Your gaming laptop's performance and lifespan could be adversely affected by the following cardinal sins that you unknowingly commit? It is no surprise that gaming laptops of the present day are marvels of miniaturization, power delivery, and thermal management. Nevertheless, since these devices operate at the very edge of their power and thermal limits, users are prone to making simple mistakes that can ruin their devices.
These gaming laptop mistakes might be causing your gaming laptop to perform poorly if you unknowingly commit them.
1. Buying a Gaming Laptop
Gaming laptops are the biggest mistake most gamers make instead of desktop gaming PCs. With a laptop, you get the portability and battery backup of a desktop gaming PC. Your laptop ends up permanently attached to your desk, with a poor ergonomic design. These portable devices underperform or malfunction due to their thermal design limitations. You can only have two of these three attributes, power, and portability. As a result, a gaming laptop with a powerful cooling system will be very expensive. However, the cheaper variants lack both portability and power.
2. Choosing a 4K Gaming Laptop
In gaming laptops, performance comes at a high price. Adding gaming workloads to these devices without improving graphics would be a bit daft. That's exactly what happens when you choose one with a 4K display. This is because a 4K screen contains 8.3 million pixels, which is four times more than a traditional Full HD display, and twice as many as a 1440p display.mWhile rendering games, the largest GPU workload is pixel shading. GPU pixel shaders calculate effects per pixel.
The laptop GPU has to light, shade, color, and post-process two million pixels to render just one frame on a Full HD display. There are 3.6 million pixels per frame on a 1440p screen. A 4K display, however, takes 4 times longer to render a single frame thanks to its 8.3 million pixels. You've essentially reduced your laptop's gaming performance by a quarter! The worst part of this performance drop is that it has no real benefit. A laptop screen is too small to support the pixel density of a 4K display. A gaming PC is probably unnecessary if you don't mind sacrificing gaming performance for word processing. A high-resolution gaming display resolution lets you edit video and spreadsheets alike. That's why an external 4K monitor is better.
3. Running Single-Channel Memory
Dual-channel RAM installation modules are available in most decent gaming laptops. Some gaming laptops on a budget may use single modules, which mean they will only work in single-channel mode. Poor memory upgrade practices also result in users unintentionally downgrading from dual-channel to single-channel configurations. Up to 40% of gaming performance declines because of this mistake. However, dual-channel RAM modules allow each module to communicate independently with the CPU, doubling the CPU's bandwidth. Due to narrow paths and high latency, large memory calls perform poorly in single-channel mode. Games with open worlds tend to strain memory bandwidth more than games with static textures.
4. Gaming on Battery Power
Gaming laptops can draw up to 175 watts at full power. The inline laptop power supplies can handle the power draw when connected to a wall socket. The situation is different when you're gaming on battery backup. Although lithium-ion batteries in laptops are capable of handling higher discharge rates, this comes at the cost of runtime and battery life.
All laptop manufacturers significantly throttle CPU/GPU performance and power consumption when in battery backup mode. Also, gaming laptops with soft-locking limit performance to 30 frames per second. Low-end gaming laptops struggle to hit even 30fps on battery power.
A change in your OS's battery power management settings may help you solve this problem. Some laptops throttle high-performance modes due to their firmware.
5. Failing to Undervolt CPU and GPU
On desktop gaming rigs, overclocking CPUs and GPUs can increase performance. Overclocking beyond a certain point will cause the processor to overheat and increase its power consumption. Micro stuttering, frame-pacing issues, and overall performance issues will result. It is possible to overclock the CPU and GPU depending on the available power and cooling.
Large gaming tower PCs doesn’t have that problem. Nevertheless, gaming laptops operate at the very limit of power delivery and cooling. Therefore, each of these devices has almost no overclocking potential. Gaming laptops with midrange and low-end power supplies and cooling have negative overclocking headroom. A good rule of thumb is that undervolting the GPU and CPU will decrease power draw and heat generated by your laptop, reducing thermal throttling. This improves both the gaming experience and the device's lifespan.
6. Not Cleaning the Vents
A laptop's design features two v
ents: one for cooling and one for exhausting heat. Eventually, dust, lint, and debris clog the intake vents. As a result, dust buildup further overwhelms the internal cooling fans. During gaming sessions, this leads to overheating. Thus, laptop vents should be cleaned, which sometimes requires disassembling the laptop. The capacitor has a half-life when ambient temperatures go from 50 °F (10 °C) to 95 °F (38 °C) when power cycling on a PC. If you don't clean your gaming laptop, it won't perform well.
7. Poor Laptop Placement
A laptop's portability allows it to be used anywhere, from beds to carpeted floors. As a result, soft mattresses, bedsheets, and carpets tend to block laptop vents. Lack of cool air intake causes these devices to overheat and reduces their lifespan. Use your gaming laptop on a hard and flat surface if you can't use it on a desk. You can use a cooling pad or a laptop tray to solve this problem.