There was a time when PC gaming was largely dominated by big, and powerful desktops that would give you the most performance, but would also take a fair amount of space on your desk. However, as the time went on, the PC gaming started getting more and more evolved, we have now reached a point where you no longer need a really huge tower with the most powerful components that can push the maximum frames possible. As a matter of fact, we have reached a point where you can actually play games on a mini ITX, and even SFX system; those PCs are really, really small, and they do not take up a lot of space either. So, that is certainly a great thing; however, the quest for power and portability does not end just here, and that is because a lot of gamers are now looking forward towards taking the gaming on the go.
This is where gaming laptops come in; there was a time when gaming laptops used to be bulky, heavy, and had really terrible price to performance ratio. However, times have changed now, and thanks to the advancement in technology, the manufacturers have worked really hard with companies like Nvidia, AMD, and Intel to ensure that gaming on laptop is as accessible as possible.
That is exactly what this article focuses on today; we are going to compare gaming on a desktop as compared to gaming on a laptop. The difference is there, so you if you are someone who cannot decide whether you want to stick to desktop gaming, or move towards laptop gaming, this article is for you.
To make things, we are going to split this article in different parts, so it is easier for you to understand. So, let us not waste any time and have a look, shall we?
The first part of this comparison is going to focus on the temperatures and performance of both type of gaming machines. Honestly, the desktops have the clear-cut advantage here. Simply because you can actually fit a lot of cooling potential in the PC, while the similar situation is not possible in laptops. When it comes to laptops, you are limited to what you get, and this means that there is no overclocking headroom available in the laptops either.
Yes, there are some laptops that are actually water cooled, but the most important thing that you need to understand about those laptops is that they cost a lot of money, and honestly, the cost to performance ratio is simply not worth it, and that is why it is best to just avoid any situation like that to begin with.
With that out of the way, considering how gaming laptops are still evolving, there is a possibility that in the future, we will be seeing gaming laptops with better thermal performance than what is available in the market at the moment.
The next determinant that people usually look at when deciding between a gaming laptop, or a full-fledged desktop to see whether they should go for either of the option is obviously the performance. Before the market evolved, gaming laptops largely fell behind in terms of performance when they were compared with desktops. However, things are changing, as the wedge that was there before is slowly going away.
That is because with the release of Nvidia’s GTX 1000 series, the concept of mobility GPUs was finished. Instead, Nvidia focused on delivering desktop grade graphic cards in the laptops as well, and while the performance difference is still there, it will not be long before the difference is completely gone. At the given time, a laptop with a GTX 1080 should perform in line with a gaming desktop provided the fact that determinants such as thermals should be excluded, because if the thermals are high, the thermal throttling will kick in, and it will start reducing the overall performance of the graphics card.
Another important thing that serves as the deciding factor here is that the CPU must not bottleneck the GPU because if that is the case, then you are going to face a reduced performance as well.
Therefore, in conclusion, if you are talking about the performance of both gaming machines, then we have reached a point where they can go neck to neck as long as we are talking about a modern day gaming laptop, and not something from the older days, because as I have said, the performance wedge is there.
I think this is something that does need to be explained at all. The reason being simple, you cannot possibly carry your desktop around, and play games on the go whenever you feel like. However, if you just want to carry your desktop from one location to another, then that is possible thanks to the mini ITX, as well as SFX form factor gaming PCs. However, they are not as common as some people might want them to be, and in addition to that, even if you are able to carry them around, you cannot use them while you are on the go.
With gaming laptops, if you have a thin and light gaming laptop, then you should not have any issues whatsoever to use it on the go. However, I would like to address the fact that you will probably not able to game while you are on the go, because gaming does take a lot of battery, and your laptop will run out way sooner than you having a reasonable gaming experience.
Cost to Performance Ratio
Another important thing that you must consider whenever deciding between gaming on a laptop and gaming on a desktop is the cost to performance ratio. I am sure that if you are exploring the market, you may have seen this somewhere, and in all honesty, this is as serious as it gets. As I have explained before, a decent gaming laptop costs a lot more than what its equivalent desktop would cost. To further explain this situation, a gaming laptop with a GTX 1050Ti and an i7 7700HQ will run you for around $800 or more based on the manufacturer that you opt for. However, in $800, you can actually opt for a gaming PC that can be completely custom, and have a more powerful GTX 1060 or equivalent in it at the same time.
This is just one situation that people need to keep in mind when determining the cost to performance ratio. Another thing that you need to understand here is that even when you look at the more powerful laptops than the one I just mentioned above, you are going to face the same situation. Therefore, when it comes to the cost to performance ratio, desktops take the cake, all the time.
Another major factor that one should take into an account whenever they are buying a gaming desktop or a laptop is basically knowing about upgradability. With gaming desktops, there are no limitations to upgrading your components. As a matter of fact, even the pre-built systems that are available in the market now come with the ability to swap out the components whenever you wish to do so. However, the same is not the case with laptops. Sure, there are some laptops that will allow you to upgrade the storage, or the RAM, but that is about it. When it comes to upgrading everything else, the option is simply not there, so that is certainly one of the most important thing that you must know about before you go ahead and buy a gaming keyboard.
Overall Gaming Experience
In the last point, I would be going over the overall gaming experience that you get on both platforms. Although the platforms that will be running the games are largely the same, the difference comes in the form of features that you are getting. With desktops, you have the option to opt for mechanical keyboards which largely improve your gaming experience, as well as your productivity, if you are someone who likes to work.
Moving on, gaming on the big screen is also something that you need to keep in mind; on desktops, you have that option, however, the option is not there when it comes to laptops. However, the good thing is that laptops do offer screen that have a high refresh rate, and in addition to that, they also happen to have Nvidia’s G-Sync technology that has been making waves in the market for some time.
Overall, if you want to have the most immersive gaming experience, nothing can beat a full-fledged gaming desktop, but if you prefer mobility, and you are always on the go, then a gaming laptop would be a much, much better option for you in that case.
Again, deriving a proper comparison between both of the platforms is not really possible because there are so many variable factors involved that make the platforms what they are. There are many factors in which the PC is better, and at the same time, there are so many factors that make the gaming desktop better a better option, and at the same time, there are factors that make the gaming laptops better. In the end, it is all about what the consumers are looking for.
The debate about whether a gaming desktop is better than the gaming laptop or vice versa is something that has been around for a long, long time. The strange thing is that it is not going to end here; as a matter of fact, this argument or debate is here to stay. The reason why it is incumbent at this time is because no new tech is coming out any time soon. However, you should definitely keep in mind that as Nvidia, AMD, and Intel bring new stuff in the market, the debate will start again.
I believe that it is not long before laptop gaming can finally catch up to the desktop gaming. We just have to wait and see just when that actually happens in the first place.