Best Laptop for Game Development 2021

Best Overall
ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 15.6” 4K UHD NanoEdge Bezel Touch, Intel Core i9-9980HK, 32GB RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD, GeForce RTX 2060, Innovative ScreenPad Plus, Windows 10 Pro - UX581GV-XB94T, Celestial Blue
OEM Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 15.6” FHD 1920x1080 IPS, Intel Hexa Core i7-10750H, 32GB RAM, 1TB NVMe, GeForce GTX 1650 Ti, Fingerprint, W10 Home
ASUS VivoBook K571 Laptop, 15.6” FHD, Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, 16GB RAM, 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD, Windows 10 Home, K571GT-EB76, Star Black
GIGABYTE AERO 15 OLED KC - 15.6" - Intel Core i7-10870H - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6 - 16GB RAM - 512GB SSD - Windows 10 Pro - Creator & Gaming Laptop (AERO 15 OLED KC-8US5130SP)
MSI GS75 Stealth-093 17.3" Razor Thin Bezel Gaming Laptop NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2080 8G Max-Q, 144Hz 3ms, Intel i7-8750H (6 cores), 32GB, 512GB NVMe SSD, TB3, Per Key RGB, Win10H, Matte Black w/ Gold Dia
Top of the line speed and graphics
Ultra-fast
Ultra-fast GPU
Large RAM and storage
Dual storage
Seamless GPU
Best display
Powerful NVIDIA CPU
Top of the line CPU and GPU
Long battery life
Average battery life
Average audio
Bulkier and heavier
Average battery life
Lacks connectivity
Short battery life
Expensive
Average build quality
No G-Sync support
Best Overall
ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 15.6” 4K UHD NanoEdge Bezel Touch, Intel Core i9-9980HK, 32GB RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD, GeForce RTX 2060, Innovative ScreenPad Plus, Windows 10 Pro - UX581GV-XB94T, Celestial Blue
Top of the line speed and graphics
Ultra-fast
Average battery life
Average audio
OEM Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 15.6” FHD 1920x1080 IPS, Intel Hexa Core i7-10750H, 32GB RAM, 1TB NVMe, GeForce GTX 1650 Ti, Fingerprint, W10 Home
Ultra-fast GPU
Large RAM and storage
Bulkier and heavier
Average battery life
ASUS VivoBook K571 Laptop, 15.6” FHD, Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, 16GB RAM, 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD, Windows 10 Home, K571GT-EB76, Star Black
Dual storage
Seamless GPU
Lacks connectivity
Short battery life
GIGABYTE AERO 15 OLED KC - 15.6" - Intel Core i7-10870H - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6 - 16GB RAM - 512GB SSD - Windows 10 Pro - Creator & Gaming Laptop (AERO 15 OLED KC-8US5130SP)
Best display
Powerful NVIDIA CPU
Expensive
MSI GS75 Stealth-093 17.3" Razor Thin Bezel Gaming Laptop NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2080 8G Max-Q, 144Hz 3ms, Intel i7-8750H (6 cores), 32GB, 512GB NVMe SSD, TB3, Per Key RGB, Win10H, Matte Black w/ Gold Dia
Top of the line CPU and GPU
Long battery life
Average build quality
No G-Sync support

Gaming is one of the fastest-growing industries when it comes to innovations and continuous development. As a game developer, you’d understand how finding the best laptop can make the difference between a life-changing idea and a well-executed design. 

Sure, you’ll manage to get by with a budget laptop. But whether you’re a professional designer or a game design student, you will want a more advanced laptop that can keep up with the times. 

Getting the best you will need to get a laptop for game development is a must for game developers of all levels! You’ll need to run your go-to software like CRYENGINE, Unity3D, Blender, Visual Studio, RPG Maker, Unreal Engine, and more. That’s a lot, so you will need a competent laptop that can handle heavy-duty game engines and 3D model software.

Specifically, you need to look for a powerful GPU, a multi-threaded processor, and a responsive and color-accurate display. Ideally, the best laptop for programming and game development packs a punch in terms of portability, too. We’re talking about weight, size, and battery life.

To help you make the important decision of finding the best game development laptop at a reasonable price, we’ll look into:

  • Factors to consider in a game development laptop
  • 5 Best laptops for game development
  • Buyer’s guide and recommended specifications

Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Factors to Consider in a Game Development Laptop

Here are the top considerations to help you design the hottest new games. And don’t worry, we’ll give you an in-depth discussion of the specifications in our buyer’s guide!

Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)

If you are only developing 2D projects, a primary integrated graphics card will do the trick. However, if you’re planning to whip out 3D mobile or computer games, you’ll need all the power you can get from a dedicated GPU of maximum RAM. There’s even a saying that you can’t have too much GPU power for developing 3D models!

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

Though not as crucial as GPUs for game development, you shouldn’t ignore CPUs! Getting low-end CPUs will slow down your work while you’re designing or rendering your projects. The best CPU will depend on the type of projects you do, such as 2D or 3D game development. 

