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Gaming Laptops: What’s New and How they Differ

December 1, 2013 by Meryll divider image

If we are going to look five years back, we would probably notice very little changes among gaming laptops then and now—but they seem to greatly differ in terms of price. Why? I mean why bother spend a significant amount of money for the more expensive gaming laptops when they are just about the same as the cheaper ones? What do they got new and how do they differ?

Although the existence of tablet PCs seems to be very tempting especially when we greatly consider mobility, they are still not able to match the performance of gaming laptops however we look at them. Sadly, gaming laptop manufacturers have not found a better gaming form to recreate a gaming laptop into. But let’s see why they have significant changes in terms of price.

The Display

            Let’s start from the very obvious—the display. By simply staring at the display, we really are unable to see the difference. But gaming laptop manufacturers justify their significant price increase in terms of display with the fact that they are now using an LED screen display instead of LCD.

An LCD or Liquid Crystal Display is a display technology that uses light modulating liquid crystals in order to project images through our computer screens. It does not directly emit light which is the reason it is unable to project very clear and vivid images on its own.

LED screen display does not actually mean that gaming laptop manufacturers make use of a different material for their products—instead, they make use of additional materials to make their LCD displays project better, clearer and more vivid images. They make use of Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) which are semiconductors of light in addition to their flattened LCDs. So yes, it is probably not right that they call it LED displays—instead, they should call it LED backlit display. They make use of the same material after all. The fact that they are using additional technology for better viewing experience justifies their price increase. Then of course we should not overlook the fact that there are also other gaming laptops that have touch sensitive screens or display.

The GPU

            The GPU or the Graphics Processing Unit is probably the most important buying decision factor for gamers. It tells them what games they can and cannot play on a gaming laptop. It tells them how well they could experience gaming.

Five years back, for about the same price of a newly released high-performance gaming laptop, you would probably be able to get one that has an NVIDIA GeForce 9800M GTS with 512 MB of GDDR3 memory. It has 64 CUDA Cores and 240 Gigaflops and manufacturers claim it to be very efficient in balancing battery life and performance. At that—at least five years back, it could already be a very good GPU that could play Call of Duty with quick gaming responses.

Today, what we could get at reasonable prices would at least be an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M that has 1344 CUDA Cores and process at around 720MHz. Newer GPUs like the GTX 680M supports a lot of new technologies including 3D Vision for a realistic viewing experience, DirectX11 for more detailed graphics and they also give not just quick gaming responses but real time gaming responses. These types of GPUs would not just let us play Call of Duty or other classic and unmatched first-person shooting games that let us play against the computer—they let us play the most recent and advanced games online and offline. They let us play games like Battlefield, Tomb Raider and World of War Craft. GPUs these days are also greatly responsible for balancing battery life and performance. Unlike gaming laptops from five years back that could let us stay on a game for around four hours on a single charge, newer gaming laptops doubles or even triples that battery life.

The CPU

            The CPU or the Central Processing Unit is most popularly defined as the brain of the computer or the gaming laptop. It is primarily responsible for carrying out instructions to all other parts or software within the gaming laptop in order for them to perform their specific functions. Older gaming laptops (which are probably from five years back) make use of CPUs like the Intel Core 2 Duo Processor P8400. This CPU is able to process data at 2.26GHz and had 3M Cache.

Newer gaming laptops now make use of Intel Haswell processors like the Intel Core i7-4770 Processor that has 8M Cache and is able to process data at 3.90GHz which is of course a lot faster compared to older CPUs.

The Storage

            Gaming laptops from five years back ideally hold around 250GB of HDD storage. Besides the fact that it has a very small storage capacity compared to the 1TB storage capacity of newer gaming laptops, they also generate more heat and make more noise. Newer gaming laptops now make use of Solid State Drives or SSDs which make use of very compact chips to store data. They do not generate heat and they do not make noises.

The Random Access Memory or RAM

            The Random Access Memory or RAM is the gaming laptop’s data storage that can be accessed randomly. Gaming laptop users do not just look into the amount of data it can hold but also the amount of time it needs to access data. Gaming laptops from five years back are already considered tough performing when they have about 4GB DDR3 RAM that operates at around 1066MHz. But newer gaming laptops now have as much as 32GB data storage capacity and operate at an average 1600MHz.

If you like playing classic laptop games like the Mario Brothers or Counter Strike, your old laptop may still be good to use. But if you would like to explore new games like Battlefield or Tomb Raider, you would definitely need a new gaming laptop that has adequate RAM.

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