When is the best time to buy a gaming laptop?
Laptop Questions

When Is The Best Time To Buy A Gaming Laptop?

Is it worth waiting for new gaming laptops to come out, or should you just buy now? Let’s discuss when the best time to buy a new gaming laptop is!

If you need something now, you’re usually pretty safe to buy now. The key exception is if there is known to be new technology extremely close to launch, then it’s likely worth waiting, let’s dive into the details!

This is a general guide which aims to be applicable at any time and isn’t specifically based on the current date.

Wait for new hardware?

Waiting for new hardware to release is probably one of the most common reasons for holding off on buying a new gaming laptop. It’s a fair reason on the surface, you want to make sure you get the best level of performance for your money.

For the last few years, there have been major releases from Nvidia, AMD, and Intel about once a year. These cycles come and go. For laptops, recently products from different companies have actually tended to launch closer together.

An example of this is the AMD 4000 series CPUs launching Q1 2020, and the rumors of Intel 10th gen CPUs and Nvidia Super graphics for laptops coming out around the same time. There’s an important reason these won’t launch too far apart that is worth understanding.

Story time…

I spoke to a laptop manufacturer at CES 2020, who mentioned it’s in their own best interest for AMD/Intel/Nvidia to launch new parts at around the same time. It was implied to me that lately those companies have played better with regards to laptop component release schedules. Those companies (AMD/Intel/Nvidia) may not like it, but the fact is laptops make use of multiple components from a wide range of different companies.

Laptop manufacturers want to avoid being in the weird position of selling a product with next gen graphics but an older CPU that’s just a couple of months from being updated.

We kind of saw this last year in 2019, when the Nvidia GTX 16 series laptop graphics launched very closely with the Intel 9th gen processors. This resulted in there being pretty much no gaming laptops with 8th gen CPUs and the new 16 series Nvidia graphics, or 9th gen processors with 10 series Nvidia graphics (GTX 1050 excluded which is still part of the current lineup).

From the perspective of the laptop vendor, it would really suck to have to do that. You’d have a 8th gen laptop with new GPU on the market, then what, just a few short months later people stop buying it when the 9th gen model is out?

With that knowledge, you can probably expect major CPU/GPU changes for laptops to happen at least somewhat close to each other. This was the case last year, hopefully it continues.

How long to wait?

This is a tough question to answer. Without inside information, the best you can do is try and get a rough general feeling based on rumors and how long it’s been since the last hardware release. If you’ve been planning to buy a new gaming laptop for a while, chances are you may have been following this news.

If not, it might be possible to get a rough estimate based on historical trends. The following tables offer an example of when previous popular laptop components were released:

DateCPU
September 2015i7-6700HQ/i7-6820HK
January 2017i7-7700HQ/i7-7820HK
April 2018i7-8750H/i9-8950HK
January 2019Ryzen 5 3550H/Ryzen 7 3750H
April 2019i7-9750H/i9-9980HK
DateGPU
October 2014GTX 970M/980M
March 2015GTX 950M/960M
August 2016GTX 1060/1070/1080
January 2017GTX 1050/1050 Ti
May 2017GTX 1060 Max-Q/1070 Max-Q/1080 Max-Q
January 2019RTX 2060/2070/2080
April 2019GTX 1650/1660 Ti
October 2019RX 5500M

This shows how laptop CPU and GPU releases have varied in the past. While the past is not indicative of the future, generally there’s new laptop parts launched every year or so. Whether or not these are worthy improvements over the previous generation is a different conversation.

You don’t have to buy new! Save money buying “last gen”

Just because new hardware may be releasing soon, doesn’t mean you have to buy it. Chances are that what will become last gen when the new hardware launches will probably still work just fine. It’s quite rare for you to need to upgrade an entire laptop after just one hardware jump. This is generally not recommended as it’s an expensive upgrade path, in most cases you have to replace the entire machine.

There are of course exceptions to this rule, I’d say the Nvidia mobile Pascal GPUs were an example, as they offered a large performance boost over what cam before them.

Once new laptops are available, those machines that now become “last gen” often go on sale. This means that even if you don’t plan on buying a brand new gaming laptop, you can still take advantage of waiting for new laptops to launch to find a great sale on an existing model.

Just check performance comparisons between the old and new hardware and decide if that last generation hardware is fine for you, or if you think it’s worth paying the extra for what ever the performance difference may be.

