Generally speaking, laptops aren't the ideal platform for playing games. They tend to have integrated video chipsets that share system memory, as opposed to a desktop video card that has dedicated video memory. These chipsets tend to be limited in their 3D capabilities as they are designed for very basic computing tasks.
Laptops are also more vulnerable to heat than your average desktop. All computers are affected by heat, though more so with laptops due to the cramped internal configurations. Soft surfaces like blankets or pillows, or even laps, can block vents from circulating air internally and cause heat to build up in the case until the system eventually overheats and shuts down.
Some new laptops are using a dual-display device setup, where the system switches automatically between a regular chipset and a 3D accelerator for gaming. These systems may perform better, though some manual configuration may be required in order to get the best performance out of the game.
If you are experiencing poor performance on your laptop, please follow the steps below:
- Plug your laptop in to a power outlet. Running off the battery may cause performance issues.
- Make sure your power management settings are set to full power while playing games. If power-saving settings are enabled, the performance loss can be severe. Contact your laptop manufacturer for assistance.
- If your laptop has two video cards, make sure you use the more powerful card for games.