Whether you should buy a gaming laptop or a regular laptop depends on the type of work you will be using it for. Each comes with its pros and cons. So, ultimately the requirements of the user become the deciding factor as to which kind of laptop one should buy.
Gaming laptops are high-performance power-hungry electronic devices that are predominantly used for purposes that demand high performance, such as gaming or video editing. These types of applications push the components of a laptop to their limits. Gaming laptops are made to withstand such stress on their components.
Standard laptops are mainly used for official purposes. These types of laptops are well suited for work such as word processing, email writing, PowerPoint presentation, making audio and video calls, etc. Normal laptops are also used for recreational purposes such as watching movies, web series, etc. These tasks do not need high-performance components; normal laptops are usually cheaper than gaming laptops. It is also lighter in weight. Therefore, it provides more ease in carrying.
There are many other features of gaming laptops and normal laptops. In this article, we will explore them in detail so that you can make an informed choice as to which type of laptop better serves your interest.
Comparison Table: Gaming Laptop vs Normal Laptop
|Gaming Laptop||Normal Laptop|
|Processor||Gaming Laptops have high performance processors that have multiple cores which have higher processing speeds.||Normal laptops do not have as many cores as a gaming laptop. Therefore, those processors are ideal for tasks like emails, word processing etc.|
|RAM||Gaming Laptops have 8GB to 16GB RAM||Normal Laptops have 4GB to 8GB RAM.|
|Battery Life||Gaming laptops have power hungry components. Hence, it does not have an impressive battery health.||Normal laptops do not have power hungry components such as dedicated graphics cards. Hence, batteries last upto 12 hours.|
|GPU||Normally, gaming laptops feature nvidia geforce or other high end graphics card that can facilitate graphics intensive work||Normal laptops come with a built-in graphics card which is embedded in the on the central processing unit.|
|Cooling System||Gaming laptops have multiple exhaust fans that compensate for the heat generated by various components of the laptop.||Normal laptops do not have such advanced cooling systems. Typically, normal laptops have only one fan.|
|Keyboards||Gaming laptops have heavy duty keyboards which can endure the stress of gaming.||Keys in a normal laptop keys are quite delicate and thus, better for typing.|
|Number of Ports||Gaming laptops have many ports for connecting all sorts of gaming equipment.||Normal laptops only have the basic ports such as USB, HDMI, Headphone port etc.|
|Portability||Gaming laptops are generally heavier because of its heavy duty components which creates a bit of difficulty in terms of carrying it along.||Normal laptops are sleek and lightweight and therefore, easily portable.|
|Display||Gaming laptop displays feature upto 300 Hz refresh rate.||Normal laptops displays generally have a 60 Hz to 120 Hz refresh rate.|
|Sound System||Gaming laptops have louder and qualitative sound systems which enhance the gaming experience.||Normal laptops have ordinary speakers.|
|Longevity||How long a laptop will last actually depends on the way it is handled. However, due to having strong and high end components, gaming laptops usually last longer than normal laptops.||How long a laptop will last actually depends on the way it is handled. However, normal laptops have a shorter lifespan compared to gaming laptops.|
|Price||An entry level gaming laptop costs around USD 700.||An entry level normal laptop costs around USD 400.|
Differences: Gaming Laptop vs Normal Laptop
Gaming laptops and normal laptops have huge differences in terms of the purpose it serves and their components. In this part, we will explore those differences for your convenience.
In terms of design, regular business laptops are sleek and slim. The exteriors of these laptops are given a smooth finish which makes them suitable for an office environment. The designs are more compact, and the frames of normal laptops are generally smaller and lightweight, which creates better portability.
Normal laptops come with basic ports for connecting USB, headphones, HDMI cables, etc. As normal laptops are generally smaller, it features more miniature battery packs.
Gaming laptops are given robust frames and robotic designs that enhance the laptop’s aesthetics. These laptops have many high-performance components, and hence, they are heavier in weight. Gaming laptops are often decorated with RGB lights. It has more ports for connecting all kinds of gaming peripherals.
Whether a laptop is built for heavy tasks like gaming, video editing, or for light tasks such as word processing can be understood by looking at the type of processor.
At first glance, both processors may look the same, but their function and internal build are different. The difference can be understood by looking at the suffixes of the processors.
For example, Intel uses the following suffixes for their normal laptop processors.
- G- Graphics
- Y- Extremely Low Power
- U- Ultra-Low Power
- T- Power Optimized Lifestyle
The video below explains the meaning behind these letters:
The suffixes of this processor give away the game! The processors that are used in standard laptops cannot generate high clock speed because of their low power.
