Do You Know How How to Choose the Best PC or Notebook Gamer? When you think of gamer "equipment" such as PC, controller, keyboard, mice in general, a chassis full of colored lights comes to mind, angular patterns that make it look like a Transformers robot and a transparent side that leaves the interior visible and shows a bunch of parts that seem to have cost the value of a popular car. The idea is not entirely wrong, as many think that a chassis full of lights and “aggressive” looks means better performance and hardware. Still, some gamers prefer to have something a little more “friendly” and may want something lighter, more discreet and more portable.
So, if you are one of those who want something less flashy but still able to play the most modern games with quality, you might want a Notebook Gamer. Gaming laptops are lighter, more portable and increasingly come with features and hardware that ensure you can play the latest games in full HD quality or up to 4K and 60fps.
- Quick FAQ
- What is a Gamer Notebook?
- How Much Does a Notebook Gamer Cost?
- What should I think about when buying a Notebook Gamer
- Best Notebook Gamer
- Besides GPU and Screen, what should I look for?
Can a conventional notebook be used for gaming?
A conventional notebook can run games but it won't be as good at it because of its hardware limitation. For gaming, a dedicated notebook is best. But, it also depends on which game you want to run in it.
What is a gaming notebook?
The main difference is that gaming notebooks are designed to handle heavy tasks like CPU and GPU demanding games, while regular laptops are designed to handle everyday tasks like browsing, typing documents, creating presentations, etc.
How long does a gaming notebook last?
The short answer is that a good mid-range gaming laptop will last 3-4 years. For high-tech models, it can last from 4 to 6 years. In terms of its physical components, you can expect up to 10 years of use. But it's likely that your gaming laptop won't be able to keep up with all the software updates until then.
What is a Gamer Notebook?
No, it's not a notebook that plays professionally at championships or is streaming on Twitch and is cursing at your mom when you're better than him at a particular game. A gaming notebook, or gamer, is very different from normal notebooks, because of its configuration and powerful technical specifications to match them to PCs or consoles.
- They are designed to be performance intensive compared to normal ones, with only average performance used for standard tasks like spreadsheets, internet or streaming videos.
- Gaming notebooks have specially designed high-speed fans and cooling systems for efficient processor and graphics performance.
- Gaming notebooks have state-of-the-art dedicated graphics cards, but regular notebooks have integrated graphics.
- They have fancy stuff, like RGB backlit keyboards, high-quality screens, “stylish” designs, and so on.
- Gaming notebooks have a higher price compared to regular notebooks.
- They have high power consumption processors, so they have less battery life compared to the 12 hour battery life of low power notebooks.
If you want to use the laptop only for work purposes, such as surfing the web, using the office, editing photos, etc, then look for a conventional notebook as they have better battery life, are lighter and are perfect for people who want something more basic and cheaper. If you like games, buy a gaming notebook as it can run anything you want, but they are heavy and have a shorter battery life and will discharge faster.
How Much Does a Notebook Gamer Cost?
However, the question remains: How much should you spend on a gaming laptop? What should you know about them? What values and settings should we prioritize when buying new equipment. It's important to think about this when buying a gaming notebook before getting carried away by the coolest chassis or by the colorful signs in the stores saying “it's the best”.
First, we have to define exactly what your needs are and how to fit them within the budget you have available for this project. If you want a complete device, already assembled from the store, prices can range from R$3.000 to R$15.000 or more! The sky's the limit, especially these days with pieces of hardware getting more and more expensive because of the cryptocurrency mining boom. By the way, you can read a little more about it in this news from our site about PNY SSDs.
A gaming notebook has more sophisticated hardware parts and therefore it is more expensive than regular laptops. And the variety of parts, makes and models in this gamer category is huge. So, you have to decide if you want a notebook that can play at full HD resolution (1080p), with the minimum settings in most titles, or with the maximum quality settings in simpler games. If you want to play in 4K with 60 FPS and make the most of the quality of current games.
