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Best Gaming Laptops 2020 – Top 10 Notebooks for Gamers

Ask someone who sees themselves as a purist, and they’ll tell you that a Laptop is the best gameplay experience tool. A Computer goes beyond a gaming console run-of-the-mill and makes you just about all to push the limits. Gaming desktops also dominate over laptops, to be honest. We have both the high-end hardware and the requisite power to play 4 K resolution games and let you set up challenging VRs such as HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

That does not mean there is still no place for laptop gaming. They are portable, providing them with quite an advantage over PCs. When you want to take your phone to or from your friend’s house with you, then you’ll certainly appreciate the laptop utility.

If you’re in a rush, please see the table below for picks from my favorite gaming laptop. Scroll to the bottom to see my analysis and a buyer’s guide to support you pick the right gaming notebook for your gaming needs.

Laptop Model

Processor

Graphics

Memory

Intel i7-8750H

GeForce RTX 2080

16 GB

Intel i7-8750H

GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q

16 GB

Intel i7-8750H

GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q

16 GB

Intel i7-9750H

GeForce GTX 1660 Ti

16 GB

Intel i5-8300H

GeForce GTX 1050

8 GB

Intel i7-8750H

GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q

16 GB

Intel i7-8750H

GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q

16 GB

Intel i7-8750H

GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q

32 GB

AMD Ryzen 7 3750H

GeForce GTX 1660 Max-Q

16 GB

Intel i7-7700HQ

GeForce GTX 1070

16 GB

TOP 10 GAMING LAPTOPS

1. Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model – Best Overall

Specs

  • CPU – Intel Core i7-8750H
  • GPU – Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080
  • RAM – 16GB DDR4-2666Mhz
  • Screen – 15.6 inch FHD (1,920 x 1080) IPS 144Hz
  • Storage – 512GB M.2 SSD
  • Battery – 80Whr
  • Dimensions – 9.25 x 13.98 x 0.78 inches
  • Weight – 4.63 pounds
Pros
  • Very high build quality
  • Wide range of options for CPU and GPU
Cons
  • Pricey

Review

In the Spring of 2018, the first Razer Blade 15 came out. In the short time since that hasn’t changed much. The updated model we see here is just a refresher of the older great gaming laptop edition, having the same aluminum frame as the original. The key difference here is that it has the newest RTX graphics card from Nvidia Turing architecture: The GeForce RTX 2080.

With the visual settings at maximum, the RTX 2080 can run Metro Exodus, which is traced by rays, very smoothly at more than 50 fps. We also wanted to find out how well the battery would do, playing with the power unplugged on Metro Exodus. While being power-hungry, this laptop somehow managed to play for a whopping 5 hours until the battery gave out.

It was by far the lightest and thinnest gaming laptop in its class when the first Razer Blade first came out. This is no longer so because there have been many thinner and lighter versions produced since then. But in terms of battery life, it is also the longest living. This is also a relatively expensive laptop.

Another thing we like about this laptop is that it checks all the boxes of what a laptop is supposed to be. A lot of gamers are purchasing gaming laptops to stand up for gaming desktops, which means that they don’t care about the thing being big and bulky and getting a bad trackpad, unlike normal non-gaming laptops. Nonetheless, this laptop is just as fine as an option for your laptop as it is a substitute for your gaming desktop. The trackpad is just like what you’d find on the MacBook. It also compares with non-gaming Windows notebooks like the Dell XPS 13 in terms of aesthetics.

If you want, you can get the Razer Blade 15 with a 4 K OLED screen which works only with the RTX 2080 GPU. If you are going in that direction, though, we would advise you to go for one of the higher-volume FHD 144Hz models.

When you’re looking at it, at the moment this is the best gaming laptop on the market. We are going to wait for somebody to come up with something better. Up to then, though, we have our minds made up

2. MSI GS65 Stealth Thin – Thin and Lightweight

Specs

  • CPU – Intel Core i7-8750H
  • GPU – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
  • RAM – 16GB DDR4-2400Mhz
  • Screen – 15.6 inch FHD (1,920 x 1080) wide-view 144Hz
  • Storage – 512GB M.2 SSD
  • Battery – 82Whr
  • Dimensions – 9.75 x 14.08 x 0.69 inches
  • Weight – 4.14 pounds
Pros
  • Powerful and sleek
  • Good battery life
  • Great value for the money
Cons
  • G-Sync missing

Review

This strong gaming laptop is a winner for many and, despite its size, has some pretty great specs. It is very flexible, just as it should be a laptop, and both durable and lightweight. You can put it into your laptop bag and walk around with it without a problem all day long. The sleek shell is made of titanium, matt black with golden highlights, which makes the laptop feel like a luxury. That said, we have a strong appetite for it because the aesthetics are mild in contrast with some of the more ridiculous laptop designs out there. It’s at least one inch smaller than most 15-inch laptops you’ll find on the market, whether or not they’re gaming laptops, making it a win for a 15-inch laptop.

