Computers nowadays are close to becoming necessities for modern living– if they aren’t already. Most people need them for work, and a lot of others want them for entertainment. Such a device has become pivotal to the development of the modern age to the digital age. And among gaming computers, the typical question would be the gaming laptop vs gaming desktop conundrum.
Quite a lot of factors in the past few years have affected this choice. Gaming laptop technology is starting to creep up to gaming desktop levels. Meanwhile, gaming desktops are getting more expensive, making the gaming laptop vs gaming desktop choice even more difficult to answer.
After all, you’re going to be using them primarily for gaming, and that’s the big assumption here. If your work demands either laptops or desktops, then you have no choice. Gaming does give you more freedom since it’s a hobby.
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Each setup also has its pros and cons. Truth be told, we live in an era of computers where considering gaming laptops over gaming desktops isn’t as blasphemous to the community compared to five years ago, before custom gaming desktop prices started soaring.
So to help you with your choice, here’s a breakdown of each setup.
Pros of Gaming Laptops
As we mentioned before, gaming laptops are getting more popular and more powerful these days despite having weaker hardware compared to their desktop counterparts.
Nanotechnology is getting there slowly but surely and it might only be a matter of time before gaming laptops match the processing power and capabilities of desktop computers. That still depends on innovators and how well they respond to current trends and demands, but smaller electronics are always seen as better and more practical.
Laptops Are Portable
The most obvious advantage here for gaming laptops is that you can take them anywhere. But really, these things are either heavy, bulky, expensive, or fragile, and bringing them on non-business trips and outdoor activities is not recommended.
At most, you can just bring them around offices, universities, or cafes so you can play games during work or studying breaks.
The bigger argument on portability is that laptops have fewer wires compared to desktop PCs. Desktop PCs have too many plugs and cables while laptops are more minimalistic. If you find yourself too annoyed by wires, then gaming laptops are the more appealing option here.
Gaming Laptop Consume Less Energy
Since their components are slightly weaker than their PC counterparts and typically come at a lower wattage, laptops are more eco-friendly. They consume less energy and if they’re not plugged in, then they don’t consume anything at all.
If you live in a country where electricity is expensive, then a gaming laptop might be the more sensible choice for your wallet or budget (in the long run).
Even if they’re plugged in during heavy gaming sessions, laptops will consume less electricity compared to their desktop counterparts (of the same component names).
Gaming Laptops Work Right Out of the Box
Ever tried to format a newly-built custom desktop PC by yourself? It’s at least one hour of work if you’re lucky– that’s in addition to the one hour or so of assembly or the “build” process. With laptops that you can buy in stores, you can buy them, take them home, and then start using them without any work or preparation needed.
To that end, they’re more user-friendly compared to a desktop PC– a custom desktop PC at least. Do note that there are prebuilt desktop PCs, but that defeats the main strength of a desktop PC, which is modularity and customizability.
Cons of Gaming Laptops
Of course, portability and lower power consumption have their compromises and drawbacks. You might find that there are more dealbreakers for gaming laptops than benefits. But if you’re fine with these, then feel free to pick one over a gaming desktop.
Gaming Laptops Have a Higher Price
Gaming laptops, or just laptops in general, tend to be more expensive compared to a desktop of the same specifications or component names. That’s because manufacturing them is a more special engineering and factory process.
You’ll end up paying more for a laptop when compared to a desktop PC of the same specs. However, you won’t get the same performance, because…
Gaming Laptops Are Weaker
We mentioned this earlier, but to further expound on a gaming laptop’s most glaring weakness, lower energy consumption equates to lower performance.
Laptops can’t consume too much electricity because they have inadequate cooling in that small case or chassis. So, they are generally 20 to 30 percent weaker in processing power compared to their desktop PC counterparts.
Gaming Laptops Run Hot and Loud
Since they often have small or lackluster cooling, gaming laptops tend to be noisier and hotter compared to gaming desktops. It’s common to see temperatures above 80 degrees Celsius, which, if seen on a gaming desktop, is enough to make the owner panic.
Again, the smaller chassis can only fit in so many cooling capabilities before it starts falling off. The smaller fans will also struggle more to cool the components, so expect it to be noisier.
Gaming Laptops Are Not Modular
While you can upgrade the RAM and the storage in some laptop models, the most important and most expensive parts of a laptop, which are the CPU and GPU are soldered and locked in the main board.
That means if they break, there goes the whole laptop. Meanwhile, if those components break or die off on a custom desktop PC or even a prebuilt one, you can just buy a compatible upgrade and everything is fine again without buying a whole PC. This is a pretty big dealbreaker for laptops.
Pros of Gaming Desktops
Gaming desktops have been around longer than laptops so their technology and performance are more refined and have progressed more notably. For the best entertainment experience in gaming, you’re better off going with them.
Gaming desktops are still the ultimate gaming devices since they are the most powerful and they have the widest range of peripherals available to them. Other factors include…
Gaming Desktops Have Better Cooling & Performance
Since gaming desktops have bigger cases, they can fit in bigger cooling components. Better cooling means they can draw more power from the wall and thus give out better performance.
That’s why they’re also more powerful than consoles and laptops. Gaming desktops can be as big as their users want in order to accommodate adequate cooling at the cost of size and portability.
Gaming Desktops Are Modular & Customizable
The biggest strength of a gaming desktop over a gaming laptop, of course, is modularity. You can purchase parts and replace old ones as long as they’re compatible with the other components.
So if a part breaks, then you can just diagnose which one it is and purchase the corresponding component. It’s thus cheaper to maintain a gaming desktop than a gaming laptop.
Cons of Gaming Desktops
Despite how far computer technology has come, there are still some common and persistent problems associated with gaming desktops of custom desktop PCs in general.
These certainly hinder the accessibility of the device for the general public, triggering the demand for computer engineers and I.T. specialists.
Gaming Desktops Are More Complicated
Trying to build a gaming desktop for the first time is rather intimidating for most people. Some parts are expensive and it’s easy to mess up the assembly of components like the CPU cooler and the motherboard.
User error is also quite rampant, making the process of building a desktop PC not ideal or conducive for beginners.
Gaming Desktops Are Bulky
There are small desktop designs, but if you want to leverage the advantages of gaming desktops (which are cooling and performance), then you have to go big. This means desktop PCs that weigh anywhere from 10 to 20 kilograms (fully built) standing on a desk.
That requires a lot of desk real estate. Coupled with the necessary monitor, mouse, keyboard, wires, and speakers, you need ample room and space just to accommodate desktop PCs.
Gaming Desktops Consume More Electricity
We also mentioned this earlier. Gaming desktops simply consume more electricity due to their more powerful components. If you play heavy video games in prolonged sessions, expect the bill to be higher compared to when you’re doing that on a gaming laptop.
Again, the cost you incur depends on electricity prices in your region, but you’ll end up spending more money for energy over time while playing on a gaming desktop.
So it’s up to you and your needs or conditions regarding your choice between Gaming Laptop vs Gaming Desktop. We just hope we helped you make the right decision for yourself, if you have any questions, feel free to discuss them in the comment section.