Gaming laptops aren’t cheap, and the better quality ones with added features are even more expensive. Still, all computers wear down over time and eventually become obsolete. Before making such an investment, you may be wondering how long your expensive new gaming laptop will last. 

On average, a gaming laptop should last between 3 to 5 years. Where yours falls on that spectrum really depends on the quality, how you use it, and how well you care for it. You can extend your laptop’s life with proper care and maintenance, or you can replace certain components as they wear out.

What’s the Average Expected Lifespan of a Gaming Laptop?

A gaming laptop’s life expectancy is typically three to five years. If you buy a cheap computer with lower-end components, it may last you two to three years. On the other hand, a more expensive high-quality model may last five years or more. 

Ultimately, your gaming laptop’s lifespan will depend on how much you use it and how you use it, the wear and tear on the physical components and the laptop’s quality. 

Often, the laptop is still functional when a user decides that it’s time to move on and purchase a new computer. Still, gamers usually start looking for updated hardware after three to five years because their gaming laptop is probably becoming obsolete. 

With the speed of technology advancements and the added features and capabilities in the gaming industry, developers continue to push the limits of what machines are capable of. The result is that gaming computers start to become outdated after just a few years. 

Gamers need the newest, fastest, most advanced hardware and software to play and get the most out of the latest video games. So, they end up selling their still operational laptop to upgrade to a newer, more advanced model. 

That’s why how you use your laptop has such a huge impact on its lifespan. Still, usage is not the biggest factor impacting how long your gaming laptop will last. 

What Factors Affect How Long a Gaming Laptop Lasts?

How you use your laptop and how much strain you put on the system certainly affects your gaming laptop’s lifespan. Increasing the demand on the hardware components can cause them to wear out faster. 

However, there’s another factor that’s even more important. The laptop’s build quality is one of the biggest factors impacting how long it will last. That should come as no surprise, since a higher quality build will result in a superior product.  

Buying a cheap gaming laptop will save you money in the short term, but it’s not a good long-term investment. If you plan to continue gaming for more than a couple of years, it’s usually better to spend the extra money buying a better quality product. 

It will have better quality and more advanced hardware components, which means your computer will offer a better user experience and work more efficiently. It will be able to manage heat better, and components will be less strained during use. 

Gaming Laptop Components 

The various hardware and components inside your gaming laptop will ultimately determine how long the computer lasts.

While some parts may continue to work perfectly fine, if you have a major system failure due to one of the essential components, it will be an expensive fix (if it’s even possible to repair the damage).

Spending a little more money to get better quality components for these most important pieces of hardware is essential to extending your gaming laptop’s lifespan. In other words, these aren’t the areas where you should skimp. 

Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)

The GPU handles all the video and graphics processing for your computer. When it comes to gaming laptops, this is one of the most important components. A good quality GPU should last around 5 years, but it will depend on usage and maintenance. 

Overheating is one of the biggest problems for a GPU, so when considering which laptop you will buy, you should always look for models that have advanced cooling systems. 

If the laptop has an added fan or other features to monitor for overheating, it’s a sign that more thought was put into preserving the laptop’s hardware (which is a good sign).

Gaming laptops with NVIDIA or AMD (Radeon) GPUs are some of the best for graphics processing and graphics cards. RTX is also a solid brand. More expensive gaming laptops will have top of the line GPUs, but the higher price tag may be worth it in some cases. 

High-end GPUs and graphics cards are more likely to last for their full physical lifespan without becoming obsolete, which makes them a good investment for serious gamers. 

Becoming outdated is a big problem for graphics components like the GPU. As games continue to advance, the computer requires new hardware to keep up with the tech. If you’re someone who always wants to have the latest and greatest, you may need to update your graphics components every couple of years. 

Central Processing Unit (CPU) 

The CPU is the brain of your computer. It processes all the data and information and puts your software systems to work. For most computers, the CPU is the most essential component, but for gamers it’s usually secondary to the GPU. 

Still, an inferior CPU will cause problems for your experience. It will result in slow operations, lags, and the computer may have difficulty running high-demand games. This is especially important for online multiplayer games and first-person shooters.

When you purchase a gaming laptop look for an Intel or AMD processor. The higher core number is the newer, faster version. So, for Intel, look for Core i7 or i9 or AMD Ryzen 7 or Ryzen 9.

You should also consider the number of cores. More cores means a faster computer and better performance for gaming. If your CPU is running slow, it could result in bottlenecking. 

Simply put, a CPU-GPU bottleneck occurs if your CPU isn’t running optimally and your GPU can’t process the graphics as well as it would otherwise. 

