Do you ever feel like your laptop is more sluggish than normal when playing rounds of CS: GO or Apex Legends? It’s not just in your head – all gaming rigs will eventually decrease in performance before inevitably giving out entirely.
No matter how much money you drop on a gaming laptop you’ll eventually run into those clear telltale signs that your laptop is going out as frame rates plummet and internal components begin to break down.
So, here’s the big question any potential buyer is asking – how do you get the most out of your investment and exactly how long will a gaming laptop last?
How Long Do Gaming Laptops Last? (Honest Answer)
With no maintenance performed whatsoever, it will last 5 – 6 years for a gaming laptop, or 3 – 4 years with a cheaper budget laptop sporting a plastic chassis. While the parts can last a decade or more, eventually those once top-of-the-line components won’t offer the same performance as games become more visually complex.
As games advance and your laptop does not eventually you will fall behind in performance benchmarks.
What Affects A Gaming Laptop Lifespan?
Overall build quality plays a huge role which is why it is not a good idea to buy the cheapest laptop money can buy. It’s worth saving up to spend more on a higher-end model when shopping for a gaming rig, to avoid future headaches.
If you’re able to get five to six years of life out of a more expensive higher-end device, you may actually end up spending less by purchasing the more expensive model that will last much longer.
Several specific parts can exponentially affect the overall lifespan of your gaming laptop.
Graphics Processing Unit Heat Dissipation
The number one biggest killer of gaming laptops is the heat generated by high-end GPUs. As parts run hot for extended periods, it is a recipe for malfunctions leading to a breakdown.
That means any model featuring advanced cooling options is worth the extra amount you will spend, so carefully consider the cooling options when comparing specs on gaming machines.
For instance, the HP Omen features CoolSense technology to automatically detect when the bottom of the laptop is getting too hot.
Alternatively, Acer’s Predator line of gaming machines instead uses FrostCore drives in place of the traditional DVD drive to add an extra fan for additional cooling.
Future Proofing Against Graphics Upgrades
As new games are constantly progressing and demanding better hardware, you must consider the longevity of a component’s usefulness.
As of Right now, RTX graphics cards are considered the best available. They may be expensive, but they offer the fastest, most powerful graphics possible in 2022.
Going with an RTX system will ensure an enjoyable gaming experience for years to come, future-proofing your purchase.
On the other hand, while GTX 2060 Super systems are steadily coming down in price, they aren’t going to offer you high-end gaming performance for nearly as long. You don’t want to start with a graphics card that is already becoming outdated.
It’s best to not cut corners when deciding on which graphics card to choose for your gaming laptop. Purchasing a system with an already outdated card may result in less than positive gaming performance, sooner than you hoped.
Aside from the graphics card, the processor is going to be one of the biggest contributing factors to the lifespan of your gaming rig.
Choosing the fastest and most powerful CPU your budget can afford is the best way to go.
Why is that exactly?
How To Get The Most Life Out of Your Gaming Laptop
Of course, you should use some common sense and avoid things, like excessive roughness when transporting the unit, which can damage internal motherboard components.
A snug carrying case with plenty of padding is an absolute must-have for the gamer on the go.
Managing Battery Life
Other ways to protect your investment aren’t quite as obvious, like changing your battery charging habits.
Gaming laptops already have a much lower battery life than standard laptops right out of the box, it’s important that you aren’t charging your battery at all times.
Constantly charging the battery will eventually lead to it holding less charge, significantly reducing its lifespan.
Maintenance And Cleaning
The life of your laptop can be greatly increased by doing some regular maintenance, just like the maintenance you do on your car to extend its life, your laptop is no different.
A simple yet highly effective way to prevent overheating or damaged internal parts is by regularly cleaning out the ports with canned air. Dust is continuously building up and can cause components to fail earlier than they normally would just through daily usage.
Managing Cooling Options
As mentioned earlier one of the biggest killers of gaming laptops is overheating. A cooling pad may be worth the extra cost if your system’s cooling features are lacking.
A good cooling pad will keep your gaming laptop running at an optimal temperature so that you can enjoy your favorite game without the worries of your system overheating. There are several fairly cheap cooling pads available on Amazon which might just save the life of your gaming laptop.
Aside from your typical daily maintenance like cleaning and ensuring your laptop is running as cool as possible, the next best way to increase the lifespan of your gaming laptop is by upgrading parts within 2 – 3 years of your purchase.
The simplest way to get a boost in speed and to ensure our laptop keeps up with the rapid pace of technology is to upgrade the RAM, although the ease of upgrading the memory can vary between models.
Switch from HDD to SSD
After upgrading the RAM, it might be worth it to pull out the old hard disc drive and install a newer solid-state drive which offers significantly faster and quieter operation.
Know Which Parts Aren’t Worth Replacing
It is important to keep in mind that laptops aren’t as easy to upgrade or repair as their desktop counterparts.
There are a handful of parts that would require more effort than what they are worth to replace. Oftentimes they may not be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty by the time they fail.
A common component failure is the display screen and the video cable that connects to the motherboard.
When you are choosing which model to buy it might be wise to select one with an HDMI port to prepare for the chance that your display screen fails down the line.
While the screen could potentially die after a few years, you can still make use of your laptop’s high-end GPU and CPU by connecting to an external display.
Sure, you may lose portability, but that is a small price to pay to put off buying a whole new laptop for another year or two.
Keeping Your Gaming Laptop Alive
If there’s one thing stopping potential gamers from jumping into the world of high-end portable gaming, it’s the price tag for a worthwhile machine.
In particular gaming laptops can be a major investment that are hard for budget-conscious shoppers to justify, especially when considering how fast technology becomes obsolete.
You can reasonably expect your gaming laptop to last between 3 – 6 years on average, while the specific length of time can vary considerably between manufacturers and models.
At that point, you will either experience hardware failure, or your laptop’s specs will be so outdated it won’t be able to keep up with modern games. You can get the most life out of your your gaming laptop with:
- Regular maintenance
- Careful handling
- Changing battery charging habits
- Cleaning out ports with canned air
- Managing heat with proper cooling methods
- Taking care of your SSD or HDD
- Occasionally replacing parts such as RAM
- Planning ahead for hardware failure by having an external drive