During the early days of game development, developers would spend days and weeks designing their games in small spaces. Mobility is essential in today’s world of on-the-go activities. Game development takes place on durable laptops.
At a Glance:
The processor, storage, RAM, GPU, and graphics display of a laptop for game development must be top-notch. Gaming laptops require running powerful software without lagging or stuttering throughout the design and production process.
On an underpowered computer, developing a game is not easy. It is thankfully possible to find laptops that can support the specs and hardware necessary to develop games.
Best Laptops For Game Development (Our Top Picks)
The purpose of this article is to review each of the top 8 best laptops for game development, including their specs, pros, and cons. Below are our top eight laptop recommendations based on testing. All these models are suitable for game development, and they are all unique in their way. The laptops are labeled according to the outstanding value they provide.
1. Lenovo Legion Y540 15.6Best Pick
As a gaming laptop, Lenovo’s Legion Y540 has a very light design and thin body. The modest price of this laptop comes with decent features for game development, in addition to its makeover. A Core i7 CPU coupled with 16GB of RAM makes running development software lightning fast even when running on low power. It is not one of the best graphic cards you can buy, but it should do the job for mid-grade game development. In addition, 256 GB of storage is included, which is just enough. Unfortunately, this unit isn’t potent when it comes to battery life. It is estimated that the average battery life is around five hours, which may be problematic unless you’re working on your laptop part-time.
In addition to supporting all current Wi-Fi standards up to IEEE 802.11ac, the Y540-15 IRH comes with an Intel Wireless-AC 9560 module. In addition to Bluetooth 5.0, the chip utilizes the current Bluetooth 4.2 standard. In our testing of the client and server sides of iperf3 Wi-Fi, our test unit averaged over 600 Mb/s when equipped with the 9560’s 2×2 MIMO antenna. It finished 9% behind its GeForce GTX 2060 equivalent, or 50 Mb/s, in our comparison tables.
Despite its subpar battery life, this laptop is capable of game development, especially for beginners. With its slim and lightweight design, a narrow bezel, a variety of configuration options, a good and mature design, and a reasonably mature and still stylish design, the Legion Y540 is an excellent gaming laptop. Featuring design elements and features that gamers will appreciate, Lenovo makes gaming a priority.
- Slim and light gaming laptop
- Configurations options
- Good-looking design
- 144 Hz fast-responding panel
- SSD and HDD combined
- Grooves in the lid are challenging to clean because of debris
2. HP Spectre x360Staff Pick
HP Spectre x360 is an enjoyable machine to use. Despite not technically being a gaming laptop, it can run most AAA titles on respectable settings, as it has the Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti and 16GB of RAM. We have run Dirt Rally 2.0 using the highest settings in 1080p with barely any lag. Similar results can be found for Far Cry 5 and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, which was released recently. Portability is what makes laptops so appealing, right? When it comes to game development, we often use laptops because we’re always on the go. For developers who prefer not to sit in front of a desk all day, the HP Spectre X360 is a great alternative.
We need external stimulation to work at our best with this laptop because it can run multiple game development systems anywhere. You can use this device while sitting on a park bench or at a coffee shop. It’s hard to imagine developing at these places, but that’s exactly what you can do through it.
HP is the best machine for the job, whether you need to work with word processing, spreadsheets, or photos. The Adobe Lightroom software is also easy to use. You can enhance your workflow with the included stylus. Note-takers and digital artists will especially benefit from this.
There are no issues with the CPU or GPU. Development can be conducted with Intel Core i7 processors of the 10th generation. Integrated graphics processors are okay. If you develop high-end games, you will not get traction, but midrange files are acceptable. With this laptop, you can access your data quickly since there are 512 GB of SSDs. It also provides luminous picture quality and is crystal clear. This product’s most vital points are its lightweight and foldable screen.
You will appreciate its touchscreen functionality if you are simultaneously developing and designing your game. This two-in-one laptop opens the door to endless possibilities. This laptop suffers from overheating issues. During the production process, there was no well-defined thermal management protocol.
- Portable and lightweight
- SSDs with NVMe
- Great sound quality
- Four-way processing from 1.30 GHz to 3.9 GHz
- Overheats easily
3. Apple MacBook ProBudget Pick
With over 40 years of experience in the tech revolution, Apple has been leading the way. The company has never been highly focused on video game development. A MacBook Pro can handle all the specs needed for game development despite not having a solid gaming identity. During development, this model is powered by a 6-core Intel i7 processor for sustained, fast performance. Despite its limitations, this processor will work well for normal development. Apple’s MacBook Pro shines when it comes to RAM. You can get 16 GB of RAM out of this unit, far more than what is needed to develop games.
