4 Best Laptops For Counter Strike : Global Offensive (CS:GO) 2021

At the end of the day the best laptop for Counter Strike: Global Offensive or any of the past versions ( CS 1.5, 1.6 , Source and Condition Zero) will be whichever eliminates frame dips and lag so you can get a consistent flow of framerates.

Now…

I’m not going to say I’m the best out there but I’ve been playing the CS series since the late 90s and just like the older versions the days when my framerates are consistent and my ping is low I usually end up at the top of the ranking table and might go as far as humiliating a few poor souls with my razor blade as I’d to call it.

So if you want to do that and not spend 3/4 of the match as an spectator… 

Get at least a stable 80fps and maybe stop using AoL as your internet serviced provider. 

Although framerates/low latencies won’t really improve your skills and accuracy , they will make game register your moves and shots on time and when you’re facing an enemy split seconds are all that matter.

The good news is that…

Budget laptops (400-500$) will give you the FPS you need to run the game with no lag at ~80FPS as long as you adjust the settings and resolution.

Modern mid-range gaming laptops(+650$)  will give you the framerates you need to be competitive on the game(stable ~100FPS ) and let you use much higher settings. 

Recommended Specs For CS:Global Ofensive

According to the official website the requirements for CS:GO laptops can be roughly translated to:

  • 2.4GHz CPU
  • 512MB dedicated GPU
  • 2GB RAM

That’s going to get you 60FPS at low settings. Which isn’t bad at all…but to be competitive (5vs5, tournaments,etc) you need at least 100FPS. 80FPS might be okay though.

Unfortunately low end laptops can’t reach those framerates even at low settings.

So pay close attention to these hardware recomendations especially if you want to squeeze as many framerates as you can out of a laptop.

CPU
Get the highest clock frequency you can afford. Provided you a dedicated GPU: ~ 4.5GHz will get you ~250FPS on high settings 1080p. ~ 4GHz will get you ~180FPS high settings 1080p.  

GPU
If you get an integrated GPU. You’re not gonna go past 80FPS at low settings w/ 720p. If you have to get one, make sure it’s either Intel HD 620/UHD or Vega 3, 5, 7.

Getting a dedicated GPU even if it’s entry level will get you to high settings with 100-250fps(depending on the GPU+CPU). Check the last section for benchmarks but basically:

  1. Any entry to mid-range GPU paired up with a modern 2020/2021 CPU will get you +80-100FPS at high settings 1080p. Ex: 1650GTX, 1050Ti, 1050,MX350/450, Radeon RX 560. 
  2. 1660Ti/2060RTX/Radeon RX580/3050Ti will get you 200-250FPS at high settings.
  3. 3060RTX/3070/3080/1070/1080/2070/2080 are overkill for this game. Useful for all other games though.

RAM
CS:GO is a relatively old game so it doens’t have a lot of data files. You’ll be okay with 4GB but 8GB will give you some headroom for any other background processes.

Storage
Don’t worry about it. The type of storage(SSD or HDD) won’t have any effect on your framerates. Storage space isn’t an issue either b/c the game weights next to nothing.

Display

It is my belief that you don’t need a 120Hz display to kick butt in the game. Most laptops come with 60Hz and you should be able to rank and go rambo with that. However, you’re very likely to go past +100fps so if you want to get the best out of your CPU+GPU framerate output, a 120Hz will definitely help everything easier on the eyes and run much much smoother.

I included more details and explanations on the last section, if there’s something you didn’t understand head to it

Top 5 Best Laptops for Counter Strike: Global Offensive

I’m going to list 5 laptops that can play all versions of the game but I will only be discussing their performance with CS: Global Offensive because come on now let’s be real, the past versions can run on a win 98 PC.

I’m not going to restate specifications I’ll just go straight to the point and tell you what FPS you’ll get and what makes these laptops special. We carried out some benchmarks to see the performance you might get with these laptops.


1. Lenovo Ideapad Gaming

Best Budget Laptop For CS: GO – 120Hz

  AMD Ryzen 5 5500H

  8GB DDR4

   GeForce GTX 1650 4GB vRAM

  256GB PCIe NVMe SSD

  15.6” 120Hz Full HD IPS

  4.96lbs

  5 hours

The AMD Ryzen 5 5600H + 1650GTX is actually the best  hardware configuration for the game if you want to play competitively. The 1650GTX is a mid-range GPU so you should easily  past 100+FPS with anti-aliasing ON at FHD.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600H:

This is the best CPU in the 600-800$ price range, it has more cores than the well known Core i5 processor. So streaming and multitasking it’s obviously going to be less of a hazzle.

