5 Best Gaming Laptops for Rust 2020

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Winner
Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC, 17.3" Full HD 144Hz 3ms IPS Display, Intel i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 16GB DDR4, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, RGB Backlit Keyboard, PH317-53-79KB
Best Price
Alienware M15 15.6" Gaming Notebook - 1920 x 1080 - Core i7 i7-8750H - 16 GB RAM - 512 GB SSD - Epic Silver - Windows 10 Home 64-bit - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 with 8 GB - in-Plane Switching (IPS)
MSI GS65 Stealth-1402 15.6" 144Hz 7ms Ultra Thin and Light Gaming Laptop Intel Core i7-8750H RTX2060 16GB DDR4 512GB Nvme SSD TB3 Win10Home VR Ready
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S Thin and Portable (2019) Gaming Laptop, 15.6” 240Hz G-SYNC FHD IPS, GeForce RTX 2070, i7-9750H, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB PCIe Hyper Drive SSD, Per-Key RGB, Windows 10 Pro, GX502GW-XB76
Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED SA-7US5130SH Thin and Light Laptop, 15.6" Thin Bezel Samsung UHD AMOLED Panel, i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX1660Ti,16GB RAM, M.2 PCIe 512GB SSD, Win 10, 94Wh Battery
Model
Predator Helios 300
M15
GS65 Stealth-1402
ROG Zephyrus S
AERO 15 OLED SA-7US5130SH
Test Result
Test Result 9.6/10 Excellent April 2020
Test Result 9.5/10 Very Good April 2020
Test Result 9.2/10 Very Good April 2020
Test Result 9.1/10 Good April 2020
Test Result 8.4/10 Good April 2020
Manufacturer
Acer
Alienware
MSI
ASUS
Gigabyte
RAM
16GB DDR4
16 GB
16GB DDR4
16GB DDR4
16GB
CPU
Intel i7-9750H
Core i7 i7-8750H
i7-8750H
Intel i7-9750H
Intel i7-9750H
Graphics Card
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 with 8GB
NVIDIA GeForce RTX2060 6G GDDR6
GeForce RTX 2070
GeForce GTX1660Ti
Storage Capacity
512GB SSD
512 GB SSD
512GB SSD
1TB SSD
512GB SSD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
6.39 lbs
4.76 lbs
4.19 lbs
4.39 lbs
5 lbs
Pros
  • Great Performance
  • Bright IPS panel
  • Good Screen
  • Great Gaming Performance
  • Great Battery Time
  • Nice Perks
  • Great Gaming Performance
  • Good Battery Time
  • Good Gaming Performance
  • Great 144Hz Display
  • Slim Design
  • Sufficient for gaming
  • Good Display
Cons
  • Keyboard not optimal
  • Loud fans
  • Keyboard not comfortable
  • Bad battery
  • Not many Perks
  • Bad Mobility
Winner
Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC, 17.3" Full HD 144Hz 3ms IPS Display, Intel i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 16GB DDR4, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, RGB Backlit Keyboard, PH317-53-79KB
Model
Predator Helios 300
Test Result
Test Result 9.6/10 Excellent April 2020
Manufacturer
Acer
RAM
16GB DDR4
CPU
Intel i7-9750H
Graphics Card
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Storage Capacity
512GB SSD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
6.39 lbs
Pros
  • Great Performance
  • Bright IPS panel
  • Good Screen
Cons
  • Keyboard not optimal
Best Price
Alienware M15 15.6" Gaming Notebook - 1920 x 1080 - Core i7 i7-8750H - 16 GB RAM - 512 GB SSD - Epic Silver - Windows 10 Home 64-bit - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 with 8 GB - in-Plane Switching (IPS)
Model
M15
Test Result
Test Result 9.5/10 Very Good April 2020
Manufacturer
Alienware
RAM
16 GB
CPU
Core i7 i7-8750H
Graphics Card
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 with 8GB
Storage Capacity
512 GB SSD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
4.76 lbs
Pros
  • Great Gaming Performance
  • Great Battery Time
  • Nice Perks
Cons
  • Loud fans
MSI GS65 Stealth-1402 15.6" 144Hz 7ms Ultra Thin and Light Gaming Laptop Intel Core i7-8750H RTX2060 16GB DDR4 512GB Nvme SSD TB3 Win10Home VR Ready
Model
GS65 Stealth-1402
Test Result
Test Result 9.2/10 Very Good April 2020
Manufacturer
MSI
RAM
16GB DDR4
CPU
i7-8750H
Graphics Card
NVIDIA GeForce RTX2060 6G GDDR6
Storage Capacity
512GB SSD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
4.19 lbs
Pros
  • Great Gaming Performance
  • Good Battery Time
Cons
  • Keyboard not comfortable
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S Thin and Portable (2019) Gaming Laptop, 15.6” 240Hz G-SYNC FHD IPS, GeForce RTX 2070, i7-9750H, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB PCIe Hyper Drive SSD, Per-Key RGB, Windows 10 Pro, GX502GW-XB76
Model
ROG Zephyrus S
Test Result
Test Result 9.1/10 Good April 2020
Manufacturer
ASUS
RAM
16GB DDR4
CPU
Intel i7-9750H
Graphics Card
GeForce RTX 2070
Storage Capacity
1TB SSD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
4.39 lbs
Pros
  • Good Gaming Performance
  • Great 144Hz Display
  • Slim Design
Cons
  • Bad battery
  • Not many Perks
Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED SA-7US5130SH Thin and Light Laptop, 15.6" Thin Bezel Samsung UHD AMOLED Panel, i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX1660Ti,16GB RAM, M.2 PCIe 512GB SSD, Win 10, 94Wh Battery
Model
AERO 15 OLED SA-7US5130SH
Test Result
Test Result 8.4/10 Good April 2020
Manufacturer
Gigabyte
RAM
16GB
CPU
Intel i7-9750H
Graphics Card
GeForce GTX1660Ti
Storage Capacity
512GB SSD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
5 lbs
Pros
  • Sufficient for gaming
  • Good Display
Cons
  • Bad Mobility

