Any help appreciated!

Oct 14, 2020
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This may look a bit dumb but here we go...

My 13 year old son currently plays games (mostly strategic, HOI, war games) on his basic laptop.
Because of lag and it not being the most powerful laptop, he is asking about a gamer laptop for his birthday?
My knowledge of these type of gamer laptops is zero so what I'm asking is:

1. Would it be a good idea to get a gamer laptop?
2. How powerful/expensive would I need to be looking at?
3. Do these type of laptop support Steam? This is where he gets the vast majority of his games.

Like the title states, ANY advice would be great appreciated.

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Oct 14, 2020
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Hello 1877, I'm not an expert in this field so I don't want to recommend any computer, but i can answer your other questions. Basically every computer (expecially a gaming one) supports steam so that won't be a problem. About buying a gaming laptop: it would definitely improve his gaming experience, gaming computers usually cost enough because they need to have a powerful processor and GPU in particular, but laptops shouldn't be too expensive. In conclusion: if you can, I suggest you to buy him a gaming laptop, your son would definitely love it. I hope someone can also suggest you few models to choose from with price ranges. Have a great day!

OsaX Nymloth

Community Contributor
I will just add my few cents here:

Will start from the bottom:
ad 3 - yes, all PC and laptops support Steam.

ad 2 - depends on available budget and what kind of games your son is playing. If he doesn't play titles with high fidelity graphic, then you can spend less on hardware than you would have if he also wanted to play some AAA titles like Assassin's Creed. It all depends.

ad 1 - does it have to be a laptop? Why not PC? Gaming laptops are a thing of course, but please have in mind they have their pros and cons

+ mobility

- power/price are worse in comparison to PC (you will pay more for laptop than for similarly powerful PC)
- upgrade options super limited (only HDD/SSD and memory, but even this depends. No future upgrades of hardware that would be meaningful for performance)
- heating up and losing performance due to temperature (not much can be done here in typical situations outside of dusting the laptop and changing thermal paste every X years)

In any case, you will need first to look at what kind of games you expect the hardware to run and then see you much are you willing to spent. And of course if you want a PC or laptop. With that info people can help you further.
Oct 14, 2020
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Thanks, all appreciated.
He's mainly into historical battle strategy games, you know, the ones with loads of icons, building armies, etc.
I don't think his games are that graphically advanced, Hearts Of Iron, that kind of stuff.
He's using a 4 year old 4Gb laptop at the moment and it's starting to show...

I was thinking of spending maybe £6-700. I know that's peanuts in today's market but I'm not sure he needs a model that great for what he plays?

The laptop rather than pc idea is for easy transport between both parents.

OsaX Nymloth

Community Contributor
If your son prefers such games, then CPU is much more important than the GPU as these kind of games tend to be less about graphic and more about pure computing power. More RAM obviously will work nicely as well.

I took a quick look at one of known UK shops (I assume you're in UK by the £ used in your budget) and there isn't much of a choice.

This Asus is bit over your budget but seems rather solid and will work well outside of games:

Within budget I could only find this MSI:

I am not advising buying any of them yet, try to gather some more opinions as I am not totally immersed in the laptop's market. Honestly even going for a laptop with AMD Ryzen as CPU and without GPU other than the integrated one may work in this case if you're certain your son won't really need it (like, he won't try other kind of games that are more demanding on the GPU). As always, it depends.
May also be a good idea to check your local shops, maybe you could spot some offers for 2nd hand or post-lease laptops - I worked for few years in such shop and sometimes we really had good deals.

If you spot anything and have questions (even like "what is better between these"), just ask.

Hope that helps a bit. Also please note that the slowness of current laptop may be some other issue that could be resolved (sometimes it's overheating, sometimes software takes too many resources).