These processors are very efficient for conducting day-to-day computer work. However, if you plan to run heavy software applications on your laptop, these processors are not cut out for such jobs.
Suffixes for Intel gaming laptop processors are given below:
- K- Unlocked (these processors can adjust clocking speed based on the requirement)
- H- High Performance
- HQ- High-Performance Quad Core
- HK- High Performance and unlocked
Typically, gaming laptop processors feature more cores that facilitate high clocking speed and high performance. Some gaming laptop processors can be overclocked to run at higher speeds. Because of their heavy-duty nature, these processors are costlier than regular laptop processors.
Random Access Memory (RAM)
Random Access Memory or RAM is a computer’s short-term memory. The running programs in a computer or laptop are stored in the RAM because it is easier for the computer to extract and read information from RAM than fetching the information from your laptop’s hard drive.
Generally, there are few distinctions between the internal architecture of a Gaming laptop’s RAM and a standard computer’s RAM. The RAM of a gaming laptop typically has a greater clock speed than normal laptop RAM.
In general, normal laptops feature 4GB to 8GB RAM. As regular laptops are mainly used for light office work such as writing emails, making PowerPoint presentations, or browsing the internet, these laptops do not need more than 8GB of RAM.
On the other hand, an entry-level gaming laptop typically has 8GB RAM as gaming laptops run multiple software at once. Many modern-day graphics-intensive games such as Assassins Creed, Call of Duty, Forza Horizon, etc., require 6-8GB RAM. Many people take 8GB to 16GB RAM for a lag-free gaming experience. Besides, video games are not the only applications that take space in the RAM. Many other background applications such as Antivirus, Operating systems, etc., also take up some space on the RAM.
In addition to RAM, some high-end gaming laptops also feature Video RAM (popularly known as VRAM). VRAM is specially made for the flawless execution of graphics displays.
The more RAM a gaming laptop has, the better computing speed it can provide. However, as the capacity increases, the price also increases, but the good thing is RAM can be replaced. Some laptops have more than one slot for installing RAM. Hence, if you cannot buy a big RAM initially, you can always return it later.
Gaming laptops typically have bigger screens to facilitate a top-notch gaming experience for gamers. The screen also has a more significant refresh rate which gives an edge to the gamers while playing online multiplayer games.
Regular laptops have smaller screens with less refresh rate. Typically, normal laptops feature a 60 Hz to 120 Hz refresh rate. On the other hand, gaming laptops screen feature up to 300 Hz refresh rate.
Graphics Card or Video Card Or GPU(Graphics Processing Unit) is the electronic component responsible for rendering graphical data. The main work of this piece of hardware is to extract information from the CPU and convert it into visual data which appears on the computer monitor.
There are significant differences between the graphics card of a normal laptop and the graphics card of a gaming laptop. In this part, we will explore those differences.
Graphics cards in normal laptops are embedded in the CPU and use the same RAM as the CPU. As a result, its power and efficiency are not much. Such graphics cards can only facilitate lightweight tasks of graphical data such as Powerpoint presentations, playing movies, etc.
On the contrary, gaming laptops have dedicated graphics cards known as GPU or Graphics Processing Unit. These GPUs use their separate VRAM, so it is much more powerful and works faster than the integrated graphics card in a normal laptop. These dedicated graphics cards can do heavy photo or video editing, 3D rendering, VR simulation, running graphics-intensive games, etc.
Popular GPUs in the market are NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards.
Difference in Keyboards
Normal laptops have standard membrane keyboards. These keyboards are suitable for typing. However, the registering speed is not very fast in membrane keyboards. Also, the keys are very delicate. The major drawback of membrane keyboards is that they do not last very long.
On average, membrane keyboards can endure 5 million presses per switch. However, with the progression of time, typing experience becomes unpleasant as the rubber underneath the plastic keycaps wears out. Normal keyboards cannot register multiple keypresses simultaneously.
The situation is different in the case of mechanical keyboards, which are found in gaming laptops. Mechanical keyboards can withstand the stress of gaming. Mechanical keyboards outlive membrane keyboards in terms of longevity. Another advantage of a mechanical keyboard is that it has a faster-registering speed, ensuring faster response while playing games. Also, mechanical keyboards can register multiple keypresses all at once. This feature is known as N-key rollover. Keyboards that have N-key rollover can register many keys pressed at once. In many games, this feature comes in very handy.