Above you will see our ranking of all gaming laptops we tested and which are the best for playing Rust on a laptop. Below you will find a guide on what kind of game Rust from Facepunch Studios is and a in-depth review of every gaming laptop of the ranking.

What is Rust?

Rust on Laptop

Rust allows players to explore a post-apocalyptic environment as well as the abysses of human interaction and provides a constant high level of tension in PvP.

In the beginning was the stone. And the torch – because that’s all a player can get his hands on in the beginning on a Rust server. Naked as the developer created the avatars, newcomers roam an extremely expansive world shortly after spawning and try to satisfy basic needs for food and water.

And already we all know what this rust is. It’s a survival game like Ark, but without dinosaurs, in which we gradually transform ourselves from naked humans to defensive creatures. Shouldn’t we die first, because then (almost) everything starts all over again.

Rust is not really a new game – nicely put. It was already in the Early Access Program on Steam since December 11, 2013, but has now been officially released – with the restriction of the developers that one should still not expect a finished game. We don’t care, we are testing now, period!

By the way, astonishing in connection with the age of Rust: The game still performs well in densely built-up areas even on powerful computers. Hooky animations of the animal kingdom as well as inaccurate movements during jumps and climbing show that there is still air to the top despite the release version.

Almost everything is deadly at Rust – especially the players!

In the beginning, survival in Rust is pure gambling, our spawn point on the island map is always somewhere on the coast and we don’t necessarily find anything useful there. Fresh water can only be found in the interior of the island, as well as edible plants, huntable animals and resources like stones or metal. But there are also other players lurking there. Oh yes, and on the coast as well. And other players – this is not the same as “nice players”. The chance that you bite the dust in Rust after only a few minutes is pretty darn good.

All resources are won in the same way: either pick them or pick up the all-purpose stone and hit it hard! If you hit the “sweet spot” (a flashing light for metals and stones, a red cross for trees), you will get a few more units when collecting. Except for rudimentary explanations of the controls and resource extraction, Rust leaves new players pretty much alone. Everything else has to be learned by trial and error and careful tooltip reading.

For example, that the weather plays a decisive role in survival. Without warm clothes you shouldn’t venture into snow-covered regions, in the desert it’s better to go ahead in airy clothes. Swimming and running makes the Avatar get hungry faster. And then there is the radiation exposure that is present in many places, which quickly becomes a deadly trap, especially for naked survivors.

If you are lucky, you will find animals like chickens or deer, which can be killed and disembowelled with simple weapons like the spear. However, their distribution in the game is far less generous than that of edible plants such as pumpkins, mushrooms or corn. By the way, plants also drop seeds, which you ideally stick into the ground at a sunny spot, in order to bring in the harvest some ingame days later.

So Rust relies on farming and researching to get better equipment. In special barrels we find scrap metal and objects with which construction plans can be made at the research table. Once such a blueprint has been read into the player character’s crafting menu, it will remain in the game even after death. You can also find finished blueprints, but you need luck to find something extraordinary. Otherwise, the only thing left is the research roulette at the workbench, which spits out a random blueprint for 75 scrap units.

Ranking First: Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300 review

Pros

  • Great Performance
  • Bright IPS panel
  • Good Screen

Cons

  • Keyboard not optimal

Acer has relaunched the Helios 300 series and adapted it to the current design. The Helios 300 is a powerful gaming notebook and is suitable for framerich FHD gaming on the internal 144 Hz display, and depending on the game and detail level also for WQHD gaming. Apart from the good workmanship, Acer has made a lot of improvements to the cooling concept. The notebook doesn’t become critically warm or loud under load. Only the loudspeakers’ performance and the battery life turn out meager.
Acer has revised the Predator Helios 300. Whilst Siggy particularly praised the predecessor’s good equipment, hardware accessibility and long battery life, there was a need for improvement in the cooling concept and workmanship. Therefore, it was exciting to see to what extent Acer tackled these issues in the successor.

