How Much is a Good Gaming Laptop?
There are many different gaming laptops on the market today, as various manufacturers strive to sell a product gamers will love. However, the idea of what makes a good gaming laptop can differ depending on who you’re talking to. Some people have high standards, while others don’t mind using a budget laptop below $1,000.
That’s a sign of the diversity within the gaming community. Different laptops cater to people with different needs. Here, we’ll help you determine how much good gaming laptops cost in three budget and quality categories.
Budget Laptops With Excellent Value
Budget laptops are for gamers who can’t afford laptops with the industry’s best gear, such as an RTX 3080 graphics card or Intel i9 processor. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean they’re useless. Some gaming laptops in the low tiers come with decent GPUS and CPUs that can run most games quite well.
For gaming, graphics and memory are the essential components to consider. Many budget gaming laptops come with the GTX 1650 GPU. It’s a decent graphics card that can run some AAA titles at 60 FPS without a problem. The only caveat is that you shouldn’t turn Ultra or Very High settings on to ensure you have smooth framerates.
Thus, if you’re looking for a decent laptop that can play demanding games, the GTX 1650 is a great starting point. It also has a Ti version, which offers better performance. The GTX 1660 costs a bit more but has even more power.
Examples of budget laptops with a GTX 1650 are:
A few of these laptops offer resolutions beyond 1080p, and there are also budget laptops with refresh rates of over 60 Hz. It depends on the price, as the more you pay, the better the features tend to be.
Budget gaming laptops cost around $1,000, though some are sold at about $800. The Acer Nitro 5 is barely under $850, and you can pay extra for more RAM or better storage capacity. In all, laptops like these are still excellent for the average gamer who isn’t willing to shell out more than $1,300.
Mid-Range Gaming Laptops
Mid-range laptops are superior to budget picks, as they’ll come with better hardware. Many mid-range laptops are somewhat customizable: You can often pick what GPU or CPU options you prefer.
Thus, you can convert them into more budget-friendly or premium options. However, they won’t typically have the best hardware compared to higher-end products.
These computers tend to have RTX GPUs, though it’s not too uncommon to find one that has a GTX 1660 Ti installed. Some have AMD equivalents if you’re not a fan of NVIDIA products.
In terms of CPUs, you’re more likely to encounter Intel Core i7s on mid-range laptops. The best in the class may even come with lower-end i9 processors, though this isn’t common. CPUs such as the i7-10750H or i7-9750H are good choices.
You can also find laptop screens with more than 60 Hz refresh rates in this price range. 120 Hz and 144 Hz are good signs you’re looking at a mid-range gaming laptop. These faster refresh rates make moving objects appear smoother than the industry-standard 60 FPS.
Having at least 16 GB of RAM is also a sign of mid-range territory. That’s the current benchmark for RAM requirements, with many game publishers recommending this much for higher graphical settings.
You may also find some laptops with 8 GB of RAM in this price range. However, a majority of them let you increase the RAM for a price.
Here are some examples of mid-range machines:
Dell G7 17 is an excellent example of a mid-range laptop, though it’s also at the lower end of this spectrum. It has an RTX 2060 and i7-8750H, which isn’t the best. You also get 8 GB of RAM, but it can be doubled.
Many other mid-range laptops outshine it, but it’s a budget-friendly option within mid-tier machines, often costing $1,400 to $2,000. Sometimes, they can be slightly costlier, especially with upgrades.
High-Tier Laptops and Beyond
Anything high tier or beyond will cost at least $2,000, but there are good reasons for such machines’ prices. From hardware to features, you’re likely paying good money for these laptops because they offer maximum performance. They’ll run AAA titles at Very High settings without missing a beat, and they can usually reach Ultra and still achieve smooth framerates.
These computers often have an NVIDIA RTX 3000 series GPU or AMD RX 6800. These are among the world’s best GPUS (the latter has a slight edge over the RTX 3080). With these graphics cards, there’s practically nothing stopping you from running AAA titles at maximum settings or even making Minecraft look realistic.
The best AMD CPU is the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X, and Intel’s closest offering is the i9-10900K. Not every high-end laptop will have these CPUs or GPUs, but many of them tend to be closer to this end of the spectrum than the mid-range options out there.
Having either of the above CPUs makes running multiple programs almost effortless. You can stream, game, and record all at once. Your laptop won’t complain too much, other than making louder cooling fan noises in some cases.
Examples of high-end gaming laptops are:
- Asus ROG Zephyrus G15
- Lenovo Legion 7 (Gen 6)
- Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition
- Razor Blade Pro 17
Sometimes, high-end laptops are found for under $2,000, though if you want the best hardware available, you’ll likely pay up to double that amount.
Money Equals Power
In the world of gaming laptops, the more expensive the product, the stronger it tends to be. That’s not to say that you have to spend a few thousand to get a powerful machine. Sometimes, there are cheaper options that suit you perfectly.
You can find good laptops at all price points. Some gems even sell for under $1,000 without a discount. With all things considered, the one you buy should depend on your individual needs and budget.