How long do gaming laptops last? Time to upgrade?

So you probably paid about $1000 or more for your gaming laptop, right? Paying that much for a laptop, whoa, I would have really huge expectations in terms of performance and more importantly durability.

I’d want my investment to last long (really long) at optimum levels and I am sure you do as well. But on an average how long do you think a gaming laptop lasts? In this article, I answer that question and give you a few handy tips to help you get your money’s worth.

GPU

One of the most important factors that go into a gaming laptop is the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). That’s why it’s important to compare different GPU units and also check their performance with your favorite games before picking a laptop.

For example, if you’re anxiously waiting to get your hands on the new and improved FIFA 19, you’d need a laptop with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 or higher GPU.

Luckily for you, all the comparison charts and other technical details for various games are just a Google search away.

But just to give you a brief idea, a starter graphic card like the NVIDIA GTX 1050 should stick by you for 4-5 years after which you’ll need an upgrade.

On the other hand, high-end models like the GTX 1080 will serve you well for the entirety of their lifetime (they’re the real beasts).

RAM

On a general scale, an 8 GB RAM is plenty of memory for even the most demanding of games (so you won’t be running out of memory anytime soon).

The only time the RAM needs an upgrade is if you’ve opted for a budget/cheaper laptop which comes with a 4 GB RAM or less.

That’s because the latest, more demanding games may lag, load slower and it can affect frame rates as well.

CPU

If you’ve gone in for a branded laptop and paid the big bucks for it, the i5 or i7 processors are as good as it can get.

The cheaper laptops may feature AMD’s or APU’s but are they a cause for concern? Well, in the end, it all comes down to compatibility with the GPU. That’s what you really need to pay attention to and more so if you’re planning on a custom built laptop.

Other Hardware

Let’s be honest, even a gaming laptop won’t match the experience of a PS4 or an Xbox, but why? That’s because the hardware of these consoles is tailored-made to support gaming and that just.

Whereas with laptops, that’s difficult due to the diverse hardware that has to go into its making. Also, laptops tend to be lighter which means further compromises need to be made as well.

But that doesn’t mean you’d sit there feeling like your stuck with a 90’s Nintendo Console (the gap is much smaller). Plus, if you maintain your laptop well, the hardware should easily sustain for 8-10 years.

So how do you maintain your gaming laptop? Here are few quick hacks you’d actually thank us for.

Cleaning

One of the most underrated and neglected maintenance tips for any laptop or desktop is cleaning. While you should wipe down the screen, keyboard and exterior body on a daily basis, a full cleaning should be done every 5-6 months.

And you don’t even have to dismantle your laptop completely for it (yes, it’s that easy). Simply tilt your laptop in the air while holding a jar or container close to the fan grille and blow.

Continue to change the angle and blow out the debris until there is none. DO NOT keep the laptop flat while doing so as the escaping liquid air can damage the hardware.

Keep it cool

The laptop’s high-powered CPU and GPU face the brunt of your long hours of gaming and are likely to heat up (especially during summers) resulting in a system failure.

That’s where third-party cooling pads can come in handy. The additional fans generate a nice airflow keeping your system cool so you can continue those PUBG or Fortnite sessions all night long with burning out your laptop.

Battery Maintenance

Gaming takes up a lot of battery juice but if you want your battery to last long here are 3 basic DONT’S

  • Avoid leaving it on charge forever
  • Restrict your use while it is on the charge
  • Lastly, do not let it drain out completely

For optimum battery performance, plug-in your laptop exactly when you get the Low Battery notification and take it off as soon as the battery hits 100% charge.

Update it regularly

Updating your system and other software on a regular basis helps fix bugs and keeps malware out. But make sure you’re not blindly updating the Windows.

Most Windows users will agree, software updates in the past have run many laptops obsolete. That’s because most often the systems could take the load of the new operating system let alone your game.

While the problem in on hold for now with Microsoft focused on improving Windows 10 itself with regular updates, there’s always a chance of a Windows 11 cropping up in the coming years. So keep an eye out and update wisely.

Few other hacks to keep in mind

  • Have a good anti-virus installed
  • Keep your laptop protected from external damage with a high-grade laptop bag
  • The laptop should be covered when not in use to reduce dust
  • Shut it down when not in use (yup, even the Mac). This saves battery and keeps it cool

Conclusion

All in all, how long a gaming laptop lasts will depend quite a lot on the system configuration, your usage, and the maintenance.

If you’re looking for a sure shot answer, a top-notch gaming laptop can last anywhere between 5-6 years without going obsolete. Physically, maybe even 10 but then you’d be stuck playing age-old games on it.

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