Buying A Gaming Laptop for 2018 – What to Avoid?

Hey, how’s it going Dave2D here. So, this video is a guide, a guide for people that are interested in purchasing a gaming laptop going into 2018 and it’s specifically for a gaming laptops. So, this isn’t super comprehensive and I’m just going to talk about something that are important when it comes to the decision process for purchasing a laptop for gaming. So, when it comes to the art of making a laptop, I think manufacturers go through that struggle where they are trying to find that perfect spot between price and performance and portability. It’s basically pick 2 of 3.

If you want want ultra light portability and really good performance, it exists there’s some really thin 1080 Max-Q laptops out there but they’re really expensive. So, you got to decide pretty early on in your process of how much money you want to spend and where you want to spend that money. So, cheaper laptops tend to be little bit thicker and heavier and they usually have more plastic materials, which isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just not as premium feeling or premium looking.

But when it comes to the thickness of a laptop, sometimes thicker laptops can have an advantage, because when you have a big laptop to work with, you have bigger heat pipes, you have bigger fans just everything can be a little bit bigger and those things tend to do a better job at removing heat from a system. So, let’s take a look at some examples. This is an Alienware 17 this thing is a relatively thick 17 inch gaming laptop and it’s quite a bit thicker than the Razer Blade Pro.

Now, when this thing first launched this thing had a GTX 1080 in it. It’s quite a hot GPU and one of the issues this thing had was keeping up with the thermal output. Here’s the thing, when this thing comes out of the factory it’s tuned just right. Everything is running fine so the temperatures are acceptable.

But the thing is the moment this thing has any kind of like dust buildup, or if you want to play with this thing on your blanket or like on your lap and you are covering up the vents on the bottom, the thermals rise, and it just doesn’t do as well. The GTX 1080 on the Alienware, still produces a lot of heat but this laptop is thick like, thick with the cc (thicc ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)) and this thing has just a lot more thermal headroom. This thing comes out of the factory running fine as well, but because there’s more room in there, there’s just more tolerance for dust to build up and stuff like that. So, a device like this because it’s thicker, it isn’t as elegant-looking, but it’ll get you further along when it comes to dust buildup and stuff.

You definitely need to take care of a Razer Blade Pro or basically any thin and light gaming laptop. Okay, I want to talk about build quality, I want to go back to build quality. So, basically when it comes to how well gaming laptops are made, in 2017 most laptops are made quite well. There’s more emphasis from brands to build things that are thinner and lighter, because that’s just what people seem to want right now, but there is still a really good market for bigger laptops, the more durable they tend to last longer and quite frankly, thin and light gaming laptops aren’t for everyone, you definitely need to take better care of them.

I won’t talk about ports too much. I just want to mention a couple things: thunderbolt 3 support is something that’s cool on paper, especially if you’re into the whole idea of like external GPUs, but in reality they are really expensive to set up. So, it’s not something that I think you should really gun for like if your device that you are looking at doesn’t have thunderbolt 3 support, I don’t think it should make or break the deal. The other thing is, if you’re purchasing a device, make sure that the exhaust of the fans isn’t on the mouse hand. So, I’ve used some laptops that the fan exhaust literally right beside your mouse hand and your hands just getting baked while you play and it’s no good so avoid that but otherwise ports are a pretty easy decision. Okay, let’s talk about CPUs.

The Intel U processors have just been refreshed. So, the 8th gen U processors are those Kaby Lake R chips, those are 15 watt CPUs and despite what companies are trying to tell you, if you’re really looking for a dedicated gaming laptop, don’t get a U processor, get a H processor. So, the 8th generation H processors are just about to come out and these are 45 watt CPUs that are traditionally quad-core CPUs, but these new Coffee Lake ones are 6 cores and with the new Coffee Lake architecture because of faster clock speeds and the two extra cores, you’re going to get some better performance.

Now things like multi-core applications are going to be significantly better but, well optimized games should notice some nice boost in performance as well. Ok, let’s talk, about graphics cards the Nvidia GTX 10 series GPUs were amazing for laptops They basically brought, they basically changed the entire industry. This whole thing about gaming laptops was basically a joke 3 years ago. Gaming laptops were just, they were stupid you would pay huge amounts of money and not really get the performance that you would need to be able to play the current titles. Nowadays, you can spend like eight, nine hundred bucks on an entry level gaming laptop and depends on the game, but you can float at that 60 frames per second target on ultra graphics for a lot of games.

