Best Laptops for Game Development in 2021

If you need a game developer and looking for a laptop, here is our list of the best laptops for 2D & 3D game development in 2021.

Gaming in PC has become so popular that the market is flooded with tons of dedicated Gaming laptops. But before playing any game, that particular game needs to be created first. This is called Game Development. And this article is dedicated to the game developers looking for a powerful and reliable laptop for their game development work.

Game development can be 2D or 3D. At the same time, 2D game development doesn’t require that much hardware juice as required in 3D game development. Choosing a laptop with caution is still required. Game development consists of handling different types of heavy game engines and 3D-2D modeling software like AutoCAD. And to handle these things, a good amount of fast storage, a powerful processor, a dedicated GPU, high-quality RAM, and a lot of other high-end hardware are required.

Well, you don’t have to worry about selecting a single laptop from the pile of different kinds of laptops available out there. I have done most of the research for you guys. And after a lot of research, analyzing the reviews from the laptops owners, and advice from the industry experts, I have compiled the list of the 8 best laptops that you can buy for game development.

All the laptops belong to reliable and well-reputed companies like Acer, Razer, HP, etc., so you don’t have to worry about the quality of the product. This list has most of the laptops that can handle 3D game development with ease, but if your requirement is limited to just 2D game development, then I have got you covered there as well.

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Buying Guide: How to choose the best laptop for Game development?

Even though I have researched the best laptops for game development, it is still important for you to have an idea about what a laptop for game development must have, at the very least.

The Game development consists of 2D and 3D kinds of work, and if your work is just limited to 2D game development, you may not need to have a very high-end PC. But if 3D game development is your field, then having a PC with good hardware is a must. Below is the mention of baseline specifications a laptop must-have if you’re using it for 3D game development.

Processor

The processor is the primary thing that defines the performance of the PC. Having a low-spec CPU restricts the proper usage of the rest of the hardware. Hence the processor can’t be compromised on a PC. A multi-core processor with at least 4 cores and 8 threads is required for a laptop used for game development. Also, make sure that the processor from Intel and AMD should not be very outdated. A 10th gen Intel CPU or an AMD CPU from Ryzen 4000 series will work flawlessly on a high-end laptop.

GPU

Just like a laptop for gaming is mandatory to have a good dedicated GPU, the game’s development also requires that GPU. Game development is where one works with some of the high-end graphic intensive game engines and modeling the 2D and 3D characters and elements. Also, having a dedicated GPU with a good amount of video memory helps in reducing the rendering time. 2D game development laptop can be purchased without a dedicated GPU, but 3D game development strongly asks for one.

Talking about the dedicated GPU, the laptop must have a GPU that supports Direct X12 and offers at least 4GB of GDDR6 video memory. Such a GPU will fabulously complement the CPU and serve a performance that will bring your 3D game development to the next level.

RAM

Speaking of RAM, it works like temporary storage that stores the data of the currently running application. And since game development work requires handling heavy gaming engines and modeling software, the RAM should be fast and more than enough not to limit your multitasking.

For a laptop used for 2D game development, 8GB of DDR4 RAM would be enough. However, when it comes to 3D game development, 8GB RAM is not gonna get your work done. You should never settle for less the 16GB of RAM. Compromising with RAM will lead to the slow loading of applications and restrict the PC from multitasking smoothly. That means you’ll not be able to use multiple applications simultaneously.

Storage

Game development produces some of the largest files, and the work revolves around high-quality presets of textures, 2D and 3D models, and a lot of other data. Hence one cannot settle with low storage. It should be fast enough to impart fast data read and write speeds to make the overall PC performance smooth and fast.

For all these purposes, SSD storage is a must-have. However, it costs a little more than a conventional HDD, but the performance is worth the extra money. You can even expand the storage with SSD or HDD as per your budget. Just make sure the laptop you’re buying comes with an empty slot or not.

Display

You can’t develop anything on a PC, no matter how powerful it is, if there is no display. Similarly, a display that is not good in quality will lead to a bad preview of your work, and ultimately you may not get what you wanted from the final product.

For a game development laptop, there is not a lot of requirements in terms of display quality. But make sure the laptop you’re buying comes with at least a Full HD resolution, i.e., 1920×1080 pixels. Color reproduction also matters in game development; hence if the laptop display has an IPS panel, that will be really good. However, if you are someone who uses an external monitor with your laptop, then you can compromise a little on the display if it is leading to provide better hardware in return.

