Here are the most common specifications you should be looking at when choosing a cheap gaming laptop.
The processor or CPU (Central Processing Unit) is the brain and heart of your laptop. This is where all the data are being processed and all laptop controls rely on. The faster the processor, the better. You should understand though that the faster it gets, the more expensive the unit gets also. That is why it’s good to know the minimum or recommended processor requirement of the game you’d like to run when you’re looking for a gaming laptop. You’ll be able to balance processor power and your budget better this way.
The processor is measured in Megahertz (MHz) and in Gigahertz (GHz). 1 Megahertz is a calculation of 1 million cycles per second or 1 million computer instructions per second. So if your laptop’s processor is 1,000MHz, it is running at 1,000,000,000 computer instructions per second. 1GHz is equivalent to 1,000MHz. Most of the latest laptops are already running fast processors and are already measured in GHz. So if your processor is running at 2.4GHz, it means that it’s running at 2,400,000,000 computer instructions per second. The higher the number, the faster the processor, and the faster your laptop will run.
There are 2 competing brands at the moment when it comes to processors. They are Intel and AMD brands. Most laptops either use any of these top 2 processor brands and I do recommend to choose laptops that use either of these two brands only.
One more information you need to understand about processors is that they now come in multi-cores. You’ll maybe find terms like dual-core (2 cores), quad-core (4 cores), 6 cores, 7 cores, 8 cores, even 10 cores connected to processor specifications. If the processor has 2 cores, it means that it is running 2 CPUs. If it has 4 cores, it is running 4 CPUs. So the more cores the processor has, the faster the laptop will run. And if the larger the GHz number is on each core, the faster the processor is.
The video card, also called graphics card or display card is the hardware responsible for displaying the graphics to the laptop’s monitor. Most Gaming Video Cards come with GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) and a Video Memory. When choosing a Video Card specs, the faster the GPU the better, and the bigger the video memory, also the better. But again, like the processor, the faster your video card is, the more expensive your laptop unit gets, so try to choose within the minimum or recommended computer specs when you’re choosing a gaming laptop.
GPUs, like CPUs, process data, but more of graphics related data. Modern games with nice 3D Graphics nowadays require fast GPUs in order to compute for complicated graphics data and show and output smooth animation and movements to monitors.
Video memory, on the other hand, is used for storing graphics data, which also helps with the speed of processing and outputting graphics to the monitors.
Memory or also called RAM (Random Access Memory) is a form of computer data storage. Data that is stored in here are only temporary and is erased or replaced once the laptop restarts or a software using the data is closed. It’s used for fast data writing and reading which also helps with the speed of your laptops. Data writing and reading through RAM is faster than through the Hard Drive. When choosing a gaming laptop, try to get those with at least 2 Gigabytes of RAM. But since RAM is actually affordable nowadays, if you can still fit it in your budget, try to get a laptop with 4 Gigs or maybe 8 Gigs of RAM.
Memory is easy to upgrade, and so you can get a laptop with low capacity memory initially and just add more when you need it.
Hard drives are another form of computer data storage but this time data stored in here are for long term use. These data are often your software files, documents, operating systems, game files and other data that are being stored for future or long-term use. Laptops nowadays are being sold with bigger hard drive capacity. If you’re planning to install a lot of software, especially good games, you should at least get a minimum of 500GB capacity of Hard Drive space when deciding for a gaming laptop.
Like Memory, Hard Drives are easy to upgrade. And so if you want a bigger capacity hard drive, you can replace the current hard drive with a new hard drive.