The 5 Best Laptops For Counter Strike : Global Offensive (CS:GO) in 2022
The best laptop for Counter Strike: Global Offensive or any of the past versions ( CS 1.5, 1.6 , Source and Condition Zero) must eliminate frame latency by outputting high and consistent framerates throughout a game.
What’s frame latency?
You ever had really bad LAG you were mostly spending 3/4 of every match as an spectator because it seemed like everyone suddenly went Pro? Well that’s frame latency on a bigger and more obvious scale caused by poor internet connection.
There is a similar type of input lag that’s much less obvious which only occurs when you lack proper hardware, it usually goes by the name of frame latency.
It’s basically the time it takes for the game to register your clicks (firing).
This delay or frame latency starts to become more obvious as you up the settings and you start to unexpectedly lose matches you won before on lower settings.
This is only important if you want to play competitively though. If you want to have fun then you probably don’t need to worry about it.
As for me…
Because I’ve been playing the game since the 90s …. I like to have fun and pwn people at the same time, otherwise I’d probably jump on the fortnite bandwagon.
Now there are tons of things to talk about besides hardware ( key bindings, mouse sensitivities, best settings,etc) but we’ll leave to another post.
What we’ll do here…
Is make sure you eliminate any input delays, frame dips and get a consistent flow of high framerates by choosing the right kind of specs on a laptop.
Best CS:GO Laptop Requirements
You don’t have to spend a lot of money. CS:GO isn’t as hardware demanding as most modern fps games.
If you can get yourself a laptop with a dedicated card, then you’ll get enough hardware to reduce input delays and get super high framerates even for the Majors (Global Offensive Major Championships ).
350-500$: should get you a nice and consistent 80fps to have a blast and still pwn people (Medium Settings ~60fps).
500-700$: will get you a dedicated GPU on a laptop which should let you soar into the 100s at the highest settings.
+700$: if you have a higher budget then I urge you to invest on a laptop with a built-in 120-144Hz instead of a laptop with a higher or better GPU. I will explain the reasons soon.
Before I go and show you what are the good deals as of July 2022, let us go into more detail about the hardware to be watch out for.
We’ll ignore the official site requirements and instead go with what most players (you can check out what they say on reddit) and my Counter Strike Clan has found to be useful through benchmarks (you can check the links to our benchmarks down below ).
Laptops come with two types of GPUs on board (as you probably know): integrated and dedicated.
integrated GPU (iGPU): They’re only good to get you 80fps on low settings w/ 720p resolution. If this all you can afford make sure to grab one with the latest: Intel UHD , Iris , Xe or AMD Vega 5, 7 , 8.
dedicated GPU(dGPU): You have to be careful not to pick the following dedicated GPUs:
For the simple reason that they are slower than modern integrated GPUs and just as expensive as the more powerful and modern GPUs:
You don’t really have to watch out for CPUs when shopping for a gaming laptop for this game because virtually ALL will have the latest and fastest one that will nicely match whatever “dedicated GPU” or “integrated GPU” you’re getting.
CS:GO is a relatively old game. It doens’t have tons of data files so you don’t really need 16GB. 8GB should provide plenty of headroom for Windows and all its ram-eating processes for CS:GO to run without any hiccups.
Type of storage(SSD or HDD) doesn’t have any effect on framerates. The game weights next to nothing so any size is fine too.
If you’ve got a +$700 budget and you want to play competitively then make sure to look for 120Hz or 144Hz display, you may be surprised to find them under $800 sometimes and this will make a MASSIVE difference when it comes to spotting enemies. Obviously, the best resolution for CS:GO is going to be 1080p. It’s just both fluid and detailed enough.
Top 5 Best Laptops for Counter Strike: Global Offensive
Most of these laptops will have a dedicated GPU ( only one will have an integrated GPU, the last one ) so they will be more on the expensive side (+$550-$750).
I’m not going to restate specifications or babble about how awesome they are.
I’ll just get straight to the point and tell you what kind of performance you can expect I will attach a video linking to a benchmark on our youtube channel so you can get a sense of their performance.
I’ll start with what I’ve personally tested as the best laptop for CS:GO.
1. Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3
Best Gaming Laptop for CS GO
AMD Ryzen 5 5500H
RTX 3050Ti 4GB vRAM
512GB NVMe SSD
15.6” 120Hz FHD IPS
This Ryzen 5 5600H + 3050Ti RTX may sound a bit overkill for this game alone but having tested this out myself, there are several reasons to opt for a 3050Ti over a 1650GTX besides the fact that this model isn’t that much expensive than a 1650GTX laptop.
GPU: 3050Ti RTX
First of all, the 3050Ti is definitely overkill for this game but if you check my benchmarks on the video down below, you’ll notice two things:
- Even at the highest settings and Anti-Aliasing mode ON and the most hardware demanding Anti-Aliasing Mode, the GPU does not run HOT and does not need to go full wattage. It’s really easy for this GPU to handle the game even at the highest settings. What does it mean for competitive gaming?
- Well look at the video again, there is no LAG whatsoever, not even a bit of lag spikes everything’s just smooth and I was able to down several enemies with just a deagle 45.
- This also means this laptop should last you several years even if you play the game for several hours a day because the temperatures are always within safe numbers (Below 85 Celcius).
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600H
Once you shop around 3050Ti laptops you’ll notice they’ll come with all sorts of different CPUs. For gaming purposes, I suggest you pay ZERO attention to what CPU you end up with as long as you get a 3050Ti, the performance should be nearly the same.
The extra advantage of the AMD Ryzen 5 5600H here is that it has better “multi-core” performance. For gaming, it just isn’t useful. However, if you’ve got a lot of stuff of background like myself in that video (software to run the benchmarks and other stuff), it’s going to help NOT to interefere with the game itself (no lag spikes). It’s not a requirement but a nice addition to an already superb laptop.
Display: 120Hz FHD
I’m not sure if you have a 120Hz display right now because that’s the only way you’re going to notice the video run buttery smooth (2x as much as 60Hz), that’s because this laptop ALSO has a 120Hz on it and it’s all under 800 bucks. Most 3050Ti laptops, in fact, 1650GTX laptops (which are cheaper) will only have a 60Hz so watch out for this my friend because it makes a HUGE difference as you’ve seen in the intro of this post.
Battery: there’s no way around, the battery plain SUCKS. I’m not sure why because this laptop definitely has OPTIMUs on it, if you don’t know what that is, just forget it but a laptop with optimus should have better battery life than this (in exchange of lower GPU performance).
This one will get you 2 hours at best (without gaming) and much less when gaming, so it’s definitely going to be a plugged in experience. Note that “performance mode” aka the GPU running at full wattage does not work without having the laptop plugged into an outlet.
Ports: It’s got all the ports you need, x3 USB ports an HDMI port and so on. The problem is that the USB ports are located on the right side of the machine which means once you plug in a mouse (through the USB port) it’ll kind of get in the way of your hand moving around when you game. For me this isn’t a problem because my sensitivity is pretty high (4.5?) but if you have low sensitivity (which you shouldn’t really if you’re serious about this game) you may bump into the USB cable of your mouse.
If this is a problem, buy a mouse with a Thunderbolt port which is located on the left side of this laptop. Problem solved. Anyways, this isn’t a reason not to buy this laptop as you can see in the video i was pretty much wtfpwning those guys with just a deagle 45 and it definitely was MUCH easier with the power and smoothness the machine had.
2. Ideapad Gaming i3
Best Budget Laptop For CS:GO – 1650GTX
Core i5 10300H
GeForce GTX 1650 4GB vRAM
256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
15.6” 120Hz Full HD IPS
The Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3 laptop sells for around 730 bucks (on a good day), if you’re ~100 dollars short to buy it. You can a 1650GTX laptop.
A 1650GTX will also let you run the game on High settings with +100 fps , more specifically around ~130 on average as you can see in the video below:
This is just 30 fps less than what the 3050Ti could output which is surprising knowing the fact that a 3050Ti is significantly faster and more powerful than a 1650GTX.
But let me tell you this my friend, this only applies to the laptop we tested in the video. Why? Without going into specifics, that laptop does not have OPTIMUS so it acts like it has a MUX Switch (this increases GPU performance by approx 15-20%). You can read the details on my MUX Switch post here to know how this works.
The whole point is that the ONLY 1650GTX laptop that will give you this much performance is the Lenovo L340. No other laptop we’ve come across has this much GPU performance for a 1650GTX.
