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How To Choose The Best Gaming Laptop
Author: Titus Hoskins
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:
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.
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
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
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.
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
So when buying your perfect Gaming Notebook Remember This:
Graphics + Ram + Speed + Display = Perfect Gaming Notebook
Consider all 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!
About the Author
For a list of the top rated Gaming Notebooks and Laptops Click Here:
Best Gaming Laptops & Notebooks.
Copyright © 2005 Titus Hoskins.
This article may be freely distributed if this resource
box stays attached.
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