What Graphics Card should I get for my Gaming Laptop?

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What’s the difference between a GPU and a Graphics card, and what's the best one for gaming laptops?

Author - Stephen Rands

Your GPU is the engine that powers your games – or at least how they look!

If we want to get technical, your graphics card is the piece of computer hardware made up of GPUs that brings your monitor to life on your gaming laptop or any laptop for that matter!. It converts data into a signal that your monitor can read so you get great and smooth images. If you want the best visuals for gaming or any professional work like video editing, a decent graphics card is a must.

You definitely want a good one, but it’s complicated to find out which card is best for your budget and what you need but luckily, we are here to help with our guide. Picking graphics cards and upgrading systems is something we know a thing or two about.

My first pick is the MSI Geforce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio

This graphics card is for those with a vast budget although you may have to wait a while as supply is extremely limited currently. Featuring three display ports and one HDMI 2.1 this graphics card is the standard-bearer for extreme gaming boasting to be the fastest graphics card around. The biggest downfall is its size and weight coming in at 12.71 inches long (323x140x56mm) and weighing 1.5kg but it makes up for this slightly by moving back to the standard 8-pin power connector.

Specs
Cores10496
Memory Speed19.5 Gbps
Memory24 GB GDDR6X
Memory Bus 384-Bit
Memory Bandwidth 936 GB/s
Power Consumption 370W
Recommended PSU750W
Direct X12 API
Max Displays4
Digital Max Resolution7680 x 4320

Nvidia Geforce RTX 3090

This graphics card was the first card to provide playable gaming performance at 8K but it’s not worth the price if you don’t plan on playing at 4K. Unlike the Trio, it uses a 12-pin power connector (a 12-pin to 2x 8-pin adapter is supplied) which does look undesirable, but it is slightly smaller than the Trio at 12.3 inches (336x140x61mm). It has the same display and HDMI ports as the Trio and other than the power connector there isn’t too much difference.

Specs
Cores10496
Memory Speed19.5 Gbps
Memory24 GB GDDR6X
Memory Bus 384-Bit
Memory Bandwidth 936 GB/s
Power Consumption 350W
Recommended PSU750W
Direct X12 API
Max Displays4
Digital Max Resolution7680 x 4320

Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080

This graphics card is for those that have not got the high-end budget but want something more than the norm. Once again, we see another 12-pin power connector, but we do get a 2 x 8-pin adapter which isn’t quite long enough in most cases whilst also coming in slightly smaller than the high-end equivalent at 11.2 inches (285x112x40mm). A particularly good graphics card for 4K gaming whilst maintaining low temperatures.

Specs
Cores8704
Memory Speed19 Gbps
Memory10 GB GDDR6X
Memory Bus 320-Bit
Memory Bandwidth 760 GB/s
Power Consumption 320W
Recommended PSU750W
Direct X12 API
Max Displays4
Digital Max Resolution7680 x 4320

This graphics card is up there with the most expensive cards in both cost and performance, but it is the cost that will put most people off. Where it stands apart is it’s USB-C connectivity and its ability to deliver high FPS 4k gaming but for around the same price there might be better value for money to be found with other cards.

Specs
Cores4352
Memory Speed14 Gbps
Memory11 GB GDDR6
Memory Bus 352-Bit
Memory Bandwidth 616 GB/s
Power Consumption 260W
Recommended PSU650W
Direct X12 API
Max Displays4
Digital Max Resolution7680 x 4320

This graphics card is very good value with awesome Ray Tracing and is probably the best value for money currently on the market. An adapter is provided for the 12-pin power connector to a single 8-pin but it still looks cluttered. Easily capable of 4K gaming without turning down the settings.

Specs
Cores5888
Memory Speed14 Gbps
Memory8 GB GDDR6
Memory Bus 256-Bit
Memory Bandwidth 448 GB/s
Power Consumption 220W
Recommended PSU650W
Direct X12 API
Max Displays4
Digital Max Resolution7680 x 4320

This graphics card is perfect for those with a smaller budget that want silky smooth 1440p gaming whilst not needing Ray Tracing. The lack of VRam holds it back slightly but for its price point, it puts other graphic cards to shame and is a major upgrade to the GTX 1060 not to mention it is nearly half the size of the high-end cards.

Specs
Cores1536
Memory Speed12 Gbps
Memory6 GB GDDR6
Memory Bus 192-Bit
Memory Bandwidth 288 GB/s
Power Consumption 120W
Recommended PSU450W
Direct X12 API
Max Displays3
Digital Max Resolution7680 x 4320

This graphics card is the perfect entry-level card for people just starting out with PC gaming. Boasting brilliant 1080p gaming performance whilst being affordably priced it runs great for low temperatures without much noise.

Specs
Cores1408
Memory Speed8 Gbps
Memory6 GB GDDR5
Memory Bus 192-Bit
Memory Bandwidth 192 GB/s
Power Consumption 130W
Recommended PSU450W
Direct X12 API
Max Displays4
Digital Max Resolution7680 x 4320

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