Anirudh Regidi Oct 14, 2017 12:06 PM IST
This Diwali is a great chance to feed the gamer in you, or a loved one, for that matter. Whether you’re the type of gamer who wants a no compromises system or a portable powerhouse, we’ve got you covered.
Before we give you our recommendations, however, here are some pointers to help you pick out a device on your own.
Graphics card: One of the most important parts of a Don’t fall for the whole “2 GB RAM vs 4 GB RAM” argument that some manufacturers and salespersons tout. Graphics card performance is not solely determined by RAM. Picking a graphics card simply based on onboard VRAM is almost the same as buying a car based on the size of its fuel tank.
If you’re interested in gaming, look for a laptop with an Nvidia GPU, preferably a GeForce GTX 1050 or higher. For most users, a 1050 or 1050Ti from Nvidia is enough for gaming at medium-high settings at full HD. For a real bump in performance, get a laptop with a 1060 or 1070 graphics card. Laptops with Nvidia’s 1080 and 1080 Ti are available, as are those with dual graphics, but the price rises exponentially as you go up the tiers.
CPU: As surprising as it may sound, the CPU isn’t as important as the GPU, when it comes to gaming laptops. Mid-range and lower-mid range graphics cards will bottleneck most laptop CPUs. Unless you’re going for a laptop with a 1070 GPU or something more powerful, a 6th generation or 7th generation Intel Core i5 CPU will suffice.
RAM: Not to be confused with graphics RAM (VRAM), system RAM is an essential component of any PC. For a gaming PC, 8 GB RAM is more than enough. You can opt for 16 GB RAM if you wish to, but it will not result in a notable improvement to performance.
Storage: If you’re getting yourself a gaming laptop, get one with a large SSD. If you can’t afford one with a large SSD (256 GB or higher), then get one with a small SSD (64 GB or higher) and a separate HDD. A gaming laptop without an SSD is a disgrace. Nothing will slow your system down as much as booting and loading games from an HDD would.
Display: As tempting as it is to opt for a 4K display, don’t. The more the pixels, the more powerful your PC will have to be. There is literally no graphics card in existence that can allow for high quality, 60 FPS gaming on a 4K display. A full HD display is all you need for most gaming laptops, and it’s more than sharp enough for even a 17-inch screen.
Battery: You’re buying a gaming laptop, not a tablet. Simply ignore this parameter. At most, you can expect around 30-40 minutes of battery life from your device when gaming.
Now that this little guide is out of the way, here are our recommendations:
Gaming ultrabook: ASUS Zephyrus GX501 — Rs 3,14,990
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus is one of the only laptops in India to employ Nvidia’s Max-Q design. To the uninitiated, Nvidia’s Max-Q technology simply allows for a laptop that is almost as powerful as a regular gaming laptop with a similar configuration. Why is that a good thing? These laptops are more efficient and consume less power, which makes them much slimmer and lighter.
Think of it this way, you can buy a laptop that’s about as thin as a MacBook Pro 13 but about 80 percent as powerful as a gaming laptop that’s as thick as a dictionary or two.
The Zephyrus is one such device, and while it’s expensive, it does seem like the best, ultraportable gaming laptop you can buy today.
At its thickest, the Zephyrus measures a mere 17.9 mm and weighs 2.2 kg. Despite that, you get a 7th gen Intel Core i7 7700HQ CPU, a Max-Q design GTX 1080 graphics chip, up to 24 GB of DDR4 RAM, a 15.6-inch 120 Hz FHD display, a 1 TB PCIex4 SSD and a plethora of connectivity options ranging from Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac to USB Type-C with Thunderbolt support, USB Type-A 3.1 ports, LAN, HDMI 2.0 and more.
At around Rs 3,14,990, this isn’t cheap, though.
Portable powerhouse: MSI GS63VR 7RG Stealth Pro – Rs 1,89,990
Touted to be the world’s lightest gaming laptop, the GS63VR from MSI is certainly worth checking out. At Rs 189,990, this is a high-end device, and that money gets you an Intel Core i7 7700HQ CPU, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB NVMe SSD, 1 TB SATA HDD, a 15.6-inch FHD display, a plethora of USB ports, an RJ45 LAN port, HDMI output, Thunderbolt support and more.
At 1.9 kg, this laptop could very well be the lightest gaming laptop in the world, and it is lighter than the Zephyrus. This is a slim laptop and thermal performance might be compromised, but MSI claims to have sorted out that issue with its Cooler Boost Trinity cooling system.
While we haven’t tested this laptop, and can’t verify MSI’s claims, the MSI laptops that we have tested have convinced us of their quality and ability to keep the hardware cool. We expect no less from this device as well.
Purchase this laptop this Diwali and you’ll also receive a headset, gaming mouse, mousepad and bag from MSI.
Impressive mid-ranger: MSI GP62MVR 7RFX Leopard Pro – Rs 1,29,990
If it’s gaming you seek, this MSI device is worth a look. Looking at the specs, MSI has thrown in quite a bit of awesome hardware at this price. A 120 Hz FHD 15.6-inch display, an Intel i7 7700HQ CPU, and Nvidia 1060 GPU, a 128 GB SSD, a 1 TB HDD and 16 GB of RAM. The 1060 is about 30-40 percent more powerful than the 1050Ti found in lower-end gaming laptops, and that difference is enough to push your frame-rates to that magical 60 fps mark.
Psst: It's selling for Rs 1,19,850 on Amazon right now.
Gaming starter kit: Lenovo Legion Y520 – Rs 75,990
If you don’t want to spend too much cash on a device, the Lenovo Legion Y520 is the best value-for-money deal out there. At Rs 75,990, you get an Intel Core i5 7300HQ CPU, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti GPU, a 1 TB 5,400 rpm HDD and a 15.6-inch FHD display. Our only complaint with this configuration is the lack of an SSD. At this price, however, there’s not much of an option.
Despite being the cheapest laptop in this list, this isn’t a compromised product. When we tested the device (a higher-end variant with an Intel i7 and a 128 GB SSD), we found that it offered a great display and great performance, though there was a certain amount of thermal throttling under load.
So which laptop are you buying this Diwali?