Let's think about some important points of the gaming notebook before we continue. Do you want a basic notebook to play HD quality at 30fps? Not picky about graphics capability, just want to play the latest games? You might want an average notebook that offers a smoother frame rate, ranging between 30 and 60 fps, at high or maximum settings with a better quality 1080p screen? Do you want one with more capability to play in 4K quality, 60fps spiked and still play VR games?
What should I think about when buying a Notebook Gamer
What storage unit will you use? A traditional HD? An SSD? In general, SSDs provide more speed than traditional HD, but have a shorter lifespan than a conventional HD, as well as being more expensive. Some notebook gamers tend to come with fast storage drives, like SSD PCI Express drives, but it's going to be pretty expensive if you want one of those.
An SSD today, with a storage capacity of 1tb, can range from R$800 to R$1600, depending on the brand, model and your desire to find cheaper prices. Want to know more about HD or SSD? so see this article about HD and SSD our website that will explain how they work and this one about SATA vs M2 SSDs to understand what will be the best option for your notebook.
And your screen? The notebook has a built-in screen, and if portability is your issue, you'll want a good screen that can keep up with your data processing capabilities and run games smoothly. After all, if you're going to be using an external display, it's better to buy a PC yourself. Some gaming notebooks support QHD (2.560 by 1.440 pixels) or 4K displays for more modern gaming. Let's talk a little about each part of your notebook and help you choose a good option.
How to Choose a Video Card for Your Notebook Gamer
The main attribute of a gaming notebook is its graphics card (the GPU). We don't consider a laptop as a gaming laptop unless it has, at the very least, a modest card from Nvidia or (less commonly) AMD. A quick crash course for the uninitiated: In general, the higher the number on a GPU series, the more powerful it is. For example, a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 will produce higher frame rates and higher quality graphics than an RTX 3070 and so on.
Nvidia is the dominant company in the field today, producing simpler offboard GPUs that build on their microarchitecture called “Ampere”. Ampere GPUs are sold under the GeForce RTX 30-Series name (ie RTX 3070 or RTX 3080) and are included in gaming notebooks from early 2021. This platform replaced the previous generation built with the microarchitecture called “Turing”, although you can still find these 20-Series GPUs (eg the RTX 2070) at online retailers on some laptops released last year,
Unlike previous generations, the high-end Nvidia Turing and Ampere GPUs available in laptops are designated as GeForce RTX, instead of GeForce GTX. An indication that they already have the ability to play games with the technology ray tracing, that the platform offers for enhanced visuals in games that support it, such as, Resident Evil VIII: Village.
That's how we got to the GeForce RTX 2080 (Turing) and RTX 3080 (Ampere) models for laptops and desktops. With the Turing line of cards, we found that notebook GPUs were very similar to their desktop counterparts, while cards with the previous “Pascal” architecture for PCs and notebooks had a considerable difference. Unfortunately, it was again a bit tricky to compare them.
The RTX 30-Series GPUs, built on the Ampere architecture, for desktops perform remarkably better than their notebook counterparts and there can also be some considerable variation in performance between the same GPUs from one laptop to another.
Among the more modest Ampere architecture cards are the GeForce RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti, the latest additions to the lineup, which were released in early 2021. These two GPUs are available on a more modest budget and in more entry-level gaming laptops (or in the basic configurations of more expensive machines), taking Nvidia's new Ampere architecture and especially ray tracing to a simpler gaming notebook. An RTX 3060, on the other hand, occupies an intermediate space between these two GPUs, being between an entry-level and advanced graphics card.
Below the RTX 3050, things get a little more complicated. Before the launch of the RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti, three Turing-based video card models occupied the space below the RTX 3060 for you to choose from if you wanted a gaming notebook and you had a good budget available: The GTX 1650 and GTX 1660 GPUs Ti, which were launched in 2019, and the GTX 1650 Ti, which was launched in 2020.
These GPUs offer good HD gaming performance, but without any benefits of RTX like ray tracing. They are based on the same generation architecture as the RTX GPUs, but lack the ray tracing cores and are cheaper, making them suitable for low-end machines. They remain good options for now, despite new GPUs released throughout 2020, especially for low-end gaming notebooks.