CPU: Core i5 11300H vs Core i5 10300H vs Core i5 9300H
Now the laptop I have featured in the picture above is NOT the Lenovo L340 we tested and that’s because people are REALLY reluctant to buy laptops with “older” generation CPUs despite the fact that the performance for most games like CS:GO only depends on the GPU because most laptops with the same GPU will have CPUs with similar performance.
My advice to you is to get the Lenovo L340 which you’ll see on the table below.
But if you’re one of those guys that really want a more “recent” laptop, be my guest and grab the one featured here. It’s the best deal we could find with a more recent generation CPU.
Display: 60Hz FHD
Unfortunately, most 1650GTX laptops only have 60Hz displays. You’ll be very hard-pressed to find a 120Hz display unless you step into the 700-800 dollars territory which for you might as well buy a 3050Ti laptop.
The prices of the alternatives below are updated on a regular basis. Just let me remind you NOT to pay for a 1650GTX anything more than 700 dollars unless you’re gettinga 17” display more storage and a 144Hz such as in the case of the ASUS TUF down below (you’re not going to find a 17” 3050Ti laptop with a 144Hz display unless you pay +900 bucks).
|MSI GF63||i5 9300H||1650GTX||665||60Hz|
|ASUS TUF||i5 10300H||1650GTX||818||144Hz 17”|
|Ideapad||i5 11300H||1650GTX||699||60Hz 15”|
3. HP Pavilion Gaming
Best Laptop For Counter Strike GO – 1650GTX + 120Hz Display
AMD Ryzen 5 5600H
GTX 1650 4GB vRAM
256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
15.6” 120Hz FHD IPS
The next series of 1650GTX laptops you’ll come across will have a AMD Ryzen5 CPUs. They aren’t necessarily a LOT cheaper than the 3050Ti Laptop we went over or the 1650GTX laptop with the Core i5 CPU but who knows if you click the links you may find them cheaper because the 6th generation Ryzen 5 CPUs are here.
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600H vs AMD Ryzen 5 4600H
These CPUs are definitely “faster” than the Core i5 counterparts. The AMD Ryzen 5 5600H is faster than the Core i5 10300H and sometimes even the Core i5 11300H and the Ryzen 5 4600H on par with the Core i5 10300H (despite having being released later) and faster than the Core i5 9300H. So yes you’ll squeeze a few more framerates here and there.
But let me tell you a secret: if you dual channel an AMD Ryzen 5 CPU you’ll get significant gains, apparently the AMD Ryzen 5 CPUs work Way better once you dual-channel RAM. If you don’t know what that is please read my dual-channel post.
GPU: 1650GTX GPU
Most 1650GTX laptops with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H or AMD Ryzen 5 4600H do not seem to have a MUX switch and they have optimus on, you can tell this by how much they use the integrated GPU when gaming (I will attach a video of an AMD Ryzen soon) so expect less performance than the Core i5 9300H (lenovo l340) but better performance than all other 1650GTX latpops with a Core i5 .
Display: 120Hz or 60Hz
Most will have a 60Hz and a few a 120Hz display, I would personally NOT pay for a 120Hz display unles prices are well below 700 bucks. Because 30-50 more bucks can get you a 120Hz and a 3050Ti.
I have tested this laptop on my channel on several other games but not with CS:GO just yet. So just take my word for it now: the performance is slightly less than the Core i5 9300H Lenovo but better than all other Core i5 laptops (due to the lack of a MUX switch or the presence of optimus).
Alternatives & Price:
Again I’d advice you to stay clear from these guys unles they’re well below 700 bucks! I’m listing some alternatives here hoping prices go down in the coming weeks. There’s really no reason to pay more money for a 1650GTX laptop with a Ryzen 5, the Core i5 will work just as good especially if you dual channel it.
|Ideapad 3||R5 5600H||1650GTX||120Hz||689|
4. Acer Nitro 5
Best Affordable Laptop For CS:GO – 120Hz Display
Core i5 10300H
RTX 3050Ti 4GB vRAM
256GB PCIe NVMe
15.6 ” 144Hz FHD
Before we get to the cheapest laptop on the list, let me show you one more alternative for those “NOT SHORT ON CASH”. The almighty Acer Nitro with the 3050Ti, by far, based on the specs the best laptop for CS:GO on this post and as of 2022 (as far as I’m aware as of July 2022).
