Last Updated on January 26, 2019 by Paularo
In 2019, having the best gaming laptop guide to help you through selecting the best gaming laptop for you is something everyone needs because custom made PCs are the rave of the moment and honestly they would give you more bang for your buck, but laptops are essential in life mostly due to their portability.
So we have people looking for a better gaming laptop guide to help them select what they should be looking for in a laptop. Some people want a desktop but they are always mobile, or they like that sit in one place mentality, or maybe they love carrying their work or game with them.
This Best Gaming Laptops Guide is for a gamer like myself who likes playing games on their laptop, although it’s limiting but still better than playing on a console in some cases.
I am going to show you the recommended gaming laptop specification you should look out for when purchasing a gaming laptop. Don’t worry; it’s nothing scary just some few tech words which you can write down and voila, you are ready.
All that remains is for you to go out and shop for the best gaming laptop your money can buy.
The need to buy a gaming laptop is rapidly increasing; if you want to enjoy PC gaming, because with the new line of AAA games coming to PC in 2019, you need to have a solid gaming laptop if you even want to stand a chance of playing those games in medium/high settings. Once your computer can only play the latest triple-A game in low settings, that’s a strong indication that you need a laptop upgrade.
Best way to upgrade a laptop is to buy a better laptop because only a handful of high-end laptops have GPU upgradeability.
The Best Gaming Laptops Guide 2019
The best gaming laptops guide list will start with the most critical hardware parts or components you need in a gaming laptop then drill down to the least necessary part of a gaming laptop.
Pro Tip: Overclocking is your friend. So always be on the lookout for components that has overclocking potentials, because they give you extra performance that you would love.
- VR-Ready Graphics Card
- High-Performance Processor
- High-Speed RAM Memory
- SSD vs. HDD
- Screen Size & Display
- Operating System
- USB Ports
- Laptop Design
- In-built Speakers
1. VR Ready Graphics Card (GPU)
This is singlehandedly the most critical component needed to make your gaming laptop standout. Having the best graphics card in the market can set your laptop gaming life to at least three years before you can start worrying about reducing your graphics in games.
In the graphics card manufacturing space, we have Nvidia and AMD with Nvidia launching their latest RTX cards which all it does is RayTracing which is good to look at but not performance friendly.
You need to buy a gaming laptop with dedicated graphics memory of more than 4GB, i.e., a VRAM of 4, 6, 8 and 11GB.
Minimum Recommendation: You need to at least get a VR-Ready Graphics Card which is the GTX 1060/GTX 1070
Recommended Graphics Card: GTX 1080/GTX 1080Ti
Best Graphics Card in the market: RTX 2080/ RTX 2080Ti
Depending on your budget and money you can spend on a gaming laptop, choosing any of these options would work great for you because, with any of these recommended graphics cards, you can play VR games easily.
2. High-Performance Processor (CPU)
The graphics card is KING in a gaming laptop, and the Processor (CPU) is the QUEEN. If you play chess you would know that the queen does more work than the king, she has more workload and she sets everything up for the king.
We can see something similar in the relationship between a CPU and GPU. The CPU handles all the processes in a computer, and the GPU does the heavy lifting which is the graphics, video rendering, animation, etc., which is precisely why you need a fast high-performance processor which will have enough power to run your game processes at optimal speed and flow with your GPU giving you wonderful lag-free gaming experience.
Minimum Recommendation: You would need at least an Intel Core i7 7th Generation CPU like the i7-7700HQ.
Recommended Graphics Card: Intel Core i7 8th Generation CPU like i7-8750H
Best Graphics Card in the market: Intel Core i9 8th Generation i9-8950HK
3. High-Speed RAM Memory
In 2019, you need more than just high RAM capacity more importantly, what you need are high-speed RAM sticks. Currently, that lays with the newest DDR4 RAM module which gives speed as 2400Mhz, 2666Mhz, 3000Mhz, 3200Mhz, 3600+ Mhz.
Good news is that most gaming laptops in 2019 come with DDR4 memory all you have to do is check for the frequency speed and make your adjustments from there. Also, there are popular RAM manufacturers out there, I don’t have any favorites, but I will advise you buy from a well-known brand rather than buy some cheap generic RAM on eBay.
At this point is where you can start to talk about laptop upgrade paths because the RAM remains one of the easiest upgrades to perform on your laptop, most laptop support ram upgrades except you are using the year 2000 laptop with 128MB RAM.
Minimum Recommendation: Single 8GB DDR4 is running at 2400Mhz.