Unfortunately, because it is a GTX GPU, the GPU on this laptop can not do ray tracing. That said, it is still good enough to handle most of the gaming titles on the market. The entire series of thin stealth models from MSI GS65 is now transitioning into a more stable line of flavors. You could try to get a GTX 1070 GPU model, Although you’d have to deal with 32 GB of RAM and 1 TB capacity SSD, making it very expensive. You could go for one with 16 GB of Ram and 256 GB of SSD if you want to save some money but still get the 1060 build. It will take a big chunk off the price but some of the value will have to be lost. The RTX 2070 GPU also sports newer versions, but they are still very expensive.

In addition to the GPU, several other features make the GS65 a magnificent laptop, such as the RGB lighting SteelSeries keyboard, the sensitive touchpad, and the top-of-the-screen solid webcams.

G-Sync support is the only thing you’ll miss out on in this laptop. However, given the price tag and the high battery life, this is probably a reasonable compromise.

3. Lenovo Legion Y740 – Best for Hardcore Gamers

Specs

  • CPU – Intel Core i7-8750H
  • GPU – Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q
  • RAM – 16GB DDR4-2667Mhz
  • Screen – 17.3 inch FHD (1,920 x 1080) IPS 144Hz
  • Storage – 1TB HDD; 256GB SSD
  • Battery – 76Whr
  • Dimensions – 12 x 16.2 x 0.91 inches
  • Weight – 6.4 pounds
Pros
  • Excellent performance
  • Fair pricing
Cons
  • Unappealing external design
  • Small trackpad

Review

Lenovo’s Legion series of laptops have been around for several years now, and have managed to make a name for them in the gaming market due to the amount of value they deliver in terms of affordable specs.

Lenovo is best known for ThinkPads, where it tries to get the most out of the cheapest of materials in terms of price while retaining design and quality. This theory has been translated into the Legion series and appears to work very well, particularly with the Lenovo Legion Y740. This laptop has an amazingly large 17.3-inch screen and graphics chips ranging from the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 to the RTX 2080, all highly powerful graphics cards and all available at just a fraction of the price you’d get from rivals.

To be honest, the bezels on Legion laptops are broader and more disorienting than what is deemed acceptable in this space at present. The very widescreen, even so, as well uses generally infrequent technology. The IPS 144Hz display features Dolby Vision HDR and G-Sync, meaning you don’t need adaptive software protocols.

Around this price point, even the audio is exceptional for a laptop: Dolby Atmos. The onboard soundbar is precisely tuned, and a wide variety of crisp frequencies are released. All the bass tones and midrange tones are given equal weight. You do have Dolby Atmos software included in the Windows 10 Home Edition that ships with your laptop, so you should be able to configure your EQ settings to your preference.

If you want real-time ray tracing then the Lenovo Legion should work well. It’ll play games like Metro Exodus comfortably with the graphics settings at their highest of 50fps. When you experimented a little with the sliders you might even get it to play smoothly at more than 60fps. All of this is, of course, over 30% cheaper than its rivals’ price for the same specs.

4. Acer Predator Helios 300 – Best Value

Specs

  • CPU – Intel Core i7-9750H
  • GPU – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB
  • RAM – 16GB DDR4-2666Mhz
  • Screen – 15.6 inch FHD (1,920 x 1080) IPS 144Hz
  • Storage – 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Battery – 3720 mAh
  • Dimensions – 10.01 x 14.23 x 0.90 inches
  • Weight – 5.07 pounds
Pros
  • Very high value for the money
  • Features the Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti GPU
Cons
  • Low storage capacity

Review

We liked this laptop as it provides an incredible value for money, even if it is a gaming laptop that’s inexpensive. It’s been a favorite for us since the 10-series Pascal design era when you could get it for about a grand and the GTX 1060 6 GB GPU was very capable of smooth 60fps gameplay and max visual quality for most games of the time. Acer wanted to exceed himself and put back the Helios with a new GPU: the GTX 1660 Ti GPU. It also looks sleeker, all at the same price.

This Helios 300 is fitted with a 144Hz IPS screen and smaller bezels, which makes it as sleek and slim and light as the best of the best on the market, and far better than the generations before. The RAM speed is also fairly fast compared to its 2666Mhz predecessor. The only big weakness for this laptop is the weak SSD capacity, but if you wanted a model with a greater SSD capacity you might hug more money.

5. MSI GL63 8RC – Best for Low Budget

Specs

  • CPU – Intel Core i5-8300H
  • GPU – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 4GB
  • RAM – 8GB DDR4-2666Mhz
  • Screen – 15.6 inch FHD (1,920 x 1080) IPS
  • Storage – 1TB HDD
  • Battery – 3 cell 41Whr
  • Dimensions – 15.07 x 10.24 x 1.14 inches
  • Weight – 4.85 pounds
Pros
  • The RAM and storage are upgradeable
  • Thin Bezel
Cons
  • Does not include SSD

Review

If you’re looking for an affordable gaming laptop that’s very low price, then the MSI GL63 laptop would be hard to go wrong. It arrives with a Core i5 Intel Processor, 8 GB high-speed RAM, and 4 GB GPU Nvidia GTX 1050. It also comes with one of the thinnest bezels inside this unique price range. Of course, the only thing that we don’t like about this laptop, and it’s the absence of an SSD that we think you do not like either. A 1 TB HDD comes with it. The good news is it can be updated, so you can buy an SSD and upgrade it to something a bit better.

