Best Gaming Laptops - Alienware Area-51 m17x
What is a gaming laptop computer?
A gaming laptop (sometimes called gaming notebook), on the most basic level is a small computer designed for playing computer games. Although any laptop can be used for gaming, gaming laptops differ from other models by the high-end hardware they contain. High-end high-performance hardware is a necessity in gaming laptops as you need to be able to operate the latest process-intensive games. As a result gaming laptop computers often cost much more than a basic laptop used for word processing and sending e-mails - in fact they can cost 2 or 3 times more.
Gaming laptops also have another particularity, they tend to be a bit more visually striking than traditional laptops. To appeal to the gaming community they often feature metallic finishes, bright colours, or prominent ridges to impart upon them a high-tech look.
The five main requirements of gaming laptop computers are :-
the operating system
The operating system is important as games tend to be released for a variety of different operating systems, so that if your gaming laptop has the wrong operating system installed you may not be able to play some games.
A large screen size is needed to allow you to see everything.
The processor is probably the single most important feature, as games are very process-intensive and require a lot of computing power and some games require a minimum processor type or processor speed.
The graphics card controls the graphics settings and the visual effects that can be enabled.
The RAM is important as you will need a lot of memory to play high-end games.
In addition to these you should also take into account RAM speed, battery life, and hard disk speed.
Any gaming laptop computer must also be able to accept peripherals such as a headset and a wireless mouse, usually via USB ports and Bluetooth cards
It must be able to connect to the internet and to LANs, generally through WiFi and Ethernet.
Cooling options such as better venting or more powerful fans are necessary, as the hardware in gaming laptop computers often generates a lot of heat.
Gaming laptops are not without their critics who say that they are inferior to desktop gaming computers, also referred to as gaming rigs. Their small size means that the components of a gaming laptop are generally less advanced and more expensive than the parts inside a desktop computer. They are also more difficult to upgrade due to space limitations. They are however portable which is the main advantage of a laptop in the first place.
Probable minimum requirements for a gaming laptop
7200 RPM drive
best video card available
One suggested configuration
Windows Vista Home Premium
512MB Nvidia Geforce 8700M ($350 more for SLI hehe)
17" 1440x900 LCD
Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 2.0Ghz 4MB Cache
120GB 7200RPM 8MB cache drive
Bear in mind also that the most important features are the processor, a dedicated graphics chip and plenty of system memory.
Dual core and quad cores are now available.
The main producers of dual-core chips are AMD and Intel. The Intel dual-core processor has hyperthreading (HT) - the two cores are divided into four virtual CPU units. Do you need all this if heavy graphics or gaming are your thing then probably.
One of the fastest gaming laptops currently available is the Alienware Area-51 m17x :
CPU: Intel® Core® 2 Extreme X9000 2.8GHz (6MB Cache 800MHz FSB)
Memory: 4GB† Dual Channel DDR2 SO-DIMM at 667MHz – 2 x 2048MB
Hard Drive: Hard Drive: 1TB in a high-speed RAID 0 configuration
Graphics: 512MB NVIDIA® Quadro® FX 3600M
OS: Windows Vista 64 bit,
Display: 17" WideUXGA 1920 x 1200 LCD (1200p) with
Weight: 10.5 lbs
STOP PRESS UPDATE:
If you are looking for the fastest gaming laptop computer around at the moment (March 2009) then NVIDIA, at CeBIT, have just announced four new mobile GPUs.
The GeForce GTX 280M, is claimed to be "the fastest laptop GPU on the market, with up to 50% more performance than previous generation enthusiast laptop GPUs."
It's worth remembering that gaming laptop computers are generally not particularly cheap but prices seem to be coming down at the moment.
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