Best Laptops for Game Development in 2021

Here is our list of best laptops suitable for both 2D & 3D game development in 2021:

RECOMMENDED
Razer Blade 14 Gaming Laptop: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX 8 Core, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, 14" QHD 165Hz,...
BEST MACBOOK
2019 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7) - Space Gray
BEST VALUE PICK
Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop, 15.6" FHD (1920x1080) IPS Screen, AMD Ryzen 7 4800H Processor, 16GB...
Name
Razer Blade 14
Apple Macbook Pro
Lenovo Legion 5
Processor
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
Intel Core i7 9th Gen
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
GPU
Nvidia RTX 3070
AMD Radeon Pro 5300M
NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti
RAM
16GB DDR4
16GB DDR4
16GB DDR4
Storage
1TB SSD
512GB SSD
512GB SSD
Display
14-inch
16-inch
15.6-inch
Resolution
2560 x 1440p QHD
1920 x 3072 pixels
1920 x 1080p
RECOMMENDED
Razer Blade 14 Gaming Laptop: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX 8 Core, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, 14" QHD 165Hz,...
Name
Razer Blade 14
Processor
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
GPU
Nvidia RTX 3070
RAM
16GB DDR4
Storage
1TB SSD
Display
14-inch
Resolution
2560 x 1440p QHD
BEST MACBOOK
2019 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7) - Space Gray
Name
Apple Macbook Pro
Processor
Intel Core i7 9th Gen
GPU
AMD Radeon Pro 5300M
RAM
16GB DDR4
Storage
512GB SSD
Display
16-inch
Resolution
1920 x 3072 pixels
BEST VALUE PICK
Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop, 15.6" FHD (1920x1080) IPS Screen, AMD Ryzen 7 4800H Processor, 16GB...
Name
Lenovo Legion 5
Processor
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
GPU
NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti
RAM
16GB DDR4
Storage
512GB SSD
Display
15.6-inch
Resolution
1920 x 1080p

1
Razer Blade 14 – Best Laptop for 3D Game Development

Starting our list with a beast of a laptop for all types of game developments. This is the Razer Blade 14 laptop about which I am talking. It comes with a 14-inches IPS-type display with a QHD (2560×1440) resolution, a 165Hz refresh rate, and covers 100% DCI-P3 color gamut. Therefore, it can be useful for other productivity tasks, such as video editing, professional photo editing, Photoshop, and so on.

Razer Blade 14
46 Reviews
Razer Blade 14

  • Display: 14-inch 2560 x 1440p (165Hz)
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 3080 8GB VRAM
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD

The laptop’s performance is the result of the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 GPU. The CPU is packed with a whopping 8 processing cores and 16 processing threads and works at a base and boosted clock speed of 3.6GHz and 4.8GHz, respectively. The Nvidia RTX 3070 is also a well-complemented GPU and offers 8GB of GDDR6X video memory.

The laptop is also packed with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 1TB of SSD PCIe NVMe m.2 SSD storage. The laptop comes with Wi-Fi 6E, 2x USB Type-A ports, 2x Type-C ports, an HDMI 2.1 port, and TPM 2.0 for additional security. The laptop chassis has a proper cooling solution with vapor chamber cooling technology to make sure your game development doesn’t lead to converting your laptop into a hot pancake.

Pros
  • High Refresh QHD Display
  • Dual-Channel Memory
  • RGB Backlit Keyboard
  • DTS X Audio
  • Potent AMD Ryzen 9 CPU
Cons
  • Loud Turbo Fans
  • Expensive Price

2
MacBook Pro 16 2019 – Best MacBook for Game Development

Many software and game developers use Apple’s Macbooks because a Macbook provides one of the best possible and stable performance in a very compact size. I have the 2019’s Apple Macbook Pro 16-inches to recommend you for your high-end game development. The laptop packs a 16-inches LED-Backlit IPS retina display with 3072×1920 pixels of resolution.

Discount: $399.01
Apple Macbook Pro
4,595 Reviews
Apple Macbook Pro

  • Display: 16-inch 1920 x 3072 pixels
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 9th generation
  • GPU: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 512GB SSD

The laptop drives processing power from the embedded 6-core Intel Core i7 processor and works at a speed of 2.6GHz with a Turbo boost support of up to 4.5GHz. Along with that, there is a discrete GPU inside the laptop. The AMD Radeon Pro 5300M GPU packs 4GB of GDDR6 video memory and Intel’s integrated UHD Graphics 630 that comes with the processor.

The laptop has 16GB of high-frequency DDR4 RAM and is coupled with 512GB of pure SSD storage. There are four Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports along with a 3.5mm audio jack. Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless connectivity, supports a whopping 96Watt of USB-C power input.

Pros
  • Elegant Display with Great Brightness
  • Additional Touch Bar
  • Super Rich Sound Quality
  • Excellent Keyboard
  • Great Battery Life
Cons
  • Older Processor

Lenovo Legion 5 – Best Value Pick

The next laptop on our list is the Lenovo Legion 5 gaming laptop. As its name suggests, it is good for playing games, but the specifications are also more than enough to use it as a high-end game development machine. The laptop packs a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS Display with a 144Hz refresh rate. The color calibration is also perfect with more nearly 100% sRGB cover, which will help you to run demanding applications that require good color accuracy.

