Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars 2020

Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars 2020

Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars 2020 – Quick List

  1. Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L Slim Laptop – Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars 2020 (Best Overall)
  2. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 81W0003QUS Laptop – Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars 2020 (Best Lenovo)
  3. ASUS VivoBook 15 Laptop – Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars 2020 (Best Gaming)
  4. Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Convertible Laptop – Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars 2020 (Best Convertible, 2in1)
  5. HP Chromebook Laptop – Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars 2020 (Best HP)

Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars 2020

Welcome to the wtg buying guide for the Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars 2020. If you want the benefits and features of a laptop, and perhaps you have a defined budget of 400 dollars or less… you’re in the right place. We’ve hand-picked a list of the best laptops under 400 dollars that includes: Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars: Best Overall, Best Lenovo Laptop Under 400 Dollars, Best Convertible (2in1) Laptop Under 400 Dollars, and Best HP Laptop Under 400 Dollars.

Now let’s dive into the Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars in-depth list, and decide which laptop will work best for you.

Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars 2020 – In-Depth List

Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L Slim Laptop

Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars 2020 (Best Overall)

Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars – Best Overall

The Acer Aspire 5 is a #1 seller right now for laptops, and if you look at all of it’s features you can see why. It has everything that most people want, including a very attractive price tag. We love the sleek design, vibrant screen, backlit keyboard, and SSD. The large number of purchases and satisfied customers who have left positive reviews says it all.


Lenovo IdeaPad 3 81W0003QUS Laptop

Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars 2020 (Best Lenovo)

Best Lenovo Laptop Under 400 Dollars

The Lenovo IdeaPad is also heavily sought after, and this particular model is very new and was released October 2020. The specs are somewhat higher than the Acer Aspire and can tackle a bit more with increased speed. This Lenovo laptop is great for productivity and streaming content, but it also performs decently on some pc games as well.


ASUS VivoBook 15 Laptop

Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars 2020 (Best Gaming)

Best Gaming Laptop Under 400 Dollars

The ASUS VivoBook 15 is about as good as it gets for a gaming laptop under 400 dollars. It actually has the highest specs of any laptop from this list. It has a vibrant Full HD 15.6 screen to get things started. The 8GB RAM is twice the amount of a standard laptop, and the SSD (solid state drive) hard drive ensures that your boot ups are nice and speedy. It also has two 2.6GHz core processors that can be maxed out at 3.5GHz each. What makes this laptop especially unique is it does not have a generic graphics card, it actually comes with a AMD Radeon Vega 3.

We currently recommend the renewed option which puts it under 400 dollars, and you should have no problems whatsoever. But if you want the new option, it’s available for a little bit more.


Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Convertible Laptop

Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars 2020 (Best Convertible)

Best Convertible (2in1) Laptop Under 400 Dollars

If you want a convertible laptop under 400 dollars that can pretty much do it all, you should take a serious look at the Acer Spin 311. It has four modes including: traditional laptop mode, display mode, tent mode, and tablet mode.

With all these modes this of course means this is a 2 in 1 laptop, it’s a laptop and a tablet with a touchscreen. The screen is even extra durable with Corning Gorilla Glass. The battery life is very good at 10 hrs, but again what really makes this laptop stand out is it’s versatility.


HP Chromebook Laptop

Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars 2020 (Best HP)

Best HP Laptop Under 400 Dollars

If you want a more traditional laptop that has all the conveniences of a chromebook, there is no better brand to turn to then HP. Chromebooks are selling like hot cakes right now because of their ease of use and internet centricity. The price of this HP Chromebook is also incredibly affordable for just about anyone, and is actually currently under 300 dollars.


Related Articles


Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars

desktop replacement computer (DTR) is a personal computer that provides the full capabilities of a desktop computer while remaining mobile.

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They are often larger, bulkier laptops or in some cases 2-in-1 PCs with a tablet-like form factor and interface.

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Because of their increased size, this class of computer usually includes more powerful components. 

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With a larger display than generally used in smaller portable computers and can have a relatively limited battery capacity (or none at all).

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Additionally, some use a limited range of desktop components to provide better performance at the expense of battery life.

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They are called desknotes, a portmanteau of the words “desktop” and “notebook”.

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If you are looking for the best affordable laptop, this is the place to be.

Origins

Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars
Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars

R2E CCMC Portal laptop in September 1980 at the Sicob show in Paris.

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The forerunners of the desktop replacement were the portable computers of the early to mid-1980s.

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For example the Portal R2E CCMC, the Osborne IKaypro II, the Compaq Portable and the Commodore Executive 64 (SX-64) computers.

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 Therefore, these computers contained the CPUdisplayfloppy disk drive and power supply all in a single briefcase-like enclosure.

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Laptops were easily transported and came with an attached keyboard that doubled as a protective cover when not in use.

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Additionally, they could be used wherever space and an electrical outlet were available, as they had no battery.

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The development of the laptop form factor gave new impetus to portable computer development.

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Back then early laptops were feature-limited in the interest of portability, requiring such mobility-limiting accessories as external floppy drives or clip-on trackball pointing devices.

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Additionally, One of the first laptops that could be used as a standalone computer was the EUROCOM 2100.

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It was based on Intel’s 8088 CPU architecture, it duplicated the functionality of the desktop models without requiring an external docking station.

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The development of the modern desktop replacement computer came with the realization that many laptops were used in a semi-permanent location. They were often remained connected to an external power source at all times.

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Additionally, this suggested that a market existed for a laptop-style computer that would take advantage of the user’s reduced need for portability, allowing for higher-performance components, greater expandability, and higher-quality displays.

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Desktop replacement computers are also often used with a port replicator, to full enjoy the desktop comfort.

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Modern desktop replacements generally perform better than traditional laptop-style computers as their size allows the inclusion of more powerful components.

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The larger body means more efficient heat-dissipation, allowing manufacturers to use components that would otherwise overheat during normal use.

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Furthermore, their increased size allows for greater expandability and features, as well as larger and brighter displays.

