The best laptop for game development is what you need to deliver high-quality graphics and heavy-performance games. It can help you to uplift your development career.
Similarly, people have gone the days Gone are the days when people would prefer to buy a CPU, for demanding tasks and there are many enthusiasts. But a CPU can’t reach the portability and relaxation level of a laptop.
So, to get the best from the rest, you need to do a little hustle and research before selecting the top product. To save you from trouble and lower your hustle, we’ve reviewed all the best laptops for developing games.
10 Best Laptop For Game Development — In-Depth Reviews
Alienware Area 51M Gaming Laptop
A gaming laptop for game development is just like when two like-minded people meet and invent something extraordinary. That said, the Alienware Area 51M R2 is the first-ever gaming laptop to support up to 64 GB RAM at 2933 MHz. Plus, it can support higher frequency RAM up to 3200 MHz when you install 16 GB or 32 GB DDR4 XMP memory.
The brand knows that you need a laptop for multitasking like creating audio, video, and cutting scenes and characters simultaneously; that’s why 64 GB RAM support is there to support your high-intensity workflow.
Alienware is known for creating powerful gaming gadgets; that’s why you’ll experience the fast performance of the 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-10700K Processor. It consists of 8 cores, and 16 computing threads with a base frequency of 3.80 GHz and a turbo unlocked frequency of 5.10 GHz.
Moreover, the processor also contains 16 MB Intel® Smart Cache that helps load programs faster and runs conveniently without lag. The Alienware 51M R2 comes with the combination of 10th Gen Core i-7 and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super 8 GB GDDR6 dedicated graphics card. This 8 GB RTX-enabled graphics unit helps in ray tracing and embeds AI functions in the game.
Further, the card consumes less energy that helps the laptop stand by for more than 2 hours, which is more than enough for a powerful laptop like Area 51M. When it comes to storage and display, you’ll get to see a 1920 x1,080-pixel, 17-inch display with multiple frame rate settings. It means you can try a 60 Hz screen for better battery life and 144 Hz for better ray tracing and game development.
Other than that, it supports up to 4 SSDs so that you can store numerous projects and data. Don’t want to upgrade? At this price point, Dell includes a 1 TB SSD for faster data transfer and quick boot-up.
- Large screen for better graphics
- Desktop-class processor
- Thunderbolt Type-C
- Low battery life
- Heavy and bulky
- Quite expensive
Razer Blade 15 Base Gaming Laptop 2021
Razer Blade 15 base gaming laptop is yet another top pick of the day because of its astonishing upgrade options and fast computing accessories for game development. That said, you’ll get an FHD 15.6” thin-bezel display with edges out that helps to reflect graphics easily.
And, when combined with the CNC aluminum unibody, the laptop automatically boosts graphical performance due to a 0.78” thin, robust, and durable metallic frame. Further, the display includes a single graphics option, meaning you can only develop games at 144Hz for graphics enhancement.
After that, you’ll get to know that the 2021 Razer Blade consists of 2nd gen GeForce RTX 3060 that ensures ray tracking and enables you to add AI functionalities to the game.
With this dedicated unit, you’ll be able to use advanced machine learning tactics in your upcoming launches with more realistic ray-traced graphics and minimal lags. Also, the graphics unit includes Tensor Cores and streaming multiprocessors that famous development companies like Star Wars use in their movies and games.
The Razer blade 15 bases gaming laptop consists of a Mobile-based Comet Lake 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H with 6 physical cores and 12 computing threads. Also, the CPU has somehow low base frequency at 2.60 GHz, but It’s unlocked for overclocking with a 5.00 GHz maximum turbo frequency.
Talking about its memory, you’ll get 16 GB DDR4-2933MHz dual memory channels that decrease the risk of overheating and memory burn. And, the brand includes a 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD for faster boot-ups and allows you to transfer data at maximum speed.
You can customize the backlit keyboard up to 15 different versions for different time zones, like green for the day and complete white for the night. The battery backup of this laptop with ultimate accessories is more than Alienware. That said, you can expect 5 or 6 hours of battery life while developing games in Unity, while it can exceed 8 hours when you use it to surf the web or watch movies.
- 300 nits display
- Best laptop for premiere pro and Unity 3D
- 1440p panel
- Long battery life
- Superior touchpad
- Heats up quickly
- Old design
- Convoluted screen options
MSI Creator 15 Professional Laptop
MSI is the first-line competitor of Razer and Asus in creating high-performance and graphics-oriented gadgets like the MSI Creator 15. The laptop consists of 400 nits 15.6” 4K UHD 180° display to provide maximum brightness while developing your favorite games. Also, it is a 100 percent AdobeRGB color gamut that provides full colors, so you can easily spot color correction or other issues created by your team.