Lenovo Legion 5
1,821 Reviews
Lenovo Legion 5

  • Display: 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080p (144Hz)
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti 6GB VRAM
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 3200MHz
  • Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD

There is a high-performance AMD Ryzen 7 4800H mobile processor side the laptop chassis. This processor has 8 processing cores and goes up to 4.2GHz of clock speed. The laptop has the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti that provides 6GB of GDDR6 video memory for handling the graphics and is more than enough for lag-free gaming and smooth game development.

The laptop comes packed with 16GB of DDR4 RAM working at 3200MHz of frequency. The storage department of the laptop comprises 512GB of PCIe NVMe m.2 SSD. There is Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 port, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 port, 3x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, an Ethernet (RJ-45) port, and a headphone jack. Although, this is a reasonable choice for 3D game development by fulfilling all the graphics demand.

Pros
  • Smooth Performance
  • Fast Charging Support
  • Color-Accurate Display
  • Acceptable Build Quality
Cons
  • No SD Card Reader
  • Average Battery Life

3
Acer Predator Helios 300 – Another Powerful for 3D Gaming

Acer has some of the best high-performing laptops in its predator series. This series is so many laptops and their different variants that one can build a complete store dedicated to the Predator gaming laptops. Among that variety of laptops, the one I recommend to you is the Acer Predator Helios 300. It has a 15.6-inches LWD-Backlit IPS display with Full HD resolution.

Acer Predator Helio 300
179 Reviews
Acer Predator Helio 300

  • Display: 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080p (144Hz)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-10750H
  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 3060 6GB VRAM
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 2933MHz
  • Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD

It comes with a 10th gen Intel Core i7-10750H processor, a 6-core processor, and 12 processing threads. This processor has a top turbo clock speed boost of up to 5.0GHz. Providing company to this processor, there is an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU. This GPU is housing 6GB of dedicated GDDR6 video memory.

The memory and storage capacities of the laptop are also on par. 16GB of DDR4 RAM works at 2933MHz frequency and is coupled with 512GB of NVMe SSD storage. There is Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, Ethernet port, 1x USB 3.2 gen 2 Type-C port, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A Ports, 1X USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A Port, 1x HDMI, RJ-45 Ethernet port, and some more ports as well. Eventually, if you are looking for the latest RTX 30 series graphics, this could be one of the most affordable options carrying strong graphics performance under $1500.

Pros
  • Color-accurate display
  • RGB Backlit Keyboard
  • Expandable Hard Drive
  • RTX 30 Series Graphics
Cons
  • Not Thunderbolt 3
  • Bulky Design

4
ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 – Enhanced Productivity with Dual Screen

If you need a dual-screen setup in a laptop along with a heavy set of specifications, look at the Asus Zenbook Pro Duo UX581 laptop. It has some of the best laptop screens one can find on any laptop. It has two 4k displays, and both are touchscreen OLED ones. The primary display measures 15.6-inches, and the other one is 14-inches.

Discount: $230.00
Asus Zenbook Pro Duo
412 Reviews
Asus Zenbook Pro Duo

  • Display: 15.6-inch 4K UHD (2nd 4K Panel)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-10750H
  • Graphics: Nvidia RTX 2060 6GB VRAM
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD

The laptop is with a high-end 10th gen Intel Core i7-10750H processor. This processor has 6 cores and 12 threads which are more than required for 3D game development. The processor has a turbo boost capacity to go up o 5.0GHz, with 2.6GHz being the base clock speed. An Nvidia GeForce GeForce RTX 2060 GPU imparts a 6GB GDDR6 video memory to the system.

Coming to the storage and memory of the laptop, there is a 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD storage plus 16GB of DDR4 RAM. The laptop is also loaded with a lot of ports like 1x Thunderbolt 3 port, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, 1x HDMI 1.4, and 1x HDMI 2.0a port, along with a 3.5mm Audio Jack. For wireless connectivity, there is Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0.

Pros
  • Awesome dual 4K touchscreens
  • High-end specifications
  • 1TB SSD storage
  • Solid build quality
  • Harman Kardon speakers
Cons
  • No palm rest
  • Booting issues in some units

5
ASUS ROG Strix G17 (2021) – Best 17-Inch Laptop

If not a dual-screen setup, having a large display definitely refine the productivity work. And the game development is no different. So if you’re seeking a big display on a high-end laptop, then look at the Asus ROG Strix G17. The laptop has a huge 17.3-inches display with a Full HD resolution, and it is an IPS-Type panel.