Although the RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti are starting to replace them in many cases, you'll also see, for example, the GTX 1650 Ti being used in simpler gaming laptops like the Razer Blade Stealth 13, and in non-gamer laptops. games, but that can benefit from some graphics performance, like the Dell XPS 15.
Notebook Gamer with AMD Card
Although Nvidia is still the number one company in the GPU arena, there is clearly an increase in the use of the products of its main rival, the AMD, on certain gamer notebook models. A growing number of gaming notebooks currently offer Radeon RX 5000 Series GPUs, among others, as an alternative to Nvidia models. Radeon's GPUs are sometimes combined with an Intel processor, although AMD GPUs combined with AMD processors are getting more frequent in the market.
Dell and MSI, for example, were offering some machines with an integrated AMD CPU and GPU. In addition, AMD, at Computex 2021, introduced a new lineup of off-board GPUs with the Radeon RX 6800M, RX 6700M and RX 6600M that are expected to start being used in high- and mid-range gaming laptops in the second half of 2021.
Even with all the above complexity, there are still some basic conclusions to be drawn about graphics performance. A single modest RTX-class GPU from Nvidia will allow you to play the latest AAA titles on a 1080p screen with full graphics enabled (and it would still be possible to play in virtual reality).
In addition, 30-Series Ampere GPUs (particularly the RTX 3080) have made gaming at 1440p and 4K quality smoother and much more viable, even with ray tracing enabled on some titles, on a gaming notebook than before . The most demanding games might not hit 60fps in 4K with ray tracing depending on the laptop, but it's much more viable to be able to play both on with these options above now than a year ago, for example,
In the past, the power of an RTX 2080 or RTX 3080 would seem overkill for 1080p gaming, but several new factors can use that extra potential from your GPU. A trend among high-end machines is a high refresh rate screen built into the laptop, which allows high frame rates to be displayed in full to smooth the perception of the game.
So which GPU to choose?
There are several reasons to opt for an RTX 2070 or RTX 2080 (although you can still find them in stock, it might be a little more difficult), RTX 3070 or RTX 3080, even if you're playing in full HD resolution ( 1080p) and it won't be too difficult to get to play good games with good quality.
We'll save a lot of details here, but Nvidia is also implementing a rendering technique called DLSS to help ray tracing run smoothly on less powerful hardware, like the RTX 3050, with less loss of quality. So you won't be unprepared for more advanced games with good graphics quality if you can't afford high-end GPUs.
DLSS support, however, only applies to a small group of games so far. Nvidia's G-Sync and AMD's FreeSync technologies are more practical. They help to increase the quality of the gaming experience and smooth out frame rates by allowing the laptop screen to rewrite the screen image at a variable rate that depends on the GPU output (rather than the screen's fixed rate).
Look for support for one of these technologies if you're a fan of perfectly rendered visuals. These technologies, collectively known as “adaptive sync,” are becoming more common, but tend to show up on more expensive machines, with G-Sync being the most common among games.
In addition to the Graphics Card, also think about the screen
In addition to a powerful GPU, to enjoy the benefits of a good gaming notebook, you need a screen with a high refresh rate for more demanding games. You'll be able to identify laptops like these through sales jargon in advertisements such as “120 Hz, 144 Hz or 240 Hz screen”. A typical screen on a laptop runs at a frequency of 60 Hz, but most gaming notebook models will normally have a screen of more than 100 Hz in this regard.
A 144 Hz screen is currently the most common, but we're also seeing some 240 Hz and even 360 Hz options on expensive models, so they can display over 60 Fps in games (eg up to 144 fps in the case of 144 Hz screens). This makes gameplay feel smoother, but only high-end GPUs can exceed these limits in many cases. But the hardware has to do it.
Also, the aforementioned ray tracing (think real-time lighting and reflection effects) requires a good amount of processing power, and the more games that implement this technology, the more you'll want to be able to turn them on. For now, they're a factor in only a few AAA games, like Battlefield V, Resident Evil Village, and Metro: Exodus.
