High-End Gaming Laptops Are Fun, but I Wouldn’t Recommend Buying One – NDTV

Testing a gaming laptop can be an enjoyable process, but actually owning
one is a scary thought. It’s not about being cheap either – it’s just
that if you’re investing over a lakh on a gaming machine, then you would
want it to remain usable as a gaming machine for at least a couple of
years. Unfortunately, as most people who have taken the plunge with a
gaming laptop can attest, buyers remorse is all too real as technology
quickly outpaces your expensive hardware.

Lack of
upgradability is one of the major reasons to avoid gaming laptops. You
need to be very certain of the configuration you pick because you’ll be
stuck with it until you decide to upgrade to a new laptop. It’s a far
cry from putting together a gaming desktop that costs a lot
less
,
and can be easily upgraded.

With a laptop, you’ll be able to
upgrade the RAM and hard drive or maybe even add an SSD, but you won’t
be able to change the components that really matter – the CPU and the
graphics card (or GPU). It’s usually one of these two components that
becomes a bottleneck over time as games get more graphically demanding.

And
of course, a gaming laptop does not come cheap. Most of the high-end
SKUs which actually manage to do a decent job of rendering the games you
want with all the bells and whistles turned on will cost you more than a
lakh. Spend the same amount on a desktop and you’ll end up with a much
more powerful machine.

And then there’s the question
of what games you’re going to be playing. If you’re into online
multi-player games like Dota 2 or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and
you frequent LAN parties, then a decently powerful mid-range laptop is
all you really need. Nvidia’s GTX 850M is a very capable GPU which can
be found in may laptops priced under Rs. 70,000. These laptops will
easily handle
DOTA 2 at full-HD, with all the settings turned up.

If you need
more power, why not build yourself a small form factor PC? The small
form factor segment is evolving
rapidly
and thanks to the increasing number of mini-ITX motherboards and the
recently announced AMD R9
Nano
,
one can actually build a seriously powerful PC in a portable form
factor.

gaming_laptops_not_worth_asus_ndtv.jpg

Gaming laptops can catch up to desktops in terms
of power, but it comes at the cost of portability. At this year’s IFA, Asus showed off its upcoming ROG
GX700

– the world’s first water-cooled gaming laptop. This will also be one
of the first gaming laptops to feature Nvidia’s 990M GPU, which
essentially is a full-blown, desktop-grade GTX 980, in a laptop. It’s a
brilliant feat of engineering for sure, but the size and weight of the
laptop, combined with the additional bulk, mean that this is not really a
portable computer anymore. At which point, why not just build a more
powerful desktop for less?

What’s even more amusing is when laptop
manufacturers appear to think that gamers will pay a premium for a laptop just because it has
flashing lights, instead of focusing on performance. It’s not their
fault since most of these product managers probably aren’t gamers, so
the concept of “serious gaming” is quite often lost to them.

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