Gaming on a Budget: How to Pick the Best Gaming Laptop


Gaming laptops have come a long way in the past few years, with more options than ever before. However, they can also be quite expensive, with some models costing well over $1,000. If you’re on a budget but still want to enjoy your favorite games, don’t worry. There are plenty of great options available that won’t break the bank. In this post, we’ll explore how to pick the best gaming laptop for your budget.

You Don’t Need to Spend a Fortune to Enjoy Games

First, let’s dispel the myth that you need to spend a lot of money to enjoy games on a laptop. While high-end models with the latest features and hardware can be impressive, they’re not always necessary. In fact, you can find plenty of affordable options that can run even the most demanding games smoothly. In fact, there are gaming laptops under $400 that will run all the popular titles such as World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, Fortnite, Roblox and more.

When shopping for a budget gaming laptop, it’s important to prioritize the features that matter most for gaming. This includes the display, CPU, GPU, RAM, storage, connectivity, and laptop cooling. If you are not tech-savvy, you don’t have to worry. We will help you learn how to identify the parts that make a gaming laptop great. With that said, let’s dive into each of these features and explore the best budget options.

How to Pick the Best Budget Gaming Laptop

#1 Display

The display is an important consideration when it comes to gaming, as it affects your overall experience. A good gaming laptop should have a high refresh rate (at least 120Hz) and low response time (less than 5ms). It should also be at least 15 inches to provide enough screen real estate for immersive gaming.

The best budget gaming laptops in terms of display include the Acer Nitro 5 and the Asus TUF Gaming A15. Both offer 15.6-inch displays with a 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time, providing a smooth and responsive gaming experience.

#2 CPU

You can think of the CPU as the brain of the compute. The power of the CPU will have a direct impact on the type of games that the laptop can run. In general, gaming laptops should have a processor with at least 4 cores and 8 threads. The Intel Core i5 and AMD Ryzen 5 are good options for budget gaming laptops.

The Acer Predator Helios 300 and the Lenovo Legion 5 are great budget gaming laptops with powerful CPUs. They both feature Intel Core i5 processors, which can handle most games with ease. You can find more gaming laptop options in this article where we present our favorite budget picks.

#3 GPU

The GPU (graphics processing unit) is responsible for rendering graphics in games. You should make sure that the laptop you choose has dedicated GPU with at least 4GB of VRAM. Nvidia’s GTX 1650 and AMD’s Radeon RX 5500M are good budget options.

The Dell G3 15 and the HP Pavilion Gaming 15 are both affordable gaming laptops with dedicated GPUs. They both feature Nvidia GTX 1650 graphics cards, which can handle most games at medium to high settings.

#4 RAM

RAM (random access memory) is important for multitasking and running multiple programs at once. For gaming, a good laptop should have at least 8GB of RAM. However, 16GB is recommended for more demanding games. Although, laptops with 16GB can be quite pricey.

The Asus TUF Gaming A15 and the Acer Nitro 5 both have 8GB of RAM, which is sufficient for most games. However, if you plan on running multiple programs or more demanding games, consider upgrading to 16GB.

#5 Storage

Storage is important for storing games and other files. A good gaming laptop should have at least 256GB of SSD storage, which provides faster load times than traditional hard drives.

The Lenovo Legion 5 and the Dell G3 15 both have 256GB of SSD storage, which should be sufficient for most gamers. However, if you plan on storing a large number of games or files, consider upgrading to 512GB or more.

#6 Connectivity

Connectivity is important for online gaming and connecting to other devices. Here are the must-have ports: USB Type-C port, one HDMI port, and preferably an Ethernet port for a stable internet connection. If any of these ports is missing, you will be forced to use adaptors. This will cost more money and it’s not as effective.

The Acer Nitro 5 and the Asus TUF Gaming A15 both have a USB Type-C port, an HDMI port, and an Ethernet port, making them great options for budget gamers.

#7 Laptop Cooling

Laptop cooling is important for keeping your laptop from overheating and reducing performance. In fact, the biggest problem with laptops is the cooling. On the bright side of things, companies such as Acer and Lenovo are making sure to equip their gaming laptops with special cooling systems.

The Acer Predator Helios 300 and the Lenovo Legion 5 both have good cooling systems that can handle demanding games. They also have adjustable fan speeds and software that can optimize performance and reduce heat.


You don’t need to spend a fortune to enjoy games on a laptop. By prioritizing the features that matter most for gaming, you can find a great budget gaming laptop that can handle even the most demanding games. If you have a favorite game that you plan on playing every other day, it’s always best to check out the game’s “Recommended Specs” and make sure the gaming laptop you pick meets them.


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