Let's tell the truth here: No matter how good a gaming notebook screen is, it won't give you the full potential of your GPU. All gaming notebooks have two GPUs, one built into the motherboard and one dedicated gaming GPU. As long as you use the integrated display, the notebook leaves the dedicated GPU turned off and uses only the integrated card. Otherwise, your notebook battery wouldn't last even an hour. So, with that, it is almost mandatory to use an external screen to get the most out of your gaming notebook.
Perhaps, if you still want to use the integrated display, the best option is to look for a model with the QHD display (four times the traditional HD definition with a resolution of 2.560 x 1.440 pixels or 1440p.), a feature you've had to pay attention to in the best laptops for gaming. A growing number of manufacturers are releasing devices with 1440p monitors, even on more modest gaming laptops.
These models can hit the sweet spot for many gamers: an experience better than 1080p without charging too much for it and have the raw power needed for a 4K screen. You can expect really high refresh rates on these panels too, depending on the model.
Best Notebook Gamer
Razer blade 15
|CPU:||7th Generation Intel Core i10|
|GPU:||up to Nvidia RTX 3080 Max-Q|
|RAM:||up to 32 GB|
|Fabric:||Full HD 360 Hz, QHD 165 Hz or OLED 4K 60 Hz|
|Storage:||up to 1TB SSD|
|Dimensions:||9,25 x 13,98 x 0,78 inches|
Why choose this notebook?
One of Razer's latest models, the Blade 15 once again improves on one of the best gaming laptops ever made. It has the same beautiful CNC-milled aluminum chassis as its predecessor, only this time it can house one of Nvidia's latest RTX 30-series GPUs and an Intel 10th Generation CPU.
These latest models have further increased the graphics processing, with support for up to 8GB RTX 3080, which is amazing for this small chassis. You will have some loss because of this slim design, but you will still have exceptional performance with this beautiful machine.
One of the best things about Blade 15 is the number of settings Razer offers for it. From the GTX 1660 Ti Base Edition to the RTX 3080 Advanced with a 4K OLED screen. It has something for everyone. It is a gaming notebook that is among the most beautiful and powerful on the market.
- More energy. The 7th generation Intel Core i10750-10H processor offers the best level of performance with up to 5,0GHz Max Turbo and 6 cores.
- Supercharger: The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card is a fast supercharger for today's most popular games.
- More bezels: Incredible performance coupled with the fast 120-inch 15,6Hz Full HD slim bezel display helps end the victory.
- Slim and compact: The CNC aluminum frame houses incredible performance in the most compact base possible, while remaining extremely durable and only 2 cm thick.
- Ready to connect: fully charged with ample connectivity including a webcam, wireless AC, Bluetooth 5, 2X USB Type-A, 2X Type-C Ports and more.
Dell G3 15
|CPU:||up to 10th generation Intel Core i7|
|GPU:||up to Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti|
|Fabric:||15,6 inch 144 Hz Full HD IPS|
|Dimensions:||0,85 x 14,4 x 10 inches|
Why choose this notebook?
Let's be realistic, trying to find a quality gaming laptop within a tight budget can be a daunting task. You need to make compromises in areas such as performance, design, and even battery life. Fortunately, the Dell G3 15 offers good gaming support in decent 1080p and the battery life is really good.
The most significant improvement over the previous model is a slimmer and sleeker design. Along with finer details around a 144 Hz screen, the sleeker design gives the product even a more sophisticated feel. It's a welcome simple look if you're looking for a gaming laptop that doesn't scream “GAMER” as soon as you take it out of your bag. The display itself seems the only downside, not having as rich a color gamut as the other gaming notebooks on this list.
- Processor: Intel Core i5-10300H (2.5 GHz to 4.5 GHz, 8MB cache, quad-core, 10th generation)
- Windows 10 Home Single Language 64 bit – in Portuguese (Brazil)
- 8GB memory (2x4GB), DDR4, 2933MHz, Expandable to 32GB (2 soDIMM slots, no free slot)
- 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
- Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics Card with 4GB GDDR6
ASUS ROG at G14
|CPU:||up to AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS|
|GPU:||up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Max-Q|
|RAM:||16 GB DDR4-3200|
|Fabric:||14 inch 120 Hz Full HD IPS|
|Storage:||1TB SSD NVMe PCIe 3.0|
|Dimensions:||12,76 x 8,74 x 0,70 inches|
Why choose this notebook?
