Gaming Laptop vs Desktop: How to Choose?

Computers are getting more sophisticated and increasingly lighter each year, and everyone wants the perfect model to meet their gaming needs.

In this article, I will be comparing gaming desktops vs gaming laptops, using their significant features and hardware specs to determine which one is better.  

Gaming Laptop vs Desktop

The GPU Power

Another imperative point that you need to consider before picking a gaming laptop or desktop is the specifications of the graphics processing unit (GPU). And while it’s challenging to put an i9 processor in a laptop, GPUS are quite different. 

The point is that high-end graphics cards are large, which a desktop computer can accommodate comfortably because there is plenty of space. Still, the primary advantage of a laptop is portability. However, this advantage becomes an issue when it comes to fitting a massive GPU inside a small case. 

However, there are mobile versions of graphics cards that are specifically designed to fit inside the thin and slim interior of a laptop, which adds a negligible amount of weight to the overall mass of the entire laptop.

But there is another issue, which is the GPU temperature. After using your computer for a while, the GPUs will start to get hot; this is why desktops and laptops come with triple-fan coolers.

It means that not only does a GPU need to be designed to fit inside a laptop, but the laptop’s cooling system must also be engineered in a way to be able to handle the heat increase that comes with a dedicated GPU. 

Considering those two points (the size and the heat generation), it’s clear that mobile versions of graphics cards will always be a step below their desktop counterparts, while the latter is still more expensive.

It is crystal clear that there is simply no competition between a desktop gaming laptop and a laptop when it comes to performance. However, that should not discourage you because you can still invest in an external GPU if you want to turn your laptop into a gaming one, as long as you have the money, and your CPU is up to the task.


The GPU is a major department when comparing a gaming laptop with a gaming desktop, but there are other essential features that we need to consider. 

CPU – Like GPUs, both Intel and AMD have numerous laptop versions of their processors with standard heat generation and power consumption. However, they are always lower than their desktop counterparts. 

RAM – Generally, most laptops have lower amounts of RAM compared to desktops. However, some laptops will allow you to expand or add RAM. 

Storage – Laptops have lower storage space, although you are allowed to replace the existing one, or you can use external storage to increase your storage space. 

It is clear to see that gaming laptops are not winning in any of the above departments and their expandability is not as accommodating as that of a desktop computer. 


This is basically the most notable advantage of a gaming desktop. You don’t need to be a computer guru to open up a desktop computer and modify its parts. And you do not need any special tool to open it up. All you need is a screwdriver, and you will be able to customize and replace any component as you want.

On the other hand, a laptop can be quite fragile, although they can be opened and you can also replace the components, but you will need a special set of tools which you can’t just find anywhere. In addition, it is easy to tamper with a delicate part of the laptop which can cause the whole machine to stop working.


The first thing that I need to point out is that laptops have built-in displays, keyboards, and touchpads, which can be an advantage or disadvantage.

It is indeed economically more reasonable, but what if you’re not contented with the peripherals? Then you will need to pay extra money to get better peripherals. 

Display – Most regular laptops come with Full HD screens with 60 Hz refresh rates and screen size between 15 to 17-inch diagonal. The screen size is understandable because of portability, but if you want a better screen resolution, you will need to buy a monitor. 

Keyboard – Laptops sports standard low-profile membrane keys. You will hardly see a laptop with a mechanical keyboard as well as built-in backlighting.

Touchpad/Mouse – If you are a gamer, you will agree with me that touchpads can be quite difficult to use, whether you are playing a fast-paced shooting game or a strategy game, the clicking, and dragging can be stressful. The point is, you will need a mouse to enjoy most of the popular games that are available right now unless you don’t want to use a controller. 

Speakers and Microphone – Most of the inbuilt speakers found in gaming laptops actually tend to be great which is an added advantage.  


This is the major advantage of a gaming laptop; the heaviest gaming laptop will still be lighter than a gaming desktop. There are desktop cases that are heavier than a laptop. So when it comes to portability, a laptop will always be better.

A full gaming desktop is heavier and larger; it comes with a lot of peripherals and cables, including the monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc. So, carrying it around will definitely be a bit difficult. If you travel often, it is reasonable to go for a gaming laptop because you will be able to play your favorite games while you are on the move.


Having said all of the above, it is evident that a gaming desktop is quite better than a gaming laptop. They represent more value for money, better overall performance, and they are easier to modify and repair.

The only advantage that a gaming laptop has over a gaming desktop is that the former is portable, and that should be the only reason why you should pick a gaming laptop.