Powering Your Gaming Laptop From an Inverter – What Capacity to Use

If you’re into gaming and plan to go on a road trip or camping then you might be considering an inverter to keep your gaming laptop running reliably! But what capacity of inverter should you use?

Inverter Size (watts) for Your Gaming Laptop

The minimum inverter size to use depends on the gaming laptop’s power consumption. If the laptop uses as much as 180 watts as an example, then aim for a 250-300 watt inverter, preferably a pure sinewave inverter as a minimum.

While a basic (non-gaming) 15″ laptop may draw as little as 40-50 watts, It’s not unusual for a gaming laptop to draw as much as 180 watts depending on the processor and graphics card specs.

Therefore, always consult your gaming laptop’s power manual or use the power rating (watts) on the laptop power brick as a guide and add an additional 50-100 watts as a buffer.

Should you Plug the Gaming Laptop Inverter into the Car Charging Port?

Wire the 250-watt inverter or higher directly to the battery and avoid connecting it to the cigarette lighter port.

The inverter’s maximum capacity will likely exceed the safe handling capacity of most car charging ports (usually up to 10A or 120 watts, or 15A or 180 watts).

This is just a general guide – Always consult your car or truck’s owner manual for the specific maximum power draw your lighter socket can handle.

Sine-Wave vs. Modified Sine-Wave

While several modified sine-wave inverters can power a laptop, I recommend using pure sine-wave inverters to avoid any potential damage to the laptop’s electronics.

Alternatives to Powering a Gaming Laptop Using an Inverter

Instead of using an inverter to power your gaming laptop, you could instead choose to use any of the following options.

1. DC-DC Power Converter: This is more efficient, and wastes less power during the conversion process potentially increasing the run-time available with the same battery capacity.

For a laptop with a power draw of 300 watts, use a 350-watt DC-DC converter or greater.

Note: Make sure the converter is adequately sized to handle the laptop’s power draw!

2. Solar Power Station: This provides flexibility to charge the laptop from anywhere using a power station instead of being restricted to a car’s charging port.

You are usually able to charge the power station’s inbuilt lithium batteries by plugging into the grid, the car or truck’s charging port, or by connecting a solar panel.

If you’re into gaming and plan to go on a road trip or camping then you might be considering an inverter to keep your gaming laptop running reliably!

But what size of inverter should you use? And, how do you avoid draining the car battery?

Read on to find what size of inverter you can use and for tips to avoid draining the car battery flat.

What Size of Inverter to Run a Gaming Laptop?

The Power Consumption (watts) of a Gaming Laptop

With a 180-watt draw, you can use a 250-300 watt inverter or higher to run or charge the laptop reliably depending on what additional appliances you may want to run off the inverter at the same time.

Note, this also avoids running the inverter at 100% of its maximum capacity. Some power inverters are overrated while others can only run at maximum capacity for a limited time.

With the inverter running below capacity, it runs cooler and quieter and will not shut down from overheating.

Tips to Avoid Draining the Car Battery

1. Keep the engine running to keep the battery topped up.

2. You should also connect the inverter to a house battery instead of the starter battery to avoid the risk of accidentally draining the battery!

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