Random-Access Memory (RAM)

Most game design software is RAM-hungry, and you’ll surely be in a pickle if you have to run these programs at the same time!

Storage

When it comes to game development, hard disk drives (HDD) simply won’t do.

Your best bet for improving your laptop’s performance while compiling and rendering is to get a laptop with SSD that can offer high writing and reading rates. The best storage size for you will depend on your preferences and needs.

Display and Resolution

There are a few things to consider when it comes to your laptop’s display screen. Failing to choose the right specifications for your laptop can damage  the overall execution of your design:

  • Size
  • Resolution
  • Refresh rate
  • Color accuracy

Portability

A game development desktop just won’t cut it, especially if you have to get some work done on the go. Obviously, the factors that you need to think about for a highly convenient device are compact size and weight.

More importantly, though, you need to find a laptop with good battery backup. This is especially true since you’ll be running some seriously heavy-duty tasks that consume a lot of power.

Best Laptops for Game Development: Specs, Pros & Cons

Top Pick
ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 15.6” 4K UHD NanoEdge Bezel Touch, Intel Core i9-9980HK, 32GB RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD, GeForce RTX 2060, Innovative ScreenPad Plus, Windows 10 Pro - UX581GV-XB94T, Celestial Blue
OEM Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 15.6” FHD 1920x1080 IPS, Intel Hexa Core i7-10750H, 32GB RAM, 1TB NVMe, GeForce GTX 1650 Ti, Fingerprint, W10 Home
ASUS VivoBook K571 Laptop, 15.6” FHD, Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, 16GB RAM, 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD, Windows 10 Home, K571GT-EB76, Star Black
GIGABYTE AERO 15 OLED KC - 15.6" - Intel Core i7-10870H - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6 - 16GB RAM - 512GB SSD - Windows 10 Pro - Creator & Gaming Laptop (AERO 15 OLED KC-8US5130SP)
MSI GS75 Stealth-093 17.3" Razor Thin Bezel Gaming Laptop NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2080 8G Max-Q, 144Hz 3ms, Intel i7-8750H (6 cores), 32GB, 512GB NVMe SSD, TB3, Per Key RGB, Win10H, Matte Black w/ Gold Dia
Processor
2.4GHz Intel Core i9-9980HK
2.6GHz Intel Core i7-10750H
2.6GHz Intel Core i7-10750H
2.2GHz Intel Core i7-10870H
10th Gen Intel CoreTM i9 processor
SSD
1TB SSD
1TB SSD
256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
512GB SSD
512GB SSD
RAM
32GB
32GB
16GB
16GB
32GB DDR4
GPU
6GB Nvidia RTX 2060
4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti
4GB NVIDI GeForce GTX 1650
6GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
NVIDIA GeForce® RTX2070 Max-Q
Display
15.6-inch 4K Touch (3840 x 2160)

60Hz refresh rate
15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)

60Hz (on battery) and up to 144Hz
15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)

120Hz refresh rate
15.6-inch 4K OLED (3840 x 2160)

144Hz refresh rate
17.3-inches 1920×1080 IPS

300 Hz refresh rate
Battery Life
Up to 5 hours
Up to 5.5 hours
Up to 5 hours
Up to 6 hours
Up to 7 hours
Final Verdict
Best Overall
Best for Professionals
Best Portable Design
Best Display
Ultra-fast Performance
Top Pick
ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 15.6” 4K UHD NanoEdge Bezel Touch, Intel Core i9-9980HK, 32GB RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD, GeForce RTX 2060, Innovative ScreenPad Plus, Windows 10 Pro - UX581GV-XB94T, Celestial Blue
Processor
2.4GHz Intel Core i9-9980HK
SSD
1TB SSD
RAM
32GB
GPU
6GB Nvidia RTX 2060
Display
15.6-inch 4K Touch (3840 x 2160)

60Hz refresh rate
Battery Life
Up to 5 hours
Final Verdict
Best Overall
OEM Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 15.6” FHD 1920x1080 IPS, Intel Hexa Core i7-10750H, 32GB RAM, 1TB NVMe, GeForce GTX 1650 Ti, Fingerprint, W10 Home
Processor
2.6GHz Intel Core i7-10750H
SSD
1TB SSD
RAM
32GB
GPU
4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti
Display
15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)

60Hz (on battery) and up to 144Hz
Battery Life
Up to 5.5 hours
Final Verdict
Best for Professionals
ASUS VivoBook K571 Laptop, 15.6” FHD, Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, 16GB RAM, 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD, Windows 10 Home, K571GT-EB76, Star Black
Processor
2.6GHz Intel Core i7-10750H
SSD
256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
RAM
16GB
GPU
4GB NVIDI GeForce GTX 1650
Display
15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)

120Hz refresh rate
Battery Life
Up to 5 hours
Final Verdict
Best Portable Design
GIGABYTE AERO 15 OLED KC - 15.6" - Intel Core i7-10870H - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6 - 16GB RAM - 512GB SSD - Windows 10 Pro - Creator & Gaming Laptop (AERO 15 OLED KC-8US5130SP)
Processor
2.2GHz Intel Core i7-10870H
SSD
512GB SSD
RAM
16GB
GPU
6GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
Display
15.6-inch 4K OLED (3840 x 2160)

