Imagine you are in the middle of heated gameplay, and your gaming laptop dies. What a bummer! So, it may occur to you why do gaming laptops have low battery life? Different aspects can decrease the battery life of a gaming laptop. Therefore, a low battery life kills the charm of gaming flexibility while on the go.
Gaming laptops have low battery life due to power-intensive parts i.e. CPU and GPU. In addition, high-speed fans and higher frame rates also use the battery much faster than normal laptops. Moreover, gaming laptops have a smaller and slimmer battery to lower weight. However, these are not the only reasons why battery life is low.
Battery life is the trade-off for better graphics and sound quality in gaming laptops. Almost everything is upgraded in gaming laptops compared to normal ones. For instance, most laptops have iGPU but a gaming laptop has an additional graphic card installed in it.
However, a gaming laptop’s battery can last up to 6 hours if doing simple tasks like word processing and browsing the internet. In an ideal situation, it should last the same as gaming, but gaming consumes more power. So, a 3 – 4 hour battery life while gaming is considered good enough.
10 Reasons Why Do Gaming Laptops Have Low Battery Life
At a glance, gaming laptops seem just like any other laptop, but they are built differently. This change in hardware consumes more power as well. You may find a few reasons below why your gaming laptop is giving you a hard time, in case of battery life.
- Dedicated Graphics Card
Normal laptops have a graphic card (iGPU) integrated into the CPU. It is just a video card that is okay for videos and light graphics. So, naturally, it is less expensive and consumes less energy.
On the other hand, gaming laptops perform graphically intensive tasks. This heavy lifting is done by a dedicated graphics card, in addition to iGPU. Graphic cards like Metro Exodus and Modern Far Cry 5 can process complex images with detailed textures with zero lag.
For instance, you can experience virtual reality gaming and 4K Ultra HD videos without any stutter or drop in frame rate. So, dedicated graphic cards are notorious for draining the battery and generating heat.
A dedicated graphics card consumes 15 – 80 W of energy, which is 2X the amount an iGPU consumes. The excessive heat drops battery and so gaming laptops have low battery life.
- High-Speed Processor
Gaming is all about fast actions in split seconds that normal processors struggle to provide. Usually, laptops have an Intel processor of U (ultra-low power) or Y (extremely low power) that consume minimum energy. The focus is more on power efficiency than performance.
However, gaming laptops are focused more on performance. The high-speed processors are lightning-fast for smooth gaming. In addition, Intel K processors like intel core i5 11600K and Intel H (high performance) processors like intel core i7 9400 are usually used in gaming laptops. Such processors are also power-intensive and drain the battery faster than U or Y category processors.
- High Clock Rate
The clock rate is the frequency at which a hard drive is working, processing, and storing information. Gaming laptops tend to have a higher maximum clock rate of 38 GHz that consumes 35 watts of energy. In comparison, the average clock rate of normal laptops is 2.5 GHz which is by far nowhere near gaming laptops.
For smooth gameplay, gaming laptops also have higher clocked RAM starting from 2666 MHz. Also, gaming laptops have 6 to 8 cores for better performance. Due to these features, you can play while live streaming on Twitch or YouTube without worry.
So, all this adds up to increase the TDP (Thermal Design Power) of a laptop that in return increases power usage and heat generation. Low battery life is just a simple outcome.
- Cooling System
Various high-speed fans cool the small chassis of a gaming laptop. Its motherboard is packed with RAM, SSD, and other heat-emitting hardware. So, a usual fan is not enough for piping out all that heat and cooling the laptop interior.
Therefore, 2 to 4 cooling fans are at work in a gaming laptop to increase airflow. They also prevent thermal throttling that can bog down the whole system within minutes.
However, these fans are super fast and eat up the battery like monsters. Sure they cool down the laptop but are taxing on the battery life.
- High Frame Rate
Don’t you just love the crisp images and vivid colors of a gaming laptop? Any other laptop won’t just cut. It is the high frame rate of gaming laptops that make the visuals so interactive.
Split seconds count while gaming, so a higher frame rate keeps up with the second to second shift on the screen—no more squinting to spot the slight movement of a sniper in a game. On the flip side, the CPU has to work faster as well which affects the battery of a laptop.
- RGB Backlit Keyboard
Gaming in dark and low light is preferred these days. So, RGB backlit laptop keyboards are an aesthetic necessity to make things easier for gamers. This feature is hard to find in non-gaming laptops. Although RGB lights consume relatively less power, it still adds to the low battery life of gaming laptops.
Other than this, some gamers have their laptop’s keyboard modified for a crispier sound effect. It may include changes in the wiring that can affect the airflow and overall battery life in the end.
- Loud Speakers
Sound is 50% of a video game and there is no joy in gaming if the sound is crap. To immerse you fully, gaming laptops have better and more sensitive loudspeakers compared to normal laptops.
Gaming loudspeakers have crisp sound effects that cover all sorts of base tones, and loud frequencies. They also muffle any noise if it is too loud. Such nuances in sound are not possible with average speakers. Although gaming speakers are not that power-intensive, they use a tad bit more battery than normal speakers.
- Screen Resolution
In the era of the metaverse, higher display quality is a must. Gaming laptops provide you with this independence with screen resolution and higher refresh rates. More the pixels, the better the experience!
Consider a normal laptop with 1080p and 15.6 inches widescreen. Now, if we compare it to a 1440p HD or 4K (3840 x 2160) gaming laptop with 17.3 inches of screen, the difference is apparent. Given larger and more pixelated screens, gaming laptops use more battery.
- No. of Supporting Devices
Virtual reality is no more a fictitious tale, but very much a part of our life from face filters to gaming. VR headsets can be attached to gaming laptops putting a strain on the battery.
Various other devices like hard disks, mechanical gaming keyboards, and cooling pads can also be attached to a gaming laptop. As the number of attached devices climbs up, so does the strain on the CPU and GPU. Any such device might be the reason for the low battery life of a gaming laptop.
However, you can plug in your laptop and enjoy all the accessories for the best gaming experience. While on the go, you can also detach the devices to extend the battery life.
- Multiple Background Programs
Multitasking might be your gaming laptop’s best feature but not the one for its battery. Multiple background programs increase the load on Windows task manager and use up RAM and processor space.
In addition, having multiple programs at the start menu also bogs down the battery. So, go minimalistic and have only those programs that you need. Otherwise, unnecessary programs will keep draining your gaming laptop’s battery.
Do Gaming Laptops Have a Good Battery Life When Not Gaming
Gaming laptops can do all other laptops can do, but better. For low-power tasks like word processing, or web browsing they can last up to 6 hours on a single charge. You can also use them for video editing.
However, it is recommended to not use it for tasks other than gaming. Why use it for tasks that can be done on any other device? It is better to save the SSD and RAM space for more power-intensive use.
Overall, gaming laptops’ battery life can be considered average. It is because they are not manufactured with the intent of saving power but to provide cutting-edge performance.