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However, these advantages generally come at a price premium, with many computers in this class costing as much as two desktop computers with similar specifications.

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Using a laptop form factor, however, desktop replacements still often suffer from limitations similar to those of more mobile laptops.

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They usually lack the ability to accept standard PCIe expansion cards, somewhat limiting their expandability.

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While desktop replacements can offer better cooling than other laptops, they rarely dissipate heat efficiently enough to allow for high-end desktop-class components.

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Therefore they may not reach the same performance levels as desktop computers.

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Desktop replacement computers are difficult to upgrade compared to desktop computers.

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Many of their major components (such as the display) integral to the design of the machine, and others (such as the CPU and GPU) often being hard to access and replace.[5]

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 A small segment of desktop replacements do not include a battery as a standard feature, while some do not include ExpressCard support.

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They have the same limitations on serviceability as laptops, and can rarely use identical components to a desktop computer.

Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars

Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars

Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars

Compaq Armada laptop from the late 1990s

Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars

Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars

Apple MacBook Air, an ultraportable laptop weighing under 3.0 lb (1.36 kg)

Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars

Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars

Lenovo‘s IdeaPad laptop

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Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars

Lenovo’s ThinkPad business laptop, originally an IBM product

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Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars

Acer Aspire laptop

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Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars

Asus Transformer Pad, a hybrid tablet, powered by Android OS

Microsoft Surface Pro 3, 2-in-1 detachable

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Best Laptop Under 400 Dollars

Alienware gaming laptop.

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Panasonic Toughbook CF-M34, a rugged laptop/subnotebook.

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Since the introduction of portable computers during the late 1970s, their form has changed significantly, spawning a variety of visually and technologically differing subclasses.

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However if there is a distinct legal trademark around a term (notably Ultrabook), there are rarely hard distinctions between these classes.

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Their usage has varied over time and between different sources.

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The form of the traditional laptop computer is a clamshell, with a screen on one of its inner sides and a keyboard on the opposite, facing the screen.

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It can be easily folded to conserve space while traveling.

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The screen and keyboard are inaccessible while closed.

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Devices of this form are commonly called a ‘traditional laptop’ or notebook, particularly if they have a screen size of 11 to 17 inches measured diagonally and run a full-featured operating system like WindowsmacOS, or Linux.

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Traditional laptops are the most common form of laptops.

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Although Chromebooks, Ultrabooks, convertibles and 2-in-1s (described below) are becoming more common, with similar performance being achieved in their more portable or affordable forms.

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Main article: Subnotebook

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subnotebook or an ultraportable, is a laptop designed and marketed with an emphasis on portability (small size, low weight, and often longer battery life).

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Subnotebooks are usually smaller and lighter than standard laptops, weighing between 0.8 and 2 kg (2-5 lb),[22] with a battery life exceeding 10 hours. 

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Since the introduction of netbooks and ultrabooks, the line between subnotebooks and either category has blurred.

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Netbooks are a more basic and cheaper type of subnotebook, and while some ultrabooks have a screen size too large to qualify as subnotebooks, certain ultrabooks fit in the subnotebook category.

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One notable example of a subnotebook is the Apple MacBook Air.

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Main article: Netbook

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The netbook is an inexpensive, light-weight, energy-efficient form of laptop, especially suited for wireless communication and Internet access.[24][25]

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Netbooks first became commercially available around 2008.

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Weighing under 1 kg, with a display size of under 9″. Netbooks sold for around $300-$500, whereas some notebook models would sell for $1000 or more.

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This prompted the use of netbooks for education in school systems across the world.[26] 

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The name netbook (with net short for Internet) is used as “the device excels in web-based computing performance”.[27]

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Netbooks were initially sold with light-weight variants of the GNU operating system (with Linux kernel), although later versions often have the Windows XP or Windows 7 operating systems.

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The term “netbook” is largely obsolete,[28] although machines that would have once been called netbooks—small, inexpensive, and low powered—never ceased being sold, in particular the smaller Chromebook models.

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Laptops are perfect for mobile use.

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Additionally, a laptop is great for a compact office. For instance, you may be a college student who lives in an apartment and travels a lot.

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Similarly, individuals who live in a small house. In conclusion, who couldn’t get good use from a laptop?

Convertible, hybrid, 2-in-1

Main article: 2-in-1 PC

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The latest trend of technological convergence in the portable computer industry spawned a broad range of devices, which combined features of several previously separate device types.

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The hybridsconvertibles and 2-in-1s emerged as crossover devices, which share traits of both tablets and laptops. All such devices have a touchscreen display designed to allow users to work in a tablet mode, using either multi-touch gestures or a stylus/digital pen.

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Convertibles are devices with the ability to conceal a hardware keyboard.

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Hybrids have a keyboard detachment mechanism.

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Due to this feature, all critical components are situated in the part with the display.

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2-in-1s can have a hybrid or a convertible form, often dubbed 2-in-1 detachables and 2-in-1 convertibles respectively, but are distinguished by the ability to run a desktop OS, such as Windows 10. 2-in-1s are often marketed as laptop replacement tablets.[29]

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2-in-1s are often very thin, around 10 millimetres (0.39 in), and light devices with a long battery life.

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2-in-1s are designed to be used not only as a media consumption device, but also as valid desktop or laptop replacements.

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Due to their ability to run desktop applications, such as Adobe Photoshop.

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It is possible to connect multiple peripheral devices, such as a mouse, keyboard and a number of external displays to a modern 2-in-1.

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Microsoft  Surface Book is an examples of modern 2-in-1 detachable.

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Whereas Lenovo Yoga-series computers are a variant of 2-in-1 convertibles.

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The older Surface RT and Surface 2 have the same chassis design as the Surface Pro. Similarly, a number of hybrid laptops run a mobile operating system, such as Android.

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These include Asus’s Transformer Pad devices, examples of hybrids with a detachable keyboard design.

Desktop replacement

Main article: Desktop replacement computer See also: Gaming computer § Gaming laptop computers

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Desktop replacements are larger and typically heavier than other classes of laptops.