144Hz refresh rate
Battery Life
Up to 6 hours
Final Verdict
Best Display
MSI GS75 Stealth-093 17.3" Razor Thin Bezel Gaming Laptop NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2080 8G Max-Q, 144Hz 3ms, Intel i7-8750H (6 cores), 32GB, 512GB NVMe SSD, TB3, Per Key RGB, Win10H, Matte Black w/ Gold Dia
Processor
10th Gen Intel CoreTM i9 processor
SSD
512GB SSD
RAM
32GB DDR4
GPU
NVIDIA GeForce® RTX2070 Max-Q
Display
17.3-inches 1920×1080 IPS

300 Hz refresh rate
Battery Life
Up to 7 hours
Final Verdict
Ultra-fast Performance

Best Overall Game Development Laptop: ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo

ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 15.6” 4K UHD NanoEdge Bezel Touch, Intel Core i9-9980HK, 32GB RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD, GeForce RTX 2060, Innovative ScreenPad Plus, Windows 10 Pro - UX581GV-XB94T, Celestial Blue
  • ScreenPad Plus: 14 inch 4K matte touchscreen, giving your endless way to optimize your multitasking experience by extending the screen or split windows and apps on both displays
  • 15.6 inch 4K UHD NanoEdge touchscreen glossy main display
  • Latest 9th generation Intel Core i9-9980HK Quad Core Processor (16M Cache, up to 5.0 GHz) with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
  • Detachable palm rest and ASUS active stylus pen included
  • Fast storage and memory featuring 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD with 32GB DDR4 RAM

The Asus ZenBook Pro Duo goes above and beyond design and performance. Because of its powerful components and innovative design, the Zenbook Pro Duo is on top of our list as the best overall game development laptop.

Display 

The Zenbook Pro Duo is top of the line when it comes to display! Experience a different level of high-end game production with the impressive 4K UHD touchscreen display that extends above the keyboard.ScreenPad Plus is an innovation that creates new possibilities not just for game developers but artists and designers as well!

Imagine all the possibilities: use the second screen as your reference or template, or maybe you can run two software on each screen? Whichever method you choose, the Zenbook Pro Duo is a productivity machine!

Portability

Though powerful and innovative, the Pro Duo falls behind when it comes to portability. Weighing 5.5 pounds with an average battery life of 4 to 5 hours, these specs are average compared to other game development laptops.

GPU

Its GPU of Intel UHD Graphics 630 and a 6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 makes the Pro Duo the ultimate content creation and productivity machine. Multitask and create as many 3D games as you want without any fear of lags and freezing.

CPU

With a powerful 2.4GHz Intel Core i9-9980HK processor, the Zenbook Pro Duo truly goes above and beyond what you’ll typically see in the market. This laptop is more than capable of handling heavy programs and complex projects without any lag.

RAM  

Another great thing about the Zenbook Pro Duo is its 32GB RAM. With such a massive RAM, it’s more than enough for most professionals. You’ll find your ideas come to life at a new level of speed and efficiency.

Storage

Take productivity to a whole new level with a whopping NVMe 1TB SSD. Save all your work and load all your programs and data without any delays.

Peripherals

The Zenbook Pro Duo is passionate about enhancing the overall customer experience. You’ll love the ErgoLift keyboard that ensures you always get the best viewing angle of both screens. It also improves the resting position of your hands for comfort and ventilation.

One downside of the Pro duo is its audio quality, which gets lags in playback and some sound breaks. 

Pros
  • Top of the line speed and graphics
  • Innovative dual touchscreen functionality
  • Ultra-fast
  • Premium and ergonomic design
Cons
  • Average battery life
  • Audio quality is not the best

Best for Game Development Professionals: OEM Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 15.6” FHD 1920x1080 IPS, Intel Hexa Core i7-10750H, 32GB RAM, 1TB NVMe, GeForce GTX 1650 Ti, Fingerprint, W10 Home

OEM Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 15.6” FHD 1920x1080 IPS, Intel Hexa Core i7-10750H, 32GB RAM, 1TB NVMe, GeForce GTX 1650 Ti, Fingerprint, W10 Home
  • Processor: Intel Hexa Core i7-10750H [6 Cores](2.6GHz - 5.0GHz, 12MB Cache)
  • Features: 32GB RAM, 1TB NVMe, Fingerprint; Display: 15.6" FHD (1920x1080) IPS
  • OS: Windows 10 Home; Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 4GB / Intel UHD
  • Warranty: 1 Year Lenovo Warranty / 1 Year Oemgenuine Limited Warranty
  • Memory & Hard Drive Upgrade | * - View Product Description for complete details and notes

The Lenovo ThinkPad P52 is unlike any other workstation laptop. With its powerful processor and large RAM and storage, professionals will have the confidence to tackle any task, no matter how complex!

