The proverbial question amongst gamers is: Is the laptop really capable of handling the newer more powerful, more graphic intensive games? This question was asked 10 years ago and will be asked every year for the next 10 years and maybe beyond. However, laptop gaming has closed the gap from 10 years ago with new processors and new powerful GPUs. Laptop gaming has taken major steps in this year alone. But some problems do still exist.
Over the past few months and years, ATI and NVIDIA has had some of best and slickest graphic cards for laptops. The ATI 5870 Broadway XT 800 700Mhz and the NVIDIA GTX 285M are awesome in laptops buy cheap. Battery life wasn’t great but at least you could play some of the most complex PC video games. BUT us gamers just had to push the envelope again (we are never satisfied, are we?). So Intel, NVIDIA and ATI kept on producing newer and more incredible CPUs and GPUs just to keep us gamers happy. Nice of them isn’t it? Intel is so good at increasing the power of their mobile i5 and i7 processors that you would think they had it on the shelf for years and just decided to release them because they saturated the market with the slower ones. NAH, they wouldn’t do that would they? But I digress. Let’s move on.
Bring on the NVIDIA GTX 480M SLI, the mobile version of the GTX480. Are you kidding me? A mobile GTX 480? Holy crap! In a laptop? Awesome Dude! But wait, will ATI stand for this? Well they do have the Radeon 5870 Crossfire at 1600 700MHz. Good lord, absolutely awesome. But is there some mystery mobile Radeon card on the horizon. I bet yes, really it is a safe bet. Same with NVIDIA. These guys are not going to stop building superb graphic cards. They will keep leap-frogging each other until one of them gets bought by one of the big boys like Dell, IBM or HP. If that happens, kiss there innovation good-bye and quickly. The big boys are notorious for crushing innovation. But I digress again. Let’s move on, again.
Today, laptop gaming is the best it has been in years and will only get better. NVIDIA, Intel and ATI will continue producing cool innovative products. And people will buy them. The most complex games can now be played on laptops. Maybe not as well as a super cooled, full tower, multi-GPU, full blown 24GB memory, 10GB storage system but it will be close. Games will get more complex and laptops will get more powerful, simple rule of survival in the computer industry. Another rule: Gamers will always push the envelope of gaming technology, thus driving the entire computer market, another topic for another article.
But there is red caution flag with laptop gaming. The 3 biggest issues are power supplies, battery consumption and heat. These super fast GPUs and extreme CPUs are monsters on drawing power, eating the battery alive and producing enough heat to fry an egg. People are not interested in getting 20 minutes from a battery or watching the lights dim when you plug-in one of these laptops or adapting to the smell of burning plastic. BUT, these things will catch up. Heat dissipation systems will improve laptop power supplies will get bigger and battery life will improve. But just in case keep the bacon handy and play on!