Gaming and Power Users now have a lot of options in regard to portable laptops. The biggest difference in these regards to these 2 type of users is the inclusion of a high end discrete graphics chips. When referring to PC a discrete graphics card means the computer has a chip or card that is specifically designed to process graphics as opposed to a graphics solution embedded in the cpu like AMD APUs, or Intel’s HD graphics. There are some processor that integrate “discrete” GPU but they usually aren’t suitable to high end gaming or programs that heavily use gpu processing. That being said there are solutions that lie in between both use cases with lower TDP discrete graphics options. TDP is referring to Thermal Design Power/Point which is essentially the amount of cooling you need to run the chips optimally.
High end graphic solutions of often require large heat pipes/sink and larger fans to perform well. Often adding 1-3 lbs to a laptops total weight. We often see these high end gaming laptops weight in around 5-8 lbs. For example and Gigabyte Aorus X9 GT sports a i9-8950HK and a GTX 1080 and a 17.3” screen and it weighs in around 8 lbs. Similarly a Acer predator with a i7-7700HQ and a GTX 1080 weigh in at 5.29 lbs, and a 15.6” screen. The main difference between these two besides the cpus are the screen sizes. Larger screens need more battery capacity to run around the same time.
All in all i find 7lbs to be even a little on the heavy side for carrying around, often they come with very large power bricks that tip the scales into too heavy. But on the extreme side of gaming laptops you can find SLI GTX 1080s in laptops, but these laptops push the weigh and noise envelope of laptops. SLI is a configuration of laptops that utilizes 2 identical GPUs that render in unison theoretically doubling the graphic rendering power of a system. For example the MSI GT83 Titan with a core i7 8th gen 8850H and 2x Nvidia 1080 is SLI configuration weighs in around 12.13 Lbs sports a 18.4” inch screen and costs $4,699.00. Unfortunately i don’t have 5000$ lying around to buy this obscene machine. But it requires 2x 330 watt power adapters weighing in at 3 Lbs each. So if you’re going to go this route expect to carry around 19 lbs just for this machine.
In regard to naming schemes in laptop processors 7th gen intel product have suffix at the end of them to denote special features of each. The HQ stands for high performance graphics, quad core, HK stand for high performance graphics, and an unlock overclockable chip. There are also U designation for Ultra-Low power, and Y for extremely low power. Most gamers and power users are going to go for the H variants of the chips as the U,Y are clocked at lower speeds to save power.
But there does seem to be some interesting products that will allow you to do both lightweight computing and gaming with some caveats i’ll go into more of that next time.