Display 

With a display size of 15.6 inches, the Lenovo Thinkpad P52 expertly balances visuals and portability. Users will appreciate the FullHD 1080p  IPS anti-glare display that will make working long hours comfortable. The 4K display is vivid and produces high contrast and ultra-sharp details.

Professionals will also love the competitive refresh rate 60Hz on battery and maximum refresh rate of 144Hz when plugged in.

Portability

We should note that the Thinkpad P52 isn’t the most commuter-friendly laptop on our list. With a weight of 5.4 pounds and with a battery life of about 4 to 5.5 hours, this powerful laptop might be better off staying in your home or office.

GPU

This laptop boasts a powerful 4GB GTX 1650 graphics card that can handle a professional’s most demanding projects at an ultra-fast rate. Whether you want to run ten simple programs at once or resource-intensive software, you can be guaranteed a smooth and seamless work experience. 

CPU

With an Intel Hexa Core i7-10750H processor, you can rely on the Thinkpad P52 to perform in the best way possible. Working up a clock speed of 4.1GHz, it’s not likely that you’ll experience any form of lagging and delays on this reliable laptop.

RAM  

One of the most exciting things about the Thinkpad X1 is its generous 32GB RAM! I can’t stop thinking about all the work I can do on this device. Multitasking even with the heaviest programs will be effortless thanks to such a large RAM.

Storage

You can’t ask for a more efficient and secure way to store all your most valuable work files. This Lenovo laptop comes with a whopping 1TB SSD! Store all your programs, materials, and project data without any fear of your laptop slowing down.

Peripherals

Another great thing about the P52 is its ergonomic backlit keyboard. Speedy Wi-Fi 6 and convenient Modern Standy features also make your everyday workflow efficient and productive.

The Thinkpad X1 also features ThinkShield, Lenovo’s suite of security solutions. This includes a biometric fingerprint reader and comprehensive encryption measures to protect your data.

Pros
  • Ultra-fast GPU
  • Lots connectivity options
  • Massive RAM and storage
  • Ergonomic keyboard
Cons
  • Bulkier and heavier than most
  • Average battery life

Best Portable Game Development Laptop: Asus Vivobook K571

ASUS VivoBook K571 Laptop, 15.6” FHD, Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, 16GB RAM, 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD, Windows 10 Home, K571GT-EB76, Star Black
  • 15.6'' 120Hz Nanoedge Full HD Display
  • Powerful Intel Core i7-9750H Processor (12M Cache, up to 4.5 GHz)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5 with Windows 10 Home
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD
  • Comprehensive connections including USB 3.1 Type-C, USB 3.1 Type-A, USB 2.0, and HDMI; Wi-Fi 5/802.11ac Wi-Fi (*USB Transfer speed may vary. Learn more at ASUS website)

If you’re looking for a powerful portable laptop, the Asus Vivobook K571 is the answer. With its sleek and premium design and powerful specs, this laptop perfectly balances productivity and aesthetic excellence.

Display and Portability

The Vivobook K571 features a 15.6-inch 1080P FullHD anti-glare display. With a sizable screen-to-body ratio of 80%, it’s surprising that this laptop remains lightweight at around 4.3 pounds.

Aside from that, you’ll appreciate its fast refresh rate of 120Hz coupled with a wide-view display of 178-degrees. Definitely great specs for gaming, designing, and rendering! 

However, keep in mind that battery life isn’t the longest on this list. With moderate use, the battery backup will last for about 5 hours.

GPU

The Asus Vivobook offers flawless visuals thanks to its GTX 1650 graphics card. You won’t have to worry about 3D visualization and to work with a wide selection of design and game development software. A 4GB video card is also great if you’ll be focusing a lot on detailing.

CPU

This laptop is powered by the 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H. With a hexacore processor, you can boost your laptop speed to 5GHz thanks to its turbo boost technology. I really love this capacity of the Vivobook, which allows me to amp up productivity when compiling and rendering.

RAM  

Another thing you’ll appreciate is the Vivobook K571’s 16GB RAM, more than double what most professionals will need. Thanks to such a large RAM, multitasking on different software simultaneously becomes a breeze! There’s o need to worry about frustrating lags and freezes.

Storage

Thanks to its dual storage feature, you can get the best of both worlds: massive memory from HDD and lightning-fast performance from SSD. This means that you can store as many projects and customizations as you want without damaging your laptop’s speed and performance. Specifically, you have a massive storage capacity of 1TB HDD to hold all your static data. Coupled with 256 SSD, you can quickly boot up your Windows 10 OS and various game development programs.

Peripherals

As for the peripherals, the keyboard is comfortable and offers an adjustable backlight. This is great for working long hours in different lighting conditions.

Another feature that supports long work hours on the Vivobook K571 is its ASUS IceCool Technology. Thanks to this design, you can say goodbye to any uncomfortable heating issues on the chassis. The dual-fan cooling system plus rear-vent design also helps users prevent any dangerous overheating issues.