The current Helios 300 is available with a 15.6″ display and various features. Compared to the 2018 version, the biggest differences are between the new ninth-generation Core i7 CPUs and the RTX graphics cards from NVIDIA. The configurations range from 1385 USD for Core i7-9750H, 8 GB RAM and GTX 1660 Ti to almost 2000 USD for Core i7-9750H, 32 GB RAM and RTX 2060. The tested notebook is thus in the upper midfield with Core i7-9750H, 16 GB RAM and RTX 2060 for 1658 USD.

Design

At first glance, it becomes clear that Acer has made slight changes in the design in comparison to the predecessor. Instead of a red, the typical Predator turquoise is now used. The somewhat playful and angular design can of course still be assigned to the gaming track with the chrome-plated strips, the color accents and the striking lettering.

The illuminated Predator logo and lettering are located on the top side. Two turquoise-blue stripes, one on each side, join them. The display frame’s width is okay, but not as slim as for example on the similarly expensive Medion Erazer X15803. On top, the frame is also a bit wider than on the Dell G5. The corners on the upper side are slightly angled and the webcam sits above the display. Acer has placed the matt silver Predator logo under the display.

The keyboard has a full-fledged numpad, proper arrow keys and a normal enter key. The white border of the keys is especially noticeable. The WASD, arrow and Predator keys are exceptions to this. The latter starts the in-house PredatorSense software. More about this in the chapter Software. With the dedicated turbo you can find out what the cooling system can do when it’s not running – and how loud it can get. But more about that later.

The touchpad is slightly offset to the left. That’s not quite understandable, because if you really want to fiddle with the WASD keys without a mouse connected, you’ll end up on the touchpad with the ball of your left hand. But it is nice and big. The blue cooling fins can be seen through the air vents on the back and both sides. This is understandably not the case with the asymmetrical air vents on the bottom. The speakers are also located on the underside.

Good built quality with faultless keyboard

The upper side and the inner surface are made of aluminium. However, Acer uses plastic for the display frame, the bottom and front. The notebook makes a very robust impression. The inside can’t be dented without much effort. Sure, with a thickness of 2.2 cm, it is considerably more massive than, for example, the Razer Blade 15, but the Helios 300 doesn’t want to win a slimming contest either. More space also often means more potential in cooling performance.

The keyboard is surprisingly good for a gaming notebook. The stroke is precise and generally, even long texts can be written neatly and quickly. However, it’s questionable whether a dedicated Predator key is really necessary. Although not every single key can be controlled in the backlight, there are four large areas that can be individually adjusted. The illumination could be a bit brighter at the highest level.
Acer doesn’t afford any blunders in the gap dimensions. However, the display hinge isn’t quite flush on the left side when the notebook is folded up. The two front aluminum corners could also be sanded down a bit more generously.

Many connections without Thunderbolt 3

As an upper mid-range gaming notebook, the Helios 300 comes with the appropriate ports. On the right side you’ll find two video connections in the form of a mini-display port and HDMI. Furthermore, there is a USB 3.1 Gen1 type C and a USB 3.1 Gen1 type A port on this side. The latter has the so-called Power-Off USB charging. This allows USB devices to be charged even when the device is turned off.

On the left side, Acer has installed two more USB 3.1 Gen1 type A ports, the combo jack and a fold-out LAN port (RJ45). There is also the power connection and the device for the Kensington Lock on the side. Thus, all important connections for gaming are included. If you want to copy photos from an SD card to the device every now and then, you’ll miss an SD card reader, though. A Thunderbolt 3 support for the type-C port wouldn’t have been wrong either.

The Predator Helios 300 also supports a feature called Killer DoubleShot Pro. In fact, there seems to be less marketing in this feature than the term would suggest. The feature merges the wired and wireless network connection into one line. Thus, a gross data rate of 1.867 Gbps is achieved by combining the 1 Gbps network connection and the 867 Mbps WLAN connection. At the same time, the application priorities are distributed between the two network connections. This means that a latency-critical game can be transmitted via the LAN connection, for example, while latency-insensitive applications such as browsers, Skype and the like run over the wireless connection.

Fast 144Hz display with good color coverage

The Predator Helios 300 uses a 15.6″ display with IPS panel and Full HD resolution in 16:9 format. A refresh rate of 144 Hz ensures smooth gameplay. But with this, all content generally moves very quickly and evenly across the screen. Tearing or Ghosting? Not with the Helios 300.

The illumination of the display is good. The darkest areas are on the top right and left. With 255 to 287 cd/m², the smallest and largest values are a little over 30 cd/m² apart. This is a good illumination and in everyday life the slight differences are not noticeable at all. The average brightness is good at just under 272 cd/m², but the display has a slight blue cast before calibration. This is often the case in order to achieve the high brightness.

After calibration, the brightness decreases by an average of 30 to 35 cd/m² to an average of 239 cd/m², but the display becomes considerably warmer. The black value at the brightest part of the display was 0.26. This results in a static contrast of approx. 977:1. You can download the calibration file as a .zip file here, for unpacking you can use e.g. Winrar. The profile has to be placed in the folder C:\Windows\system32\spool\drivers\color and then set as default in the Windows color management.

