How to Build A Budget Gaming Laptop Setup
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How to Build A Budget Gaming Laptop Setup

|Apr 25, 2024

In the wake of the semiconductor shortage, it has not been easy to build a gaming PC on a budget. The semiconductors make all the difference in playing games. There is no doubt that the graphics card shortage that has plagued PC gamers for over two years is beginning to ease, which is great news for those who want to be PC gamers searching for a budget gaming laptop.

Some entry-level GPUs are available at some online retailers that are marked up higher than MSRP. It's disappointing that these problems mostly affect Nvidia's RTX 3050 and not AMD's RX 6500 XT, which we don't much like. As a result, there's a good chance you can find Nvidia's budget graphics card for a reasonable price today for the ultimate laptop gaming setup, so don't let your dreams pass you by. Even with high prices, we put together a super budget gaming laptop, budget gaming laptop 17 inch. – or rather a plan on how to set up a laptop for gaming on a budget.

The Basics of a Budget Gaming Laptop Setup

1. Components

You should select GPUs and processors with enough performance headroom for your laptop and monitor setup. It's important to remember that manufacturers cannot easily replace these two critical components in most laptops. The super-budget gaming laptop you choose should have the components to play the games you want at the resolution and frame rate you need.

Components in budget gaming laptop setup

2. Connectivity

If you want to connect external monitors and external storage to your system, ensure that it has enough ports, especially flexible ports such as Thunderbolt3. The Thunderbolt 3 port has a data transfer rate of up to 40 Gbps, ideal for moving large files from external drives. Some laptops do not have Thunderbolt 3 ports, so check before buying.

3. Design

Choosing a smartphone with a design you like is important for your gaming setup ideas, including slim chassis, thin bezels (the border around the screen), and a durable frame material like aluminum. Compared to 13-inch and 15-inch laptops, bigger screens (17 inches and up) take up more room but can provide an enhanced experience.

Thanks to advances in thermal engineering, even powerful laptops are thin: some systems measure less than one inch thick. While it's still possible to get a high-performance gaming laptop in a small chassis for a clean gaming setup look, the weight and price will be determined by the components you choose.

budget gaming laptop setup Design

Keyboard and Mouse for a Budget Gaming Laptop Setup

1. A full-size mechanical keyboard

With a variety of aesthetic gaming setup style options, including a retro computer lab, neon backlights, and minimalist, not to mention high-quality keycaps and a satisfying typing experience, you won't be disappointed. To find the perfect feel and tactile experience, choose between switching styles. Various switch types require different amounts of force to actuate and different volumes, so choose the one that fits your cute gaming setup needs.

A full-size mechanical keyboard

2. Laptop touchpads

Considering a gaming mouse is the best option when playing at home, they are excellent for some tasks. Advanced optical sensors and customizable buttons can greatly enhance the gaming experience, and the variety of mouse options offers a possibility to fit just about any preference.

3. The right mouse pad

This provides a surface specifically designed to work with a mouse's sensor, improving gaming setups.

The right mouse pad

The PC for a Budget Gaming Laptop Setup

1. Divide tasks among multiple screens

As you play on one screen, your chat client, streaming client, or work program can run on the other one.

2. Ensure that your monitor is positioned ergonomically

Maintain a comfortable viewing angle by adjusting the height of your monitor so that the top of the screen sits at (or just below) your eye level. You can avoid neck strain that can result from looking at a screen while tilting your head up or down.

3. Think about upgrading your monitor

For a crisper image, trying boosting the resolution to 1440p or 4K (if higher than your laptop's native resolution) is the right choice if your laptop has the components required for these higher resolutions. The clarity of an image can improve when switching from a laptop screen that is 13"-17" to a 27" monitor (or larger). Adaptive sync solutions prevent screen tearing by enabling higher refresh rates.

Ensure that your monitor is positioned ergonomically

Audio Setups

1. Using speakers, you can create a theater-like experience

Some laptop designs are inventively designed to overcome the physical limitations of their smaller size. Still, sometimes, especially when it comes to louder music or immersive audio, there's no substitute for surface area. The subwoofer and tweeters in these systems help with audio immersion by providing deeper bass and more clear highs.

2. Headsets

They provide a detailed soundstage conducive to pinpointing sources of in-game noise or adjusting the balance between voice chat and game sound using physical controls. Voice chat can easily be picked up by an adjustable mic while being isolated from background noises such as keyboard clicks as well.

Headsets in budget gaming laptop setup

Budget Gaming Laptop Setup Layout

1. Chairs

Make sure you choose the right chair for your needs, whether it’s an ergonomic office chair with a flexible spine or a racing-style gaming chair. Quality chairs are good investments if you intend to spend a lot of time in front of your setup.

2. Monitor holder

To find a comfortable monitor setup, install monitor arms or a dual monitor arm mount and adjust their height and tilt. A multiscreen stand will give your workspace a cleaner look than a standard stand, especially when more than one screen is running at once.

3. Desk

Make your desk more functional by mounting speakers on the wall or using speaker stands to free up space for other elements like lamps and headset stands.

4. Lighting

Make your gaming space stand out with custom lighting, such as smart lights that pulse in time with audio, ambient lighting behind your monitor, and LED strips.

5. Cable management

Make sure cables don't get tangled when they are on your desk. Bundle the cables together and route them through raceways attached to the underside or back of your desk.

Budget Gaming Laptop Setup Layout

5 Best Affordable Gaming Laptops

For gamers who want to explore the field of portable gaming without going into debt, finding the best budget gaming laptop can be a lifesaver. Whether you're a casual player or an aspiring sports enthusiast, affordable laptops that don't skimp on performance are available for everyone's gaming needs.

