Why Do Gaming Laptops Have Bad Battery Life?
While gaming laptops and regular laptops may appear similar at a glance, they are built differently on the inside. The demands of gamers differ greatly from those of normal users, which is why gaming laptops are made for high performance. In fact, they operate like mobile gaming rigs. So, Why Do Gaming Laptops Have Bad Battery Life?
As a rule, gaming laptop hardware is more power-intensive than normal laptop hardware. Gaming laptops also have extra features that are uncommon on normal laptops so the battery life isn’t as good.
Battery life is one of the most vital features of laptops. Often they are equipped with Intel U or Y series processors, which are low-performance. These processors emphasize energy efficiency over performance.
Because of their power-restricted features, normal laptops can last longer in terms of battery life. It comes at a price, however. CPU-intensive tasks and multitasking cannot be handled by these processors because they are designed purely to optimize power consumption. These processors are good for standard day-to-day use.
On the other hand, gaming laptops are designed for performance. The laptops include powerful processors, such as the Intel Core i7 7700HQ and Intel Core i5 7300HQ, which do not prioritize battery life. The processors are designed to deliver the best performance possible when playing games.
In addition to those three factors that can affect battery life, there are a few others you should consider. A gaming laptop with an RGB backlit keyboard looks cool and helps you press the right keys, but it will also negatively affect the battery life.
Display Size & Resolution
A gaming laptop has an enhanced display compared to a regular laptop. If your screen is larger, the resolution is better, your frames per second is higher, and your refresh rate is higher, your gaming experience will be better.
The majority of gaming laptop screens have a resolution of 1080P and a display size of between 13.3 and 15.6 inches. Some of these high-end gaming laptops also have a 4K screen and a 17.3-inch display.
Also, gamers prefer displays with higher resolutions since they result in sharper, more realistic images. A large display reduces eye strain and allows gamers to focus better on their games. Thus, there are a lot of gaming laptop manufacturers coming out with new models that have larger displays and better screen resolutions, like ASUS, Razer, and MSI.
However, the combination of these factors will cause the battery to discharge much faster than it normally would. The higher the resolution, the greater the energy consumption. The power consumption of a 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels) display will be higher than that of a 1080P display.
For the display size, the same reasoning applies. An enormous screen on a laptop consumes more power than an equivalent screen on a laptop with a smaller screen. As a result, gamer laptops have shorter battery life since they usually come with large, high-resolution displays.
Backlit RGB Lighting
It is common for games to be played in low light or the dark. A gaming laptop usually has a backlit keyboard, which is rare on normal laptops. You are less likely to press the wrong keys since you can easily position your fingers on the right keys.
Although the backlit keyboards don’t require a lot of power, they still need to be powered, which results in a shorter battery life.
It is just as important to have good sound quality as good graphics in order to fully immerse yourself in a game. You can make games more fun and exciting with high-quality speakers by capturing all the sound effects that are added by game developers.
The speakers that come with most laptops have average performance and aren’t always very loud. These speakers may be adequate for everyday use but aren’t ideal for gaming.
The louder the speakers, the greater the range of frequencies and tones that gamers need. Gaming laptops generally have larger, louder, and better sounding speakers.
In addition to masking fan noise, louder speakers can also reduce annoyance from excessively loud fans. However, louder speakers require more power, which is why batteries last shorter.
CPUs in gaming laptops vs normal laptops
Processing power in modern processors is extremely high. Today, even mainstream, budget laptops will come with at least four physical cores and two threads per core in every new generation. There are more average cores and threads in each new generation as well as better performance per core. The latest and most powerful CPUs found in gaming laptops typically have up to 12 physical cores and 32 threads with higher clock speeds than the regular processors.
However, all of that power comes at a price. When you increase a processor’s clock speed and core count, it will require more power to keep it operating at its peak performance, especially if you are using it heavily for gaming or other demanding tasks.
Let’s look at the Ryzen 5000 series, AMD’s most recent mobile processor series. On the lower end of the performance spectrum, it has a 4 cores, 8 threads, and a 3.8GHz maximum boost clock. With a TDP of 15 watts (the maximum expected power consumption), this processor is very power efficient.
The processor could be found in a budget, ultraportable laptop meant for occasional use, such as watching movies.
In terms of performance, you might want to consider something like the Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU, which offers eight physical cores, sixteen threads, and a maximum boost clock of 4.6GHz. This particular processor has a TDP of 45+ watts.
Thus, the CPU is drawing more than three times as much power as the lower-end processor in this example.