Many of the newer 9th gen i7-9750H laptops don’t actually perform much better than the older 8th gen i7-8750H laptops. Although the 9th gen chip has slightly higher clock speeds on paper, often the power limit may be too low to permit these from being consistently hit. This is why it is important to look at more than just the spec sheet when shopping for a new laptop.

Don’t fall into the waiting trap!

“I’ll just wait for the next new thing” is a trap to avoid. There will ALWAYS be something new coming around the corner, this is the way technology works. If you fall into this trip, you’ll wait for something new to release, then rather than buying you’ll wait for the next new thing to release, and the next.

This is almost decision paralysis, rather than ever having a new gaming laptop to use and enjoy you’re waiting for some future promise of better performance.

When you consider all of the time that you could have otherwise spent enjoying your new system, it’s really not worth it. Trust me, I know. I spent years playing the “I’ll just wait for this next part to come out” game before finally upgrading my 2010 PC in 2017.

Sure, if something is a few months away, it’s worth waiting to see what happens for the previously discussed reasons. If it’s more than 6 months away though, consider if it’s worth it and if you’ll actually really be any better off by waiting. Does the gain of waiting beat what you’d be able to otherwise do with the machine during that time?

So when is the best time to buy a gaming laptop?

If you need something now, then you’re usually pretty safe to buy now as needed. The key exception is if there is known to be new technology extremely close to launch, then it’s likely worth waiting, either to get the new hardware, or get a good deal on a slightly older but still very capable model.

Hi, I’m Jarrod, a tech reviewer from Australia. I mainly focus on laptops, but am interested in all things tech related!

44 Comments

  • Karl Fernandez

    Thanks for actually saying that “now is a good time to buy a gaming laptop” most reviews will just conclude by saying “its up to you” I know that your answer seems to be user dependent on the sense that we all have reason to buy or wait. but, just saying that it is relatively safe to get a gaming laptop makes potential buyers to decide and not just be left on the thought of really getting one.

    Great content again! thanks Jarod.

    • Jarrod

      Cheers! Yeah I think in general it’s not as if you’re going to miss out on anything massive from a single generation, granted it always depends, this was written to be useful for any time rather than specifically right now. If it were me today, I think it’s worth waiting to see how Ryzen 4000 series goes if your workloads benefit from multicore performance.

  • Peter

    Hi Jarod. Thanks for this helpful post.
    Could you give me an advise with my situation?
    I am intending to buy the Prestige 15. But this laptop have a 10th Gen CPU pairing with the GTX16 which was released in 2019. Should I wait for the upcoming GPU to pair with the 10th gen CPU?

    • Jarrod

      My guess is the upcoming GPUs will be super versions of what we currently have. There might be something to fill the gap between 1650 and 1660 Ti, maybe a 1650 Super or 1660 for laptops, however given the Prestige 15 has to use the Max-Q version of the 1650, my guess is they might not be able to pack that much power into it. I suppose it depends whether or not you want to wait a few more months to see.

      • Peter

        Tks for your reply.

        What do you think about the Corona Virus impact on the laptops market?

        Some people think the price of those components to build laptops will increse because of the lack of Chinese factories. So the price of laptops will be effected too.

        • Jarrod

          I have confirmation that it has delayed a number of upcoming new laptop launches. Not sure about prices, could be an issue if supply dries up.

  • Architect1404

    Hi Jarrod,
    I am finding difficulty in identifying a 1000USD- 1850USD ‘ultrabook’ laptop for university (last around 5 years) by around mid 2021. Currently, I have Aero 15X, MSI Prestige 15, Dell XPS 15/ 2 in 1, and upcoming Dell G5 SE 2020 release. I need a laptop that can power me around 6-7+ hrs on battery (the more the better), thin enough to pass as ‘ultrabook’ (around 16mm thickness) and minimum power of a 1660ti for mid- high 60 fps gaming. Also, it might need a min 6 cores so that it would not be obsolete for the next 5 years.
    For battery v performance, I thought of UV, Underclocking the AMD CPUs and disabling dGPU to save power and UV, OC when I need short bursts of performance. I figured out if get a 60Hz panel, I might overclock it to 80-90Hz for better performance.
    However, I don’t game as much (maybe at most 1-2hr), but I will need the power of the laptop acting as a mobile workstation at home and serve as an ultrabook at university, so the gaming laptops might not be suitable for that purpose, while ultrabooks can’t give me enough power during occasional heavy graphics tasks and are prone to overheating. So what laptop would you recommend ( other than the MAX-15 and MAG-15) and should I wait to buy an upgraded ultrabook by 2021 May?
    For lower costs, I might opt for last gen stuff, but I don’t know where to buy one without losing the warranty that might not be listed on the laptop manufacturers site.