Having 64 GB of DDR4 RAM is a big bonus for developers, as it ensures smooth multitasking while they develop. The MacBook Pro’s graphics, however, make it stand out. AMD’s Radeon Pro 5000M GPU ensures high definition playback that is ultra-rich and illuminating. Developers need laptops with the power of desktop computers in a lightweight, portable package.
MacBook Pros are GPU powerhouses when it comes to developing games. Despite the superior features of this unit, it has the disadvantage of a quick battery drain and overheating. When developing for hours on end, this can prove problematic when using a laptop in normal circumstances. As a game developer, the MacBook Pro is a decent option. Those features are the best, and the storage and graphics are on par with desktop systems.
- Ample and fast SSD storage
- AMD Radeon HD 5970
- Capabilities of SSD storage
- Retina 16″ screen
- It has been reported that backlight bleeding occurs through screens
4. Acer Predator Helios 300
Game development is made easy and efficient with this powerful laptop. Its speed and processing power are astounding when it comes to the Intel Core i7. As a result of this processor, graphics will look lifelike and move smoothly on the screen. A Core i7 does not suffer from glitches or lags during development. With 16 GB of RAM, this laptop comes close to being magical. However, there is also 6 GB of VRAM. The GPU on this model has VRAM capabilities to increase the storage capabilities of image data when it is being developed. A laptop with SSD capability is best suited for game development, and this model features an NVMe SSD with 512 GB of capacity.
Consequently, storage on this laptop will offer some of the best response times for storing assets. It has a widescreen 1080P HD display with an IPS display to deliver the most illuminating and vibrant resolution. A good choice for people looking for a large screen and a midrange gaming laptop, the 15.6-inch Acer Predator Helios 300 is affordable and offers great value. With its all-black exterior, angled lid corners, and large cooling vents at the rear, the Predator Helios 300 is purely a gaming laptop.
Alienware’s M15 R4 can’t boast a mainstream design like this. In 2020, Acer brought back the Predator branding to the Helios 300, which wasn’t always one that the Helios 300 could make. The Predator lettering now only appears beneath the screen, enhancing the mature, broader appeal of the camera.
An excellent laptop for game development is the Acer Predator Helios 300. We found the unit to have poor battery life as one of its major problems. After a few hours of game development, it will be helpful to have access to a power source.
- 240 Hz screen
- Quiet cooling
- Accepts three storage devices
- Overclocking features built-in
- Port selection is good
- Our test model is more expensive than the base model of the RTX 3060
5. MSI GS75 Stealth
The MSI GS75 Stealth is designed with a CPU and GPU that are all you need for gaming. MSI focuses heavily on manufacturing gaming PCs and laptops. It is all you need. Intel Core i7 processors provide high performance so that lags and glitches during development are minimized. You already have a development setup that’s guaranteed to work smoothly with 32 GB of RAM. Your graphics will be smoother and refresh faster with this laptop’s Nvidia RTX 2080 graphics card. For a mid-level game development process, all you need are these 3 features. Additionally, the 17.3″ FHD touchscreen with IPS technology comes with a bonus.
Among the most impressive graphics features of this laptop are its ray tracing technology and its brightest pixels. MSI’s GS75 Stealth is one of the first laptops to feature GeForce RTX graphics and a surprising amount of power to power your GTX 1080p gaming. Although it is similar to its smaller-screened sibling, the GS75 Stealth is not a simple rescaling.
Each Stealth shares the same design language, here characterized by a sleek black look trimmed with gold accents, as any good product line would. The slightly less flashy gold trace around MSI’s dragon logo contrasts with the red-and-black shield on most company models. This colour scheme is very similar to that of the 15-inch model. GS75 Stealth brings premium features to the table.
Battery performance limitations are the only drawback. It also causes the audio when using speakers to be drowned out by the heating of the laptop. If you choose the MSI GS75 Stealth, you will have a trusted gaming brand on your side.
Also, this version feels more solidly built. In contrast to the GS65 Stealth Thin, this chassis is made of the solid aluminium alloy without flexing the speaker grille. In addition to the gold hinges, the panel has more robust and thicker hinges.
