What Inverter Size to Use with a Gaming Laptop?

You can use a good quality inverter to safely power your inverter as you play your favorite games on the laptop or even catch up with your work while out on the road whether in a truck or RV.

You need a good quality, appropriately sized inverter to avoid the risk of damage to your pricey laptop.

This post looks at what size of inverter (watts) to use with a gaming laptop, the risks of powering a laptop while on the road using the car battery, how to mitigate them, and lastly, suggests alternatives to using an inverter to power the gaming laptop.

Quick answer. This depends on the power consumption of the gaming laptop.

As a rule of thumb, select a pure sinewave inverter with an output power (watts) higher than the gaming laptop.

For example, if the laptop has a rated power consumption of 200 watts, use at least a 250 watt inverter or higher.

You may also be interested in this post: What can a 400 watt power inverter run?

Inverter Size (watts) to use with a Gaming laptop

First check the technical specifications section or laptop’s power brick for the laptop’s power consumption (watts, voltage, and amps) and use this to guide your choice of an inverter size (watts).

How to Size an inverter to power a laptop

Aim for an inverter with a higher power output than what is required by the laptop.

Gaming laptops can have a power consumption of 180 watts or higher. Add another 50 – 100 watts to the inverter size.

For example. if the gaming laptop’s power consumption is 180 watts, go for a 250 or 300 watt inverter.

Ideally, you want it considerably higher so that the inverter runs cooler and quieter as the fan is not switched on because the inverter is being run considerably below its capacity.

What Is the Power Consumption of a Gaming Laptop?

An ordinary laptop can have an estimated power consumption of between 30- 80 watts. A gaming laptop with a large 17-inch screen can draw as much as 180 watts or higher at maximum power.

Is It Safe to Use an Inverter with a Gaming Laptop

Yes, you can use a good quality inverter to safely power your gaming laptop and charge its battery too like it’s plugged into a wall outlet.

Sine-wave vs. modified sine wave

Preferably use a pure sine wave inverter though some laptop owners have successfully used modified sine wave inverters.

Power from a pure sinewave inverter is cleaner and has a wave-form like a grid.

How to safely power a gaming laptop with an inverter while out on the road

Should You Plug It Into a Cigarette Lighter Socket?

#1. Do not exceed the cigarette lighter socket’s current handling capacity

A cigarette lighter socket usually handles 10A (120 watts) or 15A (180 watts). Consult your car or truck’s owner manual for the maximum power draw that your lighter socket can handle.

If the gaming laptop is drawing in excess of what the cigarette lighter socket can handle, hardwire the laptop directly to the battery and make sure you use a suitably sized wire gauge to handle the current draw.

Make sure to include a fuse of a suitable rating on the positive battery cable to protect the wiring in case of excessive current draws.

#2. Keep the car engine running to prevent battery drain

Keep the car engine running to keep the battery topped up so that you do not have a situation where the battery is drained too low and unable to start the car.

Alternatively, connect it to a separate auxiliary battery that way there is no danger of the car starter battery being drained flat.

Will a 300-watt inverter power a gaming laptop?

Whereas a 300-watt inverter should be able to power laptops whose power consumption is up to 250-300 watts, check and confirm that the laptop’s power consumption is below 300 watts.

Related questions

What Size of Battery to Use with Inverter for Gaming Laptop?

This depends on the laptop’s power draw (watts). A 300 watt laptop can run for about 2 hours when connected to a 100 Ah AGM battery before it is drained to 50% of its capacity.

If you want more runtime, then use a larger capacity battery.

Keep the engine running to avoid the risk of a flat battery or install a deep cycle auxiliary battery to minimize the risk of running the car starter battery flat.

Alternatives to Using an Inverter to Power Laptop

#1. Use a DC-DC power converter instead. These are more efficient compared to a power inverter. Make sure that it can handle the power draw of the laptop though.

If the laptop has a power draw of 300 watts, use a 350 watt DC-DC converter or greater.

#2. You can also use a solar power station too. These typically have inbuilt lithium batteries that can be charged from the grid, a 12V DC socket, or using a solar panel.

Once charged, there is no need to keep the car engine running and it is portable which gives you the flexibility to charge the laptop from anywhere provided it is connected to a power station.

Final Thoughts

The inverter rating you use should be large enough to handle the laptop’s power requirements. Size it higher to avoid running the inverter close to its power rating.

In addition to using an inverter, you have the option of using a DC DC converter or a solar power station.

The converter is more efficient while the portable power station gives you the flexibility to charge the laptop away from the car or truck.

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