Getting a Rig for Gaming: Laptops vs Desktops

The gaming laptop vs gaming desktop argument has raged on for years now. In the early days, desktops held a clear advantage. For one, their size offered users a large amount of flexibility and provided more options for upgrades. This meant that desktop users could outfit their rigs with insane upgrades that made them absolute beasts. 

A majority of the time, laptops were equipped with integrated graphics processing units that severely limited their effectiveness when it came to gaming. Save for the higher-end models, laptops were generally made to be work machines rather than outright gaming rigs.

Due to technological and size restrictions laptops were usually equipped with laughably horrible specifications that made them a nightmare to run any kind of game. The writer for one can remember his crappy 2005 laptop whirring and wheezing at the prospect of running Counter-Strike: Condition Zero at the highest settings. 

Given their size and portability however, laptops could be transported everywhere which made gaming from just about anywhere possible. On the other hand, desktops were and still are bulky and unwieldy devices that are a nightmare to move especially during LAN parties.

Nowadays things have changed significantly, and laptops are able to compete with even the most hardcore gaming rigs. Equipped with multi-core processors and insane GPUs (graphics processing units) it would appear that gaming laptops are indeed the future.

How effective are new gaming laptops actually? In this article, we take a look at the laptop vs desktop argument and help you decide what you should get.

1. Portability

With laptops narrowing the technology gap, it has now become possible to have a lightweight portable gaming rig. This means that you’ll be able to take your games with you on the road or wherever you go.

Long flight or heading out of town?

No worries, with your laptop, you’ll be able to stay entertained for hours as long as you have a power outlet on hand. 

If you’re the type of gamer that enjoys bringing his/her games with them, then it’s most definitely the laptop. However, if you can stand to leave your gaming rig at home, you’d be better off with the desktop.

Also Read: Gaming Headset vs Gaming Speaker: Which is Best?

2. Performance upgrades

Despite technology coming a long way since way back when, desktops still hold an unprecedented advantage over laptops when it comes to versatility.

Thanks to their large casings, desktop rigs can be easily upgraded. Anyone with a screwdriver and the know-how can make your computer faster than a horse in the racing tracks of the Kentucky Derby.

Need more ram? No worries just open up the casing and switch it up.

Looking to upgrade to the next generation of GPUs? Easy as pie. All you’ll need to do is to open up the casing and swap in a new GPU.

If you’ve got a laptop, good luck with all of that. The slim and compact nature of laptops makes upgrading them a real pain. In some cases, upgrades may not even be possible at all thus shortening the useful life of your gaming laptop.

3. Customization

If there’s one thing gamers love more than raw performance, it’s got to be customization. Over the years, gaming rigs have evolved from simple machines used to play games to expressions of personality.

From highly-elaborate water cooling systems equipped with LED lighting and custom cases to innovative chassis designs, desktops hold a clear advantage over laptops. Being smaller and limited by their chassis, laptops are just that, laptops.

However, if you’re a gamer-focused only on the gaming experience, then customization may not be that big of an issue for you. 

4. Price

When shopping for a gaming rig, you’ll quickly notice that laptops are significantly more affordable than desktops. Laptops are a complete package with keyboard and monitor included. With a desktop however, you’ll have to shop around for a keyboard monitor and also headphones which can be costly if you go for the premium brands.

In this aspect, desktops are undoubtedly at a clear disadvantage here. So if you’re on a budget but still want to game, maybe go for a laptop.

Also Read: CanYouRunIt Check Game System Requirements

Closing thoughts

At the end of the day, the choice on whether you want to go for a laptop or desktop is yours.  Before making a decision, it’s always best that you examine your requirements and of course the budget before making the plunge.

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