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Gaming laptop test 2020: the best gaming machines


Top laptops for demanding gamers

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Gaming notebooks: what to look for when buying

Gaming laptops are a good alternative to classic gaming PCs. Because mobile graphics chips are almost on a par with their desktop counterparts when it comes to performance, gamer laptops offer very high performance with a compact form factor. We have current models like the Dell Alienware 15 R4, the Medion Erazer X 15805 and the Razer Blade 15 Base Model tested and give clear purchase recommendations for different budgets. What you should pay attention to when buying a gaming notebook is shown in the video.

These are the best gaming notebooks in the test

The evolution of gaming notebooks increasingly closes the gap to desktop PCs. Nvidia in particular has made a major contribution to this since the GPU manufacturer has since launched its Geforce – 1000 series for laptops has launched, the performance difference between mobile and desktop graphics chips is hardly worth mentioning depending on the graphics chipset. The performance values ​​are often (especially in the 1000he Generation) at a comparable level to the desktop models, which makes the purchase of a gaming notebook highly attractive.

With the Geforce – 2000 – Nvidia series now has its “RTX computing cores”, which massively accelerate real-time ray tracing, also for mobile computers brought the market. Our comparison test of the top models of our best list shows that a new generation does not always have to be significantly better than its predecessor. .

The best gaming laptops 2019

Dell Alienware 15 R4 Medion Erazer X 15805 Razer Blade 15 Base Model

overall evaluation

1.3 (very good)

1.4 (very good)

1.5 (very good)

Processor

Intel Core i9 – 8950 HK

Intel Core i9 – 8950 HK

Intel Core i7 – 8750H

Graphic card

Nvidia GTX 1080 Max-Q

Nvidia RTX 2070 Max-Q

Nvidia GTX 1060 Max-Q

Random access memory

16 GByte

16 GByte

16 GByte

SSD

512 GByte

512 GByte

256 GByte

HDD

1 TB

1 TB

2 TByte

Weight

3, 5 kg

2.1 kg

2.1 kg

Price

starting at 2.650 Euro

starting at 2. 299 Euro

from 1. 649 Euro

To the shop offer

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1. Dell Alienware 15 R4 (test winner)

  • Alienware 15 R4 (2FXWX)

    Source: bestcheck.de

    Alienware 15 R4 (2FXWX)

    Overall grade: very good (1.3) The gaming laptop scores with good excellent performance and excellent features – however, the battery life could be longer.

Benefits
Excellent Performa nce
Extensive equipment
Overall very good display
Pleasantly quiet cooling system
Disadvantage
battery life very short
Chunky and quite heavy

On the top spot Our best list of gaming notebooks is enthroned even after the introduction of the RTX – 2080 – Notebooks still the Dell Alienware 15 R4 , the almost 3. 000 Euro costs. In return for the high price, you also get the crème de la crème of components. The core is a Core i9 – 8950 HK with six computing cores and a turbo clock up to 4.8 GHz. The CPU is accompanied by 16 GB of RAM, one 512 GByte SSD and a 1 TB hard drive. The Nvidia Geforce GTX ensures smooth graphics. with dedicated 8 GB graphics memory that are not in this device before the models we tested with RTX 2080 must hide and in the gaming benchmarks is hardly slower. With this enormous computing power, it is almost a shame that the 15, 6-inch display only offers Full HD resolution. After all, the panel supports 120 – Hz refresh rate to adequately display high frame rates.

The disadvantages of such power are obvious the hand: On the one hand, the device weighs more than 3.5 kilograms and is, with a good distance, the heaviest gaming notebook in our comparison. The battery life is also underground: the Alienware only lasts 2 hours 15 R4 in PCMark 8 through. In addition, it is thick, chunky and has a relatively wide display edge. We evaluate these aspects in a gaming laptop that is mainly used at home with an active power supply, but only marginally.

Our test winner offers decent performance values ​​and a 120 Hz display. Picture: Dell Alienware

. 2 Medion Erazer X 15805 (Geforce RTX alternative)

  • Source: Image: Medion

    . 2 Medion Erazer X 15805 (Geforce RTX alternative)

    Overall grade: very good (1.4) Very good performance thanks to Intel Core i9 and Nvidia RTX 2070 – MaxQ and excellent features – however, the battery life could be better.

Benefits
Very good performance
Excellent facilities
Nice LC display
Disadvantage
Weak battery life
keyboard heats up strongly
Display contrast could be better

Nvidia's current generation of RTX graphics cards causes frustration for many gamers – especially the price is still too high for many. The problem is only partially reflected in the notebook segment. The 15 .6 inch Medion Erazer X 15805 shows that extremely good performance is not only available at the price of a used small car. For just under 2. 300 Euros you get full performance on the desk. The system's hardware heart is the Intel Core i9 – 8950 HK. The offers six cores and works as standard with 2.9 to 4.8 GHz. The CPU are 16 GB of RAM, one 512 GB SSD and a 2 TB HDD to the side. For high frame rates when playing and the corresponding Raytracing effects ensures an Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070 with 8 GB GDDR6-VRAM.