Recommended Graphics Card: 16GB DDR4 running at 2666Mhz, 3000Mhz and 3200Mhz.
Best Graphics Card in the market: 32GB DDR4 running at 3500+Mhz.
4. SSD vs. Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
Get an SSD! End of discussion.
Buy a gaming laptop with 2 drives, SSD + HDD, this is the best drive combination for some years now and it works greats for gaming laptops because you have an SSD as your first drive which loads your operating system, core software and few online games you love then you have your 2nd drive which should be a bigger drive preferably a 2TB HDD which serves as a storage drive storing all your large software, extra offline and single player games, movies, pictures, music, etc.
Minimum Recommendation: 120GB SSD + 2TB
Recommended Graphics Card: 250GB SSD + 2TB
Best Graphics Card in the market: 512GB NVME M.2 SSD + 1TB 2.5 inch SSD
5. Screen Size & Display
Gaming laptops come with their screens, well that’s obvious. Because they come with their screens, that’s why it’s important to follow this gaming laptop guide 2019 edition because in the market now, we have so many screens and monitors its confusing!
Before you pull the trigger on that gaming laptop, check what the screen display has to offer because you need a vibrant, high-resolution laptop screen display to bring out the beauty in your games and make you fully immersed in the gameplay.
For screen size, I feel it’s all down to the personal choice of the buyer. Whatever he likes but I have two recommendations for you.
1st recommendation: 15-inch screen size
2nd recommendation: 17-inch screen size
For Screen Display, we need to get more technical because we want that Full high definition display 4K IPS 144Hz refresh rate G-SYNC display but not everyone that afford it.
Minimum Recommendation: Full HD IPS 120Hz refresh rate display
Recommended Graphics Card: Full HD 144Hz IPS/GSYNC display
Best Graphics Card in the market: 4K GSYNC display
6. Operating System
What operating system should you be running on your gaming laptop? Well, this gaming laptop guide 2019 recommends you to run Windows 10 64Bit operating system for a smooth, lag-free gaming experience.
Please don’t use Windows Vista or XP; even Windows 7 is getting obsolete has official support for Windows 7 would be ending soon. An older version of Windows often gets driver related problems which won’t make the game run well as it should.
Some software like Microsoft Office 2019 only runs on Windows 10; now you wouldn’t want to pay or download a game and find out you can’t play it because you are not on Windows 10. Read my Windows 10 Review.
Trust me when I say, your gaming laptop needs to have a good battery because nothing is more frustrating when you in the middle of an excellent game then the power goes out, and within 30 minutes, your laptop goes off or signals you for low battery.
That can be so discouraging, and that’s why I recommend getting a gaming laptop with at least 2 hours of battery time and what this means is that before you buy a gaming laptop, go to sites like YouTube, Reddit to check the real battery times by people that own and have tested the battery life.
Tips: Don’t trust those marketing lies on battery life.
Keyboard backlighting is a life or death situation because you cannot spend $1000+ on a gaming laptop and it doesn’t have lights on the keyboards. It’s not compulsory you go for those RGB Chroma key lightning keyboards, but at the very first, the keyboard should have white lights which enable you to see in the dark.
Some people are shut-in gamers which means they like turning off the lights, close the curtains even turn off their phones too so all the can focus on is their video game while some people have annoying roommates or brothers that can take off the lights in the middle of a solo game in Fortnite.
Also, mechanical keyboards are better to play games on.
9. USB Ports
You may be surprised that USB ports found its way into this list, but I am sick and tired of seeing gaming laptops with only 2x USB 3.0 ports. It makes me sad to see a big gaming machine, but with only 2 USB ports, that limits the chance to copy new games from a friend or plug in external devices likes controllers or an external gaming keyboard.
Recommended: A minimum of 3x USB 3.1 ports
10. In-built Speakers
I owned a Dell laptop back in 2014/2015, and one thing I enjoyed while using the computer was the quality inbuilt JBL speakers. Wow, it was always a blast when I played games on that laptop, playing music too was excellent.
I recommend you get a gaming laptop with excellent speakers that produce beautiful sounds that would make you more immersed in the game you play.
11. Fans & Laptop Design
I decided to combine these last two points because somethings the laptop design determines the fan and the overall cooling structure of the gaming laptop. With most gaming laptops in the market, today looking like a Lamborghini or Ferrari this has made the fans not perform as efficiently as designed and its no mystery that most gaming laptops tend to run hot while gaming especially during long hours of gaming.
Hope this laptop ultimate guide 2019 told you what you needed to hear and informed you to pick the right components for your next gaming laptop in 2019.