Top laptops for demanding gamers
Gaming laptops are a good alternative to classic gaming PCs. Because mobile graphics chips are almost on a par with their desktop counterparts in terms of performance, gaming laptops offer very high performance with a compact form factor. We have tested current models from manufacturers such as HP, Razer and Dell and give clear purchase recommendations for different budgets. In the text as well as in the video, we explain what you should pay attention to when buying a gaming notebook.
The evolution of gaming notebooks increasingly closes the gap to desktop PCs. Nvidia in particular has made a major contribution to this, because since the GPU manufacturer launched its Geforce 1000 series for laptops, the performance difference between mobile and desktop graphics chips is hardly worth mentioning, depending on the graphics chipset. The performance values are often (especially in the 1000 generation) at a comparable level to the desktop models, which makes the purchase of a gaming notebook highly attractive – provided that money does not matter.
With the Geforce 2000 series, Nvidia has now also launched its “RTX computing cores”, which massively accelerate real-time ray tracing, for mobile computers. Our comparison test of the top models show that a new generation does not always have to be significantly better than its predecessor .
So here are Best Gaming Laptop For Your Money Gamers:
- Dell G7 17 Gaming Laptop
- Alienware M17
- MSI GS75 Stealth-093
- Acer Predator Helios 300
- ASUS ROG Zephyrus M Slim Gaming Laptop
- MSI P65 Creator-1084
- Razer Blade 15
- Acer Nitro 7
- HP Omen X 2S 15-dg0070ng
- HP OMEN X 2S 2019 15-in Gaming Laptop with Secondary Touchscreen Display,
- Intel i7-9750H,
- NVIDIA RTX 2080 with Max-Q
- 8 GB, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, VR/MR Ready
- Windows 10 Home (15-dg0020nr, Black)
- Dual display technology
- Excellent performance values
- Good sound
- Very quiet even under full load
- High price
- Suitable for right-handers only
The current leader of our leaderboard, equipped with an Intel Core i9 processor and the current RTX 2080 from Nvidia, offers outstanding performance and can also convince with the powerful dual display. A whopping 32 GB of RAM, the 2 Terabyte SSD and the low volume round off the almost perfect overall package. For this, prospective customers must also shell out a substantial sum.
The biggest specialty of the HP Omen X 2S is immediately apparent at first glance: the additional display above the keyboard. The 5.98-inch second screen offers full HD resolution and is also multi-touch capable. This enables the display of additional information in games, for example a mini map or the inventory, but also the placement of frequently used tools for machining programs. The matte 15.6-inch main display, on the other hand, has a 4K resolution and a refresh rate of 60 Hertz. In the test, it convinced with a good coverage of the standard RGB color space and the high brightness, which are contrasted by a slightly lower checkerboard contrast and the moderate coverage of the very large Adobe RGB color space. Overall, a good display, but other models can do a little more here.
In terms of performance, however, no one can fool the HP Omen X 2S. Equipped with an eight-core Intel Core i9-9980H with a clock rate of up to 4.8 GHz and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q with a whopping eight GB of video memory, the notebook achieves excellent values in the benchmark and in practice. Current titles such as “Far Cry 5”, “GTA V” or “Total War: Warhammer II” break the 60fps mark even at the highest graphics settings. The lush 32 GB of RAM is also great, while the two one terabyte SSDs ensure extremely short loading times. In addition to gaming, the device is also ideally suited for demanding work.
Even under full load, the fans of the Omen X 2S are surprisingly quiet and, unlike the Razer Blade 15, do not attract attention when playing. The exterior can also impress with a very high quality workmanship and high ergonomics, whereby mobility suffers particularly from the poor battery life. With continuous video playback, the built-in battery only lasts for 02:19 hours in the test, with excessive use it ends much earlier. Like many gaming laptops, the notebook is therefore particularly suitable for stationary use with a connected power supply. In addition to a connection for headsets, it also offers ports for three USB 3.0 connections, USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, HDMI and a DisplayPort (via USB-C) and LAN.
Best Budget Acer Predator Helios 300
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-53-78BK
- Intel Core i7-9750H (6 cores with 2.6 – 4.5 GHz)
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060
- (6 GB VRAM)
- 16 GB DDR4, 1 TB SSD
- Strong 144 Hertz display
- Very good performance
- Pleasant service
- Strong price
- Moderate battery life
- 1TB of memory a bit scarce
At a price of around 1,800 dollars, the Acer Predator Helios 300 currently offers the best price-performance ratio of our gaming notebook best list. In view of its strong performance, the beautiful 144Hz display and the extensive equipment, you get a lot for your money.
