In this article, I’ll try to answer the question: How long do gaming laptops last? And the related questions that arise: How long it will be before they become obsolete? How long until they’ll no longer be able to support the latest games?
How long a laptop will last depends on what type of laptop you own, how you use it, and so much more.
Investing in a gaming laptop it’s not an easy decision, especially taking into consideration how much more expensive they are compared to regular laptops.
So, you’ll probably want to know whether this investment will be worth it in the long run, as well as how the laptop itself will hold up as time goes on. A gaming laptop lasts longer compared to a normal laptop designed for everyday tasks. Learn how to buy a gaming laptop that will last longer than 4-6 years. Plus, tips to increase the lifespan.
The main factor – Laptop’s Hardware
The main factor in determining a gaming laptop’s average lifespan is the quality of components the laptop has inside.
Hardware components can last up to 10 years if they are properly maintained and not put under too much stress frequently.
The better the processor, the GPU, and the more RAM and storage a laptop has, the longer it will remain relevant.
Basically, the more you spend on a laptop, the longer you should expect it to last.
GPU is what you should pay the most attention to because for gaming laptops, your graphic card is the most important component in the system. GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) manages the video and graphics performance.
You can start by looking at the frame rates. FPS (frames per second) refers to how many frames your GPU can process. Higher frame rates will mean your gameplay will be smoother and more responsive.
The sweet spot will be 60 FPS. 30 FPS is the minimum you should aim for.
You’ll also need to consider how well your GPU performs in certain games at the time of its release. Moreover, you should check how one GPU performs compared to another model.
When it comes to comparing different GPUs, I recommend checking out this site.
If you like to play the newest games on the highest graphics settings, then you can expect your laptop to have a shorter lifespan.
CPU (Central Processing Unit) processes all the data in the machine. It’s the piece that interacts and carries out tasks from your programs and applications.
The CPU is known as the “brain” or “heart” of the computer. For a gamer, it’s not as important as the GPU.
Still, it is a crucial component and your games won’t be able to run with a bad CPU. It may cause lags and slower loading times.
For example, first-person shooter (FPS) and multiplayer games require good performance from your CPU, and not GPU.
Pay attention to the number of cores. The higher the number of cores, the faster it’ll perform and it’s way better in newer video games.
For a gaming laptop, the minimum is a quad-core processor. Why? Because a dual-core processor bottlenecks your GPU and as a result, it may not perform as well as it should.
RAM speeds up the loading time and reduces lags. Your computer’s processors (CPU and GPU) and storage (HDD or SSD) will rely on your RAM to process information. It’s a smart idea to go for 16GB because modern games are becoming increasingly demanding. The minimum RAM you should get is 8GB. Additional RAM can likely be installed at any point further down the road.
Gaming is one of the most demanding tasks a laptop can carry out. So it’s normal that your CPU, GPU, etc. will work overdrive and generate heat as a result. Why is overheating badly? Because it can cause damage to the internal components. An overheated processor operates less efficiently and slows down. The added heat and increased chemical reaction reduce the laptop battery life and the amount of time it stays charged.
There’s a way to fight off the heat: cooling pads. They plug directly into one of your laptop’s USB ports and come with one or more fans capable of greatly increasing airflow, thus providing additional cooling.
If your laptop starts getting hot, it’s a good idea to take a break and let it cool first. Close all programs and let it go to sleep. The best would be to shut it down completely.
Don’t forget that your room temperature also affects your gaming laptop. So in summers, be extra careful so you can keep your laptop cool.
It’s worth checking out what kind of cooling system it uses when buying a new gaming laptop. Most laptops have built-in cooling systems to make your gaming laptop last.
Dust is one of the top reasons that cause overheating and damage to internal components. Due to the limited space in a laptop’s interior dust and other particles tend to collect around the fan, vents, and components on the motherboard. As time goes by, the accumulated dust shortens your gaming laptop’s lifespan. So, regular cleaning should be done on the inside and outside.
Cleaning the outside of your gaming laptop is a simple task. Use a microfiber towel to wipe down the laptop screen, keyboard, and fan grills.
But how do you clean the inside of your gaming laptop?
Laptops can be a bit tricky to take apart and can’t be opened by most users. So for that, you have to hire a specialist in that field.
If you want to do it by yourself, make sure you read what the manual says about the warranty because in some cases opening your laptop can void the warranty.
There’s a way around it: compressed air. Using compressed air doesn’t require dismantling your gaming laptop.
Ensure you unplug your laptop from the power supply before cleaning. All you have to do is spray the compressed air towards your laptop’s ports, especially towards the fans and heating vents. Hold the fans to prevent them from spinning, otherwise, you could damage them.
As time passes, you have to ensure your laptop is running smoothly without any errors in its software or hardware.
Regular Software Updates
If you don’t update regularly, you’re missing out on security and performance improvements that will impact your gaming experience. Microsoft usually introduces feature updates every six months. The games you’re playing will also roll out updates to keep up with Microsoft’s OS updates.
By keeping your antivirus software updated, you reduce the likelihood of malicious malware running in the background and causing your laptop to overheat.
Battery Life Management
The laptop battery has a lifespan, just like any hardware component, Constantly charging the battery eventually reduces the battery’s lifespan significantly and causes it to hold less of a charge.
Upgrade Hardware Components
It’s a good idea to upgrade what you can in a laptop: RAM and storage space. In most cases, it isn’t possible to upgrade a laptop’s CPU and graphics card.
The cheapest way to boost your laptop’s gaming performance is to upgrade your RAM.
As game sizes increase you can upgrade the storage drive. You can upgrade your SSD or in case your laptop still uses an HDD, you can replace it with an SSD (Solid State Drive).
You could also look into changing your CPU. The majority of modern-day laptops do not allow you to upgrade your processor, unlike their desktop counterparts. The reason has to do with the CPU surface-mounting on laptop vs desktop computers. On desktops, the CPUs can be detached from their socket on the motherboard. On laptops, however, the CPUs are almost always soldered to the socket on their motherboards.
You can use websites such as Crucial to check if you can upgrade your laptop’s hardware.
Will your laptop be able to handle future Windows versions?
Since relatively few titles are released for Linux and macOS, Windows remains the most popular operating system among gamers, So, if you have a gaming laptop, it will almost definitely be running on Windows.
Rather than releasing a completely new operating system every few years, Microsoft has shifted its focus on improving and perfecting Windows 10 via free updates.
You also have the option of installing one of the many distributions of Linux, that performs much better on dated hardware than Windows.
4 Signs That You Need A New Laptop
Here is how to know when it is time for a change.
1. You have exhausted all upgrade options
2. Your laptop cannot support the latest operating system or you can’t install the latest operating system
3. Everything begins to slow down: your laptop takes “hours” to boot or applications take “forever” to open up
4. Regular crashing. Updating the drivers can sometimes solve the problem, but most of the time crashing is a sign of failing hardware or overheating. Crashes can be caused by incompatible drivers or viruses, too.
5. You cannot play the latest games because your laptop doesn’t meet the minimum requirements
Your buying decision will impact the most on how long your gaming laptop will last. Your budget ultimately determines if you can afford a budget, mid-range, or high-end gaming laptop. Pick a gaming laptop with the best hardware specifications your budget can afford. Target reliable laptop brands with more than a one-year warranty. Prioritize buying a powerful laptop with a better processor and graphics card over one with more RAM and storage. You can always update RAM and storage later. A more expensive laptop will likely give you a better in-game experience.
Keep in mind that you can always make your laptop last longer using different ways, heat and battery management, regular cleaning and maintenance or hardware components upgrade.