Gaming on a laptop vs PC: What’s right for you?


Gaming devices aren’t one-size-fits-all. While some people love the huge ATX towers featuring RGB lighting and curved monitors, others (especially those with less space) prefer to game on a laptop they can fold up and put away when not in use. The fact is that modern revenue operations teams market to both types of players. Because of this, you know that both setups have their benefits. While this is true, it’s up to you to decide what gaming rig best suits your needs. Some information to help you make this important decision can be found below.  

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Remember, there is no right setup. You have to consider what works best for you, your needs, and your gaming expectations. You should be ready to make this important decision with the information below.


Usually, it’s a no-brainer when it comes to portability – laptops win hands down. After all, even the huge 17-inch systems can be folded and fit into a bag. The smallest gaming laptops can fit into almost any backpack, and the chargers aren’t too big. While some machines featuring desktop components require the use of two huge bricks, they can still be fit into a bag and taken on the go. This simply is not the case with a traditional gaming desktop setup.


One of the appealing aspects of PC gaming is the ability to build your own setup. While you can’t build a laptop based on your specifications, doing so with a desktop is now extremely popular. In fact, it’s also easier than it may seem. When you build your own desktop, you can customize and upgrade it as much as you want down the road. For example, do you want to improve the GPU or get faster RAM? If so, these are easy upgrades. Even if you want an all-new CPU with a different motherboard, you still have the power supply and case that can be used. You can even sell the old parts that you don’t need anymore. Since everything is replaceable, desktops come out on top for upgradeability.

If you purchase a pre-built desktop, things are somewhat more challenging. Some use proprietary motherboards that aren’t considered “standard sizes.” What this means is that there is limited upgradeability. However, you may still be able to change the CPU, GPU, and RAM, if you use the same chipset. With most laptops, you can change the storage and RAM. However, the memory needs to be soldered to the motherboard for extremely thin machines. It’s also worth noting that getting to the different components in a laptop is more challenging due to the smaller size.


It’s challenging to create a direct comparison between laptops and desktops because of the different configurations and the cost of components. While this is true, some basic comparisons can be made. For example, if you opt for a desktop, there are additional costs (beyond the computer’s base price) when you get started. If you don’t have a monitor, you must purchase this. Usually, the mouse and keyboard offered with most pre-built machines are trash, which means you must purchase these separately. If you build the desktop from scratch, these items are not included.

You may also have to purchase headphones or speakers to go with your setup.

Laptops come to you with the speakers and screen built-in. It also has a keyboard. If you want to begin gaming, you just need a mouse and perhaps some headphones. While this is true, the screen won’t be as large as a traditional desktop monitor. A pre-built desktop comes with some labor costs built into the price. If you decide to build it on your own, you can save money and choose higher-quality components.


For performance, much of it relates to the specs you pick. For example, if you choose to purchase a $3,000 gaming laptop, you can bet it will outperform an $800 gaming desktop.

However, the gaming desktop will always be more powerful when all things are equal. Also, the components will work better on most desktop machines. More fans and a larger chassis result in better heat and cooling dissipation. Also, the system remains at a lower temperature, ensuring better performance. You can also opt for liquid cooling with desktops.


If you have ever used a gaming laptop, you know how inconvenient using a touchpad can be, no matter the type of game you choose to play. This is true for click-and-drag strategy games or faster-paced shooting games. This means you must still purchase a mouse to use with the laptop unless you plan to use a controller. However, adding external CPUs to the picture, such as Intel Core, changes significantly. In this case, all you must do is carry a box-sized processor, mouse, and keyboard around. If you have access to a screen, you can game virtually anywhere.


Usually, laptops, even those designed specifically for gaming, use membrane keys. These aren’t going to stand up to constant use for long periods of time. It’s best to go with a mechanical keyboard, which gives you the option of gaming with a desktop, but usually, this is rare for gaming laptops.


The display has a huge impact on your overall gaming experience. The entire point of immersing yourself in a different world is to feel as connected as possible to the game you are playing. This is one of the main advantages offered by choosing a gaming desktop. Most modern gaming laptops will have a screen size that ranges between 15 to 17 inches diagonally. Each one is equipped with a full HD screen along with 60 HZ refresh rates. While you may want to prioritize smaller laptops so they fit in a bag easily, do you really want to confine the experience to smaller screens when you don’t have to?

female pc gamer multiple screens
Gaming on a system with multiple screens.

When you choose a gaming desktop, it’s much easier to put together a quality gaming system, including a powerful monitor. It is also possible to connect the laptop and use an external monitor. This will help you go beyond your limit of 17-inches. It doesn’t matter if you opt for a gaming laptop or gaming desktop; make sure you do yourself a favor and choose a high-quality monitor. The benefits offered by this are virtually endless. This component will make a huge difference when it comes to game quality, color quality, and resolution compared to laptop screens. If you use an external monitor, a gaming desktop has the biggest advantage. They let you engage in multi-display gaming, which means you can connect the laptop to one external monitor.

Laptop or desktop?

When it comes to choosing between a laptop and desktop for gaming, there are more than a few things to consider. Make sure you consider all the factors here, which will help ensure you get the desired setup for your machine. In the long run, this will pay off and help ensure you get the desired results for your gaming experience. While it may seem a bit daunting at first to decide what setup is best for you, the tips and information here will help. Being informed is the best way to ensure that you get a quality gaming setup.

Do you prefer to game on a laptop or PC? Let us know on social media by using the buttons below.


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