The display of the Helios 300 is one of the best on our leaderboard. On a diagonal of 17.3 inches, it offers a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (Full HD) as well as an extremely smooth refresh rate of 144 Hertz. It achieves a very good checkerboard contrast of 211: 1 and covers 93 percent of the sRGB color space. Again, the coverage of the Adobe color space is very low at 71 percent, but the viewing angle stability and good brightness are good.
The performance of the gaming notebook is also impressive. In addition to 16 GB of RAM and a 1 Terabyte SSD, a six-core Intel Core i7-9750H processor with up to 4.5 GHz and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 with 6 GB VRAM were installed in our test device. The Helios 300 achieves good to very good results in the benchmark and also achieves some FPS in games with more complex graphics. “Far Cry 5” runs at about 84 fps, while “GTA V” even shines at 121.8 fps. We would have expected a little more from the cooling-friendly casing, but there is basically nothing to complain about here. The notebook is well suited for more complex editing programs as well as gaming at a high level.
The housing has a high-quality finish and offers a well-lit and very ergonomic keyboard, a good mouse pad and numerous connections. These include about three USB 3.0 ports, a USB-C port and a mini DisplayPort and HDMI. With a weight of 2.8 kilograms, mobility is also okay, but the battery could be more durable with a video runtime of just under five hours. However, the notebook comes with a SATA installation kit, with which you can upgrade or replace the internal hard drive memory.
Acer Nitro 7 Gaming Laptop Check Latest Price On Amazon
- 15.6″ Full HD IPS Display
- 9th Gen Intel i7-9750H
- GeForce GTX 1650 4GB
- 16GB DDR4
- 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- Backlit Keyboard
- 16GB / 512GB
- Good gaming performance
- Very good battery life
- Many USB ports
- Moderate display
- HDMI port only for external displays
If the price of the Predator Helios 300 is too high for you despite its fair price-performance ratio, we can recommend the Acer Nitro 7, which is also an extremely fair alternative in terms of price. Finally, good performance is also offered here for around $300 less, even if a few compromises have to be made with the display. A high level of ergonomics and the relatively long battery life, however, please.
The display is really not the highlight of the Nitro 7. Although it offers 15.6 inches of Full HD resolution at 60 Hertz, coverage of the sRGB color space, which is very low at 65 percent, is disappointing. However, the brightness is okay and the checkerboard contrast is also 171: 1. Apart from the slightly pale color display, the display is quite unspectacular, but still ok considering the price.
It looks very different in terms of performance. The Intel Core i7-9750H with six cores and a clock speed of up to 4.5 GHertz achieves decent benchmark results together with the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and its six GB video memory and also displays more complex graphics smoothly. The 16 GB also contributes to this large RAM, a 512 GB HDD and a 1TB HDD are used as main memory. The Nitro 5 usually breaks the 60fps mark in the test, but has to clearly subordinate to the two previous tips. The graphics card of the 10 series also does not have the characteristic ray tracing of the RTX models.
But the processing of the notebook is particularly appealing. With its high quality and a pleasantly ergonomic keyboard and the pointed touchpad, the device convinces all along the line. Mobility is also impressive in comparison to the previous tips, the video runtime of the battery is significantly longer at 07:18 hours. The weight of 2.3 kilograms also facilitates mobile use.
- Intel Core i7-8750H (6 cores with 2.2 – 4.1 GHz)
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q (8 GB VRAM)
- 16 GB DDR4
- 512 GB SSD
- Great gaming performance
- Excellent 144 Hz display
- Long battery life
- Device gets loud and hot
- Keyboard bad for gaming
- Mediocre equipment
If you have to transport your gaming notebook more often or like to use it on the go, you should pay particular attention to a compact design and low weight when buying. The Blade 15 from Razer shows that these design decisions often go hand in hand with compromises . Although it scores with a strong display and decent performance, the moderate ergonomics of the keyboard and the high volume of the fan do not appeal.
The 15.6-inch display of the Blade 15 offers a Full HD resolution and a butter-soft refresh rate of 144 Hertz. In the test, it convinced with 94 percent coverage of the sRGB color space, the high brightness and the good checkerboard contrast of 175: 1. The display also offers a wide viewing angle, which is almost borderless thanks to the frame, which is only 4.9 millimeters wide. A variant with 4K resolution, 60 Hertz and touch is also available for a higher price.