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They are capable of containing more powerful components and have a 15-inch or larger display.[31]

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Best Laptop Under 400 Dollarss’ operation time on batteries is typically shorter than other laptops; in rare cases they have no battery at all.

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Some laptops in this class used a limited range of desktop components to provide better performance.

Rugged laptop

Main article: Rugged computer

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Rugged laptops are bulkier, heavier, and much more expensive than regular laptops,[33] and thus are seldom seen in regular consumer use.

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It may sometimes include business-oriented features like Trusted Platform Modulefingerprint scannersmart card reader and/or a pointing stick.

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computer monitor is an output device that displays information in pictorial form.

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A monitor usually comprises the display devicecircuitry, casing, and power supply. In addition, the display device in modern monitors is typically a thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) with LED backlighting having replaced cold-cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) backlighting.

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Older monitors used a cathode ray tube (CRT).

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The common aspect ratio of televisions, and computer monitors, has changed from 4:3 to 16:10, to 16:9.

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Modern computer monitors are easily interchangeable with conventional television sets.

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However, as computer monitors do not necessarily include integrated speakers, it may not be possible to use a computer monitor without external components.

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Modern computer monitors are easily interchangeable with conventional television sets.

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However, as computer monitors do not necessarily include integrated speakers, it may not be possible to use a computer monitor without external components.[1]

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Early electronic computers were fitted with a panel of light bulbs where the state of each particular bulb would indicate the on/off state of a particular register bit inside the computer.

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This allowed the engineers operating the computer to monitor the internal state of the machine, so this panel of lights came to be known as the ‘monitor’.

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As early monitors were only capable of displaying a very limited amount of information and were very transient, they were rarely considered for program output.

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Instead, a line printer was the primary output device, while the monitor was limited to keeping track of the program’s operation.[citation needed]

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Either computer could be connected to the antenna terminals of an ordinary color TV set or used with a purpose-made CRT color monitor for optimum resolution and color quality.

Lagging several years behind, in 1981 IBM introduced the Color Graphics Adapter, which could display four colors with a resolution of 320 x 200 pixels, or it could produce 640 x 200 pixels with two colors. In addition, 1984 IBM introduced the Enhanced Graphics Adapter which was capable of producing 16 colors and had a resolution of 640 x 350.[2]

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By the end of the 1980s color CRT monitors that could clearly display 1024 x 768 pixels were widely available and increasingly affordable. During the following decade, maximum display resolutions gradually increased and prices continued to fall. CRT technology remained dominant in the PC monitor market into the new millennium partly because it was cheaper to produce and offered to view angles close to 180 degrees.[3] 

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Best 15.6 Laptop Under $400

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liquid crystal display (LCD) computer monitor

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Best 15.6 Laptop Under $400

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The first standalone LCDs appeared in the mid-1990s selling for high prices. As prices declined over a period of years they became more popular, and by 1997 were competing with CRT monitors. Additionally, among the first desktop LCD computer monitors was the Eizo L66 in the mid-1990s, the Apple Studio Display in 1998, and the Apple Cinema Display in 1999.

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The main advantages of LCDs over CRT displays are that LCDs consume less power, take up much less space, and are considerably lighter. The now common active matrix TFT-LCD technology also has less flickering than CRTs, which reduces eye strain.[5] On the other hand, CRT monitors have superior contrast, have a superior response time, are able to use multiple screen resolutions natively, and there is no discernible flicker if the refresh rate[6] is set to a sufficiently high value.

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Since around the late 2000s, widescreen LCD monitors have become popular, in part due to television seriesmotion pictures and video games transitioning to high-definition (HD), which makes standard-width monitors unable to display them correctly as they either stretch or crop HD content.

These types of monitors may also display it in the proper width, however they usually fill the extra space at the top and bottom of the image with black bars. Other advantages of widescreen monitors over standard-width monitors is that they make work more productive by displaying more of a user’s documents and images, and allow displaying toolbars with documents.

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Main article: Cathode ray tube

The first computer monitors used cathode ray tubes (CRTs).

The display was monochrome and far less sharp and detailed than on a modern flat-panel monitor, necessitating the use of relatively large text and severely limiting the amount of information that could be displayed at one time.

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After that in 1981 IBM introduced the Color Graphics Adapter, which could display four colors with a resolution of 320 x 200 pixels, or it could produce 640 x 200 pixels with two colors. Then in 1984 IBM introduced the Enhanced Graphics Adapter which was capable of producing 16 colors and had a resolution of 640 x 350.

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By the end of the 1980s color CRT monitors that could clearly display 1024 x 768 pixels were widely available and increasingly affordable. During the following decade, maximum display resolutions gradually increased and prices continued to fall. CRT technology remained dominant in the PC monitor market into the new millennium partly because it was cheaper to produce and offered to view angles close to 180 degrees.[3] 

CRTs still offer some image quality advantages[clarification needed] over LCDs but improvements to the latter have made them much less obvious.

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Main articles: Liquid-crystal display and Thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal display

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Throughout the 1990s, the primary use of LCD technology as computer monitors was in laptops where the lower power consumption, lighter weight, and smaller physical size of LCDs justified the higher price versus a CRT.

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Since then they can be seen in just about every home. Additionally college campuses can’t get enough of them. In fact, over 80% of college students use a laptop. In addition, people who travel are often seen using a portable computer.

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TFT-LCD is a variant of LCD.

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The first standalone LCDs appeared in the mid-1990s selling for high prices. As prices declined over a period of years they became more popular, and by 1997 were competing with CRT monitors. Additionally, among the first desktop LCD computer monitors was the Eizo L66 in the mid-1990s, the Apple Studio Display in 1998, and the Apple Cinema Display in 1999.

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In 2003, TFT-LCDs outsold CRTs for the first time, becoming the primary technology used for computer monitors. The main advantages of LCDs over CRT displays are that LCDs consume less power, take up much less space, and are considerably lighter. The now common active matrix TFT-LCD technology also has less flickering than CRTs, which reduces eye strain.[5] 

Additionally, CRT monitors have superior contrast, have a superior response time, are able to use multiple screen resolutions natively, and there is no discernible flicker if the refresh rate is set to a sufficiently high value. LCD monitors have very high temporal accuracy.

