You have been saving up diligently for your next gaming rig and now the time has come to go shopping. Little do you discover you were oblivious to what route to take between a gaming laptop and a gaming desktop. You start weighing them against one another but can’t clearly decide which is best for you. That is where we come in and objectively help you narrow down as to which one to splash your cash on. Anyway, you are not alone, this is a dilemma that many gamers have been facing for years.
The issue here is that the differences between a gaming desktop and a gaming laptop are quite obvious but each of them has its strengths. And the majority of gamers are only able to afford to buy one at a time. Others may be constrained by available space thence they go with a gaming laptop. To others, it is a matter of preference that they must have a massive RGB-lit tower next to their mechanical keyboard. This post is for the undecided shopper who is open to either option. Let’s get started.
1. Gaming Laptops are more Portable than Desktops
I know this is not exactly breaking news to anyone but it is a very critical factor to consider before taking the plunge. Even a giant 17″ gaming laptop can be folded up and easily fit in a backpack which makes this an easy victory for gaming laptops. On the other hand, even the smallest desktop will be significantly cumbersome to carry around.
This is because you have to consider the monitor, keyboard, and CPU as individual components among other accessories like a mouse. If you need a gaming rig that you will be able to move around with conveniently, a gaming laptop will be the obvious option. What if to you mobility is not a factor in consideration? The reason may be that you have a notebook for your other work-related tasks. Your options are still wide open, so let’s get to the next factor to consider between a gaming laptop and a gaming desktop.
2. A Gaming Desktop is More Upgradeable than a Laptop
Generally, most desktop components are designed to be much more replaceable and upgradeable than laptops. You can pretty much change and upgrade each and every component of a desktop from motherboards to CPUs and even power supply units. On the other hand, very limited components of a laptop are upgradeable. For instance, you cannot upgrade the motherboard, cooling system, or CPU of most laptops. A key point here is that during purchase you can build a fully customized gaming desktop for yourself.
With laptops, you get to choose and purchase from the limited options configured for you by the manufacturer. The most experienced builders of desktop gaming rigs configure systems so that they can keep upgrading to the latest components for the next few years, the same cannot be said for a laptop.
Also, beware of prebuilt desktops that use proprietary motherboards which are not of standard sizes hence limiting their upgradeability. Most laptops will limit your upgradeable components to memory and storage.
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3. Costs: Which is More Expensive to purchase
It is quite difficult to compare gaming desktops and laptops cost-wise directly due to the wide range of possible configurations. But by stacking several similarly equipped laptops and desktops against one another a trend will emerge. The trend will be that the gaming desktop will marginally cheaper than the laptop with similar hardware.
But to be fair, this is before you factor in a monitor for the desktop as well as other accessories like a keyboard, a mouse, or speakers. So, once you factor all that into the cost of a gaming desktop you will end up at a similar cost as the laptop. I’ll be very happy to call this one a tie between the desktop and the laptop because there is no clear winner.
Pound for pound, dollar for dollar a gaming desktop will always beat a similarly priced laptop in terms of performance. I say this because performance will 100% depend on the specifications you choose. This is to explicitly say that a $3,500 gaming laptop will most likely trounce a $1,500 desktop. That said, similar hardware will always perform better on a desktop than on a laptop.
This is all due to better heat dissipation from better cooling facilities of the big desktop chassis. Consequently, lower operating temperatures will lead to improved performance. A desktop’s form factor also allows for liquid cooling. Performance-wise, we have to give it to desktop gaming rigs even though some laptop innovations are closing the gaps.
Conclusion: Gaming Laptop vs Gaming Desktop
To recap the above factors, we have found out that gaming desktops are easily upgradeable and more powerful than gaming laptops. Desktops are also easily customizable during purchase because you can build whatever you want, your imagination is your limit. On the other hand, if you are looking for a computer to carry around while saving on space at home, a laptop is the sensible choice.
If you want much more performance on a laptop you may have to cough out more cash than you would with a desktop. Also, because a laptop is less upgradeable, you may have to dispose it after a few years and buy a new one. That said, when it comes to gaming, are you inclined to laptops or desktops? Let us know your allegiances through the comments section below.
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