What is CPU Speed and its importance in a Gaming Laptop?

Whether you want to play games on the go or want to get your designing work done, having a powerful laptop with high end components is highly important. And if you are getting a laptop, then choosing the right components becomes even more important since you cannot upgrade them later on. Usually, the graphics cards of your computer are considered as the most important component of any desktop or laptop when it comes to gaming.

But without a powerful enough processor, even a high end graphics card will not be able to offer a smooth gaming experience. Thus, choosing the right CPU for your gaming laptop based on factors like CPU is highly important as explained here.

CPU Cores vs CPU Speeds

Before taking a look at CPU speeds or CPU clock speeds, you should also check the cores offered by a given CPU since it can also affect the gaming performance by quite a lot. If you are not familiar with CPU cores, you can essentially consider them as separated processing units of a given processor. In other words, if a given CPU has 8 cores, then it has 8 different processing units.

  • This makes multicore processors ideal for multitasking where you are running a lot of processes and tasks at the same time.
  • Talking about gaming, most games rely on 1 to 4 cores which means that you should go for at least a 4 core CPU if you want a good gaming experience. 
  • However, if you wish to run any other program other than your games, getting a 6 core CPU is highly recommended.

Coming over to the CPU speeds of your laptop's processor, it tells you about the speed or the performance of each core. This tells you about how fast a given core of your processor can process any given information. In other words, you get better performance out of your laptop’s processor if it has a high CPU speed. Usually, you will find CPU speeds given in GHz which can include ratings like 2 GHz, 3 GHz, 4 GHz, and even higher in some cases. Whether it is the CPU cores or CPU speeds, having a higher rating is mostly better for both gaming as well as other heavy computing tasks.

Base Clock Speeds vs Boost Clock Speeds

Now that you know more about the various factors related to a laptop CPU, let’s take a closer look at clock speeds or CPU speeds. Most modern computer processors have two types of CPU speed ratings which includes the base clock speeds as well as the boost clock speeds. Even though both of these are quite different, both of them are equally important for gaming and other computing tasks.

Starting with the base clock speeds of your laptop’s processor, you can consider it as the minimum CPU speed that a given processor will offer at all times. If a given processor has a base clock speed of 2.4 GHz, then all of its cores can work at 2.4 GHz or higher at the same time. And if your laptop is properly cooled, you can even expect it to stay much higher than the base clock speed.

Coming to the boost clock speeds of your gaming laptop's processor, this can be considered as the maximum CPU speeds that it can achieve. For example, if a given processor has a boost clock speed of 5.0 GHz, then it can achieve that for a short period of time. 

This is handy for quick CPU loads because of which a higher boost clock speed can make your system much snappier. Unlike the base clock speed, the boost clock speed of a processor is achieved only on a few cores. And since games do not use all of your CPU cores, a higher boost clock speed can improve the gaming performance of your laptop by quite a lot.

Processor TDP Rating

Another factor that can affect your gaming performance is the TDP rating which differs between U series and H series processors. While U series CPUs are low TDP ones designed for thin and light laptops, H series CPUs are high wattage ones designed for gaming laptops. Since a high TDP allows the CPU to sustain boost clock speeds for longer, H series processors are the better one for gaming.

CPU Speed for Gaming

Now that you know the various important factors to consider before choosing the right CPU for gaming, you may also want to know the preferred CPU speeds for a smooth gaming experience. Thankfully, if you are going to use a modern H series processor, the chances are that it is going to be more than enough.

Any laptop CPU with a base clock speed of 2.5 GHz and higher along with a boost clock speed of 4.0 GHz should be more than enough for all your gaming needs. When it comes to gaming, the boost clock speed is the more important one since only a few cores are used at a time while gaming.

CPU Speed for Heavy Computing Tasks

A great thing about gaming laptops is that since they are highly powerful, they get used for all sorts of heavy computing tasks other than just gaming. If you are also going to use your gaming laptop for video editing, photo processing, 3D designing, and all sorts of other heavy computing tasks, then it is highly important to get a CPU with a lot of cores with a high base clock. Unlike gaming, such tasks use all of the cores of your gaming laptop at once. As a result, a CPU with 8 cores running at a base clock of 3.0 GHz or higher is going to be the best one for you.

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