When is the right time to buy new? gaming laptop? That’s a question we’re bombarded with, and I know why. The portable gaming PC landscape can seem a bit like the Wild Wild West, but if you follow our expert advice, you’ll get the most bang for your buck!
There are some trends to keep an eye on, e.g. B. when sales events are happening (seasonal or otherwise) and when the latest laptop GPUs are coming out. Once you get these sorted out, you can choose the right time to either buy your first gaming laptop or upgrade from your previous one.
So instead of rambling on about this, let’s start by answering the first question.
How often should you buy a new gaming laptop?
Thanks to the gaming optimization on different systems with different configurations, you can realistically keep your gaming laptop running 4-5 years.
Keeping up with the latest performance with yearly upgrades is just plain bad for your bank balance. However, if you don’t want to flirt with the low graphics settings in games in the future, I would shorten this upgrade cycle to 2-3 years.
Normally, the GPU performance progress rate is about 20-30% performance increase per year. At this rate, you can be sure that you will see a significant leap in performance after about 36 months.
But thanks to supersampling techniques like DLSS 3.0the longevity of your gaming laptops is a sure thing – thanks to AI and machine learning you get more performance potential from your GPU.
How much power do I need in my gaming laptop?
That’s the great unknown, because what you want out of your gaming laptop is entirely up to you. A common myth we need to dispel is this: all current gaming laptops are capable of playing AAA games in some form. It just comes down to what fidelity and performance you’re looking for.
Take Forza Horizon 5 for example, a game that has been well-optimized for a range of systems but can be demanding upon closer inspection. I’ve tested it on quite a number of systems. Here’s a quick cheat sheet on what default settings I had to use to get at least 60 FPS at 1080p for each GPU:
- RTX 3050: Low
- RTX 3060: Medium
- RTX 3070: Medium
- RTX 3080: High
- RTX 4050: Medium
- RTX 4060: High
- RTX 4070: High
- RTX 4080: Extreme
- RTX 4090: Extreme
These are without DLSS 3.0 is turned on, by the way, so the RTX 40 series GPUs can do more at higher detail settings when the function is turned on. However, it’s just a guide to the performance you can expect at each price point.
If you’re doing pure indie gaming with a touch of AAA action on a laptop, the cheaper tier is optimal. For AAA gaming solely on a laptop screen, you can get excellent performance with a mid-range option. But if you want a monster that can handle the highest settings while still being considered a solid desktop replacement, you’re going to have to spend a lot of money.
When should I look for a gaming laptop deal?
In a way, the answer to that is pretty simple: wait for Black Friday or Prime Day. That said, there are regular great deals on gaming laptops throughout the year. You can stay up to date by checking out our regularly updated articles The best deals on gaming laptops book page.
They can be aligned with major gaming events like the Xbox Games Showcase, mark major public holidays like Presidents’ Day in the US or UK bank holidays, or appear more permanent as newer laptops are released.
So make sure you have that Camelizer Chrome extension to conduct price reviews, keep track of certain important events such as game announcements and special offers (e.g. Steam sales) and make an informed decision.
Should I wait for a new gaming laptop to come out?
New laptop GPUs appear like clockwork at the beginning of the year – usually at CES. When the New Year begins in the next three to four months, you should wait for the launch of all updated models.
Depending on your purchasing decision, this accomplishes one of two things:
- If you’re looking for cutting edge without worrying about price: That way you don’t get buyer’s regrets when you buy something you think is new, rather it gets updated with new internals right away.
- If you don’t care about the latest: As gaming laptops are replaced by a new generation of GPUs, you will find that the previous models get significant discounts.
Fortunately, navigating the world of gaming laptops is a bit more predictable than other categories like trying to buy a MacBook. You get new internal components every year and with it the introduction of new systems.
Use our tips above to help you decide how much power you need while making sure you’re not wasting money in the process.
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