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Since around the late 2000s, widescreen LCD monitors have become popular, in part due to television seriesmotion pictures and video games transitioning to high-definition (HD), which makes standard-width monitors unable to display them correctly as they either stretch or crop HD content.

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These types of monitors may also display it in the proper width, however they usually fill the extra space at the top and bottom of the image with black bars. Additionally, other advantages of widescreen monitors over standard-width monitors is that they make work more productive.

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Best 15.6 Laptop Under $400

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According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first known use of the word “computer” was in 1613 in a book called The Yong Mans Gleanings by English writer Richard Braithwait: “I haue [sic] read the truest computer of Times, and the best Arithmetician that euer [sic] breathed, and he reduceth thy dayes into a short number.” Therefore, this usage of the term referred to a human computer, a person who carried out calculations or computations. The word continued with the same meaning until the middle of the 20th century.

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The Online Etymology Dictionary gives the first attested use of “computer” in the 1640s, meaning “one who calculates”; this is an “agent noun from compute (v.)”. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the use of the term to mean “‘calculating machine’ (of any type) is from 1897.” Additionally, the Online Etymology Dictionary indicates that the “modern use” of the term, to mean “programmable digital electronic computer” dates from “1945 under this name; [in a] theoretical [sense] from 1937, as Turing machine“.[3]

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best touchscreen laptop under 400

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best touchscreen laptop under 400
best touchscreen laptop under 400

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The Antikythera mechanism is the earliest mechanical analog “computer”. Devices of a level of complexity comparable to that of the Antikythera mechanism would not reappear until a thousand years later.

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The planimeter was a manual instrument to calculate the area of a closed figure by tracing over it with a mechanical linkage.

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best touchscreen laptop under 400

best desktop replacement 2020

    Main article: Analog computer

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Best 15.6 Laptop Under $400

Best 15.6 Laptop Under $400

Best 15.6 Laptop Under $400
Best 15.6 Laptop Under $400

In the US, John Vincent Atanasoff and Clifford E. Berry of Iowa State University developed and tested the Atanasoff–Berry Computer (ABC) in 1942,[28] the first “automatic electronic digital computer”.

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Best 15.6 Laptop Under $400
Best 15.6 Laptop Under $400

Best 15.6 Laptop Under $400

Concept of modern computer

The principle of the modern computer was proposed by Alan Turing in his seminal 1936 paper,[41] On Computable Numbers. Turing proposed a simple device that he called “Universal Computing machine”. A laptop is great for portability. Additionally, a laptop is great for travel and compact spaces. Therefore if you live in a small house, then you should purchase a laptop.

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Main article: Stored-program computer

Portable computer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

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It’s called PDA

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Best Laptop Under $400

The Compaq Portable, one of the first portable IBM PC compatible systems

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Best Laptop Under $400

A military-type mobile computer housed in a reinforced case

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Best Laptop Under $400

A portable computer with three LCD screens

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Best Laptop Under $400

A portable computer with one 20.1-inch LCD screen, EATX motherboard

Best Laptop Under $400
Best Laptop Under $400

The MIT Suitcase Computer, MIT Digital Systems Laboratory, 1975.

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portable computer is a computer designed to be easily[1] moved from one place to another and included a display and keyboard. The first commercially sold portable was the 50-pound (23 kg) IBM 5100, introduced 1975. The next major portables were Osborne‘s 24-pound (11 kg) CP/M-based Osborne 1 (1981) and Compaq‘s 28-pound (13 kg) 100% IBM PC compatible Compaq Portable (1983). These “luggable” computers lacked the next technological development, not requiring an external power source;[2] that feature was introduced by the laptop.[3][2] Laptops were followed by lighter models, so that in the 2000s mobile devices and by 2007 smartphones made the term almost meaningless. The 2010s introduced wearable computers such as smartwatches.[4]

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Portable computers, by their nature, are generally microcomputers.[5] Larger portable computers were commonly known as ‘Lunchbox’ or ‘Luggable’ computers. They are also called ‘Portable Workstations’ or ‘Portable PCs’. In Japan they were often called ‘Bentocom’. (ベントコンBentokon) from “bento“.

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Portable computers, more narrowly defined, are distinct from desktop replacement computers in that they usually were constructed from full-specification desktop components, and often do not incorporate features associated with laptops or mobile devices. A portable computer in this usage, versus a laptop or other mobile computing device, have a standard motherboard or backplane providing plug-in slots for add-in cards. This allows mission specific cards such as test, A/D, or communication protocol (IEEE-488, 1553) to be installed. Portable computers also provide for more disk storage by using standard disk drives and provide for multiple drives.

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SCAMP

In 1973, the IBM Palo Alto Scientific Center developed a portable computer prototype called SCAMP (Special Computer APL Machine Portable) based on the IBM PALM processor with a Philips compact cassette drive, small CRT and full function keyboard. SCAMP emulated an IBM 1130 minicomputer in order to run APL\1130.[6] In 1973, APL was generally available only on mainframe computers, and most desktop sized microcomputers such as the Wang 2200 or HP 9800 offered only BASIC. Because SCAMP was the first to emulate APL\1130 performance on a portable, single user computer, PC Magazine in 1983 designated SCAMP a “revolutionary concept” and “the world’s first personal computer”.[7][8] The engineering prototype is in the Smithsonian Institution.