Like its predecessors, the Blade 15 cuts a good figure in terms of performance. An Intel Core i7-8750H with six cores and up to 4.1 GHertz, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q with 8 GB VRAM and a 16 GB RAM are installed. With this combination, the notebook achieves good benchmark results and usually achieves over 60 frames per second even in modern games – for example, with “Far Cry 5” there are 78 fps with a high level of detail. This means that the Blade 15 is also suitable for more computing-intensive gaming as well as more complex editing programs, even if other problems occur under full load.
So in the test we were disturbed by the rather high volume of the fans, which despite the case heats up a lot. This is even noticeable when using the keyboard, the thin and compact design of the device has been implemented here at the expense of ventilation. The keyboard also only has a very short travel distance, which is particularly noticeable with the WASD control. At least the Blade 15 has three USB 3.0 ports, a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 3, a mini DisplayPort and HDMI some interfaces, but the Internet is only available via WLAN. The battery also pleases with a video runtime of 07:12 hours and the extremely low weight of 2.1 kilograms make the notebook very mobile even outside of its thin architecture.
- 15.6″ 4K UHD Display
- Ultra-Thin and Light
- RTX Studio Laptop
- Intel Core i7-9750H
- GeForce RTX 2060
- 32GB DDR4
- 1TB Teton Glacier SSD
- VR Ready
- 15.6” Full HD 144Hz IPS-Type G-SYNC
- GeForce GTX 1070
- Intel Core i7-8750H Processor
- 16GB DDR4
- 256GB PCIe SSD + 1TB FireCuda,
- Windows 10 – GM501GS-XS74
- 17.3″ Razor Thin Bezel Gaming Laptop
- NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2080 8G Max-Q
- 144Hz 3ms
- Intel i7-8750H (6 cores)
- 512GB NVMe SSD
- Per Key RGB
- Matte Black w/ Gold Dia
- 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H
- 17. 3″ QHD (2560 X 1440) 120Hz
- 400-nits Display
- 16GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM
- 512GB SSD
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6
- Windows 10 Home
- 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H
- NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti 6G
- 17.3″ FHD LCD Screen
- 512GB SSD
- 16 GB RAM) G7790-7662GRY-PUS
How We tests gaming laptops
Laptops for gamers have to meet different requirements than normal notebooks for work. That is why we have developed a completely new test procedure for these models and at the same time adjust the weighting of the individual rating categories to the requirements.
- Performance category – 35% of the overall grade
We make by far the most important rating for gaming notebooks based on performance. We use current games such as Forza Horizon 4, Forza Motorsport 7, Far Cry 5, Grand Theft Auto 5, Total War: Warhammer 2 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider as well as two classics, Alien Isolation and DiRT. In addition, we run synthetic benchmarks such as CineBench R15, the new 3DMark and Unigine Superposition.
- Display category – 25% of the overall grade
After the performance, the display quality is the second most important rating in our ranking. Since all of our test candidates have a display with Full HD resolution, the resolution does not play a role in the evaluation, and we can concentrate entirely on the measurable features of the display. These include values such as maximum brightness, color space coverage, contrast ratio and viewing angle stability.
- Equipment category – 20% of the overall grade.
How big is the hard disk storage? How many USB ports does the test device have? And which chips are installed on the mainboard? The equipment is an important aspect of every notebook, even with gaming models. We record all relevant connections, modules, drives and special features that stand out in the test.
- Ergonomics category – 15% of the overall grade
A lot of small things flow into the ergonomics rating. This includes, for example, the volume of the system under full load. But the quality of the keyboard and touchpad, the appearance and appearance of the device as well as the behavior of the display hinge also belong in this category.
- Mobility category – 5% of the overall grade
As already mentioned, mobility only plays a subordinate role in our ranking. On the one hand, because the battery life in gaming mode is very short for all devices, and on the other hand, because they generally only develop their full performance when they are connected to the mains. In this rating category we go into the dimensions of the notebook, evaluate the weight and check the battery life.