There is excellent flex in the panel if you allow the bottom bezel to flex between the hinges, but this shouldn’t be the case when used commonly. In general, the build quality feels adequate and not overengineered, but it looks good and is competent at worst.
- Lightweight for a 17-inch display
- Aesthetic appeal
- 144Hz display.
- Battery life is good for the class.
- Pascal GPUs perform almost as well as top non-Max-Q GPUs
6. Gigabyte AERO 15 KB
Laptops play a crucial role in game development, as they are typically large and bulky to accommodate all of the required hardware. It’s surprising to find that the Gigabyte Aero 15 is so thin, considering the impressive specs. At first glance, the vibrant colors and high-resolution screen catches the eye. Display graphics with new precision thanks to the 240hz IPS LCD. The main attraction of this laptop is the display panel, which has a minimal amount of bezels to promote the clarity of game graphics. In addition to being X-Rite Pantone certified, there is also an individual calibration procedure before it leaves the factory.
CPUs have become a graphics powerhouse all by themselves, according to our research. Combining an Intel Core i7 processor and an Nvidia GPU, 2070 Max-Q, will make AI inference during the development of games vibrant and detailed. The Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED XC is a lavishly equipped, surprisingly affordable power laptop with GeForce “Ampere” silicon and a sterling screen, perfect for content creation or gaming after hours.
The battery lasts for 8 hours, which seems to be plenty of time to work on games for an entire day. In addition, Microsoft Azure Artificial Intelligence can suggest how to maximize battery performance based on your usage. The storage capabilities on this laptop are also excellent. It provides quick and flexible file access and ample file storage with its 512 GB NVME PCIe SSD. When running large programs such as GameMaker and Unity, the keyboard is a little lacklustre and suffers from slight lag. Developers who constantly travel may find it challenging to manage the weight of the unit.
The Aero 15 OLED XC was a few seconds behind the model XB with an Intel Core i7 processor in our Photoshop and Handbrake benchmarks. While packing superior graphics, a better screen, and more memory and storage, it is significantly cheaper than the current model. The Editors’ Choice award was an easy decision; the only stumbling block was the misplaced webcam. Gigabyte deserves a lot of credit.
- Performs brilliantly
- Stunning OLED display in 4K
- Ports galore
- Display RGB keyboard
- The webcam is positioned incorrectly
7. ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo
This laptop is ideal for game developers who need to render lots of content with multiple resources running simultaneously. Powered by an Intel Core i9 processor, this model has 16GB RAM. You can run multiple systems and development engines smoothly on a CPU with this kind of capability. For game development software to run correctly, a strong processor is required. This laptop has one. A 32 GB RAM chip is included in the Asus Zenbook Pro Duo. This is plenty to develop a game, but when it is combined with a powerful processor, development is made less taxing. The system will run so smoothly that your work will flow as fast as your ideas.
With 1 TB capacity, SSD capabilities are pushed to new levels. Due to its advanced NVMe Solid State Drive, this laptop will load all of your stored work in seconds. Because both screens are above the keyboards, it has been compared to Apple’s controversial Touch Bar. Using ScreenPad Plus as an oversized control bar is not its real purpose. As a replacement for the touchpad, this hardware offers a full-fledged secondary screen – Asus hasn’t just been gimmick-obsessed.
This small, thin and light device takes the concept and shrinks it to fit on your palm. As the name implies, this laptop features a 14-inch screen instead of the 15.6-inch screen found on the other Duo laptops. As well as being smaller, the ScreenPad Plus has a 12.6-inch display. The ScreenPad Plus’s unique shape results in an unusual resolution of 1,920 by 515 pixels, while the main screen is full HD (1,920 by 1080 pixels). The audio performance was a downside for us. Audio playback is frequently interrupted by sound breaks and lags. If you primarily use the unit for development, this isn’t a significant issue.
- Slim 3.5-pound build
- Various software tweaks
- Ports for Thunderbolt 4
- Lack of a natural wrist rest, resulting in a cramped keyboard
8. Razer Blade Pro 17 Gaming Laptop
In case you want a movie theatre-quality display, this laptop suits your needs. The laptop you need if you are planning on developing high-end games should be this one. The Razer Blade Pro 17 has an Intel Core i7 processor that supports continuous refresh rates for developing 4K games. You have access to 16GB of RAM, which is twice as much as you’d need. As well as the GeForce GTX 20 series, Nvidia offers comprehensive graphics cards. With this GPU, you can develop games on virtually any software or hardware. An elegant and straightforward design scheme makes the entire package portable and lightweight.