The laptop consists of an Intel Core i7 10875H processor with 8 cores. This CPU features a base clock of 2.3GHz and a maximum turbo frequency of 5.10GHz to run multiple processes simultaneously. You’ll experience the fast performance of 16 computing threads while switching between programs, and the 16 MB Intel® Smart Cache enables it to uplift your development career.
As for the Creator 15, it only comes with 32 GB DDR4 RAM at 2933 MHz. It’s low-frequency RAM for a gaming laptop like Creator 15, but you can’t expect more than that in a 2020 laptop. In addition, it has a 1 TB NVMe SSD (Thunderbolt 3) that could store maximum data.
The MSI Creator 15 includes GeForce RTX 2070 Super; that’s why the brand calls it a Creator. With the powerful 3D card, you can make games and render everything in blender or Unity 3D with quick rendering at higher frame rates.
Could you tell me why it’s called Creator? Because it features a separate Creator Studio that enables you to control and optimize the performance of your laptop for various scenarios so that it will always perform at its best while you’re working on your craft. Furthermore, MSI Creator also provides 15% more airflow with three inbuilt fans using CoolerBoost technology.
- Thunderbolt 3
- AdobeRGB color gamut
- Versatile Connection
- Fingerprint sensor
- Loud fans
- Sharp edges
- Mediocre speakers
Acer Predator Triton 500
Remember the Predator bashing Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie like SpongeBob? Yeah! The same way Acer Predator Triton 5001 acts when you run a game or video development program. Simply, it means you can run every app to uplift your development career and fulfill WFH requirements.
The Acer Predator 500 consists of the same mobile-based Comet Lake 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H with 6 physical cores and 12 computing threads as the razer blade 15, making it a cheaper competitor to Razer. The CPU’s base frequency is rather low at 2.60 GHz, but it’s unlocked for overclocking with a maximum turbo frequency of 5.00 GHz.
Plus, it includes a backlight keyboard to give you an aesthetic feel while creating your next big thing. Similarly, the Triton 500 features Nvidia GeForce GTX 2070 Super to boast AI and ray tracking on a higher level. While diving deep, we got to know that it’s a desktop graphics variant, meaning you’ll get Max-Q Design and 8 GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM to run Unity and blender.
The brand includes 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM at 2933 MHz to store data and run the laptop smoothly. It’s quite low for game development, but you can easily upgrade the system memory at home. Other than that, you’ll get a 512 GB PCIe M.2 SSD that provides fast boot-up and quick app loading, while a spare SSD slot is there to upgrade storage.
Missing something? Probably the screen. The brand includes a 15.6” FHD 1920×1080 LED IPS display with 300 nits bright screen. It provides maximum brightness and contrast in the sunlight, so you don’t stop working while traveling or having a sunbath. Further, the screen is compatible with Nvidia G-sync and contains a 300 Hz refresh rate at 3 ms overdrive space.
- Overclocked CPU and GPU
- AeroBlade 3D Fan
- 300 Hz IPS display
- 360° surround sound system
- Bloated with unnecessary software
- No HDR
- Loud fans
MSI Stealth 15M Gaming Laptop
Game development seriously needs some high graphics due to the deliverable graphics, meaning you’ll need to develop games working with AI and machine learning for today’s generation. Also, ray tracing is important; therefore, the MSI stealth 15M gaming laptop comes with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060.
Till now, you’ve not seen this unit in other models we’ve reviewed. It’s a 12 GB GDDR6 variant with 3584 Cuda cores and a 1.78 boost clock that’s more than enough to develop games for modern gamers. Similarly, it combines with an 11th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-11375H Tiger Lake Processors. The processor is not just an ordinary one because it includes 4 cores and 8 computing threads, along with a 12 MB Intel® Smart Cache to smooth the switching applications.
As mentioned earlier, gaming laptops are best for development. Therefore you can expect a 144 Hz refresh rate while working on your craft at a 15.6” FHD 1080p screen. Higher frame rates are important in gaming, and when it comes to development, it becomes necessary. How? High frame rates ensure smooth motion and crisp details so that it can double your workflow and productivity.
The MSI Stealth 15M gaming laptop consists of higher frequency RAM at 3200 MHz. While covering the RAM, we got to know; that you’ll get dual-channel 16 GB DDR4 RAM. Don’t worry if it seems low because you can upgrade it with the flip of your fingers. Down the road, it includes a 512 GB SSD for fast data transfer combined with USB 4.0 and Thunderbolt 4 that increasing the transfer rate up to 40 GB/s.