The only reason why I didn’t post it first: price. It’s just under 800 bucks which is definitely not something you want to spend for this game alone but rather for more GPU demanding games.
CPU: Core i5 10300H vs Ryzen 5 5600H
The Core i5 10300H this Acer Nitro 5 features is definitely a bit slower than the Ryzen 5 5600H for counter-strike purposes, as long as you dual-channel RAM in the future, it should perform just as good as Ryzen 5 5600H. Anyways, the FPS gains may be 5-10fps on best case scenario under high settings. So again CPU is not a concern for this game UNLESS you lack a dedicated GPU (which we’ll talk about soon in the cheapest laptop option that comes next).
GPU: 3050Ti GPU
The 3050Ti on this model behaves like any other 3050Ti 2020-2021 model: it has no MUX Switch. No 3050Ti laptops made in 2021 will have a MUX Switch the only ones that do (based on researching high and low on the manufacturer’s site) are the 6th generation AMD Ryzen laptops and 12th Intel Core laptops. You don’t want to get those because right now they’re ridiculously expensive. You’re better off buying a 3060RTX with that kind of money.
Anyways, this should perform just as good as the 3050Ti laptop that was first on the list.
The cool thing about this laptop is the display. It’s not a 17 inch display, it’s just a 15 inch display but it has 144Hz which is still a good deal in 2022 as most 144Hz laptops sell well over 800 bucks. This laptop can go as low as 750 bucks on a good day! 30 bucks more expensive than the Ideapad with the 3050Ti.
Now, this is only a good investment for those looking for “REAL” competitive gaming and I mean tournament-like matches on a laptop (you’d want to do this on a desktop though but if you have no choice but to get something mobile this is it)
We don’t have benchmarks for this laptop but we should be getting them in the coming weeks. So stay tuned ! Expect same performance as the Lenovo Ideapad though (3050Ti model).
Lenovo Legion 5:
If you’ve got unlimited budget and you want a laptop not just for CS:GO but also for other more hardware demanding FPS games, after a 3050Ti laptop the Acer Nitro 5 & The Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3, you should ONLY consider the Lenovo Legion 5 simply because it is one of the few laptops with a 3060RTX running at full wattage (130W) . Lower wattage 3060RTX laptops (usually 85W) will perform just as good as 3050Ti which defeats the whole purpose of buying one.
Anyways I go into much more detail in my “What is GPU (TGP) or GPU Wattage” post . YOU MUST read it if you want to buy much more power and expensive laptops (perhaps for 1440p gaming).
5. Acer Aspire 5
Budget Laptop For CS:GO
Core i5 1135G7
Intel Xe Graphics
256GB SSD NVMe PCIe
If you are really short on cash so you can’t afford a laptop with a dedicated GPU but you still want to be sort of competitive in this game, you want to look at laptops with either the Ryzen 5 5500U or the Core i5 1135G7 ONLY.
CPU: Core i5 1135G7 & Ryzen 5 5500U – Only good choices for competitive gaming on a budget
The reason is simple, these two CPUs are not only damn fast (compared to the Core i3 and Ryzen 3 versions) but they also have the latest integrated GPUs which are either the Vega RX 7 or the Intel Xe Graphics. If you check the tutorial that comes right after this review, you’ll see a bunch of links and benchmark tests proving that these two integrated GPUs which are paired up with these two CPUs are just as fast as 2GB vRAM dedicated GPUs like the MX250 and even the MX350.
GPU: RX Vega 7 & Intel Xe
I go a bit more in depth about these two GPUs but basically if you want them to run at the same speed with the same power as the 2GB vRAM dedicated GPUs of the MX series you want to install more than 8GB RAM, the extra RAM is going to act sort of as “vRAM” for the integrated GPU which will masssively improvement graphics performance. Again you can check the details down below.
There are a bunch of alternatives you can pick online just type in the search bar: AMD Ryzen 5500U laptop or Core i5 1135G7 Laptop and you should pay no more than 500 bucks for either of these as the slightly better and faster MX450 laptops can be as low as 550 bucks.