The display has a matt coating and is suitable for gaming in any environment. Light sources behind you? It doesn’t matter, you can easily see the content on the screen. The IPS panel also allows you to look at the side of the screen without sacrificing colour or brightness. How often this happens in everyday life is of course another question.

By the way, the colors are displayed brightly, but still naturally. Running a round in The Witcher 3 through the colorful Beauclair looks pretty good on the Helios 300. This is due not only to the decent pixel density of 147 PPI but also to the good values for color coverage. The display of the Helios 300 is measured at 97% sRGB, 68% NTSC and 73% AdobeRGB

Good Performance for FHD and WQHD gaming with cutbacks

Let’s get to the most important topic when it comes to gaming qualities – performance. With a brand new Core i7-9750H, 16 GB RAM and RTX 2060, the Helios 300 is positioned in the upper middle class. We encounter the Core i7-9750H for the first time in a review. Therefore, it’s exciting to see how the new model performs in comparison to comparable gaming notebooks with predecessor Core i7-8750H.

The Helios 300 positions itself in the midfield of our database with the RTX 2060. Comparably equipped notebooks like the Medion Erazer X15803 or Dell G5 get slightly worse rates due to the somewhat older CPU, though. The Helios 300 can even catch up with the better equipped Lenovo Legion Y740 in Rise of the Romb Raider. It only falls below the 60 FPS limit with 51 FPS in UHD at medium detail level. This also applies to Far Cry 5, where it reaches an average of 35 fps in the same settings. FHD and WQHD, however, run much better at 83 and 60 FPS.

It looks considerably worse in Ghost Recon Wildlands, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and The Division 2. Here, the Helios 300 reaches a minimum of 32 and a maximum of 59 FPS in the tested resolutions and detail levels. Nevertheless, it is on the same level as the Lenovo Legion Y740 in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. In The Witcher 3 the gaming notebook only reaches 28 FPS in UHD in medium details.

Thus, it becomes clear that the notebook is mainly suitable for gaming on the internal FHD display. If you want to profit from the 144 Hz display, you should make slight adjustments downwards in the detail level, depending on hardware requirements and the actuality of the title. However, the use of an external display with WQHD resolution and 144 Hz refresh rate is only conditionally recommended. In this case, the medium detail level must be used. I would rather advise against UHD monitors in connection with the Helios 300.

The built-in SSD is a Western Digital SN720 M.2 NVMe SSD, thus a brand SSD. It delivers pretty good results in the benchmark. It achieves a total score of 4,300 points in the AS SSD benchmark. For comparison: A Samsung SSD EVO 970 1TB scores a good 5,200 points, a Crucial P1 1TB scores 2,400 points. Western Digital’s current flagship, the SN750 1TB, achieves 5,400 points.

Simple and very easy to upgrade

Actually there is not really any need to upgrade the Helios 300. The only exception is the memory space, as mentioned at the beginning. With 512 GB you won’t get far with many current games, music and movies. The notebook can be opened very easily. Simply loosen the 11 cross screws on the underside and remove the cover. Very nice: This even works without having to tilt a plastic card.

Once inside the notebook, many upgrade possibilities become apparent. An existing M.2 NVMe SSD slot is occupied, but there is even a second free slot for this. Especially positive is that both M.2 slots have a metal cooling plate. The two RAM slots are also easily accessible and the DIMMs can be easily exchanged or upgraded to 32 GB if desired. Additionally, there is a free area next to the battery where you can install a 2.5″ SSD or HDD. The matching upgrade kit and cables are included. The battery can also be replaced easily.

Conclusion: Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer delivers a pretty good overall package among the gaming notebooks of the upper middle class with the current remake of the Predator Helios 300. For 1658 USD, there is a brand new Core i7-9750H, 16 GB RAM, an RTX 2060 and a fast M.2 NVMe SSD with 512 GB memory.

The design was adapted to the current Predator lineup. It is edgy, a bit playful and as always a matter of taste. Acer doesn’t afford any big blunders in the workmanship, except for small details. A full aluminum body isn’t yet in it for the called price, though.

The Helios 300 offers enough power for Full-HD gaming in very high details. External WQHD monitors can also be connected and used, depending on the title and with cutbacks in the detail level. However, the hardware is not necessarily recommended for UHD. Acer has also improved the cooling system: The temperatures didn’t move at a critical level during gaming or in the stress test. The same applies to the noise level, which always remains acceptable.

Those who can’t manage with 512 GB memory can easily and quickly upgrade the notebook. Apart from a free M.2 slot, there is also room for a 2.5″ SSD or HDD inside. The matching upgrade kit including cable is included in the box. The battery has turned out a bit smaller for this. It only lasts for 2.5 hours in the benchmark.

Everything is included in the ports except for Thunderbolt 3 and an SD card reader – the important RJ45 port (LAN) included. The IPS display offers a fast refresh rate of 144 Hz in addition to good color coverage and stable viewing angles. There are therefore no problems with tearing or ghosting. It is also matt and bright. The bezels could be a bit narrower in 2019, though.

