best-laptops-for-game-development

Whether you are a professional game developer or develop games just for fun, you must be aware it’s not every laptop’s cup of tea to handle the designated software. Also, the gaming industry is growing with a blink of an eye, AR, VR, 3D gaming, and whatnot.

Fun fact: According to New Zoo, the global gaming market is expected to be worth $159+ billion by the end of this year with more than 48% of it being dominated by mobile gaming!

There’s no time better than NOW to become a game developer. For that, every game development enthusiast needs a laptop to run Unity, Unreal Engine, and Gamemaker studios.

In this article, I have hand-picked some of the best laptops for game development for you!

Top Recommendations- Best Laptops for Game Development at a glance

Minimum and Recommended System Requirements for Game Development Laptop

Minimum RequirementRecommended Requirement
ProcessorCore i7Core i9 or AMD Ryzen 7
RAM16GB32GB
Display12-14 inches (2K resolution)15-16 inches (4K OLED)
GPU4GB6-8GB
Storage256GB-512GB1TB-2TB
Battery5 hoursUpto 12 hours

Game Development Laptop – Buyer’s Guide

Before jumping straight in the market and picking up the most expensive laptop out there, hold a minute! Truth to be told, not every expensive laptop is suitable for game development. There are a few specifications that truly define a game development worthy laptop, and surely price isn’t one of them.  

You need the right hardware to run the game development software and IDEs such as Unity 3D and Unreal Engine. And, mind you, these are demanding IDEs. Therefore, when searching for a laptop for game development, make sure you look for the following specifications: 

CPU

Undoubtedly, modern game development demands a heavy CPU. Therefore, when you are hunting a laptop for this purpose, make sure you get a quad-core or hexacore Intel Core i7 or Core i9. And, if Intel doesn’t fancy you, you can also buy AMD Ryzen 7 Series Processor. 

RAM

While developing a game, you’ll probably have tons of applications running at a time. And, you would be jumping from one to another. Meanwhile, you surely don’t want to welcome lag or any hindrance. That’s where RAM comes into the play! Make sure you get at least 16GB RAM for your machine. Or, if you could get your hands on 32GB RAM, that’s even better. 

GPU

If you are a game developer, you must have got your hands dirty with 3D models and rendering in real-time. And, this can all be played out smoothly when you have a capable GPU. For game development, I would recommend at least a 4GB graphics card. However, if you are going to develop something like AAA titles, you should go for 6GB/8GB VRAM. 

Storage

Remember the rule of thumb “Always prefer SSD over HDD,” and the reasons are obvious as SSD is faster than HDD. So, you surely don’t want your work to be delayed. Also, I would recommend having 512GB storage as the bare minimum, as game development requires saving huge data. You can also buy a laptop with 1TB SSD, or you can get an external hard drive for archived game codes. 

Display

You’ll surely be testing what you will build. Therefore, a display makes a statement. It is recommended to have 1080p (2k resolution), at least. You can also go for 4K OLED for a better gaming experience if your budget allows. Make sure that your display has a lower response rate and a higher frame rate. 

LAPTOPPROCESSORGRAPHICSMEMORY 
Asus Zenbook Pro DuoIntel Core i7-9750HNvidia GeForce RTX 206016GBCheck Price

Dell XPS 15Intel Hexa-Core i7-9750H4GB Nvidia GTX 165016GBCheck Price
Acer Predator Helios 300Intel Core i7-9750HGeForce GTX 1660 Ti16GBCheck Price
HP spectre x3600Intel Quad-Core i5-1035G4Integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics8GBCheck Price
Apple Macbook Proro2.6GHz 6-core Intel Core i7AMD Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics with GDDR6 memory + Intel UHD Graphics 63016GBCheck Price
Gigabyte Aero 15XIntel Core i7-8750HNVIDIA GeForce GTX 107016GBCheck Price
Razer Blade 15Intel Core i7-10750HNVIDIA GeForce RTX 206016GBCheck Price
Microsoft Surface Book 3Intel Core i7NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti16GBCheck Price
Lenovo Legion Y720Intel Core i7-7700HQNvidia GeForce GTX 1060-6GB16GBCheck Price
Microsoft Surface Pro 7Intel Core i7Intel Iris Plus Graphics16GBCheck Price

1. Asus Zenbook Pro Duo – Best laptop to run Unity

Asus Zenbook Pro Duo

Specifications:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-9750H
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 1TB PCIe SSD
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060
  • Weight: 5.5 pounds
  • Battery life: 5 hours

Performance:

Asus Zenbook Pro Duo is probably the best laptop when it comes to high-end game development, all thanks to heavy-duty Intel Core i7-9750H. Moreover, 16GB RAM makes switching between Unity 3D and developed games smooth as butter. The Asus Zenbook Pro Duo is the first laptop to equip Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060, which is capable of running AAA titles as well. 

