If you work as a game developer or aspire to get there, you need a solid laptop to help you do the best job possible. Having access to good equipment is critical when you want to develop any type of game.
For game developers, your laptop choice can be the most critical equipment decision you make. You need to know and understand the difference between an average option and the best to have everything needed to get the job done right.
This post will explore the best laptops for game development. I’ll highlight all the features that make these options awesome and explain why you might want to use them. My goal is to help you make an informed purchasing decision.
Let’s get after it.
- You generally want the most powerful laptop you can afford for game development, as this will allow you to handle edits and graphics effectively.
- Not every game developer has the same needs and preferences, so the best laptop for the purpose can vary from person to person.
- Consider critical factors such as RAM, processors, display, and storage as you decide which laptop is best.
- Laptops for game development can be expensive, but paying for increased power and capabilities is necessary for the task.
- Graphics processing is a huge factor when selecting a laptop for game development, and a powerful graphics card is a must with any option you choose.
Here are a few quick answers to some of the most frequently asked questions related to the best laptop for game development.
What laptop to use for game development?
You can use many different laptops for game development, and the best choice depends on your needs and preferences as a developer. The MacBook Pro and Razor Blade 15 are both good options that are powerful enough to help you out.
Can you do game development on a laptop?
You can do game development on a laptop, and there are many options for which model to choose. Modern laptops have enough power and capabilities to allow you to effectively work on game development and can be just as good as desktop options.
Should I buy a gaming laptop for game development?
Gaming laptops are a great option to use for game development. These laptops are typically equipped with excellent graphics cards and other elements that make them ideal for working on development. But you can use non-gaming laptops as well.
How much RAM do I need for game development?
The more RAM you have, the more capable and effective you’ll be when using it for game development. 16GB is a standard starting point, but 32GB RAM or more can be better if you are a professional developer or trying to become one.
Which processor is best for game development?
Several processors can work very well for game development, including AMD Ryzen, Intel, and Apple’s M1 or M2 chips. You want a processor that can handle demanding tasks without compromising performance.
Does game development require a high-end PC?
A high-end PC isn’t required for game development, and you can use a number of different laptops for this purpose. A high-end PC or laptop can give you better performance than a more affordable option, and performance is needed for effective game development.
What Makes the Best Laptop for Game Development?
All of the factors in this section are important to remember as you decide which laptop for game development is the best for you. Focusing on these will help you find an option that meets your needs.
You need a solid processor for game development. This is a resource-heavy and demanding task that can easily overload less powerful laptops. Look for multi-core processors and the latest option from any of the big processor manufacturers.
You’ll obviously want to pay attention to the display on whatever laptop you are working with. Display size is one initial consideration, but you also need to keep in mind the display’s resolution so you can effectively work.
Access to plenty of RAM is another crucial consideration when choosing a laptop for game development. 16GB RAM is usually a good starting point, but getting 32GB or more is a good idea if you want extra power and capability.
You also need solid graphics processing for game development, making GPU considerations essential. Look for integrated GPU options to get started, but then consider using the latest laptops equipped with the fastest graphics cards for the best performance.
Storage space on your game development laptop is critical for performance, and you need access to this storage to take advantage of CPU and GPU. 500GB of SSD storage is a good starting point, but 1TB or more is ideal.
The 9 Best Laptops for Game Development
|Best Overall||Razor Blade 15|
|Best Performance||Apple MacBook Pro M2|
|Best Budget Option||Acer Swift 3|
|Best for Travel||Apple MacBook Air M2|
|Best Display||Razor Blade Pro 17|
|Best MSI||MSI GE76 Raider|
|Best HP||HP Spectre X360|
|Best Lenovo||Lenovo ThinkBook 15|
|Best for Beginners||ASUS TUF F17|
1. Razor Blade 15
- Excellent laptop for game development
- 11th Gen Intel 8-Core i7 processor
- RTX 3080 graphics
- 32GB RAM and 1TB Storage
The best overall laptop for game development is the Razor Blade 15. This is a very capable and powerful option that will give you everything you need to work and develop effectively. It’s a great laptop and very powerful.
This model comes with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series graphics to give you precise detail during all of your development tasks. It also has an 11th Gen 8-Core i7 intel processor for fast and reliable performance during demanding jobs.
Inside the Razor Blade 15, you have everything needed to stay on top of your game development, and the 15-inch screen gives you a good chance to see it clearly. It features a 4K resolution for clarity you can count on.