Keyboards in gaming laptops are often backlit as gamers tend to play games in a low-light environment. These backlit keyboards help gamers to find the keys in low light. It also enhances the overall aesthetics of the laptop.
Some of these gaming laptop keyboards can be programmed to have specific colors for specific keys. The user can assign specific colors to keys to find them quickly when playing video games. These illumination systems can be turned on and off. When it is turned off, it saves battery power. This feature is also unavailable on a normal laptop.
Cooling systems are vital for maintaining the optimum temperature of all laptop components. Both gaming laptops and normal laptops feature cooling systems, but significant differences exist.
Gaming laptops use a more robust cooling mechanism than normal laptops as the heavy-duty components in a gaming laptop produce a lot more heat than a normal laptop. Mainly, the heat in a gaming laptop is produced by the CPU and GPU of the computer. Gaming laptops have multiple fans, large air vents, and heat sinks to keep the laptop components at optimum temperature. Some gaming laptops have the modern vapor chamber cooling mechanism installed in place of the orthodox heat pipes, which is getting more and more popular day by day.
Normal laptops do not have vapor chambers as those laptops do not produce as much heat as gaming laptops. The primary source of heat in a normal laptop is the processor. A small heat sink, air vents, and one fan suffice to keep it cool. In some models, there are no fans at all. Those laptops rely on natural air ventilation to cool off the components. As there is one more minor component, those laptops are lighter in weight and super quiet.
It goes without saying that both gaming laptops and regular laptops are portable. Nevertheless, due to the difference in size and weight, there is a slight difference in portability.
Regular laptops are often smaller than gaming laptops, and they have less hardware than gaming laptops. That is why they are light in weight, making the normal laptops very convenient to carry. Because of its small size and lightweight, it can be carried in backpacks without any trouble.
On the other hand, gaming laptops are bigger in size and heavier in weight. These laptops are known for their high performance. To ensure high-performance gaming, laptops need extra hardware such as a dedicated video card, video ram, big battery, multiple cooling fans, and processors with multiple cores. These components make the laptop heavy and oversized compared to normal laptops. Hence, gaming laptops pose a bit of a struggle in carrying them from one place to another.
Battery life is an essential factor that must be considered while deciding whether one should buy a gaming laptop or a regular laptop. While the batteries used in both kinds of laptops are identical in composition, there are differences in size.
Both modern-day gaming laptops and regular business laptops have lithium-ion or lithium-polymer (LiPo) batteries. These batteries have internal circuits which prevent overcharging of batteries.
Gaming laptops are power-hungry electronic devices. Gaming, video editing, or any other graphics-intensive work consumes a lot of power. That is why gaming laptops have larger battery packs compared to regular laptops. However, gaming laptops can run for 6-8 hours during heavy use, even with large battery packs. Also, it is advised by experts to keep gaming laptops plugged into a power source for optimum performance.
In contrast, normal laptops have a smaller battery back than gaming laptops. Nonetheless, regular laptops are very power efficient. That is why those laptops do not consume much power. An average fully charged battery pack of a standard laptop can run the laptop for up to 12 hours despite having small battery packs.
There is a day and night difference between the sound systems featured by gaming laptops and normal laptops.
Sound is an integral part of a quality gaming experience, and quality sound can only be provided through good quality speakers. That is why gaming laptops have large and high-quality speakers that are louder than a normal laptop’s speaker. These loudspeakers ensure that the user can hear all the sound effects and character dialogues. The loud and clear sound quality of the speakers intensifies the gaming experience.
The sound system in gaming laptops serves another purpose. It often cushions any irritating noise coming from the cooling fans of the laptop and provides an immersive gaming experience.
On normal laptops, there is not much need for high-quality speakers. Also, due to the smaller size, there is not much scope to install large speakers. That is why normal laptops have small standard speakers which are well suited for watching videos, listening to music, podcasts, etc.
In terms of connectivity, there’s little to no difference between normal laptops and gaming laptops.
Both kinds of laptops offer Wifi connectivity. Wifi connectivity is very important in gaming laptops as the most popular games of recent times are online multiplayer games. Likewise, there is no alternative to the internet for official work such as sending emails, internet browsing, etc. That is why normal laptops also have the wifi connectivity option.
Bluetooth connectivity is also available in both gaming laptops and normal business laptops. With the help of Bluetooth, users can quickly transfer files from their phones or other electronic devices to their laptops.
The thing that sets apart gaming laptops and normal laptops is the number of ports. Generally, there are two USBs, one LAN, one HDMI, and a few other ports for connecting various electronic devices in regular laptops.
