The best laptop for game development is designed for mobility while also not compromising other important features such as high processing, enough storage, the best display, and RAM.
When developing a game, you need a laptop that will handle super powerful programs and meet standards for powerful game engines such as GameMaker and Unity without lagging. With this considered, you will need some thorough research to buy the best laptops for game development.
Luckily for you, we have researched and come up with this list of the five best laptops for game developers like you to use. We will discuss the features, pros, cons, and a host of factors that should guide you when buying yours.
1. Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop
- 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H 6-Core Processor (Up to 5.0 GHz) with Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
- Overclockable NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM
- 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED-backlit IPS display (144Hz Refresh Rate, 3ms Overdrive Response Time, 300nit Brightness & 72% NTSC)
- 16 GB DDR4 2933MHz Dual-Channel Memory, 512GB NVMe SSD (2 x M.2 slots; 1 slot open for easy upgrades) & 1 - Available Hard Drive Bay
- 4-Zone RGB Backlit Keyboard | Wireless: Killer Double Shot Pro Wireless-AX 1650i 802. 11ax Wi-Fi 6; LAN: Killer Ethernet E2600 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN; DTS X: Ultra-Audio; 4th Gen All-Metal AeroBlade 3D Fan
A gaming laptop needs to guarantee speed and efficiency so you can bring your gaming ideas to life with minimum hassle. The Acer Predator Helios 300 will be your best laptop for game development, coming with the 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor that works without lags or glitches.
Even with the best processor, your laptop still needs enough storage and the best RAM features to guarantee easier development. So, this laptop comes with an NVMe SSD at 512 GB, plus 16 GB RAM and 6 GB VRAM that enables fast communication between your CPU and GPU.
While better storage guarantees fast response time and faster compilation handling, you also need to see what you're creating so you can make adjustments as you go. To this end, the laptop comes with a 15.6" widescreen 1080p high definition display plus the powerful IPS display to improve your graphics.
Running on the latest Windows 10 Home OS and with a backlit keyboard, this is a great game-developing laptop for experienced developers. The only drawback is subpar battery life.
2. Asus Zenbook Pro Duo UX581 Laptop
- 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 10th generation Intel Core i9-10980HK Octa Core Processor (16M Cache, up to 5.3 GHz) with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
- Detachable palm rest, Laptop stand, and ASUS active stylus pen included
- Fast storage and memory featuring 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD with 32GB DDR4 RAM
This laptop comes with the fastest processor you could need for game development. The powerful 10th Gen Intel Core i9 processor allows fast render times as you run multiple systems simultaneously.
While serious game developers will find 16GB RAM more than enough for their needs, this Asus laptop packs a whole 32GBGB DDR4 RAM so you can enjoy the smoothest workflow. In addition, its 1TB SSD hard drive plus the NVMe Solid State Drive technology makes your storage even more efficient while allowing much better compilation handling.
This laptop also comes with a 15.6-inch 4K touchscreen display plus NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphic card for the best development experience. In addition, it runs on the latest Windows 10 Pro OS. However, one drawback is subpar audio quality, though this may not be an issue if you only need to use it for game development.
3. Apple MacBook Pro
- Ninth-generation 6-Core Intel Core i7 Processor
- Stunning 16-inch Retina Display with True Tone technology
- Touch Bar and Touch ID
- AMD Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics with GDDR6 memory
- Ultrafast SSD
If you need the best graphics for your game development, this Apple MacBook Pro is one of the best laptops for game development. It uses the AMD Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics with GDDR6 memory for ultra-rich playback.
The laptop also has one of the best processors for game development, using the 9th Gen Intel Core i7 processor. However, you can also buy the model that features the Intel Core i9 processor for even factor processes.
The 16-inch laptop comes with more than enough RAM for your game development needs. The 16GB DDR4 RAM will support your multitasking for the best results. Also, the laptop comes with 1TB SSD extra storage capacity for better compilation handling.
Overall, this MacBook is good for game development, but the battery tends to deplete much faster with heavy use. Overheating is also a common problem you may have to encounter as you go about your game design.