The best thing about this laptop is the extremely affordable price tag that will connect it to one of the cheapest laptops on the market with a GTX 1050 graphics chip. It costs just a little more than a laptop with integrated graphics but performs exponentially better. It costs only a little more than an integrated graphics laptop, but it does work significantly better. If you have a very strict budget but still want a gaming laptop, then this specific model will give you everything you’d like in a laptop plus the ability to play good titles.

6. Acer Predator Triton 500 – Thin and Powerful

Specs

  • CPU – Intel Core i7-8750H
  • GPU – Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  • RAM – 16GB DDR4-2667Mhz
  • Screen – 15.6 inch FHD (1,920 x 1080) IPS 144Hz
  • Storage – 512GB M.2 SSD
  • Battery – 84Whr
  • Dimensions – 10 x 14.41 x 0.70 inches
  • Weight – 4.41 pounds
Pros
  • Very high performance
  • Great value for the money
Cons
  • Low battery life

Review

To be sure not everyone needs the market’s most powerful and thinnest gaming laptop. Often something only heavy enough and small enough to do the job is good enough. With the Acer Predator Triton 500, you get that: a great balance between performance, portability, and price. This notebook features an RTX 2080 GPU with Max-Q technology. You will consider a cheaper option with a graphics card RTX 2060 if you like.

This great notebook is definitely worth your money, no matter which version you go for. For ray tracing on and at more than 50fps it can enjoy the new AAA games in max settings. It also comes with a touchpad with Microsoft precision and a keyboard that is 1.7 mm thick. The only two things that we didn’t like about this laptop are the loud sound of the boot-up and the poor battery life.

At 4.41 pounds, this laptop is also pretty small. Every day without noticing the pressure you could comfortably take it around with you. Growing key on the Triton 500 has 1.7 mm travel and requires approximately 70 grams of force to activate. It also has RGB lighting zones, instead of a lighting scheme per element. Yet this is not a bad thing. Often lighting zones rather than individual key backlighting is a fair compromise to make if it means that the laptop has a good design and is attractive.

7. Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 – Best for Battery Life

Specs

  • CPU – Intel Core i7-8750H
  • GPU – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
  • RAM – 16GB DDR4-2666Mhz
  • Screen – 15.6 inch FHD (1,920 x 1080) IPS 144Hz
  • Storage – 512GB M.2 SSD
  • Battery – 94Whr
  • Dimensions – 9.8 x 14.0 x 0.74 inches
  • Weight – 4.63 pounds
Pros
  • Very good battery life
  • Very high performance
  • Beautiful display panel
Cons
  • May have driver problems out of the box

Review

This is one more refresh. The actual Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 came out in 2018 and had quite a few problems out of the box, including driver problems. This 2019 refresh has remedied most of the issues surrounding its predecessor and also added some features.

The refresh keyboard works much better than what was in the predecessor, though the driver is still showing some problems. The simplest approach is to upgrade the drivers, after which it will all work perfectly. This refresh comes with a 144Hz display panel and Max-Q technology to make the product more compact, lighter, and sleeker.

Comparing this laptop to a few similar models on this list, such as the Razer Blade 15 and the MSI GS65, we could not help. The body on the Aero 15X has a much more chunky body with smoother edges, compared to these. We think it takes some of the visual charms away. However, in other ways, such as profitability, it also benefits those rivals. For example, the 94 Whr battery will last easily more than 6 hours while streaming videos. By comparison, the GS65’s battery will last only around four and a half hours. Even the gaming performance on the Aero 15X is very similar to the GS65 because the two gaming laptops share most of the internal components. Battery power and exterior architecture are the main differences between the two.

The other major difference is that the Aero 15X helps you to fit a 4 K screen into it. Now, given the type of graphics card that comes with it, it is not recommended to use the 4 K screen for gaming. The GPU could not handle it, and the quality of the graphics would be severely compromised. For framing purposes the high refresh rate full HD 1080p screen that ships with this laptop are more than sufficient. The only scenario where the 4 K screen appears more meaningful is in non-gaming activities where you want to take advantage of greater resolution.

8. MSI GS75 Stealth – Best for Performance

Specs

  • CPU – Intel Core i7-8750H
  • GPU – Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  • RAM – 32GB DDR4-2667Mhz
  • Screen – 17.3 inch FHD (1,920 x 1080) IPS 144Hz
  • Storage – 512GB M.2 SSD
  • Battery – 82Whr
  • Dimensions – 15.59 x 10.22 x 0.75 inches
  • Weight – 4.63 pounds
Pros
  • Very sleek look
  • Powerful performance
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Touchpad is uncomfortable
  • Paint chips off easily

Review

Just one reason this laptop feature isn’t at the top of the chart is due to its prohibitively high price. Many other things are simply unbelievable and will make any passionate gamer swoon.