Lastly, the Vivobook K571 also comes with multiple high-speed ports, including HDMI, Type-A, and Type-C.

Pros
  • Fast refresh rate and anti-glare display
  • Seamless GPU
  • Reliable RAM
  • Dual storage
  • Innovative cooling system
Cons
  • Lacks connectivity support
  • Short battery life

Best Display in Game Development Laptop: GIGABYTE AERO 15

GIGABYTE AERO 15 OLED KC - 15.6" - Intel Core i7-10870H - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6 - 16GB RAM - 512GB SSD - Windows 10 Pro - Creator & Gaming Laptop (AERO 15 OLED KC-8US5130SP)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU 6 GB GDDR6 | NVIDIA DLSS for groundbreaking AI rendering
  • 1‎0th Gen Intel Core i7-10870H (2.2GHz - 5.0GHz) | 16 GB RAM | 512 GB PCIe SSD
  • 2‎x M.2 SSD slots (Type 2280, supports 1x NVMe PCIe & SATA/ 1x NVMe PCIe)
  • 15.6" 4K/UHD 3840x2160 Samsung AMOLED Display, 3mm Ultra-thin Bezel | X-Rite Pantone Certified Display, individually factory calibrated
  • 1 x Thunderbolt 3 (Type-C), 1 x Mini DisplayPort 1.4 | 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (Type-A), 1 x HDMI 2.1 | 1 x UHS-II SD Card Reader

If you’re looking for a heavy-duty workstation laptop that’s fit for real-time development and testing, the GIGABYTE AERO 15 is all up for the challenge. With its unparalleled display, next-level OS, and efficient GPU, you’ll get a productive laptop that looks and feels great.

Display

The real winner with the AERO 15 is its solid 15.6-inch UHD AMOLED screen. With a color accuracy rating of Delta E < 1 color accuracy and a 144 Hz refresh rate display, you can seamlessly test all the high-end games you want. If you’re working on some 3D models, you’ll definitely appreciate the AERO 15’s 4K display.

GPU

The GIGABYTE AERO 15 packs a punch with its NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB graphics card. You won’t have any problems rendering or compiling 3D models with a graphics card this powerful!

CPU

Backed by a powerful 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10870H chipset, game developers can get as much as 5GHz clock speed on the AERO 15! Thanks to this hexacore processor, you can rest assured that this laptop can keep up with the most complex designs, simulations, and 3D models.

RAM  

Get this: most professionals will actually work with 8GB of RAM. The fact that the AERO 15 offers double the RAM size shows how powerful this laptop can be! Multitask ask much as you want without any problem. And since you can always update the AERO 15’s RAM, you can go from 16GB to 64GB when the need arises.

Aside from that, the AERO 15 comes with a 6GB VRAM, allowing users to make ultra-detailed designs and workflows on their game development apps.

Storage

With a storage size of 512GB SSD, professionals won’t have any issues booting up their Windows 10 Pro OS. An SSD of this size offers high-speed performance that even the most advanced developers will appreciate.

Portability

Though extremely powerful, this workstation laptop is just 4.4 pounds! On top of that, you get a long battery life of up to 10 hours of mixed usage. Working on heavy applications and games will give you about 6 hours of battery life.

Peripherals 

We can definitely see that ergonomics is a top priority in the AERO 15. With its comfortable  RGB backlit keyboard, working long hours won’t seem so daunting.

The AERO 15 also comes with high-speed connectivity standards, including Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 6.

Another reason why the AERO 15 is so great for game testing is because of its NAHIMIC 3 surround sound system. Coupled with an HD webcam, you get the ultimate team collaboration device.

Lastly, you get a ton of connectivity ports, including a high-speed Thunderbolt 3 and a UHS-II card reader.

Pros
  • Best display
  • RGB Backlight
  • Powerful NVIDIA CPU
  • Easy RAM upgrade
  • Bezel-less design and OLED 4K display
Cons
  • Expensive

Ultra-Fast Performance: MSI GS75 Stealth

MSI GS75 Stealth-093 17.3" Razor Thin Bezel Gaming Laptop NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2080 8G Max-Q, 144Hz 3ms, Intel i7-8750H (6 cores), 32GB, 512GB NVMe SSD, TB3, Per Key RGB, Win10H, Matte Black w/ Gold Dia
  • Display: 17; 3 inches 144Hz 3ms 5; 2mm 4 sided razor thin Bezel gaming Laptop FHD (1920x1080), IPS Level
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX2080 8G Max Q GDDR6 w/New Ray Tracing Technology
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 8750H 2; 2: 4; 1GHz
  • Memory: 32GB (16G*2) DDR4 2666MHz 2 Sockets; Max Memory 32GB
  • Storage: 512GB NV Me SSD

If you’re looking for a future-proof game development laptop for ultra-fast ray tracing and superior performance, you can rely on the powerful MSI GS75 Stealth.