4. Gigabyte AERO 15 Game Development Laptop
- Perfectly sized 15.6" display with ultra-thin bezels and an incredible 89% screen-to-body ratio for productivity and creative tasks | This ultra-high performance powerhouse is less than 1" thick, weighs less than 5-lbs, and housed in a compact, durable CNC aluminum alloy black chassis, perfect for creative professionals and gamers on-the-go
- Eye-catching Samsung 4K UHD AMOLED display with VESA DisplayHDR 400 True Black Standard for more realistic imagery, higher contrast, and true-blacks | 100% DCI-P3 wide color gamut and super fast 1-ms display response time | Individually factory-calibrated and color accuracy within Delta E<1, certified by X-Rite Pantone for true-to-life color and vibrant images
- Up to 8-hours of battery life (PCMark 10) to get you through an entire day's work without plugging in for greater work mobility and productivity | Exclusive, built-in Microsoft Azure AI to intelligently optimize hardware profiles to match your daily usage for the most efficient power and battery usage
- Equipped with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (6GB GDDR6) for accelerating and optimizing graphic-intensive creative apps, such as Adobe Creative Suite, Autodesk Maya, Blender, etc. | Powered by the latest 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H for faster photo and 4K video editing efficiency and high gaming performance
- 16GB DDR4 3200MHz dual channel memory (8GBx2) for increased multitasking productivity and 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD (2x NVMe storage slots total) for accessing files at lightning speeds, while safely storing all of your large-scale creations and projects
The Gigabyte Aero 15 is the best laptop for developing games when looking for a lightweight and sleek model. It is a 15.6-inch display laptop with the perfect screen resolution using 240hz IPS LCD for the best graphics.
Apart from the display, this laptop also comes with a powerful CPU with a 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H processor that combines with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti add-on that improves your game development graphics for faster results.
16GB RAMis more than the recommended 8GB for excellent game development. In addition, the laptop also comes with a 512GB SSD for more storage so you can store and easily access files. According to Gigabyte, the laptop will also offer eight hours of battery life before you need to recharge, thus making it ideal for most game developers.
5. HP Spectre x360 Gaming Laptop
- Unmatched Audio Performance with Quad Bang & Olufsen speakers: The partnership between Bang & Olufsen and HP brings premium sound to your personal computing device. With HP Quad Speakers, HP Audio Boost, and custom tuning by the experts at Bang & Olufsen, entertainment comes to life with sound you can feel.
- Superior Speed and Networking: Fast Data Access with 1 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX 201 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5 Combo. Security management Mic Mute key; Webcam kill switch, 1 headphone/microphone combo; 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A (HP Sleep and Charge); 2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C with Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gb/s signaling rate, Power Delivery 3.0, DisplayPort 1.4, HP Sleep and Charge)
- 16 GB (onboard) RAM, Bang & Olufsen Quad Speakers, HP Audio Boost, Fingerprint Reader, ALSO includes a Super Sleek, Super cool, 64GB ULTRA SLIM Tech Warehouse LLC USB Flash drive. A speedy little performer with a great look! Please see picture illustrations for more information
- Impressive Hi-def Panel with Hi-def Active Stylus Pen and Thunderbolt Support: Experience exceptional colors and clarity with 13.3" Full HD touch screen (Resolution: 1920 x 1080) for hands-on control and IPS technology for wide viewing angles. 13.3" diagonal FHD IPS micro-edge WLED-backlit touch screen with NBT, HP Active Stylus Pen, USB-C port, Thunderbolt support & SD card reader, HD IR Webcam
The HP Spectre X360 is your best laptop as a game developer who is always on the move. It is a lightweight laptop with the latest 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor plus an integrated graphics card that makes game development a breeze.
You also get 1TbB of SSD with the laptop for fast data processing. In addition, it also comes with 16GB SDRAM so that you can integrate your new game idea without any worries.
While the main advantage of the laptop is portability, you will be able to develop your games easily, and the 13.3-inch touchscreen display will help you do just that. The screen offers a 1920x1080 pixels resolution, so you won't need to compromise your game graphics.
It runs on the Windows 10 operating system, but you might have to struggle with overheating challenges when developing.
What is the Difference Between A Gaming Laptop and a Normal Laptop?
If you wonder why you need a special laptop for gaming development, you will only need to consider how much you will demand from your laptop.
While both laptops are great, developing games is designed to handle more processes than a laptop you will need for studies or streaming, or sending emails.
A gaming laptop will arguably be more powerful for high processing, meaning it will need dedicated graphics cards, top-of-the-line processors, more RAM, and sufficient cooling mechanisms.