So, if you're looking for the best budget gaming laptop, our expert has done the research and reviewed several affordable and powerful choices.

1. ASUS TUF Gaming A16 Advantage Edition

In my experience, the ASUS TUF Gaming A16 is one of the best budget gaming laptops. With its 16-inch all-AMD display, you can enjoy fluid and immersive gaming even in the most graphically intensive AAA titles. A 165 Hz full high definition screen, 16 GB of random access memory, 512 GB of storage, a Ryzen 7 7735HS central processing unit, and a graphics processing unit (GPU) cost about $1,000 in the base configuration. For a higher price, you can have faster configurations. To lessen screen tearing, both the cheaper 165 Hz FHD and the more expensive 240 Hz QHD panels allow for a customizable refresh rate.

You can easily access the internals of this cheap gaming laptop to perform repairs or upgrades, and it has a robust feel to it. There are two disks for storage, and since 512 GB or even 1 TB isn’t much these days, you’ll likely need to upgrade the storage space.

Since the current module is only compatible with Wi-Fi 6, you may want to consider getting a new wireless adapter. Two A and two C USB ports, a genuine HDMI 2.1, a 3.5 mm headphone connector, and an Ethernet port are all part of the ports. Although the laptop does not experience thermal throttling, it does become hot and noisy. It’s advisable to not take this laptop wherever you go because of its bulky design and short battery life, especially when playing games.

2. HP Victus 16

At its affordable price, the HP Victus 16 offers excellent gaming performance, a vivid 16.1-inch screen, and a lengthy battery life. The ergonomic keyboard is another selling point for me; it's perfect for work or gaming.

The design of HP Victus is great for basic gaming laptop setup ideas. Although Victor 16 has great gaming capabilities, it won’t be the center of attention if you decide to bring it to the office or coffee shop. With a light meter reading of 313 nits - just beyond HP’s claimed maximum—the screen is pleasant and bright.

Getting your hands on this inexpensive gaming laptop requires careful timing and strategic placement. You might find decent bargains on HP’s website if you’re lucky enough to catch a sale. However, for $1,399.99, you can get an even more powerful model from Costco that comes with 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and a GeForce RTX 4060.

A little tip from me - To get the best options, shop around and look for discounted deals at various stores.

3. MSI Katana 15

For those like me who aren't thrilled about shelling out over a grand for a gaming rig, the MSI Katana 15 makes 1080p gaming on a laptop a reality. With a design reminiscent of pre-pandemic gaming laptops, it prioritizes essential gaming performance. While it may be lacking in appearance and battery life, it is still a great budget gaming laptop on the market. This laptop outperforms its competitors with its 13th-Gen Intel Core i7, 16GB of RAM and Nvidia GeForce. It starts at $999 and has similar specs as prior models, plus you can pair this gaming laptop setup with a monitor too.

The Katana 15 improved my gaming performance, even if it is bulky and looks old. Its thermal design efficiently cools the central processing unit and graphics processing unit. With only little tweaks required for games like Cyberpunk 2077, it effortlessly handles demanding titles like Control and Far Cry 6. Although it has its flaws, the Katana 15 provides a satisfying gaming experience that strikes a good balance between price and power.

4. Acer Nitro 5

Compared to earlier Nitro 5 models that used Intel Core i5 processors, this Acer model offers a number of desirable changes and updates. You should be able to run most games well with a 12th-gen Intel Core i7 and an Nvidia GeForce graphics card. Improved wireless internet speeds are available with Wi-Fi 6, and you can enjoy more immersive sound without a headset thanks to DTS: X. The Nitro 5’s specifications are in line with the most common components listed in Steam’s survey, so you can rest assured that this best budget gaming laptop will handle all of your games without a hitch.

I was really pleased to see that Nitro 5 has better heat dissipation than its previous versions. This inexpensive gaming laptop has 2 cooling fans and 4 vents that keep your laptop running at ideal temperatures for longer, drawing excess heat away from sensitive components. This means you won’t require a cooling pad like you would with other laptop and monitor setups for gaming. You may play all night long without worrying about finding an outlet due to the eight-hour battery health.

I highly recommend the Acer Nitro 5 if you're looking for the best affordable gaming laptop with respectable quality, performance, and battery lifespan.

5. MSI Bravo 15

With the MSI Bravo 15, you’ll get a better value for your investment as it’s one of the rare gaming laptops made with an AMD central processing unit and AMD Radeon graphics card. The latest HD and triple-A games will run well on this system, thanks to the AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor and Radeon RX 6500M graphics card.

Furthermore, I enjoyed more fluid motion in fast-paced games on the 15.6in IPS panel, which has a refresh rate of 144 Hz. The Bravo 15's 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM gave me more than enough room and power for all my games, and I can easily extend the RAM to 64GB if my preferences change. The Bravo 15's battery life is respectable for a budget gaming laptop at around 6 hours. Still, if you plan on playing games or working on productivity tasks for extended periods, you might want to bring a power cord. Finally, for gaming in dim-light settings, the illuminated keyboard and quick display refresh rate were impressive.

In Conclusion

If you’re still skeptical about gaming PC vs. laptop, know that buying an inexpensive laptop for gaming doesn’t have to mean skimping on specs or performance. The tested budget gaming laptops above prove that an affordable gaming session doesn’t have to sacrifice performance. If you know how to build a gaming laptop properly and pick wisely, you can greatly improve your gaming experience without breaking the bank.

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