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  • How Much RAM Is Enough For A Gaming Laptop?
  • What CPU Should Buyers Get In A Gaming Laptop?
  • How Much Storage Should A Gaming Laptop Have?
  • What GPU Should Buyers Get for a Gaming Laptop?
  • What Is The Best Gaming Laptop Right Now?
  • What Display Should A Gaming Laptop Have?
  • The Bottom Line

Gaming laptops are a rapidly growing market as considerable inroads are made in terms of power efficiency and battery tech. Many "standard" gaming laptops now resemble ultra-portables of yesteryear in terms of form factor, with much more power under the hood than some of the fastest laptops available half a decade ago.

This has ushered in a new market of gaming enthusiasts that previously only invested in desktop PCs and gaming consoles to get acceptable gaming performance, generally ignoring laptops a few years ago. Thanks to GPU makers like Nvidia and AMD now pushing desktop-class chips as part of their bid to make mobile and laptop gaming more viable, a gaming laptop today isn't just a desktop with a battery but something else altogether that can handle all the latest games thrown at it with acceptable performance.

An example would be the RTX 4090-class laptops having essentially a lower clocked, power-restricted RTX 4080 desktop tier GPU under the hood that can hold its own with most RTX 4070 Ti and RTX 4070 Ti SUPER GPU-based desktops with ease in 2024.

The Best RTX 4090 Gaming Laptops for 2024
An RTX 4090 Laptop is by definition pushing boundaries. Here are some of the best of the best in the business for gaming laptops!

How Much RAM Is Enough For A Gaming Laptop?

For gaming, the de facto acceptable PC memory is at least 16GB to run most current games smoothly, and buyers should either overlook models with 8GB memory or buy a 32GB memory upgrade that allows their laptop to avoid being crippled by memory restrictions while gaming. While DDR5 laptop memory is still pricey and most laptops should already have the requisite 16GB, if one plays games like the memory-intensive Hogwarts: Legacy, multitask, or simply want to future-proof, there are decent kits available at the sub $100 mark.

Here is what buyers should target ideally when it comes to RAM capacity in a new gaming laptop when making a purchase:

  • For basic use and casual games: 8GB to 16GB
  • For competitive games and playing all the latest titles: 16GB to 32GB
  • For 4K Ultra games and rendering or productivity uses: 32GB to 128GB
The Best Gaming RAM for Laptops in 2024
Have a new gaming laptop or one that needs a memory upgrade? Check out some of the best RAM modules!

What CPU Should Buyers Get In A Gaming Laptop?

While most modern laptop processors are capable chips, some have serious power restrictions or thermal constraints that tend to make them underperform severely, potentially bottlenecking a much faster GPU and memory. Particular attention needs to be paid to the boost clocks of said processors; those with tame boost clocks or on a laptop known for thermal throttling (due to inadequate cooling) will have serious thermal issues that undermine performance irrespective of how high-end the CPU in play is.

While gaming laptops tend to start with the unlocked Intel Core i5 and Ryzen 5 processors by default, they can move up in cost significantly as one looks for a higher-end CPU in one's mobile partner in crime. The top-end Intel Core i9/Core Ultra 9 and AMD Ryzen 9 processors can come bundled with gaming laptops that can cost anywhere from $1500 to $5000 depending on the other specs and features on the same system.

What buyers can do to eke out better performance out of a laptop CPU is to ensure it is adequately cooled, and plugged in while being used to perform CPU-intensive tasks such as gaming, rendering, or productivity-related applications while keeping it up to date on the driver's end.

How to Choose A Laptop with The Best CPU in 2024
A step by step guide on how to find a laptop with the best CPU for any user's needs.

One of the best examples of how far gaming laptops have come is the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14, which manages to pack some of the most powerful AMD CPUs in a compact chassis that weighs just over 3.3lbs:

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 2024 (RTX 4060)

The 2024 model of the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 comes with an AI-infused 8-Core AMD Ryzen 9 CPU in addition to Nvidia's mid-range RTX 4060 GPU. With 16GB of LPDDR5X memory on offer and a large 1TB PCI-E 4.0 SSD.

It offers a high PPI 14-inch 3K OLED display with a 120 Hz refresh rate and a backlit chiclet keyboard while clocking in at just under 1.5 kg.

Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
CPUAMD Ryzen 9 8945HS
GPUNvidia GeForce RTX 4060 90W
Storage1TB PCI-E 4.0 SSD
Battery 73WHr 4-Cell Battery
Display (Size, Resolution)14-Inch 3K OLED Display 120Hz
Camera1080P IR Camera With Windows Hello
Speakers4 integrated speakers
ColorsPlatinum White
NetworkWi-Fi 6E, BT 5.3
Weight1.50 Kg
Power180W AC Adapter

The 2024 model of the G14 comes in multiple trims, offering up to an RTX 4070 GPU even as last year's model offers up to an RTX 4090, a brilliant 3K OLED display, and a powerful Ryzen 9 CPU that also comes with a dedicated AI-centric NPU on offer.

