Gaming laptops: The top performers
There’s a new force dominating the world of gaming laptops, and its name is RTX. These high-end GPUs from Nvidia first came to desktop PCs in late 2018, and are now the standard for laptops, after just a few short months.
All of these gaming laptops, from just under $1,000 to $5,000 or more, can easily support high-end virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and many new designs fit top-tier graphics hardware into wafer-thin laptop bodies.
For this roundup, we’ve taken all the laptops with discrete graphics hardware we’ve tested over the past year and a half and ranked them based on 3D performance. Below are the top performers from that group.
When reviewing a gaming laptop or desktop, we run preset tests using several games, including Far Cry 5, Metro: Exodus and others, along with standard benchmarks like 3DMark, which is designed to test a computer’s 3D graphic rendering capabilities.
For this list, we’re ranking the laptops in descending order of 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra scores, but the real-world game scores (presented as the number of frames of animation per second the laptop can render) match very closely. Note that these scores are specifically for the exact configurations of each laptop we tested, and almost all can be configured with a wide range of options.
Retiring from this list are a couple of longtime top performers, including the the most expensive laptop we’ve ever reviewed, the $9,000 Acer Predator 21 X. We haven’t tested an updated version since 2017, so it’s being removed from the list.
Joining the list, and at the very top, are two high-end gaming laptops that use desktop-class processors and full-power Nvidia RTX 2080 graphics, the Alienware Area-51m and the Origin PC Eon-17X. Those are both at the top end of the price scale, but gaming laptops at more reasonable prices, including systems from Asus, Dell, Origin PC, Lenovo, HP, MSI and Razer, among others, are all represented.
The exact scores for the graphics hardware for all tested gaming laptops are located here.
On top of a satisfying visual refresh of Alienware’s highest-end laptop, the Area-51m offers plenty of processing overhead from desktop CPUs and the latest RTX GPUs.
Origin PC Eon-17X (2019)
Like the Alienware Area-51m, the Origin PC Eon-17X features the desktop-class Intel Core i9-9900K and the new Nvidia RTX 2080 GPU. This combination made these our two top-performing laptops so far from all of 2018-2019.
Origin PC Eon-17X (2018)
The 2018 version of this laptop, with a desktop CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU, was right behind the updated version.
Asus Zephyrus GX701
This updated Zephyrus combines both a slim, professional-looking design with the expanded power of Nvidia’s new RTX graphics cards.
Following these top performers, the next several bunch together close enough to be considered a tie, and include the 16-inch Origin PC Evo 16S, Acer Predator Triton 500, Lenovo Legion Y740-17 and MSI GS75 Stealth 8SG.
Dive into the exact scores and configurations for all the top performers in the full list of 30+ gaming laptops.
Gaming laptop performance
|Rank||System Name||3DMark Fire Strike Ultra score||Graphics Card|
|1||Alienware Area-51m||6337||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080|
|2||Origin PC Eon-17X||6228||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080|
|3||Origin PC Eon17X (2018)||5330||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080|
|4||Asus ROG Zephyrus GX701||5299||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design|
|5||Origin PC EVO 16S||4667||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design|
|6||Lenovo Legion Y740-17||4472||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design|
|7||Acer Predator Triton 500||4642||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design|
|8||MSI GS75 Stealth 8SG||4464||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design|
|9||Origin Evo 15||4262||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070|
|10||Acer Predator Helios 500||4102||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070|
|11||Asus ROG Zephyrus M GM501||3954||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070|
|12||Asus ROG Strix Scar II||3938||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070|
|13||Microsoft Surface Studio 2||3893||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070|
|14||Lenovo Legion Y740-15||3851||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 with Max-Q Design|
|15||Alienware m15||3669||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with Max-Q Design|
|16||Asus Zephyrus GX531GS||3435||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with Max-Q Design|
|17||Razer Blade 15||3431||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with Max-Q|
|18||Digital Storm Equinox||3413||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with Max-Q|
|19||MSI GS65 Stealth Thin||3342||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with Max-Q|
|20||Razer Blade 15 (2019)||3362||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 with Max-Q Design|
|21||Lenovo Legion Y7000P-1060||2716||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060|
|22||Asus ROG Strix Hero Edition GL503V||2657||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060|
|23||Razer Blade 15 RZ09-0270||2593||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with Max-Q Design|
|24||HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop (15-c0042nr)||2318||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti|
|25||Samsung Odyssey 850XAC||2259||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060|
|26||Lenovo Legion Y730-15||1899||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti|
|27||Acer Nitro 5||1873||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti|
|28||Dell G5 15||1851||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti|
|29||Lenovo Legion Y530||1825||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti|
|30||Asus ZenBook Pro 15 UX580G||1753||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti|
|31||Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme||1641||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti with Max-Q Design|
|32||Dell XPS 15 9575 2-in-1||1627||AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL Graphics|