Today gaming on a laptop has become possible at a reasonable price due to increase in gaming itself and the fact that prices have significantly dropped on laptop parts as laptops become more popular and mainstream. Today most mainstream laptops come with enough RAM and a good enough CPU to handle just about any game you throw at it, but the real issue when it comes to gaming on a laptop comes with what Video Card is inside your laptop. A Video Card is really only important when it comes to gaming, it is what makes all your games look truly beautiful and run at a crisp clean pace with no hiccups. Today though there is such a large amount of Video Cards out there that it is really hard to figure out what to expect when you buy a laptop with a certain video card. Well in this post here I hope I can at the very least give you a broad idea of what to expect out of your gaming laptop when it comes to performance in terms of playable games and frame rates.
For starters when looking at a gaming laptop make you are going to have to expect a few things. First is increase in price and size. A gaming laptop will normally weigh upwards of 11+ pounds and costs usually at least $1000. If you do not feel like spending a thousand dollars on a laptop all I can say for you is buy a desktop instead because they are just so much cheaper than laptops, but you will obviously not see the same portability as a laptop. Ok another thing to make sure to look for when buying a gaming laptop is make sure the laptop has 2-4GB of RAM, 2.0Ghz and up processor and preferably a 17” screen so you do not feel cramped when playing. The last rule is the most important and must be obeyed if you are going to game on a laptop and that is make sure it has a dedicated graphics card. If the graphics card is not listed on the spec sheet then more than likely it is crap and not worth buying, also if you see integrated or Xpress it is not a dedicated graphics card. If your computer does not have a dedicated graphics card it means that your graphics card is built into the motherboard and it is junk and you will not be able to play any new games at all on your computer.
Ok now that we have that cleared up lets look at graphics cards. Before I start if you are looking at a computer and you know the name of the Graphic Card, but do not know much about it then I highly recommend that you look at this mobile graphics benchmark chart. The chart will tell you where your card places against every other mobile graphic card and will also put it into a broad category so you can get a good idea of what game quality to expect. Of course if you want the best laptop out there to play games on then you have to go with the alienware laptops. Alienware makes there laptops specifically for gaming and they are extremely good at what they were built for. The costs of an alienware laptop usually averages around $1500-$4000. Now most people do not have that type of money to spend on a laptop. Most people buy usually a dell, hp, gateway, or Apple laptop. Most of these brands use the same video cards over and over again so it is usually pretty easy to find some good specs on the video card in the laptop you are looking at. The two most widely used video cards that I have sound is the 8400M GS and the 8600M GT. The fact is the 8400M GS is junk I would not recommend buying the card for any games at all, but the 8600M GT is a different story. Expect to be able to play games like Company of Heroes, Fear, and Supreme Commander fluently on High Details with this card. Do not expect miracles out of this card though, you will not be able to play heavy graphics oriented games on max settings and will probably end up settling somewhere around medium settings. If you are looking for a better alternative to the 8600M GT then I would recommend any of the 8700 and 8800 series any of the 9700 series and 9800 series. The main thing you want to remember doing when looking for a gaming laptop is when you find a laptop you like make sure to find multiple opinions on the laptop and also multiple opinions on the video card. Hope this article helps you choose the right laptop for you, if you are still having some problems feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you with an answer.