Display 

If you’re looking for a reliable game development laptop with a large screen, you’ll love the MSI GS75 17.3-inch Full HD display. That’s a screen-to-body ratio of 85%, more than what you’ll find on most laptops on the market. With a max refresh rate of 300Hz (FHD) and a 3ms response rate, you can test and design high-end games five times faster and smoother than most laptops on the market.

Portability

Though the screen is larger than the recommended travel size of 15.6-inches, the GS75 makes up for its large monitor with its ultra-thin 0.19-inch bezel display. 

Battery output is also excellent, providing up to 7 hours or more of unplugged entertainment and productivity,

GPU

With the innovative GeForce RTX SUPER series to back up the GS75, you can get ultra-fast ray-tracing capabilities and super accurate lighting, shadows, and reflections. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX2070 Max-Q ensures that you get up to 59% faster performance.

CPU

The GS75 is the only laptop on our list with a 10th Gen Intel Core i9 processor. This 8-core CPU promises optimum computing power and an unparalleled user experience with a 50% performance boost. Get as much as 5.3hz from a single-core turbo.

RAM and SSD Storage

With a RAM of 32GB, you’ll reach a whole new level of speed and productivity with the GS75. The unit comes with a 512GB SSD, which has superb write and read speeds. However, if 512GB isn’t enough for you, the GS75 includes an extra SSD slot for easy expansion.

Peripherals

The GS75 also offers amazing peripherals, which also makes it great for testing and playing high-end games. 

The GS75 boasts 192KHz/24-but hi-res audio and Thunderbolt 3 support for up to 40GB bandwidth and up to three times faster charging output.

Lastly, the laptop comes with MSI’s Cooler Boost Technology, a thin and efficient fan airflow design that ensures the best user experience.

Pros
  • Top of the line CPU and GPU
  • Ultra-fast performance
  • SSD expansion is supported
  • Hi-res audio
  • Long battery life
Cons
  • Built quality isn’t the best
  • No G-Sync support

Buyer’s Guide: Recommended Specifications for the Best Laptop for Game Development

You might be surprised to hear that the best games aren’t just a product of hardcore software. To churn out an amazing game, you’ll need some powerful hardware! You’ll need to find the right laptop that suits your display and performance needs and preferences.

With that said, you need to figure out what kind of games you’ll be coding before we can talk about hardware specs.

What type of game development do you plan to do?

The first step to figuring out what type of laptop you need is to establish the scope of your work. Game development is similar to playing a game in that there are multiple levels varying in difficulty and complexity. 

Since programming and coding will dictate the hardware you need, check out our hardware recommendations:

2D Pixel Art and Drawing

If you love to draw and create pixel art, your best bet is a laptop with a touchscreen and an accurate color to calibrate the display. 

3D Models and Animation

If you’ll be going into 3D modeling that deals with real-time sculpting and higher polygon count scenes, there are certain hardware specifications you need to prioritize.

Look into GPU, RAM, and CPU in that order.

Programming

If you deal with a large volume of game codes, the hardware you should prioritize are CPU and RAM. SSD storage will also make or break your productivity.

Virtual Reality

VR game development might be the most hardware-demanding from this list.  You’ll need to get a few minimum requirements down pat to make VR games,  such as a 1060 GPU and at least 8GB RAM for starters.

Whether you’re a game development student or a seasoned developer, here are the minimum specs you should look for:

Game Development and Design
Minimum System Requirements
Recommended System Requirements
CPU
10th Gen Intel Core i5
Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7
Storage (SSD)
256GB SSD
512GB SSD or more
RAM
8GB
16GB
GPU
NVIDIA GeForce GTX
NVIDIA GeForce RTX
Display
15.6-inch FHD

IPS Panel

1920 x 1080

60 Hz refresh rate

17-inch 

IPS panel

4K

120-144Hz refresh rate

 

Storage

We’ll say it again: choose SSD over HDD if you value multitasking, gaming, flexibility, and speed. While they’re more expensive than a hard drive, SSDs are worth every penny when it comes to superior performance. 

In fact, one of the reasons why HDDs are still in the market despite their flimsy design is because of their low price tag. However, as a game developer, you simply cannot work on a budget laptop if you want to get good results.

While the size of your SSD storage will depend on your specific game development needs and preferences, we recommend having an SSD storage of no less than 256GB. Aside from running heavy-duty programs, you’ll need that extra space to store your new designs, materials, and textures. The more data you store in your SSD, the more your laptop’s writing and reading speed will be affected.

GPU

One of the most crucial decisions you need to make is the graphics processing unit you want to work with. If you want optimum performance, you need to throw the idea of working with integrated GPUs completely. A dedicated GPU can outperform an integrated unit a thousand times over! You should choose that any day if you want to say goodbye to frustrating lags and glitches when you’re compiling or rendering.

So what GPU is the best? Try to get a laptop with a dedicated graphics card of at least 4GB or more with RTX. Typically, NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards are the most preferred for gaming and development. However, AMD is also making waves with its new Ryzen chips, which prove to be consistent in terms of overall power and performance. 

As for VRAM, you’ll need at least 2GB, 6GB-8GB if you want a professional gaming experience.

