6 Best Laptops for Game Development and Design in 2023

By: Editorial Team

Finding the best laptop for game development and design can be challenging owing to several specific required features. Choosing from the several models available on the market may also be difficult. For relaxed shopping, we will review a few quality and highly recommended laptops for game design and development, prioritizing their features and selling points. We will also answer some relevant frequently asked questions and highlight essential buying considerations to help you land the best laptop in the market. Feel free to use the included links for faster delivery besides other perks. Let’s get started!

Position
First Place
Runner Up
Best Budget
Snapshot
ASUS 2023 ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED Laptop, 16†3.2K OLED Touch Display, Intel Core i9-13980HX CPU, Nvidia Geforce RTX 4070 GPU, 32GB DDR5 SO-DIMM RAM, 1TB SSD, Windows 11 Home, H7604JI-DS96T
ASUS ZenBook Pro 16X OLED 16 inch 4K OLED 16:10 Touch Display, ASUS Dial, Intel Core i9-12900H, 32GB, 2TB, GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, Windows 11 Pro, Tech Black, UX7602ZM-XB96T
DELL XPS 15 9520 15.6" Laptop Intel Core i7-12700H(14-Core) 1TB PCIe SSD 32GB RAM FHD+ (1920x1200) 500 Nit RTX 3050 Windows 11 PRO
What You Need To Know About The Laptops

It has a range of powerful features, including the latest Intel processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 graphics card.

It has a customizable per-key RGB backlit keyboard and several innovative technologies for enhanced performance.

It guarantees low latency during game development and design.

Prime
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Rating
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Position
First Place
Snapshot
ASUS 2023 ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED Laptop, 16†3.2K OLED Touch Display, Intel Core i9-13980HX CPU, Nvidia Geforce RTX 4070 GPU, 32GB DDR5 SO-DIMM RAM, 1TB SSD, Windows 11 Home, H7604JI-DS96T
What You Need To Know About The Laptops

It has a range of powerful features, including the latest Intel processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 graphics card.

Prime
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Rating
-
Position
Runner Up
Snapshot
ASUS ZenBook Pro 16X OLED 16 inch 4K OLED 16:10 Touch Display, ASUS Dial, Intel Core i9-12900H, 32GB, 2TB, GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, Windows 11 Pro, Tech Black, UX7602ZM-XB96T
What You Need To Know About The Laptops

It has a customizable per-key RGB backlit keyboard and several innovative technologies for enhanced performance.

Prime
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Rating
-
Position
Best Budget
Snapshot
DELL XPS 15 9520 15.6" Laptop Intel Core i7-12700H(14-Core) 1TB PCIe SSD 32GB RAM FHD+ (1920x1200) 500 Nit RTX 3050 Windows 11 PRO
What You Need To Know About The Laptops

It guarantees low latency during game development and design.

Prime
-
Rating

Last update on 2024-02-29 at 16:38 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Best Laptops for Game Development and Design Reviewed

When delving into the realm of game development and design, selecting the ideal laptop poses a unique set of considerations. It’s crucial to identify a device that strikes a balance between compactness for ease of portability and ample performance capabilities to meet the demands of game creation. Here, we’ve curated a list of the six best laptops tailored for game development and design enthusiasts. These devices stand out for their fusion of aesthetics, functionality, and efficiency, making them a worthwhile investment for anyone venturing into the world of game development.


Buying Guide for the Best Laptop for Game Development and Design

Consider the following factors for a quality game development and design laptop:

Performance

A high-performing laptop guarantees improved productivity and a seamless experience during game development and design. Consider options with the latest multi-core processor and a dedicated GPU, such as AMD Radeon RX, for enhanced performance.

Display

A laptop’s display plays a huge role in game development and design. Settle on laptops with a Full HD resolution display or higher for crisp, vivid visuals and a 120Hz+ refresh rate for smooth game testing or design animations.

Memory (Storage and RAM)

For easy multitasking or running resource-intensive applications during game development and design, you need at least 16GB of RAM. However, for the best experience, settle for a laptop with 32GB or 64GB of RAM. As for storage, laptops with fast 512GB+ SSDs are highly recommended. Alternatively, you can get expandable RAM and storage functionalities for increased flexibility. 

Cooling System

More often than not, game development and design are resource and time-intensive. To prevent your laptop from overheating, settle on one with excellent thermal management features, such as several heat pipes and well-placed vents.

Connectivity

A game design and development laptop should offer high-speed connectivity and data transfer. Settle for one with an adequate number of ports (including HDMI) and the latest Wi-Fi standard and Bluetooth versions. Options with Thunderbolt ports are highly recommended as they guarantee high-speed data transfer.

Operating System

For a smooth and seamless experience, your laptop’s operating system should support your preferred game development and design tools. You have three options: Windows, Linux, and macOS.