- Thunderbolt 4 and USB 4.0
- Tiger Lake CPU
- Lightweight and thin bezel
- Decent I/O
- Loud fan noise
- No Ethernet port
ASUS TUF F17
The gaming community also favors ASUS for its extremely fast computing and compact devices, making them a rising star. That said, the brand includes an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti that cost above $800. Still, you’ll see this card inside this under $1300 laptop for game development. The dedicated graphics unit boasts 4 GB GDDR overclockable graphics memory up to 1585 MHz.
Somehow, it consumes more energy than drains battery life, but you can switch between dedicated or integrated graphics units. It means the laptop comes with an option of battery saving and high performance to adjust your workflow and normal life. Other than that, it includes a mobile-based 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H chip for fast processing.
It’s a factory unlocked processor, meaning you can overclock this processor from 2.30 GHz to 4.60 GHz according to your needs. Diving deeply, you’ll get to know that this Tiger Lake family chip has 8 physical cores and 16 computing threads with 24 MB Intel® Smart Cache, which makes it easy to switch from Unity3D to Adobe After Effects.
The ASUS TUF F17, as its name suggest, works like an F17 jet due to higher frequency RAM at 3200 MHz. Its total memory size is 16 GB DDR4 and combined with 512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD. More so, you’ll get Windows 10 Home as your primary operating system right out of the box. Plus, the brand also includes a 15.6” 144Hz FHD (1920×1080) IPS display to visualize every color on the planet.
- Military standard construction
- 144 HZ display
- Higher Frequency RAM
- Well known brand
- Frequent BSOD
- No biometrics
- No SD card slot
Acer Predator Helios 300
Acer creates some of the best computing machines for gamers and office work. In terms of gaming, indeed, the Predator Helios 300 is a gaming predator. It features an FHD display with IPS technology, which measures 15.6 inches (1920 × 1080). You can visualize games more accurately with the sRGB color gamut of the screen. Moreover, its 144Hz rapid screen refresh rate will boost your gaming experience.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 comes with 11th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-11800H and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU. It’s a Tiger Lake CPU with 8 cores and 16 computing threads that help divide the pressure of multiple programs on the machine. And, the NVIDIA RTX 3060 allows you to add AI and ray tracing to your upcoming launches to make them real.
To keep the machine cool and calm, the laptop has two AeroBlade 3d Fans. Moreover, you will be able to listen to game audio with a dramatic feel thanks to Acer TrueHarmony and Dolby Audio Premium. Furthermore, the laptop comes with an upgradeable 256 GB SSD. The laptop weighs 5.51 pounds and has dimensions of 10.47” x 15.35” x 1.05” (L × W × H).
Lastly, it includes dual-channel upgradeable DDR4 16 GB RAM at 2666 MHz, that’s more than enough to back up your development career. This device is equipped with a 7-hour battery that offers long-lasting playback and streaming. It also has two USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports.
- The best Budget gaming laptop
- Easy to carry
- Responsive keyboard and Mouse track
- Sometimes overheat
- Low storage
- A bit heavy and bulky
Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop
Here comes the eighth-best laptop for game development. As everyone knows, Lenovo promises excellent computing accessories and digital gadgets such as laptops, watches, TV, and mobile phones. The Lenovo Legion 5 comes with a 15.6” 1920 × 1080 FHD IPS display with only 250 nits.
This screen is partially visible in the sunlight, and it’s not recommended for outdoor users. However, if you’re into game development, don’t worry because this 1080p display can deliver up to a 120 Hz refresh rate with 100% sRGB coverage. Moreover, the screen is tested and can provide 5ms fast response time that’s enough to switch between apps faster.
Further, the Lenovo Legion 5 uses heat reduction polymer-coated fans to endure long backup without heating the device. It’s the only laptop on our list with an AMD processor. That said, you’ll get an AMD Ryzen 7000 series 4800H processor with eight cores and supports hyper-threading (16 threads). Also, these Zen 2 microarchitecture processors have a 2.9 GHz base clock speed, and you can overclock it to 4.2 GHz.
Relatively, it’s a low-budget game development laptop, so the brand only keeps an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti GPU as its dedicated graphical unit. The graphics unit is old but still provides 8 Gbps due to the 6 GB GDDR5 frame buffer. On top of that, this laptop uses a dual-channel thermal system to cool itself, thanks to its inbuilt Legion 2.0 Coldfront.
This laptop includes 16 GB of upgradeable DDR4 SDRAM at 3200 MHz along with a 512 GB SSD drive. The fast RAM ensures multitasking, while the upgradeable SSD helps you transfer data at a much higher rate.
