The best gaming laptops for graphic design will have all the recommended specs as well as an operating system that matches the graphic design and apps you’ll need.
Graphic artists in search of the right laptop often find that the lowest cost laptops that also fit their requirements are categorized as gaming laptops.
Shooting for the best performance that your budget allows will benefit those that are serious about becoming a graphic designer in the long term.
This should come to no surprise because whether you’re a gamer or a graphic designer, you’ll be dealing with a lot of graphics in both scenarios and the requirements are very similar for this reason.
- Related: 7 Best Laptops for Animation Students
- Related: 9 Best Laptops for AutoCAD (Designers Guide)
- 1. Razer Blade 15: Best Gaming laptop (Good for Graphic Design)
- 2. ASUS ZenBook DUO: Best casual gaming Laptop for graphic Design
- 3. ACER NITRO 5: Best Budget Acer Gaming Laptop that is good for graphic design & illustration
- 4. ASUS ROG Strix: Best 16gb & 32gb Gaming laptop good for graphic design & Animation
- 5. DELL G7: Best Dell Laptop for Graphic design and Gaming (Rendering)
- 6. ASUS ROG Zephyrus: Best Slim laptop computer good for gaming & digital art (graphic design)
- 7. MacBook Pro 16-inch: Best Mac Laptop for graphic design and gaming
- Should I choose a windows gaming laptop or macbook for graphic design?
- App Compatibility
At a Glance – Top Picks
- Razer Blade 15: Best Gaming laptop (Good for Graphic Design)
- ASUS ZenBook DUO: Best casual gaming Laptop for graphic Design
- ACER NITRO 5: Best Budget Acer Gaming Laptop that is good for graphic design & illustration
Are Gaming laptops good for graphic design?
Yes, modern gaming laptops can easily handle graphic design software. In fact, most gaming laptops include the four main features you need as a graphic designer: a fast, reliable CPU, a significant amount of RAM, a large, vivid display, and a dedicated GPU.
Modern games like PUBG or Red Dead Redemption 2 are more than most graphic design software like Illustrator, Photoshop, or AutoCAD. For this reason, large brands like Asus or Acer promise that their gaming laptops can handle resource-intensive games with top-tier graphics.
To be more precise, there are beginner, intermediate and professional designers, and the category in which you belong influences your choice. For example, if you are a beginner artist, designer, or photographer, an entry-level gaming laptop like Nitro 5 is the perfect choice for you. Accordingly, an affordable GTX 1650 GPU can easily cope with most Illustrator or Photoshop tasks.
On the other hand, if you consider yourself a demanding, professional designer and deal with large 3d or animation projects, you should consider investing in a more advanced gaming laptop.
In this case, you could go for a performance-beast like Asus Zephyrus that will fluidly run animation software (like Maya or Cinema 4) and 3D modelling software (like 3ds Max).
If you know what you need from a graphic design laptop, we are confident that this list has the perfect gaming laptop for your designing needs. Without further ado, let’s dive deeper into it:
Best Gaming Laptops good for graphic design
Considering a gaming laptop is a perfect for graphic designers to fulfill their required specs while keeping the price point low. Below you’ll find which work the best, why they are preferred as well as the pros and cons associated with each pick.
1. Razer Blade 15: Best Gaming laptop (Good for Graphic Design)
Razer is the number one brand on the market when it comes to gaming peripherals. Accordingly, when they decided to start developing gaming laptops, the gaming community knew their laptops would also be beautiful, reliable, and fast. Well, Blade 15 is all those things and more, and we highly recommend it as our list’s all-rounder.
In fact, the latest Razer Blade has everything a graphic designer needs at a reasonable price for a top-tier laptop. Thus, it is an excellent choice for both graphic design students and professionals.
Razer included one of the fastest i7 CPUs on the market and combined it with 16GB of RAM. However, Blade’s most significant advantage is its GPU. The RTX 2070 is one of the best graphics cards for personal use, and its 6GB of RAM will handle pretty much anything for years.
Thus, Blade’s hardware set can easily cope with graphic design software while being extremely suitable for 3D modeling and animation. As mentioned above, most designers ask for a big display.
The blade 15 has an impressive 15.6” FHD screen, with a 144Hz refresh rate and up to 100% sRGB support. In a few words, this is the best display on the list, and it offers the ultimate, most accurate (color-wise) designing experience.
Finally, this laptop has a fast, 512 SSD drive, all the ports a designer needs (Thunderbolt 3, USB Type-A and C, HDMI, etc.), and a stunning, slim design with Razor’s unique Chroma RGB lighting. To sum up, Blade 15 is a fantastic choice for you as a beginner or experienced designer if you also consider yourself a top gamer.
2. ASUS ZenBook DUO: Best casual gaming Laptop for graphic Design
Asus didn’t design Zenbook Duo only for gaming, but it has everything a gamer needs. The brand managed to develop one of the most popular, extremely flexible laptops on the market. For this reason, it would be a deficiency if we didn’t include it in our list.