If you’re looking for a properly equipped and upgrade-friendly notebook for Full-HD gaming with high or WQHD gaming with medium detail settings, you’ll get a highly recommendable device with the Predator Helios 300.

Ranking Second: Dell Alienware M15

Dell Alienware M15 review

Pros

  • Great Gaming Performance
  • Great Battery Time
  • Nice Extras

Cons

  • Loud fans

The gaming notebook Dell Alienware m15 (565K7) is a performance monster in the test, but can’t beat its predecessor, the Alienware 15, in our high score list. The Alienware m15 sets the reference value in the performance rating with its graphics chip GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, but we aren’t really convinced by the notebook’s ergonomics. Those who are purely interested in full gaming power won’t find anything better at the moment, though. However, Dell is also quite good at the price.

Design

Many manufacturers now rely on a thin and compact design for their high-performance gaming notebooks, special hardware for the mobile sector opens up new possibilities. Dell has also recognized this and sells its Alienware top notebook in two versions: The Area-51m model is the clunky desktop replacement, whereas the Alienware m15 focuses on mobility. With a weight of 5 lbs, the new model is more than 2 lbs lighter than the old Alienware 15. Dell has changed quite a bit of the design, from the case to the keyboard to the cooling.

Of course, this brings certain disadvantages with it: There’s no room for a keyboard with a large stroke length in the thin case. And the processor and graphic card can no longer be cooled as efficiently as before. Nevertheless, the Alienware m15 is a stable and high-quality top-of-the-line device. But especially for the high price of around 3.100 USD there are some conspicuous features.

IPS LC display with good rates and 144Hz

The Dell Alienware m15’s 15.6 inch display also leaves a very good impression. The IPS panel with Full-HD resolution (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) has a refresh rate of 144 Hz, which is advantageous for gaming notebooks, in the variant we tested. The chessboard contrast is good with 182:1, the brightness even reaches a very good value of 321 candela per square meter – this is still a slight setback in comparison to the Alienware 15. The standard RGB color space is displayed at 92 percent, which is okay for games. As usual, Dell offers several display options: A 60Hz variant is also available – or the 17 inch Alienware m17.

Top gaming performance with RTX-2080 graphics card

As expected, the Alienware m15 tops the performance rating with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics chip. The difference to the Alienware 15 isn’t too big, though. Both devices are equipped with the six-core Intel Core i9-8950HK processor and 16 GByte RAM, so the results in the productivity benchmarks are almost identical. The differences can be seen in the graphics performance, where GTX 1080 Max-Q and RTX 2080 Max-Q face each other.
The Alienware m15 is clearly ahead in the simulated graphics performance with 3DMark and reaches 17,292 points in the FireStrike benchmark. The old Alienware 15 reaches 14,763 points with its GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q. The graphics chip RTX 2070 Max-Q also achieves similar values in other gaming notebooks. The RTX 2080 Max-Q often delivers a better performance at the highest graphic settings in games, but sometimes the fps values (frames per second) are identical, or the GTX 1080 Max-Q is even minimally ahead.

Practically, the difference in performance is hardly noticeable. In comparison, even the differences between the i9 processors in the Alienware devices and the i7 processors of most other gaming notebooks are split in two: The Core i9 processor only gets a lead in processor benchmarks like Cinebench, where all CPU cores are required, in comparison to other 15 inch notebooks with i7. However, there is more room for better cooling in the case of the 17-inch devices and in these cases the Core i7 processors achieve similarly good values. The i9 can only really play out its higher clock frequency (2.9 GHz base to 4.8 GHz boost clock) in single core tests. So, while the i9 is the non plus ultra for gaming desktop systems, it is rather “show” in gaming notebooks.

Better to transport, but average battery life

As a specially “mobile” gaming notebook, the Dell Alienware m15 has improved a lot, but the result is still not completely convincing. A weight of 5 lbs is good, especially considering the power that is in the device. The Alienware isn’t significantly lighter and also more compact than competing devices, though. And the gigantic 240 W power supply, which is almost half the size of the notebook itself, has to find room in the case. You’ll only have a short fun without the adapter: The notebook lasts for 04:52 hours with video playback and 03:18 hours with simulated workload. Thus, “on-the-go gaming” is subject to considerable restrictions.

Conclusion

In the most expensive configuration from manufacturer Dell, the best mobile gaming performance costs around 3,100 USD at the time of testing. That is a steep price. The Dell Alienware 15 R4 isn’t much cheaper either, but has satisfied us in almost all areas – and the performance almost reaches the top value. You can also get away with the Asus ROG Strix Scar II, our current second place with RTX 2070 graphics, at a significantly lower price.

Ranking Third: MSI GS65

MSI GS65 review

Pros

  • Great Gaming Performance
  • Good Battery Time
  • Beautiful Graphics quality

Cons

  • Keyboard not comfortable
  • Not many extras

The MSI GS65 8RF-019 Stealth Thin ranks in the upper class of the best gaming notebooks due to its good performance. Moreover, MSI has not only taken the gaming but also the notebook part seriously. Because unlike many competing devices, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF also achieved surprisingly good test results in mobility, because it has a very good battery life and is comparatively light with a weight of 4.2 lbs.

