If you’re one to stay on top of the latest tech and entertainment trends, then you’ll already know that PC gaming has quite the renaissance. While consoles were the biggest players in the mainstream gaming market for a couple of decades, the 2020s have brought about a surge of interest in desktop machines even by the most casual of gamers.
Compared to consoles, which are now sold in excess of $500, PCs are great value for money and can be versatile devices to use for more than just gaming. The big question on most players’ minds is whether to go with a classic PC stack or pick up a portable gaming laptop.
If you’re finding yourself in a similar quandary, read on to discover which is right for you.
An Introduction to Gaming Laptops and PCs
Gaming laptops are fully integrated computers with built-in keyboards, touchpads, and displays. In most cases, you can take a laptop straight out of the box and start playing immediately, but we’d always recommend getting a few peripherals for the sake of ergonomics.
Portability and ease of use are definitive pros of gaming laptops, but they’re not without cons. They’re not the easiest to use for wired connectivity, which could be important if you’re planning marathon gaming sessions. Meanwhile, upgrading or replacing laptop components can often be expensive, meaning they’re not as suitable for longevity as desktop machines.
On the other end of the scale, we have gaming PCs. Like the PCs you’ve no doubt used in the office and at home, gaming PCs are far from portable, but they can pack a truly powerful punch and are easy to customize and upgrade. eSports enthusiasts will also be glad to know that PCs are easy to hook up to wired connections, so you can always rely on a stable, lag-free internet connection during play.
You can also make a decent machine last for several years with simple upgrades like a new graphics card or mechanical keyboard. Compared to laptops, PCs offer better value for money, even in low-end budget machines. You won’t need to invest quite as much in a rig as in a portable gaming laptop.
What’s Your Ideal Match?
Think about the gaming experiences you want to play on your chosen device. Some games lend themselves more easily to being played on a laptop, such as online slots, Minecraft, and even OG digital card games like Hearthstone.
More complex games, however, require a more powerful system, meaning that you should go down the PC route if you spend several hours battling away in massively multiplier online RPGs or are harboring ambitions to become an eSports professional.
We’ve already touched on the value for money that pre-built gaming PCs represent. However, if you were to build your own PC, you could customize your rig to your specific needs and requirements. Plus, the modular layout of a stack makes it easy to update them with incremental components as and when ensuring that you’ll always have the latest hardware to utilize.
A gaming laptop will be the most sensible choice if portability and space saving is a major priority. As mentioned above, you don’t need to use an extra monitor, mouse, or keyboard when playing games on a laptop, meaning that you can game anywhere with a power socket and a broadband connection.
Both PCs and laptops can double up as more general entertainment systems, with both having the features to stream music, movies, and TV series. You can also use both devices as home office computers, but laptops are generally only suited to occasional use due to limited RAM.
In most cases, we’d recommend starting with a gaming desktop unless portability is your biggest priority. While laptops have their advantages for gaming, there’s no denying that PCs can’t be beaten for smoother gameplay and a more immersive gaming experience.
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