Nvidia announced the Max-Q design in 2017 and the idea was that future gaming laptops would be not only faster and more powerful but also thinner, sleeker, and much lighter than their predecessors. The MSI GS75 testifies to that claim and has truly lived up to its name.

As an upgrade to the MSI GS65 model, the MSI GS75 laptop comes with much of the same design: black and gold with an aluminum chassis. However, it has a larger screen, a sleeker look, and a lot more powerful specs of course. That said, we didn’t like the awful paintwork on this laptop because it tends to chip easily. Even we didn’t like the touchpad, which is shockingly sticky and instantly makes you want to buy an external cursor.

Nevertheless, the rest is good news. The aluminum alloy chassis houses a graphics chip at the top of the GeForce RTX range. This chip offers all the ray-tracing capabilities which have come to define the GPUs line of Turin architecture. It also comes with a Core i7 processor regardless of the particular configuration you want to purchase. The RAM comes in at a whopping 32 GB which is not only perfect for gaming but also overkill. Also, the SSD has a sufficiently high capacity to be enough for gaming.

The laptop’s price is the main downside. This is by far the most costly laptop on the list and is not on a budget for gamers. That being said, the result blows the water out of the competition. This computer will play some pretty challenging AAA games at peak visual settings in 1080p full HD at a whopping 87 fps. Given that beauty weighs less than 5 kilos, that’s a feat!

9. Asus ROG Zephyrus GA502 – Best AMD CPU-Powered Laptop

Specs

  • CPU – AMD Ryzen 7 3750H
  • GPU – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB Max-Q
  • RAM – 16GB DDR4-2666Mhz
  • Screen – 15.6 inch (1,920 x 1080) vIPS 120Hz
  • Storage – 512GB NVMe SSD x 2
  • Battery – 74Whr
  • Dimensions – 15.8 x 10.9 x 2.9 inches
  • Weight – 4.63 pounds
Pros
  • Very high build quality and design
  • Great value for the money
Cons
  • No webcam
  • Low-quality touchpad

Review

This laptop is highlighting the fact that you don’t have to invest an amazing sum of money to get a good gaming laptop that continues to perform just fine. The G502 offers a lot of value for the money for a mid-range laptop and does not assume to be anymore what it is. The style is appealing, the body is slim and elegant, and the performance is good enough to allow gaming use of it. The design is also good enough to use it as a normal laptop without turning heads because of its outrageous design.

The specs could sound a little mediocre on the inside; a Ryzen 7 CPU, an Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti GPU, 16 GB RAM, and two SSDs, each with a 512 GB size. Such specs will not cause you to titillate with anticipation, but they will not be taken lightly either. These are the specs of a gaming laptop that knows exactly what tier it is in and which business segment it is aiming for. It very well plays PC games in medium to high settings, providing portability along with performance.

On this high settings laptop, you can enjoy Esports games like Warcraft, Fortnite, and Rocket League very smoothly. In a challenging and more recent game such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Division 2, you would need to drop the settings down to medium for the same performance level. The game will play beautifully even in that environment though. However, don’t forget that the high settings of previous years were what we call ‘normal settings’ today and still bring great beauty to the eye. This is not the kind of agreement that can be used as a breach of the deal.

Several downsides, such as the noisy fans and the awful touchpad, keep this model off. Also, the display panel is VIPs, which means that it will be dim at full 1080p HD. If you turn the configurations down, even so, you should always be able to experience your game without stealing a bank to afford it

10. Asus ROG Strix GL503VS-DH74 Scar Edition – Best SSD Storage

Specs

  • CPU – Intel Core i7-7700HQ
  • GPU – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
  • RAM – 16GB DDR4-2400Mhz
  • Screen – 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1080) wide-view 144Hz with G-Sync
  • Storage – 256GB NVMe SSD, 1TB FireCuda SSHD
  • Battery – 64Whr
  • Dimensions – 10.3 x 15.2 x 1.0 inches
  • Weight – 5.6 pounds
Pros
  • Great SSD storage
  • Good value for the money
Cons
  • Short battery life
  • Bulky

Review

A laptop usually offers a mix of price, performance, and portability. You should be prepared to pay the highest price for the laptops which have the best performance and portability. You should be prepared to compromise on either performance or portability for those who have an affordable price. You will get a great price and a relatively good performance for the GL503VS-DH74. It’s portability which you won’t get.

The GL503VS-DH74 Scar Version shell is relatively wide and thick. It in turn packs a well-performing Nvidia GTX 1070 without Max-Q graphics card. This means you get more value at a price point that wouldn’t normally deliver this kind of value. Even the CPU is from a preceding version, but it is still quad-core, so for most games, it doesn’t matter if the CPU is from a prior generation.

An even better bit about that kind of laptop is that it offers G-Sync technology and a 144Hz IPS display panel, which indicates the response time is good and you wouldn’t have to worry about rendering the game with difficulty at high frame rates. The downside is that due to the low battery life, you’ll need to keep it plugged in most of the time. Go on the battery for more than two hours and you’ll probably have to plug in your charger.