However, MSI’s efforts to make the notebook especially flat, light and rimless noticeably went at the expense of stability. The device’s workmanship doesn’t feel as high-end as that of other gaming notebooks, and the case partly looks soft and gives way. Especially since the manufacturer advertises that the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF is “ultra-portable”, one hopes for good robustness to be able to take it everywhere. Despite the aluminum case, it doesn’t look as stable as desired.

Lots of gaming power thanks to GeForce GTX 1070

While there are definitely weak points on the outside, the inside of the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF is all the more valuable. As in most other gaming notebooks, the MSI device also contains an Intel Core i7-8750H processor with 6 cores of 2.2 GHz each. An Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q provides strong graphics performance. Nvidia has developed the graphics chips of the Max-Q series especially for mobile devices and they are now found in many, but not all gaming notebooks. They get less hot and are quieter and thinner. Therefore, the maximum performance has been capped.

In the benchmarks, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF can keep up with the other gaming notebooks in the environment: In the results of the performance tests with PCMark 10, the device is in the upper range. The performance rates in the tested PC games are good by the bank. Overall, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF achieved good to very good performance when measured against the performance of the best GeForce 1080 models, which is fully OK especially in Full HD resolution. The usual 16 gigabytes of RAM round off the result.

MSI GS65 8RF-019 Stealth Thin in test: Good display and many interfaces

The 15.6-inch display is also impressive. The chessboard contrast isn’t too high at 156:1 and the display’s maximum brightness of 249 candala per square meter is almost the lowest of all gaming notebooks tested. Overall, however, the 144 Hz screen gives a good picture with Full HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. The sRGB color space is covered to 94 percent, so the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF achieves a very good value in the test environment – in short: The colors are rich and respectable.

An SSD with 512 GByte storage space is in the device. The thin MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF does without an additional HDD hard disk. Nevertheless, there are plenty of interfaces: 3 USB 3.0 inputs type A, a USB type C port with Thunderbolt 3 standard, as well as display port and HDMI. Like many gaming notebooks, the MSI device also places value on a network connection, in addition to WLAN. An optical drive is not on board.

Good mobility at the expense of usability

In terms of mobility, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF surprises, as already mentioned. Despite the focus on a good gaming performance, the MSI notebook doesn’t do without a good battery life. This is significantly higher than in almost all competing devices. The notebook lasted 07:26 hours in video playback, the runtime in PCMark 8’s work benchmark was 04:09 hours. Thus, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF is really a gaming machine for on-the-go doddling.

Moreover, the name “Stealth Thin” is quite justified, as the device is thin, light and quiet. Due to the mobile hardware like the Max-Q graphics chip, the MSI notebook could be built compactly and is with 4.2 lbs much lighter than comparable devices. However, the usability suffered noticeably: The keyboard showed a rather puny stroke in our test and the keys seemed much too soft. Because of the device’s thinness, there simply isn’t enough room for the keyboard. This feels particularly unpleasant when gaming with WASD control.

Conclusion

In the end, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF shows very good test results in most areas and has earned the top position. However, this also has its price, currently around 2,300 USD. If you only look at the gaming performance, the MSI device is thus quite an excellent gaming machine. As a total package, other gaming notebooks may have a better price-performance ratio, though. But if you value the mobility and performance of your notebook, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF is a good choice for you.

Ranking Fourth: ASUS ROG Zephyrus S 

ASUS ROG Zephyrus S review

Pros

  • Good Gaming Performance
  • Great 144Hz Display
  • Slim Design

Cons

  • Bad battery times
  • Not many extras

Gaming laptops have a mixed reputation. Many users consider them to be rip-offs and other gamers swear by them because they combine everything from the graphics card to the display. Where I see exactly the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX with its GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, I wrote you together here.

When you open it you immediately notice that something is different here. The keyboard is completely at the lower edge and the touchpad is somehow still beside it. That was also the moment when I remembered Alex’ video from Gamescom 2018.

Processing & Design

When a notebook can be opened with one hand, I always have the feeling that a designer has thought about it. That’s why I try this with every notebook that lands on my desk for testing. Unfortunately I tend to push most notebooks over my desk. Not so with the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX. There I lift the display lid loosely with one finger. The resistance is exactly on the right level.

After opening, the keyboard is immediately noticeable. It is not where I expected it to be. Placed at the lower edge and embedded in a slight indentation, the keyboard immediately starts to glow in all rainbow colors after switching on: Gaming laptop stop.

The key stroke is short, but I can’t call the stroke crisp. The typing feel for texts is fine. As far as the keyboard’s position is concerned, it has to be considered that there is no shelf for the ball of the hand. This may not be a problem with short messages, but it would certainly be annoying with longer texts.

