How To Choose The Best Gaming Laptop

The gaming laptop is coming of age! It is steadily
increasing in popularity as performance quality goes
up. Gamers now regularly consider laptops or notebooks
when searching for that perfect gaming machine.

With each new generation of notebooks we are seeing some
novel breakthroughs: dual core notebooks, PCI Express,
Sonoma chipset, increased storage, increased RAM, faster
CPUs, better battery life and better wireless connections
including a Cellular Modem. All welcome news for gamers
and notebook lovers alike.

Generally, gamers are a very demanding group, they know
their computers and they know what they want in their
computers. Most gamers like to order their gaming laptop
with their own specs and configurations. In that light,
if you closely examine the main points gamers consider
when configuring or building their Dream Machine — you will
have a good blueprint for the best gaming machine.

Since notebook technology changes every two years or so,
it’s probably wise to purchase a laptop that can be easily
upgraded as new products come on line. So consider the
upgradable factor in any notebook that you plan to buy.

Now, lets look at some of these key gaming factors:

GRAPHICS

You must have the best/latest/fastest Graphics on the market. DUH!

Serious gamers are concerned with graphics, obsessed would probably
be a better word. And rightly so! Graphics or the quality of the
graphic chipset in your notebook computer will be your first area
of consideration and it will greatly determine the gaming performance
of your PC.

Go with the latest Graphic Chipset and also check to see if you
can upgrade your Graphics Card on the particular machine
you’re thinking about buying. Many machines allow this.

Here are some Graphic Chipsets that are highly rated: ATi Mobility
Radeon 9700, ATI’s Mobility FireGL V3200 or Intel’s Graphics Media
Accelerator 900.

ATi Mobility Radeon 9700 is a high quality Graphics Card or visual
processing unit (VPU) present in many next generation notebooks. It
will give you higher performance at a lower power level, saving
battery power.

It makes your notebook computer capable of many functions: 3D games,
wide-screen HDTV, dynamic presentations, mobile video editing studio
and graphic processor.

Many notebooks now come with integrated graphics, where components
interact and are sometimes shared, especially memory. If you want
a notebook computer for 3D games — check the amount of video RAM —
this is memory that’s dedicated to graphic or video applications.

Other common graphic chipsets are: STMicro, NVIDIA, 3D Labs, Matrox,
Trident S3 and SIS.

RAM

Get the largest amount of RAM possible. DUDE!

RAM or random-access memory will determine how much graphics
your notebook computer will be able to handle. It’s best to
get the largest amount possible on your machine or what you
can afford.

It’s generally agreed that you need at least 256MB for
Windows XP and Mac OS X. You will only need 128MB for other
operating systems in Windows or Mac.

RAM or the amount of RAM on your notebook computer is extremely
important if you want to handle heavy graphic files or want to play
games on your notebook. The more RAM you have, the more applications
you will be able to handle. Some notebook now come with up to 2GB
of DDR2 533MHz RAM!

DDR2 SDRAM – is a new standard that can boost conventional SDRAM
memory up to speeds well over 200MHz and beyond. For example, the
IBM ThinkPad T43, thanks to the Sonoma Chipset or platform has
533MHz DDR 2 SDRAM.

This is much better than standard SDRAM which tops out around 150-
166MHz and DDR SDRAM which starts at 200MHz and goes up to around
400MHz.

Video RAM or VRAM is special memory that’s used by video adapters on
your notebook. This is RAM that is dedicated to handling the visuals and
graphics on your notebook computer. This is helpful if you want to play
a lot of the latest 3D video games on your notebook.

It is somewhat different from ordinary RAM because it can be
accessed by two different devices at once — enabling screen updates
while the video processor processes new data. VRAM provides better
graphics but is more expensive than ordinary RAM.

SPEED

You need the fastest computer money can buy. Period!

In order to get the maximum performance from your ultimate
gaming computer you must have the fastest speed you can get
or afford. Your ultimate PC must be able to process and handle
the latest 3D video games with ease. There is nothing as annoying
as your PC freezing up in the middle of some major gaming action!

Therefore, your Processor’s speed is very important.

CPU or Central Processing Unit, you probably know it as
the processor! It’s the heart or rather the brain of your
notebook or computer. It does all your computer’s data processing and applications. Since it does most of the work, it’s usually the most expensive part of your notebook computer.

Go with SATA!

SATA is a type of hard drive and stands for Serial Advanced Technology
Architecture. It was developed by a whole group of companies including
Seagate, Intel, Maxtor, Dell and others. SATA transmit data in a serially
(in a single stream) as opposed to PATA or Parallel ATA which is commonly
referred to as an IDE hard drive.

Serial ATA hard drives uses less power and are ideal for notebook
computers, they are also more advanced than PATA hard drives which
uses multipe streams of data — go figure! But Serial Technology carries
data in a single stream and unlike PATA is not limited to a particular
clock speed, Serial transfers data packets almost 30 times faster than
parallel.

If top performance in your notebook is one of your goals, go with a SATA
hard drive.

Intel Pentium M processors are commonly found in a lot of
notebooks and laptops. When in doubt also go with a Pentium!

The speed of microprocessors is measured in MHz.

MHz is short for megahertz. One MHz equals one million cycles
per second. The speed of processors, usually known as clock speed,
is measured in megahertz (MHz) or these days in gigahertz (GHz).

The higher the clock speed, the faster the computer will process
applications and data. It determines how powerful your notebook
computer will be. Processor speeds for notebooks or laptops are
steadily increasing, not quite the same as a desktop but the gap
is narrowing quickly. Speeds of 3.4GHz or more.

Don’t forget to ask or check the hard drive speed! A 7,200rpm hard
drive is faster than a 4,200rpm or 5,400rpm and usually gives better
performance.

DISPLAY

You need the sharpest, brightest display screen or all the above
points are moot!

Display quality is also extremely important to your gaming
experience. Make sure the resolution and display quality of
your notebook computer can handle the graphics for 3D Gaming.

What to keep in mind…

SVGA Resolution. Put simply, computer images are made up of
dots, the more dots you have — the better the image.
SVGA Resolution is made up of 800 x 600 dots.

Many notebook computer have XGA (1024 by 768 dots) or
SXGA (1280 x 1024 dots), these resolutions will give
a higher quality image. WXGA stands for widescreen XGA.

TFT Active Matrix Display. TFT stands for thin-film
transistors and many high-end notebook computers use
(TFT) active matrix liquid crystal displays.

If display quality is your main reason for buying
a notebook, it’s best to give it the ‘old eye test’
and check out the image quality first-hand and decide
for yourself. Panasonic, Toshiba, Sony, and others
are known for their high quality monitors — this
quality is also present in their notebook display
screens.

So when buying your perfect Gaming Notebook Remember This:

Graphics + Ram + Speed + Display = Perfect Gaming Notebook

Consider all of the above factors before you buy or config
your perfect gaming machine. Chances are high that you
will get a top-notch quality Gaming Notebook that will
give you hours and hours of pure gaming bliss!