Gaming Laptop Buyer’s Guide

Who needs Gaming Laptops?

Well, who requires the gaming laptops that we’ve included with this evaluation? In reality, most people don’t even need a very expensive laptop for gaming. A basic affordable gaming laptop with an 1160 Ti GPU will do just fine and can run most games on the market today at more than 60 fps (frames per second). Such a laptop costs around $1200, up to $1000 cheaper than some of the laptops mentioned here, and can operate at the same standard as most of the laptops powered by RTX 2010 GPU that we have on here. Don’t think about all these names of GPU models; we’ll talk about them being in a few moments.

So who’re the laptops for in this guide? Well, they are for those who want things in life which is well-optimized and also portable for playing the most demanding games. You’ll pay thousands of dollars and get a more thin profile, a lighter laptop, and an aluminum chassis.

What about Price?

Best Gaming Laptop Price

The type of components you find in gaming laptops are, as you would imagine, higher ends than on normal laptops. It’s just reasonable they are going to cost more. Although they cost more, however, the range of costs between gaming laptops can be quite broad. For under $1000, you can get cheap gaming laptops, and you can get gaming laptops that will set you back a cool $5000 +. Budget gaming laptops, which we will talk about in another post, usually start at around $800 and go on up to $1200. Such laptops should give you a full HD resolution at 1080p, but the specifics are turned down slightly. Likewise, they will have a graphic quality of 1.366 by 768. They also come with either a hard disk drive or a solid-state drive with a fairly limited size.

You can go for a midrange laptop if you don’t like that kind of thing. This can provide you with better quality 1080p resolutions and smoother gameplay, even when the settings are high. Usually, they will help your VR headsets too. They range in price from around $1300 to about $2000.

You are getting a lot more goodies when you buy a high-end laptop. One such gameplay is very smooth. With the graphic details to their maximum, you can get it at 1080p. Typically this comes with a special screen with very high refresh rates. If the laptop comes with the appropriate screen, you might get 4 K resolutions on your games too. Some also endorse QHD, which stands at about 2560 by 1440 pixels.

There should also be no problems with a high-end laptop powering your VR headsets, or working with a bunch of external monitors. Even storage components are very fast and are usually PCI Express SSDs. Often a high capacity hard drive will also be present to support the solid-state drive. You’ll also be given the option to buy top of the range cooling fans as extras. These laptops will set you back between $2000 and $3000. Such laptops often also benefit from state-of-the-art technology, making them extremely thin, lightweight, and very portable. Some models will even allow you to install dual graphics cards at the very elite stage, although these machines are usually very costly, very large, very heavy, and have low battery life. In our opinion, they are overkill, because at that level of performance you are bound to get more out of a gaming desktop for the same price.

The GPU is King

Best Gaming Laptop GPU

A gaming laptop is judged almost entirely by the type of GPU that it has. This is what makes or breaks a particular brand of laptop gaming. Because it has an Nvidia or AMD GPU, we don’t even bother naming it a gaming laptop.

Currently, the most common GPU maker on the market is Nvidia. Nvidia has the Turing Microarchitecture 20 series, from which it produces a wide range of mobile GPUs. It also has the Pascal 10 Series architecture, creating a less efficient line of GPUs.

Turin Architecture first found its way into computers for mobile gaming late in 2018. Such GPUs were also being sporting by early 2019 gaming laptops. He was a successor to the series Pascal Architecture. GPUs for Pascal Architecture have been designated as GTX while GPUs for Turing Architecture are designated as RTX. This classification is a reference to the type of technology used in visual generation. The RTX technology, or ray tracing technology, is much superior to GTX technology, providing improved gameplay visuals.

You can currently see this trend in a lot of GPUs on the market. For example, the GeForce RTX 2070 and 2080 have now replaced Pascal GPUs like the GeForce GTX 1070 and 1080 GPUs, both on desktops and laptops. For Pascal and Turing architectures, the performance comparison between desktops and laptops is relatively close. Using the Pascal architecture you can have a handheld GPU operating at the same stage as a typical desktop GPU. This is essentially the same with Turing GPUs, although for this new breed of GPUs there are thermal and other constraints to be considered which make them slightly less potent in laptops than in desktops.

That dynamic has several exceptions. Take for example the GTX 1650 and the GTX 1660 Ti. These GPUs have recently been released, and are based on Turing architecture. Yet to make them more budget-friendly, they don’t have the same ray-tracing technology as other Turing GPUs do. Therefore they will not have the same designation for RTX. Lots of these you’ll see. In particular, the 1660 Ti is becoming very popular with budget-friendly gaming laptops, as it is at the sweet spot between the GTX 1060 GPU and the RTX 2060 GPU.

Throughout the entire year, Turing architecture has been running on handheld GPU, which means that most of the gaming laptops coming out do not support Pascal architecture. If you’re looking for the latest update of a gaming laptop, you’re unlikely to get one with a Pascal GPU 10-series. What you’re more likely to find is a GTX 16-series or RTX Turing GPU.

