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Better For Gaming: Laptop Or Computer?

Although this topic is not as hot as PC vs. console, desktop gaming vs. laptop gaming is a topic of discussion among gamers. Many prefer laptops because they take less space and are portable, while others don’t want to compromise on a desktop’s performance.

Desktop computers are always better for gaming. Laptops can’t generate optimum performance despite having similar components to a desktop. There are various reasons behind it. Also, if you consider factors like price and gaming experience, the desktop computer is still the winner.

For someone who has never been into gaming, knowing the difference between laptops and desktops in terms of gaming is nearly impossible. Besides understanding what is better for gaming, a laptop or a computer, there are other things to know, such as the longevity of gaming laptops, what type of laptop is good for schools, etc., in case you are getting a laptop. 

Gaming Laptops Vs PC

A gaming laptop can not be as good as a gaming desktop computer. There are multiple reasons why.

For gaming, you’d want the most out of your machine. No matter whether you play single-player games or online multiplayer, you’ll want every last bit of frame and pixel out of your computer.

The main problem with gaming laptops is that they can’t deliver that much performance even if the computer is high-end.

The reason behind it is thermal issues. Desktop computers are big. PC cases nowadays are even getting bigger. In general, PC cases have a few intake and exhaust fans for air circulation.

This keeps the components cool because they produce a massive amount of heat. The bigger PC cases are built for water cooling and better thermal efficiency.

As you can see, temperature control is very important for getting the most performance out of your computer.

On the other hand, laptop parts are accommodated in a confined space. They have every component of a gaming computer, such as a processor, RAM, graphics card, storage device, etc.

But the only thing lacking is space. For that very reason, temperature control is not adequate in gaming laptops. They will often reach extremely high temperatures during gaming.

High temperatures cause thermal throttling. When the temperature of the processor exceeds a certain temperature, the processor automatically reduces power consumption to decrease heat generation.

This is never an issue for desktop computers because of better cooling. Gaming laptops suffer from this feature more often than not because, as I have already mentioned, of average cooling components.

So, to sum it up, gaming laptops can never be as good as gaming desktop computers.

Do Gaming Laptops Last Long?

Gaming laptops don’t last that long. The average lifespan of a gaming laptop can be from 3-10 years.

The lifespan of a gaming laptop depends mainly on two factors; the laptop’s build quality and how well you take care of it. If you compare it to desktop computers, that’s not very long-lasting.

The build quality of gaming laptops is often compromised to reduce the price. Also, the extreme heat and poor temperature control contribute to the diminished lifespan of the components.

The battery is also an issue. Laptops run on batteries, and battery health reduces gradually. On average, a laptop battery lasts 1000 charge cycles or about 3–4 years.

This is not a headache for desktop computers, as they get power directly from the power outlets in the home. 

The power supply units of desktops are also very robust. High-end ones usually don’t see any problems, so that’s a plus for desktops.

Mid-range gaming laptops last about five years. High-end gaming laptops with proper care can last up to 10 years or more. Note that these are just numbers. There is no definite value as to what to expect.

Another thing to remember is that even if a gaming laptop lasts at least ten years, it won’t be able to run high-end games by then, so it doesn’t matter. Also, there is very little option to upgrade your gaming laptop, compared to desktop computers, where you can replace every single component.

Is A Gaming Laptop Good For School?

No, gaming laptops are not good for schools. For school-related tasks, high-performance gaming laptops are overkill.

Buying a gaming laptop for school is an option. However, they consume a lot of power, which might interrupt important school tasks. Also, gaming laptops are quite heavy, so carrying them to school and back can be tiring.

For educational purposes, slim and lightweight laptops are always better. Get a good processor with an SSD. You don’t need a graphics card for anything school-related. Make sure the battery is good for long backups.

Although TN panels are cheaper, IPS panels are better for your eyes. The price difference is not that big either, so try to get a laptop with an IPS panel display. A smaller size means better portability.

Go for a compact-designed laptop with no more than a 15-inch display. All these combined should make a good laptop for your school.

What Is Better For Gaming, A Laptop Or A Computer?

Desktop computers are miles better than laptops for gaming. Apart from portability, which isn’t a metric, desktops win in every aspect.

Laptops were initially made for portability. You need to carry a computer with you when you have urgent tasks that you must complete on the go. Gaming was seen as a luxury and not something you needed a portable computer for. So, laptops were not meant to be gaming devices for a long time.

But time has changed now. People now don’t see gaming as a mere hobby or pastime. It has become a billion-dollar industry, and people are making a living out of it thanks to streaming, YouTube, pro-gaming, etc.

Many can’t keep a desktop because they live away from home, maybe in college dorms or hostels. Also, many people constantly travel, but gaming is their primary concern, such as streamers, content creators, casters, etc. So, gaming laptops are prevailing these days.

Desktops are better, relatively cheaper, and can pump out more performance than similarly configured laptops. Besides performance, there are endless customization options.

When you want to upgrade your desktop, you don’t need to buy a whole computer. You can upgrade one part at a time.

Suppose you have just enough money to buy a graphics card right now. You can purchase and replace existing graphics cards and upgrade other components later. This is not possible on laptops.

In the following table, I have summarized laptop gaming vs. desktop gaming:

FeatureDesktop ComputerLaptop Computer
CoolingBetterNot good
PerformanceBetterNot good
CustomizationHighly customizableNot customizable
Upgradability of componentsPossibleNot possible
Thermal throttlingRarely seenVery common issue
LifespanLongShort
PortabilityNot portablePortable

You can upgrade your laptop’s RAM, but not any other components. As I have already said, besides portability, a desktop computer for gaming is better and always will be.

Conclusion

There is no shame in becoming confused between gaming laptops and desktops. The vivid advertising of the manufacturers is the villain behind the confusion.

Although desktops are better for gaming than laptops, laptops’ potential cannot be denied. Now that you know what is better for gaming, a laptop or a computer, I believe you’ll be able to make up your mind and get the thing that suits you best.