120HZ Display:

Most laptops with mid-range GPUs cost about 650-750$ and they usually have a 60Hz display. This is one of the rare and few models with a 120Hz display at about the same price. It’s not a requirement to play the game but if you can get it at the same price, why not go for it?

Link CPU GPU Display Price*
Lenovo Legion 5 Ryzen 5 5600H 1650GTX 120Hz 779$
HP Pavilion Gaming Ryzen 5 5600H 1650GTX 60Hz 750$
HP Pavilion Gaming Ryzen 5 5600H 1650GTX 60Hz 739$

Buy Now


2. Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3

Best Affordable Laptop For CS:GO – 120Hz Display

  Core i5 10300H

  8GB DDR4

   GeForce GTX 1650 4GB vRAM

  256GB PCIe NVMe SSD

  15.6” 120Hz Full HD IPS

  5.07lb

  7 hours

 

Most laptops with a dedicated GPU in the 650-750$ price range come with a Core i5 10300H or Core i5 9300H, this is slightly weaker than the AMD Ryzen 5 5600H and the 11th generation Core i5 is pretty much just as good as the latest Ryzen 5 5600H.

So you’ll get pretty much the same framerates at high settings as long as you get the 1650GTX on it too (most Core i5 laptops have a 1650GTX anyways). 

There’s one problem though , it is very unlikely you’ll find a 120Hz display, so if you do find 60Hz displays don’t be afraid to pick one because they make zero difference in a competitive match. There’s no advatange or disadvantage in getting one.

Amazon Link CPU GPU Display Price*
HP Pavilion i5 9300H 1650 60Hz 728$
Lenovo L340 i5 9300H 1650 60Hz 750$
HP Pavilion i5 9300H 1650 60Hz 719$
Evo Gaming i5 10300H 1650 60Hz 729$
HP Pavilion i5 9300H 1650 60Hz 686$
MSI HD Gaming i5 10300H 1650 60Hz 716$
Lenovo Ideapad i5 9300H 1650 60Hz 755$
HP Pavilion i5 9300H 1650GTX 120Hz 737$

Buy Now


3. Acer Nitro 5

Best Laptop For CS:GO – 144Hz Display

  Core i5 10300H

  8GB DDR4

   GeForce RTX 3050Ti

  256GB PCIe SSD

  15 ” 144Hz Full HD IPS

  5.07lbs

  3 hours

The newest version of the Acer Nitro has the same CPU as any mid-range laptop in the 650-750$ price range (or with similar performance). However, it’s now sporting the latest entry level RTX GPU: 3050Ti which is A LOT more faster than a 1650GTX. 

3050Ti for CS:GO….

If we are talking about competitions and whatnot, you’re not really going to get any advantage with a 3050Ti GPU, nor will you get to play at even higher settings because the 1650GTX is enough to go past +100 fps at the highest settings. However, the 3050Ti will output +200FPS at the highest settings keeping the temperatures low at all times. This means you’ll be able to play the game for seriously long periods of time without autodestroying your GPU+CPU. 

144 Hz display:

That’s not even a good reason to opt for a 3050Ti just for this game. The main reason why I’m posting it here is the 144Hz display, it’s going to make the game look A LOT prettier because the display will now be able to outpout +150fps which means the game will look far more realistic and smooth.


4. Lenovo IdeaPad

Cheap Laptop For CS:GO

  AMD Ryzen 5 5500U

  8GB RAM

  AMD Radeon 7

  256GB SSD NVMe PCIe

  14” FHD 

  3.11 lbs

  8 hours

This is as cheap as it’s going to get for the game to be playable. Yes, there are cheaper laptops but they have Windows S and you can’t install CS:GO on them.

Because this is a popular CPU-GPU  there are several benchmarks on youtube where you can see the framerates and the settings it can tolerate . Most Ryzen 3 laptops will  give you 60-90fps at low settings 720p resolution with everything OFF. This Ryzen 5 is FAR more powerful so you should expect to play the game at least 1080p and low settings.

