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Gaming Laptop Guide

10.24.2009 · Posted in Computer Articles

Let’s say that you are an avid gaming fan and you just can’t bear to be apart from your desktop gaming rig. But let’s say you’re often on the move a lot and you want to be able to carry your rig everywhere you go. But carrying around a desktop tower, keyboard, monitor and mouse just isn’t in the cards. So how can you have all the gaming power you want at your fingertips without having to carry around the beast you use at home?nnThe solution is to invest in a gaming laptop. Just think of it as a portable gaming solution – you get to have the most powerful processors and video graphics in a package that’s easier to carry around than your gaming tower. With a gaming laptop, you can do nearly all of the things that you would be able to do with your desktop gaming rig without having to lug a colossal tower around.nnGaming laptops come primarily in sizes ranging from 15″ to 18″. Most of the gaming laptops worth their salt are found in the 16″-17″ range, but there are 15″ laptops out there that can keep up with their larger counterparts. Keep in mind that the size of the screen usually dictates the overall dimensions of the computer, so when a 15.6″ laptop is mentioned, it is usually the screen size that is being referred to. Also keep in mind what size is comfortable for you to carry around. Many laptops in these sizes are often used as “desktop replacements”, since these laptops are used in lieu of desktop systems and aren’t expected to be moved around on a constant basis.nnWhen it comes to gaming laptops, processing power is one of the biggest concerns that avid gamers have. Fortunately, these laptops come with seriously fast processors that have the punch needed to play games at optimal settings. Some processors will even come with the ability to be overclocked to a small degree in order to provide a slight burst of power and speed. Newer processors also have multiple cores, spreading out processing tasks to prevent bottlenecks and increase speed.nnGaming laptops come with powerful graphics solutions from companies such as ATI and nVidia that help bring out the best in video game graphics. Unlike the graphics chipsets found in most mundane laptops, gaming laptops have “dedicated” graphics cards that are connected to the laptop’s motherboard via a slot. These cards are not merely chips soldered onto the motherboard, like the “integrated” graphics cards. Since dedicated graphics cards come with their own faster memory chips, they do not have to rely solely on the computer’s installed memory, making them perform faster and better than integrated graphics solutions.nnWhen it comes to system memory, gaming laptops are able to accommodate gobs of it. Most laptops are now able to hold and use up to 8GB of system memory, although some laptops can only use 6.8GB thanks to chipset limitations. Most companies will supply their gaming laptops with 2GB of RAM at the minimum, with options to upgrade during the order process.nnThese systems don’t come cheap, though. The least amount of money you can expect to spend on a system will come to at least $1500, with some systems such as Alienware’s laptop line surpassing the $2500 mark and beyond. Fortunately, there are plenty of systems that can deliver a decent punch for an affordable price, depending on how it is all configured.

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