development

Good memory asset is a must for executing all your applications smoothly and also if you like to do multi-tasking which most of us have to do while working, we all intend to keep multiple tabs open.

On basic games and triple-A games up to 2018, 8GB ram is enough but when it comes to high-end games you must consider a minimum of 16GB ram, For powerful and flawless games on 4K  you can also consider 32GB ram.

However, this is not a very tough component as most of the gaming laptops come with 8GB ram support which offers an upgradeability option from 16GB to 32 GB.

Some of the brands do provide extendibility up to 64GB, so the higher the upgradability is better for playing heavy games.

Also, make sure to get a laptop with DDR4 memory technology even if you play very basic games DDR4 is a must. if any laptop has DDR3 memory better to avoid it, DDR5 technology also hit the market so it is also an alternative for faster gaming.


SSD Vs HDD which is better for a gaming laptop?

What is an SSD on a laptop

A few years back HDD is what we had in laptops and Pcs, while you compare both HDD and SSD.

They have the same job which is to save your files and data permanently, as a 1TB HDD allows you to save massive files, whereas SSD too allows you to save heavy files and data.

The SSD is a more acceptable preference for any type of notebook, as with storage it also helps to boot the speed of the machine, you get up to 10 levels of improved speed which is excellent for gamers.

Though SSD laptops are pricier than HDD yet you have to go with SSD, moreover, you get options in gaming laptops where few devices provide both storage HDD & SSD which can also be a good pick.

As it allows you to save heavy data easily and SSD boosts your laptop’s speed, now how much storage space you need in a gaming laptop.

Casual gamers and users who rely on one game can consider 256GB SSD, whereas if you are someone who likes to explore multiple games 512GB SSD drive should be enough space.

Moreover, it also depends on the budget if you are spending above 1500 dollars 1TB SSD always adds a lot of value to your setup.


Importance of Display and Refresh rate

Usually, displays for gaming laptops should be top quality with a high refresh rate.

As all gaming experiences are dependent on display size and refresh rate also should never be neglected.

As the combination of both is going to decide the comfort of gaming, many laptops have a Full HD 1080p resolution and some are available with high QHD display for playing 4K games.

For instance, 1080p is enough for your gaming, and if you want to go for a higher resolution you can, as if the display resolution is good means you can get sharp and clear pictures that can enhance your gaming.

The display sizes for normal laptops are available from 11” to 17”, ideally for gaming, you should choose between 14” to 17” gaming laptops.

Here if you are a student who has to carry a laptop along with you, 14” can be a good pick as firstly it fits into your bag pack easily and due to the small screen, it will be slightly lightweight which makes it easy to carry.

While larger displays make your gaming experience better and a minimum of 15″ is considered good for gaming as you get better viewing angles.

Also Read: What is MUX switch in a gaming laptop

Refresh rate:

The refresh rate of the screen is measured in hertz, the higher display frame rate is better for gaming as you can see quality pictures, images, and videos continuously at a faster pace.

You get to see a 60hz to above 300hz refresh rate in a gaming laptop, however, 60 is the lowest and can give you decent performance for low-end games.

Though if you really want to do pro gaming at least a 120hz refresh rate is a must, however ideally 144hz is most pleasing whereas you can not see a slight difference between 120 and 144, so if you want to see a big leap in performance you can consider 240hz to 360 screen refresh rate.

Also Read: Are gaming laptops worth it 

Designer Backlit keyboard:

Is a mechanical keyboard better than a laptop keyboard

Each and every gaming laptop provides a backlit keyboard but there is a budget gaming laptop that comes with one backlighting keyboard which is no doubt decent for gaming but if you are spending on an expensive gaming laptop.

You should consider 4 zone backlighting keyboard for more comfortable usage and also it creates an excellent atmosphere around you, allowing you to do all the tasks easily in darker areas.

Moreover, there are laptops available with a mechanical keyboard, though it’s limited and pricier as well, yet as gamers, you accumulate adequate responsiveness while playing games as these are made with different switches that act quickly compared to membrane keyboards.

Also Read: Best gaming laptop with a mechanical keyboard 

Cooling technology:

Gaming is a heavy task and laptops for gaming come with dedicated GPUs these laptops intend to heat up quicker than some of the regular laptops.

To counter this problem brand comes up with different types of cooling technology, your laptop’s cooling factor depends on how heavy your games are and the intensity of the games.

In cheap gaming setups, you get average technologies whereas in slightly expensive devices you will have advanced technology, however, you can counter this issue with separate cooling pads.

As nowadays we have many adequate cooling pads available that provide protection for your gaming laptop that keeps the machine less heated during heavy gameplay.

