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Buying a Laptop for Gaming? Here's What You Need to Know

Jul 30, 2008
What will you use the machine for? Will it be a gaming only laptop, or will you do other things on it as well? It's important to know this going in, because the options available (operating systems, bundled software, etc.) may change based on your decision. Of course, most machines that are powerful enough to run the types of games that are popular currently will certainly have enough power to run most other types of software as well.

How much portability do you need your laptop to have? Some machines, marketed specifically as gaming laptops, actually aren't all that portable, since they're rather large; as dedicated gaming computers that are easier to move than the average PC, they're fine for LAN parties, where you only have to move them once in awhile. But, if you're wanting a laptop you can also use to take notes in class , or one you can travel with, to play your games on vacation you'll need something smaller.

Be aware: there's a compromise headed your way. Do you want a really good gaming machine? A super "brick-like" gaming laptop will fit your needs, but battery life is short, and it's not truly portable. A smaller laptop with a better battery will make traveling easier, but may not be able to meet your gaming desires in terms of graphics or speed. This is why it's important to understand ahead of purchase time exactly what you want to do with the machine.

If you're not beta-testing the newest games, you can probably get by with a smaller and cheaper machine. A lot of games that have been out for awhile are fun, and will run just fine. So, keep in mind the kinds of games you play, and whether you need to play the newest thing as soon as possible, when you think about your laptop needs.

When shopping, pay close attention to the graphics card that comes with the machine. This is often the primary determining factor in a computer's gaming suitability. Mobile graphics chip sets may have the same name as a PC counterpart, but that doesn't mean it's the same chip set. Research the benchmarks before purchasing, so the chip set you end up with is one that will do what you need and want it to do.

If you think about what your needs and desires are from a gaming laptop before you research, and research before you buy, you should be able to find a computer that will do most of what you need, but you may not be able to find one that does everything. It's a situation that calls for compromise, so be aware of what you are, and aren't, willing to give up. Good luck with your laptop search and with your gaming!
About the Author
Chris Jensen is a contributing Author of Jetfly Blog. For more related articles and reviews visit Jetfly Video Gamer Blog now. Also, for the Best up-to-date related Online Products, check out Jetfly Laptops & Notebooks Shop for Todays Current Online Deals.
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