Gaming laptops: The top performers of 2019

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. 

Originally published April 25.
Update, April 29: Adds new performance chart. 

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

Alienware Area-51m

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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. 

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Origin PC Eon-17X (2019)

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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. 

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Origin PC Eon-17X (2018)

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The 2018 version of this laptop, with a desktop CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU, was right behind the updated version. 

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Asus Zephyrus GX701

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This updated Zephyrus combines both a slim, professional-looking design with the expanded power of Nvidia’s new RTX graphics cards. 

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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. 

gaminglaptops-01

The best new gaming laptops, ranked

32 Photos

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

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Alienware Area-51m Gaming Laptop Laptop -WNSER7CR5101H


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Alienware Area-51m

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