Buy Gaming Notebooks: You should pay attention to:
There are a few points to consider when buying a gaming notebook. We have put together the most important ones for you:
- Dedicated graphics card performance
A gaming notebook must meet many criteria. However, the performance of the dedicated graphics card is particularly important. The integrated graphics chips from Intel and AMD are becoming more and more powerful, but as soon as a video game is a bit more demanding in its presentation, you no longer want to do without a separate chip. Nvidia currently dominates the mobile market with its Geforce 1000 series and continues with the RTX-2000 series; AMD still doesn’t play a relevant role here. As on the desktop, Nvidia positions itself with various GPU variants that should meet different requirements.At the top of the mobile graphics chips, Nvidia positions the Geforce RTX 2080 – the Ti variant, which is available for desktop computers, was not implemented on the move. In our leaderboard, for example, we have the Dell Alienware m15, which runs with a Geforce RTX 2080 Max-Q and costs a whopping $3,100. In terms of performance, it sets a best value, but at the same time it cannot significantly differentiate itself from the Alienware 15 R4 with Geforce GTX 1080 Max-Q. This is surprising and disappointing because there are a few years of GPU development in between and we expected a clear difference. In short: You don’t need to upgrade from GTX 1080 to RTX 2080 to play in Full HD resolution.
- RAM and hard disk volume
In addition to a strong graphics card, we recommend 16 GB of RAM, also because it is more future-proof. Most games can currently handle 8 GB of RAM – but not every notebook can be upgraded arbitrarily. We therefore advise you not to save at this point.An SSD (instead of or together with a conventional hard disk) is the mass storage of choice. Many games require long loading times to display the game world. A solid state disk provides a full boost here. Annoying reloading stutters are also seen much less frequently on an SSD. If you own a huge game library and want to save some money, you can, for example, install a larger HDD instead of a second SSD. However, you then have to expect occasional stutters.
- Cooling system and ventilation
Aside from the power components, it is important that the notebook manufacturer install a good cooling system. This ensures stability during long-term gaming and prevents loud fan noises, which can sometimes be heard even when playing headphones and can disturb the users and people around them. The keyboard of the notebook is also interesting. Many players prefer mechanical keys because of their durability and the well-defined pressure point. The touchpad is less relevant; we assume that gamers will use a mouse either way.
Other factors to consider are the quality of the case, the dimensions and the weight. As a rule, gaming notebooks will be used at home at the desk because they are significantly more compact than full-fledged desktop computers – but if you consciously choose a laptop for gaming and refuse a potentially cheaper desktop PC, you might also have mobility in mind to have.
Gaming notebook or desktop variant – what is suitable for me?
If you are considering buying a gaming laptop, you should first think about why you want to do this. Because, as a rule, the mobile versions are always a lot more expensive than their desktop counterparts. Notebooks are also difficult to upgrade. The installation of a larger SSD or HDD is not a problem and you can also change the working memory on many models, but the processor or graphics card only has a new purchase after a few years.
For example, if you want to save space due to your living situation or you are on the road more often and would like to gamble for an hour in the hotel room in the evening, then it is worth buying a mobile gaming machine. Otherwise, the money you save by purchasing a desktop gaming variant can be better invested in purchasing a mouse, keyboard, or monitor.
You should also be aware that a 15 inch notebook is always a little cheaper than its 17 inch offshoot. However, the ventilation is often better with the larger versions, since there is simply more space available in the housing.
How much money do I have to spend?
Basically, you have to decide which games you prefer to play and how important the topic of graphic power is to you. The price range for gaming devices reflects our test very well. Devices can also be found under $1,000, but then you have to reckon with the fact that you cannot admire triple-A games like Battlefield V, Borderlands 3 or Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in all their pixel splendor. The more graphics you want, the more money you have to invest.
In addition to the GPU, the CPU is of course another important component of a gaming laptop. Here you have to find a golden way between the two components of the graphics chipset and processor. For example, if you chose a combination of a Core i9 and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, the GPU would slow down this system – conversely, with a Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 and a Core i5, the processor would become a bottleneck. However, in most cases, the GPUs are a bit throttled in clock frequency compared to their desktop variants in order to save electricity in this way.
It is also crucial whether the display of your laptop should resolve in Full HD or 4K. But the refresh rate also plays a role. If you want a 120 Hz or 144 Hz display that shows content even more smoothly, this also increases the costs.
What do I do with my games that I still have on CD or DVD?
Do you still have a few classics on an optical data medium such as CD or DVD and find that your chosen device no longer has a drive and therefore do not know how to install the games? This is not a problem at all, because various manufacturers offer external DVD or Blu-ray burners that you can connect to your notebook via a USB port.
Can I also upgrade a notebook with an external graphics card?
Do you own a current notebook with an internal graphics card solution, do not want to buy a gaming notebook but still play graphically complex games? If your notebook has a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 3 function, you can connect external graphics card housings to your laptop, which you can then equip with a graphics card of your choice.
So these were Best Gaming Laptop list selected from gaming communities of Reddit.