The touchpad is located right next to the keyboard. I haven’t really gotten used to the position. Even days later, I still press the space bar in the belief that I’m pressing the left mouse button with it. But as a touchpad it does a good job. It is enough for the usual navigation in Windows and for surfing the web. Personally I got used to bigger touchpads. The deadzone of ROG is neither bigger nor smaller than other notebooks. But in the end, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX has a real gaming mouse anyway, so it’s not earth-shattering.

Above the keyboard there is also the power button, a roller to control the volume and a ROG logo. Everything is kept rather discreet. On the side there is a copper colored stripe around the device, which actually gives it a certain simple elegance.

The design and workmanship of the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX is absolutely convincing. Even though the case is made of plastic, it looks simple and stylish. The small color accents help the overall picture and even the RGB lighting can be lowered to a tolerable minimum.

Matt 144Hz display, 3ms & G-Sync

The display diagonal of the ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX is 17.3 inches, which is now more the standard for gaming notebooks. With the Full HD resolution, the notebook reaches almost 130ppi. This is a good value and allows a sharp display of content. The 144Hz and the 3ms response time delight my gamer’s heart. Together with G-Sync, you have a very successful display with the ROG, on which I have experienced neither tearing nor ghosting.

The ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX also convinces in terms of illumination. The deviation on the complete display is less than 10 cd/m². That is really very good for a notebook. But the maximum brightness could be a bit higher for me.

By the way, the display is matt and after all the glossy displays of the last few months this is a real plus for me. If you look at a display a lot during the day, you will be happy about it. It also makes sense during long sessions for gaming if there are no annoying reflections.

Gaming

The i7 processor and 16GB of memory are well chosen and promise reserves for the coming years. But now we finally come to the most important topic: Gaming with an Nvidia RTX 2080 in Max-Q design.
The graphics card is almost overdone for the built-in Full HD display. But this way I can simply use the built-in 144Hz display and play current AAA blockbusters at maximum details at an average of 90fps.

No matter if I play one of the new Tomb Raider games or if I’m on the hunt for the next chick dinner in PUBG: It runs even in high/very high details with over 80fps. Here the cleverly chosen components play together really well.

But I also wanted to know how the performance looks like on an external 4K monitor and here again the ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX doesn’t disappoint. The Division 2 brings it up to about 25fps at a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels with the default “Ultra” settings. That’s a bit low for a shooter, but if I turn the details down to “High”, I almost get a playable experience: 30fps (opinions differ here). You can see what I am getting at here. I got similar results with other AAA titles as well. With that the Nvidia RTX 2080 Max-Q rocks at least slimmed down 4K gaming and that is already very ingenious for a notebook.

Conclusion

With the ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX, Asus launches a brute gaming notebook on the market, which looks very well thought-out in many places, but forgets important things in other places. The matt display is great for gaming with its response time, refresh rate and G-Sync. The fan management is smart and the performance is more than okay for the coming years. Why Asus did without the network connection is still not clear to me.

Ranking Fifth: Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED

Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED review

Pros

  • Sufficient for gaming
  • Good Display

Cons

  • Bad Mobility

The Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED is a really chic gaming notebook with a phenomenal OLED display. Very good workmanship, many connections and useful software form a round package. The volume is acceptable under load and an additional SSD can be retrofitted. Current AAA titles run smoothly in WQHD at high and FHD at maximum details. There is room for improvement in the keyboard and the flat sounding loudspeakers.

Design

Just as it starts with the cardboard box, it continues with the notebook. The AERO 15 OLED looks damn nice. The top side has a matt black and brushed aluminum look. In addition, there is an arrow-like shiny stripe that separates the two areas – and the stylish, white-lit AERO logo. We asked specifically: The lighting is not RGB-compatible, probably only from the next generation on. The back of the gaming notebook is slightly rounded, so the AERO 15 OLED is not quite rectangular.

The air vents and inlets are located on both sides, the back and also half of the bottom is perforated. Gigabyte wants to achieve an especially intensive air exchange with this. We will go into this in more detail in the emissions chapter. Funny feature: The AERO logo on the back has license plate illumination. Fortunately, the AERO logo on the bezel under the display does without any blingbling. In contrast to many a competitor, Gigabyte doesn’t afford a faux pas here.

Awesome UHD AMOLED display

Let’s get to the absolute eye-catcher of the AERO 15 OLED – the display. Everyone who owns an OLED TV or smartphone with an AMOLED display will understand me. OLED displays are unbeaten when it comes to displaying content. Black black, wonderfully vivid and rich colors, high contrasts: The display makes every IPS panel wet. Add to this the high UHD resolution of the 15.6″ panel with 3840×2160 pixels and a resulting pixel density of 282.4 PPI. This may not be a smartphone level yet, but for a notebook it’s just damned sharp.

Enjoying the sunset at The Witcher 3 in colourful Beauclair? Just beautiful. Although the display only supports 60 Hz refresh rate and thus tends to tear up when you move fast, you rarely exceed 60 FPS with current AAA titles and high detail settings in UHD. In general, the display is thus predestined for atmospheric and colorful games and of course movies. If you prefer fast first-person shooters – FPS – like CS:GO or if you’re in the battle-royalty crowd at Apex Legends, you’d better go for the version with a 144 Hz or even 240 Hz IPS display.