The Zenbook DUO is one of the best solutions for both amateurs and professionals when it comes to graphic design. One of the device’s best features is the fantastic 12.6” ScreenPad Plus. This secondary touchscreen is on the top of the keyboard, and it’s perfect for designers, as you can use it for drawing with an active pen.
Asus includes the brand’s advanced active stylus, a stand, and a sleeve. Thus, by purchasing this device, you automatically have everything you need to draw on Illustrator or Photoshop edits. Performance-wise, this laptop has the same powerful i7 processor as Razer Blade,16GB of RAM, and a vast 1TB SSD.
When it comes to the GPU, the GeForce MX250 isn’t as powerful as other GPUs on our list, but it can easily handle all illustration, 3D-modeling, or animation software demanding games (on low to mid graphics). Thus, if you consider yourself a casual gamer, this Acer device is perfect for you.
To sum up, Asus Zenbook Duo is the best solution on the list for people who want an innovative, unique drawing and designing experience. Thus, if you think that graphic design is more critical for you than gaming, the Zenbook Duo offers everything you need and more.
3. ACER NITRO 5: Best Budget Acer Gaming Laptop that is good for graphic design & illustration
If you are a graphic design student or beginner, then the Acer Nitro 5 is simply the most affordable gaming laptop on the list, specially developed for your needs.
When it comes to performance, Nitro is equipped with the latest i5-9300H CPU and 8GB of RAM, which you can later upgrade. Acer also included the most popular entry-level dedicated GPU, the GTX 1650. This set is perfect for every illustration software (like Illustrator, Photoshop, or Lightroom), but it can also handle (relatively small) 3D models and all animation software like Maya.
The laptop’s hardware is completed with a 256GB SSD and an incredible 15.6” IPS display which is the perfect size for designing and gaming. When it comes to the gaming experience, Nitro 5 has a beautiful, futuristic design with a backlit keyboard, and its GPU allows you to play the most demanding games on High (or even Ultra) graphics.
To sum up, although Nitro 5 is not suitable for large, demanding 3d modeling projects, it is the perfect choice for all Illustration and animation software and demanding games. Especially considering its price, this laptop offers a fast, lag-free experience, and for this reason, it is one of the best budget choices for students or beginners.
4. ASUS ROG Strix: Best 16gb & 32gb Gaming laptop good for graphic design & Animation
Asus ROG Strix is an excellent alternative to Razer’s Blade 15. No matter if you are a graphic design student or a professional designer, Strix can handle everything at a sensible price.
When it comes to performance, ROG Strix has a similar set to Razer’s gaming laptop. Its Octa-Core i7 processor is perfect for any graphic design project, and you can also clock it to 5GHz. This CPU is combined with 16 or 32GB of RAM. For those who don’t deal with 3D modeling or large animation projects, the 16GB version is more than enough for any rendering process.
The only spec that Blade is better than ROG Strix is the GPU. However, Strix’s RTX 2060 is also one of the best GPUs on the market, and it is ideal for any design or gaming process. Likewise, this GPU can easily cope with every challenging graphic design software and allow you to play any modern game in Ultra graphics.
ROG Strix has a stunning 15.6 IPS display, with a 240Hz response rate (not much better than Blade’s 144Hz), which proves to be ideal for design software and a fast 512GB SSD.
In a few words, Asus Strix is an excellent alternative to Razer’s Blade 15, as it is cheaper and can easily manipulate everything you ask. Thus, if you don’t need the best GPU on the market and Razer’s design doesn’t feel like a good reason to waste more money, Strix is one of the best top-tier laptops to choose.
5. DELL G7: Best Dell Laptop for Graphic design and Gaming (Rendering)
Dell G7 is simply the best mid-tier gaming laptop we could find. Thus, if you don’t want to spend a lot for a device like the ROG Zephyrus or Strix, but you want a more advanced solution than the entry-level Nitro 5, Dell has you covered.
As with Asus’s Strix, the G7 is perfect for every graphic designer. Dell has included a robust i5 CPU and 16GB of RAM. This is a powerful enough set to cope with most design projects, and it will allow you to draw on Illustrator and browse at the same time without any problem.
In our post on the Best Laptops for AutoCAD, there are also laptops that would work well for both gaming as well as AutoCAD and CAD work (architecture & design focused).
Where Dell G7 outshines all entry-level gaming laptops is the graphics card, as it utilizes the strong RTX 2060. This card provides a lag-free experience, no matter what design software you are working on. This RTX GPU can easily cope with demanding (animation) software like Cinema 4D.
Another unique feature of the G7 is its 17.3” screen. The G7 has the largest display on the list, specially created for those of you who don’t put comfort over portability. Moreover, the G7 has two separate hard drives (256GB SSD, 1TB HDD), which is a great advantage for most designers.
Finally, the G7 has one of the best batteries on the list. Thus, this is an outstanding laptop, specially created for those who need great specs and a large screen at a great price.
6. ASUS ROG Zephyrus: Best Slim laptop computer good for gaming & digital art (graphic design)
ROG Zephyrus is simply the best (yet most expensive) laptop on our list, ideal for professionals who deal with large animation or modeling projects. In a few words, this is a more premium alternative to ROG Strix.