- Extended Battery life
- Contains Most Powerful Processor
- 802.11ax Wi-Fi
- In-built liquid crystal cooling system
- You may experience issues with Linux operating system
- No international warranty
- Mediocre speakers
MSI GL75 Leopard Gaming Laptop
Narrowing down our list to the last two products. We’ve got MSI GL75 Leopard with a smooth 17.3” (1920 × 1080) vibrant display backed with 144 Hz refresh for better gaming and streaming. The screen delivers up to 278 nits on average and can increase in sunlight for better viewing. You’ve to manage with this low light screen because it’s just an under $1000 laptop.
Further, the MSI GL75 is powered with a Mobile based Comet Lake 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H with 6 physical cores and 12 computing threads. While the base frequency is a bit low at 2.60 GHz, it’s capable of overclocking up to 5.00 GHz. More so, it also contains a 12 MB Intel® Smart Cache that ensures smooth switching between apps and makes it possible to surf the web even faster.
After CPU, the main source of power handling and making a laptop eligible for multitasking is RAM. Therefore, you’ll get 16 GB DDR4 RAM at 2933 MHz. It’s the same frequency RAM as the Acer Predator Triton 500 at a much lower price. The brand includes a 512 GB NVMe SSD for fast data transfer, and you’ll also get an updated version of Windows 10 right out of the box, so you can start working after arrival.
The MSI GL75 consists of 6 GB GDDR5 GTX 1660 Ti, an upgraded version of the Lenovo Legion 5. This GPU features a 1785 MHz boost clock speed and 8 Gbps graphical prowess to handle video development and game development software programs.
- CPU and GPU cooling technology
- High-frequency RAM
- Sleek and thin design
- 17.3” large screen
- Best laptop for programming and gaming
- Low battery life
- Lackluster display
- No Fingerprint reader
2019 Apple MacBook Pro
The 2019 Apple MacBook Pro is a powerful laptop that can handle anything you throw at it. A few notable features include a sixth-generation Intel Core i7 processor with a 12 MB L3 cache and six cores. With the boost clock on 4.5 GHz, you’ll experience 2.6 GHz processing power.
MacBook Pro 2019 features a 16″ 3072×1920 diagonal LED-backlit IPS display at 226 pixels per inch. But what about brightness? You won’t find a more bright and more expensive laptop than the MacBook on our list due to its over $2k price and 500 nits brightness with a P3 color gamut.
Compared to Apple models, it features a super smooth touch bar and Touch ID. It contains 6 GB of RAM at 2666 MHz, and you can upgrade to 64 GB to handle more tasks at a time. Moreover, you’ll get a 512 GB SSD to save files and project data.
Further, Apple includes AMD Radeon Pro 5300M UHD Graphics 630 to ensure smooth graphics. At the same time, you edit your favorite game clips, which makes it the best laptop for AI programming. In terms of battery life, the 2019 MacBook Pro provides 11 hours of web surfing. Other than that, its total weight is 4.3 pounds, with overall dimensions of 9.68” x 14.09” x 0.64”.
- Best built-in laptop speakers
- The display supports a million colors
- Improved thermals
- Ultrafast SSD
- macOS Catalina is still buggy
- Noisy fans
Recommended Specifications For Game Developers
Custom Coding And Programming
Your CPU will probably be most important if you compile and import large amounts of code every day.
Despite that, you also have to take into account other components after having a powerful CPU. It includes RAM, storage, and a powerful graphics card (GPU). You can smoothen your development experience with these secondary specs.
2D has been the main aspect of game development since the dawn of the industry. We recommend buying a laptop with a good resolution with a touch screen to practice 2D graphics. You will have a smooth workflow if it contains entry-level hardware.
Animation And Visuals (3D)
As a game designer, you create high polygon cut scenes, sculpt, or create typical graphics of everyday life. You need a high-end GPU for 3D tasks. These days, there are several GPUs available for 3D graphics.
We recommend a laptop containing Nvidia GeForce (with or without RTX) to enhance your work speed.
Working With Augmented Reality (AR)
The AR technology in a game allows players to experience real-world environments. By using computer-generated intuition, the developers make the object appear more natural.
Do I need a high-end Laptop for AR development?
In general, AR doesn’t seem to be a big deal nowadays. Hence, entry-level laptops are capable of handling these tasks.
Working With Virtual Reality (VR)
You may know something about VR if you are a game developer. It should also be noted that VR technology is limited in running on the devices of users’ choice.