There are various ports available for connecting gaming keyboards, gaming mice, and other gaming peripherals in gaming laptops. Gaming laptops have at least three USB ports. Some gaming laptops have as many as 5 USB ports.
Gaming laptops provide a lot of comfort in replacing or upgrading parts. In gaming laptops, most parts such as graphics card, processor, RAM, VRAM, etc., can be detached from the motherboard. Therefore, these parts can be easily changed.
On the other hand, the components in a standard laptop are integrated into the motherboard. Hence, those cannot be easily separated and replaced.
The longevity of any electronic device more or less depends on the user. If one takes good care of their laptop, both gaming and normal laptops can last for a very long time.
Normal laptops are made for light tasks such as word processing, PowerPoint presentations, etc. If the laptop is used for this purpose only, normal laptops will last for a very long time. However, if one tries to play high graphics video games on a regular business laptop, the laptop will soon be subject to a performance drop.
How long a laptop will last depends on how often it is cleaned. Over time, dust starts to accumulate in the air vents and other laptop components, which creates heat build-up in the system. Such heat can cause permanent damage to many components of the laptop. Whether it is a normal laptop or a gaming laptop, it shall be cleaned routinely.
This being said, if we look at the components of a normal laptop and a gaming laptop, a gaming laptop is more likely to last longer than a normal laptop because of its heavy-duty components. In case of a performance drop in a gaming laptop, it can still be used to carry out day-to-day work. However, if a normal laptop becomes slow, it becomes useless.
Predominantly, the customers for gaming laptops are gamers who can afford them. Gaming laptops do not come cheap. Because of its distinct features and plethora of components, gaming laptops cost much higher than regular business laptops. That is why gaming laptops are not budget-friendly and have a limited customer base. It is most popular with young people who are into gaming. Gaming laptops are, without any doubt, popular amongst gamers who are into streaming. Programmers, video or photo editors, and graphics designers also constitute a part of gaming laptops’ customer base.
Regular laptops have a much more significant customer base because of their affordability. Normal laptops are available at different price points. Hence, most people find a laptop that fits their budget. It is most popular with office goers who spend a lot of time in front of laptops sending emails or writing big reports. Normal laptops are also trendy among students, especially among higher education students. College education demands students to write long academic essays and make presentations on various topics. In such circumstances, normal laptops get the job done. Moreover, as normal laptops are available at affordable prices, students can easily buy these laptops.
Price Comparison: Gaming Laptop vs. Normal Laptop
Price is the ultimate deciding factor while buying any product. There is a considerable difference between the prices of these two kinds of laptops.
Gaming laptops are made for accomplishing heavy graphic intensive tasks such as gaming, video editing, 3D rendering, programming, etc. Hence, it has more hardware in comparison to a normal laptop. Because of these extra components, gaming laptops are pretty expensive. An entry-level gaming laptop retails for $700. If you are looking for a good gaming laptop, there is hardly any chance that you will get under $1000.
The price of a normal business laptop starts from as low as $120. Some more expensive models offer various features. Nonetheless, because of the wide range of prices, normal laptops fit the budget of almost everyone.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Many questions pop up in the mind of a person trying to decide what will be the best decision. Buying a laptop is a big financial commitment. Thus, it is essential to satisfy all the queries before determining which kind of laptop one should buy. We will try to cover the frequently asked questions and answer them in this part.
Are Gaming Laptops Worth Buying?
Gaming laptops are robust laptops made to accomplish heavy tasks such as video editing, gaming, 3D rendering, VR simulation, etc. Much specific hardware such as dedicated video card, VRAM, high-end processor, advanced cooling mechanism, etc., sets apart gaming laptops from normal laptops.
Gaming laptops can be used for day-to-day office work as well. Gaming laptops are made to facilitate both light and heavy tasks. It has mechanical keyboards that can endure the pressure of gaming and help a typist to type faster. The high-performance processors will make the laptop run smoothly. Gaming laptop screens have a better refresh rate. It also has a better sound system compared to general laptops.
Therefore, gaming laptops are better in almost every aspect. Hence, it is worth buying if the budget is not an issue.
Which Type of Laptop Should I Buy If I Want To Play Games And Work Using The Same Laptop?
Gaming laptops are better known for the smooth accomplishment of heavy and light tasks.
Gaming laptops have all the components of a standard laptop. It has some extra elements which enable the laptop also to do graphics-intensive tasks like gaming.