In the test, the Medion notebook does not have any serious weaknesses. In the equipment category, it even gets the best rating and can also score in terms of ergonomics. However, mobility is a bit weak compared to other gaming notebooks. Depending on the application, the battery life is between 2.5 and 4 hours. You will receive more details, all measurements and an assessment in the detailed test report .

The Medion Erazer X 15805 offers with Intel Core i9 processor and an Nvidia RTX – 2070 Max-Q excellent equipment. Picture: Medion

. 3 Razer Blade 15 Base Model (price-performance tip)

  • Blade 15 DS (RZ09-02705G75-R3G1)

    Source: bestcheck.de

    Blade 15 DS (RZ 09 – 02705G75 – R3G1)

    Overall grade: very good (1.5) The gaming notebook convinces with good Windows and gaming performance – on a 144 Hz display you have to do without.

Benefits
Good system and game performance
Very good Picture quality
Strong price-performance ratio
Disadvantage
Just 60 – Hertz display
Keyboard with short stroke

The noble Razer Blade 15 in the basic equipment is a price tip in our best list of gaming notebooks. The device has truly earned this rating. For the price of just over 1. 600 Euro you get a game notebook here in the 15, 6-inch format with strong hardware, top equipment, very good mobility values ​​and a sufficient performance for Full HD resolution. Inside is an Intel Core i7 – 8750 H with six arithmetic cores, that of 16 GByte RAM, a memory combination of 256 GByte SSD and 2 TB HDD and the Geforce GTX 1060 Max-Q flanked becomes. The graphics chip can use a 6 GB memory. Overall, the configuration ensures continuously playable frame rates in native resolution.

In addition to the very stable workmanship and the attractive appearance, the Razer Blade 15 also in terms of mobility, because it stops in, for example our video runtime test almost 8.5 hours. This is unusually long for a gaming laptop. If we properly load the hardware (PCMark 8 Work), this value drops to just under 4 hours. The Blade 15 has the advantage, however, that it is also suitable for entertainment away from gaming and no alternative notebook is required. With a weight of 2.1 kilograms and a height of 2.3 centimeters, it is also not excessively bulky and heavy. All details and measured values ​​can be found our detailed test report .

The Razer Blade 15 Base Model offers great performance at a fair price. Picture: Razer

How CHIP tests gaming laptops

Laptops for gamers have to meet different requirements than normal notebooks for work. That is why we have developed a completely new test procedure for these models and at the same time adapt the weighting of the individual rating categories to the requirements.

  • evaluation category performance – 35% of the overall grade

    By far the most important rating for gaming notebooks is based on the Performance. We use current games such as Forza Horizon 4, Forza Motorsport 7, Far Cry 5, Grand Theft Auto 5, Total War: Warhammer 2 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider as well as two classics, Alien Isolation and DiRT. In addition, we leave synthetic benchmarks like CineBench R 15, the new 3DMark and Unigine Superposition are running.

  • Rating category display – 25% of the overall grade

    After the performance is the quality of the display the second most important rating in our ranking. Since all of our test candidates have a display with Full HD resolution, the resolution does not play a role in the evaluation, and we can concentrate entirely on the measurable features of the display. These include values ​​such as maximum brightness, color space coverage, contrast ratio and viewing angle stability.

  • Evaluation category equipment – 20% of the overall grade

    How big is the hard disk space? How many USB ports does the test device have? And which chips are installed on the mainboard? The equipment is an important aspect of every notebook, even with gaming models. We record all relevant connections, modules, drives and special features that stand out in the test.

  • Evaluation category ergonomics – 15% of the overall grade

    A lot of little things flow into the ergonomics rating. This includes, for example, the volume of the system under full load. But the quality of the keyboard and touchpad, the appearance and appearance of the device as well as the behavior of the display hinge also belong in this category.

  • category mobility – 5% of the overall grade

    As already mentioned, mobility only plays a subordinate role in our ranking , On the one hand, because the battery life in gaming mode is very short for all devices, and on the other hand, because they generally only develop their full performance when they are connected to the mains. In this rating category we go into the dimensions of the notebook, evaluate the weight and check the battery life.
In our test center, we not only test the performance, but also the display of every gaming notebook. Picture: CHIP

Buy gaming notebooks: you should pay attention to this

There are a few points to consider when buying a gaming notebook. We have put together the most important ones for you:

  • Performance of the dedicated graphics card

    On Gaming notebook has to meet many criteria. However, the performance of the dedicated graphics card is particularly important. The integrated graphics chips from Intel and AMD are becoming more and more powerful, but as soon as a video game is a bit more demanding in its presentation, you no longer want to do without a separate chip. Nvidia currently dominates with his Geforce – 1000 – series the mobile Market and places with the RTX – 2000 – series after; AMD still doesn't play a relevant role here. As on the desktop, Nvidia positions itself with various GPU variants that should meet different requirements.