Buy Now


I tried to put the latest and best deals but I don’t have the luxury to update this post every week. So if you can’t find the model you want on stock, check out this post.  There is another writer who updates that one weekly and will have the best deals for the game. You can pick any of the models you find in that post because the game doesn’t really require a dGPU unless you want to push +100 fps at high settings


How To Buy The Best Laptop For Counter Strike GO

The hardware requirements to play the game are pretty low but you should aim to get at least 60fps and 100fps for competitions.

60FPS vs 100FPS

I would 60fps is fine for public and deathmatch servers basically just having with the game.

If you do want to join a 5v5 or just want to really be one of the top players, 100FPS helps a lot. Though it’s really unnecessary. 

Think about it if you’re getting 60fps as you move around the map, this is going to drop to 20 or even 15fps with smoke grandes and flash. But if you go for 100fps you’ll just go down to 30-50fps.

I also think that high refresh rates + higher framerates helps with your reflexes. Basically you’ll get an accurate representation of what’s really going on in real time in other words you’ll be able to strike back before you are struck down. This is why the most competitive gamers on the world spend thousands on dollars on a beast machine.

GPU (Graphics Card)

The GPU will basically dictate whether or not you’ll be able to play the game at high settings and 1080p resolution. 

Integrated GPU

“Integrated GPUs” can only get you 40-60FPS if you run the game at low settings w/ 720p. You shouldn’t pay more than 500$ for  a laptop that has one.

Plus you should only buy those laptops that have an Intel HD GPU from 5th generation (Intel 520, Intel 620) or AMD GPUs from the 6th generation (Carrizo; preferably those that come with a Ryzen CPU though: AMD Vega X).

The following table’s been taken from noteboook check:

You should not take those “FPS” numbers by heart though you’re definitely not going to get 100FPS at low settings with any integrated GPU. 

However they can be used to make relative comparisons. So leaving the Intel Iris aside, 3 good integrated graphics cards for CS:GO are:

#1 – Intel HD 620
#2 – Intel HD 520
#3 – AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo)

That table doesn’t include AMD Vega GPUs though. The AMD Vega 3 should sit right along the Intel 620.

Below are the lowest prices for laptops that I could find with two of these 3 cards today(AMD 

 
Older Integrated Cards 
 
If you find a model with an older generation card (Ex: Intel HD 4000, AMD Radeon 4). You’re going to need to set everything OFF and keep the resolution at 720 to get 40FPS. Still playable though. 

Dedicated GPUs

Name Cores vRAM Speed
MX150 384 2GB-4GB 1532
MX250 384 2GB-4GB 1582
1050 640 2GB-4GB 1493
1050Ti 768 4GB 1620
1650 1024 4GB 1560
1060 1280 6GB 1670
1660 Ti 1536 6GB 1590
1070 2048 8GB 1645
1070Ti      
1080 2560 8GB 1733
1080Ti 3584 11GB 1600
2060 1,920 6GB 1680MHz
2060 Super 2,176 8GB 1650 MHz
2070 2304 8GB 1620 MHz
2070 Super 2560 8GB 1770
2080 2944 8GB 1710
2080 Super 3072 8GB 1815 MHz
2080 Ti 4352 11GB 1650

 

AMD

Name Shaders vRAM Speed Equivalent(Gaming)
Radeon 610 320 2GB 1030  Intel UHD 620
Pro RX 555X 768 2GB 855  MX150/MX250
RadeonRX 540 512 4GB 1219 ~950M
Radeon RX 550 640 4GB 1287 – 1476 +950M
Radeon RX 560X 1024 4GB 1172 – 1275 1050GTX
RX 580 1536 6GB 1077 ~1060GTX
RX5500M 1408 8GB 1327 – 1645 ~1660Ti

 

if you get a dedicated GPU, it’s pretty much a given you’ll go past the 100fps mark. We’ll take notebook check benchmarks as accurate now because dGPUs are usually paired up with fast processors and sufficient RAM that allow accurate benchmarks.
  • Midrange(Blue) GPUs:  GeForce GT 630M  and above will manage just higher (than low) details and 2x anti-aliasing at ~100FPS.  
  • HighEnd(Green) GPUs: High settings at 1920×1080 resolution, 4x anti aliasing and +100FPS. GeForce GT 650M.  for NVIDIA and Radeon HD 7970M for AMD.

