The best gaming laptop performers of 2019 – CNET

The Origin PC Eon17-X and Alienware Area-51m.

Sarah Tew/CNET

 AMD and Nvidia are (still) fighting it out for gaming dominance, with new products like the Nvidia RTX Super line and the AMD Radeon RX 5700 series. Right now, the landscape can be confusing, but generally the best gaming laptops is 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, then 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 5Metro: 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 Acer Triton 900, a unique laptop with strong performance, a pivoting hinge, the Razer Blade Pro, and a new Origin PC Evo-16S, which has a still-rare 16-inch display. 

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

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

Sarah Tew/CNET

On 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/CNET

Like 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/CNET

The 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/CNET

The 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/CNET

This 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

Rank System Name 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra score Graphics Card
1 Alienware Area-51m 6,337 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080
2 Origin PC Eon-17X 6,228 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080
3 Origin PC Eon-17X (2018) 5,330 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080
4 Asus ROG Zephyrus GX701 5,299 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design
5 Origin PC EVO 16S 4,667 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design
6 Lenovo Legion Y740-17 4,472 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design
7 Acer Predator Triton 500 4,642 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design
8 MSI GS75 Stealth 8SG 4,464 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design
9 Origin Evo 15 4,262 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
10 Acer Predator Helios 500 4,102 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
11 Asus ROG Zephyrus M GM501 3,954 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
12 Asus ROG Strix Scar II 3,938 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
13 Microsoft Surface Studio 2 3,893 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
14 Lenovo Legion Y740-15 3,851 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 with Max-Q Design
15 Alienware m15 3,669 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with Max-Q Design
16 Asus ROG Zephyrus GX531GS 3,435 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with Max-Q Design
17 Razer Blade 15 3,431 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with Max-Q
18 Digital Storm Equinox 3,413 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with Max-Q
19 MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 3,342 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with Max-Q
20 Razer Blade 15 (2019) 3,362 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 with Max-Q Design
21 Lenovo Legion Y7000P-1060 2,716 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
22 Asus ROG Strix Hero Edition GL503V 2,657 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
23 Razer Blade 15 RZ09-0270 2,593 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 with Max-Q Design
24 HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop (15-c0042nr) 2,318 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
25 Samsung Odyssey 850XAC 2,259 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
26 Lenovo Legion Y730-15 1,899 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
27 Acer Nitro 5 1,873 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti
28 Dell G5 15 1,851 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
29 Lenovo Legion Y530 1,825 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
30 Asus ZenBook Pro 15 UX580G 1,753 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti
31 Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 1,641 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti with Max-Q Design
32 Dell XPS 15 9575 2-in-1 1,627 AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL Graphics
The best gaming laptop performers of 2019     - CNET

Now playing: Watch this: Alienware redesigns its thin gaming laptops and offers...

1:31

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

Alienware Area-51m

You may also like...