AMD Radeon Graphics Nvidia’s main competitor is AMD which uses its graphics technology to use not many laptops. There are currently around a handful of models that feature graphics chips from the AMD Radeon RX Vega or RX 500 Series. Such GPUs are an alternative to Nvidia’s SKU, much of the time. AMD GPUs are often used along with an Intel CPU, but quite rarely.

There are some fascinating trends to learn from all that we’ve just been thinking about. The 3D output is, for example, directly attached to the GPU model number. The higher the number of models the greater the efficiency. With a GeForce RTS 2080, you’ll get better graphics and more frames per second than your RTX 2070. The RTX 2070 will in effect provide superior performance to an RTX 2060. That said, with all the gaming info, a high-end RTX GPU should enable you to play the very best AA games with 1080p graphics quality and should also allow you to play on VR.

Surprisingly enough, there was a time when an RTX 2080 gameplay seemed like too much for HD. Over time, however, reasons have come up to use that entire extra horsepower. High-end computers have taken on a trend to integrate high refresh rate displays. Such screens allow you to view very high frame rates for gameplay to be even smoother. You will need a very powerful GPU to take full advantage of these displays, particularly when playing AAA games, and this is where RTX 2080 GPUs come in. Knowing these devices is pretty straightforward because on the marketing brochure they will say stuff like “120Hz screen” or “144Hz screen.” For the way of contrast, an average laptop monitor screen has a 60Hz refresh rate.

The most expensive systems today have 144Hz or more high refresh rate screens, so that frame rates can be displayed comfortably over 60 fps. You can experience visuals of up to 144fps for 144Hz displays. It certainly makes for smoother gameplay. Without a good high-end GPU, you can’t take advantage of these screens though. Ray-tracing techniques such as reflective effects and real-time lighting are also very resource-intensive and more video games are implementing the technology, making GPUs more standard than ray tracing.
All these are compelling arguments to go for a GeForce RTX 2080 GPU, or at least an RTX 2070, even if you don’t see immediately what’s so frustrating about playing games with a complete 1080p resolution.

Nvidia GraphicsAnother thing that we think you would find fascinating is that Nvidia is introducing a new kind of rendering technique. For brevity’s sake, we’re not going to go into too many details about it but it’s known as DLSS. This is planned to help the RTX 2060 and other less efficient GPUs operate more efficiently on the ray-tracing without asking too much. And you will always be able to get something good even though you can not afford the very top-end GPUs. Not many games support the technology yet, but more and more players will start supporting it with time.

Whether you want anything a little bit closer to Earth, you may choose AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G-Sync. These technologies give you a better quality of gameplay and smoother frame rates by allowing for a variable refresh rate on the screen depending on what the GPU is making. If you like graphics that are beautifully made, you can look for help in one of these technologies. They are certainly becoming much more popular, especially G-Sync (Nvidia, duh!), but they also tend to find themselves in the more expensive machines.

The Processor

Best Gaming Laptop Processor

The Processor is the PC’s heart (or brain). You’ll find either an Intel Core i5 or an Intel Core i7 Processor on most gaming laptops today. Typically both will be quad or hex core, 8th generation, and based on a chipset from Coffee Lake. The generation of the Coffee Lake brought more nuclei with it. The generation of Kaby lakes that preceded it came with at most four nuclei. The new version of Coffee Lake has up to six cores in it. This means more pace and high performance overall, particularly for multi-threaded media tasks. However, when it comes to gaming, the improvement in efficiency isn’t as important as being mind-blowing.

In principle, it is possible to find a gaming laptop featuring an Intel Core i3 CPU or an AMD CPU. Although these devices are perfectly capable of playing a wide variety of games, there is no need to settle for the lowest possible bid. Nonetheless, if you have to decide between a very powerful CPU and a very powerful GPU, it’s easier to go for the GPU. Our recommendation is to get an Intel Core i5 over the weaker GeForce RTX 2060 GPU instead of a Core i7 if you can part with the extra cash you’ve earned to get yourself an Nvidia RTX 2070 GPU. Playing with a GPU is much safer than spending on a CPU if you want to get the best gaming experience.

When you buy a mid-range gaming laptop then it’s better to opt for a Core i5 CPU. If you’re looking for a high-end gaming laptop, then you should find H, HQ, and HK licensed Core i7 processors. The processor H-series will give you more power and is typical of more expensive laptops anyway. Typically the U-series of CPUs are less powerful and are designed for thinner machines that are more portable. In terms of overall efficiency as well as thermal profile, this series is distinct from the H-series. A Core i7 U-series chip may have fewer cores than a core of the H-series i7. In a gaming laptop, you will rarely find a U-series chip but they do exist. We recommend that you abandon them and go for the H-series.

If you’d like an AMD CPU, then the Ryzen 5 and the Ryzen 7 CPUs are very fine. There are quite a few advantages to them. However, these chips, as AMD would expect, are not as popular in gaming laptops as Intel chips.

