The last time you bought a laptop or PC, you may have relied on word of mouth, online reviews, or general brand awareness. While using reviews and word of mouth can be useful for purchasing a good-quality, standard laptop, if you want to start gaming on your laptop or PC at a high level, you may need to start digging into the available tech specs for each device.
For many of us, the first time we delve into the wild, complex world of tech specs, it is confusing and overwhelming, and it is tempting to return to YouTube and the thousands of reviews that are posted there. However, once you learn the basics about tech specs and how they are applied to each PC and laptop – and what they mean for gaming – you will realize that it is all actually much less confusing than it originally seems.
The specs and what they mean
There are a number of acronyms that you will likely see featured in all PC and laptop spec lists. They are as follows:
CPU – Central Processing Unit or Central Processor Unit.
When it comes to CPU specs, there are two different manufacturers, AMD and Intel. Although Intel used to dominate the market, AMD is now considered a superior processor. When looking for CPU, you will find Core i3, i5, i7, and i9 as descriptors – the higher the number, the better the performance.
GPU – Graphics Processing Unit (this is the graphics and video card).
GPUs and video cards are thankfully somewhat less complex than CPU specs. Integrated graphics are good for everyday computer use, but they are not good enough for most types of high-performance gaming. Instead, gamers should opt for a discrete GPU and look out for Nvidia GPUs as they are considered the best in the market.
HD – 1280×720 or 1366×768 16:9 display resolution or 720p/768p.
HD+ – 1600×900 16:9 display resolution or 900p.
FHD – Full HD, 1920×1080 16:9 display resolution or 1080p.
FHD provides gamers with an impressive 1080p image resolution and double the pixels of the typical high definition 720p image resolution, but you will need to pay for the extra resolution.
HDD – Hard Disk Drive (this is the hard drive).
SSD – Solid State Drive.
SSHD – Solid State Hybrid Drive.
The specs for HDD, SSD and SSHD all have to do with storage. You will need to make a compromise between capacity, speed and price in this regard as storage options can increase in price. HDD is the most common storage option and allows for reasonable speeds at 7200rpm.
SSD, however, is certainly a step up in terms of performance and price. The introduction of SSD revolutionized the industry and allowed for a huge jump in speed for gaming devices. Finally, SSHD is essentially a hybrid of HDD and SSD.
FPS – Frames Per Second.
VRAM – Video Random Access Memory (this is the memory that is used by the video card).
RAM – Random Access Memory.
The importance of RAM should not be underestimated. Casual gamers can comfortably enjoy PCs and laptops with about 4GB of RAM, but that is a bit of a stretch. More serious gamers should consider investing in computers with between 8GB and 12GB for optimal performance.
The significance of your gaming preferences
When browsing through tech specs and looking at laptops, it is important to first take into consideration the types of gaming that you generally prefer. If you tend to prefer games that require a huge amount of processing power to support their stunning graphics or realistic gameplay, then you should take this into consideration when looking at computers and focus on the higher-end models.
However, if you enjoy online games or games that feature more streamlined graphics, then you can focus on the PCs and laptops that are designed for everyday use, rather than gaming specifically.
One area of gaming that would fall into this category is online gambling, which is a burgeoning sector. Many gamers and gamblers alike are trying online casinos and enjoying the immersive graphics and audio featured in slots with jackpots. Online casinos do not require specialty laptop or PC specs and can also be played on mobile devices, including mobile phones and tablets.
These are all of the most important specs to be aware of and look out for when purchasing a new gaming laptop or PC. When finding the perfect gaming laptop, it really is a balancing act between price and performance. Gaming laptops can range between $300 and $1,300+, so it will really depend on your individual gaming interests and your budget.