If you want to look at cheaper options, you may want to look at my best gaming laptops under 700 post here. I also go over the MX350 and MX450 laptops there and I happen to update that post on a regular basis too.
Now if you do buy a laptop like this or a cheaper laptop like the Acer Aspire 5 with the Core i3. Be sure to check out what the best cs go settings are for a low end laptop:
How To Buy The Best Laptop For Counter Strike GO
Hardware requirements to play the game are pretty low. How much hardware you need will depend on how high you want framerates to be.
60 fps vs ~120fps
Most people including myself can easily get by with 60fps on public servers, deathmatch servers, etc.
However, if you want to be competitive or if you want play clan matches, having more than 100fps, ideally 120fps will slightly help you overall for the following reasons:
- When you’re going around the map, your fps is going to drop by 20 on average due to smoke granades, close shooting, flash grandes, etc. Going for higher framerates kind helps offset this by keeping framerates high consistently throughout every instance of the game.
- High framerates when paired with high refresh rates (+120Hz) will slightly help with reflexes. Basically, you’ll be able to spot enemies slightly faster (I would say by a few milliseconds) but then again you know how much this slow time interval can mean in a 1vs1 fight.
GPU (Graphics Card)
This is the #1 hardware component behind 60-120fps.
It all basically comes down whether or not you can get a laptop with either one of the latest integrated GPUs or ANY dedicated GPU.
“Integrated GPUs” have come a long way. They are not useless, the vast majority of integrated GPUs (made within the past few years) such as the:
Will get you at least ~60fps on 1080p when roaming around the map (going down to 40fps with granades and on fights).
Those in green act more like a dedicated GPU once you add a bit of extra RAM, that is, they will perform as good as dedicated GPUs which we’ll talk about soon.
You can corroborate their relative performance by checking out benchmarks on notebookcheck:
For example , here we have the RX Vega 8 which as you can see gives you around 80FPS on high settings.
RX Vega 8 , Vega 7:
The RX Vega 7 sits slightly below the RX Vega 8 so you can expect similar performance as shown below:
You can also look up the performance of the Xe graphics card to conclude it performs just as good as most entry level dedicated GPUs as shown below.
Cheaper and older iGPUs:
Slightly older iGPUs are found on 250$ laptops either from Amazon or from eBay (~2017 laptops) with the following iGPUs:
Intel: Intel 520, Intel 620
AMD: R6 Carrizo. Vega X (X=3,5,7,9) with no RX.
If you have a +$500 budget you don’t need to settle for integrated GPUs or the low entry level dedicated GPUS (MX150, MX250, MX230).
Depending on your budget you can have any of the following dedicated GPUs which will ALL run the game at +80fps on High Settings (except those in gray).
|RX 550||640||4GB||1287 – 1476||+950M|
|RX 560X||1024||4GB||1172 – 1275||1050GTX|
|RX 6700S||2304||10GB||1890||~3060RTX (Low wattage)|
Gray: Basically those in gray have the performance of the latest integrated GPUs which can be found on 500$ laptops so it’s definitely not worth investing. Most of the time you’ll find them as high as 700 dollars which is ridiculous.
Blue: If you’ve got a budget above 550 dollars, you want one of these. If your budget can go as high 700 , you are entitled to a 1650GTX. Regardless any of these should get you into the 80s at maximum settings , the 1650GTX and its equivalents as high as 100fps 1080p maxx settings.
Green: This is as far as I’d go for this game alone and in fact it is what my current rig has. The cool thing about the 3050Ti as I said before is that you can sometimes find them for the price of a 1650GTX and yet performance is significantly better. The other green GPUs are going to be more expensive despite having about the same performance (CS:GO doesn’t care about vRAM, it’s more of a “clock speed ” kind of game in the GPU department as well.).
Pink: Totally overkill for CS:GO. You may want to get these only because they usually come with a 144Hz display but that’s about it. The dGPU is way too powerful and won’t make a difference compared to green GPUs even on MAX Settings, yes you’ll get higher framerates but it isn’t necessarily going to bump up your gaming (~120 fps is considered to be as much as you’re going to need competitive gaming and tournaments).
