The craving for entertainment in humans is indestructible. For some laptop users, the passion for games exceeds all other needs for using such a mobile device. The demand for video system performance is constantly growing. And the question arises: which video card is better for gaming on a laptop? To answer it, it is worthwhile to compare the functionality of embedded and discrete solutions, as well as consider their role in the operation of the mobile platform. And of course, explore the best laptop graphics card for gaming.
What do integrated and discrete graphics cards do?
The role of both video cards in a laptop is the same: to calculate graphic data and generate a signal for displaying a picture on the monitor. However, their functions are very different.
- An integrated graphics card is several times worse and sometimes orders of magnitude worse than a discrete one. Its task is to save energy . It does not drain the battery much. Manufacturers get the opportunity, without reducing the autonomy, to reduce the weight of the laptop. By installing a battery of reduced capacity in it, it is possible to win in the dimensions of the case.
- A discrete graphics card is a computational monster. It is she who gives the greatest advantages in games . The best laptop graphics cards can easily meet the needs of the most demanding applications. And the top solutions from NVIDIA do it with large reserves, in synthetic tests showing a frame rate several times higher than the recommended 50 frames per second.
You can improve the capabilities of your laptop. Replacing a discrete graphics card with another model that can be installed in one or another case, it is easy to significantly increase the performance in games. With an integrated chip, things are much more complicated. Some laptops provide for its replacement with a more powerful one, while others do not provide such an opportunity. Third, the most inexpensive, use the processor core to calculate graphics, allocating the amount of RAM for this. In this case, we are not talking about any replacement cards.
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How to buy the right laptop
The number of notebook offers today breaks all records. Each company seeks to present models in all price segments designed for a specific audience. Among all the products, the user needs to choose the best. And if you want to save money and later install a more powerful video card, you should choose the right model.
- Processor type . In order for a video card to show its full potential, it should not be installed in a system with a weak processor. It is recommended to buy a laptop with a chip of a class not lower than Intel Core i5.
- The voltage (class) of the processor . Most modern graphics cards require standard power. Installed in a system with low voltage, they will not show all their power. The type of power can be found by marking the processor class. The ending U means that it is low-voltage, with fewer cores. Such a platform will not be able to show maximum gaming performance. It is recommended to choose laptops with HQ class processors and other high-voltage ones.
- Integrated video . If the laptop has the ability to later install a discrete card, it is recommended to choose a model with the most advanced graphics chip. The cores of the 7th generation processors show themselves well. They are called Intel HD Graphics and have numbers from 610 to 630. Intel Iris Plus 640, 650 chips have greater performance, comparable to inexpensive discrete cards. For unassuming users, they can replace cards of the NVIDIA GTX 920M, 930M class.
Today, there is intense competition in the video accelerator market. When asked which video card is best for a laptop, they often bring one of the NVIDIA products. On many sites on the Internet there is a table listing the test results for many accelerator models of this brand. However, AMD Graphics card AMD Radeon cards should not be discounted. The company does not actively promote, does not make vivid advertising campaigns, however, its decisions on balancing price and performance often bypass NVIDIA products ( interested in Nvidia Graphics Cards List).
Best Laptop Graphics Card For Gaming
- 10. Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
- 9. AMD Radeon R7 M340
- 8. NVIDIA GeForce 930M
- 7. NVIDIA Quadro M600M
- 6. AMD Radeon RX 560X
- 5. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop)
- 4. AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870
- 3. AMD Radeon RX 580 (Laptop)
- 2. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
- 1. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop)
10 Best Laptop Graphics Card For Gaming
The ranking of video cards for laptops includes a variety of solutions. There are options for those who want to be able to play simple games with a minimum investment. There are offers of the middle segment. And of course, top-end video accelerators are presented that can handle any task.
10. Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
The integrated chip model is starting the rating of mobile video cards . Today, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 is installed on the Apple MacBook, Microsoft Surface, and other extremely expensive laptops. However, this graphics core is announced in all Intel processors with the Kaby Lake core (version 9.5), so it will soon be possible to buy a mobile platform on such chips for a reasonable price.
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 works with memory type DDR3, DDR4, shows 134073 points in the 3DMark Ice Storm test, 15520 points in 3DMark Cloud Gate. Given that such a hardware solution is offered completely free, it is an acceptable option for economical users . It is enough to buy a laptop with an Intel processor of 9.5 generation to get a fairly powerful and productive integrated graphics card.