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Successful demonstrations of the 1973 SCAMP prototype led to the first commercial IBM 5100 portable microcomputer launched in 1975. The product incorporated an IBM PALM processor, 5-inch (130 mm) CRT, full function keyboard and the ability to be programmed in both APL and BASIC for engineers, analysts, statisticians and other business problem-solvers. (IBM provided different models of the 5100 supporting only BASIC, only APL, or both selectable by a physical switch on the front panel.)[9][10] 

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IBM referred to its PALM processor as a microprocessor, though they used that term to mean a processor that executes microcode to implement a higher-level instruction set, rather than its conventional definition of a complete processor on a single silicon integrated circuit; the PALM processor was a large circuit board populated with over a dozen chips. In the late 1960s, such a machine would have been nearly as large as two desks and would have weighed about half a ton (0.45 t). In comparison, the IBM 5100 weighed about 53 pounds (24 kg and very portable for that time).[11]

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The MIT Suitcase Computer, constructed in 1975, was the first known microprocessor-based portable computer. It was based on the Motorola 6800. Constructed in a Samsonite suitcase approximately 20 by 30 by 8 inches (510 mm × 760 mm × 200 mm) and weighing approximately 20 lb (9.1 kg), it had 4K of SRAM, a serial port to accept downloaded software and connect to a modem, a keyboard and a 40-column thermal printer taken from a cash register. Built by student David Emberson in the MIT Digital Systems Laboratory as a thesis project, it never entered production. It is currently in the collection of Dr. Hoo-Min D. Toong.[citation needed]

Xerox NoteTaker

Xerox NoteTaker, developed in 1976 at Xerox PARC, was a precursor to later portable computers from Osborne Computer Corporation and Compaq, though it remained a prototype and did not enter production.

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An early portable computer was manufactured in 1979 by GM Research,[12] a small company in Santa Monica, California. The machine which was designed and patented by James Murez. It was called the Micro Star and later changed the name to The Small One. Although Xerox claims to have designed the first such system, the machine by Murez predated anything on the market or that had been documented in any publication at the time – hence the patent was issued.

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As early as 1979, the U.S. Government was contracting to purchase these machines. Other major customers included Sandia Labs, General Dynamics, BBN (featured on the cover of their annual report in 1980 as the C.A.T. system) and several dozen private individuals and companies around the world. In 1979, Adam Osborne viewed the machine along with several hundred other visitors at the first computer show that was sponsored by the IEEE Westec in Los Angeles. Later that year the machine was also shown at the first COMDEX show.

Portal R2E CCMC

R2E CCMC Portal laptop in September 1980 at the SICOB show in PARIS.

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The portable micro computer the “Portal” of the French company R2E Micral CCMC officially appeared in September 1980 at the Sicob show in Paris. The Portal was a portable microcomputer designed and marketed by the studies and developments department of the French firm R2E Micral in 1980 at the request of the company CCMC specializing in payroll and accounting.

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The Portal was based on an intel 8085 processor, 8-bit, clocked at 2 MHz. It was equipped with a central 64 KB RAM, a keyboard with 58 alpha numeric keys and 11 numeric keys (separate blocks), a 32-character screen, a floppy disk: capacity = 140 000 characters, of a thermal printer: speed = 28 characters / sec, an asynchronous channel, a synchronous channel, a 220 V power supply.

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Designed for an operating temperature of 15–35 °C (59–95 °F), it weighed 12 kilograms (26 lb) and its dimensions were 45 cm × 45 cm × 15 cm (17.7 in × 17.7 in × 5.9 in). It provided total mobility. Its operating system was Prolog. A few hundred were sold between 1980 and 1983.

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The first mass-produced microprocessor-based portable computer released in 1981 was the Osborne 1, developed by Osborne, which owed much to the NoteTaker’s design. The company had early success with the design and went public but later due to small screen sizes and other devices being released found trouble selling the Osborne.

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The Grid Compass ran its own operating system, GRiD-OS. Its specialized software and high price (US$8,000–$10,000) meant that it was limited to specialized applications. The main buyer was the U.S. government. NASA used it on the Space Shuttle during the early 1980s, as it was powerful, lightweight, and compact. The military Special Forces also purchased the machine, as it could be used by paratroopers in combat.[13]

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Another early portable computer released in 1982 was the Kaypro.

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In January 1983, the first IBM PC compatible portable computer (and the first 100% IBM PC compatible, or “clone,” of any kind) was the Compaq Portable.

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The first full-color portable computer was the Commodore SX-64 in January 1984.

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Apple Inc. introduced and released the Macintosh Portable in 1989, though this device came with a battery, it’s weight caused many at the time to consider this a “luggable” rather than a true laptop.

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Portable computers have been increasing in popularity over the past decade,[citation needed][when?] as they do not restrict the user’s mobility as a desktop computer does, and do not restrict the computer power and storage available as a laptop computer does. Wireless access to the Internet, extended battery life, and more elaborate cases permitting multiple screens and even significant RAID capacity, have contributed.

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References

  1. ^ as contrasted with DYSEAC and MOBIDIC, 1950s era military systems which were Truck-based/”movable by truck”
  2. Jump up to:a b Shanna Freeman. “What was the first portable computer?”.
  3. ^ “and plug in instead of relying on battery power.”
  4. ^ Petre, Reza Rawassizadeh, Blaine A Price, Marian. “Wearables: Has the Age of Smartwatches Finally Arrived? | January 2015 | Communications of the ACM”cacm.acm.org. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
  5. ^ “What is a Portable Computer? | ACME Portable Machines”. Acmeportable.com. 2014-05-23. Archived from the original on 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2014-07-22.
  6. ^ Freeman, Shanna (2012-09-19). “HowStuffWorks “What was the first portable computer?. Computer.howstuffworks.com. Retrieved 2014-07-22.
  7. ^ PC Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 6, November 1983, ‘’SCAMP: The Missing Like in the PC’s Past?‘’
  8. ^ “IBM Archives: IBM 5100 Portable Computer”. 03.ibm.com. Retrieved 2014-07-22.
  9. ^ This author learned this from an original IBM document for operators of the 5100 but does not recall the title of the document.
  10. ^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2007-11-26. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  11. ^ “Industrial Portable Computers”. Advantech. Retrieved 2014-07-22.
  12. ^ “Computer History Museum”. Archived from the original on 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
  13. ^ didyouknowwebsite (2020-06-14). “The Space Age Best Inventions We use Today”Did You Know?. Retrieved 2020-06-14.

