It has always been an intriguing question of whether you should purchase a gaming pc or get a Laptop which you can use for gaming as well. I bought a decent gaming laptop with one of the best graphics cards (mid-range like a GT 750 in today’s scenario) but was not very happy when I ran some of the demanding gaming titles like Crysis 3 and Max Payne 3.
The significant hold back with the gaming laptops is the design, if they are too thin and light they lack proper vent design heat dissipation, and the 17 inches 4 KG is not real laptops they are baby PCs.
The battle of gaming laptop Vs. Gaming PC has been there for last few years. The advent of next-generation technologies has made mobile graphics cards more powerful than ever before.
Next Generations laptop Graphics Cards
The launch of GeForce GTX 880M or AMD Radeon HD 8900M series elevated next-generation graphics performance to severe gaming levels. The new gaming cards like GTX 880M/HD8900M delivers extremely fast and fluid gameplay at the highest settings and resolutions with a laptop. With innovative technologies driving these powerhouses we see a lot of performance improvements:
- Nvidia Technologies: Phys X, TXAA, Shadow Play, and Battery Boost, splendid performance can be achieved.
- AMD Technologies: Eyefinity multi-display technology, AMD HD3D technology, AMD PowerPlay power management technology, Zero Core Power technology, Enduro technology
Still, the question stands with all this advancement of mobile graphical performance does it over-shadows the desktops? We will get back to it later in the article.
It is a complicated decision to take whether I should buy a Gaming PC or should I purchase a laptop which I can carry as per need and provide portability. PC will be fixed at home and will lack any movability with much more space requirements.
While I was reviewing the Lenovo 510p Gaming laptop, I was thinking should I recommend this to fellow Gamers or should I tell them to buy a PC with a high-end graphics card instead.
My Experience: I had been in this situation and learned after purchasing both a gaming Laptop and a monster PC. Sharing my experience, to enable readers to make up their mind on Gaming Laptop Vs. Gaming PC.
I bought a laptop for gaming as well as emails, music, movies & the internet. It was a laptop with Nvidia GT650M competent card before 750M was launched in the market. It had a brilliant screen 1600*900 resolution with superb speakers and powerful CPU. But when I started playing Crysis3 it would become as hot as “tandoor” GPU-Z & CPU-Z showed temperature above 86 degrees and started throttling.
So the best solution was to switch the Air conditioning on and use a cooling pad which together made no difference as the heat generated by GPU and CPU was not removed by the heatsink in the laptop. This was frustrating, and I felt I have wasted Rs. 52,000 on a laptop which can’t be used for long gaming sessions without being worried about heating.
With a high temperature, there is thermal throttling of CPU & GPU as they slow down the clock speed to avoid burning. Game performance gets impacted due to thermal throttle, and loss of FPS makes gameplay annoying.
This is very important for first time buyers to check if the laptop design has enough room for heat removal check forums for heating & throttling issues before buying a gaming laptop. Heating will happen on all laptops, but thermal throttling is terrible, it kills the gaming experience.
Now if you want a laptop only for Games it is not a wise choice I have bought a laptop & got disappointed and sold it after burning, hard earned money, nothing matches the Monster Desktop Graphics cards & Processor. Considering you don’t want to buy a laptop for Rs. 200,000+ running a GT 780M in SLI.
Even they weigh 3-5 kg and come with a 17-18 inch screen, and I think it is difficult to call them laptops they are minicomputers.
Now if you want a laptop for mobility and want to access emails do Facebook, do a reading, and need to carry it where ever you go.
You are also not a hardcore gamer then my suggestion is you buy a laptop like Lenovo 510p with a GT 755M to serve your needs and give you flexibility. But if you spend 80% of your time gaming and games is your reason to purchase go with a desktop it will delight you with the breathtaking graphical details with AA.
If you are an enthusiast and have high gaming usage, I would recommend you go with a desktop with an FHD display screen or a 2k Monitor and good graphics card and processor.
Now let me share what the Benchmark scores for gaming Laptop Vs. Desktop GPU’s
Bench-Marking Performance Gaming Laptop Vs. Gaming PC
Gaming Laptop Vs. Gaming PC Graphics card Performance
2014 is not the year when gaming desktop performance can be replaced with a notebook it may happen in the next few years, but now we are nowhere close to it.
The fastest laptop GPU we have right now in production is Nvidia GTX 780M which performs almost half of what a GTX 760 is capable.
Even the R9 270X which I tested is almost twice as fast as the GTX 755M and drops one level further to the GT 750M (DDR3) and performance is about 40% of the R9 270X.
It’s not that you can’t game on a GT 750M or GTX 765M, but you’ll need to drop the details down from max and turn off anti-aliasing to some extent.
Finally, no matter what you do with a notebook, you’re not going to match the performance of the fastest desktop GPUs – the AMD R9 295X nearly doubles the performance of the GTX 780M, and even SLI GTX 780M isn’t likely to beat an Nvidia Titan Z on a regular basis.
Radeon HD 7970 matches the performance of Geforce GT 770M SLI performance neck in the neck so a card which is less than Rs. 32,000 games a laptop which will easily cost above Rs. 200,000. Alienware with single 770M is priced around 1.75 lakh in India as of May 2014.
The pattern continues as we move down the product line; the slow desktop card like GeForce GT 630, is priced @ 5000 it has slightly higher clock and performance than the GT 750M and matches the performance of GT 755M in some titles and lag in others.
Conclusion – What Should You Buy
Looking at the pricing, it is enlightening that you can get almost double power or more for the same amount of money you pay for the notebook consider you buy a Lenovo 510p with GT 755M for Rs. 70,000. I would recommend to use the same amount of money to buy a core I5 4770k or i5 3570k (overclock it) and buy AMD R9 280X or GTX 770 or GTX 760 whichever fits your budget after purchasing the 1080P monitor and other Rig components.
The performance difference will be 100% with R9 280X or more, simplifying it if you get around 32FPS on high settings in Crysis 3 with the laptop you will get at least 64 FPS in the same settings or higher on the desktop of equal value.
Also, note for the laptop whatever configuration is bought stays with you, but with the desktop, you can add a second graphics card at a cheaper rate in future to do SLI or crossfire. Some readers may argue you can do that with the laptop as well by purchasing the second card for SLI in ultra-bay but again price of laptop GPU cards are pretty high, and availability is a concern in India at the right price.
To evaluate performance without looking at the price is a novice, my entire analysis for laptops, graphics cards even mobiles rest on the fundamental parameter of Performance per rupee spent. If you are a hardcore gamer and don’t want to pay an insane amount of money and want to enjoy the enthralling graphics, you should look at the desktop option.
But if you want a Laptop and can spend money, look for laptops like Lenovo 510p or Asus or Alienware but if you ‘re going to honestly thrill yourself with exhilarating gaming performance go for a desktop graphics card.