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As a game design student or a professional game developer, getting the best laptop for game development can be tricky. While you may work around a budget laptop, you need a more advanced game development laptop to design realistic 3D games.
The best laptop for game development should have a smooth multi-threaded processor, have capabilities to handle heavy-duty game engines, graphical power, and 3D model software such as Unreal Engine, Visual Studio, Unity 3D, and many more. It should also have enough memory to facilitate a smooth run of activities and long battery life for longer working sessions.
3 Top Laptops for Game Development
What made me love this laptop is its powerful performance. The 8-core Apple M1 chip ensures professional editing and development of action-packed games. The laptop is also fast and super-responsive.
This is an ultrathin silver laptop with a sleek design. It's compact and lightweight, and I find it easy to carry around. In addition, the multiple connectivity ports options ensure I connect the laptop to an external display, storage devices, and charge accessories.
Its 3ms response time allows me to host fast and seamless operations without image ghosting. Therefore, I can design quality game features within a short period.
In this article, you'll find a list of the best laptops for game development. I have also included the buyers' guide and the recommended specs for the best laptops to help you choose a suitable laptop for game development. Read through.
Minimum System Requirements
- CPU - 10th Gen Intel Core i5
- GPU - NVIDIA GeForce GTX
- Storage - 256GB SSD
- RAM - 8GB
- Screen Resolution - 1920 x 1080
- Display size - 14 inches
- Panel Type - IPS
- Refresh Rate - 60 Hertz
Recommended System Requirements
- CPU - Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7
- GPU - NVIDIA GeForce GTX
- Storage - 512GB SSD
- RAM - 16GB
- Screen Resolution - 4K
- Display size - 15.6 inches
- Panel Type - IPS
- Refresh Rate - 120 - 144 Hertz
What Are the Best Laptops for Game Development?
The best laptops for game development are listed below.
- 2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop
- Acer Swift 3 Thin & Light Laptop
- ASUS ROG Strix G17 (2021) Gaming Laptop
- MSI GL65 Gaming Laptop
- ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED UX582 Laptop
- 2021 Apple MacBook Pro
- HP Chromebook 14-Inch HD Laptop
- Dell XPS 15 7590 Laptop
- TUF Gaming F17 17.3" Full HD Gaming Laptop
Best Laptop for Game Development Reviews
The best laptop for game development on my list is the 2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop. What made me love this laptop is its powerful performance. The 8-core Apple M1 chip ensures professional editing and development of action-packed games. The laptop is also fast and super-responsive.
2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop Features
2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop features are listed below.
I was impressed by this laptop's long battery life. I was able to use it for up to 18 hours without recharging.
The 8GB RAM makes this laptop super fast. I could retrieve files instantly, besides running multiple programs smoothly without lag.
This laptop has a 13.3 inches display, which is quite OK for working with game development tools.
The laptop has pre-installed apps that allow me to use it on the go right out of the box.
I enjoyed the cool and silent operation. The laptop's fanless design ensures silent operations even when handling huge workloads.
The one-year limited warranty and 90 days of complementary technical support protect me against unexpected repairs, thus, I can save my money for other uses.
Being an environment-conservative person, I enjoy using this laptop, knowing that it has an insignificant effect on the environment. It's made of recycled aluminum and uses less energy, meaning less carbon emission and other harmful gasses to the environment.
The large storage, up to 2TB, offered by this laptop is enough to store my game development software, apps, and other essentials. Even so, I'm still left with enough space to store my favorite movies.
My data's security is guaranteed while using the 2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop. The macOS Big Sur offers the most advanced security features to protect my data.
[Best Response Time]
I couldn't resist including this laptop in my list of the best laptops for game development. It is an ultrathin laptop with a sleek design. It's compact and lightweight, and I find it easy to carry around. In addition, the multiple connectivity ports options ensure I connect the laptop to an external display, storage devices, and charge accessories.
Acer Swift 3 Thin & Light Laptop Features
Acer Swift 3 Thin & Light Laptop features are listed below.
The laptop has a powerful processor that guarantees top performance. AMD Ryzen 7 5700U Octa-Core Processor has enough power to run heavy game development programs efficiently, ensuring I develop quality games.
I have enough space to work on my games as the 14 inches screen offers ample space.
I enjoyed sharp and clear images on my laptop's screen, thanks to the Full HD display. I could also display more content on the screen without compromising the visual quality of texts and graphics.
The wide 100% sRGB color gamut coverage ensures I get quality and deep colors for efficient rendering of my visual graphics.
The wide 16:9 allows me to display more content horizontally, improving my overall user experience.
8GB LPDDR4X RAM is enough to run software and game development tools smoothly. It also allows me to work with several programs simultaneously without slowing down.
