Moving down the list of price points from high to low you will see graphics card and display features determine much of the price differential. Knowing how to compare NVIDIA GeForce video cards helps find value in laptops for gamers.
The latest batch of mobile gamer rigs have full-on desktop GPUs in the build, qualifying them as VR-ready. Mobile gaming rigs with GTX 980 desktop cards hit market in the generation prior. Budget-minded gamers should check out SKUs with a GTX 1060 for VR gaming.
Lower-tier mobile gaming rigs use M-class NVIDIA cards, which are lighter in weight, energy consumption, heat emission, and performance compared to their desktop counterparts.
What about laptops with SLI? High-end gaming laptops have SLI graphics card configurations, NVIDIA jargon for connecting two or more graphics cards to a single motherboard. Capable of pushing pixels at 60+ fps (frames per second) onto ultra-high definition displays, elite models like MSI GTX 1070SLI and GTX 1080SLI laptops run two full-on desktop GPUs and command over $3,500!
If youre looking for SLI laptops under $1,000 check for refurbished deals. The prices get close to that mark for dual GTX 970M cards.
Are there any gaming laptops under 500? Tight-budgeted gamers find value in refurbished machines on sale under $500. They boast modest but legit gaming specsGTX 950M GPU and a 15.6-inch, 768-pixel (HD) display. Use the filters on the left side bar to specify price range, and usually a handful of choices will be present under $500.
Which CPU for laptop gaming? The vast majority of laptops for gaming have a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor. A few low-budget choices have Intel Core i5 CPUs. The Skylake (6000 series) architecture is solidly mainstream for new models. Clock speed ranges between 2.40 2.70 GHz, a touch slower than desktop counterparts.
Intels laptop CPUs have letter designations at the end that signify additional features:
Storage drives: Laptops use 2.5-inch SATA III storage drives. A 7200 RPM 1 TB HDD is standard for onboard storage in gaming notebooks. Higher end models will include a SSD in tandem for the OS and your main gamesthe titles that you want performance boost when running. Super high-end gamer laptops have 1 TB SSDs in them; 512 GB and 256 GB represent the mid-range, and 128 GB the entry level.
Wireless: The latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity is ideal for multi-player online gaming, which is ubiquitous in new models of gaming laptops.
System memory: 16-32 GB of RAM is standard across the board. Laptop memory uses a small online form factor (SO-DIMM) something to be aware of should you upgrade laptop RAM later.