Gaming computer

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A dedicated gaming-PC rig

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gaming computer, also known as a gaming PC or gaming rig, is a personal computer designed for playing video games that require a high amount of computing power. A modern gaming computer is comparable to a mainstream computer with the addition of performance-oriented components, such as high-performance video cards and high core-count central processing units, that sacrifice power efficiency for raw performance.

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Gaming computers are often associated with enthusiast computing due to an overlap in interests; however, while a gaming computer is built to achieve performance for actual gameplay, enthusiast PCs are built to maximize performance, using games as a real application benchmark. Whereas enthusiast PCs are high-end by definition, gaming PCs can be subdivided into low-end, mid-range, and high-end markets. Video card manufacturers earn the bulk of their revenue from their low-end and mid-range offerings. Gaming PCs are often also suitable for other intensive tasks, like video editing.[1]

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Because of the large variety of parts that can go into a computer built to play video games, gaming computers are frequently custom-assembled, rather than pre-assembled, either by gaming and hardware enthusiasts or by companies that specialize in producing custom gaming machines.

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Historically, gaming computers had several distinct hardware components that set them apart from a typical PC. The push for better graphics began with color fidelity, from display systems such as CGA eventually graduating to VGA, which was adopted for the mass market. Gaming also led the push for the adoption of sound cards, a component that is now commonly integrated onto motherboards.

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In the 1980s, several non-IBM PC compatible platforms gained a measure of popularity due to advanced graphics and sound capabilities, starting with the Atari 400/800 and the TI 99/4, and then continuing with others such as the Commodore 64 and eventually the AmigaVideo game developers of the time targeted these platforms for their games, though typically they would later port their games to the more common PC and Apple platforms as well.

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The MSX was also popular in Japan, where it preceded the video game console revolution.[2] Japan also had several other popular gaming computers during the 1980s to early 1990s, including the very popular PC-88 and PC-98 as well as the powerful X68000 and FM Towns.[3]

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By 1993, PC-compatibles were the standard for gaming in the US. Computer Gaming World stated in January:[4]

We think it would be a mistake to get anything less than a 386 clone with, at least a clock speed of 33 MHz. If possible, get a 486 clone at a faster speed. Get four megabytes of RAM and at least 100 MB on your hard disk. If you’ve never dealt with a C> prompt before, do yourself a favor and put Windows on the machine as your primary interface. If you’re comfortable with the same DOS that you see on your friends’ machines, go with DOS 5.0. Get a mouse, if you can afford it, and a sound card that is either AdLib or Soundblaster compatible. If you do win the lottery, throw in a CD-ROM, too. That’s the basic game machine for today’s games.

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In September, the magazine replied to a reader asking for “the current ‘486’ desktop dream machine for playing computer games”:[5]

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486 66MHz DX/2 motherboard (VESA Local Bus) EISA

256K Cache RAM on motherboard

AMI BIOS (upgradable with disk)

8-16 Megabytes of 70ns or faster RAM

VESA compatible Local bus Video card with S3 (or other co-processors).

250 megabyte and up, SCSI 2 Hard Drive.

SCSI 2 host adapter with cache memory.

MPC Level 2 CD-ROM.

SoundBlaster 16 ASP w/ Roland Sound Canvas SC-7 module.

Full Thrustmaster Mark II WCS/FCS and Rudder pedals.

20″ and up CAD monitor

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Falcon Northwest began advertising in Computer Gaming World in 1993, claiming that the “Falcon MACH series are the first personal computers designed especially for the serious gamer in mind”.[6] Computer Gaming World reiterated in 1994, “we have to advise readers who want a machine that will play most of the games to purchase high-end MS-DOS machines”.[7] The magazine reported in August that the 80486DX at 33 MHz was the “minimum machine for the rest of 1994”.[8]

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LAN parties helped to promote the use of network cards and routers among consumers. This equipment is now commonly used by non-gamers with broadband Internet access to share the connection with multiple computers in the home. Like sound cards, network adapters are now commonly integrated onto motherboards.

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In modern times, the primary difference between a gaming computer and a comparable mainstream PC is the inclusion of a performance-oriented video card, which hosts a graphics processor and dedicated memory. These are generally a requirement to play modern games on the market.

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Forays into physics processing have also been made, though with Nvidia‘s buyout of PhysX[9] and Intel‘s buyout of Havok,[10] plans are that this functionality will be combined with existing CPU or GPU technologies.

Custom-built gaming computers

By 2012, it had become increasingly popular for gamers to custom-build their own PC, allowing for more budget control and easier upgradability.[11] There are several components that must be considered when building a gaming computer, which include CPUsmemory, a motherboardvideo cardssolid-state drivespower supplies, and cases.[12]

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When building a custom-built gaming PC, builders usually turn to independent benchmarks to help make their hardware selection. Organizations such as AnandTech and Tom’s Hardware Guide provide such benchmarks and hardware reviews. The benchmarks include ratings for PC components that are necessary to build a gaming computer. It is also crucial to consider computer cooling, as this is required to remove the waste heat produced by a computer’s components.

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video card (commonly referred to as a GPU) is an essential part to any gaming computer, and connects to a motherboard using the Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCI Express or PCI-E). There are two major manufacturers of GPUs for a gaming computer, AMD and NVIDIA.[13] 

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These companies provide GPUs which other companies, such as MSI and ASUS, then design circuit boards and cooling shrouds for.[13] Most video cards cost between $200 and $2,000. Modern consumer-grade CPUs often have on-die integrated GPUs; however, these GPUs typically do not provide the adequate performance for playing graphics-intensive games, and are instead aimed primarily for less demanding workloads such as graphical user interface rendering for “everyday” tasks, video playback, and light gaming.

