Desktop vs Laptop: Which Is Better for Gaming?

So, you want to get into PC gaming, do you? Great! All you need now is a computer, whether a pre-built or one that you built yourself, and you should be all ready to enter the world of PC gaming… but what kind of PC would be better for you, a laptop or a desktop?

This is a question which I believe many people overthink as there isn’t actually a lot separating the two from each other; they both can play games exceptionally well depending on the specifications inside them, and they both are capable of holding a lot of space inside their hard drives – more than enough for any games or software you may install.

However, there are differences between them nonetheless, and in this post I’ll be going through these differences to help you find out what type of computer is the better option for you depending on the circumstances.

…And even if you are already a PC gamer, it’s still a very good thing to know the differences between the two, right? But I digress… on with the show!

The Pros of Gaming Laptops

We’re going to start with finding the pros of gaming laptops first of all…

  • You Can Take It Around with You Everywhere

Perhaps the biggest thing which sets the two types of systems apart from each other is the fact that a laptop can easily be taken with you everywhere you go. While you can move a desktop around with you, they are of course bulky, heavy and require a plug point and monitor to be able to work and for you to ultimately use it.

A laptop doesn’t require a monitor because it has one built in, and laptops can be used without the need for a plug – though for a limited time only and the amount of time does depend on how much you use your laptop and how resource-hungry the software / games you use with it are…

If you are constantly on the move and want to game around while you do, or space is an issue for you and you want to take up as less space as possible, then a laptop may be your better bet for a gaming computer.

  • They Are Cheaper Than Desktops

As their hardware is generally weaker and smaller in size to that of desktop hardware, and laptops are very compact machines in size, means that they are ultimately cheaper in cost to buy than a desktop.

If you want to save money with a gaming PC, then consider choosing a laptop as they will be a lot cheaper than a desktop. Furthermore, many companies price their gaming laptops at a discount, so you will be saving even more money when you look into the right one.

The Pros of Gaming Desktops

Now we move on to the pros of desktop gaming PCs; gaming laptops didn’t seem to have that many pros, did they? Well, unfortunately those 2 pros are perhaps the only pros that gaming laptops have over gaming desktops. If you can think of a pro to laptop gaming, I would love to hear your thoughts down in the comment section below. 😉

Anyways, back to the main event…

  • Better Performance Than Laptops

Let’s face it; gaming desktops will have far better components than gaming laptops. The larger cases of desktops will allow the components to be bigger and more powerful; not only that, but there will be room for extra components should you feel like adding more RAM or an extra GPU inside your computer.

If you want your games to look and run better than with a laptop, then maybe you should consider going for a gaming desktop instead; it’ll be more expensive and will take up more room wherever you play, but your gaming experience will be better.

  • You Will Be Able to Upgrade Easier

Speaking of leaving more room for extra components… with a desktop, you will be able to upgrade your computer to how you’d like; whether you want to replace your graphics card with a more powerful one, or want more room for your files by adding an extra hard drive, you will be able to do so with a desktop.

With a laptop, you will either be unable to open up the machine in the first place to replace or change something, or you won’t even be able to modify or change the hardware even if you are able to get it open.

If you are somebody who frequently replaces their hardware with newer, more powerful components, a desktop PC will be more suitable for you as with a laptop, it would be very difficult to do so.

  • They Allow More Room For Peripherals

You can’t deny that desktops allow more room for customisability, and more importantly, peripherals than laptops thanks to more numbers of USB ports. While each desktop case will be different and has different amounts of USB ports, the average PC case has more ports than laptops.

Thanks to this, you will be able to plug in more peripherals with a desktop than with a laptop. For example, you can have a mouse, a keyboard; a controller, a joystick and a headset all plugged in at the same time ready for you to use straight away without having to plug one out for another to go in.

This is something which cannot be done as easily with a laptop thanks to its limited number of USB ports. If you are a gamer with a lot of peripherals, then you may want to consider a desktop instead of a laptop.


And there we have it; those are the pros and cons to both desktops and laptops when it comes to gaming. I hope this post has helped you to decide which type of computer system will be more suitable for you for gaming depending on your current situation.

If I’ve missed a pro or a con of either of these types of computers that you think is worth mentioning to further help out people, please feel free to write them down in the comments below. 😉

Happy gaming!

Jamie – the PC Gaming Nerd


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