The GPU’s heat requirements lead to the need for high-speed fans, often in multiples, to deal with the heat. Bigger and stronger fans are better at dealing with heat, but you want a laptop to be small and mobile, so this is often an area lower-end gaming laptops struggle with. The need for these fans adds an extra power drain that regular laptop don’t require.
Size Of The Display And Screen Resolution
Games laptops typically have a display size of 15.6 inches and a resolution of 1080p. Despite this, gamers tend to prefer gaming laptops with screens as large as 17.3 inches and resolutions as high as 1440p or 4K.
Compared with low-resolution displays, high-resolution displays offer crisper, more vivid images. As a bonus, a larger display reduces eye-strain, making gaming more enjoyable.
A 4K LCD display requires more power than a 1080p LCD display, if you compare the power consumption. As a result, the 4K display (3840 x 2160 pixels) requires more power to run than the 1080 display (1920 x 1080 pixels).
As a result, a display with a resolution of 10.80p will consume more power than a display with a resolution of 13.3 inches because its massive surface requires more illumination. A gaming laptop with a large display or a high resolution will have a low battery life, so choose your laptop wisely.
Number Of External Peripherals Attached
Many gaming laptops come with ports that can be connected to supporting devices including hard drives, gaming keyboards, VR headsets, cooling pads, gaming mice, external monitors, etc.
In addition to improving productivity, these devices consume more battery power since they rely on the battery for power, and also place higher demands on the CPU and GPU. This also leads to poor battery life.
Multitasking And Programs Running In The Background
You could also have a lot of programs running in the background if none of the above reasons explain why your laptop battery discharges so quickly.
The more tasks you do on your laptop, the more CPU resources it uses and the more heat it generates. You can reduce the strain on your processor and increase battery life by closing non-current programs through the Windows task manager.
Multiple High-Speed Fans
All internal components of laptops, including the motherboard, heat pipes, RAM, etc., have to fit inside a very small chassis. It is difficult for heat produced by the CPU and GPU to escape due to the restricted airflow caused by so many components crammed into a small space.
For this reason, fans need to be installed in the interior to improve air circulation. As a general rule, laptop fans spin slowly, and there is usually only one fan required since most of the heat is generated by one element, the CPU.
GPUs in gaming laptops vs normal laptops
Gaming laptops differ profoundly from normal laptops in terms of their graphics cards (GPU). Normally, laptop graphics processors are built into the CPU, so that just enough power is available to stream videos and run some very light games. Gaming laptops, however, usually have a dedicated graphics processor that is separate from the CPU.
Discrete GPUs offer significantly higher power consumption than integrated graphics, but they’re also much more powerful.
In regard to our Ryzen 3 5300U example from earlier, there’s a 6-core GPU operating at 1500 MHz that’s integrated into the chip, so both the CPU and GPU together are only 15 watts.
A typical gaming laptop will have a CPU like the Ryzen 9 5900HX, which requires 45+ watts, and a GPU such as a mobile Nvidia 3080, which can consume around 130 watts.
So, it is easy to see how a gaming laptop could draw up to ten times as much power as a normal laptop, which means the battery drains much faster. So, how long does the average gaming laptop battery last?
An everyday laptop can be made to last longer by running one fan slowly and less frequently. That’s not the case with gaming laptops. In order to avoid thermal throttling, both CPU and GPU require fans to exhaust heat. Gaming performance can be slowed down by thermal throttling, resulting in a bad gaming experience.
Gaming laptop manufacturers use multiple fast-spinning fans to achieve better airflow and performance. Heat is generated constantly when gaming, using the CPU and GPU intensively, so these fans must run constantly in order to cool the interior.
A battery’s life is obviously going to be drastically reduced when it’s powering more than one fan that spins fast and often.
Average battery life of gaming laptops
There is a common practice among laptop manufacturers to promote long battery life as a selling point in their marketing. The primary reason is that their customers are seeking long battery life in most cases.
A gaming laptop, however, typically does not mention battery life in its marketing, as the battery life is usually poor compared to a normal laptop.
The usual laptop battery life is between 4-10 hours, but gaming laptops, when set to stock performance settings, will provide less than two hours on a single charge.
While there are ways to improve the battery life of gaming laptops, we’ll discuss a few of them below, it’s pretty clear that most gaming laptops have very short battery lives.
Is it bad to leave a gaming laptop plugged in all the time?
Whether you are at home or at work, you likely use your gaming laptop with its AC adapter, since its battery can’t last too long on its own.
You are not doing anything wrong if you leave your gaming laptop plugged in all the time. The hardware and software in modern laptops were designed to be left plugged in all the time, and there are automated processes in place to help prolong battery life. The average laptop battery lifespan with normal use is around 4-8 years, but all laptop batteries degrade over time.
