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Best Gaming Laptops in 2023 for Ultimate Performance

Choosing a gaming laptop can be overwhelming due to the number of options.

Choosing a gaming laptop can be overwhelming due to the number of options.

With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the best gaming laptop for your needs. Not only do newer models feature increasingly powerful CPUs and GPUs, but the performance of these components can vary significantly between laptops due to factors such as power draw and thermal limitations.

To make your decision easier, I've compiled a list of the top gaming laptops and configurations at different price points to ensure a smooth and immersive gaming experience.

How to Find the Best Gaming Laptops

When it comes to gaming laptops, you have a choice between several display options. While many offer 1080p displays with high refresh rates, there are also options with 4K screens for enhanced resolution. Some gaming laptops even offer 360 Hz displays for ultra-fast performance.

In addition to these options, there are an increasing number of laptops with 2560 x 1440 displays, providing an alternative to 1080p and 4K. For an even more premium experience, some gaming laptops feature OLED displays for deeper blacks and more vibrant colors.

When it comes to choosing the components for your gaming laptop, you have many options. While Intel processors remain a popular choice, AMD's Ryzen processors are also becoming more widely available. In terms of graphics cards, Nvidia's RTX GPUs are the most common, although AMD is starting to pair its own graphics cards with its CPUs in what it calls the "AMD Advantage".

The latest processor technologies include Intel's 12th Gen "Alder Lake" hybrid processors with Performance and Efficient cores, as well as AMD's Ryzen 6000 CPUs. While I have not yet seen many laptops with the latter, both Intel and AMD have recently released new generations of desktop processors, so we can expect to see updates to laptop offerings in the near future.

Nvidia's RTX 40-series graphics cards have recently been released for desktop computers, but they have not yet made their way to laptops. I anticipate seeing them in laptop models in the coming months, so keep an eye out for updates.

In the meantime, I have compiled a list of the best gaming laptops to help you make an informed decision. Also, here are a few quick tips to get you started on your search for the perfect portable gaming rig.

Quick Gaming Laptop Buying Tips

  • Prioritize the GPU: Many games rely heavily on the GPU, which is not upgradeable. Investing in a powerful GPU now will ensure a high-quality gaming experience for several years to come.
  • Consider upgradability: While top-of-the-line CPUs and GPUs are often soldered down, most gaming laptops allow you to replace the RAM and storage. This means you can save money now and upgrade these components later. Laptops with thicker builds are often easier to upgrade than thinner models, so be sure to do your research before purchasing.
  • Expect mediocre battery life: It is rare for gaming laptops to get more than eight hours of use on a single charge. Additionally, the power supply is often necessary for optimal gaming performance. Some laptops with AMD Ryzen processors have shown strong battery life, and Nvidia's improved Optimus technology may also help improve battery performance. Ultimately, it is best to plan on being plugged in while gaming for the best performance.

Selecting the Best Gaming Laptop: Factors to Consider

To ensure smooth gameplay, it is important to choose a gaming laptop based on the following criteria:

  • Capable graphics card: While the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 is capable of handling even the most demanding games on the highest settings, a slightly less advanced graphics card can still provide sufficient performance for a wide range of games. It is important to select a gaming laptop that is capable of running the latest game releases, regardless of their system requirements.
  • Adequate RAM: Crucial for smooth performance in a gaming laptop. To avoid frustrating freezes or stuttering during intense gameplay, it is important to choose a laptop with plenty of RAM to handle demanding games. Ensuring that your laptop has sufficient RAM can help prevent performance issues and enhance your gaming experience.
  • Screen size: An important consideration when choosing a gaming laptop. If you prefer a larger display to see more of your games, you may want to opt for a laptop with a screen between 16-17.3 inches. If a standard size screen is sufficient for you, you may be able to find a gaming laptop with a screen ranging from 14-15.6 inches. Keep in mind that larger screens may be heavier and bulkier, so it's a good idea to consider your personal preferences and needs when making a decision.
  • Weight and accessories: If you frequently travel with your gaming laptop, it is important to consider the weight and any necessary accessories you will need to pack. Additionally, a decent battery life is essential to ensure that you can use your laptop while on the go without having to constantly search for an outlet. Keep these factors in mind when selecting a gaming laptop that is suitable for travel.

How Much RAM Do I Need for Gaming?

In general, the minimum amount of RAM for gaming laptops is 8GB DDR4. However, this may not be sufficient for optimal performance in demanding AAA games. For the best gaming experience, it is recommended to have at least 16GB of RAM.