    At the top of the mobile graphics chips, Nvidia positions the Geforce RTX 2080 – the Ti variant, which is available for desktop computers, was not implemented on the move. In our leaderboard, for example, we have the Dell Alienware m 15 with a Geforce RTX 2080 Max-Q runs and full 3. 100 Euro costs. In terms of performance, it sets a best value, but at the same time it cannot be significantly different from the Alienware 15 R4 with Geforce GTX 1080 Lower Max-Q. This is surprising and disappointing, because there are a few years of GPU development in between and we expected a clear difference. In short: To play in full HD resolution you do not need to upgrade from GTX 1080 on RTX 2080.

  • RAM and hard disk volume

    In addition to a strong graphics card, we recommend 16 GByte RAM, also because it is more future-proof. Most games can currently handle 8 GB of RAM – but not every notebook can be upgraded arbitrarily. We therefore advise you not to save at this point.

    An SSD (instead of or together with a conventional hard disk) is the mass storage of choice. Many games require long loading times to display the game world. A solid state disk provides a full boost here. Annoying reloading stutters are also seen much less frequently with an SSD. If you own a huge game library and want to save some money, you can, for example, install a larger HDD instead of a second SSD. However, you then have to expect occasional stutters.

  • cooling system and ventilation

    Apart from the performance components, it is important that the notebook manufacturer install a good cooling system , This ensures stability during long-term gaming and prevents loud fan noises, some of which can still be heard even when the headphones are in use, and which can disrupt users and those around them. The keyboard of the notebook is also interesting. Many players prefer mechanical keys because of their durability and the well-defined pressure point. The touchpad is less relevant; we assume that gamers will use a mouse either way.
  • To be observed

    Other factors are the quality of the case, the dimensions and the weight. As a rule, gaming notebooks will be used at home on the desk because they are significantly more compact than adult desktop computers – but if you consciously choose a laptop for gaming and refuse a potentially cheaper desktop PC, mobility could also be in the back of your mind to have.

Gaming notebook or desktop variant – what is suitable for me?

If you are considering buying a gaming laptop, you should first think about why you want to do this. As a rule, the mobile versions are always a lot more expensive than their desktop counterparts. Notebooks are also difficult to upgrade. The installation of a larger SSD or HDD is not a problem and you can also change the working memory on many models, but the processor or graphics card only has a new purchase after a few years.

Would you like to save space due to your living situation, for example, or do you travel a lot and would like to gamble for an hour in the hotel room in the evening, then it is worth buying a mobile gaming machine. Otherwise, the money you save by purchasing a desktop gaming variant can be better invested in the purchase of a mouse, keyboard or monitor.

You should also be clear the existence 15 Inch notebook is always a little cheaper than its 17 inch offshoot. However, the ventilation is often better with the larger versions, since there is simply more space available in the housing.

How much money do I have to spend?

Basically you have to decide which games you prefer to play and how important the topic of graphic power is to you. The price range for gaming devices reflects our test very well. Devices can also be found under 1. 000 Euro, then you have to expect that you won't admire triple-a games like Battlefield V, Borderlands 3 or Assassin's Creed – Odyssey in all their pixel glory can. The more graphics you want, the more money you have to invest.

In addition to the GPU, the CPU is of course another important component of a gaming laptop. Here you have to find a golden way between the two components of the graphics chipset and processor. Would you, for example, for a combination of Core i9 and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 decide, then the GPU would slow down this system – conversely, with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 and a Core i5, the processor becomes a bottleneck. However, in most cases, the GPUs are a bit throttled in clock frequency compared to their desktop variants in order to save electricity in this way.

Further is decisive whether the display of your laptop should be in Full HD or 4K. But the refresh rate also plays a role. Would you like a 120 – Hz- or 144 – Hz display, which display content even more smoothly, then this also increases the costs.

What do I do with my games that I still have on CD or DVD?

You still have a few classics on an optical data medium such as CD or DVD and find that your chosen device has no drive anymore and therefore do not know how to play the games can install? This is not a problem at all, because various manufacturers offer external DVD or Blu-ray burners that you can connect to your notebook via a USB port.

Can I also upgrade a notebook with an external graphics card?

Do you have a current notebook with an internal graphics card solution, do not want to buy a gaming notebook but still play graphically complex games? If your notebook has a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 3 function, external graphics card housings can be connected to your laptop, which you can then equip with a graphics card of your choice. Providers of such solutions are for example Dell Alienware , Razer or Sonnet . Gigabyte offers one System even completely equipped with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 on.

Incidentally, this option is not only for gamers, but also for creative people who are looking for a solution for video editing, image processing or sound compositions.

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Florian Holzbauer

Florian Holzbauer

As an expert in PC hardware , Virtual Reality and Game Consoles Florian Holzbauer is particularly interested in technical innovations and the influence of powerful hardware on video games. He also writes tests on games.

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