Gaming is a long standing pastime within the computer world. With hundreds of thousands of games to choose from and new gaming technology coming out everyday, now is an exciting time to be a PC gamer. On top of all the other choices presented to PC gamers, is the choice between a laptop or desktop for their gaming.
The answer really comes down to what you want your gaming experience to be. Gaming laptops offer mobility along with astounding amounts of power, while desktops offer extreme performance and a well rounded gaming experience.
Table Of Contents shows
4 Things to Consider: Gaming laptop vs. Desktop in 2022
One thing to consider when deciding between a laptop and a desktop for gaming is your budget. Now, we’re assuming that you are willing to spend quite a lot on your system regardless.
Good gaming laptops and desktops are often over $1000 and top of the line models of both can reach into the $2000s.
It is possible to get a gaming laptop for around $500 but you compromising on the laptop’s performance dramatically by choosing a gaming laptop at this price. You likely would not be able to play any graphically demanding or processing demanding games on a low end budget model.
That being said, depending on the type of specs you want, both desktops and laptops can come out around the same cost, normally averaging around $1500.
My MSI ApachePro came out to around $1300 and had top of the line hardware for 2017 when I bought it. In contrast, a desktop with similar specs costs roughly the same for the tower alone (not including the monitor, keyboard, mouse, and other accessories).
..Keep in mind though that the laptop’s specs are just downsized versions of the desktop’s specs and they are likely not matched in processing speed…(Video) Gaming Laptop vs Desktop PC - Which Should You Buy 2022?
Keep in mind though that the laptop’s specs are just downsized versions of the desktop’s specs and they are likely not matched in processing speed.
For desktops, a popular trend in the gaming community is to build your own. This way you get the custom specs that you want without having to compromise with the manufacturer. It doesn’t take a ton of computer know-how to build a desktop either.
The internet is rife with how-to videos on building your own gaming PC. Keep in mind, to build your own desktop, your budget should be able to accommodate around $2000 worth of hardware.
For laptops, on the other hand, there is far less customizability available to users. Upgradeability too, is limited as many manufacturers cut corners on future-proofing in order to fit the top of the line hardware into their small laptops.
There is some room for customization. Alienware in particular is well-known for the customizability they offer in their gaming laptops. You can customize for storage, processing, memory, graphics, and more.
But since laptops are just smaller, more portable desktops, you will always get more customization and upgradeability with a desktop than a laptop.
If your sights are set on performance, the desktop may have an advantage and the reason is quite simple: fans. A desktop tower has much more room for fans than a laptop does and so is able to cool all that super powered hardware much more efficiently.
Desktops are just able to fit in more powerful pieces of hardware than laptops are. You’ll always have more storage and better processing in a desktop. That’s simply because laptops use downsized versions of desktop hardware.
However, there are some pretty amazingly powerful laptops on the market that match their desktop rivals in performance.
Brands like ASUS, Alienware, and MSI release some of the best gaming laptops available that give you all the performance of a gaming PC along with the mobility of a laptop.
As mentioned above, it really comes down to your preferences and the gaming experience that you want most when deciding between a gaming laptop and a gaming desktop.
..the desktop beats out the laptop in power and performance but the laptop will obviously always beat out the desktop in portability…
Often times, the desktop beats out the laptop in power and performance but the laptop will obviously always beat out the desktop in portability.
If you are looking for the most high speed and well performing gaming experience, a desktop is probably a better option for you. However, if you have to have portability, whether in your gaming or just in your day to day activities, the laptop is the choice for you.
Gaming Laptop Pros & Cons
- Powerful (can run all of today’s best games)
- More budget-friendly than desktops
- All hardware downsized (so limited performance)
- Poor battery life
Gaming laptops have come a long way from gamer punch lines to top of the line gaming machines. Laptops come with a distinct advantage over the gaming desktop and that is (as mentioned above) mobility.
With a laptop you can move around wherever you want to. It allows you to have a mobile workstation wherever and whenever you need it and that is especially helpful for the student or professional.
