A Gamer’s Guide to Choosing the Right Rig

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josephredfield (CC0), Pixabay

The most important weapon in any gamer’s arsenal (apart from their own skill, of course) is their laptop. This is because, to a large extent, this determines just how good you can get at any game. So, if you need a new computer or are thinking of getting an upgrade, you can’t take this decision lightly.

To add to the stakes even further, there are now more rigs than ever to choose from. These days, it seems that every manufacturer wants a piece of the pie. As you can imagine, though, not all these machines actually live up to the hype.

If you want to make sure that you are making the best possible investment, then this is the guide for you. Here you will be able to examine all the elements of a gaming rig and figure out what to look for when selecting a suitable one for you. Let’s begin.

Cheap vs. Expensive

Most gamers often check out the price tag of the rig that they want to buy. This makes sense since some of the top-of-the-line machines can go for upwards of $2000! And that is without even taking the accessories into consideration. While this may be a tempting idea, few people can afford to spend money on a laptop like that.

Not to mention, it may not actually be worth it. According to statistics, it is estimated that the average gamer plays for around two hours a day. Since you have school or work to think about, this time period is probably true for you as well. So, when it comes to the payoff, it doesn’t actually make sense for you to spend quite so much money on a computer.

Furthermore, those more expensive machines are meant for more professional gamers. As such, their specs are off the charts. If you were to buy such a machine, you may just discover that those specs are wasted on.

Finally, there is also the fact that lesser expensive models are now quickly catching up in terms of quality and performance. Therefore, you can now have a great gaming experience without having to pay nearly as much. Not convinced? Well, then just check out the best budget gaming laptop specs out for proof.

How Important is a Brand?

Gamers are just as obsessed with brands as everyone else. Many people believe that to be a “real” gamer, you must have a certain kind of hardware. As you can imagine, these brands are incredibly expensive. So, this begs the question – how important is the logo on your computer?

Well, going by the logo isn’t going to get you very far. This is because there can be quite a bit of variation between models, even when they are under the same manufacturer. So, in this sense, buying a laptop based on the name alone isn’t such a good idea.

What you need to pay attention to is the specs of each machine. It is these details that show you whether or not a computer can actually improve your gaming performance. Then, compare these with various other computers across the board.

Integrated vs. Discrete Graphics Card

Now, you don’t have to be told just how important the graphics card on a gaming laptop is. Since gaming is your main focus, it can actually be more significant than the CPU in certain circumstances. So, it stands to reason that you select a graphics card that is capable of performing well.

This means you to have to choose between integrated and discrete cards. Unequivocally, discrete graphics cards are more powerful than the traditional integrated ones. At the same time, they are attached with a heftier price tag. So, how do you select which one is right for you?

In this instance, you should look at your games for some guidance. If your games aren’t graphic-intensive – and if you aren’t interested in such titles – then an integrated card will work fine. It wouldn’t make sense for you to waste money on anything more powerful.

On the other hand, if you play games that are graphically complex, then you should splurge for a discrete GPU. While you may have to pay more, there is a good chance that this decision will end up paying off in the long run.

Consider Your Most Powerful Games for Great Compatibility

As you are well aware, PC games keep evolving in terms of graphics and what they can do. If you want to be able to enjoy the full extent of these games, then your laptop needs to be able to run it. Buying a computer that can’t keep up means that you are bound to struggle with some issues.

To make sure that this doesn’t happen, consider the most powerful games in your collection. You will find that titles such as Assassin’s Creed, Battlefield, and Tomb Raider will top the list for the most demanding system’s requirements. So, you will need to make sure that the new machine can keep up.

If you want to add to your collection, make sure to do some recon on these games as well. Since the system’s requirements keep expanding with each release, you will require a computer that is primed for future releases too.

Check How Much You Can Upgrade

Following the above point, it is also a good idea to determine just how much you can upgrade a particular machine. Why is this important? Now, surely you aren’t going to want to keep buying a new computer every couple of years, right? Well, at the rate that games are evolving, this is just what you might have to do if you can’t upgrade your computer.

If you are looking for better performance, most experts would advise you to make upgrades in the storage drive, RAM, and graphics card department. First, though, you will have to check whether your computer is up for this. There are a couple of ways to do this.

In case you don’t mind the more labor-intensive route, then you can enter your laptop’s make and model into a search engine and scour forums. This should give you a good idea of just how far you can go in terms of new hardware. If this idea isn’t appealing, head over to a site that is especially designed to do this for you.

All about Displays

It has been established that graphics are important in a gaming laptop. However, this feature doesn’t begin and end with the graphics cards. No, the screen is just as important as well. In particular, screen resolution. This is why you should never select something less than 1080p.

Of course, even among a higher spectrum, there are a few different options to choose from. In particular, you will find yourself trying to pick between 1080p and 4K. There is no denying that 4K can be tempting. After all, the vivid graphics, color accuracy, and brightness can be breathtaking.

Unfortunately, all of this comes at a cost. While your visuals will be astounding, 4K gaming can also have a serious impact on your graphics card. To keep up, you will often find that your frame rate suffers. Thus, you may experience lagging or stuttering. So, as far as the display goes, you should stick with 1080p to stay on the safe side.

HDD and SSD: Making the Best of Both Worlds

These days, when you look at storage options, it is often a battle between HDD and SSD. Now, there are quite a few people who tend to favor SSD. This makes sense – since it doesn’t have any moving parts, it is capable of performing at a much greater speed. The flip side is that SSDs often have lower storage space since the high capacity options are pretty pricey.

In such an instance, it is best not to choose. Instead, look for a machine that has a mixed system. This would include HDD mass storage and an SSD boot drive. By doing this, you can find that sweet spot between speed and space!

Consider Laptops as a Whole

On a final note, there is one important thing to keep in mind when selecting a gaming rig. This is to always consider the laptop as a whole rather than focus on specific parts. This is a mistake that quite a few gamers make.

After all, it is easy to get hung up on one aspect such as the GPU, the display, or something else that is important to your gaming experience. However, if you focus on just this one aspect, you will not be taking into consideration what your games need as a whole.

So, while you may be catering to one aspect, there is a good chance that you are letting down another. This is something that you should avoid at all costs. Instead, look at all the details. This way, you will be pleased with your choice, as a whole.

These are the top tips to pay attention to when selecting a gaming rig. This will help you make a balanced decision, particularly when it comes to choosing a machine that is most suitable for you. So, the next time you need to go shopping, make sure to keep the above points in mind.

 

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