If you want the smoothest and most immersive gameplay, consider choosing a laptop with 32GB of RAM. Keep in mind that more RAM may also be useful for multitasking and running resource-intensive applications.

Best Gaming Laptops

Razer Blade 14 Gaming Laptop

Razer Blade 14 Gaming Laptop

Razer Blade 14 Gaming Laptop

The Razer Blade 14 (2022) is the best gaming laptop I've seen so far. It boasts a sleek and compact design, with a spacious keyboard featuring per-key RGB backlighting. The laptop also has a variety of ports for peripherals and a Wi-Fi 6E wireless adapter for low-latency online gaming.

The 1080p webcam is suitable for streaming, and it also functions as a Windows Hello IR camera for facial recognition login. While the speakers on the laptop get loud, the sound quality is somewhat lacking with minimal bass. It is recommended to use headphones for a better audio experience.

The Blade 14 is available in three preset configurations, all of which feature an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX CPU, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage. The main difference between the models is the display and GPU combination. My recommendation is to go with the base model, which has a 1080p 144Hz display and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, or the mid-range model with a 1440p 165Hz display and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti.

Both of these options will provide smooth gameplay in modern AAA titles. While the top-end RTX 3080 Ti configuration will offer higher frame rates, it is significantly more expensive and not the best value. As for battery life, the Blade 14 lasts for about an hour or so when gaming, so it is important to keep the charger nearby.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 (2022) Gaming Laptop

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 (2022) Gaming Laptop

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 Gaming Laptop

If you're in search of a laptop with desktop-level performance, the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 is a strong contender. It is equipped with high-end components such as an Intel Core i9-12900HK and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti. However, this power does come at a cost.

One notable feature of the laptop is its large RGB light bar on the front, which, when paired with per-key lighting, creates a visually stunning effect in low light conditions. If you prefer a more subtle look, you can turn off the lighting altogether.

The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 comes with a 15.6-inch IPS display that has a refresh rate of up to 300 Hz, making it ideal for e-sports players. Even if you're not focused on e-sports, this laptop can handle anything you can think of.

This gaming laptop is quite expensive for a laptop. This high cost is likely due, in part, to the inclusion of DDR5 memory. While it is a significant investment, the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 is also one of the best laptop for gaming I've seen recently.

Alienware X17 R2 Gaming Laptop

Alienware X17 R2 Gaming Laptop

Alienware X17 R2 Gaming Laptop

The Alienware x17 R2 is powered by some of the most powerful components available, including an Intel Core i9-12900H and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti. This laptop can demonstrate impressive performance in both gaming and productivity tasks.

Alienware's design, which was first introduced last year, is visually striking and sleek. While it is clearly a gaming laptop, it has a futuristic and minimal aesthetic. It is worth noting that the laptop is larger than some competitors and weighs 6.82 pounds, so it may not be the most portable option.

In addition to its strong overall performance, the Alienware x17 R2 has a mechanical keyboard with a satisfying feel, all packed into a stylish and thin chassis. There is much to appreciate about this laptop.

One potential drawback of the Alienware x17 R2 is that all of its ports (with the exception of the power plug and headphone jack) are located on the back of the laptop. If this is a concern for you, or if you need the highest possible frame rates from a laptop, the MSI GE76 Raider is a strong alternative. It has more ports located on three sides of the device.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Gaming Laptop

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Gaming Laptop

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Gaming Laptop

If you're looking for a high-performing laptop at a more affordable price point, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) is a great option. It features a powerful 8-core AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS CPU and allows you to choose between an AMD Radeon RX 6700S or 6800S GPU, both of which provide smooth gameplay in AAA titles at the laptop's native QHD resolution.

The display has a 120Hz refresh rate and fast response time for clear imagery, and it also supports FreeSync to reduce screen tearing. While the Zephyrus G14 comes with 1TB of storage, which may not be enough for modern AAA games, the SSD is user-upgradeable, so you can add more storage later.

The laptop does become hot and loud under load, and its battery life is only slightly over an hour when gaming.

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is a top contender for the title of best gaming laptop available. It strikes a perfect balance between gaming and productivity, while still providing ample power for even the most demanding triple-A games.

Is a Gaming Laptop Worth It?

Yes, gaming laptops can be a great choice for those who want a portable device that is powerful enough to handle their favorite games. Modern gaming laptops are smaller and more powerful than ever, making them a competitive alternative to traditional gaming PCs.

If you need a space-saving or portable device that can handle a range of games from low-demand to graphically-intensive titles, a gaming laptop is worth considering.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2023 Ionel Anton