Even though Zephyrus’ CPU and RAM are similar to Strix’s, its GPU is much more powerful. Zephyrus has the RTX 2070, which comes with an enormous 8GB of VRAM. This graphics card is simply the best for demanding games, animation software, and 3D models with high-quality textures.
Zephyrus Pantone Validated 15.6” display is simply breathtaking as it reveals 100% of the sRGB color gamut. All those high-end features are included in an ultra-slim (18.9 mm) and lightweight (4.4 pounds) laptop. In fact, Zephyrus is touted by many because of how thin it is. Finally, as specially designed for top gamers, Zephyrus has a vast 1TB SSD, futuristic design, and a stunning backlit keyboard.
Overall, the Asus Zephyrus is the perfect choice for any professional designer who needs a portable performance-beast. This makes for the perfect laptop for graphic design gaming and school.
7. MacBook Pro 16-inch: Best Mac Laptop for graphic design and gaming
Keeping in mind that many of our readers are Apple fans, we had to include an Apple laptop in this list. And the only Apple device that can be considered a gaming laptop is the latest MacBook Pro 16-inch.
MacBook Pro has a powerful i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and the Radeon Pro 5500M GPU. This set can easily cope with editing and graphic design software like Photoshop or Illustrator.
However, the latest MacBook Pro is ideal for animators and 3D modelers, mainly because the device’s GPU can easily handle demanding textures, rendering processes, and large-scale projects.
Also see our post on Sketchbook vs Photoshop: Which Digital Art Software is Better? This is helpful for those torn between sketching software.
When it comes to gaming, the MacBook’s graphic card outperforms entry-level dedicated GPUs like the GTX 1650 (see Nitro 5), which means you will be able to play numerous games with ultra graphics.
For all these reasons, the latest MacBook model is an excellent solution for all designers who consider themselves casual gamers but want all the perks Apple is famous for. Thus, if you want to seamlessly connect your laptop with your iPhone, for example, and love the brand’s reliability, this is the best (and only) solution for you.
How to choose a gaming laptop for graphic design
When choosing a gaming laptop for graphic design, you’ll want to make sure it has a fast gpu, good graphics card, and as much ram and storage as your budget allows for. You’ll also want to make sure it can handle being hooked up to one or more external monitors as this may make it easier to work on multiple projects and multi-task as a graphic designer.
Additionally, you may be a graphic design student and traveling to class and different locations and a lightweight gaming laptop that is highly portable will work well in this scenario.
Display: A display that is over 14 inches large and has HD resolution (minimum 1080p) is ideal in most scenarios when using a graphics design laptop that is also a gaming laptop.
RAM: 16GB or 32GB is ideal for graphic designers. You can get away with less than that, but your softwares and apps may lag, stutter, or delay.
Processor:A processor that is intel core i-7 or higher is recommended since graphic designs tasks are getting more and more demanding each year. This will help you render, export , and transfer files much faster.
Graphics Card: An NvidiaGeForce GTX 1650 or above is ideal, but even this card will become outdate in the future.
If you’re debating if you should get a gaming laptop for 3d graphics design, then simply make sure you have all the required specs beforehand, which most gaming laptops will have.
In a way, gaming laptops are made for graphic designers since they share all the same recommended specifications regarding hardware and blow away many of the other laptops that may have the same price point, but favor design and style over performance.
Should I choose a windows gaming laptop or macbook for graphic design?
While a Macbook works well, a windows laptop that is good for gaming will perform similar tasks for graphic design, yet may cost much less. Gaming laptops with a microsoft windows operating system will be compatible with a wide range of apps that graphic designers often use.
You can even use a tablet for graphic design, for example there are tablets that work well with apps like cricut and other design apps.
A gaming laptop is very compatible with all the same apps and softwares a graphic designer will need to utilize. Since it runs the same operating system (Windows), you’ll be able to explore and expand your skillset as a graphic designer by using the best graphic design apps such a sAdobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or AutoCAD.
As a graphic designer, you may also use a lot of 3D or animation softwares, such as Maya, sketchup or Cinema 4D. For this reason, a gaming laptop is a good choice for graphic designers because it can handle these tasks without any problems due to its powerful design and hardware.
In our post on the Best Laptops for Sketchup, there are also some gaming laptops we considered good for both graphic design as well as Sketchup.
Gaming laptops are also good for graphic design because they feature a large amount of RAM, an advanced graphics card, and a large and vivid display, which is really important for graphic designers.
In most scenarios an Artist may use apps such as adobe animate, photoshop, illustrator, AutoCAD and more.
Graphic designers also use a lot of 3D or animation software or software that creates vector and logo creation. Gaming laptops can handle all of these.
As with most hardware choices, choosing a laptop that matches your level of expertise is a must.
Gaming laptops also have high tech specs such as more ports and connectivity for optimal performance. The powerful CPUs and the capability to handle graphic design apps makes gaming laptops an ideal choice for many beginner and pro graphic designers.