How to Find a Gaming Laptop That Won’t Cost You an Arm and a Leg

A gaming laptop is precisely what it sounds like. It is a laptop that has been configured with the highest specs possible to handle the most popular games. It has become a lucrative market for many brands, so there are many options to choose from. Nevertheless, these high-quality complaints don’t come cheaply, and the price can increase massively as soon as you begin to boost the specification. Knowing what to look for will help you find cheaper options.

Why Buy A Gaming Laptop?

Desktop PCs have been around for decades, but they’re slowly being replaced by laptops that can do everything a modern desktop can, but in a portable form. Gaming laptops, in particular, are the best of both worlds: you can take your desktop gaming rig with you anywhere you go, but you can also take it with you when you want to work on some documents or spreadsheets. While desktops are far more flexible in terms of upgradability, this is something that many people don’t mind because games laptops are becoming increasingly popular. Moreover, while a hardcore gaming fan will still build a dedicated gaming rig, anyone who plays casually will prefer the laptop’s portability.

How To Find Affordable Models

Although the very top-of-the-line models are costly, there are some things you can look for when searching for more affordable items.


In addition to saving money, refurbished laptops provide you with a like-new device at a fraction of the cost of a second-hand machine. Because you can buy a refurbished laptop that’s as good as new, but at a fraction of the cost, you might save hundreds of dollars even on the most blazing fast models. Moreover, refurbished items are inherently more affordable than new items because you buy a used item that has already been tested, repaired, and put back onto the market. If you want as new as possible but have a limited budget, this is your best option.

Comparison Site

Most savvy shoppers have probably already used a comparison site before. You visit the site, type into the search bar what you want, and see what comes up. Although you will save some money, the variations won’t be as significant as when you shop for a refurbished option.

Black Friday Deals

Traditionally a U.S. marketing term for the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday is one of the year’s biggest shopping days. Businesses traditionally opened at midnight on Thanksgiving to sell their items close to the start of the Christmas shopping season. You can often find deep discounts on all kinds of things, electronics included. The major downside is that it is an annual sale, so you will have to wait a year if you miss it.

Wait for New Models (and then Buy the Previous Option)

Laptops and gaming ones, in particular, have a high turnover rate as new processors and graphics cards come to market. There are a large number of brand-new models that the manufacturer must discontinue. Therefore, if you check sites like eBay or Amazon, you could find the previous models going for far less than before. Furthermore, this is one instance where heading to a physical store may lead to a cheaper option compared to online because they are linked to physical space and should clear their inventory.

Upgrade Yourself after Buying Low-Spec

If you enjoy upgrading yourself, you will save some money by upgrading a lower spec choice by yourself. Ensure that the brand you choose doesn’t have its internals soldered onto the motherboard, as this makes upgrades impossible.

What To Look For

Current gaming laptops are potent beasts, packing some serious hardware into a surprisingly compact design. You get plenty of power, graphics cards, hardware dedicated to memory and storage, and a decent chassis to keep it all safe. That all said, there are still a few things you should look for in a gaming laptop that will prove helpful when you’re looking for a new one.


Price is often the most significant factor that will influence your choice, will be how much you are willing or indeed able to spend. As previously mentioned, these machines can become extremely expensive once you start to configure them. Nevertheless, you can usually find the perfect gaming laptop under $2000 that exactly fits your needs with the tips mentioned above. Anything up to that amount will get you a great gaming laptop that can handle everything up to and including the latest AAA games. Whatever price you go for, you should still ensure that you can upgrade the device as trends change and new internals are brought to the consumer market.


If you want to keep your laptop for several years and still play the latest game releases, you will need to ensure that you can upgrade the parts when possible. Unfortunately, most laptops make this problematic, and it is almost impossible to change the Central Processing Unit (CPU) or the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). Nonetheless, the things you can change include:

  • Random Access Memory (RAM): This has a profound effect on the loading times of games. Therefore, as games become more extensive, the amount of memory needed will increase.
  • Storage: There are two options, a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) or a Solid State Drive (SSD). Laptops will often come equipped with a fast M.2 SSD that is ultra-fast and stable. You will need to upgrade over time as the dive begins to degrade, or you fill it up with games.


The CPU is an electronic, digital, and electronic computer chip embedded into your computer’s motherboard and performs various operations, such as interpreting and executing instructions stored in programmable read-only memory in the computer’s RAM. You have two options these days between Intel and AMD, both offering up exciting solutions. The latest is their Core i9 processor, a staple in the gaming world for a couple of years with Intel. It can be overclocked (made to run more computations) quickly but consumes large amounts of power and heats up rapidly. On the other hand, AMD has brought to the market their Ryzen chipset, which has more cores and consumes less power than their Intel counterparts.


A graphics processing unit (GPU) is a chip designed to quickly and efficiently perform computations that simulate the visuals of a 3D world. GPUs are used in computers, video games, and other devices that display 3D images. This is arguably the most important thing you need to consider in a gaming laptop. The GPU is the part that will take your gaming from average to 4K resolution at 120 FPS. As mentioned earlier, you will not upgrade this, so make sure the laptop you purchase has the very best you can afford.


During digital information processing, RAM stores information temporarily. When a computer accesses a piece of information, RAM is where that information resides. Without access to the information stored in RAM, the laptop will not quickly access that piece of data and render it to the screen. So, in a way, RAM is the computer’s short-term memory as it is the place that the computer stores information for quick access to it. 


There are two choices for storage:


Hard disk drives are the most popular storage devices today and have been since the dawn of the computer era. Today, you can find those drives in computers, external storage drives, and more. While hard disks haven’t changed much over the years, the data storage industry has developed through a constantly moving target, with many new technologies and storage options coming to market over the years.


  • A large amount of storage.
  • Cheaper.


  • Slower than SSD.
  • More prone to failure.


Solid State Drives (SSD) are non-volatile memory, meaning they can retain data even after power is cut from the device. These differ from hard drives, which lose data once the drive is powered down.


  • Fast
  • Stable
  • Handles bumps and knocks better


  • More expensive
  • Lower storage capacity than HDD


An excellent cooling solution will help you get the most out of your laptop. Keeping it cool is not only for comfort, but lower temperatures mean a faster CPU and GPU.

Display Quality

You will need to decide what resolution and frame rate you want. The two top choices of resolution these days are 4K and 1080. When it comes to a laptop, it might sound like a good idea to get the highest amount of pixels possible, but this is not always the case. For example, the 4K screen will have to work harder and use up more battery in the process. Likely, you won’t even see the difference on such a small screen. Instead, the best thing to look for is the frame rate. It is this that will improve your gameplay experience. You should look for at least 120 FPS and go higher if you can.

A gaming laptop is an excellent tool for gaming, whether it be on the go or in the comfort of your home. It gives you the ability to play your games the way they are meant to be played: on a large screen with a keyboard and mouse. In addition, top models have the power to play any game at an almost maxed-out setting. You don’t have to break the bank to get one of these machines, and you can save some money if you know what to look for.

How to Find a Gaming Laptop That Won’t Cost You an Arm and a Leg was last updated August 11th, 2023 by Allen Brown

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