Moreover, you should always pick a machine that has multiple fans and a venting system that reduces temperatures, most budget-friendly laptops come with dual fans make sure the fans have placed in the opposite direction so they can manage airflow efficiently.

The models like Lenovo Ideapad and Acer nitro make the best cooling gaming laptop that organizes the thermals, whereas for a budget above 1000 dollars you have many alternative like Acer predator, Lenovo legion, Razer blade, and Dell Alienware laptops.

Lastly, the latest technology like vapor chambers proven to be very effective, but again the cost is broadly promoted in these laptops.

Also Read: Gaming laptop with good cooling technology

Battery life:

To be very honest you cannot expect the battery to perform as normal laptops, as due to high-end tasks battery drains quickly however few laptops come with longer battery life above 8 hours.

While this is the estimate given by brands as a lot depends on your usage if you play games at a high setting battery drains faster and lasts up to 3-4 hours.

However, for good gaming setups, if you get 3-5 hours of battery, you can consider buying a gaming laptop as it is the average battery life for gaming needs.

Also Read: Gaming laptop with good battery life 


This is the most important element of all what is a sufficient budget for a gaming laptop?

Well as I discussed many times more than budget and brand, gaming laptop setup depends on you, and which game you want to play.

For instance, if you have a limited budget and you want to play the game on 4k at high settings, it is not recommended to buy a gaming laptop with a GTX graphics card as it does not support your game.

Gaming laptops are available from 500 to above 3000 dollars, you can choose laptops as per your gaming needs.

However for AAA games up to 2018 you can choose budget options with GTX 1650 to 1660ti but for high-end games, RTX 30 series laptop should be your choice.

Dedicated RTX gaming laptops are available from Mid budget to expensive ones, lastly, if you play 1080p games you can play on GTX 1650 as well, these are available at affordable prices.

The GTX 1650 and RTX 3050 are the most affordable gaming laptops available from 610 dollars to above 900 dollars, in this range, you also get RTX 20 series GPU like RTX 2060, 2070 which is also a pretty powerful graphics card.

Whereas for RTX 3060 you must have spending power up to 1000 to 1200 dollars whereas for RTX 3070 to 3080 you can get these laptops around 1500 to 3000 dollars depending on laptops to laptops.

Frequently asked questions: 


Do you need a Mouse for a gaming laptop setup?

Yes, you should have a separate mouse for playing games, Well this is an interesting debate about whether to have a mouse while looking for a gaming laptop.

However, this is more to do with you, a few of us are comfortable handling all the tasks just by using the laptop’s keyboard and touchpad.

And some of the others may still be comfortable with the mouse, for instance, it’s not a bad choice to have mouse support, though it all depends on your comfort and it provides a much better responsive gaming experience.


Which is the best gaming laptop brand?

There are many top-rated brands available in the market that makes the best gaming laptops for you but again rather than the brand you need to focus on specs, apparently the specs and features are paramount to your laptop’s performance.

Some of the best gaming laptop brands are Asus, Acer, HP, Dell, MSI, Razer, Lenovo, and Alienware.

All of them have created their own customer base due to fast performance and strong build quality.


What is the best affordable gaming laptop?

There are various options available in budget gaming laptops, my pick is Lenovo Ideapad 3 gaming laptop as under 650 dollars it offers you good specifications.

It is equipped with Hexa core Ryzen 5600H processor, Nvidia GTX 1650 graphics card and 8GB ram, 256GB SSD drive both are upgradeable up to 16GB and 1TB SSD respectively.

Additionally, you get a 15.6″ screen with a 120hz refresh rate you can play even modern games at good settings.


Can you add storage to a gaming laptop?

Yes, you can add an extra drive to increase gaming laptop space almost all the brands provide an upgradability option, make sure to read through the specifications as how much you can extend depends on each laptop, on average you get up to 1TB of upgradability easily.


Final words:

Hope this article What to look for in a gaming laptop supports you to know about each element of how to choose a laptop for gaming, While concluding we suggest you not compromise on the technical aspects of gaming devices.

As it’s an investment that you are going to utilize for a long time so it has to be durable yet performance is also the key factor.

If you get a good CPU, GPU, ram, and storage capacity with a pleasing display and refresh rate other specs do not create a big difference, moreover since its gaming laptop cooling system also needs to check before taking a big decision.

Also Read:

Are gaming laptops good for everyday use 

Fix Why FPS drops when the laptop is unplugged 

Can you use the laptop as a monitor for an XBOX one

Best laptop for the world of warcraft 

Best laptop for playing sims 4 


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