In addition, you’ll need a GPU and CPU combination that can handle this workload. According to our research, a GPU updated AMD Ryzen 5 2600 and NVIDIA 1060 can take the pressure of VR.
Why do I need a High-end CPU and GPU for VR?
Due to the fact that VR requires running two screens simultaneously. As a result, it requires too much concentration; therefore, if your laptop is low spec, it becomes a headache rather than enjoyable to create games in VR.
What To Consider Before Buying Your Best Laptop For Game Development — Buying Guide
There are many people interested in this mega-industry because it has evolved so much. Gamers and developers alike have to put a lot of effort into this career. Therefore, many developers think a high-quality laptop is required to develop games. Additionally, laptops have many advantages over PCs.
A Processor is the brain and the spine of a game development laptop because it needs to handle multiple programs and provide the same speed to everyone. Often, brands focus on integrating sound processing into notebooks today.
Furthermore, you will see a thin, sturdy design with a powerful processor for notebooks. The reason for this is that many makers also focus on the size of the motherboard and other components. It should be obvious to you that game development is a subset of programming.
How can game development operate without a decent processor, just as programming is difficult without one?
In order to get the best performance, we recommend an Intel Core i7 or i9 processor from the 7th generation or above because older processors like Intel Atom can’t render 2D or 3D graphics.
Powerful Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) For Powerful Development
In addition to a powerful CPU, a powerful GPU is necessary when developing games. It’s like a combo you’ll need to accomplish your goals.
In recent years, laptops have gained much popularity among brands as well. So, they have a keen eye on their laptop’s GPU which makes them fast and efficient. In order to program like a professional, we’ve reviewed all laptops with RTX graphics.
Random Access Memory (RAM):
RAM should be the most important component after the above essential components of your next best laptop for game development. It increases the multitasking capabilities of a laptop. For game development, you’ll need 8 GB RAM at a minimum. Ideally, you should get a laptop with 16 GB RAM instead.
Multitasking is the key to game development. RAM, therefore, increases speed. Consequently, you should invest in a laptop with higher frequency RAM, i-e 2666 MHz or 3200 MHz.
Storage (HDD vs. SSD):
SSDs are fast and elegant, which is why many experts recommend SSD over HDDs. Many SSD manufacturers ensure that their SSDs are more rapid than 6 GB/s, creating a unique option.
With regard to price, SSDs provide a better value than HDDs, as previously discussed. As a result, SSDs may be more expensive than HDDs. Often, a 1 TB HDD costs the same as a 256 GB SSD. Therefore, consider your budget and determine which one suits you best.
GPU and display go hand in hand. Moreover, it is composed of many aspects. Several factors to consider include panel (Matte, IPS, OLED, LCD), and resolution (720p, 1080p, 2k, 4k). And the refresh rate (60 Hz, 120 Hz, 140 Hz).
Although it will cost less to use a 1080/IPS display instead of a 4k/60Hz. A 4K display, however, can display 8 million more pixels than a 1080p display.
Batteries are sometimes said to be an essential feature, but they should not be stressed too much. Many programmers work inside, according to our observations. So, average battery life can be suitable for a game developer.
In contrast, if you love to work outdoors, we recommend getting a laptop with at least 5 hours of battery backup as the best practice. But again! Don’t stress on battery too much because a powerful laptop with a dedicated graphics unit drains the battery faster than an ordinary laptop.
Screen Size, Thermal & Weight:
Most laptops today have a 14″-17″ screen and are lightweight. However, if it weighs more than 5 pounds, it will no longer qualify as portable.
Game development, on the other hand, can heat your laptop. Check customer reviews before purchasing to see what its thermal capacity is. If you don’t have time to read the customer reviews, hover over a call to customer support to ensure that the computer has an excellent cooling fan.
Traditionally, we recommend our top pick and the best laptop for game development here in the verdict and define why you should get this one instead of others. Since there are ten laptops on our list, we’ve decided to give the last brief about two products and say goodbye to you. These recommendations help our users to get to know what we love.
The Alienware Area 51M is our top pick due to its fast components, such as 16 GB RAM at 3200 MHz, and support for up to 64 GB RAM. Alongside this, you’ll get Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super to implement AI and AR technologies in your games.
Other than that, you can take a look at the 2019 Apple MacBook Pro as it’s the only Apple laptop and the best laptop for game development till now due to its built-in machine learning capabilities. You will get an extra bright 500 nits to display with 11 hours of battery backup to power up your career.
Kevin is a Tech journalist for over a decade. He writes on Wearables, Headphones, and Laptops. When he is not glued to his laptop, You will find him working on exciting projects that include Unboxing new Gadgets, comparing them, and tweaking their hardware.