The best gaming laptop performers of 2019

AMD and Nvidia are (still) fighting it out for gaming dominance on the desktop, with new products such as the Nvidia RTX Super line and the AMD Radeon RX 5700 series, as well as in laptops. Right now, the landscape can be confusing, but generally the best gaming laptops are running Nvidia’s RTX graphics, which first came to desktop PCs in late 2018, and to laptops in January 2019.

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 those with top performance from that group, and you can also scroll through the full list of game benchmark results here.

If you’re building a desktop gaming rig, start with our guide to desktop graphics, but if you’re in the market for a gaming laptop, these are the very best ones we’ve tested. 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.

When reviewing a gaming laptop or desktop, we run preset performance 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 best gaming 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.

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.

New and notable for this summer update of the best gaming laptops are the latest model of the Razer Blade 15 Advanced, equipped with a stunning OLED screen that’s good for creative work; HP’s novel dual-screen Omen X 2S; and the budget-friendly but powerful Lenovo Legion Y545.

The exact scores and graphics hardware specs for all tested gaming laptops are located here.

Note CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.

Sarah Tew/CNETOn top of the satisfying visual refresh rate of Alienware’s highest-end laptop, the Area-51m offers an impressive 17.3-inch display, an excellent keyboard, and plenty of processing overhead from PC gaming CPUs and the latest RTX GPUs. Plus, a modular processor and GPU design lets you get inside the case and replace both the processor and graphics card for terrific gaming performance.

Sarah Tew/CNETLike the Alienware Area-51m, the Origin PC Eon-17X features the desktop-class Intel Core i9-9900K processor and the new Nvidia RTX 2080 graphics card. This combination made these our two top-performing laptops so far from all of 2018-2019.

Sarah Tew/CNETThe Acer Predator Triton 900’s rotating display is a great idea that’s also well executed. The keyboard incorporates mechanical switches that feel very good, and its performance is fast — though as a laptop, the keyboard and short battery life may be a drawback for some.

Sarah Tew/CNETThe 2018 version of this laptop, with a desktop CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card, was right behind the updated version. It’s pricey and has a modest battery life, but it delivers top-notch performance.

Sarah Tew/CNETThis updated Asus ROG Zephyrus combines both a slim, professional-looking design with the expanded power of Nvidia’s new RTX graphics card for an excellent gaming experience, though at the cost of battery life.

Dive into the exact scores and configurations for all the top performers in the full buyer’s guide list of 30-plus gaming laptops.

GAMING LAPTOP PERFORMANCE

1 Alienware Area-51m 6,337 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080
2 Origin PC Eon17-X (2019) 6,228 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080
3 Acer Predator Triton 900 5,719 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080
4 Origin PC Eon17-X (2018) 5,330 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080
5 Asus ROG Zephyrus GX701 5,299 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q
6 Razer Blade Pro 17 5,003 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q
5 Origin PC EVO16-S (early 2019) 4,667 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q
6 Acer Predator Triton 500 4,642 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q
7 Origin PC Evo16-S (mid 2019) 4,548 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q
8 Lenovo Legion Y740-17 4,472 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q
9 MSI GS75 Stealth 8SG 4,464 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q
9 Razer Blade 15 Advanced (2019, OLED) 4,330 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q
10 Origin Evo15 4,262 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
11 Alienware m15 (2019, OLED) 4,235 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 with Max-Q
12 HP Omen X 2S 4,106 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q
14 Acer Predator Helios 500 4,102 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
15 Asus ROG Zephyrus M GM501 3,954 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
16 Asus ROG Strix Scar II 3,938 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
17 Lenovo Legion Y740-15 3,851 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 with Max-Q
18 Alienware m15 (2018) 3,669 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with Max-Q
19 Asus Zephyrus GX531GS 3,435 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with Max-Q
20 Razer Blade 15 (2018) 3,431 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with Max-Q
21 Digital Storm Equinox 3,413 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with Max-Q
22 Razer Blade 15 (2019) 3,362 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 with Max-Q
23 MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 3,342 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with Max-Q
24 Lenovo Legion Y545 3,066 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
25 Lenovo Legion Y7000P-1060 2,716 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
26 Asus ROG Strix Hero Edition GL503V 2,657 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
27 Razer Blade 15 RZ09-0270 (2018) 2,593 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 with Max-Q
27 HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop (15-c0042nr) 2,318 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
28 Samsung Odyssey 850XAC 2,259 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
29 Lenovo Legion Y730-15 1,899 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
30 Acer Nitro 5 1,873 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
31 Dell G5 5590 (2019) 1,867 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650
32 Dell G5 15 (2018) 1,851 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
33 Lenovo Legion Y530 1,825 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
34 Asus ZenBook Pro 15 UX580G 1,753 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
35 Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 1,641 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with Max-Q
36 Dell XPS 15 9575 2-in-1 1,627 AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL Graphics

To find the best budget laptop, read our breakdown of the best gaming laptop under $1,000.

Originally published earlier this year. Updated to reflect new performance scores.

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