I could store and retrieve my database and other files instantly, thanks to the superspeed 512GB NVMe SSD storage. Also, this space is enough for me to store all my game development tools and essentials efficiently.
I hate following the long time-consuming processes when signing in to my PC. However, I was delighted to learn that this laptop has a fingerprint reader and supports Windows Hello, allowing me to sign in quickly. These features also make the laptop more secure, protecting my confidential data.
It is compatible with 802.11ax WiFi 6, making web browsing easy and efficient.
[Best fot the Money]
The ASUS ROG Strix G17 (2021) gaming laptop is a super responsive laptop I recommend for game development. Its 3ms response time allows me to host fast and seamless operations without image ghosting. Therefore, I can design quality game features within a short period.
ASUS ROG Strix G17 (2021) Gaming Laptop Features
The dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card offers the best rendering quality I need for my projects.
The 16GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM allows for quick retrieval of files and instant launching of programs.
The powerful processor guarantees top performance. The latest 5th Gen AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX Processor has enough power to run heavy game development software efficiently, ensuring I develop quality games.
The laptop has a high refresh rate of 300 Hertz, ensuring my laptop carries 0n smooth operations without image ghosting.
The low 3ms response time means the laptop responds fast, keeping me in pace.
The extensive 17.3 inches display offers me enough space to work on my game development projects.
I enjoyed the sharp and clear images this laptop produces. The full HD display ensures all images produced are accurate and with clear visuals.
I was impressed by the accurate colors this laptop produces. Also, the wide viewing angles ensure I have a great view while seated from any angle.
The large 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage is enough to store my game development software, apps, and other essentials. Even so, I'm still left with enough space to store my favorite movies.
I enjoyed the cool working environment while working with this laptop. It has a ROG Intelligent Cooling thermal system that cools down excessive heat produced to keep the laptop cool.
The laptop supports free updates to Windows 11 when available.
No professional gamer will skip the MSI GL65 Gaming Laptop. It is a robust laptop with top performance for gaming and game development. One outstanding feature that caught my attention was the laptop's powerful i5 processor. 10th gen core i5 means business and delivers absolute power needed for my game development programs.
MSI GL65 Gaming Laptop Features
MSI GL65 Gaming Laptop features are listed below.
The laptop is powered by 10th Gen. Intel Core i5 processor, which has a high processing speed for the efficient running of programs.
The dedicated NVIDIA GeForce graphics card ensures I have quality game rendering.
Despite having a blocky shape, it has an average weight of 5.07lbs which isn't too heavy and not too light.
On the Go Gaming: Designed to be thin and light for gamers to carry around every day for games, study, or work.
It features MSI's exclusive Cooler Boost Technology with two fans that dissipate excess heat from the laptop, keeping it cool. This process allows me to work with the laptop without experiencing lags and PC heat-up.
I liked its unique keyboard. I could easily customize it to my preference, bringing about a more appealing look.
The flexible connectivity port lets me connect the laptop to an external display using the HDMI port, charge accessories using the SB port, and connect to other devices/ share files and data using Mini DisplayPort.
I could easily surf the internet, thanks to WiFi compatibility.
The Bluetooth wireless technology allowed me to connect the laptop to other Bluetooth devices and share files and data quickly and more efficiently.
This laptop has a wide screen. The 15.6 inches display allows me to work efficiently with game development tools.
The laptop has sharp and clear images, thanks to the high Full HD display (1920 x 1080).
Talk of a high-end laptop. This laptop has all I had desired in a laptop for game development. From build quality and specs to performance, I can attest that it is the real definition of quality. It is a 4K laptop with matte touchscreen that presents an easy way to navigate and control the laptop when editing my games.
ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED UX582 Laptop Features
ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED UX582 Laptop features are listed below.
The extensive 15.6 inches screen offers enough space for working with the game development software. In addition, it has a 14 inches 4K matte touchscreen that ensures I multitask efficiently. The screen could extend, and I could also split windows on either side of the screen to display more content.
I enjoyed sharp and clear images thanks to the high OLED 4K UHD resolution. This resolution also allows me to display more content on the screen without compromising the visual quality.
The laptop has a high-performing 10th generation Intel Core i7-10870H processor with eight cores and a frequency of up to 5.0GHz. The high processing power allows me to run heavy-duty software efficiently.
The powerful NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 offers a quality rendering, ensuring I have quality game rendering.
It has a high 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage which is beneficial in two ways. One, it provides ample space to store more apps, programs, and files. Secondly, it is fast, allowing me to retrieve apps and data instantly.
The high 16GB DDR4 RAM allows me to run operations smoothly. I could also run multiple programs simultaneously without lag.
I also like that this laptop, despite supporting Windows 10 Operating System, I can upgrade it to Windows 11 for free.