- integrated processor core;
- performance at the level of inexpensive discrete cards;
- does not require maintenance;
- works with two types of RAM;
- has an extended internal cache for data processing.
- replacement and modification is not possible;
- processors of this generation are expensive;
- pulls demanding games only on low detail;
- not sold as a standalone solution.
9. AMD Radeon R7 M340
This card in 2018 and 2019 can be considered the minimum bar . This is a discrete accelerator installed in the third-generation PCIe interface, which does not require external additional power. The system has 320 shader processors, operates at a stable frequency of 1121 MHz and does not provide for automatic overclocking .
The map shows 69098 points in 3DMark Ice Storm, 6153 points in 3DMark Cloud Gate. In modern games, the accelerator is not able to meet the requirements of heavy applications. However, for Fornite (2018), its capabilities are higher than the minimum recommended bar. It also looks like the work of the map in GTA5. But Warcraft lovers will be satisfied with the AMD Radeon R7 M340. Its capabilities slightly exceed the maximum recommended application settings.
- You can play almost all games at the minimum settings;
- completely discrete solution;
- does not require external power;
- moderate heat dissipation.
- morally outdated;
- relatively low productivity;
- hard to buy;
- Allows you to play at maximum settings only in a small list of games.
8. NVIDIA GeForce 930M
The rating continues to be one of the most frequently encountered hardware solutions. The capabilities of the rather outdated NVIDIA GeForce 930M are enough to install this accelerator in modern laptops from HP, Asus and other manufacturers.
Important! For systems with reduced power consumption (processors labeled U), there is a performance of NVIDIA GeForce 930M with a TDP of 12 watts.
You can buy a card with both DDR3 and modern productive DDR5 memory on board . The accelerator shows 6071 points (7808 at the peak) in the 3DMark CloudGate Standard test, 56647 (80544 at the peak) in 3DMark IceStorm Standard.
- there is a version with reduced heat;
- two executions with different memory performance;
- a large number of games in which it is comfortable to play at minimum settings;
- common in modern laptops.
- demanding games do not allow playing on ultra settings;
- in most applications, even at medium settings, the frame rate is small;
- hard to buy separately for a replacement;
- morally outdated.
7. NVIDIA Quadro M600M
Another low price range card in the ranking shows very good results. In all games, it is able to provide an impressive frame rate at low settings. Even with medium, and in some high-detail applications, the picture is very comfortable.
The main advantage of the card is the use of productive DDR5 memory. The accelerator has a 128-bit bus, 2 GB of RAM in the maximum configuration. In modern operating systems, the support of DirectX 12 instruction is a great advantage .
- acceptable performance for modern games;
- support for the latest versions of graphics handlers;
- productive memory;
- stable platform.
- can only be installed on large laptops;
- heat dissipation at around 30 watts;
- morally outdated;
- hard to buy.
6. AMD Radeon RX 560X
This mid-range card is a great choice for lowly gamers. The graphics chip has excellent performance, built on a 14nm process technology. On the card in the maximum configuration, 4 GB of RAM type GDDR5 is installed. The Polaris 2110 GPU has a computational flow of 907 MHz.
The card supports DirectX 12 hardware instructions, has many outputs for connecting external monitors. There is HDMI, Display Port. The accelerator has a H.265 video hardware decoding and encoding system, which further distinguishes it from mobile video cards.
- good performance;
- acceptable price;
- optimal analogue of more expensive cards;
- common solution.
- heat dissipation 35 W;
- can only be installed on large laptops;
- HDMI port works through an adapter – converter;
- does not support shared memory mode.
5. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop)
The next card in the ranking is the laptop version of the very popular desktop accelerator . It differs from the latter in a reduced frequency, but has the same number of processing cores. The maximum configuration offers an accelerator in 4 GB of RAM class GDDR5.
The map shows 287928 points in 3DMark IceStorm UnlimitedGraphics, 18599 points in 3DMark CloudGate Standard. In modern applications in 2018, you can play quite comfortably even at medium graphics settings. So, the frame rate in Just Cause 4 reaches 41 frames per second (62 at minimum detail), in Darksiders III 50 frames per second, in Battlefield V – 48.6 fps.
Important! Such results are associated with the intricacies of the mobile version of the accelerator. In the average case, it is not far behind and offers performance about 30% higher than popular solutions of the GeForce GTX 960M class. But with good cooling in the case, it is able to show better performance.