Display:

Moving to ZenBook Pro Duo will be like moving from a small apartment to a big bungalow. It contains a 4K UHD 15.6 inches display along with a second screen located right above the keyboard for maximum room and multitasking. Both the displays are touch and stylus enabled that comes in the box.

Battery:

Well, you have to drop the hammer somewhere, and that somewhere is the battery of the ZenBook Pro Duo. It only lasts for 4 hours 45 mins while web surfing and streaming 1080p videos and sorry to burst your bubble, but it will drop even faster while coding and gaming. 

However, considering the two-screens feature, it was expected to consume more battery than an average laptop. 

ProsCons
Unique two screens designMiddling battery life
Outstanding Performance
Sturdy Built
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2. Dell XPS 15 – Best 4K Game Development Laptop

Dell XPS 15

Specifications:

  • Processor: 9th Gen Intel Hexa-Core i7-9750H
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Graphics Card: 4GB Nvidia GTX 1650
  • Weight: 4 pounds
  • Battery life: 7 hours

Performance

One thing is for sure; this machine can get anything done in no time and all thanks to the 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H. Moreover, 16GB RAM can handle all your complex games’ coding and their test runs. So, gather your friends and show off your new games as XPS 15’s Nvidia GTX 1650 won’t budge for a second. 

Display

Dell scored big with this beautiful 15.6 inches OLED Display. Vibrant colors and perfect brightness make games and game development treat to the eyes. The display has a special anti-reflective feature that makes working in the bright sun possible! 

Battery

It is usual for a laptop that heavy to come with a compromised battery. And, Dell XPS 15 suffers the same. If you don’t push it much, it tends to last only 8 hours. However, you’ll be running your machine with heavy games and programs, and the maximum battery juice will last for 5 hours in that case. 

ProsCons
Bright 4K OLED DisplayAverage Battery Life
Snappy overall Performance
Sleek Design
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3. Acer Predator Helios 300 – Budget laptop for game development

Acer Predator Helios 300

Specifications:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-9750H
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
  • Weight: 5.29 pounds
  • Battery life: 4 hours

Performance

Acer Predator Helios 300 is the perfect example of the “best budget game development laptop” that doesn’t compromise on the Performance. Apart from gaming, it’s also considered to be one of the best budget laptop for video editing. It comes with Intel Core i7 paired with 16GB RAM, which makes it competitive to all high-end game development laptops offering the same specifications. Moreover, Acer Predator Helios 300 features Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, which is known for entry-level gaming. 

Display

Looking for a laptop with impressive display quality under $1200? Say no more! Acer Predator Helios 300 has a wide 15.6 inches Full HD display. The display is roomy if you want to pop up different windows at a time. Moreover, the display has a 144Hz refresh rate, which makes running games smooth and lag-free. 

Battery

Disclaimer alert! If you are habitual of working away from an outlet, steer clear from this laptop. On video playback loop test Acer Predator Helios 300 lasted around 4 hours, which is below average, to be honest. These battery statistics will drop further while running heavier games and applications like Unreal Engine and Unity. 

ProsCons
Affordable Storage is limited
Value PerformanceBelow-average battery life
144Hz FHD Display
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4. HP Spectre x360 – Best Touchscreen Game Development Laptop

HP Spectre x360

Specifications:

  • Processor: Intel Quad-Core i5-1035G4
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Graphics Card: Integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • Weight: 2.87 pounds
  • Battery life: 10 hours

Performance

Since the HP Spectre x360 is more on the affordable side, you have to compromise a little on RAM (8GB) and Graphics Card (Integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics). However, you are still getting a powerful Intel Quad Core i5 processor. When tested with Unity3D and Unreal Engine 5, the laptop didn’t slow down at all. 

Display

Show off your new games on HP Spectre’s 4K UHD display! This 13.3 inches display is touch-enabled and makes multitasking easier and convenient. Moreover, you can also turn it 360 degrees (convertible) when resting on your bed or watching movies. If you are fond of coding outdoors, this laptop has got you covered in that department as well with a special anti-reflective display.

Battery

Since the 2020 variant of HP Spectre x360 comes with new configurations, it was expected to have some change in battery life. This laptop lasts for 10 hours with a single charge, which is pretty decent, you can get through with it on long flights. However, the 2019 variant lasted for 15 hours, but you can’t question much as the Performance is improved. 