I'm sure apple lovers won't miss this laptop when considering a laptop for game development. As well-known, Mac laptops for game development have an M1 Pro/M1 Max chip and 10-core CPU to guarantee top performance. I also loved this laptop's security features. In addition, its fingerprint sensor allows me to sign in quickly.
2021 Apple MacBook Pro Features
2021 Apple MacBook Pro features are listed below.
The 10-core Apple M1 chip ensures professional editing and development of action-packed games.
The 32-core graphics card delivers swift rendering quality for the best game development experience.
The laptop has impressive battery life. It lasts up to 17 hours without recharging.
The laptop has a high memory capacity. With 16GB DDR4 RAM, I can instantly launch my game development tools and run them smoothly for top performance.
512GB SSD storage lets me have plenty of space to store apps, files, and movies.
The liquid Retina XDR display produces quality images with utmost clarity, enhancing my development experience.
The 14 inches display offers me enough space for multitasking and editing my games.
The 1080 pixels webcam lets me host high-resolution video calls when talking with my video development team.
I loved the sound quality of the laptop. It has six in-built speakers that present a real-life multimedia experience.
The laptop is compatible with WiFi connectivity technology, letting me surf the internet to look for essential data for my game development project.
I can easily transfer data and media files from my laptop to other devices and vice versa using Bluetooth. This also allows me to connect the laptop to an external sound bar when playing games.
HP Chromebook 14-Inch HD Laptop is a budget laptop with features I find interesting for game development. Although its specs are entry-level, they work well for game development. For instance, its Intel Celeron N4000 provides enough power to run game development tools efficiently.
HP Chromebook 14-Inch HD Laptop Features
HP Chromebook 14-Inch HD Laptop features are listed below.
Multitasking with this laptop is made possible by the high 4GB LPDDR4-2400 SDRAM, which lets me open multiple programs simultaneously.
The 32 GB eMMC storage lets me store the tools and data I use for game development.
Thanks to the powerful battery, I could work with my laptop for up to 13.5 hours without recharging.
This laptop uses a Chrome Operating System with Cloud storage, letting me store data and files for my game development projects. It also has advanced security features that keep my laptop and data secure.
The Intel Celeron N4020 processor has up to 2.8 GHz burst frequency, ensuring a smooth operation.
I was glad the laptop had an anti-glare screen, which reduces eye strain to protect my eyes. I have no worries about working for long sessions.
The extensive 14 inches screen has ample space ideal for working with game development programs.
The 220 nits brightness produced clear images with brighter whites, improving my general experience.
It supports one USB Type-A and two USB Type-C supporting DisplayPort 1.2 and USB power delivery.
The full-size backlit keyboard made typing easy, which improved my experience.
Dell XPS 15 7590 Laptop is a high-end laptop I find suitable for game developers. To start, it has a wide screen offering me enough space to work on my game development project efficiently. It also has a high-performing processor that ensures I get smooth and timely operations to enhance my productivity.
Dell XPS 15 7590 Laptop Features
Dell XPS 15 7590 Laptop features are listed below.
The laptop has a 14 inches screen. This wide screen has enough space, letting me multitask and efficiently work on my video development projects.
The laptop has high-quality visuals, thanks to the high Full HD display.
I was impressed when I learned that the laptop had an anti-glare screen. This screen reduces eye strain, thus protecting my eyes. I have no worries about working for long sessions.
I enjoyed the accurate colors and wide viewing angles of this laptop. These features are great for game development. Thanks to the IPS panel.
The wide 100% RGB color gamut coverage produces deep colors, which is great for my projects.
The laptop has brighter whites, and the display is great in the brighter surroundings as it has a high 500 nits brightness level.
The powerful 9th Generation Intel Core i7 9750 processor has up to 4.5 Gigahertz and has 6 Cores, ensuring a smooth run of activities.
The 8GB DDR4 RAM ensures smooth operation, allowing me to run multiple programs simultaneously.
I'm able to store more apps, development tools, and project data with the 512G PCIe SSD storage. SSD storage also allows me to retrieve documents and launch apps instantly.
The last laptop on my list, best for game development, is the TUF Gaming F17 17.3" Full HD Gaming Laptop. It is a premium laptop meant for high-end game production. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti power and Intel Core i5 i5-10300H processing speed were all I needed to realize this laptop's quality.
TUF Gaming F17 17.3" Full HD Gaming Laptop Features
TUF Gaming F17 17.3" Full HD Gaming Laptop features are listed below.
The powerful Intel Core i5 i5-10300H processor has an outstanding performance regarding game development, which boosts my performance.
8GB DDR4 RAM is sufficient to run heavy game development tools efficiently, thus ensuring the top laptop performance.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics card delivers swift rendering quality essential for high-end game production.
