A gaming laptop is not something you want to upgrade every other model year. Just the thought of transferring all my files and game library is enough to give chills down my spine. Not to mention the high price you are expected to pay for a gaming laptop. It would be a nightmare, so this begs the question, “how long does a gaming laptop last”?
Come, let’s find out.
How Long Does a Gaming Laptop Last?
Generally, on average, gaming laptops last around 4 years from brand new. However, the effective life for a high-end laptop is around 4-5 years, while lower-end laptops tend to die within 3 years. If cared for properly, you can drastically increase a laptop’s life beyond the stated average.
A laptop’s life is mainly held back by its software and ability to play the latest games. However, the physical components inside the laptop can last more than 10 years. Despite that, they are most likely not to support the latest software.
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The slowdown or general bogginess you experience when using the laptop is mainly because your laptop’s hardware cannot cope with the software. It usually happens when you install a new Windows update on an old existing gaming laptop.
Can Changing the Battery Increase a Laptop’s Longevity?
The battery degrades and depletes over time, causing a decline in battery life. However, changing the battery has such an effect on the laptop’s lifespan.
Don’t get me wrong, changing a battery will give you the backup time you got when your laptop was new, but it can do only that – increase the battery time of your laptop.
On average, you will need to change your battery once per your laptop’s life to give it a boost in battery backup. To check your battery health, refer to see battery discharge cycles.
How to Make Your Gaming Laptop Last Longer
You can make your gaming laptop last longer by taking care of your laptop and following these routine actions:
Replace Thermal Paste
The thermal paste is a heat transfer compound that sits between the laptop’s processor and the heat pipes. Without thermal paste, efficient heat transfer is impossible, leading to overheating.
A gaming laptop is subjected to heavy workloads, so it is preferable to replace the thermal paste once a year. If you are a heavy gamer and keep games running for 5 hours a day, replace your laptop’s thermal paste every 6 months.
Clean The Laptop’s Gut
A gaming laptop is constantly sucking in heaps of air for cooling. Unfortunately, where the air goes, dust follows, so if you are not on top of your laptop’s cleaning schedule, chances are your gaming laptop’s air vents are clogged with dust.
As a result, you are not only running the risk of overheating but it can also be the cause of an imminent short circuit or malfunction. Of course, you don’t want to be on the receiving end of either of them, so make it a habit of cleaning up your laptop thoroughly from the inside.
Use a Cooling Pad
You won’t be wrong for noticing a trend here – avoid overheating at all costs. The best solution to avoid overheating is to use a cooling pad with your laptop, which will enhance airflow and keep heat out of the laptop. When the cooling pad is unavailable, keep the gaming laptop’s orientation in such a way that you are not blocking the vents.
Upgrade the Internals of Your Laptop (RAM and Storage)
If you want your laptop’s hardware to keep up with its software, timely RAM and storage upgrades are very important. Each new game that is coming out has increased RAM and Storage capacity requirements. This trend is only likely to pick up more pace.
Therefore, after owning the gaming laptop for a while, you should consider upgrading the RAM and storage. Ideally, for 2022 and a couple of years down the road, a laptop should have 32GB RAM and 2TB M.2 SSD storage.
Emphasis on the “SSD” part. Don’t even bother getting a traditional HDD because it will only increase the pace of your laptop’s slowdown.
Keep the Laptop Up To Date
If you want to increase your laptop’s life, ensure you keep the drivers and the BIOS up to date. New updates not only add new features but are also a means of rectifying any software-related faults that might be present in your gaming laptop.
Factors that affect the lifespan of gaming laptops
How long gaming laptops last is heavily dependent on these factors. Knowing them prior to purchasing your gaming laptops will allow you to make a better, more informed decision.
Do you fancy getting a laptop that breaks on the slightest of nicks? Yea, I guessed not. The quality at which the gaming laptop is made goes a long way in ensuring the laptop lasts.
You don’t want a laptop constructed with cheap materials and has poor finishing, which indicates the manufacturer has not abided by quality control measures.
If you can, I would highly recommend going physically to a store and checking the laptop out. Listen for any creaking sound or observe if the panel gaps line up. When buying online, make sure you buy from a reputable manufacturer and check if the laptop is made from aluminum or any other materials that are stronger than plastic.
The hardware consists of all the components that are there on a gaming laptop, including the CPU, GPU, RAM, and screen. Each of these can significantly impact the lifespan of a gaming laptop. Here’s a breakdown:
The CPU (sometimes called the motherboard) is the laptop’s brain, and if the brain slows down or becomes dated, you only imagine what will happen to the rest of the laptop.
The CPU’s performance is not infinite. As more advanced games come out, they demand higher CPU power. So, there will be a point when the CPU in the laptop can no longer handle the latest games.
This is when you know the CPU in your laptop has become obsolete. Unfortunately, in most mainstream laptops the CPU cannot be replaced or upgraded, so you will be stuck with whatever you have through the life of the laptop. Therefore, get a gaming laptop with a high-end CPU with 8 or 12 cores.
As games and other applications are becoming more and more complex, the RAM required to run them is also increasing. For example, most modern games require at least 10GB RAM, while 3 years back, even the most demanding games topped out at 6-7 GB RAM.
Hence you can see at some point, the RAM capacity of your laptop will no longer be sufficient to play games or carry out day-to-day tasks. For what it’s worth, try opting for a laptop with 32GB RAM.
The graphics processing unit (GPU) renders all the pixels on the screen, making it an essential component for gaming. The ability of a GPU to render games is defined by the framerate or otherwise known as FPS.
The higher the frame rate, the smoother the game will be. Gamers usually target a 60 FPS mark; however, for a high refresh rate game, 144 FPS is considered ideal.
You will know the GPU in your gaming laptop is outdated when it cannot run the latest games at 60 FPS. Unfortunately, like the CPU, the GPU cannot be replaced, so make sure your laptop has the latest option prior to purchasing it. If you’re having issues with the graphics card, you can check our guide on how to reset it.
As games become more advanced and complex, their space requirement also increases. For instance, the latest Call of Duty takes almost 120GB of disk space. So, you will run out of storage eventually. Luckily, you can always upgrade your laptop’s storage, so that’s a redeeming point, I guess.
If you aren’t too much a pixel peep, you might not notice your laptop’s screen being outdated. However, if you compare an old laptop to a new laptop, the difference in picture quality will be quite significant. The old may look almost blurry compared to a new offering.
Your frequency of use will have an impact on the life of a gaming laptop. Someone who treats his gaming laptop as an everyday workhorse is expected to get less time out of his machine than the person who occasionally games on the laptop.
Care and Maintenance
Uncared gaming laptops that are subjected to rough use are more likely to last less long than laptops that have been properly cared for. Proper care doesn’t mean babysitting your laptop all the time – occasional cleanups, both physically and on the software front, can prolong the life of your laptop.
The lifespan of a gaming laptop: Conclusion
Eventually, you will need to replace your gaming laptop. However, with the tips I gave you in the article, you can make your laptop last longer and maintain performance.
The proper time to replace your gaming laptop will be after 4-5 years when the laptop stops running the latest games that you want to play. So, don’t jump on the bandwagon and waste your money on a gaming laptop you won’t need.
If you have any questions regarding your laptop, feel free to chime in the comment section, and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible. Happy gaming!
Tech enthusiast by the day and spirit gamer by night. Waleed loves combining his two passions into writing and is ready to contribute to making Tech easy and accessible for everyone.