Those are old GPUs you aren’t likely  to find on the market.

-Let’s talk about youtube benchmarks and modern GPUs now :).

Mid Range GPUs

Equivalent modern GPUs: MX150,MX250,1050GTX,Pro RX 555X. These are actually called “entry level” but for CS:GO they can be considered midrange.

MX150 MX250 1050 are dedicated but only x4 as powerful as integrated. You’re only going to past 100FPS if you set everything to low although you can set the resolution to FHD (1080p). The 1050GTX can hit 80FPS at high settings on avg. though.

High End GPUs

Equivalent modern GPUs: All the GPUS in Green.

All of those GPUs can run the game at high settings with FPS ranging from 120 to 260FPS. (The 1050Ti 120FPS, the 1660Ti 260FPS).

The RTX 2060 is kind of unnecessary, there are no RTX features for CS:GO and you’ll get as many framerates as the 1660Ti. However it’s kind of affordable compared to other laptops with high end GPUs, so you might as well grab one.

Low Generation GPUs

If you venture into refurbished or used laptops or perhaps you found yourself a new laptop with an old GPU, nothing to wrong with it. The game was written in 2012 so you’ll definitely be hitting high framerates if you get the equivalent of the GPUs I listed.

If you can’t get the same FPS, it is very likely that the driver is an issue: Newer drivers will lower your FPS unnecessarily if you have an old GPU.

CPU

If you’ve got an integrated GPU, there’s only so much the CPU can do.

If you have a deicatd GPU, the CPU can push your framerates to crazy numbers.

Clock Speed vs Number of Cores

Imo, you should just focus on clock speed. MultiCores are not useful even if you’re recording your games.

High settings: If you really want to squeeze every framerate out your dedicated GPU, get a CPU with approx. ~4GHz of clock for Intel, 3.7GHz for AMD . This will make your framerates jump to +200FPS on high with a mid range CPU.

Low settings: Any GPU at 3GHz will let you hit 60FPS on at low settings but even a fraction of clock speed will make a difference in making your framerates high.

Streaming

Even if you’re streaming, you don’t need to worry about multithreading. Modern processors have at least 2 cores and the game is pretty single threaded. Although having 4-6 cores will improve streaming somewhat.

RAM

It’s kind of redundant to talk about with a game like CS:GO and the RAM modern laptops have already.

Windows 10 and CS:GO won’t go need anything more than 3GB and virtually every laptop has 4GB.

But if you’re a newb ALT+TABing a lot because you die way too fast and love to multitask then upgrade yours to 8GB if it doesn’t come with 8GB already.

Display

full HD + IPS

You want an full HD with IPS display. The FHD resolution is obviously a req if you want to play the game at FHD and the IPS helps everything look nicer and brigther. Unfortunately, this isn’t as universal as RAM so you’re going to have to double check you’re getting both of these specs on your display.

Sometimes you may find a TN display as opposed to an IPS and that’s alright, it’s only aestethics really. But anything lower than a 1080p display isn’t acceptable in 2020.

Refresh Rates vs FPS

Refresh rates is the term used to describe how many times your display “refreshes”, it’s usually 60Hz for laptops that means your display is updating the screen’s image 60 per second.

FPS are the framerates “images” that both your CPU and GPU can output to your display, this doesn’t have a limit. I’ve seen 600FPS on the game with monster rigs.

If you want to be able to “see” and “feel” every framerate your rig is outputting, then you need a display with higher refresh rates than your FPS.

If you’re outputting 120FPS (this is shown on the FPS counter) but have 60Hz, then the game is not going to look as smoother as it would with a 120HZ display.

Although there’s still an advantage on getting higher FPS than what your display can support:

60Hz vs 120Hz

Obviously it’s always better to have 120Hz if you’re getting +100FPS. So you should be cautious when checking out laptop specs because sometimes a powerful GPU like the 1660Ti(in fact it’s common) can be paired up with a measly 60Hz which doesn’t make sense.

Comments?

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,.

 

One thought on “4 Best Laptops For Counter Strike : Global Offensive (CS:GO) 2021

  • July 26, 2018 at 8:32 am
    Permalink

    Thank you. Helpful.

    Reply

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