This more extensive and more powerful version of the 15-inch Razer Blade Pro is the 2020 Razer Blade Pro 17. In other words, it is one of the most portable and highest-performing gaming laptops out there. It’s hard to beat a full retail video game when measuring the performance of a gaming system. These games’ benchmarks can be used to determine how a system will handle different levels of real-world gameplay. We use medium and high image quality settings for Far Cry 5 and Rise of the Tomb Raider (Normal or Ultra for DirectX 11 and Medium or Very High for DirectX 12).
Having SSD storage on a laptop is the most helpful feature for game development. With 512 GB of SSD storage, there is plenty of space for storage. Due to the 300 Hz FHD display and powerful GPU on the laptop, vivid graphics can be displayed. In terms of advanced game development, this laptop is an outstanding choice.
If you want a gaming laptop that can be taken anywhere and have a large budget, the Pro 17 is the best option. If you don’t care about screen size and don’t need a big one, maybe you want to go for the impressive, unique Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550), which combines two separate panels with some unique gameplay and productivity features. With its desktop-like experience, the Acer Predator Helios 700 provides an excellent experience for those seeking a high-end system but at a more reasonable price.
- Construction with metal
- Exceptional performance
- Display at 300Hz
- Utilize the GPU’s power
- Batteries last for a long time
- During gaming, the fans are louder than normal
Choosing a laptop that will work well with your game development needs is crucial. Unlike 3D games, 2D games may not require powerful software. In spite of this, it can still be worth your while to buy a gaming laptop that meets Unity or GameMaker standards. Here are the specifications you need for seamless game development on a laptop:
The amount of RAM you need is essential, but you might be surprised that 8 GB will likely be more than enough. It’s simply impossible to use small Chromebooks or notebooks, so you need to search for a device with 8 GB or more.
Generally, game development uses powerful CPUs and GPUs, but you will still need sufficient RAM to run large numbers of applications simultaneously. It makes sense to have 16 GB of RAM in this case. 16 GB is enough memory to run all your applications smoothly, regardless of how heavy they are.
To develop a game quickly, speed is imperative. You will have a frustrating experience if your processor lags constantly. For game development, a laptop CPU must be fast enough to handle compilation and rendering. You should be able to run large applications on a Core i7 processor even when developing games.
It is essential to see your work as it should be seen while you are making it. The majority of situations can be handled by a 1080P monitor. Although many laptops come with 1080P displays, consider a laptop with an IPS panel for the best screen for game development. Colour and graphic displays are made more vivid with IPS technology.
Especially with laptops, it isn’t always beneficial to trust the CPU’s graphic capabilities. When you get deep into development, a high-quality graphics card can eliminate any uncertainty you might run into. GPUs boost graphics processing power exponentially, and the RAM that GPUs provide can complement it greatly.
For 2D games, a moderate CPU and RAM will suffice, but a powerful GPU is required to work wonders with 3D games. It is essential to check a laptop’s DirectX X11 compatibility when looking for one for game development.
The ability to store data is crucial for the development of video games. It is reassuring to know that your storage needs will be met adequately with an SSD (solid-state storage). A laptop with an SSD would be better than a laptop with an HDD.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the recommended amount of RAM for game development?
Several upgrades are going to be necessary for your computer, which can be pretty expensive these days. It is recommended that you have a GPU with 8GB of RAM when developing games, especially if you are using engines such as Unity or Unreal.
Q. Which gaming laptops are the best for everyday use?
Gaming laptops will be perfect for everyday use if you play games only on your laptop. It might also be a good choice if you need a good performance from both the CPU and GPU.
Q. How will i5 benefit you in 2021?
However, those who will only be gaming and rarely expect to perform multi-core intensive programs should consider the Intel Core i5 10600K. The 10600K is even more competitive when overclocked and stands out as an even more compelling alternative to the 3600.
From essential laptops for beginners to ultra-advanced laptops for game development, these 8 laptops cover the gamut. Each unit has the necessary specifications to develop games without any problems.
Consider your needs when choosing a new computer and make sure it has the right amount of RAM, CPU speed, SSD storage, and robust GPU protocols. Choosing a unit that is right for your level of development is critical.
As a beginner or sticking with 2D, you won’t need any supercharged specs. Choose graphics cards with the fastest CPUs and the strongest graphics cards if you’re developing in 3D or 4K. Feel free to leave a comment if this article helped you in any way.