How Much Storage Should A Gaming Laptop Have?

Gaming laptops tend to store a significant amount of data on their drives as modern games require increased space to adequately store textures, game data, and more. While 256GB of SSD space historically was acceptable a few years ago, 512GB is the new normal, often with added HDD space for games on gaming laptops. Our team, however, has a strong preference for SSDs over HDDs thanks to the voluminous amounts of data that some games need to parse through to get the gaming experience going.

The adage about a gaming PC is true for laptops too: the slowest component in a system inadvertently creates a bottleneck preventing the rest of the PC from functioning at its full capacity, and using an HDD in 2024 and beyond is essentially guaranteed to result in a bottleneck. Ideally, one wants at least 1TB of SSD space to match modern consoles with more always being better. Game Rant has a comprehensive SSD guide that buyers can turn to for gaming. Since laptops use standard M2 PCI-E slots for SSDs, they are useable for the same options that PCs use.

Kingston NV2 1TB M.2 2280 NVMe Internal SSD
Value SSD Upgrade For A Gaming Laptop

Budget-Friendly Play

$61 $75 Save $14

This internal solid-state drive from Kingston has 1 TB of digital storage capacity. The NV2 series SSD is designed to be compatible with laptops. It operates on PCIe 4.0 Gen 4x4 technology, features an M.2 2280 form factor, and delivers read speeds of up to 3,500 MB/s. It has lower power requirements, generating minimal heat, which makes it perfect for compact devices.

Storage capacity1TB
Hardware InterfacePCI Express 4.0 x 4
Transfer rate3,500/2,800MB/s Read/Write
ControllerPhison E21
Compatible DevicesPC
MTBF1,500,000 hours
WarrantyLimited 3-year warranty

The Kingston NV2 NVMe SSD is an affordable upgrade that buyers might want to consider for their existing gaming laptop or PC if they are looking for more storage or even if they want to top up on extra storage in a new gaming laptop. It has stellar performance, excellent value for money, and decent durability on offer, all of which make it an easy storage upgrade for any gaming laptop.

The Best PCI-E 4.0 SSD For Gaming Laptops

High-end, no-holds-barred performance

The Samsung 990 Pro is Samsung's latest and greatest PCI-E 4.0 SSD endeavor. It delivers blazing-fast read and write speeds with a solid 5-year warranty and excellent software support in tow via the Samsung Magician software suite allowing for fine-grained control to users giving them the ability to tweak, benchmark, and customize how their SSDs function.

Storage capacity1TB
Hardware InterfacePCI-E 4.0 (M2)
Compatible DevicesConsoles, PC
Transfer rate7,450 MB/S Read, 6,900 MB/S Write
MTBF1,500,000 Hours
Warranty5 Year Cover
ControllerSamsung Pascal

The Samsung 990 Pro is the fastest Gen 4 SSD gamers and enthusiasts can currently get. Thanks to its high IOPS potential and transfer rate that maxes out PCI-E 4.0 M2 speeds, it happens to be one of the most premium SSD options on offer currently, while still benefiting from the recent price cuts across the board for flash-based storage, trading at a deep discount with multiple retailers.

The Best Laptops To Buy in 2024
2024 is kicking off with many new laptop options as manufacturers gear up to upgrade aesthetics, performance, and functionality across the board.

What GPU Should Buyers Get for a Gaming Laptop?

This is by far the trickiest question one needs to answer while picking up a gaming laptop for purchase. The GPU is the most important part of a gaming laptop and the one that drives video games at higher resolutions, one that is not user-upgradeable or replaceable easily, making it a one-time purchase much like a CPU, but one that will have a significantly more profound impact on their gaming ability on the laptop. With Nvidia's new RTX 4090 laptop lineup pushing a different tier of gaming laptops altogether, it also comes with a significantly hefty price tag.

(Image credits: Nvidia) Nvidia's RTX 4000 series Laptop GPUs currently rule the roost in terms of both performance and efficiency, much like the larger desktop market.

The primary decider here may be one's budget. With gaming laptops, the sky is pretty much the limit. Buyers can find themselves spending upwards of $5000 trying to max out a current-generation gaming laptop. This does not, however, work out for everyone. Many users tend to have significant budget constraints and look for the best gaming laptop at $700 to $1500, a category with a surprising number of options designed to cater to budget-conscious users.

