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Is a Gaming Laptop Slower Than a PC?

A portrait of a Koala in runners clothing with a sweat band running, holding a laptop.

Each device has its own pros and cons, especially with gaming. But what about speed? The skeptics claim you’d be better off buying a high-powered PC, despite all the bells and whistles on some of the latest gaming laptops.

But is it true? We take a look at the truth behind laptops vs PC gaming. In this article, we will determine the factors that affect the gaming laptop vs. PC performance and how you can improve the speed.

Gaming Laptop vs. PC: The Hardware Difference

Generally, a gaming laptop won’t have the same amount of raw processing power as a PC. While desktop components can be changed out and upgraded, laptops usually have more limited options.

This can impact the graphics, memory RAM, and processor power available to gamers. Furthermore, gaming laptops won’t usually have the same airflow as a PC. This can lead to overheating and the potential bottle necking of a system.

Additionally, gaming laptop hardware usually costs more than gaming PCs, so if budget is an issue, it would be wise to invest in a PC.

Finally, gaming laptops are designed to be more portability-oriented than PCs, so if you need a gaming laptop to travel with, the trade-off in performance may be worth it.

Factors that Affect the Speed of Gaming Laptops and PCs

Below are some factors that can affect the speed of a gaming laptop or gaming PC.


Using a gaming laptop compared to a PC for gaming can be more efficient due to their smaller form factor and portability, however, one disadvantage is their RAM.

Gaming laptops usually have between 4 and 16 GB of RAM, as opposed to PCs, which can have up to 128GB or even more, depending on the configuration.

This means that running certain games and applications on a laptop can be slower than on a PC due to the limited RAM.

For example, games like Battlefield and Rise of the Tomb Raider require at least 8 GB of RAM to run smoothly, which may be difficult on a laptop, as most laptops have only 8 GB of RAM or less.


For the most part, a gaming laptop will not be slower than a traditional PC, at least in terms of CPU performance. This is because gaming laptops use the same powerful Intel or AMD processors as PCs.

However, due to space and power restrictions, such processors tend to either run at lower speeds or are replaced with lower-wattage models.

This can slow down the performance of the laptop, but modern gaming laptops can be just as powerful as PCs and can easily handle today’s most demanding games.

While some laptops may struggle if you push them too hard, the majority will perform just as well as comparable PCs.


A gaming laptop is usually slower and not as powerful as a PC when it comes to the graphics card or GPU.

This is because the components found in a laptop are usually chosen for their small size, low power, and low price, rather than their maximum performance.

Laptop GPUs can be more powerful than integrated laptop graphics, but they are still limited in power compared to a dedicated PC GPU.

As a result, if you want to run the latest and most demanding game titles at high resolutions, a gaming laptop is likely to struggle more than a similarly priced gaming PC.

Slow Internet Connection:

A gaming laptop has the potential to be faster than a traditional PC. However, a slow internet connection can slow down the performance of a gaming laptop.

Gaming laptops often use high-end graphics cards and processors, meaning that they require more power to run intensive applications and games to get the best graphics performance.

With a slow internet connection, the greater number of tasks that need to be completed within the game take longer to process due to the lack of speed. In this case, a gaming laptop is likely to be slower than a PC.


A gaming laptop is not necessarily slower than a PC when it comes to storage. Depending on the model, the laptop could have comparable internal storage, but in most cases, it is slower.

This is simply due to the smaller form factor of laptops.

A gaming laptop has limited space to install a vast array of high-speed solid-state drives compared with a PC, meaning that laptops generally have to rely on slower, traditional hard drives instead of using fast solid-state drives.

Fortunately, external hard drives or even just additional USB storage can help to offset this deficiency, offering gamers dedicated space for their larger games with faster access.

Outdated software, drivers, and system updates can have a great impact on overall performance. Whenever new hardware is released, accompanying software drivers must also be developed and released.

Without the most up-to-date drivers, the performance of the gaming laptop will suffer.

System updates for the operating system should also be kept up with, as the latest version can contain critical security, bug, and performance-enhancing updates.

How to Improve the Speed of Gaming Laptops and PCs

To improve the speed of both gaming laptops and PCs, make sure to have the latest hardware. To do this, you can upgrade to the latest generation of processors and graphics cards.

Additionally, investing in a solid state drive or SSD for both a laptop and a PC can also lead to improved speeds, as the loading time of games is far quicker on an SSD than on a spinning disk.

Finally, be sure to keep all software and drivers up to date on both laptop and PC to make sure they are running optimally. Regular maintenance is necessary if you want your gaming laptop or PC to last for an extended period.

Choose the Best Gaming Laptop or PC Today

So, is a gaming laptop slower than a PC? Overall, gaming laptops are generally slower than PCs due to their components, but this difference may not always be significant.

When considering purchasing either a gaming laptop or desktop PC, it is important to research the features, like hardware, and factors that affect the speed, and try upgrading or updating the hardware to improve the speed.

For a true gaming experience, choose the right choice for you. Try out a gaming laptop or desktop PC today and see the difference!

For more technical advice, check out our other articles. They’ll help you learn all you need to know for a better, more enjoyable computer experience.

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