You should try to avoid completely draining the battery of your laptop rather than worrying about leaving it plugged in all the time. This can cause more issues with your laptop’s battery.
However, it really does not make much difference whether you plug your laptop battery in or unplug it – as long as you use the charger that came with your laptop!
This high-performance CPU also has a higher clock speed, resulting in faster gaming and processing. Unfortunately, processors with higher clock speeds require more power to operate at their peak performance, which is not good for battery life.
These processors also feature multiple cores and threads for smoother multitasking. Nevertheless, more powerful processors use more power due to the fact they have to handle so many tasks at once, which ultimately means less battery life.
Furthermore, you require more processing power to run games that use a lot of hardware, such as games. Your processor must thus use more energy to perform better.
A gaming laptop usually has a larger battery than your ordinary laptop. You might not be able to play some of the latest games if you are a high-end gamer. If you want a gaming laptop that allows you to play for hours comfortably, you can always upgrade the battery so that you can play hours without being interrupted. If you prefer, plug in your laptop and enjoy a top-notch gaming experience.
Improving the battery life
Keep The Keyboard Backlights Turned Off
Keyboard backlights are a very common feature of gaming laptops that allow you to use your laptop even in dark environments. However, do you know that keyboard backlights consume a significant amount of laptop battery power? You can save up to 18-20% of your laptop’s battery life by switching them off.
Adjust Graphics and Display Settings
Having a powerful graphics processor on your laptop allows you to use it for only graphics-intensive software such as games, while anything else can take advantage of the efficient graphics processing on the CPU.
You can assign each application’s graphics processor to a specific Nvidia GeForce graphic chip by opening the Nvidia control panel (normally found in the right-side notification area of the taskbar). Assign the GeForce discrete GPU to your games and photo- and video-editing applications such as Adobe Photoshop and Premiere, and leave the integrated GPU for everything else.
To complete a similar task on a Mac, you will navigate to the same Battery preferences pane mentioned earlier and check the “Automatic graphics switching” option, as shown in the screenshot of macOS Big Sur above. Since you don’t have the same fine-grained control over the individual programs as you do in the GeForce panel, you’ll need to rely on macOS’s judgment when it comes to choosing which app to run with each graphics accelerator.
Reduce The Speaker Volume
Powerful speakers are included in gaming laptops to improve sound quality. Although they produce louder sounds than average laptop speakers, they consume more power because they require more voltage and current.
Because of this, by lowering the volume on your laptop or muting your speakers, you can achieve a good amount of extra battery life. You can also use headphones since they consume less power.
What are the laptops with best battery life?
There is no perfect laptop, so choosing the one with the longest battery life is an objective process. At the moment, the best laptop you can buy with a long battery life is the Dell Latitude 9510, which offers a ridiculous 18 hours and 17 minutes. A good business laptop is the Dell Latitude 9510.
It has a slim but rugged chassis, a crisp 1080p display, and plenty of security features, such as a fingerprint reader and an IR camera.
If you are looking for a 2-in-1 laptop, you should consider the HP Spectre x360. We recorded an overall battery life of 13 hours and 20 minutes. The Spectre x360 is more powerful than its predecessor and features Intel’s 10th Gen processors along with an updated chassis.
A thinner display bezel and a smaller footprint contribute to the laptop’s more stunning design. In addition, it has a bright, vivid display and a comfortable keyboard, as well as fast performance.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro gave us exactly 11 hours of battery life on our test, so if you’re looking for a MacBook with the best battery life, then you’ll have to opt for that model. With the new 16-inch MacBook Pro you get a completely new keyboard, a bigger display with thinner bezels, as well as 8-core Core i9 processor, 8GB of memory, and 8TB of storage. Moreover, the audio system on the 16-inch MacBook Pro is equally impressive as the visuals.
A gaming laptop is quite different from a regular laptop. Gaming laptops do not offer the convenience of taking them anywhere and allowing you to engage in long gaming sessions like ultraportable laptops do. They are built to be left on a desk most of the time.
Since gaming laptops have powerful components that deal with intensive workloads, you should expect so much battery backup from them. They are specially designed to provide better gaming performance.
Throughout this article, we have discussed a few reasons that can affect the battery life of gaming laptops. There are of course a lot more but these are the most common.Nonetheless, you can increase your laptop’s battery life if you follow the right steps..
However, you can extend the life of your laptop’s battery by taking the necessary steps. In addition, I have discussed a couple of tips that could help improve the performance of your laptop’s battery. In addition, a power bank can provide you with longer battery life.
Thank you for joining us here and for learning why gaming laptops have a short battery life.