Gaming laptops are powerful and can have the hardware to run all of today’s top games. There are a large variety of gaming laptops that you can choose with varying levels of specs and equally variable prices. You are sure to find the one for you.
As mentioned, laptops come in a variety of prices. Obviously, the higher end models are going to cost a pretty penny. MSI’s GT75 Titan is one of its newest models this year and comes in just under $2500 at the time of writing.
That’s a pretty expensive laptop but if you’re willing to pay that much, you won’t be disappointed in the power you get from it. However, you can still get powerful gaming laptops for half that cost or more.
The drawback to laptops is the same as it always has been for gaming: you simply won’t get the same amount of power in a laptop as you will a desktop.
The hardware in a laptop is downsized in order to fit in such a small space. So while a laptop is still powerful enough to run today’s top games smoothly, it still pales in comparison to desktops.
When it comes to day to day activities, a gaming laptop is sure to get you through whatever tasks you may need to complete. However, a key feature you must think about is the battery. For gaming laptops in particular, the battery has always been a major issue.
Because they are such powerful machines, they drain battery very quickly which makes gaming for any decent amount off the charger a hassle. Idling alone some gaming laptops struggle to squeeze out 5 hours of battery life, let alone when they try to run a game.
For many this is the nail in the coffin for gaming laptops. You may hear the term ‘desktop replacement’ when researching gaming laptops and it means what it says, basically: a laptop that replaces a desktop. And for some, it makes laptops a no-go option.
If you’re going to spend the money for a gaming laptop that can’t really go anywhere and play games off the charger, why get one? If you are thinking of getting a gaming laptop for its mobility just be sure wherever you move it to has an outlet nearby.
Gaming Desktop Pros & Cons
- Better overall gaming experience
- Can be expensive
Desktops offer virtually unlimited customization, especially if you decide to build your own. They also offer a wide range of upgradeability which makes for a great future-proof machine (a feature gaming laptops sometimes lack).
So, you can get today’s top of the line graphics card or processor and upgrade it when you need to down the line.
In terms of performance, desktops will always beat out laptops. As mentioned above, there is loads more room in a desktop tower to fit the beefiest hardware available.
You will always have more storage, more memory, and more processing power in a desktop because they are just able to handle it better than a laptop can.
Because the performance is so much more powerful, you will have a more seamless gaming experience on a desktop.
Desktops can be expensive though. The option to build your own, while enormously fun and freeing, can get very expensive, very quick. However, most pre-built gaming desktops with today’s best hardware can go from anywhere as low as $500 to as high as $8000.
But just like laptops, you get what you pay for and you may be compromising quite a lot for a low end model. I am by no means saying your only option is the cream of the crop, $8000 model.
There are definitely better priced models with great amounts of power. A decent gaming desktop lands somewhere in the range of $1500-2500.
The biggest con against gaming desktops is their immobility. I can take my laptop and game outside if I wanted to but taking your killer gaming desktop outside may be far more of a hassle than it’s worth.
Wherever you decide to put it, you’re basically stuck there. Moving is going to be a bit of a workout but not entirely impossible.
Taking all of this into consideration, it appears that the desktop has won out in this battle. However, gaming laptops continue to make huge advances and in my opinion, you don’t lose much when you game on a laptop.
I have the added bonus of being able to game anywhere I want (so long as I have access to an outlet nearby) and that is incredibly freeing. I play some of today’s top games on Ultra quality, 60FPS with absolutely no issue.
So just remember that this choice ultimately comes down to you and your needs as a gamer. If you want amazing power and want to build a killer gaming setup, a desktop may be a good choice for you.
If you need a laptop for everyday work as well as a laptop that can run your favorite games when you’re not working, a gaming laptop is definitely one to consider.
