Are Gaming Laptops Fine for Game Designers – Specs and Warnings 

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February 8, 2022
8 minutes

By Jonny Gamer

As remote work has entered the IT-sphere as the new normal, it also changed the traditional work devices. Though workstations and desktop PCs remain the most popular options, it is already clear that coding on a laptop is becoming more popular every day. Their most significant advantage is portability. You can work from any area, on the road, and have everything you need at hand. Besides, you can use your laptop for entertainment. 

Speaking of gaming, it is also extremely popular on PC and laptops. The market offers numerous models of gaming laptops. If you have one, why not open it and play some of your favorite games while waiting for your flight? But first, that game should be created. What if you are a game designer in need of a powerful and reliable work device that you can take with you? Game design is the area of creative minds, and you never know when the inspiration grasps you suddenly. 

Are Gaming Laptops Fine for Game Designers – Specs and Warnings 

So, if you are into gaming as a developer, can you use gaming laptops for programming new games? Yes! Moreover, it can be the most suitable variant. The question, are gaming laptops good, does not return any dubious variants. Gaming laptops are faster and more powerful. They cope with heavy testing tasks at any stage of the QA process, as the scheme at suggests, including all related activities. Gaming laptops have much better storage, RAM, GPU, and displays. You can create new games in the same environment they will further perform. 

A decent gaming and programming laptop will last for years. Even with the constant evolution of video games, you can expect at least five years of excellent performance. How to choose the right model? Many game developers claim there aren’t limits to perfection – the more powerful your device is, the better. Still, there are certain choice criteria. Let us talk about them to understand which features define the best laptops for game development. 

The Most Essential Programming Laptop Specs For Game Development 

An average laptop for coding does not have to be a super-powerful, exclusive thing. However, it is different when your area is game design. The standard laptop would hardly do the job right. Gaming laptops will resolve all challenges. On the other hand, a “gaming laptop” is a name for a vast class of different devices, created by different producers and equipped with various modules.

The choice will depend on your specific situation, programming needs, and challenges. As game development is a vast area, the best laptop for programming and gaming may have different specs. Here we are going to review the fields that can be in your focus, whether you will focus on coding or graphical design. The most important factors that ensure the quality of code writing and handling and art design relate to CPU, RAM, and dedicated GPU. 


When your job is writing, compiling, and testing codes in large volumes, your focus will most likely be on the CPU. Programming jobs require Intel Core i5 minimum, better i7 or i9. Another variant is 8th Gen as a minimum, and higher models are better for gaming laptops. 


The gaming (and game design) field is fine with 16 Gb RAM. 8 Gb, which is the standard for business-level laptops is not enough for game development tasks. In this case, the more RAM you have, the better. 24 Gb RAM would be excellent, but it is optional – many jobs won’t need it. 

Dedicated GPU

Modern game design usually involves 3D work and sets high standards for visual specifications. The Nvidia GPUs 2020, 2070, and 2080 are the best solutions for such heavy tasks. A dedicated graphics card is important. If you are making a complex video game, you will need it for sure. The recommended option is the latest Nvidia GeForce.

Display and Screen Resolution

The visual side of modern games is often a masterpiece. To create one, you need creative talents and decent tech capacities to rely on. The display is the most crucial factor. It has to let you view and evaluate your work precisely, identify any detail, and ensure a healthy environment for your eyes. Thus, you should consider the panel type (OLED, IPS, or Matte), resolution (4K or 1080p), and refresh rate (at least 60 Hz, better higher). The recommended combination is the 4K/60hz display or 1080/IPS. As for the size, the Full HD screen is the modern standard for game designers. The final choice will depend on your case and budget. 

Storage / SSD

Fast processing requires a Solid State Drive (SSD). It is the best performance improvement. Target at least SSD of 512 Gb, and if your professional workload is heavy, you should choose 1Tb for SSD.  Another option is an additional hard drive, especially for projects that rely on heavy graphics. 

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Development 

Both these fields are essential for modern gaming on both sides – players and devs. Augmented Reality development, fortunately, does not require any excessive technical specifications. As for Virtual Reality, you will need a CPU that is VR capable and a high-quality Graphics Card. The specifications defined earlier for CPU and Card will suit you well and help you rid of any concentration issues, granting you comfort. 

Battery Life

Gaming laptops have one significant disadvantage – their battery life is shorter. An average business-level laptop can work for about 8 hours on battery, but a gaming laptop consumes much more resources. As a rule, it won’t last more than 5 hours. Still, if you consider you will need work using the battery only, choose the model that can grant you those 5 hours – it is a decent timeframe, after all. 

Size and Weight

The portability of laptops is a big benefit. However, gaming laptops are often bigger and heavier than standard business-level laptops. Besides, they are “hotter,” as their work produces system heat at a higher degree. All these factors are significant. Considering the requirements of the CPU and display, the size of the laptop can make it quite uncomfortable to handle. On the other hand, your specific work conditions determine the choice. Game design mostly requires using several displays. Thus, the size of the laptop’s display might not mean so much. Other factors may be more essential in your situation. 

In any case, when you are choosing the gaming laptop to create games on it, you need to refer to other users’ reviews. There you will find crucial information about the device’s behavior. The list of the laptop’s technical specifications won’t be enough. You will still test your particular laptop at work. 

What About MacBook Pro For Game Designers? 

The most popular gaming laptops are Windows-based. However, there is one more option that is Apple’s product, MacBook Pro. It is a high-class machine, powerful, stylish, and compact. Its specs for CPU, display, and RAM are excellent for gaming. At the same time, it is silent and very light and perfect for working on the road. But our question is different. Is Mac good for programming video games when you are a designer? 

All game developers have their preferences. And you will certainly find Mac-devotees among them. Still, if you never performed game development jobs on MacBook and did not fall in love with this machine, we would not recommend you this laptop for game design. There are some weighty reasons for that. 

First, it is the touch bar instead of the function keys row. Many programmers get annoyed by this specificity if they prefer using the function keys. To Apple’s credit, the latest MacBook Pro model presented in 2021 has brought the function keys back. Still, if you have to use the earlier models, you will have to deal with the touch bar. 

Then, Mac’s hardware configurations are specific. Despite the claims that they are perfect as is, and the users won’t wish to change them in any way, many software developers find it messy and uncomfortable. The i9 based Macs also produce the system heat heavily. 

There are lots of other issues, from the lack of ports to the keyboard specificities. And don’t forget one more crucial argument that is the price. MacBook Pro, with all its advantages, is not as cost-effective as Windows-based gaming laptops. 

Does it mean that you should not turn to MacBooks as the work devices for game design? It does not mean that. If you are an Apple user, and you are creating products adjusted for the Mac environment, then, perhaps, MacBook will be a great option. In other scenarios, we’d recommend you go with Windows-based machines. There are so many models there with different characteristics that you can certainly find the best-suitable variant to customize for yourself. 


If you are still questioning, if a gaming laptop is good for work, you should not worry about that. Gaming laptops exceed the capabilities of standard business machines. Thus, game developers can work faster and in a more comfortable manner, thus providing better productivity. Besides, such computers are perfect for AI-related jobs due to their computing powers. 

They have their disadvantages too. The size and the price are among the most noticeable of them. They would hardly be the best choice for usual software development tasks, as their capacities are overkill for standard application development. The price may not get paid off quickly either. 

Still, game designers may refer to gaming laptops if there is such an option, and it seems convenient. Often, it becomes the wisest decision and a guarantee of comfortable work.

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