Laptop GPUs vary in terms of power and suffer from the same potential thermal throttling issues that mobile CPUs do, so it might be important to pick a laptop that doesn't thermally throttle when the GPU is running at full speed, as even the powerful RTX 4090-based laptops are not immune to such issues. Ideally, if buyers are looking at $3500 or above, they might want to check out RTX 4090-based laptops. If their range is $2500 to $3500, they might find a good RTX 4080-based laptop there and at least an RTX 4060 or 4070 (or AMD equivalent) at the $1500 to $2500 mark.

There are plenty of good options in the $700 to $1500 range also, but buyers might have to settle for an older-generation GPU or an RTX 4050 at best to get a viable option in that range that does not significantly compromise on other laptop components.

The Best Gaming Laptops under $1500
A list of some of the best laptops gamers can buy under $1500 to max out their gaming experience and productivity needs

What Is The Best Gaming Laptop Right Now?

Razer Blade 18 (2024)
The Best Premium Gaming Laptop

An 18-Inch Behemoth In More Ways Than One

The Razer Blade 18 2024 edition brings the latest flagship Core i9 mobile CPU to deliver unparalleled performance in CPU-intensive operations while also maintaining its hold on gaming through the RTX 4090 GPU. From its configuration to the display, everything is overpowered, making sure no stone is left unturned.

Storage2TB SSD
CPUIntel Core i9 14900HX
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
Battery91.7 WHr Battery
Camera5MP Webcam With Windows Hello
Display (Size, Resolution)18-inch QHD Mini-LED 300 Hz
GPUNvidia Geforce RTX 4090 Laptop
Speakers6 Speaker Array
Power330W GaN AC Adapter
ColorsBlack, Mercury
FinishCNC Aluminum
Card ReaderYes UHS-II SD Card Reader
KeyboardPer key RGB with N-Key Rollover

The Razer Blade 18 is one of the newest gaming laptops on the block to sport an RTX 4090, which also pushes a 14th generation Core i9 CPU. With an impressive 300 Hz MiniLED display, a large SSD, and aesthetic upgrades to the design that redefined gaming laptops when it first came out, Razer's newest Blade is an excellent gaming laptop to get in 2024. That is, if users can afford to pay the extreme premium it currently commands.

What Display Should A Gaming Laptop Have?

Different consumer needs mean that gaming laptops do not have a one-size-fits-all solution for gamers. This means that users either want a gaming laptop that pushes out a high resolution (sub-4K), a high refresh rate (240/144Hz or higher), or a mix of both. This means that users depending on their needs might go for more visual fidelity if they play single-player titles like RPGs, preferring better, higher resolution displays coupled with newer display tech like Mini-LED or OLED.

It is pertinent to note that most high-resolution renders of modern games require a significant amount of VRAM and a beefy laptop GPU to handle the added high-res textures. Buyers might want to make sure they are covered in that department. Many modern laptops often have 4K screens with a GPU that would struggle to render games at anything close to that resolution, thanks to the taxing amounts of power it takes to do a decent job.

Esports players or competitive multiplayer users tend to have a different task altogether, however. They prefer high refresh rate screens, some of which are even north of 300Hz, as they value the edge that additional frames give them in terms of smoothness in games like Valorant, CS: GO, or DotA 2. This means that a buyer's needs might vary based on the games they play. If they play them in multiplayer mode or competitively, a high refresh rate display might be a key requirement for their prospective laptop purchase.

The Bottom Line

Gaming laptops are a large, complex market with thousands of options available to buyers. Thanks to the sheer amount of potential tradeoffs buyers make every time they pick a laptop, it can feel overwhelming. However, as the market continues maturing and adding more laptops at every price point, buyers should be able to find the perfect gaming laptop that fits both their needs and their budget. Game Rant has multiple guides to help buyers pick the best gaming laptops based on their needs, which are worth checking out to make an informed decision:

These guides are periodically updated with the best in the business. Game Rant tries to cater to a wide variety of needs and use cases as we aim to cover gaming laptops that range in cost from as low as $600 to those that cost well above $5000 a pop.


Q: What Should A Gaming Laptop Cost?

Gaming laptops can cost anywhere from $500 to over $5000. A decent gaming laptop that can play all 2023 titles at a respectable refresh rate, resolution, and quality would start at approximately $800 or more.

Q: Should I Get A Laptop Cooler For My Gaming Laptop?

Modern gaming laptops are quite well-built and aim to limit or avoid thermal throttling or heat-related performance issues. That being said, if your laptop does exhibit tendencies of pushing temperatures north of accepted values (verifiable via 3rd party tools like HWMonitor/HWInfo), you should consider getting a laptop cooler to ensure that if nothing else, it receives adequate airflow when in operation.

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