- Laptop at CES 2020: Defining the 2020s
- Best Laptop For Overwatch In 2022
- Best Laptops For Fusion 360 in 2022
- Best Gaming VPNs in 2022
- Best Laptop For Web Design In 2022
- 12 Best Laptop Brands - 2022
Performance-wise, you can expect a good gaming laptop to last around five years. Pick up a laptop that matches or exceeds the performance of a console. The GPU affects a gaming laptop's lifespan the most. Most gaming laptop hardware isn't upgradable, so spend your money where it matters most.Are gaming laptops better than gaming PCs right now? ›
Modern gaming laptops can be incredibly efficient and powerful. Though desktops can still have a performance edge when it comes to high-end components and thermal considerations, the difference is much less pronounced than it used to be.Is it worth buying a gaming PC in 2022? ›
Absolutely. You can enjoy PC gaming with budget or high-end components, but the experience is top-tier compared to consoles. Higher quality, free online play, MODS, and much more make it worth it.How much should I spend on a gaming laptop 2022? ›
A great gaming laptop usually costs around two grand, so the cheapest capable options are around a grand or more. There are some commendable models below that threshold, but most will sacrifice important specifications like storage space and ram to meet a price point.How long until a gaming PC is outdated? ›
Without replacing or upgrading parts, some gamers may be able to expect their gaming desktop to last for around 5-7 years while others could potentially get more than 10-12 years out of theirs.Are gaming laptops OK for everyday use? ›
Can a gaming laptop be used for work? Yep – just like a regular laptop, a laptop that's intended for gaming can still absolutely be used for work. In fact, some high-end laptops are so powerful that they're the perfect choice of computer if you do animation or editing.Is PC gaming declining? ›
We forecast the PC games market to generate $40.5 billion in 2022, up +0.5% year on year. Browser PC games remain a sector in decline, even though the year 2020 saw a brief resurgence of these games.Why desktop is better than laptop? ›
Desktops are ideal for power users. They offer more processing power at a lower cost and are easier to upgrade, repair, and customize for your ideal computing experience at home.How much RAM should a gaming PC have 2022? ›
A good rule of thumb is: 8GB bare minimum, 16GB for most gaming needs, and 32GB if you want to run multiple high-intensity programs simultaneously.How much should you spend on a PC 2022? ›
A $1000 – $2000 budget will allow you to budget for plenty of extra features, such as WiFi in your build, a built-in IO shield, USB C, plenty of fans and RGB across selected components. On the High-End, we would advise spending upwards of $2000.
- OS: Windows 10.
- CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-9700K or better.
- RAM: 16GB of system memory.
- Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Super, or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.
- Storage: At least 20GB of available space; SSD required.
If battery life is your main concern and you want to run your laptop for a long time on battery power, then it is better not to invest in a gaming laptop. The powerful hardware in gaming laptops means more heat. Do not even think about placing the laptop on your lap while gaming.How many GB is best for a gaming laptop? ›
16GB is the recommended amount of RAM for playing most games and will provide a noticeable increase in performance from 8GB. You will also be able to run applications in the background without affecting gameplay.Which brand is best for gaming laptop? ›
- Asus ROG Zephyrus G15. The best gaming laptop. ...
- Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. The best portable gaming laptop. ...
- Razer Blade 17. The best big-screen gaming laptop. ...
- Lenovo Legion 5 Pro. The best affordable 17-inch gaming laptop. ...
- MSI GE76 Raider. ...
- Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition. ...
- Razer Blade 14. ...
- HP Victus 15.
For most desktop PCs, you can expect a minimum three-year lifespan. However, most computers survive five to eight years, depending on the upgrading components.Can a gaming laptop last 10 years? ›
Absolutely! My kids use it regularly. The only drawback it has is that its wireless (while able to handle 802.11n) is not able to connect to the 5Ghz wireless band, so I use the ethernet port instead. Are all gaming laptops bad or just I think that?Should I leave my gaming PC on overnight? ›
For gamers, it's good to leave your PC on overnight to download large updates or full games. If you've enabled remote access to your PC via the internet, you'll need to leave it on if you want to access it while you're away.How long can a gaming laptop survive? ›
Gaming laptops are designed to be durable, even with heavy use. The lifespan of your gaming laptop will vary depending on a wide range of factors. On average, mid-range gaming laptops tend to last for around 3-4 years, while high-end ones can last between 4-6 years.Is it worth buying a gaming laptop now? ›
Is A Gaming Laptop Actually Worth Buying? (Honest Answer) A gaming laptop is absolutely worth buying for a specific kind of user. If you have the money to spend and prize portability overpower or the ability to upgrade, then we can recommend a gaming laptop without hesitation.What states are banning gaming computers? ›
Niche Gamer reports Oregon is joining California, Vermont, Hawaii, Colorado and Washington state in banning the products because of the large amount of electricity they use.
