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Should you buy a gaming laptop or build a gaming PC?

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Here's a common dilemma. You need a new computer for both gaming and work. Which is better? A gaming laptop and a desktop PC? Read on to learn more!
Gaming laptop vs Gaming PC: Which is for you?

The dilemma comes in when you have to choose between portability and all-out performance for your budget. Gaming laptops will always have the advantage of being portable yet capable computers while a gaming desktop PC will always have the edge in terms of raw performance per buck.

For today, the SM Malls Online app will be our platform of choice to score great deals and prices for both our computer components and gaming laptops. The SMO app guarantees the lowest price and most enticing deals at your fingertips.

Before anything else, let's differentiate the advantages and disadvantages of both a gaming laptop and a gaming desktop, shall we?

Pros and Cons of a Gaming Desktop PC

Gaming desktop PCs have RAW performance per buck
Gaming desktop PCs have RAW performance per buck

For the gaming desktop, its main advantage is its modularity. Yes, it can be a bit intimidating at first but mixing and matching your parts according to your budget is part of the charm of PC building. PC builds can be upgraded down the line from the CPU itself up to the power supply. 

SM Malls Online has a wide array of choices of PC components available at some of the best prices.

We manage to scrounge up a build for PHP 51,950 from the SMO app and here are the components:

MSI Gigabyte B560M-DS3H-AC motherboard - PHP 6,550
3.9GHz AMD Ryzen 5 5600G - PHP 11,200
MSI GeForce RTX 3050 VENTUS 2X 8GB - PHP 22,150
2x Kingston 8GB DDR4 3200MHZ FURY Black - 2x PHP 2,380
Thermaltake Smart RGB 700W 80+ PSU - PHP 4,270
MSI MAG FORGE 110R PC Case - PHP 2,650
Kingston 500GB NV1 NVME PCIe M.2 SSD - PHP 2,750

For around PHP 3,000 more than the gaming laptop, we got 2x the GPU memory and 2x the amount of RAM. This is more future-proof than the gaming laptop as well since you can easily swap out parts if they become outdated. It is to be expected though. Expect to pay more to get more performance, right? 

In addition, having a mid-tower PC case allows for more airflow for a better and quieter experience at full load. However, this will also mean that it is not portable like our gaming laptop.

The gaming PC also has its caveats though. For one, we did not factor in the gaming monitor and gaming peripherals into our build yet. So if we are going to match our laptop's 144Hz screen, the 23.8-inch ASUS TUF Gaming 144Hz monitor will set us back PHP 10,600 more.

You can customize the parts we put here by using SM's parts list.

Pros and Cons of a Gaming Laptop

Acer Nitro 5 AN515-57-584E is priced at PHP 44,588
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-57-584E is priced at PHP 44,588

Gaming laptops' number one and unbeatable advantage is their portability. Technically, if you buy a gaming laptop, you are buying it as a desktop replacement. This means that you want enough performance for both your games and tasks similar to a desktop PC but can easily bring it with you if need be. 

The Acer Nitro 5 AN515-58-50YE for a discounted price of PHP 48,998 via the SM Mall Online app weighs just 2.2 kg. Easily portable with a laptop backpack, right? What's impressive is still packs an 11th Gen Intel Core i5-11400H processor with an NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti GPU.

In addition, most gaming laptops already pack a 1080p screen with up to 144Hz refresh rate. So if you are in a bind budget-wise, you don't have to worry about purchasing a new monitor to be able to play immediately.

Now comes the disadvantages, gaming laptops will always have a bit of a compromise in terms of performance. For instance, the abovementioned Acer Nitro 5 AN515-58-50YE only comes with 8GB DDR4 RAM out of the box. 8GB in 2022 is doable but limited. Google Chrome will easily eat that up leaving you with nothing to spare for other apps and games. You do have the option to add more but that is an additional expense. 

In addition, to maximize your CPU and GPU's performance, most gaming laptops will require you to plug in your charger while you game. So some of the portability is negated by the fact that you need to stay beside a power outlet to unleash your laptop's full potential. By the way, most gaming laptops pack a huge power brick too.

We also have the issue of upgradeability. Given the pairing of an 11th Gen Intel processor and an RTX 3050 Ti, this will be good enough to run most games for a while. But, once the next-gen wave of new games comes with a demand for more VRAM and performance, you are stuck with what you have. Most laptops will only allow you to upgrade RAM and storage.

Lastly, we have the cooling and the noise it comes with. Given the compact build of gaming laptops, thermal management is a bit of a challenge. Most gaming laptops come with substantial cooling like copper heat pipes, radiators, and fans. However, if you need to play high-demanding games, those fans will crank up the RPM and deliver noise similar to a small jet.

Our thoughts

SM Cyberzone offers up to 25 percent off on your favorite PC or PC parts!
SM Cyberzone offers up to 25 percent off on your favorite PC or PC parts!

In our opinion, choosing between a gaming laptop and a gaming desktop PC depends on your budget and your needs.

If you need a workstation/gaming machine that you can use at home and on the go with little to no compromise to performance, go for a gaming laptop like the Acer Nitro 5 AN515-58-50YE.

If you don't care about portability and just want a battle station at home for both work and play, a custom PC build like the one we curated above will be the best option for you. It could be more cost-effective as well.

Just take note of the pros and cons we enumerated earlier before committing to a choice.

The SM Malls Online app offer discounts and deals for both gaming laptops and PC components. You can enjoy shopping virtually with trusted brands from different SM malls while in the safety of your own home.

Gaming laptops are guaranteed to have the lowest prices via the SM Malls Online app and during sales, you can get up to 25 percent discount on top of that!

You can download the app via the Google Play Store for Android and App Store for Apple devices. They also have a website where you can see the deals here.

What do you guys think?
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