    • Jarrod

      That battery life is harder to hit with 1660 Ti laptops, I’d look at either the Aero 15 or Eluktronics MAG-15, maybe the XPS, but it has lower tier GPU for similar price as the others. 15X is technically last gen, there is a new model that greatly improves cooling (the OLED one).

  • McLaren

    Jarrod I saw in a website that dell g5 2019 has 154% srgb and also i saw 154% srgb in a youtube video.But that was entirely different in your video of g5 2019 you got around 60% srgb.How is that possible?Does g5 has 154%srgb?

    • Jarrod

      Not sure how you can actually get above 100%, my tool doesn’t support that in any case, you can probably buy it with different panel options (eg 60Hz vs 144Hz will have different results).

  • McLaren

    I’m looking to buy a dell g5 2019 with configuration of i5 9300h and nvidia 1660ti.Is the i5 going to bottleneck the nvidia 1660ti.Also is it worth to wait for the 10th gen h series cpu?How much performance increase will be in 10gen h series cpu?Will there be any difference in gaming and other things between 9th gen and 10th gen?According to you should I wait for 10th gen or is the waiting worth for the performance of 10th gen over 9th gen ?

    • Jarrod

      It will be fine, doubt 10th gen i5 will have much extra to offer on top of 9th gen but I will compare them when I have it available. Either way, only about 2 weeks off so unless you need something immediately might as well wait and see, even if you don’t buy new might be good sales on current gen.

    • Saurabh

      Sir, will u please do a comparison between acer predator helios 300 rtx2060 version and lenovo legion y740 rtx 2060. Which one to buy??

    • Gary

      Hey Jarrod
      I want to buy a gaming laptop in australia which can run 1080p at 120+ fps.
      My budget is less than 3000AUD.
      Can u give me some suggestions?
      Or should i wait for upcoming rtx 3000 series gaming laptops?
      I m really confused!
      Thnx in advance

      • Jarrod

        Depends how long you want to wait, doubt we’ll see 3000 series for laptops until next year. That budget should get you what you want easily, though I don’t really keep track of stuff at that price so hard to suggest for, I generally pay more attention to half that amount (1660 Ti territory) as it offers good bang for buck, also depends on the games and settings you plan on using.

  • Athul

    Hy
    I recently i decided about buying a gaming laptop. iam a software engineer and also a bit of gamer , mostly playing fifa or pes and mayb pubg or fortnite, am just a casual gaming person not a hardcore one & also i watch alot of moviess so i need a better Diplay too..so i want a laptop which is more powerful and budget one..i saved somewhat 60k to 65k (INR-India) within 4 years..all my hardworking is there to have this much money. so i want to spend this money in a good better laptop..so i watched all of your videos but still have a doubt in my mind..so please suggest me that a better laptop. i use laptop for a long time like 3 to 4 years .. so i want a stable and perfect laptop

    i have some findings

    1) Lenovo Legion i5 9th gen GTX1650 512ssd – 63K
    2)Asus rog strix g i5 9th gen GTX11650 512 ssd – 63K
    3) Asus tuff ryzen 5 GTX1650 120Hz display – 55K
    4)Acer nitro 5 i5 9th gen GTX1650 250ssd – 63K

    Doubts
    1) am i need to wait for ryzen 4000 series ?
    2) among these 4 laptop i mentioned which is the best display to watch movies ?
    3) Is amd ryzen 5 3550 is good for me or should i buy i5 ?

    Thanks in advance

    • Jarrod

      If you’re set on those options, the i5 will beat the Ryzen 5 by a fair bit, so any of those, same GPU, not much difference otherwise in terms of raw performance, Ryzen 4000 will do better if you are able to wait a little. Haven’t tested all so not sure how displays vary in quality, you’d have to check individual reviews.

  • McLaren

    does the dell g5 2019 has good display according to you?could you post some pictures of the screen of g5 displaying photos?this ould help me to decide.

    • Jarrod

      I only tested the 60Hz one, the results are in my review on YouTube, it’s not great, not sure how the 144Hz option compares.

