Custom Gaming Laptops – Five Things You Must Consider When Building a Gaming Laptop
Since there are so many customizable components in these laptops, a standard practice has been to create what some call a “system builder.” This is the page where you get to add and subtract components through drop-down menus in order to create the best gaming laptop computer for your needs and your budget. This type of page can be overwhelming to someone just starting the gaming laptop shopping process, but it is very manageable if you take it just one component at a time.
The Gaming Laptop GPU
This is the heart of a gaming laptop computer. The GPU (graphics processing unit) is a component that will make or break your gaming experience. If your GPU isn’t up to snuff, your games won’t play.
Without getting into specific models since they change all the time, the key is that the graphics card not share resources with the computer. A gaming laptop video card must have its own memory on board. Generally speaking, standard off-the-shelf laptops will not have this feature. The two current makers of laptop video cards are nVIDIA and ATI.
In a gaming laptop computer, size is everything. Most gaming laptops are large, robust pieces of electronics. Having a machine of this stature means you also get to have a large screen. The best gaming laptop computer LCD screens out there are at least 15 inches. A crowd favorite is a 17 inch widescreen (even with the challenges that widescreens present). Largr 19 inch laptop screens are just starting to be talked about with consumers expecting to see 19 inch or even large models on the market in the near future.
The best way to really get a feel for what laptop LCDs are all about is to take a trip to a local box store and play with the LCDs on the display laptops while keeping in mind what you have read here. While these laptops are not custom gaming laptops, you can see what the sizes really look like, what different resolutions look like, and what the viewing angles truly are so you can start to develop your own preferences.
The RAM – What Type and How Much?
The RAM (random access memory) found in laptops is called SODIMM (small outline dual inline memory module). The RAM is responsible for your processing power. If you are shopping for a custom gaming laptop, you will generally be offered DDR2 RAM with the choice of how much you want in your computer. Most high-end games being released today need 1GB of RAM for optimum, lag-free game play. Some people are going with 2GB to ensure that they can run multiple applications along with the game and not experience any slow down in response time. This is a large investment and you want to be able to use this gaming laptop for some time in the future. Most custom laptops are user upgradeable, but this should be left up to professionals.
The CPU – Not Just Mobile Technology
The CPUs (central processing units) found in many custom gaming laptops are identical to those found in desktops. These chips require a great deal of cooling power, which in turn can make your laptop louder than light weight, lower power ultra portables when the fans kick on and it can become somewhat warm to the touch. Don’t be alarmed by this — it is normal. And with these desktop processors comes screaming power! Don’t waste your money on the latest CPU release that likely has an inflated price tag (and that price will likely come down before long). Stick with a current CPU speed that is offered by a reputable custom gaming laptop reseller, and you really can’t go wrong.
The Gaming Laptop Hard Drive
This is the final component to consider when building a gaming laptop. Laptop hard drives come in a variety of speeds and capacities ranging from 4200 to 7200 RPMs and 40 to over 100 GBs. For the most part, this is user preference. Whenever possible, go for a 7200 RPM hard drive, but if you need a capacity not offered in this speed, it’s okay to go for the 5400 RPM drive. Take a look at your current computer, and buy your capacity based on this. Also keep in mind that with many custom gaming laptop manufacturers, you have the ability to upgrade or add another hard drive at a later date.
At the end of the day, gaming laptop computers are all about power. Don’t expect a twelve-pound notebook with a desktop processor, numerous fans, a giant heatsink, and independent video card to last on battery power all that long. But do make sure to enjoy the jawdrops that you’ll get as you walk into your regular LAN party location with your new, screaming-fast gaming laptop computer. Crack that puppy open, fire it up, and stand clear of the drool as you take on your favorite game with fellow gamers gathered around to take in the action. Gaming is not just for desktops anymore!