Display

Best Gaming Laptop Display

Display size is a common issue potential owner of gaming laptops mull over. Would you need a 17-inch monitor? The sweet spot is, in our view, a 15 “set. You can probably go for the 17-inch screens, but that will likely require a heavier laptop. You should expect to bring about 5 pounds more than you need. The gaming laptop niches have some portables weighing 10 pounds and are bound to make your backpack annoyingly heavy.

At least you want a full HD screen (that is the native resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels). A bigger screen would be able to provide you with a resolution greater than 1080p. Be wise in your choice though. Going for a resolution such as QHD+ (3,200 pixels by 1,800 pixels) or 4 K (3,840 pixels by 2,160 pixels) would potentially make you pay much more. Not only would you pay more for the display panel itself, but the higher-end GPU that you will use to get the most out of the display panel as well. What you want is to search for G-Synch screens or screens with high refresh rates if you want smoother.

When you’re on native resolution, 4 K gaming laptops require dual GPUs for completely smooth gameplay. That makes them an exception; a very costly exception. Typically you will also only need the most powerful GPU to render any complex game animations at high frame rates on a 4 K screen. Going for a 1080p screen would be a better use of your money, particularly if all you buy the laptop for is gaming. Going for a 4 K screen would not only cost you an arm and a leg, but your GPU will also fail to render the new games with a 4 K native resolution and high detail settings.

Max-Q

Best Gaming Laptop Nvidia MAX-Q

Nvidia wanted their gaming laptops to improve portability and sleekness, and so decided to introduce the Max-Q Concept as an initiative in 2017. The word “Max-Q” emerged in the aeronautics industry. The highest aerodynamic stress level describes that a plane can sustain. However, in the world of gaming laptops, it refers to the changes that need to be made, both at the hardware and software level, to enable very high-end GPUs to fit comfortably in thin chassis that would not historically have been able to accommodate them. By lowering the power limit on GeForce RTX 2080 and GeForce RTX 2070, the Nvidia GPUs with the very highest end, The quantity of power generated can be decreased, which means heat dissipation and the components for cooling can be reduced.

Machines with the Max-Q designation are very rapidly becoming popular, particularly among the most powerful gaming laptops and some mid-range laptops too. Most of these Max-Q computers are very compact and lightweight, making them much more convenient to travel than standard gaming laptops. The benefit is that they can still play games at 60fps+ with complete information even though they are slim and compact, and have 17-inch displays without dramatically raising the weight. There are laptops with GeForce RTX 2080 GPUs that weigh not much more than 5 pounds and do not measure thicker than 1 inch.

There are trade-offs for this to be sure. The Max-Q category graphics cards have less power than regular GPUs as a way of keeping the heat lower. They’re limited in the number of frames they can push per second, being a few frames slower than normal GPUs. The tradeoff isn’t so big that it can be measured as a deal-breaker, but it can. These laptops, too, tend to cost more.

If you want something that’s highly compact, like what a notebook should be in the first place, and also want something that looks elegant and visually appealing, then the gaming laptops’ Max-Q range will make more sense. It is the most popular initiative to manufacture high-powered gaming laptops which are also thin and light.

SSD vs HDDs

Best Gaming Laptop Storage

We certainly advise you to go for an SSD system. In recent years, these devices have seen a substantial fall in costs and SSDs are much superior to HDDs. They make booting faster, they make sleep awakening faster, they even start games and load new levels much faster than HDDs.

That said, while we certainly suggest that you get an SSD device for yourself, it is also important that you configure it the correct way. A good starting point is to get a small-capacity SSD like 128 GB or 256 GB, and a 1 TB or larger hard drive to supplement it, particularly if you download a lot of videos and other big files from the internet. That said, such dual drives will only support the thicker range of laptops. SSDs with higher capacities of 512 GB or more may be obtained. All the same, going for such a drive will increase the price of your gaming rig considerably. SSD’s are very fast, to be sure. But in terms of total capacity, hard drives are much stronger. Going for a more powerful SSD will get you paying a lot more.

Memory

Best Gaming Laptop Memory

One more important thing to remember is memory. You want the RAM in a gaming laptop to be at least 8 GB. No self-respecting gaming laptop will offer less RAM than this one. This allows your laptop to breathe as you turn back and forth from your game to other games. Nonetheless, we would also suggest that you do one thing at a time, even with the breathing space, especially when it’s gaming because every extra application and window you open will use more RAMs.

If you’re looking for a laptop with high-end gaming, then you’re better off with 16 GB RAM. This allows you to simultaneously run multiple gaming sessions, webcam programs, many browser tabs, and video streaming all at once. You can do well on a midrange laptop with 8 GB of RAM. However, you should also remember that it is difficult to update several new laptops coming out. You might get stuck with the RAM that your laptop had when you first bought it. If you want to invest in your laptop and make it future-proof, then preferably you should go for 16 GB of RAM. For most people who don’t stream or do extreme multitasking, anything over 16 GB of RAM is tantamount to killing a mosquito with a sledgehammer.

What if you want something cheaper?