However, do keep in mind that the best GPU will depend on the type of game development you do:

2D Projects

Working on some pixel art or 2D projects? This one’s the exception; a simple integrated graphics card will usually do the trick. But it’s always a smart move to get more than what’s needed!

With that, we recommend getting at least GTX 1650 Ti GPU with 4GB GDDR6 RAM to keep up with your more advanced tasks.

3D Projects

To seamlessly render materials, textures, and advanced features like shadows and light tracing, you will need all the help from a dedicated graphics card.

To ensure that you run these programs smoothly, get a laptop with at least an NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics card. In particular, the 8GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q laptops are a total gamechanger! It will allow your laptop to run HD videos and games better than any other laptop. To give you an idea, this graphics card can deliver an average of 85 fps and a maximum of 96 fps for your graphics and gaming needs, truly top of the line!

And another tip, you might want to prioritize Ray Tracing functionality. iN the next few years, it’ll be the go-to method for adding motion blurs and shadows. If you want your laptop to stay dated in the next few years, it’ll be a smart move to invest a few more bucks to get a device with a powerful GPU.

CPU

Not many game developers will look much into their CPU, but here’s what you should know: without a high processor, ordinary CPUs will create bottlenecks in your productivity. For this reason, you should invest in multi-threaded processors.

While the best type of processor for you will depend on your project type (2D or 3D), it would be best to get a multi-threaded processor. At the very least, get an Intel core i5, i7, or i9  with at least an 8th generation processor. Choosing processors lower than i5 will only result in wasted time and money.

For 2D game development, get at least Intel i5. If you’re working on 3D game development, get at least an Intel i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 processor.

RAM

To successfully perform your game design and development tasks, you’ll need a lot of RAM! This is especially true for heavy gaming and development, which are particularly RAM-demanding tasks.

The best laptop for game development/school students and beginners isn’t likely to need more than 16GB. In that case, a laptop with 8GB ram should be enough. However, keep in mind that newer IDE versions continuously amp up RAM requirements. 

You’ll most likely need to upgrade soon if you’re planning to work as a game developer. So it might be wise to go with 16GB RAM from the get-go.

Now, if you’re a professional game developer who needs to work on multiple programs simultaneously, you’ll need 16GB or 32GB RAM at the least. It will also be a good idea to only go for DDR3 or DDR4, but DDR4 is the better option.

Display and Resolution

There are a number of criteria for display: the size of the screen, panel type, resolution, color accuracy, viewing angles, and refresh rate. While a lot of your decisions will depend on personal preference, here are my recommendations:

  • Screen Size and Panel: Getting a display that’s at least 15.6 inches to 17 inches with IPS panels won’t disappoint when you’re working with 3D models.
  • Resolution: The minimum requirement is 1920 x 1080. FHD is generally cheaper and needs less power, but if you want a better viewing experience,  go for 4K HD.
  • Refresh Rate: This criterion is highly dependent on the type of games you want to develop. About 60Hz refresh rate is the minimum, but most game developers’ average recommended refresh rate is around 120Hz to 144Hz and a response time of 3ms. If you’re planning to develop some high-end games, expect to need a refresh rate between 144Hz to 240Hz.
  • Color Accuracy: Monitor colors are evaluated in different ways, with many specs to consider. Generally, brightness, contrast ratio, black level, gamut, color depth, and HDR come into play. 

Portability

If you travel a long way to get to work or a game development academy, you’ll probably want to steer clear of a heavy laptop. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll settle for less when it comes to hardware.

Yes, it’s possible to get a powerful and lightweight game development laptop! If you value portability, here are my recommended specs:

  • Display Dimensions: If you’re looking for a portable laptop that doesn’t skimp on portability and visuals, the optimum choice is a 15.6-inch display. Choosing a laptop with a display of more than 17 inches will weigh about 8 pounds. That’s anything but lightweight!
  • Weight: It’s true that most powerful gaming laptops are heavy. Thanks to continuous development, though, ultraportable laptops are entering the scene, weighing less than 5 pounds.
  • Battery life: Laptops will tend to have a short battery life if you’re running game development software. Thankfully, recent innovations allow some gaming laptops to run for up to 10 hours! Nowadays, anything that runs for less than 4.5 hours is considered below average.

Final Verdict – Best Laptop for Game Development

Once you’ve established the type of game development projects you’ll do, you can decide the best specifications for your laptop.

