I bought a gaming laptop over two years ago because I didn’t want to miss out on my hobby on longer business trips. After a long search on the Internet, studying numerous tests and reviews, I decided on a model with a lot of RAM and a good graphics card, even though the laptop was much more expensive than a comparable desktop PC. During my search, I looked into why a gaming laptop is so costly – also from the perspective of an IT architect.
In this post, I will shed some light on why gaming laptops are significantly more expensive than desktop pcs.
In general, a gaming laptop is more expensive compared to an equal desktop system because of the smaller size, higher portability, and specialized hardware components. The higher demands for 3D-intensive games require the newest technology and hardware to get the maximum performance for gaming while staying mobile.
Some gaming laptops cost over $5.000, while regular laptops and even business laptops don’t exceed $2.000 by far. That’s a big gap! So what makes gaming laptops expensive?
Note: This article was written in English. Translations into other languages may not provide the same linguistic quality. We apologize for grammatical and semantic errors.
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Reasons Why Gaming Laptops Are so Much More Expensive
And here comes my detailed list.
That a high-end computer can be taken anywhere without renting a large van was not possible until the turn of the millennium. What is now standard for us – thanks to smartphones – is still a positive, convenient feature. And as with all useful features, this advantage is always reflected in the price.
The price for mobility in gaming laptops is even higher in relation to other laptop types because more performance can be moved.
Gaming laptops do not disappear under the desk but are always in full view. While gamers can make their own modding on desktop pcs, laptops are better left out of significant conversions to keep the warranty.
LEDs, unique design elements, and decorations must therefore be considered and priced directly by the manufacturer.
For gamers, their computer is an object of prestige.
As with the previous point, the same applies to upgrades; loosening screws entails the risk of loss of warranty. Of course, this doesn’t scare off the hardcore modder. Still, the average gamer wants to change the aging graphics card within a laptop easily and without problems.
Many components, such as RAM, hardly change in form but receive performance improvements in subsequent years. For example, after DDR3 RAM came DDR4 RAM. Upgrading such components is a necessity for gamers.
The manufacturers of the laptops put some effort into developing upgrade options, which lets the price swell again.
Gaming hardware can be compared a little bit to Formula 1.
Every year, research and the new production possibilities associated with it shift the rules of what is possible. Manufacturers, therefore, always fight for the latest innovations to advertise their products as world champions in design.
Unfortunately, this means that a high-end gaming laptop contains the latest innovations for the end-user. And therefore, you are guaranteed to pay the highest prices compared to components in regular computers or laptops.
Sad, but unavoidable.
Laptops are not too new in their shape and texture. However, their components can change in their form and requirements.
Graphics cards are getting bigger.
Cooling systems are more extensive.
New types of sockets must be installed.
There is a lot of space within desktop computers. In laptops, there is always too little space.
Engineers face more complex hurdles when designing a laptop and especially a gaming laptop. This usually lengthens the development process and is a small part of the higher price.
Again, we can go back to the previous point. More complex products always require a more complex manufacturing process. On a gaming laptop with many additional LED lamps, design elements, and extra cooling elements, you have to screw around longer – even if it happens automatically on the production line.
More production steps always cost more money.
The heart of a gaming laptop, as well as a gaming pc, is the graphics card. Of course, only the best of the best is used in high-end laptops.
We’ll come back to the question of which part is the most expensive in a gaming laptop below, but to put it briefly: High-tech always costs a lot more than we would like to pay when it is introduced to the market.
If you have to choose between NVIDIA and AMD, then after a bit of experience, I can give you this advice:
Sophisticated cooling mechanisms such as water cooling can be installed within a desktop computer. There is a notorious lack of space for laptops.
Installing additional fans on the outside is not a good solution. Apart from the ruined design, more fans also make more noise. Designing the entire cooling system and testing it adequately is one of the biggest challenges in the development process. There is nothing worse for gamers than the blue screen of death due to overheating.
Costs for this engineering service are naturally included in the final price.
The components of a gaming laptop require higher voltage because more power is needed. Only what comes in as energy can also be used in the form of computing power. Probably 90% of the time, a gaming laptop will be connected to the power cable.
Still, gaming should work just as smoothly with a battery when it comes down to it. So the battery pack must be dimensioned differently and have different performance data than the counterparts of other laptops.
Bigger = more expensive.
In addition to the battery, the laptop’s entire line system must withstand higher voltages and throughputs. Power supply units, electronic resistors, and many other minor components must be designed for this.
This deviation from the office standard is also reflected to a small extent in the higher price.
Other High-Performance Components
Almost all components are more expensive than other laptop types. You could compare this to the sports package for a road car. Things like spoilers, racing tires and turbocharger is in a gaming laptop processor, graphics card and hundreds of LEDs.
So for more power, we have to dig deeper into our wallets.
Warranty, Insurance, and Support
What is mobile also breaks down faster.
Let’s say that a desktop computer is less likely to fall from a hip height than a laptop.
On average, warranty and support cases are more frequent and also higher in terms of damage and costs. Many offers, therefore, include extra insurance, which again increases the price.
In the end, you buy a Ferrari with a gaming laptop, and it costs more in all respects.
What Are the Expensive Parts of a Gaming Laptop?
In a high-end gaming laptop, the following main components are built-in. We start with the most expensive parts.
- Graphics card
- Hard disk
Which Part of a Gaming Laptop is the Most Expensive?
With high-end gaming laptops, the graphics card always stands out. The individual components of a graphics card (GPU, VRAM, display ports, coolers, etc.) almost make up a small computer of its own, which uses the latest technology to perform highly specialized graphics-related tasks.
No component in a computer is subject to such great technological competition as the graphics card. NVIDIA, AMD, Intel, Qualcomm bring new, more powerful products to the market every year to keep pace with the ever more graphically demanding games.
Whoever brings the best graphics card on the market dictates the usually very high price until the next new product appears.
Are Gaming Laptops Worth it?
Gaming laptops are incredibly specialized and portable devices. They can cope with nearly all digital tasks a gamer comes up with. Their worth is justified by more efficient and modern components and the fact that they are always portable.
Furthermore, the value is always in the eye of the end-user. If you play your games on a regular laptop and you are happy, you certainly do not need an extra laptop for gaming.
Conversely, it is annoying if you can’t play games properly on a weak laptop. In that case, investing in a gaming laptop is recommended to increase your enjoyment while gaming.
Here I give you a deeper insight into the topic:
How Much Does a Good Gaming Laptop Cost?
So-called gaming laptops have an extensive price range. For games with medium graphics requirements, laptops between $1,000 and $2,000 are perfectly adequate. If the requirements are higher, like for shooter games, for example, PUBG, Escape from Tarkov, or Call of Duty Warzone, the price can be up to $3,000.
Beyond that, you will pay for branding, unique customizations, or the latest technology. This extreme ends with a proud price of around $5,000.
Can Gaming Laptops be Used for Other Things?
Gaming laptops are designed for maximum performance. There is nothing to be said against using them as office computers or for Netflix as a replacement television. A different type of laptop is recommended if you only play games occasionally without high graphics requirements.
The price-performance ratio would otherwise be hilarious.
There are many good reasons why a gaming laptop is more expensive than any other consumer computer. A few percent of surcharges can be seen in the material or the more complex manufacturing. Others are in the later maintenance.
Of course, the biggest bang is in the increased performance.
Suppose you want to have the optimum on your desk. In that case, you will probably pay about 30% more than the last graphics card generation’s gaming laptops.
Is it worth it?
In the end, everyone has to decide for themselves.
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GL & HF! Flashback out.