It’s pretty crazy, like look at these games, these are triple A titles from Blizzard, Activision, EA, basically the most graphically intensive games are able to run at really good frame rates on an entry level gaming laptop. That’s awesome. Now, as for what’s next, it’s Nvidia Volta that should probably launch like, late spring, early summer of 2018. So, we got some time but ask yourself. Do you really think you’re, gonna need, that extra GPU performance? Like, look at that chart, those are the games are you able to play at 60 frames per second or more with a $900 gaming laptop so yes Volta’s gonna be better obviously, but I don’t know if we’ll really need that extra performance because I feel like we’ve already hit that sweet spot where inexpensive hardware can play the best titles.

Okay, I want to talk about the screen and if you look the screen is one of the most important decisions when it comes to making a laptop decision because when you purchase a GPU, like when you’ve decided on a GPU and a CPU combination, it doesn’t matter which brand you go with, performance is gonna be relatively similar but the screens differ a lot So, my first piece of advice is don’t get a 4K screen unless you really need it for content creation or something because when it comes to gaming, you’re gonna get better value and just get a better gaming experience if you spend that money on higher quality 1080p screen. A 120 hertz screen is so much better than a 60 hertz screen for gaming. You’ll need to be able to push out those 120 frames per second to really appreciate it, but when you do, the gaming experience is just so much smoother. You can react faster, things just look better on screen, it’s night and day. Unfortunately, it’s one of those things I can’t show on this video because you’re watching this at 24 frames per second. If you see these things in person you’ll love them.

The other thing is don’t be afraid of a high quality TN panel. I know traditionally TN panels are freaking terrible, they’re bad for everything let alone gaming, but the new ones are really good like Acer, MSI, they are using panels on their laptops, that just look gorgeous. I would consider those high quality TN panels significantly better than most IPS panels on gaming laptops. So, check them out and just the direction of the whole industry, I think is gonna moving towards high refresh rate screens, 120 Hertz panels look so much better. Look at this thing, the Razer Blade Pro.

This thing launched originally with the GTX 1080 and a 4K 60 Hertz screen. So, games looked really pretty, really color accurate, but they were only capped at 60 Hertz, you could only see 60 frames per second. This new variant has a GTX 1060 and 120 Hertz screen and I much prefer playing games on this thing than the old one. It’s just a gorgeous 120 frames per second screen.

It’s so much nicer to look at, so much more enjoyable to play games on. So, if you’re looking for screens and your budget can allow for it, check out 120 Hertz screens, they’re gonna be the hot stuff for 2018 and one other thing, if you do buy a cheaper laptop like an inexpensive laptop, if you really want to, a lot of them have the ability to replace the screens it’s not easy and it’s probably not covered under warranty in fact it’s definitely not a warranty covered operation, but it can be done you can buy some really inexpensive screens for like 100 bucks that are 120 Hertz and look pretty good. So, I’ll leave a link should I do it?

Do it at your own discretion I will leave a link. Okay, last thing I want to talk about is customer support and this is something that I think gets overlooked in a lot of laptop videos. The whole industry, in my opinion, does not have good customer support.

If you look at every single brand, everyone has like horror stories of Customer support that they had with basically every single brand, except for Apple. They, have like these million dollar laptops that cost a lot of money but when you go to the store there’s a really good chance that if you have busted a device in the first year, you are going to walk out of the Apple store with it repaired or replaced. You don’t get that option with basically every other gaming laptop company My honest opinion is that the big companies like Dell, HP, Lenovo, any company that has a lot of big like business accounts and stuff like that they have great customer support available just for their business customers and they kind of extend that to the consumer level if you’re looking for good customer support, check out Dell, HP, Lenovo, Alienware, they all have that next day support thing where they try to send someone to your door to try to fix it or repair and I’ve had mixed experience of that some good some bad but at least that option is available. Smaller companies, like razer they don’t have that kind of stuff. You have to send it back to the factory to get it fixed.

So, if you’re looking for really good customer support, well don’t get any gaming laptop but if you’re looking for a better customer support go for the bigger companies. Okay, hope you guys enjoyed this video. Thumbs, if you liked it, subs if you loved it. See you guys next time.