Laptop Vs Desktop For Gaming - Are Laptop GPUs Any Fast? - PC SEEKERS

Laptop Vs Desktop For Gaming - Are Laptop GPUs Any Fast?

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If you are into the market for a new PC and cannot decide if you should go for a laptop or a desktop then this guide is for you.

While few gamers enjoy their games on big screens and at highest fps possible, few also prioritize portability over immersive experience and shear performance. To top it all laptop manufacturers are seeing stable growth in the sales of the gaming laptops and are focusing on providing their customers with cutting edge technology in the form of faster CPUs and GPUs as well as better cooling to stand out from the competition. But the performance of a laptop is really worth it compared to a custom built desktop? We shall know today.

Lets start the discussion with the differences between laptops and desktops and comparing what might suit you best:


Firstly, coming to the main point, are laptops actually fast enough to be able to be compared to a Desktop?

As noted by Tim from Hardware Unboxed, he compared a few games with different laptops while maintaining the same specs (same CPU and GPU combinations) on the Desktop PC and compared their performance and here are the results:

GTX 1660 Ti: Desktop Vs Laptop:

As can be noted from the chart comparing the desktop 1660 Ti with a laptop variant we can notice a 14% average performance difference between the two when averaged 17 games, desktop being faster between 2% to 23.5% based on the game.

RTX 2060: Desktop vs Laptop (115W)

Comparing the desktop RTX 2060 variant to the fastest available laptop RTX 2060 variant (115W. there are 80W, 90W and 115W variants available in the laptop market) we can see that the desktop variant is 18% faster on average ranging between 3.5% to 29% faster based on the game.

From these charts we can conclude that desktop variants of a GPU are much faster than the laptop variants thus providing a better and smoother gaming experience on the desktop side. If you wish to checkout and the charts you can always watch the YouTube video by Hardware Unboxed by clicking here.


If you travel a lot and you want to carry your gaming machine along with you everywhere you go, then going with a laptop is your best option as you cannot carry a full fledged mid tower Desktop PC around in your back pack. Sure you can build an ITX gaming PC but still it is not as portable as a laptop because a laptop can fit into your backpack. You can always argue you can also fit an ITX machine into a backpack with some struggle even then it becomes a hassle to carry around your Display and other accessories unlike a laptop which has everything efficiently built in.


In case of a laptop you are left with not many options when it comes to customizability as you can only choose between a few tiers of a CPU, RAM size, display size and resolution and a few tiers of Graphics card and all of these are totally dependent on the courtesy of the manufacturer if they wish you provide you with all or any or none of the above options to choose from in you laptop.

But when it comes to a Desktop you can always choose everything from your choice to motherboard, CPU, GPU, RAM (both size and speed), Display/Monitor, your own choice case based on your aesthetic preferences. Giving you full control over what components you want to use in your PC.


Once you get a laptop you're stuck the components that the laptop shipped with you. Only things you can upgrade would be RAM and storage if the manufacturer allows you to do that without having them soldered and voiding warranty of the laptop. Your chances of upgrading a CPU or a GPU in a laptop are next to zero.

There is next to nothing in a desktop you cannot upgrade if you wish to. Desktops offer the best upgradability and future proofing if you ever wish to gain more performance just by taking out a component and replacing or upgrading with a newer better one.


Overclocking is a fun activity as all PC enthusiasts know. Overclocking is an activity done to reduce (Underclocking and reducing temperature to stop thermal throttling and and gaining performance) or increase the power utilization of CPU, GPU or RAM to gain performance.

Overclocking on laptops is very limited as the cooling system provided inside the laptop by the manufacturer has little to no overhear in terms of gaining higher performance by increasing power to the CPU or GPU. You can always underclock your CPU or GPU on a laptop to gain performance.

Depending on the cooler or cooling system (i.e. water cooling) you're using you get headroom to play with the clocks of the components to increase them to gain higher performance.

Battery Powered:

As laptops run on battery power they do not always require a wall power outlet to run them thus making you more productive during a power outage or when you're away from a power outlet compared to a Desktop.

Desk Space:

Desktop PCs always require a lot of space on the desk compared to a laptop provided you are not using an external monitor with add on peripherals like keyboard and mouse.

I hope this guide is helpful for you in deciding which one suits you better.

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