This is an expensive option, and that’s one of the only downsides to mention. But all the features and functions are easily worth it if you are looking for a powerful and effective game development tool.
My Verdict: Awesome option for game development that is packed full of features and capabilities. 32GB RAM combined with 1TB storage and a highly effective GPU make this well worth looking into.
2. Apple MacBook Pro M2
- High-performance option that is excellent all-around
- M2 Pro chip with 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU
- 14-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
- 16GB RAM with 512GB SSD Storage
The Apple MacBook Pro M2 is one of the most powerful laptops on the market. It will give you amazing performance for all of your game development needs. This is the latest version of the ever-popular MacBook Pro series, and it really holds up.
Key to the impressive power and performance of this model is Apple’s M2 chip. This leads to super fast and efficient performance that helps keep you up and running even when you’re involved with extremely complex tasks.
The laptop has a 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU, so you have plenty of power behind you. Combine this with a 14-inch liquid retina XDR display, and you have a machine that can really get it done.
You might want to upgrade to more RAM and storage if you’re a professional developer. This will cost you but can be a good option rather than the 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD that this one comes equipped with.
My Verdict: Awesome laptop all-around that is built for high performance. It’s very reliable and effective and features Apple’s latest tech advancements and innovations. The M2 chip is awesome and delivers solid performance.
3. Acer Swift 3
- More affordable option for game development
- Cheaper but still very capable
- AMD Ryzen 7 5700 8-core processor
- Radeon graphics
- 14-inch full HD display
If you are looking for a more budget-friendly laptop for game development, be sure to check out the Acer Swift 3. This affordable option still gets the job done and comes in at a fraction of the price of the top models on the list.
Despite being a cheaper laptop, you still get pretty decent performance. It’s packed with AMD Ryzen 7 5700U 8-core processor and Radeon graphics. This will help keep you up and running when in the middle of a developing project.
You also get a fairly large 14-inch display that is full HD for solid clarity whether you are working or gaming. 512GB SSD storage is another nice touch that will help boost speeds or store your in-progress projects safely.
This one is a bit underpowered, so it might not be a good choice for professionals. You only get 8GB RAM, which can lead to slowdowns if you do complex developing tasks. It also doesn’t have that impressive of a battery life.
My Verdict: A good budget option that gives you enough power and performance to work on game development. It’s underpowered compared to the top options, so not recommended if you have demanding or complex tasks to handle.
4. Apple MacBook Air M2
- Portable and lightweight
- Awesome performance with the latest M2 chip
- 13.6-inch liquid retina display
- Up to 24GB of unified memory
- Long battery life
If you are looking for a game development laptop that is easy to travel with, look no further than the Apple MacBook Air M2. This is the lightweight version of the latest MacBook lineup, and it’s packed full of features that developers will love.
This one features Apple’s M2 chip, which is a high-performance monster that displays all the latest innovations from the brand. It delivers super fast and reliable performance, even when you’re in the middle of demanding tasks.
The laptop also has a 13.6-inch liquid retina display that provides outstanding clarity and definition. And with an 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU, you can show that display off whenever you want or need to.
The stock version of the MacBook Air M2 only comes with 8GB RAM, so you might want to pay for a bit of an upgrade if you are a full-time game developer. It’s also relatively expensive for a laptop.
My Verdict: Excellent performance and capability that can pay off during game development. A good option to travel with thanks to a low profile, compact design, long battery life, and reliable performance.
5. Razor Blade Pro 17
- Amazing 17-inch display
- Intel 8-core i7 processor
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 graphics
- 16GB RAM and 1 TB SSD storage
The Razor Blade Pro 17 is a great option to use for game development if you want a larger screen. This one comes with many of the same features as the Razer Blade 15 but has a 17-inch display for even more detail.
The laptop has an Intel 8-core i7 processor for fast speeds and plenty of power when needed. This is enhanced with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 graphics to give you all the tools you need for game development.
Another cool feature of this one is vapor chamber cooling technology. This helps keep the laptop cool when involved with demanding work such as game development. You won’t need to worry about this one overheating.
The only bad thing about the Pro 17 is its price tag. This is an expensive laptop and isn’t really an option if you’re on a strict budget. But if you want a larger display and plenty of power, you need to pay a premium.
My Verdict: Excellent option if you want or need a larger display. It has all of the same performance and capability as the top-ranked laptop, and it just comes with a larger screen. Very capable and practical for game development.
