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Topic: Gaming Laptops



What makes a Gaming Laptop Different?

  • Larger Processors
  • Larger Amounts of Ram
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* Larger Caches
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  • Bigger Batteries
  • Nicer Screens
  • Higher Resolution
  • Faster Bus Speeds
  • Better graphics cards
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* Larger Hard Drives
  • External Ports for Game Peripherals
  • Expensive

There are a wide variety of factors involved when purchasing a new laptop. One must weigh higher performance against such things as price, weight, bulk, and battery life. While some may opt for more portable, cheaper, and battery efficient models, those looking for the ultimate in graphical performance have no choice but to turn to Gaming Laptops. These laptops are typically over $3000 dollars in price but sport components which are ripped straight from their desktop brethren. Gaming laptops are equipped with the latest graphics cards, the fastest processors and hard drives, the highest resolution screens, and the largest amount of available memory for such tight quarters. Despite their outrageous cost and weight, these laptops can act as desktop replacements for the true gamer and can be quite an attractive option to a college student who's only computer may be their laptop.

"What you need to know for the best laptop gaming experience"

Written and taken from Laptop Advisor
PC laptop gaming is becoming more and more popular as gamers want the ability to either play their favorite games on the move or just be able to do it without being stuck being a desktop all day or all night. If you happen to be shopping for ideal gaming laptops, the following gamer's guide to the best laptop computers should be of help.
The actual secret to getting the best gaming laptop computer is in purchasing the one that is optimized for playing games. This might sound very obvious but you have no idea how many people purchase a notebook intending to use it for game related reasons then decide later that they need to upgrade it. Needless to say, all this ends up being an expensive lesson full of hassles.
The best gaming laptops are portable computers with the following specifications (disclaimer: based on my personal views and experience with notebooks):
  • A fast and powerful processor. Games are graphics intense applications. So you need something to do the job correctly. But since we are dealing with laptops, you must keep in mind that the faster and more powerful a notebook is, the more impact it has on the battery life. So keep that secondary battery handy!
  • Lots of RAM. The rule of thumb in laptop gaming circle is: the more RAM you have, the better usually. I would venture say that 512 KB is the absolute minimum you should settle for. Most gaming laptops start out with a gig of ram. I used the term usually because in some high-end laptop it is possible to have more ram than the operating system can utilize. If you have more ram than the operating system can use this ram is a waste and an extra expense, that could have been spent on other parts of the laptop.
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* A kick butt laptop video card. PC laptop gaming is all about the best viewing experience. If you are serious gamer, you should not settle for the cheap video cards that come standard with most laptops. The card must have its own memory on board of the video card and not shared with the normal ram.
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  • An impressive sound card. You don't want to miss a sound. And the crisper the sound is, the better you can feel part of the whole gaming experience. Here you have a choice. You can either get an internal or an external sound card. My bet is that if you are shopping for gaming laptops, you will probably not want to haul around pieces of hardware with you. So, insist on a good internal sound card and a good pair of headphones if you want to get at it in public places for instance. Also a killer sound surround system at the house is always nice to blast the sound of a game.
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* Networking. As you know, it sucks playing games alone. So, make sure that at any given time when you feel competitive, you can painlessly hook your gaming laptop onto a network and play with or against fellow players on an internal network or better yet spread over the world via the Internet. This requires either a internal wireless card at least 54 mbps and a wireless connection to the Internet or a RJ-45 connection with a connection to the Internet.
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  • Huge hard drive storage. Games are big, big, big. So, you need a more than decent hard drive to store those games. One pointer here: the faster the hard drive, the more improved the whole gaming experience is. I would say that if you can get a 7200 RPM hard drive, jump on it right away. Most likely the hard drive needs to be at least 100 gigs.
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* A large visual area. I once tried to watch a movie on a 10 inch screen and it was no fun. Then I tried out a 17" Powerbook and was in great. But, a 17" screen notebook computer can be a pain to haul around. So, to compromise, do check out the standard 15" notebooks. Remember the larger the screen usually the worse battery life you will receive. So if you want to play games for long periods of time without power you might need a smaller screen.
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Can I use a nongaming Laptop to play games?

Do you really need a top gaming laptop to play your games? If a person is to play solitaire then no, but if they are trying play the newest graphically intense video game then yes. A gaming laptop makes the flow of video and sound seamless. There should be no jumps or programs locking up. If however a gaming laptop is not used with a newer video game anything from jumpy screenshots, video that is not in sink with audio, limited video size, or computer shut down may occur. Some games will work, some will work somewhat, and still other will not work at all. Most games have a system requirements, and system recommendations. For the game to flow smoothy the game most likely needs the system recommendations, but the game will usually somewhat work with only the requirements. Make sure that the games you want to play meet your system recommendations.

Example Reuirements:


Doom 3doom3req.jpg



Half life 2

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World of Warcraft

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Gaming Laptop Reviews:

  • CNET Roundup of their "Editor's top home gaming laptops" (updated Oct 12, 2006)


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Gaming Laptop Manufacturers

  • Falcon Northwest - Falcon has two fully customizable gaming laptops. While both are suitable for gaming one is billed as their "portable" model while the other is their "desktop replacement." The latter is probably more in line with the definition of a "Gaming Laptop."
  • Alienware - Recently bought out by Dell, Alienware still offers laptops through their own website. They have a wide variety of laptops with their "Aurora" series being their gaming line. The most recent Aurora laptop, the m9700, is the first gaming laptop to incorporate SLI Technology.
  • VooDooPC - A luxury line of computers. VooDoo's gaming laptops are amongst the best in the industry with custom paintjobs and insane pricetags. Both of their gaming laptops are fully configurable and start off at over $4000 each. For a gamer with deep pockets and a lust for cutting-edge technology, VooDoo is at the top of the pack.
  • Dell - Although they own AlienWare, Dell still offers a laptop that is more geared towards gamers. The XPS models are rated as some of the best gaming laptops out, but it come with a cost. Dell is notorious for having bad technical support and the laptops run about 3 - 5 thousand depending on the specifications. They offer up to a 2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 512 MB video card.
  • Apple - Apple has a history of being known as the most prestigeous operating system. Until recently, Apple's were also known for their high prices, but you can nix that. Apple has been cutting it's prices to compete with PCs even more. Put that together with great components, better reliability, and their recent move to Intel chips and you have the best laptops on the market. BOOM.
  • Rockdirect - Rockdirect, formerly known as Rock Computers, is a premium notebook manufacturer located in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1992, and is one of Britain's largest and most respected manufacturers of 'cutting edge' mobile notebook or laptop computers. From its manufacturing facility in Warwick, it produces some of the best 'top-of-the-line' notebook computers. For the quality conscious consumer, Rockdirect makes a whole range of notebooks - from the Tablet T200, (a very practical tablet) to the Xtreme Ti, (a high performance gaming notebook computer).

Top Gaming Laptops

  • AlienWare Area 51m ($3,670)
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  • Dell Inspiron XPS ($3,300)
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  • Hypersonic Aviator GX6 ($3,300)
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  • Voodoo Envy m855 ($3,400)
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  • MacBook Pro 17-inch ($3,474 before student discount)
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Links

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