ProsCons
Attractive designThermal throttling issues
Solid Performance to run game development software
Built-in security features
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5. Apple Macbook Pro – Best Battery Life 

Apple Macbook Pro

Specifications:

  • Processor: 2.6GHz 6-core Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 16GB RAM
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Graphics Card: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics with GDDR6 memory + Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • Weight: 4.3 pounds 
  • Battery life: 11 hours

Performance

Eyes set on the 16-inch MacBook Pro? Your decision can’t go wrong as this handy laptop is powered by a 9th Generation Core i7, along with 16 gbs of RAM and an AMD Radeon series graphics card. With built-in storage of 512GB, and an option to extend this to 1TB makes this the perfect option for development and rendering heavy graphics.

Display:

Apple makes some of the best displays ever, and it is no surprise for us. Similarly, Apple Macbook Pro is Apple’s one of the masterpieces featuring a huge 16 inches Retina display. Moreover, the bezel-less display creates a room for developers to open multiple windows at a time without feeling congested. The demo runs for games are going to be one hell of a treat, no doubt! 

Battery:

You can totally forget about the charger and get busy in developing games, once you have fully charged this laptop. Undoubtedly, Apple has always surpassed the average battery life of competitive laptops, and similarly, Apple Macbook Pro 16 lasts for good 11.5 hours. Despite a large screen and heavy processor, Apple has still managed to keep up with its long battery promise. 

ProsCons
Attractive 16 inches Retina DisplayExpensive
Long battery life
Budge-proof Performance
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6. Gigabyte Aero 15X – Compact and Portable Laptop

Gigabyte Aero 15X

Specifications:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H (2.2GHz-4.1GHz) 
  • RAM: 16GB RAM
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
  • Weight: 4.41 pounds 
  • Battery life: 8 hours

Performance

Be it rendering or multitasking, Gigabyte Aero 15 won’t break under pressure. Packed with Intel Core i7-8750H processor and 16GB RAM, this laptop is designed to run heavy software and AAA titles games. NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1070 is cherry on top for testing your masterpiece games. It is a perfect affordable laptop, that throws Performance just like high-end ones. 

Display:

It is safe to say that Gigabyte Aero 15X has one of the most colorful and bright displays out there. This 15.6 inches panel comes with a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080p, which makes movies and games look stunning and crisp. Moreover, it comes with a matte finish that eliminates glares when you are making your next big game outdoors or on the move. 

Battery:

When a laptop comes with a “gaming laptop” tagline, I automatically expect a compromised battery. However, Gigabyte Aero 15X still has some high standards, as it kept going for 8 hours straight with a single charge. So, that means you can take this compact laptop in your office bag, and forget your charger at home, trust me you won’t have a panic attack!

ProsCons
Outstanding gaming performanceFlimsy touchpad
Lightweight and slim design
Long battery life
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7. Razer Blade 15 – Best affordable game development laptop 

Razer Blade 15

Specifications:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-10750H 6-Core
  • RAM: 16GB RAM
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
  • Weight: 8.8 pounds
  • Battery life: 8 hours

Performance

Game development surely requires a setup that’s able to handle the load easily. Luckily, the Razer Blade 15 packs a powerful set of features with it’s 10th Generation Core i7 of 6 cores, 16 GB RAM, and a mighty NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060. If this setup doesn’t speak “performance” to you, no other will.

Display

144Hz Display, every gamer’s and game developer’s dream! Razer Blade 15 comes with 15.6 inches FHD display with 144Hz fastness. With such a display, the gaming experience was out of the world. The thin bezels around the screen give the laptop a more roomy look when multitasking with apps. 

Battery

The fate of Razer Blade 15’s battery life is the same as other gaming laptops. With only 5 hours of battery life, there isn’t much to sing ga-ga about. Of course, the battery life also depends upon the usage, so if you use it on lesser brightness levels, I am sure you’ll get through the working hours developing games pretty easily. 

ProsCons
Bright and colorful displayRuns hot
Thin bezelsBelow-average battery life
Amazing Graphics Performance
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8. Microsoft Surface Book 3 – Best UHD Laptop

Microsoft Surface Book 3

Specifications:

  • Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 16GB RAM
  • Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti
  • Weight: 7.79 pounds
  • Battery life: 8 hours

Performance

Designed with a robust combo, Intel Core i7 and Nvidia GTX 1660Ti, Microsoft markets this laptop as gaming ready, and we don’t doubt that. You can easily run Unity 3D and Unreal Engine 4 on it, and even after hours of use, Microsoft Surface Book 3 won’t slow down or lag. Moreover, 16GB RAM is the dream of every multitasker, and you will surely need it while game development.  

