A gaming laptop will probably be one of the most expensive pieces of technology that you might own. For this reason, it would be prudent to know how long the laptop is going to serve you before needing a replacement. You are most likely going to pay significantly over 1000 dollars for a gaming laptop, meaning you should expect much regarding durability and performance. In this regard, here is a handy guide to help you ensure you get your money’s worth when you purchase a gaming laptop.
The biggest issue when you are working with a gaming laptop is heat. A gaming laptop will come with several high performing components housed within a limited space. In this case, airflow becomes restricted, leading to a rise in temperature which could lead to CPU or GPU overheating. Ensuring that your computer remains as cool as it can be at all times is essential in boosting its longevity. Considering this fact, it all boils down to the following:
- Regular dusting
- Keeping away from objects that hamper airflow like blankets and pillows
- Routine maintenance including replacing thermal paste when necessary
- Investing in a cooling pad
- Monitoring CPU & GPU temperatures
- Going for a gaming laptop with multiple cooling fans
The manufacturer that you purchase from also matters regarding the longevity of the best gaming laptops. A laptop may feature the best hardware but may not be up to the task when it comes to gaming. A good number of inferior and lesser-known models may work just fine in the beginning but start experiencing performance issues after a short time. In this case, find out some of the trusted brands that have been in the industry for long and have a reputation of producing long-lasting machines. Examples of some of the brands you can look at include Acer, HP, and Dell among many others. Avoid only looking at specifications and price. You may go home with a cheap laptop with impressive specs, but it may start failing after as little as one year.
Unlike computers, gaming consoles can run games for more than five years without needing any changes. However, for computers, specifically gaming laptops, in this case, you cannot rely on the same hardware for many years. They come with a variety of hardware, and at least one of them will be subject to an upgrade after a short while. Also, manufacturers have to scale down on hardware for it to fit into the small form factor of a laptop. Hardware can last for up to a decade – the only challenge sets in if the latest games require newer computer components to run efficiently. No one could tell what changes are around the corner, which means that you may purchase a gaming laptop today and have to make an upgrade after a short time. Good gaming laptops can serve you for more than three years if the latest games do not demand significant hardware changes within a short time.
Related: Check out our review of the best laptops for gaming under $800 in 2019.
The most important hardware component in a gaming laptop is the graphics card (GPU). You should consider performance on this front by comparing the different available options. Performing a simple Google search focusing on the games that you usually play should suffice in guiding you in finding the right gaming laptop. Compare the different results that you see to obtain enough knowledge to make the best possible purchasing decision. Powerful graphics cards like NVidia’s GTX 1070 and 1060 should push you through up to five years. However, you must lower graphics settings over time to get the best gaming experience.
Related: See our top 5 RTX 2080 laptops available in 2019.
Gaming laptops rarely fall short of RAM (Random Access Memory) needed to run games. Purchasing a computer with at least 8GB RAM should see you through most games for many years. You can install additional RAM at any point as you use your gaming laptop. Ensure you upgrade the RAM if a laptop has 4GB RAM to prevent framerate hits and stuttering when you are playing your games.
The operating system that you use may determine how long your gaming laptop can be usable. However, it is not such a big deal considering that a new laptop will come with the latest Windows version in most cases. In the past, it used to be a big deal because Microsoft would update the operating system every 2 – 3 years. Currently, upgrading an operating system should not be challenging because most of us have access to reliable Internet. For this reason, Microsoft will send minor updates over a long period. Getting a Windows 10 gaming laptop should be enough, as we do not expect any significant upgrades anytime soon. You could also opt for one of the available Linux operating systems, known to work well with older hardware than Windows.
Related: See our best $1500 gaming laptops for 2019.
Proper maintenance will ensure you get the most out of your gaming laptop as long as it supports your games. You need to do several things in this regard for your laptop to stay in good shape and deliver the best gaming performance. These include:
- Employing proper charging habits such as plugging out when the battery is full to ensure the cell remains functional for a long time.
- Regular internal cleaning every few months to remove dust and other particles that may damage the laptop.
- Avoid spilling foods and liquids on the laptop.
- Make all the necessary software and hardware upgrades to get the most out of your gaming laptop.
In general, you should expect a shorter lifespan for your laptop if your main activity is gaming. The short lifetime does not have to be in regards to functionality but the ability to support the latest games. Games advance in complexity and graphics and will need improved hardware to run smoothly. Mid-range and low-end gaming laptops will work for a few years before it starts struggling at running the new games. High-end gaming laptops should comfortably see you through more than three years, though might need some settings adjustments over time. A gaming laptop can retain its functionality after a decade, but the hardware might be obsolete at this point.