9th, 7th and 8th Generation NVIDIA
The game was written in 2012 so all of these GPUs are totally compatibles witih CS:GO but if we are talking about laptops, you can expect the performance of integrated GPUs like the Intel UHD, Intel HD, Vega 5 (~60fps at low settings 720p). You may need to upgrade drivers, otherwise, the game will not recognize the dGPU and will resort to use the integrated GPU which is several several times weaker than recent iGPUs (gaming come with two GPUs on board: the dedicated and integrated).
If you shop for gaming laptops with dedicated GPUs, there’s really no reason to be nitty picky about what CPUs you’ve got on-board. Virtually every laptop with a modern dedicated GPU will have a correspondigly powerful CPU. For example, say you buy a 1650GTX, you won’t get a CPU more powerful than a Core i5 11300H whicih is plenty fast.
Now you may find laptops with the same GPU (Ex: GTX 1650) but with different CPUs (Core i5 11300H, Core i5 10300H, AMD Ryzen 5 5600H, AMD Ryzen 5 4600H).
So there’s really no reason to insist on a slightly faster CPU, framerates will be almost the same!
Clock Speed vs Number of Cores
Now if you want to be nitty picky because you want to extract every framerate out of your budget, then focus on “clock speed” performance over number of cores.
Picking the CPU with more clock speed performance is easy if we’re talking about the same brand.
Intel Core i5 9300H (4.1 GHz) 4. vs Core i5 1135G7 (4.5 GHz) , the former has more clock speed performance.
If you want to compare AMD vs Intel CPUs, you’d have to use benchmarks such as those found from notebookcheck.
Streamers don’t need to worry about multiple cores either. Virtually every, modern, gaming laptop has a multi-core six or even 8 core CPU so you can
You only need enough RAM for Windows and its background processes NOT to interfere with the game.
4GB RAM: You’ll only find these on older refurbished laptops. If you get this much you must upgrade RAM to at least 8GB RAM especially if you’re planning on installing Windows 10 or 11.
8GB RAM: Ideally you want this in ANY laptop including gaming laptops, this will give you 4GB of headroom for CS:GO (which only takes 1GB really).
12-16GB RAM: If you’re NOT buying a gaming laptop with a DEDICATED GPU but rather an integrated GPU ….then, like I mentioned earlier, consider upgrading RAM to 16GB RAM (dual-channel). This will substantially increase iGPU performance thus returning high framerates.
full HD + IPS
1080p gaming: if you want to game at FHD resolution you obviously need a FHD display. The same applies for 2k gaming and 4k gaming, you’d need a QHD or a UHD display.
You don’t necessarily have to look for 1080p displays if you’re buying a gaming laptop because virtually every gaming laptop with a dedicated GPU will have by default a FHD siplay.
IPS resolutions are more or less mainstream on gaming laptops too if you can’t get one (they only add a touch of nice colors for gaming) , then TN displays are fine too in fact they have better “response times” so framerates will be displayed slightly faster.
Refresh Rates vs FPS
Now if you really want your display to output every single framerate so it looks several times smootoher, you’ll need a 120Hz-144Hz display.
The Hz stands for hertz, this means how many times your display will “refresh the screen”. If it can refresh the screen up to 120 times per second that means it can accomodate to show you up to 120 frames per second.
60Hz: Most laptops only have this much though which means even if your rig can output +100 frames per second, you’ll only be able to see 60 frames per second. That doesn’t mean having high framerates isn’t useful, they still help you reduce delay times and lag so you can game with no disadvantages over those with great rigs.
120-144Hz: Only +800 dollar laptops have this much refresh rates the advantage here is that not only will the game look twice as smooth but it will also slightly help you with reflexes because very small details (a portion of an enemies body hiding) will show faster.
If you have any comments, suggestions, questions about a laptop you’ve come across or recommendations for other laptops. Please let us know in the comments below,.
- I am physicist and electrical engineer. My knowledge in computer software and hardware stems for my years spent doing research in optics and photonics devices and running simulations through various programming languages. My goal was to work for the quantum computing research team at IBM but Im now working with Astrophysical Simulations through Python. Most of the science related posts are written by me, the rest have different authors but I edited the final versions to fit the site's format.
One thought on “The 5 Best Laptops For Counter Strike : Global Offensive (CS:GO) in 2022”
Thank you. Helpful.