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How to buy a gaming laptop in UAE: Your best buying guide for gaming notebooks in 2017

By Team Feedbaac
Whether you want to play the latest beat-em-up or sports games with your friends, frag them on the most graphics-intense and fast-action shooting games, our new gaming laptop buying guide will help you choose the right machine that fits your budget and gaming preferences.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus

Unlike the traditional laptops that you see in stores or the one lying in your office, gaming laptops are the most powerful forms of portable computers in the market because of its fast processor, graphics, and storage. They are only meant for gamers who want to play all the latest best games on the go at the highest settings and resolutions, something that normal laptops are incapable of doing. And we aren’t even talking about a simple soccer game or any silly looking touch-based game.

Gaming laptops are a class far apart from the normal consumer laptops in terms of performance, which is more of the reason why they are not a part of the cheap laptop segment. With most of the PC games that require different levels of specifications, it can be very hard to choose the right gaming laptop that suits your preferences, and most importantly, your budget. That’s why we at Feedbaac.com have created some interesting questions and answers that can help you choose the right gaming laptop for yourself.

What are the parameters I should look into before buying a gaming laptop?

The first and foremost thing that you need to remember is that gaming laptops are expensive and doesn’t come at a cheap price. That’s why you need to decide on how much can you spend, what kind of work will you do with it and the type of games that you will play on it. Apart from making sure that it has the latest processor and graphics, look at what storage does it offer. Also, check out the weight of the device and the screen size, which is quite an important factor for those who want to always travel with it. Compare the prices of the gaming laptop that you have kept an eye on with several different stores.

Why are the CPU and GPU important on a gaming laptop?

Unlike low-power processors and entry-level graphics chips, gaming the latest titles at its best settings requires you to play with high-end CPUs and GPUs, if you want to get the game running at higher framerates. Playing graphics-intense games with low-level hardware will only result in a slower gameplay with immense lags on framerates. Even if you lower the resolution and the graphical settings of the game, there is no saying that the game will run better, let alone, lowering the settings will make the quality of the graphics very bad. So, it is important that the gamer chooses the right CPU and GPU to run his/her favorite titles at its best.

Which CPU and GPU should I look for in a gaming laptop?

This totally depends on the type of game that you plan to run it and if you require running those titles at its highest graphical presets or don’t mind turning down the settings for better framerate. Playing certain light-weighted games and older titles such as Fifa, OverWatch etc, only needs mid-to-high GPUs (such as the GTX 1050 and the GTX 1060 GPU) for it to work well. Choosing a quad-core processor of i5 or i7 variant is more than enough for gaming purposes. Heavier game titles such as Rise of the Tomb Raider, DOOM, The Division and more, requires a high-end GPU to play at its best. Some of them are the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 GPU. However, you can always make the settings to medium or high (instead of ultra), if your laptop sports a midrange GPU. The beauty of playing games on PC and gaming laptops is that you have the freedom to choose graphical presets based on the type of hardware you wish to play.

Which GPU’s are the fastest in the market for a gaming laptop?

If you are aiming for the latest generation of graphics for laptops, the NVIDIA GTX 1070 and the GTX 1080 GPU are the fastest in the market, which can set you back for a hefty price. There aren’t much of AMD Radeon enabled gaming laptops in the market as of now. However, the company is expected to unveil the Vega GPUs for gaming laptops in the near future.

Are there any 4K-capable gaming laptops in the market?

 Acer Aspire V Nitro

4K gaming is the new trend of screen resolution that’s slowly becoming popular. Truth to be told, the NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti is currently the fastest desktop GPU in the market that still struggles to play some of the heaviest, graphic-intense titles above 60fps at 4K. In the gaming laptop market, however, the GTX 1080 may not be completely sufficient to run all games smoothly at 4K. Now, that depends on the game title you wish to play and the settings that you choose to run it. That said, there are gaming laptops that feature dual GTX 1080 GPUs, and while the SLI performance is impressive, not all games support multi-GPU process. So, to the question, whether there are any perfect 4K capable gaming laptops, the answer is yes, but only if you are willing to sacrifice the highest graphical quality for more frame rates, or if you don’t mind playing at a sub-30fps gameplay.

Can I upgrade the CPU and GPU?

That’s a curious question which many gamers wish it's possible. Unlike very few gaming laptops, almost all the models in the market come with the CPU and GPU soldered to its motherboard. It simply means you are stuck with the same hardware for life. This is one of the main disadvantages of a gaming laptop when compared to a custom gaming desktop. The only upgrade option that can be considered in a laptop is to increase the storage memory or to buy a new model with the latest gaming hardware.

What upgrades can I do on a gaming laptop?

