For most people looking to get into PC gaming, the first crossroad is: should I get a laptop or a PC? The benefits of a laptop are quite clear, but will performance be an issue? Will I be able to play all the games I want to on a laptop?
We have compiled a list of the benefits of each so you can make the right choice. The debate between laptops and PCs purely depends on budget and situation – both options are great for different reasons, and if you buy a good laptop or PC, you shouldn’t have too many issues either way. Let’s discuss the benefits of both options.
Benefits of a gaming laptop
The most obvious benefit is that you can move a laptop around. If you are travelling or living in more than one location, then having a laptop is ideal. Even within your home, if you want to use your laptop in multiple locations then you can, whereas a desktop will require more effort, and in some cases might be impossible to transport.
Most people don’t know how to build a PC, or how a PC works. A gaming laptop is a complete package, which you are guaranteed will work. If you try and build a PC, or buy a pre-built PC, there is a risk that some of the parts might not work too well, and may require some tricky fine-tuning.
There is plenty of choice between laptops too, and some solid budget options. You can find a laptop such as the Razer Blade 18 for over £5,000, but then plenty of ASUS laptops for under £700, which will be able to run almost all games to an excellent standard.
Benefits of a PC
A high-end desktop tower will always trump a laptop in terms of performance, and any area of performance can be improved even further. Even the most advanced laptops will still fall short of some mid-range desktop towers for this reason. The main drawbacks of laptops are often a small memory and low RAM, which are not always straightforward to upgrade. You will need an external hard drive to increase your memory, and for RAM, you will need to open the laptop up to replace the sticks – which with some gaming laptops cannot be done.
For most regular games, a laptop is sufficient, but if you’re looking to play with top-tier graphics, and even introduce some mods, then a laptop could start to suffer. Furthermore, the requirements for games are increasing all the time. A few years ago, 4GB was sufficient, but now 8GB has become the minimum for games, and 16GB is starting to be recommended as a standard amount. In five years, your laptop could be seriously deficient in RAM. A PC can easily upgrade the RAM, whereas, for a laptop, you might need to purchase a new one.
Gaming laptops can also get very hot, and inevitably this can be an issue. There are stands which can help with this, but the heat will inevitably contribute to wear and tear of the machine, especially if you are using it frequently. A PC is always cool, and some of the high-end models are even water-cooled.
While laptops can be a lower base price, a desktop PC will normally be cheaper if you build them from scratch, and source the parts yourself. And even if they do end up being more expensive, a PC will be more cost-effective as the inevitable upgrades to your hardware will cost you less.
However, take note that pre-built desktop PCs can be overpriced, so make sure you fully investigate the parts inside the pre-built PC, and whether there has been a significant price markup.
In conclusion, most games will run perfectly well on a laptop, especially if you choose a slightly more expensive 16GB model. But a PC is still a top choice for gaming aficionados.
We recommend that you buy a laptop if you:
- Need to move around a lot
- Are not concerned with elite-level performance
- Want to get set up quickly and correctly
We recommend you buy a PC if you:
- Want the best performance possible
- Want a product that can be freely upgraded and adapted
- Have an office or proper desk