Asus ROG Strix G17 (2021)
51 Reviews
Asus ROG Strix G17 (2021)

  • Display: 17-inch 1920 x 1080p (144Hz)
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5900HX
  • Graphics: Nvidia RTX 3060 6GB VRAM
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD Storage

The laptop uses the latest AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor with 8 processing cores and 16 threads. The processor goes up to 4.8GHz in turbo boost, and normally it works at 3.6GHz. This CPU is coupled with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU providing a dedicated 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM.

16GB of DDR4 RAM has been made to work at 3200MHz frequency, a really high-frequency RAM for a laptop. For storage, the laptop has a 512GB of PCIe NVMe SSD. There is a 3.5mm Audio Jack, an HDMI 2.0b port, 3 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, and a 1x RJ45 LAN port. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 are also there in the specs list.

Pros
  • Outstanding Performance
  • Bigger 17 Inch Display
  • Acceptable Battery Life
  • Solid Body Construction
  • Decent Amount of Ports
  • Sufficient RAM & Storage
Cons
  • No SD Card Reader
  • Lack of Thunderbolt Port
  • Lack of Webcam

6
HP Pavilion 15 – Best for 2D Game Development

If your game development is limited to just 2D work, you may not require a high-end laptop to handle the stuff. And in that case, a laptop like the HP Pavilion 15 can be a nice choice. The laptop has a 15.6-inches display with a Full HD resolution and slim bezels.

HP Pavillion 15
1,293 Reviews
HP Pavillion 15

  • Display: 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080p (144Hz)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-1165G7
  • Graphics: Intel Iris XE Graphics G7
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD Storage

There is the latest 11th gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor. This processor comes with 4 cores and 8 threads and works at a max clock speed of 4.7GHz. There is no dedicated GPU in the laptop, but it comes with Intel’s latest and improves Iris Xe graphics. This integrated GPU is fine for handling 2D modeling and game development.

The laptop consists of 16GB of DDR4 RAM along with a 512GB of PCIe NVMe SSD. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 are also there, along with many other ports like USB-C, HDMI, headphone jack, USB-A ports, etc. Overall, due to the limited role of graphics in 2D game development, this is an ideal pick with smooth performance. Therefore, this can be considered one of the best options for 2D game creation.

Pros
  • Latest 11th Gen. Processor
  • Sturdy in-hand Feel
  • Fast Charging Support
Cons
  • Lack of USB Ports

7
Acer Swift 3 – Optional for 2D Gaming

There is one more laptop that you can have for your 2D game development needs. This is the Acer Swift 3. This laptop has sufficient hardware to handle any 2D modeling and game development with ease. The laptop comes with a 14-inches widescreen Full HD display with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. It is an IPS LED-Backlit panel with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Discount: $70.91
Acer Swift 3
2,603 Reviews
Acer Swift 3

  • Display: 14-inch 1920 x 1080p FHD
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 4700U
  • Graphics: ‎AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
  • RAM: 8GB LPDDR4
  • Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD

An AMD Ryzen 7 4700U mobile processor comes with 6 processing cores and 12 threads for multi-threading. This processor tops up to 4.1GHz in pretty impressive clock speed. The laptop relies on the integrated graphics provided by AMD’s Ryzen 7. There is integrated AMD Radeon graphics with 7-cores and 1.6GHz of clock speed.

The is 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM inside the laptop, and it is loaded with 512GB of NVMe SSD storage. This set of memory and storage is more than enough for 2D game development. It has Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 for flawless wireless connections and comes with plenty of physical ports like a USB 2.0 port, HDMI, USB-C port, etc. Collectively, it justifies its price what you are paying for. It is equally powerful as HP Pavillion 15, available even at a lower price. So, if you want to save some money, you can definitely go for this option.

Pros
  • Potent Ryzen 7 Chip
  • Compact & Lightweight Body
  • Excellent Performance
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Reasonable Price
Cons
  • Poor Thermal Management
  • Dim Screen Brightness

Final Thoughts

Congrats for reaching the end of this article. Lastly, I would wrap up with the words that Game Development is equally if not less demanding than playing the game. Game Development includes handling some of the heaviest game engines, 3D-modeling software, etc. Hence, investing in a high-end laptop is definitely a must if you’re into the serious business of 2D and 3D game development.

In our opinion, Razer Blade 14 would be the perfect choice for 3D game development, thanks to powerful graphics and CPU. In other words, you can blindly pick this device if you have a heavy workload with demanding graphics applications. For 2D game development, you can pick any decent mid-range laptop with updated hardware. Our two most prominent recommendations are Acer Swift 3 and HP Pavilion 15, and both of these devices are selling like a hot cake. You don’t need to worry about configurations; these two laptops bring the latest hardware that you get in 2021.

Additionally, I hope this article will help you improve your buying decision for a good game development laptop. The laptop is expensive stuff and hence is needed to be bought after thorough research. Although I have prepared this list with a lot of research, there can be some questions and suggestions from your side. Please leave them in the comments below, and I’ll get to them for sure.

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