Certain Gaming PCs Have Been Banned In The US For Using Too Much Power. Recently passed power consumption laws in the US mean that a number of prebuilt Alienware gaming PCs can no longer legally be sold in certain states, it has emerged.Does gaming have a future? ›
The future of the video game industry looks dazzling. Consumer demand is growing, technology is advancing quickly, and new monetization models are taking off. Bain's analysis forecasts that global revenue for games could grow by more than 50% over the next five years (see Figure 1).Which lasts longer desktop or laptop? ›
Which lasts longer, a laptop or desktop computer? Desktop computers generally last longer than laptops. A laptop's lifespan is generally reckoned to be around three to five years, compared to a desktop computer's lifespan of around five to eight years.Can a laptop do everything a desktop can? ›
Most laptops are designed to have all of the functionality of a desktop computer, which means they can generally run the same software and open the same types of files. However, laptops also tend to be more expensive than comparable desktop computers.Which is faster desktop or laptop? ›
Desktops tend to run faster than laptops; and more expensive PCs tend to run faster.What processor do I need for gaming? ›
For ideal results, a machine running an Intel® Core™ i7 processor or better with at least 8GB of RAM is sufficient for playing games and streaming at the same time. If you're hoping for less impact on your gaming performance, an Intel® Core™ i9 processor makes for an even smoother experience.Do I need more than 16GB RAM for gaming? ›
Few games, even the latest ones, will actually take advantage of a full 16GB of RAM. Instead, the extra capacity gives you some wiggle room in running other applications while your games are running. For the vast majority of gamers, 16GB is enough.Should I get 16GB or 32GB RAM? ›
You will be able to work or play faster and more smoothly with 32GB RAM than with 16GB RAM. 32GB RAM is expensive but 16GB RAM will come at a reasonable price. 16GB RAM will do good for gaming. On the other hand, 32GB RAM will do good for video editing.How much should I spend on a gaming laptop? ›
Spending between $800 and $1,000 (or perhaps a little more) will get you a laptop with a GTX 1650 Ti, a 1660 Ti or even a 3050 Ti for a better gaming experience. If you're on a strict budget when shopping for a cheap gaming laptop, again, go with an Nvidia GTX 1650 graphics chip.How much does it cost to build a decent gaming PC 2022? ›
If you're looking to build a gaming computer, prices will vary greatly—$1000 is a good place to start for a budget build. Anything in between can vary greatly, all the way up to $4000 or higher.
Best gaming PC overall
The Alienware Aurora R14 Ryzen Edition is the best gaming PC you can buy right now. It's built with an AMD Ryzen 9 5900 CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card for all the power you need to play the hottest triple-A titles and most graphically demanding games.
- PlayStation 5. Topping the list, the PS5 garnered 5.4 million average monthly searches last year. ...
- Nintendo Switch. With an average of 3.2 million monthly searches on Google, the Nintendo Switch is very popular. ...
- Xbox Series X. ...
- PlayStation 4. ...
- Xbox Series S.
Last Updated on November 23, 2022
If you want to play games or watch movies without lag, you'll need at least 4GB of RAM. But a higher number will always make your computer run more smoothly, so 8GB is more than enough for everyday tasks.
