When buying laptops, people make a lot of mistakes because they are unable to identify their needs properly. Everybody wants a universal laptop which can do anything, from editing a .doc file to heavy gaming and fancy presentations @work, but the reality is a little bit different. The Laptop world didn’t evolve in the way we were expecting 10 years ago, and got split into different niches: office/business/home laptops and gaming laptops.
Gaming and business laptops do not mix, but you can use your gaming laptop instead of some dedicated business one because it is ultra-performant. Bad news for those who wanted to buy a business laptop to do some gaming after job because even though are plenty business laptops with dedicated graphics cards on the market, they won’t be able to offer you more than 30 FPS @1080p in games like FIFA 2016.
Business laptops weren’t planned for gaming. They are 13,3 – 14 inches machines being able to stay ON up to 18 hours (Dell’s XPS) and that’s all. They are so thin and light and quiet, any power hungry graphics card would be a cardinal sin type of compromise. The good news is that vice versa works just fine, nowadays gaming laptops can stay ON up to 7 – 8 hours. That’s enough for daily use at work.
What does gaming on a laptop means?
Gaming in general means enjoying quality gameplay. Gaming at low resolutions is not gaming. If you are planning to do something like that, you’d better buy a console even though consoles nowadays are planning to go 4K… I could define gaming running a title at 1080p, high details, not ultra. High details at 1920 x 1080 resolution is good enough for a satisfying gaming experience.
Gaming on a laptop means the same thing… Running a game at 7, 8 FPS is not quality gameplay. In fact, 7-8 FPS games are not playable at all. Of course, if you downgrade resolution to 720p it will help you get about playable 30 FPS, but that still’s not quality gaming. If you want to have decent gameplay on a laptop you need to get around 40 FPS at 1920 x 1080 resolution, high detail settings.
There are a lot of high end business/office laptops on the market which have a dedicated graphics card but don’t get fooled by the “dedicated graphics” term. You need a lot of horse power to get decent 40+ FPS from something made of mobile version of desktop computer components. Remember, processors and graphic cards mounted on laptops are not the same bulky ones installed on desktop computers.
Dedicated graphics like Nvidia 920M, 940M, AMD R5, R6, R7, R9 won’t give you decent gameplay and I’m sure you won’t find any of these on gaming laptops. They are dedicated graphics cards for business intended use, not gaming. Internal graphics are even worse, I won’t even talk about gaming on internal Intel HD laptop graphics. It’s blasphemy.
Which are the most used graphics cards for business and gaming laptops in June 2016
Difference in games between business and gaming laptops
So, to clearly see that you can’t game on a business laptop I went to www.notebookcheck.net and collected data about some graphics cards, the most used for business laptops nowadays. As you can see, Nvidia GeForce 940 M is the only one which can be used for games with some downgrade resolution from 1080p to 720p. Internal graphics card is a total disaster, most of the games won’t even launch, or get maximum of 10 FPS at 1920 x 1080 high detail settings.
Gaming laptops instead, can manage games at 1080p high details just fine. You can see that down below. Everything from Nvidia GTX 960M works just fine, you have those 30+ FPS necessary for basic gameplay experience. Of course, it looks like 965M would be a better choice because it brings up to 30/40% FPS improvement. Don’t ask me about the laptop configuration used to achieve these numbers, because it’s irrelevant. In gaming scenario, CPU and RAM memory are not able to bottleneck the system, graphics card is the most important. If you buy a gaming laptop with Nvidia GTX 970M, the CPU doesn’t matter…
Never buy business laptops with dedicated graphics and intend to use them for gaming. It’s not the way they work…