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Gaming Laptop vs Desktop – Which Should I Choose?

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Gaming laptops have recently come into the discussion; With the release of more and more powerful & compact computer hardware, Gaming laptops could be a viable option.

If you wanted to get a gaming laptop a few years ago, You would have found some decent ones weighing as much as 9 kilograms. Thought these laptops almost competed with the best gaming computers in the market, but their weight completely kills the idea of having a laptop.

In the recent times, Technology has advanced, and this is not the case anymore. You can find excellent gaming laptops without having to carry a box that weighs 9 kilograms. The questions we are going to focus on in this write up is weather laptops are a viable solution for portable gaming in 2018.

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Let’s learn about the advantages and disadvantages of gaming on a laptop compared to a desktop.

Desktop vs Laptop for gaming

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The main heat producing components in a computer, i.e. CPU and GPU have a difference in the mobile and desktop variations. A laptop variant of GTX 1080 is not capable of competing with the performance of desktop version. These differences are intentional because of cooling limitations enforced by a laptop.

Ryan from GamingInMyDNA says:

“Laptops are not a great idea if it’s bought solely for gaming. A desktop is far superior in every aspect when it comes to gaming.”

Jimmy from PCGamer concludes: 

“With the freedom to easily swap out components, coupled with the power they offer, it’s clear the desktop PC isn’t going anywhere.”


If you are on a budget and looking to buy a new computer for gaming, It’s best to go with a desktop. Desktop hardware is not only cheaper but also allows for ultimate customizability. New parts launch every once in a while and having an option to upgrade/change them is essential.

On the other hand, If you are not much concerned about the budget, Laptops are still not the optimal choice for gaming. There are plenty of laptops available which will allow you to run all latest games but they are insufficient in the aspect of upgradability.


Getting a laptop will save you the hassle of putting all parts together. They come all ready to use. On the other hand, Putting together a desktop is time-consuming and involves an amount of risk regarding part failure. It’s not a reason to not build a computer but surely something to keep in mind, If you are not familiar with hardware and how it works, It’s better to hire someone to assemble the computer for you.

Price to Performance ratio

Desktops are comparatively much cheaper. You can build a decent desktop for $500 while a laptop in the price range would come with outdated parts.


This is a clear victory for a laptop; This is what they are designed for.

What’s Best for you?

Gaming laptops are sure not a bad option especially if you travel and lot and like to game once in a while. These surely aren’t the optimal solution there is; Desktops are way superior and feasible when it comes to better performance. Which one is better for you? It’s not that complicated to figure it out; It’s largely dependent on the kind of use. The following questions will help you make a decision.

  1. Do you travel a lot?
  2. What kind of games do you like to play?

If you travel a lot, It’s simply killing the idea of having a desktop; The options are narrowed down by a lot. You can get a gaming laptop, but they are usually not very comfortable if you plan to work on them as well. Smaller and compact laptops are generally surely enhanced the productivity. So what options are you left with?

Handheld Console

This kind of consoles constitutes Playstation portable, Nintendo switch, which are very capable of running latest games. Using these consoles will limit the accessibility to several game titles, but it’s good enough to full-fill hobby.

If you don’t travel much, There is no reason to get a laptop. Sure they consume a lot lesser space, but they can limit the hardware upgradability and customizability. New gaming hardware releases every once in a while; If you get a laptop, Your options are strictly limited while with a desktop, You can upgrade anything anytime you wish at a very affordable price.

Another factor is that while gaming, You will need an external gaming mouse, mousepad, headphones and sometimes even a keyboard. Moreover, these laptops also tend to release a lot of heat while gaming, This makes them completely unusable unless you have a proper setup.

The verdict

Laptops are very capable of running high-end games while being very portable but they come at a very hefty price tag and require several accessories to provide you with a better gaming experience.

Paschal Okafor is NaijaTechGuide Team Lead. The article Gaming Laptop vs Desktop – Which Should I Choose? was written by Noman Asghar. The article was last modified: May 12th, 2018

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