If you're serious about gaming, select a gaming PC with a powerful CPU processor and video graphics card. Don't neglect cooling, as gaming uses a lot of power. If you're buying a gaming laptop, see whether it has built-in heatsinks for additional cooling and consider a laptop cooling pad.What temperature is too hot for a gaming laptop? ›
It's not particularly dangerous, of course, but most other gaming laptops are able to keep CPU temperatures at 80 C or cooler when under similar circumstances such as the Asus Zephyrus M16 or or Lenovo Legion 5 Pro. Core temperatures above 100 C can be considered a danger zone especially for prolonged periods.How much RAM do I need for a gaming laptop? ›
2-4GB of RAM can be enough for browsing the internet, lightweight work applications, or older games. 8GB of RAM can be enough for mid-range gaming and most work applications. Many modern PC games list 8GB of RAM or more as a minimum system requirement.How much RAM is enough for gaming? ›
Get at least 16GB of RAM to play modern games, and more if you multitask.What to look for when buying a gaming laptop? ›
While the GPU is important, you'll also want to be on the lookout for a good CPU, enough RAM and lots of storage space. CPU: Depending on your budget, you can get a very powerful Core i7 CPU or even one that you can overclock such as the Intel Core i9-12900HK. You can also find laptops with desktop CPUs.Which is the No 1 gaming laptop? ›
Acer Predator Helios 300 is one of the best gaming laptops available, offering a top-notch gaming experience with an i9 12th Gen Intel Core processor and Nvidia RTX 3060 graphic display. The RAM is 16GB, upgradable up to 32GB. The GPU has 6GB of dedicated VRAM to support games heavy on graphics.Which laptop RAM is best for gaming? ›
- G. ...
- Samsung DDR5-4800 (2 x 16GB) ...
- TeamGroup T-Force Xtreem ARGB DDR4-3600 (2 x 8GB) ...
- Patriot Viper Steel DDR4-4400 (2 x 8GB) ...
- Patriot Viper RGB DDR4-3600 (2 x 8GB) ...
- Patriot Viper 4 DDR4-3400 (2 x 8GB) ...
- Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro DDR4-3200 (4 x 8GB) ...
- Patriot Viper Steel DDR4-3200 (2 x 16GB)
The short answer is that a good mid-range gaming laptop will last 3-4 years. For high-end models, it could serve you 4-6 years. In terms of its physical components, you can expect up to 10 years' worth of service.Is 5 years a long time for a laptop? ›
Some laptops still run efficiently for longer than five years, but their range of tasks may be limited. Key takeaway: Laptop computers have a shorter lifespan than desktops, usually three to five years.How many GB is good for a gaming laptop? ›
Storage Needs for Gaming Computers
While 256GB of storage space is appropriate for many people, gaming enthusiasts will need a lot more. Most experts recommend that you get a minimum of 512GB if you're going to load a few games, but you'll need 1TB of storage if you're planning to load several AAA games.
Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition
Speaking of battery, we averaged nine hours and 16 minutes of work use between charges, which makes the Strix G15 far and away one of the longest-lasting gaming laptops on the market.
But another concern that often raises its head, is whether gaming damages the computers they run on. If a game makes a desktop or laptop run hard, can that cause it to become damaged over time? The answer is mostly a flat and clear, no.Which is better laptop or desktop? ›
After taking a look at all the factors at play between laptops and desktops, we can already say which one is better. In terms of portability, user-friendliness, and power efficiency, laptops win. For everything else, desktops all the way.Should I buy a new computer now or wait? ›
In short, if you can wait six months to a year to start your next build, you'll find your high-end choices greatly expanded. Of course that isn't all that helpful if you need a new PC right now. If you just can't wait, you'll still see some amazing performance compared to a desktop from just a few years ago.When should I replace my desktop computer? ›
Various technology experts weigh in with different advice regarding the life span of computers. Computer Hope says consumers should expect to replace a computer once every four years. Home Computer Help advises five years for desktops and three to four for laptops is a good time frame.Do gaming laptops slow down over time? ›
Typically in terms of hardware performance, a properly maintained gaming machine (laptop or no) will not slow down.