Is it worth buying a gaming laptop in South Africa?

Asus Rog Strix gaming laptop

While most PC gamers in South Africa use a desktop for gaming due to the relatively cheap price of parts and customisation options, the latest advances in mobile GPU technology have increased the viability of using a gaming laptop.

However, with local hardware being relatively expensive and gaming laptops historically performing worse than their desktop counterparts, is it worth buying a gaming laptop in South Africa?

We’ve compared the performance of modern gaming laptops and desktops along with their pricing in order to determine whether a gaming laptop is a viable option for South African gamers.


Next-Gen Graphics

Previous Nvidia graphics card generations featured specific mobile-class GPUs which were cut-down, under-clocked versions of their desktop counterparts, with the exception of the GeForce GTX 980 mobile card.

However, the launch of the GeForce GTX 10 Series Pascal-based graphics cards has ushered in a lineup of mobile cards which are supposedly identical to their desktop components.

These graphics cards finally allow laptops to enter the VR market, with every current Pascal-based gaming laptop featuring VR support.

In order to test if this mobile performance gain was accurate, Tom’s Hardware conducted a series of benchmarks testing the performance of the mobile GeForce GTX 1070 with the desktop version of the card.

The results indicate that the two deliver essentially identical levels of performance, with the desktop card beating its mobile counterpart by a miniscule margin.

mobile-pascal-benchmarks-1

mobile-pascal-benchmarks-2

mobile-pascal-benchmarks-3


Pricing

Gaming hardware is not cheap in South Africa, with Nvidia’s latest graphics cards priced relatively high compared to international pricing.

However, the latest generation of gaming laptops are also rather expensive, with the lower-end Pascal-based gaming devices priced at around R29,000.

We’ve included the South African pricing of three different GTX 10 Series laptops below in order to provide a general idea of price difference:

  • MSI GE62VR with GTX 1060 – R28,999
  • Gigabyte P35X v6 with GTX 1070 – R34,261
  • Asus ROG G752VS with GTX 1080 – R36,999

Verdict

Gaming laptops have become more viable than ever thanks to the advances in GPU technology, granting the devices a longer life cycle before they become outdated.

However, they still remain relatively expensive, and unless you are willing to pay for the additional portability and convenience of a VR Ready gaming laptop, you may be better off sticking to a desktop computer.

There has never been a better time to purchase a gaming laptop, as long as you can afford a model with a Pascal or Polaris-based graphics card.


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