When you have anywhere between $800 and $1200 with a small budget, then you can still get a gaming laptop. You should also be prepared for a variety of sacrifices. Your aim should be to optimize power while keeping it within your price range. Yet not all components in your gaming laptop will be of the same standard or capability as you see in the high-end laptops. Still, for someone looking for a gaming laptop, $1200 is reasonable and you should be in a position to get something solid.

The biggest sacrifice you’ll have to make in this price range is related to graphics. The dedicated GPU is one of the elements of the price of a gaming laptop and makes the most of a gaming laptop’s processing ability. In reality, as discussed previously in this article, it makes or breaks a laptop by itself. And when considering your options, you must pay attention to the GPU. The good news is that even laptops within the range of $800 to $1200 have capable GPUs if they are less powerful.

Just before the introduction of the Turin series of GPUs, budget laptops had GPUs of the Pascal series. Those are the GTX 1050 Ti, the GTX 1050 Ti and the GTX 1060. The GTX 1060 is one of the most powerful of these cheap GPUs.

Turing architecture GPUs in budget laptops have still not dropped in price enough to compete with Pascal Architecture GPUs. The entry model for the GPUs with 20 Series, Turing architecture is the GeForce RTX 2060. It is certainly cheaper than its RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 cousins. Yet budget computer laptops are still out of scope.

Some options are more value-focused, like the GeForce GTX 1660 and the GTX 1660 Ti, but these are for desktops and have only just begun to be placed into laptops.

If you are going for any of the GTX 1050s (1050 and 1050 Ti), then you will be able to experience smooth gameplay at a resolution of 1080p. But in the new games, you can’t turn to the highest detail settings. To be honest, while the RTX 2060 can still perform very well at 1080p, some of the latest games will still push you to lower the 60fps gameplay levels.

Virtual reality can be a little difficult for a budget laptop. The cheapest VR-capable GPU in this list, though, is the GTX 1060, which will hardly get your foot through the door to the VR world.

In the world of cheap gaming laptops, the next biggest difference has to do with processors. You’ll probably have to settle for a very powerful Core i5, as opposed to a much faster Core i7. But as we said earlier, a Core i7’s speed and power gains over a Core i5 don’t contribute much to gaming but are more useful for creative pursuits like video editing and 3D sculpting. The latest Core i5s are very quick and accurate, and will not hamper your gaming abilities for laptops.

We also have AMD processors on the other side of the fence. Gaming laptops that are based entirely on AMD processors are very hard to find. If you do, though, you’ll see mostly the Radeon RX 560, the RX 570, and the RX 580. Typically they come with a Ryzen CPU and AMD FX series of CPUs.

Some of the other components in budget gaming laptops, aside from the GPU and the CPU, would be pretty close to what you would anticipate from pricier devices. For example, take storage space: the price gap between SSDs and HDDs is becoming narrower each year. Yet in cheaper gaming laptops, hard drives are much more popular than in more expensive ones. Typically you will find a small SSD boot-drive sitting side by side with a large 1 TB hard disk. Even you could find systems that have only HDDs. Also at this price point, we strongly recommend against these laptops, because SSDs offer too many benefits to disregard.

You are going to get a 1080p panel when it comes to displaying. The 1366pixel by 768-pixel panels are found primarily in non-gaming laptops, which are even cheaper than the gaming laptops.

For a budget gaming laptop, the RAM is expected to be at most 8 GB. However, you could still find some ideal 16 GB RAM laptops in this range, towards the higher range limit.

Other Things you should look out for

To begin with, high-end components are the bane of battery capacity, exhausting it much more quickly than standard components. Therefore you should probably keep your laptop in the power socket almost all of the time.

The Thunderbolt 3 and USB Type-C ports are the most useful ports, which will only become more common as time goes by. You’ll still be alright with a laptop with at least 2 USB 3.0 ports, though. This should allow you to plug both a mouse and an external hard drive.

If you’d like to relate a VR headset to your device (remember the minimum is the GeForce GTX 1060 GPU), then you’ll need a good ports loadout. You’ll want enough USB ports for the cabling involved. Also, a good HDMI video should be able to accommodate it.

If you want an external monitor connected, then a mini-DisplayPort or DisplayPort will support it. If your laptop already has a big screen, however, these will not be necessary.

Only the keyboard is significant. Remember, the keyboard that comes with your gaming laptop cannot be replaced. So make sure you like the keys look and layout when considering your choices. A decent gaming laptop must have RGB lighting and also have varying light zones at the max, or let you adjust the color of individual keys.

Even the best gaming laptops usually do not have the best audio when it comes to audio. Part of the explanation is that the fans will still run and they can be noisy (a little quieter in Max-Q laptops). If you just want to buy a decent pair of headphones to ensure the best sound quality then.

Also, the esthetics varies from one laptop to another. Gamers have a wide variety of preferences regarding the esthetics of their gaming laptops. Some of them prefer anything as elegant as a MacBook, some prefer laptops with vivid RGB lighting in the style of a race car tent, and some would go for even more outrageous aesthetics. Ultimately, there is not much of an opinion we have here. It all depends on what you want. In any case, make sure that the laptop is well built, has a strong case and hinges that last through the laptop’s lifetime.

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