Are you a gamer? If you are, you will probably realise that not all laptops are good for gaming. I recently bought a starcraft 2 and it is running on my old Inspirion 6400. It keeps giving me the message that my graphics processor is slowing down the game. Well, that is because i do not have a dedicated graphic processor and my laptop is way below the minimum specification required.
First, lets look at the processor. It is the CPU or the central processing unit, the brain of the computer. You can get processor from either AMD or Intel. Intel seems to be dominating right now with it's i3, i5 and i7 series. Using Starcraft2 as an example, it require at least a 2.6 Ghz Pentium 4 or equiavalent AMD Athlon processor. The recommend processor is a Dual Core 2.4 Ghz Processor. The faster the processor, the better it is. However, it has to be balanced with the budget that you are willing to fork out. Below are the list of processors that would do well for gaming laptops.
Intel Core i7-740QM CPU
Intel Core i5-520M CPU
Intel Core i5-430M CPU
AMD Phenom II Quad-Core N930
Next is the memory or RAM (random access memory). Computers store currently used data in this memory area. It is a good rule of thumb to have at least 2G of ram especially if you are running on Windows Vista or Windows 7. For Starcraft2, Bilizzard require at least 1.5 GB RAM for Windows Vista and Windows 7 user. It is common to find 4G RAM on a gaming laptop in the market.
Graphic card is also a very important aspect to consider when buying a gaming laptop.You can get graphic card from NVIDIA or ATI. StarCraft2 recommends at 512 MB PCIe NVDIA GeForce 6600 GT or ATI Radeon 9800 Pro. My current laptop does not have any dedicated graphic card. It can still runs, but all the graphic setting is set to the lowest and you will have messages saying that your graphic is slowing down the game from time to time. So, just save yourself the trouble and get at least a 1GB video card.
NVIDIA GTS250M 1GB
ATI HD5650 1GB
ATI HD5165 1GB
For gaming laptop, you will be looking for machines with at least 15 inches or higher. You will want to enjoy the graphics as much as possible and therefore a bigger screen. You would probably want a good speaker external with woofer to enjoy the sound too. On the side note, a gaming laptop will be bulkier and heavier than a laptop for normal use. This should not be much of a problem to deal with.
You will have to fork out more for a gaming laptop as you are looking for specifications that are higher than those used for normal use. However, you will get to enjoy the gaming experience. The key is to balance your budget with your requirement.