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A major component of a gaming computer is the CPU (central processing unit), or simply processor. There are two major brands that manufacture CPUs, AMD and Intel.[14] As of 2020, most gaming computers are built with Intel’s Comet Lake or AMD’s Zen 2 CPUs.[14] While a powerful CPU is important to avoid bottlenecks, after a certain level of CPU power, diminishing returns become evident if the PC is not being used for other, more CPU-intensive purposes.[14]

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Motherboards that are designed for gaming computers are differentiated from their normal counterparts by being created with case windows in mind; having more visually appealing designs, sturdier materials, and, in some models, built-in LED lighting.[15] They also have the capability to overclock certain models of CPUs, and an increased number of various connection ports.[15]

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Random-access memory (RAM) is one of the most important components for a gaming computer. Computers designed for playing games often are supplied with a high amount of RAM. Most gaming PCs have at least 8 GB of RAM.[16] While 16 GB of RAM is often considered a sweet spot for gaming, 32 GB of RAM is increasingly used for future-proofing.[16]

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DDR (double data rate) memory is essential for any computer system. Adding more memory allows the CPU to address more data for it to quickly access instead of reading off a comparatively slow disk drive or solid-state storage deviceDDR SDRAM also has much lower latency than its GDDR counterpart and much lower bandwidth as the CPU relies on being able to change small amounts of data quickly. The latest standard of DDR memory is DDR4.

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GDDR (graphical double data rate) memory is a type of memory required for the operation of any PCIe graphics card and is built directly onto the card itself. The amount of RAM built onto a graphics card allows the GPU to quickly access data such as textures instead of reading from a much slower storage device. Having more GDDR memory allows the system to handle higher levels of spatial anti-aliasing and more complex textures. GDDR memory has a much higher latency when compared to DDR memory but also has a much larger bandwidth, thus allowing the GPU to deal with larger amounts of data at a slower rate when compared to a CPU. The latest revision of GDDR memory is GDDR6.

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HBM is a type of memory required for the operation of any PCIe graphics card, and is placed directly beside the GPU itself on the graphics card. This is different from standard GDDR as standard GDDR memory sits on the PCB of the graphics card. The main advantages of having the memory mounted so close to the GPU itself are as follows; reduced latency due to signals traveling a shorter distance, more bandwidth due to more space for data lanes, and decreased power consumption due to inherent differences to GDDR on the microscopic level. The latest revision of HBM is HBM2.

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Solid-state drives (SSD) are a newer form of data storage that is gaining in popularity. The more common and traditional hard disk drive (HDD) is still the more widely used, but many gaming enthusiasts are turning to SSDs in favor of the advantages they offer over HDDs.

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Unlike HDDs, SSDs have no moving mechanical parts, meaning they are less susceptible to shock and also run silently. SSDs also offer faster access time, as HDDs require time in order for the moving parts to speed up to operating specifications. An SSD can be 4 or 5 times faster than a traditional HDD. For an SSD, files open almost instantly.[17] This means with an SSD, booting up a system and launching programs take less time.[18] SSDs will increase the performance of a system by how often the game accesses the drive in order to load items from the game such as level files and texture images.[19] However, SSDs cost much more than HDDs do per gigabyte, meaning in terms of pure capacity, they are not as cost-effective. They also currently offer a lower common maximum capacity than HDDs. Thus, it is common for a gaming computer to have an SSD for the operating system, applications and frequently used files, and one or more hard disk drives for larger, rarely-used files.

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Although occasionally overlooked, the power supply unit (PSU) is still an important component to consider. The wattage needed to run a system is dependent on the hardware, so often a PSU calculator is used to determine the wattage needed.[20] In addition, future upgrades to a gaming rig will possibly require more power, and PSUs lose power as they age, so it is often a good idea to buy a PSU that has the capability of lasting through several years and upgrades. The PSU must also be compatible with the other hardware pieces.

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There are two types of PSUs, modular PSUs (MPSU) and non-modular PSUs. Non-modular PSUs come with fixed cables, meaning unused ones will be left unconnected. Modular power supplies have cables that are detachable so unused cables do not create excess clutter but are often more expensive than their non-modular counterparts.[21] Both fulfill the same purpose, but often Modular PSUs are preferred because they allow for better cable management, as they remove the issue of unused cable clutter that non-modular PSUs often have.[22] Semi-modular power supplies come with only the necessary cables fixed, while cables that are not necessarily needed are able to be detached.[21]

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Many gamers and computer enthusiasts choose to overclock their CPU(s) and GPU(s) in order to gain extra performance. The added power draw needed to overclock either processing unit often requires additional cooling to what the original equipment manufacturer shipped their product with, most notably in the case of CPUs.

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Two types of mainstream cooling exist, air cooling and water cooling. Air cooling,[23] the more common of the two, uses a heat sink often in conjunction with fans, heat pipes and/or vapor chambers to move heat away from the component and dissipate it into the air. Water cooling is somewhat more complex, it makes use of water blocks, radiators, pumps, tubing and optionally a reservoir.

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Water removes heat by running water through a block affixed to the component and then allowing the water time in the radiator in order to cool off. Fans are often used to increase a radiator’s rate of heat dissipation. Watercooling is available as either a ready-to-use system (aio coolers) or as kits that need to be assembled and can be customized for expanding cooling capacity, cooling additional components or for aesthetic reasons.[24]

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Choosing a computer case involves several considerations. For one, there is a large range of sizes. A larger gaming tower will allow for future upgrades and more movement. The case must also be compatible with the motherboard’s form factor.

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Because games are oftentimes demanding on a system, one of the most important factors of choosing a case is cooling. In order to avoid the risk of overheating hardware, a computer case with good airflow and a quality fan will go a long way in ensuring proper cooling.[25] Other additional features such as fan speed controllers, filters for dust management, and clear side panels are all useful as well. Custom-building allows a builder to personalize their case if they so desire for aesthetic purposes. There are many designs for computer cases so the builder can choose to their liking.

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Pre-built gaming computer showing the case lighting used for the rig.

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While custom-built PCs tend to be more advanced and powerful, some choose to go with pre-built or custom-built gaming PCs. These PCs can often be more expensive than building one’s own, with higher premiums attached to high-end brands with varying levels of customer service.