Gaming with UHD, the output is not great

Let’s get down to business. The test device can access a Core i7-9750H, an RTX 2070 Max-Q and 16 GB DDR4 RAM. The processor can be found in many current gaming notebooks, but the RTX 2070 Max-Q is the second strongest current GPU in Max-Q design on the market. The benchmarks in FHD and WQHD were first.

In FHD you get at least 50 FPS average in all titles – with the exception of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. The AERO 15 OLED thus ranks on the same level as the comparably equipped Lenovo Legion Y740 or the Schenker XMG NEO 15 with RTX 2070 Max-Q, which is currently also passing through our test course. As always, you can see all values in the diagrams.

It also looks good for the gaming notebook at WQHD. However, the resolution couldn’t be set correctly due to the graphics driver of the pre-series model. Only the resolution 2560×1600 pixels was possible. The values are therefore only partially comparable with the values of the competitors from the database and should be on average about 2 to 3 FPS lower than with the actual WQHD.

On the highest detail level, especially Rise of the Tomb Raider and Far Cry 5 run pleasantly smooth with 74 and 65 FPS respectively. For the other titles you should reduce the detail level from very high or ultra to high. That depends a bit on your masochistic disposition when playing games. For titles such as Ghost Recon Wildlands, the second highest detail level compared to Ultra brings a significant increase in FPS.

And UHD? I’m generally always skeptical about gaming notebooks with a UHD display. UHD is a domain in which many gaming devices blow their souls out, but high FPS can hardly be reached with current hardware. This also applies to the AERO 15 OLED. In The Witcher 3, the AERO 15 OLED reaches an average of 36 FPS in medium details. With Rise of the Tomb Raider, the average is 50 fps, with Ghost Recon Wildlands 37, with Far Cry 5 39 and with The Division 2 40 fps. This means that you’re on console level for the majority of games. When the camera moves fast, content in this FPS range will show clearly noticeable streaks.

If you really want to gamble in UHD, you should either reduce the details further or go for the version with RTX 2080 Max-Q. This should be about on the same level as the Razer Blade 15 and deliver 20 to 30% more FPS. The good thing about it? In contrast to the Razer, the AERO 15 OLED should be able to maintain the performance throughout due to the higher construction. As always, the full power is only available in mains operation. If you pull the plug, the FPS goes downhill.

Overall, the Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED is best suited for FHD at very high and WQHD at high detail settings when it comes to AAA titles. Although you can also use the UHD display in the native resolution, you should reduce textures significantly in this case. As always, this depends heavily on the game and your FPS pain threshold. For online titles such as League of Legends, Apex Legends or PUBG and older games you should have no problems.

Conclusion on the gigabyte AERO 15 OLED

The AERO 15 OLED is really a cool piece. Matt black, ultra slim display frames, illuminated logo: The design is not half as playful as many gaming notebooks and I really like it. If you can’t live without blinking, you’ll be happy with the luminous keyboard that supports GIGABYTE FUSION RGB.

The workmanship of the aluminum body is flawless and there is also no reason for criticism regarding the connections. LAN connection, Thunderbolt 3 or SD card reader? All included – and all this at an overall height of only 2 cm. An additional SSD can easily be retrofitted. Moreover, only a little excess software is installed ex works. We happily missed McAfee and Co. In return the very useful, pretty and tidy Gigabyte Control Center is on board. Everything can be controlled with it. But I could do without the Azure AI running in the background.

The phenomenal UHD AMOLED display provides for really moist eyes. Seldom have games looked so intense and colourfast. Not without reason, as all color spaces are covered 100%. The sunset on The Witcher 3 thus becomes an atmospheric highlight. But not only gambling is a dream, but also video and image editing is possible without any problems. Here, the high native resolution of 3840×2160 pixels is ideal. Furthermore, the display is very bright and HDR-capable.

You quickly forget that the display only supports 60 Hz refresh rate. When gaming in UHD at medium details, the AERO 15 OLED achieves Max-Q and Core i7-9750H on average only around 40 FPS on current Triple A titles, despite the RTX 2070. That’s not less than in comparably equipped notebooks, but the perception limit for smooth gaming might have to be adjusted a bit downwards. We recommend WQHD with high or FHD with maximum details, so that everything runs smoothly. If you really want to gamble in UHD, you shouldn’t attach much importance to details or reach for the version with RTX 2080 Max-Q. For all speed junkies there is the AERO 15 with 144 or 240 Hz panel and FHD resolution. There is no tearing or ghosting.

So where is the dog buried? During gambling the CPU is slightly throttled. But neither the CPU nor the case gets critically hot. In addition, the internal speakers and the spongy keyboard can be improved. If you really put a strain on the gaming notebook, you should better use closed headphones due to the background noise.

Overall, the AERO 15 OLED from Gigabyte is thus a highly recommendable device at a price of 2699 USD with negligible weaknesses. If you’re looking for a chic gaming notebook with a crisp, sharp OLED display, you should definitely take a look at the device.


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