Display

The eyecatcher for this laptop is definitely its display! Microsoft Surface Book 3 comes with a 15 inches display with 3,240 x 2,160 resolution. It has a refresh rate of up to 60Hz, which is a win-win for heavy as well as light gaming. The overall result of the panel is bright and crisp, so be it watching movies or testing, games it surely brings it to life. 

Battery

Microsoft claims are way too high with their new Surface book 3. It comes with two batteries, the one in the tablet and the other with the keyboard, which is supposed to give 17.5 hours of continuous screen time. However, actually, the Surface Book 3 doesn’t last 8 hours in total, which is pretty enough for normal work hours. Well, this was quite expected, with Nvidia 1660Ti graphics and 4K display the battery drains faster than usual. 

ProsCons
Excellent graphics performanceSmall trackpad
Unique and attractive design
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9. Lenovo Legion Y720 – Best windows laptop for game development 

Lenovo Legion Y720

Specifications:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-7700HQ Processor
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060-6GB
  • Weight: 7.04 pounds
  • Battery life: 7 hours

Performance:

Packed with Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, gaming is a dream with Lenovo Legion Y720. As you’ll be running multiple programs (game to be tested as well as IDE for coding), RAM plays an important role, and 16GB RAM does the perfect job for this laptop. Moreover, it comes with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card, which is known for entry to medium level gaming without breaking a sweat. 

And, not to forget Lenovo Legion Y720 supports VR technology. So if you’re into VR game development, you can buy separately available VR accessories and make a road to future gaming!

Display:

Even though this laptop features 15.6 inches Full HD Display, it is still dull and bland. The screen has a maximum brightness of 210 nits, which is less than average laptops in this price range. Also, the color accuracy isn’t up to the mark. However, for many gaming developers, the display would be among the last things to consider. 

Battery:

The Lenovo Legion Y720 will be your perfect travel companion as it comes with decent battery life. This laptop lasts for 6 hours 30 mins while browsing the web over WiFi throughout. These battery statistics will get you through your workday, developing and testing all kinds of games. 

ProsCons
Long battery LifeDull Display
Amazing Performance for gaming
VR Support Compatibility
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10. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – Best 2-in-1 game development laptop

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Specifications:

  • Processor:10th Gen Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 1TB
  • Graphics Card: Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Battery life: 8 hours

Performance

The first thing that runs your mind when you hear of a convertible laptop must be “performance, meh!” but not with this Microsoft Surface Pro 7. Microsoft decided to keep portability and Performance all together without any compromises. This 2-in-1 laptop with a new generation Intel Core i7 processor along with 16GB RAM, which is not only fast but powerful as well, so that it fits your game development needs. 

Display

The display for Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is small, but not disappointing at all. This 12 inches touchscreen display is bright, colorful, and crisp at the same time, which was quite impressive considering it is a convertible laptop. Moreover, you get an advantage over a traditional laptop; you can continue developing your games and test them from the ease of bed. 

Battery

Let’s put it on the table; the battery life of Microsoft Surface Pro 7 isn’t that bad when it comes to everyday use. You can throw it in your bag and forget about the charger the whole day, as it lasts around 8 hours. However, if you are always on the move and trips, you might need a portable charger. Since you are going to be developing games on your desk, I am pretty sure you’ll be having a socket around, so bubye battery issues!

ProsCons
Outstanding PerformanceMiddling battery life
Bright and crisp display
Excellent ports selection
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FAQs

What makes a good laptop for game development?

A good game development laptop should at least have 16GB RAM, Core-i7or Core i-9 processor, Graphics Card, and 512GB storage. Moreover, for a better experience, it should also have a bright FHD display with a low response rate and a high refresh rate. 

Are gaming laptops and game development laptops the same?

No, not all gaming laptops can be good enough for game development. However, the majority of gaming laptops contain heavy processors and graphics cards; they can be suitable for running IDEs such as Unity, Autodesk Maya, and Xcode for game development. 

 Is 16GB RAM enough for game development?

RAM plays an important role in gaming as well as designing games. Therefore, 16GB RAM is the minimum requirement when it comes to game development. However, if you have a budget to squeeze in 32GB RAM, it is suggested to always go for that. 

Conclusion

So that marks the end of our list and guide for “best laptops for game development.” These laptops are perfect for game developers out there in the market. We surely want a smooth gaming and coding experience, and the specifications in the above-mentioned laptops fit right for the requirements. We have selected macOS as well as Windows laptops, whichever fancies you! 

If we have missed out any of your favorites, do let us know in the comments section below! We love to hear from you. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning Thetic Blog gets a commission if you decide to make a purchase through the affiliate links, at no additional cost to you.

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