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Different companies offer varying degrees of customization. While established gaming computers such as Alienware or CyberPowerPC offer unique case designs and little customization from the user prior to purchase, other smaller firms allow a greater degree of customization and better value-for-money, often to the same extent as if the user were to build the computer themselves.

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There are, however, drawbacks to building one’s own computer. Assembling a computer means being personally responsible for any problems that may arise, both during the assembly phase, and after it is in regular use. Instead of using a single technical support hotline to cover the entire system, often one will have to deal with individual component manufacturers.

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Due to the wide inconsistencies in after-purchase support from component manufacturers, trying to get support can be a daunting task. Customer support is a major reason why even extreme gaming enthusiasts may look to a system integrator for their custom PC builds.

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There are many positive aspects in choosing to build one’s own system, such as no longer being tied to specific configurations. Pricing on individual components is often better and thus can save quite a lot of money on a comparable pre-built system. Warranties are often included with the price of each individual piece of hardware when building a PC, whereas a prebuilt PC’s warranty may cost an additional fee or maybe as little as 1 or 2 years for the entire system. Those who choose to build their own PC often seek help from an online community or forum in the absence of a consumer helpline.[26]

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One major drawback of buying a prebuilt gaming PC aside from the extra cost is that they are often built with a very powerful CPU, but with a relatively weak graphics card.

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This results in a “gaming” PC that performs poorly in gaming for the price paid. Most games today do not benefit much from having a very powerful CPU with more than 4 CPU cores and hyper-threading,[27] but benefits greatly with a more powerful graphics card.

Gaming laptop computers

Gaming laptops such as MSIAcerAsus are the mobile equivalent of gaming desktops and are usually more expensive than their desktop counterparts. Currently, most gaming laptops like MSIAcerAsus feature more power-efficient versions of high-end desktop graphics cards, which nevertheless still significantly drain the battery, and necessitate more advanced systems.

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One recent development by Nvidia is SLI for laptops. Generally, gaming laptops are not considered “rigs” as the term can also refer to the physical size of the system. Modern gaming laptops can achieve respectable game performance, but never quite match desktops in a class to class comparison, and most do not feature upgradeable graphics cards.

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Due to the relatively small size that the hardware has to fit in, cooling the heat-intensive components is a major problem affecting the performance of such laptops, usually causing degraded value for money performance-wise. Attempts at using the same performance hardware as desktops usually end in a decreased clock frequency of graphics chips to reduce heat, causing the poor value for money.

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The introduction of the Nvidia GTX 900M series of mobile GPUs in late 2014 represented a significant advancement from the previous 800M series, lessening the gap with desktop systems and making gaming laptops a more viable alternative to desktop PCs.

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A newer approach in the gaming PC industry is to create small form factor desktops, which are more compact and easier to transport than a normal full-sized system.

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  1. ^ D., Pablo (2008-10-11). “GPU battle: 4670 vs. 9600GSO”Gameplanet. Archived from the original on 2010-11-20. Retrieved 2011-01-21.
  2. ^ “10 Most Popular Computers in History”How Stuff Works. Discovery. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  3. ^ “Retro Japanese Computers: Gaming’s Final Frontier”. Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 2016-03-28.
  4. ^ “Letters”Computer Gaming World. January 1993. p. 116. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  5. ^ “Letters from Paradise”Computer Gaming World. September 1993. p. 72. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  6. ^ “You Can Outfly This Guy….But Can Your Computer?”Computer Gaming World (advertisement). July 1993. p. 27. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  7. ^ “Sound Philosophy”. Letters from Paradise. Computer Gaming World. January 1994. pp. 120, 122.
  8. ^ Weksler, Mike (August 1994). “Talk Shop With A Tech Jock”. Under the Hood. Computer Gaming World. p. 148.
  9. ^ “NVIDIA completes Acquisition of AGEIA Technologies”. Nvidia Corporation. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  10. ^ “Intel wreaks Havok for $110M”Gamespot.com. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  11. ^ “Dell Drop Kicks Proprietary Parts”. PCWorld. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
  12. ^ “Building your own gaming PC is incredibly rewarding — here’s what you’ll need”Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  13. Jump up to:a b “The best graphics card”pcgamer. Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  14. Jump up to:a b c “The best PC gaming processor”pcgamer. Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  15. Jump up to:a b “The best gaming motherboards”pcgamer. Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  16. Jump up to:a b Moore, Bo (2017-02-26). “How much RAM do you really need for gaming?”PC Gamer. Retrieved 2020-10-03.
  17. ^ “SSD Drive vs Hard Drive”. Gaming Laptop. Archived from the original on 2015-02-22. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  18. ^ Santo, Joel (2013-05-20). “Advantages/Disadvantages – SSD vs HDD: What’s the Difference?”. PCMag.com. Retrieved 2014-02-01.
  19. ^ “Computer memory articles for SSD-BOOSTS-GAMING-SYSTEM from”. Crucial.com. Archived from the original on 2014-02-03. Retrieved 2014-02-01.
  20. ^ “How to Buy a Power Supply: 7 Steps (with Pictures)”. wikiHow. 2012-06-11. Retrieved 2014-02-01.
  21. Jump up to:a b “Full Vs Semi Vs Non Modular. What Are The Differences?”NZXT Support Center. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  22. ^ “The Modular PSU and the Modern Gaming Rig – A Replacement Tale”. Gamingupdate.com. Retrieved 2014-02-01.
  23. ^ Acosta, Jeremy. “Air Cooling Vs Liquid Cooling”Games and Gears Elite. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  24. ^ Lloyd, Chris. “How do CPU coolers work?”techradar. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  25. ^ “Picking the Best Gaming PC Case | Gamers Nexus – Gaming PC Builds & Hardware Benchmarks”. Gamers Nexus. 2012-06-16. Retrieved 2014-02-01.
  26. ^ Build Your Own PC. PCMech. Retrieved on 2012-06-11.
  27. ^ CPU Cores for Gaming: How many do you need? – Q1 2015 Update

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