We all know that it is possible to build a gaming desktop PC. But have you ever asked this question: can you build a gaming laptop? This may have occurred to you after realizing how great it would be to build a laptop that’s as powerful as a desktop PC but portable and compact to be carried around. And how cool it would be to build your own gaming laptop as you would a custom gaming PC.
So can you really build a gaming laptop?
The answer to this question is simple— it is possible to build one. However, it is impractical and very difficult to do so. Aside from the time spent in sourcing the needed parts and putting them together, you would likely spend a lot more than getting a gaming laptop from a reputable manufacturer.
Building a gaming laptop requires a lot of things, from sourcing and knowledge of the various parts. Moreover, the laptop should be powerful enough in handling the system requirements of today’s games which is certainly no easy task.
You may be able to pull off the DIY task but the costs of doing so are a lot higher than buying a manufacturer built laptop. In truth, rather than building a gaming laptop, you are much better off buying a gaming laptop from well-established gaming laptop manufacturers such as MSI, GIGABYTE, Razer, Acer, etc.
Key issues to hurdle in building a gaming laptop
In building a gaming laptop, you will have to address the following issues:
Lack of standardized laptop components
A huge hurdle in building a gaming laptop that needs to addressed is the fact that there is no standardization of parts for laptops. The case standards, motherboards, screens, among others, are typically commissioned and designed for the original equipment manufacturer and are usually not cross compatible.
For example, a motherboard from one laptop won’t fit into another laptop. The same goes for the battery of the laptop. The screen of one laptop, too, won’t probably fit into another laptop. The LVDS cable may also have a different pin as there is no standard for LVDS connectors.
Simply put, you can’t just put any other laptop part like the cables, batteries, and screens into a custom made laptop unless these were custom made for the laptop model you are building.
Determining and sourcing the parts
The next major concern in building a gaming laptop is determining the parts and sourcing them out. First, you need to determine all the parts of a laptop then buy and assemble them.
This is easier said than done. Unlike desktop computers, parts of laptops are not readily available to end users.
You’ll have to find a barebones laptop or laptop case with a motherboard which is unlikely to be upgradable. This also typically includes other laptop components like the hard drive, CPU, and memory.
Bear in mind that the choice of parts could be very limited. If for instance, you decided to build a certain type of gaming laptop. Then you must essentially come up with a design and go through the tedious task of finding compatible laptop components.
Upgrading laptop components
Suppose you somehow manage to put together a completely custom gaming laptop. The question then arises of how you are going to upgrade that gaming laptop as more demanding games are released. You would essentially have to go through the whole process of finding new and better laptop parts once again.
Upgrading Ram and SSD
Except for the RAM and solid state drive (SSD), laptop components are not upgradable, unlike desktop PCs. This is a major concern if you are building a gaming laptop which requires advanced components to handle resource-intensive games.
As you may have noticed from using or reading about today’s laptops, these portable PCs come with custom cases capable of fitting the necessary components. Aside from being tin and light, laptops are not exactly designed to be user-upgradable. This can hurt you in the future especially with the way newer games are demanding more computational power.
Of course, you can install more RAM into the laptop if the motherboard has available slots. You may also remove the current sticks if the RAM slots are full and replace them with new sticks for added capacity. Older and bulkier laptops often have a special memory panel found on the bottom which can be opened to access the RAM slots. However, you should be sure of the type of RAM to be installed if you are to go this route. You can also upgrade to an SSD which requires opening the laptop and then installing the SSD in place. Most
Upgrading CPU and GPU
Upgrading the CPU and GPU is a different matter altogether. For one, you need to buy compatible components that will fit the laptop and supported by its BIOS. Moreover, different CPUs and GPUs tend to generate varying amounts of heat. There’s a possibility that the components may generate heat that’s too much for the fans of the laptop to handle.
In short, you need to find hardware that will fit and work seamless together. If you’re lucky to do that, you need to find a case with enough airflow and room for all the components. Then you need a keyboard unit and mouse track that will fit, including keyboard and mouse unit drives. Finally, you will have to find a monitor that fits and works with the drivers.
Building a Gaming Laptop in the Future
This leads us to the question— is there any chance that building gaming laptops from scratch becomes easier in the near future?
It remains to be seen whether customized gaming laptops will ever take off in the future. Maybe the market for customized laptops isn’t that big to justify the costs of developing standardized laptop design and components similar to desktop PCs. Why build a custom gaming laptop from parts when you can just buy a more optimized manufacturer gaming laptop such as the these.
Custom-built gaming laptops aren’t exactly cheap, too, which could spur many gamers away from trying to build their own. Depending on the components and the specs of the laptop, you will definitely have to spend more on building one than getting a gaming laptop off the shelf. This is not to mention the future hardware upgrades you will have to make to keep up with the times.
The bottom line is that building a gaming laptop is not exactly the best route for any gamer to take. It still makes sense to buy a gaming laptop than building one.