Not everyone needs a thinner or more powerful gaming notebook. Sometimes just light and fast is fine. Achieving a healthy balance between portability, performance and price is the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. The original machine was an impressive RTX 2060 Max-Q notebook, whose incredible AMD CPU performance can impress any gamer who puts their finger on it.
With the latest updated components, the G14 is still a great laptop, especially now that it's getting an update with an RTX 3060 on that smart chassis. Despite being noisy, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is a reliable system with a 14-inch screen and cutting-edge graphics that rival even some gaming desktops.
- AMD Ryzen 9 Processor 4900HS
- GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q Graphics Card
- 120Hz NanoEdge Screen with Pantone Validation
- 22% more airflow with the unique intelligent cooling system.
Asus TUF Gaming A15
|CPU:||AMD Ryzen 7 4800H|
|GPU:||Nvidia RTX 2060|
|RAM:||16 GB DDR4-2666|
|Fabric:||15,6 inch 144 Hz Full HD IPS|
|Storage:||1TB M.2 NVMe|
|Dimensions:||14,1 x 10,1 x 1 inches|
Why choose this notebook?
Last year's Asus TUF Gaming A15 is still one of the best laptops for gaming, thanks mainly to the AMD 8-core Ryzen 7 4800H APU that can be found in its heart. Play on the speedy 1TB NVMe SSD and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card and you've got a gaming notebook that can handle heavy gaming on your back.
The only slight downside is the price, especially as there are cheaper RTX 2060 machines out there. The gaming performance, CPU power and impressive battery life of the TUF Gaming A15 make it an excellent laptop for work and play.
Asus recently released a new version of the TUF Gaming A15 (2021), but it didn't hit the high points of the previous year's model. The components heat up and the laptop gets incredibly loud while you play. You can find the older model for better prices too.
MSI GS66 Stealth
|CPU:||up to Core i9 10980HK|
|GPU:||up to Nvidia RTX 3080|
|RAM:||up to 32GB DDR4-3200|
|Fabric:||Full HD 15,6 inches, 240 Hz or 300 Hz|
|Storage:||up to 2TB M.2 SSD|
|Dimensions:||9,65 x 14,17 x 0,71 inches|
Why choose this notebook?
The MSI GS66 is an amazing, elegant and powerful machine. But it's not the power of the uncut Nvidia Ampere. In order to pack something as good as an RTX 3080 into a slim 18mm chassis, MSI had to be a bit parsimonious about its power demands.
The best GPU is the 95W version, which means it only surpasses an RTX 3070 in its full capacity, the kind of GPÙ you'll find on the Gigabyte Aorus 15G XC. But that MSI GS66 GPU is still a surprisingly powerful slice of silicon.
It can get a little noisy if left to its own devices, but luckily you have the benefits of all the features of Nvidia MaxQ 3.0 at your disposal. That includes Whisper Mode 2.0, which will reduce noise to almost inaudible levels, you know, when you want to be “stealth”.
The GS66 also comes with an excellent 240Hz 1440p screen, which perfectly matches the powerful GPU when it comes to gaming. Of course, you have to make some concessions on raw frame rates compared to the RTX 3080 you might encounter on a desktop.
Besides GPU and Screen, what should I look for?
Of course, a gaming notebook isn't just made up of a good GPU and a screen capable of smoothly reproducing graphics. The CPU, the computer's processor, is absolutely indispensable for a good computer, especially when it is dedicated to games. A good keyboard and mouse will also make a difference when playing games, and if you're looking to get more out of games, a good headset may be necessary.
So for now, that's about GPUs and screens. We'll talk about gaming notebook processors in an upcoming article. Tell us what you think of the options in the comments? Do you have a good gaming laptop? Take the opportunity to read more about tech e hardware on our website.