6. MSI GE76 Raider
- Top game development laptop from MSI
- 17.3-inch FHD display
- 64GB RAM and 2TB SSD for plenty of power
- GeForce RTX 3060 graphics
If you are a fan of MSI, the MSI GE76 Raider is the best laptop for game development that brand offers. This is an excellent option with many features that translate into high performance and reliability.
You can get this one maxed out for extreme high performance with 64GB RAM and 2TB of SSD storage. Those numbers are impressive and can really pay off for professional developers looking for the most power they can find.
It also features a 12th Gen Intel 14-core i9 processor for excellent power and speed, while the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics also help. This is alongside a 17.3-inch FHD display that is large and easy to see.
This is another pretty expensive option, so it can be out of range for anyone on a budget. It also is a bit bulky, but that’s to be expected with a larger display and all of the features built into it. You can customize your specs to help save some money.
My Verdict: This is the best MSI laptop for game development. Very effective and powerful machine, especially when equipped with 64GB RAM. You can spec down to make it more affordable, and that flexibility is nice.
7. HP Spectre X360
- Best HP laptop for game development
- 2-in-1 style features a touch screen and keyboard
- 12th Gen Intel 14-core i7 processor
- 16-inch display
The best HP laptop for game development is the HP Spectre X360. This is a 2-in-1 style laptop that features a touchscreen, so it can also be easily used for many other tasks. It’s also relatively affordable and very reliable.
The 16-inch screen is large enough to see easily and features touch-screen capabilities, so this can function as a laptop and a tablet. And you get a powerful and fast 12th Gen Intel 14-core i7 Processor for all your development needs.
You also get 16GB of RAM with the Spectre X360, leading to fast and reliable performance when doing demanding tasks. Combine this with 1TB of SSD storage, and you’ll be ready to rock for a long time.
Some people might not like the 2-in-1 style of this model. It can take some getting used to, and the touchscreen isn’t necessarily a feature that comes in useful with game development in mind. But it’s pretty solid other than that.
My Verdict: This is the best HP laptop for game development and a good option all around. Features a good processor and plenty of RAM and SSD storage for effective performance with a large display.
8. Lenovo ThinkBook 15
- Best Lenovo laptop for game development
- Affordable option that can work for people on a budget
- 16GB RAM with 512GB SSD
- 15.6-inch FHD touchscreen
- 2-in-1 style
The Lenovo ThinkBook 15 is the best Lenovo laptop for game development. This is a good option for anyone who is a fan of Lenovo or wants to use a 2-in-1 style laptop. It’s powerful, reliable, and convenient to use.
The ThinkBook features a fast and powerful 12th Gen Intel 10-core i7 processor. You also get 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage. Those are the specs you look for in a good game development laptop, and this one delivers.
It also has a nice sized screen that is large enough to see clearly without being too big to make it bulky. The 15.6-inch display features anti-glare tech and is backlit with a narrow bezel and integrated Intel Iris XE graphics.
This is another 2-in-1 style option that might not be ideal for everyone. If you don’t like having a touchscreen, you should look for other options. But it’s reliable and effective for game development if that’s not a deal breaker.
My Verdict: This is the best Lenovo laptop for game development and another 2-in-1 style model that can work well. It’s a nice size and features all the performance specs you want and need for development.
9. ASUS TUF F17
- Good option for beginners thanks to lower price and stand-out performance
- Large 17.3-inch display
- Intel 14-core i7 processor
- 16GB RAM with 1TB SSD storage
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti graphics
If you are just learning how to be a game developer, the ASUS TUF F17 is a good laptop to look into. This is the best option for beginners because you get plenty of performance and power at a lower price point.
The laptop comes with a very large screen to make it easy to see all of your work. The 17.3-inch FHD display is clear and bright, leading to precise controls and capabilities when you need to stay focused and on task.
It also has an Intel 14-core i7 processor for lots of power when you need it. This also helps prevent slowdowns and other issues that can hinder your workflow. 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD storage also help boost performance to keep you on track.
This is a beginner-friendly option, but it can still work for all types of game developers. And even though it is relatively affordable, it’s not the cheapest option on the list.
My Verdict: Good option for beginners because it’s affordable and very capable. Large size can help you see clearly but does lead to more bulk and weight. It has all the specs and tech you need for effective game development.
Getting a good laptop is a must for any game developer. All of the options shown here are recommended for this purpose and will provide you with everything you need to be an effective and capable developer.
Look through all of the options here to decide which laptop for game development is the best to meet your needs. They all can get the job done, but you might have specific parameters or other features that are ideal.
Do you have a favorite laptop for game development that I didn’t mention here? Let me know in the comments below.