- good performance even in modern games;
- the same number of threads with the desktop version;
- a good set of configuration options;
- chip 14 nm.
- requires a good cooling system for the laptop;
- should be installed in large laptops;
- overheats during prolonged operation with maximum load.
4. AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870
This graphics processor is a very attractive option for laptops with an installed processor with an Intel Kaby-Lake-G core. In fact, the AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870 replaces the integrated graphics. In addition, this accelerator has its own Vega GPU and can use as much as 4 GB of HBM2 standard memory. AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870 supports DirectX 12 instruction set, supports automatic clock increase mode.
Important! In games, this chip shows impressive results. It bypasses the popular NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop) and comes close to the performance of its luxury version 1050Ti.
Card performance is more than enough for all games in FullHD mode . In the applications of 2015, it will turn out to play comfortably on ultra settings. Accelerator scores 280252 points in 3DMark IceStorm, 42351 points in 3DMark CloudGate.
- a great addition for laptops with Intel processors;
- good performance;
- ability to allocate a large amount of memory;
- auto acceleration.
- installs only in small laptops;
- heat dissipation at 65 watts;
- cannot be replaced;
- cuts off the amount of RAM laptop when working.
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3. AMD Radeon RX 580 (Laptop)
The segment of expensive cards opens AMD Radeon RX 580 (Laptop). This is a fairly reasonable decision, close to the optimum in terms of the balance of value and indicators. The card is built on a Polaris 20 processor, a 14 nm manufacturing process. The product is characterized by low power consumption , which is important for a laptop. Depending on the implementation of a particular model, the accelerator may show results comparable to the desktop versions of AMD Radeon RX 480 cards.
AMD Radeon RX 580 (Laptop) does not borrow system memory, it has a 256-bit bus, it supports auto-acceleration as a GDDR5 memory subsystem. In 3DMark IceStorm UnlimitedGraphics, the accelerator is gaining 290090 points, in 3DMark CloudGate Standard – 30939 points.
The level of computing power of this card will appeal to most gamers. Thus, in the 2018 Fortnite game, 60 frames per second are reached at maximum detail, in Need for Speed Payback 2017, 76 frames at maximum, and in Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III 2017, 54 frames per second.
- excellent performance;
- optimal ratio of cost and performance;
- support for DirectX 12 instructions;
- desktop performance level.
- can only be installed on large laptops;
- specifications depend on the parameters of the laptop;
- solid power consumption;
2. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
This card is a representative of an elite class of graphics accelerators for laptops. In a standard configuration, the user is offered as much as 8 GB of GDDR5 class RAM . The accelerator is designed exclusively for gaming systems with a good cooling system for the laptop.
Important! The level of heat generation can be frightening. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop) shows as much as 150W, so you just can not do without a specialized cooling system.
In return, the card will offer very high performance . It will turn out to play at the maximum in games with a resolution of class 1140r. The graphics chip has 2048 computing pipelines. A 256-bit data bus provides up to 256 Gb / s data rates. In the 3DMark IceStorm test, the accelerator shows 328057 points, in 3DMark CloudGate – 101041. The games of 2018 show an impressive frame rate at the maximum level resolution: 79 frames per second for Just Cause 4, 87 for Darksiders III, 103 for Battlefield V.
- huge performance;
- a lot of RAM as standard;
- support for multiple graphics processing protocols;
- proprietary technologies and NVIDIA extensions.
- only for specialized systems;
- requires special cooling with heat dissipation of 150 W;
- sharply reduces the frame rate at 4K resolution.
If you want graphics card for computer gaming you can also look at Best Budget Graphics Card For Gaming.
1. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop)
Tops the ranking is a unique solution. This is an accelerator for those who want to play any games at maximum settings. Actually, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop) is immediately two cards of the GTX 1080 class, combined in SLI mode . As a result, each considers only its own frame, displaying them in turn. The total performance is almost doubled, a small minus is associated with the processing of the total amount of data.
All games of 2016, 2017 without problems go on ultra settings in 4K resolution . The applications of 2018 are comfortably served. There will be very few problems for those who want to play the top-end products of 2019.
- today’s record performance among turnkey solutions;
- 4K in almost all games;
- 8 GB of RAM GDDR5 as standard;
- Support for all proprietary NVIDIA extensions.
- only for systems with a special cooling system;
- 360 W heat dissipation, a special power system is needed;
- correctly works only with proprietary drivers;
- frame output out of sync is possible.