  • McLaren

    is the i5 9300h going to bottleneck nvidia 1660ti incase of red dead redemption 2?could you upload a gameplay of red dead redemption 2 on everything max setting with a laptop of configuration i5 9300h and 1660ti?this would help me with my purchase.please upload the gameplay mentioned above with the above specifications.

    • Jarrod

      It will be fine. I have a video coming out on Wednesday showing how i5 compares with i7 with a 1660 Ti, that game will be included.

  • McLaren

    i am having confusion between dell g5 and lenovo legion y545.Which display is better?And i am looking to buy any one of the laptop mentioned above.So which one is better according to you?im not going to spend more than 1200 dollars.

  • McLaren

    when the gaming laptops like dell g5 and lenovo y545 sell at very low price or discounted price?which part of the year or month?

  • Jason

    Is it a good time to buy the 2019 Acer Helios 300 ($1,130 USD on Amazon) or do you think there will be a price drop or new announcements soon?

    I don’t mind having a last gen laptop, all I’m hoping that it can play Cyberpunk2077 and GTA VI. Your thoughts?

    • Jarrod

      I would expect it to hold up well for years yet, depends if you need something now or want to see if they refresh it. Even if they do, 10th gen won’t make much difference, so just depends on if they bump the GPU up and keep the price the same.

  • Kevin Johnson

    Hi Jarrod , I got here by your youtube channel, I could afford around 80k in India (1000$ approx) , I’m working as a software engineer also a gamer, to my price range I have sorted out three laptops I’m interested in. I’ll list em based on my preference.

    1. Acer Predator Helios 300 – i5 gtx 1660Ti – feeling good about this, but since i5 I’m doubting whether it’ll perform well for my office.
    2. Acer Predator Triton 300 – i7 gtx 1650 – worried about the single side thermal, I know you couldn’t get hands on this but I thought you might know better about this.
    3. Lenovo Legion Y540 – i5 gtx 1650 – little out of my price range, and not that interested.

    FYI – Mostly ill upgrade the ram to dual-channel after purchase.

    What’re your thoughts, Kindly help me out!

    • Jarrod

      Hey, never tested the Triton 300, but the i7 may be useful for the software engineering side, however in gaming the CPU difference is minor, but the 1660 Ti is 50% faster than the 1650, so could depend on what you want to preference there (gaming or software engineering), or if the software engineering workload is GPU heavy then the 1660 Ti would be the way to go. Purely for gaming, the Helios 300 there is the best option, but not really sure on the other workloads as depends specifically what software you’re using.

  • Kevin Johnson

    Wow thanks for the reply. My work mostly will be like creating virtual machine simultaneously and working on all machines. Also sometimes have to work on documents, mails, mostly chrome.

    Can we play latest games atleast in decent graphics like medium or high not ultra always in 1650 GTX ?

    If thats okay that would be fine for me. I might select Triton300. But if the single side went does not work well I might jump to Helios300.

    I’m also okay in waiting.

    • Jarrod

      I guess I did those tasks fine in my pen testing role on a quad core 7700HQ, so maybe an i5 is fine but i7 would benefit. Depends if you want to preference gaming or your work basically, 1650 is still ok in most games at low-med settings, some lower demanding titles at higher settings are ok.

  • Kevin Johnson

    Even if I could afford for a i7 gtx1660ti then that can be Acer predator Helios 300 right? Like you mentioned in all your testing videos…?! or is there anything else you would like to suggest me on the same price point and specs.

    • Jarrod

      Depends on your region, in the US it’s priced very well for the specs and will generally outperform most others with similar specs out of the box as it’s tuned well. Here in Australia though it’s a bit of a rip off compared to alternatives such as the Lenovo Y540.

  • Shan

    Hey Jarrod,
    After watching your aftershock laptop reviews, I decided to go ahead with one. But I’m stuck between two choices which are practically the same price.
    One with i7 9th Gen GTX 1660Ti 6GB which also has a bigger batter and a mechanical keyboard vs i7 10Gen RTX 2060.
    Both links attached below and I’m talking about the base model.
    Which one would you think is best value for money? And I can’t afford to upgrade very frequently.
    https://www.aftershockpc.com.au/welcome/Productinner/vapor-15-pro

    https://www.aftershockpc.com.au/welcome/Productinner/vapor-15x

    Regards.