I get to save my project's data, apps, and media files efficiently as the laptop has 512GB SSD storage.
The wide display, 17.3 inches, provides ample space for multitasking and efficiently handling game development programs.
The visual looks great as the high 1920 x 1080 resolution produces sharp and clear images.
The powerful battery ensured I worked with the laptop for long sessions, thanks to the long battery life of 12.5 hours.
I get to surf the internet fast as the laptop is compatible with WiFi, IEEE 802.11ax, and 802.11ax.
The Bluetooth wireless technology allowed me to connect the laptop to external soundbars and share files wirelessly.
Best Laptop for Game Development Buying Guide
The laptop's display determines the visual clarity of my screen. The bare minimum for a gaming development laptop should be Full HD (1920x1080) resolution. However, to bring the most out of your games, you can opt for higher resolutions like UHD or 4K. The only drawback is that higher resolutions come with an extra cost.
Other display criteria are screen size, refresh rate, panel type, and color accuracy. For screen size, 14 to 17.0 inches is ideal for a game development laptop. I prefer IPS over other panel types because it has accurate color reproduction and excellent viewing angles, which are great for 3D modeling.
The refresh rate may vary depending on the game you wish to develop. The minimum refresh rate should be 60Hz. However, I recommend a 120 - 144 Hertz refresh rate for the best high-end games experience.
Several factors ought to be considered in color accuracy. I view the most essential in game development are contrast ratio, brightness level, color depth, and gamut.
I will always choose an SSD over an HDD storage. The SSD drive is great for speed, multitasking, gaming, and development, although it costs more than an HDD. On the other hand, I can go for HDD storage if I want a budget laptop because HDDs are cheaper. However, to develop games, I will always choose a high-performing SSD.
Now, moving on to the size, the type of game you want to develop will dictate the size. The minimum storage size is 256GB SSD. This space allows me to run heavy-duty software and store my new materials and designs. I also like the hybrid options, where you combine SSD and HDD storage.
However, if you run out of storage, you can upgrade it or buy an external hard disk.
An integrated GPU delivers the optimum performance I need for high-end games. However, a dedicated GPU works even better to eliminate glitches and lags. Therefore, a dedicated GPU with at least 4GB should be ideal. NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards work well with game development software. However, AMD has advanced its Ryzen chips to provide high power and performance to match game development demands.
Most game professionals don't view the CPU as a major factor. But, you need to know that lower-performance sub-standard processors will affect your development process. I recommend a multi-threaded CPU with high frequencies.
An 8th generation Intel core i5 processor is ideal for 2D game development. But, I will always go for an Intel Core i7 laptop or AMD Ryzen 7 processor when developing a 3D game.
High-end game development needs high memory capacity. Beginners and game development students will need at least 8GB of RAM. However, they will need higher RAM capacities if they integrate newer IDE versions in their projects. In this case, 16GB RAM is ideal. However, game development professionals must have at least 16GB DDR4 of RAM.
I prefer Windows Operating System over other Operating systems because it is compatible with most game development tools. It is also compatible with gaming tools. However, I can opt for Ubuntu, a free Linux-based OS.
Despite heavy gaming and game development laptops, I need a portable one that is convenient to carry. This doesn't mean that I compromise the hardware specifications. In this case, a 15.6 inches laptop would be a better option than a 17 inches one. The laptop should also weigh less than 5.0 lbs.
Gaming and game development always consume a lot of battery power. Most game development software is power-demanding and draws much power. Thus, the battery lasts for a short period before draining off.
However, recent advancements have produced laptop batteries that last for long sessions. Therefore, the best laptop for game development should last no less than five hours.
Which Processor Is Best for Game Development?
The best processor for game development is the 6-core AMD Ryzen CPU. However, the latest generation Intel Core i5, i7, and i9 series processors are also good alternatives.
What PC Do You Need for Game Development?
The PC I need for game development is Windows 10/11 64-bit with the latest updates installed. It should have a powerful processor, preferably AMD: Ryzen 5, 7, 9, or Intel Core i5, i7, or i9 series. It should also have 8GB or 16GB RAM.
Which Laptops Can Run Unreal Engine 5?
The laptops that can run Unreal Engine 5 are listed below.
MacBook Pro 2021
Lenovo Ideapad L340
Razer Blade Pro 17
GIGABYTE AERO 17 HDR XD
MSI Stealth 15M
What Is Needed in Good Gaming Laptops?
The specs needed in a good gaming laptop include:
Processor - AMD Ryzen 5 or Intel Core i5 (H series)
Graphics card - AMD Radeon RX 560 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
RAM - 8GB
Screen resolution - Full HD (1920x1080)
Refresh rate - 120 Hertz and above.