Most of the gaming laptops do offer the flexibility to change the primary drive or to add in more RAM for the system. For example, users can change the inbuilt hard drive for a faster SSD, or remove the low-capacity SSD for a higher one. The addition of more RAM depends on how much DIMM slots are available in the gaming laptop and the memory speed it supports.

Are there gaming laptops with the latest AMD processors and Radeon GPU?

At the moment, there aren’t many laptops in the market with AMD processors. However, if you are so specific about it, ASUS recently launched the Strix GL702C, which is the world’s first Ryzen-powered gaming laptop and it is certainly more powerful than all the Intel based gaming laptops when it’s about CPU performance. It also features a Radeon 580 GPU onboard. We advise to wait for more until companies start offering Ryzen based gaming laptops with Radeon Vega or GTX 1080 GPUs.

Which brands offer gaming laptops with multi-GPU support?

ASUS GX800 SLI

Currently, you can get gaming laptops with multi-GPU configuration from ASUS, Acer, Gigabyte and MSI. Keep in mind that these laptops will feature a large body for sufficient cooling and will surely produce a lot of heat while playing games. MSI’s GT80 series gaming laptops, which are quite bulky, is also considered to be one of the best for its performance and cooling efficiency.

How much RAM is needed for a gaming laptop?

Since most of the GDDR5 RAM of the GPU is used for gaming, we can say about 8GB DDR3/DDR4 is more than sufficient as system RAM. While more system RAM is always good, we don’t think it will benefit a lot for gaming, unless you are planning to use the laptop for some video editing jobs and use multiple heavy-taxing apps at once. 16GB DDR4 is at best, the preferred capacity. However, 32GB DDR4 RAM seems to be an overkill for gaming, unless you care about that few framerates that wouldn’t change that much on how the gaming laptop performs. Also, all current generation gaming laptops come with DDR4 RAM.

Does a gaming laptop perform the same as its desktop counterpart?

While the performance gap between gaming laptops and desktops were miles away from each other, the NVIDIA Pascal GPUs has shortened the gap between the two platforms. GTX 10 series GPUs for laptops perform almost as good as its desktop equivalents. We say almost because the desktop cards still perform much better and have more room for overclocked performance. The only bottleneck that’s still there is that the processors for gaming laptops aren’t as fast as its desktop counterparts.

How portable do you want your gaming laptop to be?

 ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501

For those who travel a lot, it will be very hard for them to carry around a large gaming laptop that easily weighs more than 3-4kgs. These are the models that are particularly the multi-GPU variants because it needs a large and good cooling system. Luckily, laptop makers are now focusing on thin and light gaming laptops that feature the fastest GPUs, thanks to the efficiency of the NVIDIA Pascal graphics and the latest Intel processors. These new laptops will weigh between 1.6kg to not more than 2-2.5kg. In course of time, the power requirements for these graphics chips will be lower as we progress further towards the next generation and gaming laptops are bound to be thinner and lighter.

Are thin and light gaming laptops worth purchasing?

There was a time where thin and light gaming laptops only featured mid-range GPUs. But as technology progressed, the power requirements of graphics chips have reduced. There are many gaming laptops out there that are currently featuring the fastest GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 GPUs in a thin and light form factor. So, if you have the bucks to shell out, and if portability is your absolute requirement with powerful hardware, the answer is yes.

How is the battery life of a gaming laptop?

While the efficiency of GPUs and CPUs for gaming laptops are getting better and better, it’s still not in a stage where the battery life can last for hours of use. Gaming on battery will surely drain the power within less than an hour. However, normal usages can go on for about a couple of hours and can be extended further a little bit more if you are using low-power mode. Truth to be told, don’t expect the battery life of a gaming laptop to be as good as an ultrabook. It’s a dream that many users and gamers are waiting for but we aren’t there yet.

Which screen size should I choose while buying a gaming laptop?

Small and thin gaming laptops often come with 13-inch displays on average and while it may be small, it’s quite sufficient for playing most of the games. However, if you feel the screen is quite tiny, you can always go for a 15-inch or 17-inch displays. But that leads to a bulkier and heavier gaming laptop and portability is compromised. That said, you can always connect your gaming laptop to an external monitor or TV, via the mini Display Port or HDMI port.

Should I choose a laptop with an IPS screen or a VA panel?

 Dell 15 7567

IPS displays are often known for its better colors and great viewing angles, whereas VA panels are known for its fast refresh rates. If you wish to have the best refresh rates, VA panels are the better choice for playing fast action games that need the quickest reactions. That said, the refresh rates of IPS panels aren't that bad. There are IPS panels that hit 144Hz, which is much better than the standard 60Hz. The viewing angles of the VA panel is mostly best when you look straight at it, but loses sight if you look from the sides. So, it comes to a choice whether you want good viewing angles or not.

Are gaming laptops with 4K displays worth the purchase?