    • Jarrod

      I’ve reviewed both on the channel, difference being the non pro is the Eluktronics MAX-15 and it’s the 9th gen model. Personally I’d prefer the pro for the larger battery, mech keyboard, SD card slot and Thunderbolt 3, but depends if you need any of those extra features, otherwise the other option will perform better in games/apps etc.

  • Rowan

    Jarrod,

    Mate your website and YT channel are sick! Great detail and consistent methods. You do the Aussies proud cutting to the content without the ‘fluff’ of many others from os.

    I’m an architect, photographer and (not very competitive) gamer. CAD modelling is my primary laptop use case. Currently have an old GIGABYTE P35 from 2010 but want to update to something that is really going to last for another decent stint.

    My main CAD workflow requires me frequnetly saving 3D models in one program (Sketchup or Revit) then updating the reference to these models in other software’s (Luminion, Layout) which are open concurrently. I’m waiting many times a day for the blue pinwheel and presuming CPU and SSD/HDD read/write may be my current bottle neck.

    I basically want a machine that runs as quiet as possible through the day but will absolutely destroy the frequent load spikes I throw at it with out turning the fans up and down all the time. Do you have any recommendations?

    Note: I’m always using a 32inch additional monitor so need decent graphics card as-well as processing power.

    I was about to order a legion 7i (with the specs you tested) but wasn’t sure after seeing your review. I wish GIGABYTE had the webcam where it should be on the Aero’s! If I went for the Aero I was thinking to avoid the oled for its glossy reflection and exponential pwm flicker?

    Thanks for your time.

    If you answer this I will be blown away mate.

    Ro

    Thanks for your time.

    • Jarrod

      Cheers Rowan! Yeah the glossy screen on the OLED can be a bit annoying, PWM doesn’t seem to affect me but it’s going to vary by person. It does look nice, but the other options still look decent. The newer models have pretty good performance as you can boost the processor TDP up quite a bit if you want to get some extra out of it. Nothing really comes to mind straight away for that workload unfortunately as I don’t have experience with it personally so not sure what sort of processor for instance is good with it, I assume more cores? Something like Ryzen 4000 would be good but at the moment those laptops max out with the RTX 2060 so would depend on if you need more power than that, I’m assuming so if you’re looking at the 7i specs I had. This page might be useful if fan noise is a priority, I’ve sorted all my results from quietest to loudest under different levels: https://jarrods.tech/laptop-fan-noise/

  • Nicollai LM

    Good Day Jarrod, I got here because of your youtube channel, and I gave you subs and like on your videos, you have a great reviews 😉
    I would like to ask about my concerns,

    My concerns are

    1. “Which is better
    MSI GE66 Raider 10SGS-058 ??
    or
    MSI GE75 Raider 10SFS-226 ??
    or
    MSI GE75 10SGS-223 ??”

    2. In terms of thermal cooling which is better?

    3. What are the pros and cons on this units?

    And also if you have some other ideas to give me some inputs on this type of units, feel free to comment on this page, because i really need to have some ideas before deciding which one are the best choice to buy.

    And if you would like to recommend me other brands and models with very good performance and thermal cooling I’m willing to know it. 😉

    Thank you so much for your understanding on this matter,

    Please respect my post.

    Note:

    • MSI GE66 Raider 10SGS-058 Specs:
    (15.6″)(300hz), (i7-10750H),
    (RTX 2080 Super 8GB), (32GB DDR4),
    (1TB SSD)

    • MSI GE75 10SGS-223 Specs:
    (17.3″)(300hz), (i7-10750H),
    (RTX 2080 Super 8GB), (32GB DDR4),
    (1TB SSD)

    * MSI GE75 Raider 10SFS-226
    [300Hz][i7-10750H]
    [RTX 2070 SUPER 8GB]
    [32GB DDR4][1TB SSD]

    • Jarrod

      Probably GE66 as it has the option of disabling optimus, though the higher wattage GPU in the GE75 will still do well. I have 3 videos on the GE66 coming out over the next 1-2 weeks so you’ll be able to compare those results with the GE75 ones.

  • Nagbhushan Hanagandi

    I want to buy a gaming laptop but with a 1660ti as it is worth for a budget Gamer like me. Considering the present situation and the release of New Ampere series GPU. Would the prices of 1660 ti laptops drop by end of 2020. Or what else can u suggest me.

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