In this tutorial series, I will show you guys how to choose a notebook that is right for you. There are so many options when it comes to notebooks these days, that it can become overwhelming. I will show you rules, tricks, and tips on what’s the best strategy for notebook shopping!
In Part 1 of today’s guide, we will be looking at your own personal workload. Workloads are the programs you use on a computer for daily use, so whether you just do web browsing, video watching, gaming, video editing, programming, 3d modeling, they all are important to know so that you can choose the right laptop.
So go into your computer, and simply take a look at all the programs you use on a daily basis. Once you know exactly what you use, then it will be easy for you to understand why you need more powerful hardware or possibly less powerful hardware than you originally thought for your future notebook.
Web browsing is the most basic form of using a computer that you can do, and it is the most popular workload out of all tasks done on a PC. Fortunately, since all your doing in browsing the web, you do not need a powerful laptop at all to run simple web browsing. If this is all you do, a laptop in the $100-$600 price bracket is going to be your target. Hardware your going to want to look for is at least 4GB of memory, and a Intel Pentium/Core i3 CPU. I also recommend you get one with solid state storage if possible.
However, if you find yourself a very intensive web browser with 20+ Chrome tabs open. Then you’ll want something a bit beefier. Look for something in the $500-$1000 price bracket with a Core i3 or Core i5 CPU at the very least. 8GB of memory I highly recommend you get.
Video Streaming (As in Video Watching):
If all your doing is watching videos and don’t care if they are in HD or not on your laptop, then follow the same exact tips I wrote for #1. However, if you need a notebook that is capable of outputing video content at higher resolutions like 1440P or 4k, then you’ll need a bit beefier notebook to keep up.
At higher resolutions, it takes more than 2x the power to run videos at that resolution, as the graphics processing unit has to playback 2x more pixels per frame. It isn’t something that every laptop is capable of.
What you’ll need is a laptop in the $600-$1000+ price bracket, with a Kaby Lake (7th generation) Intel Core i3 or i5 with 8GB of memory. It’s important that it’s the latest 7th generation Intel CPUs aswell, as they are optimized specifically for 4k content vs older generations of CPUs.
Ah gaming, the most intensive tasks you can do from a non productive standpoint. PC gaming is one of the most demanding pieces of software that you can run on your system, demanding very powerful specs to run.
Gaming is incredibly demanding because of the nature of games itself. Graphics quality is the primary power hog. For games to look good you need to render lighting, textures, physics, animations and particles. To top it off, the computer has to do this ALL on the fly without stuttering.
If you don’t care for high quality presets or play at resolutions lower than 1440P, then overall, you don’t need a super expensive notebook to play your games on. Your looking at the $800-$1200 price bracket, with AT LEAST a Intel Core i5 Quad Core CPU, 8GB of RAM (16GB recommended), and a GTX 1050 GPU. Make absolutely sure you get a laptop with a discrete GPU, or you won’t get a playable gaming experience.
Price bracket, $1300-$2000. This is where things get pricy, but you do get your money’s worth out of it. Minimum Specs I recommend are a Intel Core i7 Quad Core Hyperthreaded CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a GTX 1060 or GTX 1070 GPU. This will give you a very good gaming experience, expect the ability to crank all the graphics details to ultra at 1080P or 1440P with above 60FPS.
High End Gaming:
Welcome to big boy territory. Budget $2100-$6000 (could go up to $10,000 if your insane). Minimum specs, a Core i7 Quad Core CPU (preferably one that is overclockable), 16-32GB of RAM, GTX 1070 or GTX 1080 GPU. Or GTX 1070s/1080s in SLI (yes TWO GPUs in a notebook). If you want the best of the best, this is what is required.
Video Editing/Content Creation:
Video Editing is also very hardware intensive, perhaps not as much as gaming, but it is still very resource intensive. The biggest resource hog is memory. When you have your timeline full of little snippets of high res videos, then on top of that have affects and other layers of stuff, all that needs to be stored in the system memory so that you can go thru the timeline without it stuttering.
If you’re doing very intensive video editing, especially at 4k, then you’ll want at least an Intel Core i7 6-7th gen CPU with 32GB of RAM (you can get away with 16GB, but 32GB is great if you can get it). If your using something like Adobe Premiere, a GTX 1060 or 1070 could be beneficial in reducing render times.
These are the top 4 most popular workloads that people do on their computers. If your doing something a bit more specific, you can always contatct me for support.
It is important that you get the right hardware for your specific set of programs, if you don’t, you could be buying a new laptop that is slow to do anything you need it to do.