Whether you’re looking for the best laptop for game development/school or work, here are some of the essential features that you should look into for game development:

  • Display
  • Portability
  • GPU
  • CPU
  • RAM
  • Storage
  • Ergonomics

From our research, we found the top 5 game development laptops based on performance and design:

Top Pick
ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 15.6” 4K UHD NanoEdge Bezel Touch, Intel Core i9-9980HK, 32GB RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD, GeForce RTX 2060, Innovative ScreenPad Plus, Windows 10 Pro - UX581GV-XB94T, Celestial Blue
OEM Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 15.6” FHD 1920x1080 IPS, Intel Hexa Core i7-10750H, 32GB RAM, 1TB NVMe, GeForce GTX 1650 Ti, Fingerprint, W10 Home
ASUS VivoBook K571 Laptop, 15.6” FHD, Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, 16GB RAM, 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD, Windows 10 Home, K571GT-EB76, Star Black
GIGABYTE AERO 15 OLED KC - 15.6" - Intel Core i7-10870H - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6 - 16GB RAM - 512GB SSD - Windows 10 Pro - Creator & Gaming Laptop (AERO 15 OLED KC-8US5130SP)
MSI GS75 Stealth-093 17.3" Razor Thin Bezel Gaming Laptop NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2080 8G Max-Q, 144Hz 3ms, Intel i7-8750H (6 cores), 32GB, 512GB NVMe SSD, TB3, Per Key RGB, Win10H, Matte Black w/ Gold Dia
Processor
2.4GHz Intel Core i9-9980HK
2.6GHz Intel Core i7-10750H
2.6GHz Intel Core i7-10750H
2.2GHz Intel Core i7-10870H
10th Gen Intel CoreTM i9 processor
SSD
1TB SSD
1TB SSD
256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
512GB SSD
512GB SSD
RAM
32GB
32GB
16GB
16GB
32GB DDR4
GPU
6GB Nvidia RTX 2060
4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti
4GB NVIDI GeForce GTX 1650
6GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
NVIDIA GeForce® RTX2070 Max-Q
Display
15.6-inch 4K Touch (3840 x 2160)

60Hz refresh rate
15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)

60Hz (on battery) and up to 144Hz
15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)

120Hz refresh rate
15.6-inch 4K OLED (3840 x 2160)

144Hz refresh rate
17.3-inches 1920×1080 IPS

300 Hz refresh rate
Battery Life
Up to 5 hours
Up to 5.5 hours
Up to 5 hours
Up to 6 hours
Up to 7 hours
Final Verdict
Best Overall
Best for Professionals
Best Portable Design
Best Display
Ultra-fast Performance
Top Pick
ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 15.6” 4K UHD NanoEdge Bezel Touch, Intel Core i9-9980HK, 32GB RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD, GeForce RTX 2060, Innovative ScreenPad Plus, Windows 10 Pro - UX581GV-XB94T, Celestial Blue
Processor
2.4GHz Intel Core i9-9980HK
SSD
1TB SSD
RAM
32GB
GPU
6GB Nvidia RTX 2060
Display
15.6-inch 4K Touch (3840 x 2160)

60Hz refresh rate
Battery Life
Up to 5 hours
Final Verdict
Best Overall
OEM Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 15.6” FHD 1920x1080 IPS, Intel Hexa Core i7-10750H, 32GB RAM, 1TB NVMe, GeForce GTX 1650 Ti, Fingerprint, W10 Home
Processor
2.6GHz Intel Core i7-10750H
SSD
1TB SSD
RAM
32GB
GPU
4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti
Display
15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)

60Hz (on battery) and up to 144Hz
Battery Life
Up to 5.5 hours
Final Verdict
Best for Professionals
ASUS VivoBook K571 Laptop, 15.6” FHD, Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, 16GB RAM, 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD, Windows 10 Home, K571GT-EB76, Star Black
Processor
2.6GHz Intel Core i7-10750H
SSD
256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
RAM
16GB
GPU
4GB NVIDI GeForce GTX 1650
Display
15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)

120Hz refresh rate
Battery Life
Up to 5 hours
Final Verdict
Best Portable Design
GIGABYTE AERO 15 OLED KC - 15.6" - Intel Core i7-10870H - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6 - 16GB RAM - 512GB SSD - Windows 10 Pro - Creator & Gaming Laptop (AERO 15 OLED KC-8US5130SP)
Processor
2.2GHz Intel Core i7-10870H
SSD
512GB SSD
RAM
16GB
GPU
6GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
Display
15.6-inch 4K OLED (3840 x 2160)

144Hz refresh rate
Battery Life
Up to 6 hours
Final Verdict
Best Display
MSI GS75 Stealth-093 17.3" Razor Thin Bezel Gaming Laptop NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2080 8G Max-Q, 144Hz 3ms, Intel i7-8750H (6 cores), 32GB, 512GB NVMe SSD, TB3, Per Key RGB, Win10H, Matte Black w/ Gold Dia
Processor
10th Gen Intel CoreTM i9 processor
SSD
512GB SSD
RAM
32GB DDR4
GPU
NVIDIA GeForce® RTX2070 Max-Q
Display
17.3-inches 1920×1080 IPS

300 Hz refresh rate
Battery Life
Up to 7 hours
Final Verdict
Ultra-fast Performance

The best laptop for you will ultimately depend on your preferences. However, when it comes to productivity, we found the Asus Zenbook Pro Duo to offer the most when it comes to productivity, streamlined workflow, and innovative design.

We hope our buyer’s guide helped you figure out your needs and preferences. Which of the 5 best laptops for game development do you think is superior?