While 4K displays will certainly bring better sharpness and resolution for movies and image details, gaming with a 4K screen isn’t completely feasible for now, simply because there isn’t any GPU that can play games at its best above 60fps. Again, it’s a debatable topic because we are sure that some games can be easily played at maximum settings on 4K, while some graphic-intense games are not. In short, there isn’t any perfect 4K-capable GPU out the in the market for gaming laptops.

Are touchscreens essential on a gaming laptop?

While the whole point of buying a gaming laptop is to play games or to do productive jobs, using the touchscreen isn’t necessary at all to play hardcore PC games. And we aren’t even talking about touchscreen-based Windows Store games that can even run on a tablet. Unless you are keen on controlling Windows and browsing the internet with a touchscreen, there is no need to spend that extra bucks on such an upgrade.

Are there gaming laptops with OLED displays?

Alienware 13

You can try out the latest Alienware 13 that was recently launched with an OLED screen. The resolution of the display is 2560 x 1440, which will look gorgeous on an OLED display and you can imagine that the blacks on the screen will be one of the best in the market and gaming will look fantastic. However, the GPU included is a GTX 1060, which is good for most games, but for graphic-taxing titles, you will need to reduce the resolution or graphic settings.

How much storage do I need?

Different games require different storage requirements. Most of the games which are graphic intense, requires installation space up to 60GB and more. Recently, there were games that require installations well above 150GB. In short, we need a minimum of 2TB at the least, if you wish to install a lot of games.

Are there gaming laptops with mechanical keyboards?

MSI GT83VR 7RF TITAN SLI

While most of the gaming laptops come with chiclet style keyboards to keep up with the thin and light form factors, the larger laptop models come with mechanical keyboards. One such example is the MSI GT80 gaming laptop. The only issue is that gaming laptops with mechanical keyboards can make the device bulkier. It may not be a feasible idea but you can also connect a proper gaming keyboard with a gaming laptop and play with its mechanical keys.

 

Are there any gaming laptops that are VR capable?

With VR gaming pickimg up pace, most of the laptop makers are focussed on offering VR capable gaming laptops. The latest generation of NVIDIA Pascal GPUs are finely tuned to play VR games with Oculus Rift or HTC Vive and so most of the latest gaming laptops are VR-friendly. However, you have to make sure that there are enough USB ports on the laptop. VR games do require a decent GPU to play with, so make sure that the gaming laptop you buy has the GTX 1060 GPU at the least. 

Which are the best gaming laptop brands that can be purchased in the UAE?

MSI GE72 7RE APACHE PRO

The best gaming laptops of 2017 are made by Alienware, ASUS, Acer, Gigabyte, Lenovo, Razer, and MSI. As per our knowledge, MSI has some great gaming laptops with mid-range and high-end graphics at good and affordable prices. ASUS ROG makes some of the top gaming laptops and also offer aggressive looking designs. While Razer may be expensive, their laptops are considered to be special for its build quality and the innovative features. Alienware is also another expensive brand for those who don’t mind shelling a lot for some of the best models in the market. Acer, Dell and Lenovo make some cheap gaming laptops. Regardless of the brand, all their laptops come with the best of Intel processors and the latest NVIDIA Pascal GPUs.

What kind of specifications should I look for in a midrange gaming laptop?

We would say that one should opt for a laptop that features an i5 processor at the least (Intel Skylake or above), a GTX 1060 or a GTX 1050 Ti at the least, a 1080p display, IPS or VA panel (depending on your choice), 8GB DDR4 RAM, a primary 256GB SSD for Windows 10 and a secondary 1TB hard drive. You should also make sure that there are enough USB 3.0 ports for your needs, HDMI, DP and USB Type-C port.

What are the idle specifications that I should look for a high-end gaming laptop?

Go for the fastest and latest Intel i7 processor of (Skylake, Kaby Lake), a GTX 1070 or GTX 1080 GPU (Dual-GPU configs are also good based on your budget), IPS or VA panel with 1080p resolution at the least (2K and 4K displays are also good), 16GB/32GB DDR4 RAM, a fast PCIe SSD for Windows 10 and a 2TB hard drive as the secondary storage. We still recommend using multiple USB 3.0 ports, USB Type-C, LAN, HDMI and DP connections.

Where can I buy gaming laptops in the UAE?

Gaming laptops can now be purchased from Jumbo Electronics, SharafDG, Lulu, ErosJacky’s, Plug-ins, Emax, Carrefour, E-City, and more. These retailers also have their online portals where users can simply click to order. However, if you like to get better deals and offers, you can also visit the Computer Plaza shopping center in BurDubai, UAE. The center is filled with numerous shops to choose, where you can find you give the best prices. It's also a good idea to buy from the shops at Computer Plaza because you can get the laptops upgraded without losing the warranty for lesser rates, unlike the hefty charges offered by other major retailers in Dubai.