Warranty

Game development and design laptops are usually expensive. Therefore, settle for brands with good warranty covers and reliable customer support if you experience an issue with your laptop.


The Best Laptops for Game Development and Design

The following products are highly recommended if you are looking for a game development and design laptop:


Pros

  • It has powerful internal components
  • It offers stylus support
  • It has a quiet operation despite its powerful features and specs

Cons

  • It is expensive

Over the years, ASUS has built a solid reputation in the game development and design industry by consistently producing high-quality gaming laptops like the 2023 ASUS ProArt StudioBook. This Asus flagship has several powerful features and specifications, making it one of the few options we can confidently recommend to game developers or designers.

For enhanced performance and multitasking ability during game development, design, and testing, this product is equipped with a 2.⅖.6GHz  Intel Core I9-13980HX processor, with 24 cores and 32 threads, the latest Windows operating system and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 GPU with 8GB GDDR6 VRAM. The 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 performance SSD and 32GB DDR5 SO-DIMM RAM guarantee fast storage and memory.

Users get a 16-inch OLED 3.2K 16:10 touch display with a 120Hz refresh rate and 0.2ms response time for an enhanced game testing experience. Other display features worth mentioning include 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, 500 nits, Pantone-validated color accuracy, and 4096 pressure-level MPP. It also offers 2.0 stylus support.

Note that this is one of the best options to get if you want a durable laptop, as it has a US MIL-STD 810H military-grade standard certification.


The ASUS ZenBook Pro 16X OLED laptop is an excellent option if you need a game development and design laptop with a wide screen. Besides its screen, it has several powerful and convenient features for different gaming aspects. Firstly, the ASUS OLED display guarantees a world-class color gamut for a blur-free viewing and game-testing experience. It is also TUV Rheinland certified, ensuring minimal blue-light emission for reduced eye fatigue. For enhanced performance, this laptop is equipped with an Intel Core i9 processor, 32/64GB RAM, and a 512-2TB SSD, depending on the model.

This laptop also has an interactive, customizable per-key RGB backlit keyboard, AI-augmented computing process optimization, and an AI noise cancellation feature for the best experience. Its real-time ray-tracing feature guarantees cinematic-quality rendering, while the aerospace-grade 6000-series aluminum alloy full-body ensures enhanced durability. It is also worth mentioning the air-up structure for supreme cooling and the guaranteed optimal viewing angle made possible by an innovative AAS Ultra technology.

Other notable features include powerful wireless connectivity thanks to the Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 technologies and a range of ports, including Thunderbolt 4, USB 3.2 Type-A, HDMI 2.1, A 3.5MM combo audio jack, and an SD Express card reader.


Pros

  • It is backed by powerful processors
  • Its storage can be expanded up to 4TB
  • It has an excellent display

Cons

  • It may not be the best option if you need super-powerful graphics

The Dell XPS 15 is a premium flagship, relatively affordable laptop with several powerful features and specifications, gameplay, development, and design. It comes equipped with a 12th-generation Intel Core i7-12700H processor with 24MB cache and speeds of up to 4.7GHz for enhanced performance and multitasking ability during game development and design.

The included 1TB PCIe SSD ensures lag-free performance, faster bootup, and adequate storage for game development and design software and applications. At the same time, the 32GB DDR5 4800Mhz RAM allows quick data retrieval and enhanced multiple file access during intense game development and design. We must mention the IPS 15.6-inch Anti-Glare 3.5K InfinityEdge touch display, which guarantees a comfortable viewing and testing experience as you develop or design different games, and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3O50 4GB GDDR6 GPU that ensures smooth animations and transitions during game testing.

For enhanced connectivity, the Dell XPS 15 has Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6, a wireless Bluetooth 5.2 card, USB-C to USB/HDMI functionality, and several ports, including USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C ports with DisplayPort,  PowerDelivery, and Thunderbolt functionalities.


Pros

  • Its powerful internal components guarantee an impressive performance
  • It guarantees low latency
  • It has a well-suited keyboard for game design and development

Cons

  • It is quite heavy

Although the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i is commonly recommended for gaming, its hardware allows for a smooth game coding and 3D modeling experience, making it an excellent option for game development and design. Before delving into its regular features, we must mention that this laptop has good RGB backlighting, an AI chip for enhanced performance, and an FHD webcam with a privacy shutter for collaborative environments.

For intensive workloads, faster performance, a heightened multitasking ability, and speedy data transfer, the Lenovo Legion Pro’s DDR5 SDRAM can be extended to 64GB. At the same time, its hard drive can be upgraded to a 4TB PCle NVMe M.2 SSD. We must also mention that this laptop has a 240Hz 16-inch WQHD IPS display and several connectivity ports and options, including USB Type A, HDMI, USB Type-C, Thunderbolt ports, and a Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth combo.


