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Haswell Gaming Laptops: Why Pay Their Price?

August 17, 2013 by Meryll divider image

Intel’s 4th Generation processors that are equipped with the Haswell microarchitecture seem to be making big noises in the laptop market, whether it is for gaming or for everyday computing use, every laptop owner would want Intel Haswell on his device. What’s with it besides being noticeably a lot more expensive for being new?

Intel’s Oregon group must have had ultra-portability and performance demands of their clients in mind when they designed the Intel Haswell microarchitecture. Without digging into the technical specifications of the Haswell microarchitecture, let’s see what very interesting features Haswell gaming laptops have that others don’t and why should we pay their price.

Intel made very significant changes to their 4th Generation “Haswell” processors in terms of performance. They are able to double the rate of responsiveness of HD graphics; from the 1150MHz and 16 units of previous processors, Haswell equipped processors came out with 40 execution units at 1300MHz. Gaming laptops with Intel Haswell microarchitecture has made gaming a lot more realistic by giving real-time responses and detailed viewing experience. It has also improved support for the most modern gaming technologies including Direct3D 11.1 and OpenGL 4.0. They also feature higher cache bandwidth; it has additional 128MB eDRAM. Haswell equipped processors have minimum clocks of 3.0GHz and maximum of 3.90GHz.

By merely looking into what a Haswell equipped CPU can process; graphics demanding computing tasks, rendering, HD and 3D streaming, it seems that a gaming laptop can very well manage modern games even without the aid of a GPU. It would probably be beyond a hard core gamer’s imagination to play on a gaming laptop that has both a Haswell and the newest and best performing GPU. How much better could mobile gaming be?

The Haswell microarchitecture defines the ultra-portable form factor of gaming laptops. It resolves the problem of gaming laptop manufacturers about gaming tablet PCs that seem to slowly dominate their market. Besides the gaming laptop screen displays getting a lot smaller from 17.3 inches to 13 inches wide HD and 3D capable displays, gaming laptops with Haswell inside have also become a lot thinner.

Alienware which has always been the top selling gaming laptop series has reduced its thickness from a bit more than to inches to just 1.8 inches with its new Alienware 17. It also weighs a little less; from its old version at 13.8 lbs. it now weighs just 9.14 lbs. MSI which is also among the top gaming laptop manufacturers came up with just a 0.85 inch thick gaming laptop. They call it the MSI GS70 and it also just weighs 5.73 lbs.

Another top selling gaming laptop is the Razer Blade Pro which is being compared to a MacBook for being just around 0.66 inch thick but of course still keeping the performance of a gaming beast.

If a hard core gamer would like a little discount for paying the price of a dual GPU, he should best have a Haswell gaming laptop; it may have a single GPU but its CPU performs just like a second one. If he would like to enjoy ultra-portability while keeping ultimate gaming performance, he should not hesitate paying the price of a Haswell gaming laptop and so much more if he would like a gaming laptop that he can use several years from now because it would still support the latest gaming technologies.

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