So if you are planning to use the same laptop for work and playing games, buying a gaming laptop is your best bet.
Which Kind of Laptop is Better: Gaming Laptop or Normal Laptop?
There is no universal answer to this question. It depends on the type of work you are trying to get done.
Gaming laptops work great for gaming, video editing, programming, etc. It has way more features than a normal laptop.
However, regular laptops are the best in terms of battery health and portability.
Can I Transform My Normal Laptop Into a Gaming Laptop?
It is impossible to transform your normal business laptop into a gaming laptop. Gaming laptops have many additional components such as GPU, VRAM, and multiple cooling fans attached to the motherboard. Those motherboards are different from normal laptop motherboards. Typically, normal laptops have only one cooling fan, and the graphics card is integrated into the CPU. Therefore, transforming a normal laptop into a gaming laptop is not possible,
The only parts that can be possibly interchanged are RAM and hard drive.
This video explains some of the things you can upgrade in a laptop and how to go about it:
Can I Play Games on A Normal Laptop?
Some video games which do not require much RAM and a dedicated graphics card can be played on normal laptops. Many old games such as Grand Theft Auto Vice City and Need For Speed: Underground can perhaps be played on normal high-end laptops.
However, a normal laptop will not be able to load graphic intensive games like Call of Duty, Fallout 4, Forza Horizon, etc., because these games require high RAM and graphics cards.
Go to system requirements lab.com and click on “My Computer Details” in the top menu to see if your laptop is suitable for gaming. Then select “view my computer details” from the drop-down menu. A Detection App will be automatically downloaded.
If the game’s minimum requirements match your business laptop’s specifications, you will be able to run the game on your normal laptop. Nevertheless, we strongly advise against it.
Normal laptops are not made for gaming purposes. Running a heavy game on a normal laptop can push the laptop to extreme limits, which may cause overheating. Such overheating can cause irreversible damage to your laptop’s hardware.
Is Gaming Bad for Laptop’s Battery Health?
This is a popular myth that has been propagated for ages that playing video games has adverse effects on battery health. This statement has no truth in it.
In general, a gaming laptop itself is a power-hungry digital device. Because of its high-performance hardware, it does not have impressive battery health. Generally, it is advised to keep the laptop plugged into a power outlet while using it.
Of course, playing video games consumes a lot of power very quickly, but many other tasks also cause high power consumption. However, it does not mean these power-hungry tasks are reducing battery health. Battery health is affected by overheating, charges/discharge cycle, and a few other factors. Gaming is not one of them.
Is It Wise To Buy A Gaming Laptop for Work?
Whether one should buy a gaming laptop or a normal laptop for work boils down to an individual’s personal preference.
In general, there are no significant drawbacks in using gaming laptops for work purposes because gaming laptops have all the components of a normal laptop. Owing to their high-performance hardware, gaming laptops have faster processing speeds than normal laptops. Also, gaming laptops have mechanical keyboards, which are becoming more popular among typists for convenience.
The major disadvantage of a gaming laptop is that it is heavier than normal laptops. Thus, it is a bit inconvenient to carry around. Also, gaming laptops are very expensive. However, gaming laptops tend to outlive normal laptops. So, it has benefits in the long run.
That being said, a normal laptop does the day-to-day job very efficiently. So, buying a gaming laptop for work might be overkill. Nevertheless, if money is not an issue, you should not stop yourself from buying a gaming laptop for work.
Gaming laptops and normal business laptops serve two different purposes. The distinction between the two types of laptops is clearly in the hardware.
Gaming laptops have many additional hardware components absent from a normal computer. The additional hardware components in a gaming laptop enable it to do graphics-intensive work such as playing high-resolution video games, 3D rendering, VR simulation, graphics designing, etc. These are heavy tasks that a normal laptop cannot accomplish.
However, these laptops do not come cheap. A good gaming laptop can easily cost you over $1000. Another problem is that gaming laptops do not have awe-inspiring battery life.
On the other hand, normal laptops do not have powerful components like gaming laptops, but they do their job perfectly. Normal laptops are used mainly for office work such as sending emails, word processing, conducting zoom meetings, etc. Regular laptops can do these things quite efficiently. Unlike gaming laptops, standard laptops have good battery life. Moreover, the prices of normal laptops are reasonable and budget-friendly.
Many reputed brands make both gaming laptops and business laptops. Find out which works the best for you. If you need a laptop for office work, choose normal laptops because they are budget-friendly. But if your job requires a robust laptop, buying a good gaming laptop is your best bet.