So, it’s always best to go with a gaming laptop that has a quad-core processor. These models will be more expensive than those with dual-core processors, but they will run much better and ultimately last longer. 

While you can upgrade many of your computer’s components, you’re going to be stuck with your CPU. And, no matter how great your GPU or other components are, if the CPU isn’t able to process fast enough, you won’t be able to run the newest and most demanding games at the level you want.

That’s what causes most people to end up getting a new gaming computer before theirs has actually stopped working. So, if you plan to keep your computer for the full 5+ year lifespan, make sure to invest in a good CPU. 

Random Access Memory (RAM) 

Anything that’s currently happening on your computer (such as playing a game, browsing the web, checking email) is being carried out by your computer’s RAM. This is the system’s short-term memory and it carries out the tasks you command. 

More RAM will make your computer run faster and reduce the chance of lagging. In fact, the most graphically-demanding games will require you to have a significant amount of RAM. If you plan to multitask on your computer, you’ll also want more RAM. 

So, to improve your gaming laptop’s performance and ensure that it lasts long enough to run the newest games, you should look for a model with at least 16GB of RAM. 

If you’re only doing light gaming, you might be able to get away with 8GB, but we recommend getting better quality hardware on the front end than having to upgrade or replace it later on. 

Cooling System

Your gaming laptop’s cooling system is possibly the most important component for the computer’s health and performance. When you’re running games and other programs that put a lot of demand on your system, the internal hardware components produce a significant amount of heat. 

The GPU and CPU especially can generate a lot of heat inside the computer. If there’s not an efficient and effective cooling system, the laptop can quickly overheat. 

Overheating can cause your hardware to fail completely. Heat can also result in CPU throttling, which leads to decreased performance and lagging.  

Your laptop should have venting and fans to help circulate air through the machine. There should be some sort of internal mechanism to prevent overheating. A cheap, poorly designed laptop may not have the cooling system required to keep the hardware safe. 

A good quality gaming laptop will have features to ensure that the computer doesn’t overheat during use. This is a very important factor to consider in order to improve the laptop’s lifespan.

Physical Components 

A good quality gaming laptop will be built to last. The physical components such as the internal hardware and the exterior parts like the keyboard, monitor, and trackpad, should be durable enough to withstand use. 

Still, you’ll have to properly care for your equipment and maintain it to get the full lifespan from your gaming computer. The hardware components should last 5-7 years as long as you take good care of the computer. 

Some people keep their gaming laptops for 10 years (or more), but they typically don’t really use them for gaming. 

Protect your computer’s physical components by keeping it clean, and always using a laptop bag when transporting your computer. Hard impacts can disturb the laptop’s internal components, so you may not even see the problem right away. 

Using an external mouse and keyboard when you’re at home can also help preserve your laptop’s physical components. The repetitive actions that you take on your laptop while gaming on the go can put excessive wear on certain keys or your trackpad. 

Since it’s very difficult to replace these components if they go bad, it’s a good idea to give them a break every once in a while. 

Gaming Laptop Batteries 

Your laptop’s battery should last at least one to four years before needing to be replaced. The actual lifespan depends on your use, and the battery brand. Higher quality computers typically have higher quality batteries, but they still have a limited number of charges. 

Laptop batteries are typically expected to have about 1,000 charge cycles in them. So, to extend your battery’s life, you should leave your laptop plugged in whenever you’re gaming. 

Playing a game with high system demands will drain your battery faster than general computer usage, so you don’t want to kill your battery just to charge it up again if you don’t need to. 

It’s perfectly safe to leave your gaming laptop plugged in. The computer and battery will “stop” charging when it needs to and simply run off the electrical power when it’s plugged into an outlet. In fact, many people just keep their laptop plugged in all the time once their battery stops holding a charge rather than having the battery replaced. 

You can extend your battery’s life by keeping it protected from heat and keeping it plugged in during use. If you’re not going to use your laptop for a long period, try to drain the battery all the way, or at least get it below 50%. Try not to leave it fully charged and unused for long periods. 

Gaming Laptop Battery

Make Your Gaming Laptop Last

Like most things, a gaming laptop will last longer if you take better care of it. That means keeping it free of dust and debris, storing it properly, and handling it with care. 

Ensuring that your computer is cooled properly will also help extend the lifespan. Overheating causes serious damage to internal components and it will cause them to break down faster.

Additionally, you should ensure that you keep up with software updates, keep drivers up to date, and keep your operating system updated with new security and performance improvements as they’re released. Updates will help your system run more efficiently and address potential problems before they start. 

The bottom line is this – a better quality gaming laptop will typically last longer than a cheaply made laptop. That means that you might have to spend a little more money on the front end, but it will end up saving you if you would otherwise have to purchase a new one every few years.