Here are some main differences between gaming laptops and normal laptops.
- A good game development laptop will require more RAM than a normal laptop. Often, the least RAM you require for development is 8GB, while you can use a laptop with as low as 4GB for a normal laptop.
- A gaming laptop needs high-performance processors compared to normal laptops that require standard processors.
- Game development laptops need dedicated graphics cards compared to normal laptops, which will use any integrated graphics cards for light tasks.
- A gaming laptop will need a more advanced cooling system, while a normal laptop can use just one fan.
- A gaming laptop needs a stronger keyboard with RGB lighting to withstand prolonged use, while a normal laptop can use a delicate keyboard or light typing.
- Laptops for game development are heavier than normal laptops.
- A gaming laptop will have a weaker battery since it drains power much faster than normal laptops.
- Gaming laptops have better displays, often with a refresh rate of about 300Hz compared to 120Hz for a normal laptop.
- Gaming laptops have more ports compared to normal laptops.
- A good game development laptop is more expensive than a normal laptop.
Factors to Consider for Your Best Laptop for Game Development
Now that you understand the main differences between a gaming laptop and a normal laptop, you will also need to pay more attention to the game development features you need for your new laptop. Here are some features you need to ensure you get.
a) Best processor
When developing games, one factor that makes it seamless is speed, and speed relies on the type of processor you use. A processor is also the laptop's CPU or Central Processing Unit that serves as the laptop's brain.
Seeing that the CPU sends performance instructions to all components, you should pick the strongest to make your design and development easier. When buying a laptop, you can choose between different Intel processors, from Intel Core i5, i7, and even i9.
However, understand that these Intel processors are also present in regular laptops, hence the need to pay more attention to the suffixes after the numbers. High-performance processors use suffixes such as H, HQ, HK, and K. They mean;
- H refers to high performance
- HQ is a high-performance quad-core processor
- HK refers to high performance unlocked
- K means unlocked
Thus, if you get a laptop with a processor like Intel Core i7 8750h, you would tell that it is suitable for gaming development. However, if a processor comes with suffixes such as U, Y, G, and T, they are not designed to handle high-performance needs, thus ideal for normal laptops.
b) Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
With game development, you will need stronger graphics for the best results. The laptop needs a dedicated GPU for rendering, so your instructions are processed better into visual information. In addition, the graphic card enables you to develop either 2D, 3D, or VR games, with the latter requiring an even stronger unit.
When buying gaming laptops, you can get those with NVIDIA GTX, NVIDIA RTX, or AMD dedicated GPUs as they are the strongest.
c) Random Access Memory (RAM)
For game development laptops, the least RAM you can use is 8GB. RAM refers to the laptop's short-term memory and stores data for all programs. Thus, considering the many programs you will be running while developing your game, it is best to have enough RAM.
d) Cooling system
When developing, you will have more programs running than you would a regular laptop. Thus, it is possible to have your laptop overheating, and this is something you would want to avoid.
You will also need more storage for easy game development. When buying, look for a laptop with an additional HDD or SDD. More storage makes it easier to handle compilations.
Now that you have all these internal features to consider, one important aspect of your development laptop is the display. In simple terms, you need to see the designs you create to make the best adjustments.
Look for laptops that come with 1080P or 4K monitors plus IPS panels, as these will display even the tiniest graphics. In addition, you can consider the size of your screen and whether touchscreen capabilities will make your experience better.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Best Game Development Laptops
a) Are gaming laptops the same as laptops for game development?
No, they are not the same. Gaming laptops are designed to handle the needs of playing various games, but the development aspect keeps evolving, thus requiring even stronger development programs and laptop specs.
b) How much RAM do I need for efficient game development?
Most game developers require at least 8 GB of RAM to perform the most basic development. However, your best bet is 16 GB of RAm if you want more advanced features for 3D games.
c) How much storage does my laptop need for game development?
For seamless development, your laptop will require at least 512 GB of storage. You can also get one with 1TB SSD storage for an even better experience.
d) Is an Intel Core i5 processor enough for game development?
A Core i5 processor is ideal for novice developers but will be inadequate for more advanced gaming development needs. The best place to start when looking for a good processor is with Core i7 processors.
e) Which is the best operating system for game development?
When buying your best laptop, you can choose between a Mac laptop if you want to concentrate on the graphics. However, a Windows laptop could offer better game development features even from cheaper models.