Gaming Laptop vs Desktop – Which Should I Choose?

Gaming Laptop vs Gaming Desktop
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Gaming laptops have been increasing in popularity in the last couple of years. With the launch of more powerful & compact computer hardware, gaming laptops are becoming viable options.

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. Though these laptops almost competed with the best gaming computers in the market, but their weight completely kills the idea of having a laptop.

In recent times, technology has advanced, and gaming laptops are now getting sleeker. You can now find excellent gaming laptops without having to carry a box that weighs 9 kilograms.

Before buying a laptop for gaming, you should read gaming laptop reviews for tips on what to lookout for.

The questions we are going to focus on in this write up is whether laptops are a viable solution for portable gaming in 2021.

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

Desktop vs Laptop for Gaming

Desktop vs Laptop for Gaming

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 so concerned about the budget, laptops are still not the optimal choice for gaming. There are a lot of laptops available that will allow you run all the latest games but they fall short in the area 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 a lot and like to game once in a while. These surely aren’t the optimal solution. 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 dependents on the way you intend to use it. 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, there is no point having a desktop as you are not usually in a fixed location. 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 have generally surely enhanced productivity. So what options are you left with?

Handheld Console

Handheld consoles are gaming devices like Playstation portable, Nintendo Switch, which are capable of running latest games.

Using these portable consoles come with limitations as you may not be able to play loads of game titles. There limited hardware capacity also means that you will not be able to play high performance games.

If you don’t travel much or fancy mobility, there is no reason to get a laptop. Sure they consume a lot less space, but they can limit the hardware upgradability and customizability.

With new gaming hardware releases every once in a while; if you get a gaming 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.

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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: March 10th, 2021
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