Pros

  • The vapor cooling chamber ensures superior cooling
  • It has several special features
  • Its display guarantees beautiful colors

Cons

  • Its battery is below average

Every professional gamer, developer, or tester knows they can never go wrong with an Alienware laptop, as it is one of the most revered product lines in the world. The Alienware 16 packs several useful features, reaffirming Dell’s dedication to making laptops with high-quality gaming and game-related functions.

This product guarantees users enhanced performance and multitasking thanks to its expandable 4800MHz DDR5 memory, a Core i9-13900Hx processor, and dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 graphics with 12GB of dedicated RAM. For prolonged battery life, the processor runs at 3.9GHz. Other features worth mentioning include a 16-inch non-touch QHD screen, 1TB PCle NVMe SSD, and integrated Webcam, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi functionalities.


Pros

  • It has expandable RAM and storage
  • It is backed by a powerful processor
  • It has a GPU MUx Switch for optimized performance

Cons

  • It is large and heavy

Summing up our recommendations is the CUK ROG Strix SCAR 17 from ASUS, a premium flagship laptop for different game-related needs, including development and design. It has several powerful features for enhanced performance, including a 2.5/5.4GHz AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX processor with 64MB cache, a 64GB DDR5 5200MHz RAM, and a storage capacity that can be expanded to 8TB.

For a comfortable game testing experience, this product has a 17.3-inch WQHD 240Hz 3ms IPS anti-glare display and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 16GB GDDR6 GPU. Other features include a backlist chiclet per-key RGB keyboard and a 3-year limited warranty on upgradable common.


Conclusion

You need a powerful laptop for a seamless game development and design experience. You should consider the options we have reviewed and ensure that the features discussed in our buying guide are represented. Of the six recommendations, we highly recommend the ASUS ProArt Studiobook OLED laptop due to its powerful features and specifications, including a 3.5K touch display, Intel Core i9-13980HX processor, and a NVIDIA GeForce TRX 4070 GPU with 8GB GDDR6 VRAM. In second position is the ASUS ZenBook Pro 16X OLED, which has several impressive features, including a 4K OLED display, an Intel Core i9 processor, and a GeForce RTX 3060 GPU.

We have also included a budget option; the Dell XPS 15, for those who need an affordable game development and design laptop. It also has powerful game development and design features, including a 1TB PCIe SSD, 32GB RAM, and an Intel Core i7 processor. Feel free to check out the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i, Dell Alienware m16, and ASUS CUK ROG Strix Scar 17.


Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Use a Laptop or PC for Game Development?

Although PCs are superior to laptops in game development, laptops offer more convenience and flexibility. Most laptops are lightweight and compact, making them portable and highly suited for remote game development tasks or working on the go. It is also easier to adjust and tweak rig setups when using a laptop for game development. Additionally, some laptops offer up to 16+ hours of battery life for stress-free game development and design during power outages.

How Much RAM Should I Consider When Choosing a Laptop for Game Development and Design

Game development and design are RAM-intensive as, more often than not, they involve running multiple heavy tasks and applications. You need a laptop that can guarantee enhanced, lag-free performance, which requires a higher RAM size. Although 32GB of RAM can work fine, laptops with 64GB of Random Access Memory are highly encouraged.

Are MacBooks the Best Laptops for Game Development?

MacBooks became widely accepted in the game design and development industry following the development of the M1 bionic chip, which significantly enhanced their performance. However, developers relying solely on MacBooks may have a relatively difficult time developing or designing games owing to their weak software support. Much of the gaming market is also pro-Windows, a potential challenge during MacBook game development.

Do I Need a Laptop with a High Refresh Display When Buying a Game Development and Design PC?

Yes. You need a laptop with a refresh rate of 120Hz+ for enhanced responsiveness when testing or refining animations and game graphics. Remember to prioritize the laptop’s display resolution and color accuracy, as they are also needed for successful game development and design.

How Can I Ensure My Game Development and Design Laptop is Portable?

For enhanced portability, settle for a laptop with a compact and lightweight design. Laptops with long battery lives are also portable and highly recommended for game development or design devices.

How Can I Settle for a Game Development and Design Laptop with Excellent Thermal Management?

Gaming laptops with excellent thermal management offer sustained performance during extended game development or design sessions. Consider features such as an advanced cooling system, suitably placed vents, and several heat pipes. Models with vapor chamber cooling or modern cooling solutions are also recommended.

Which Features Should I Consider for an Enhanced Game Development Experience?

Besides the necessary internal components and specifications, consider thunderbolt ports, a high-resolution webcam, an RGB backlit keyboard, and expandable RAM or storage when choosing a game development laptop for an enhanced game development experience.