The 5 Best Laptops For DotA 2 in 2022 (Competitive Gaming & High Framerates)

Let’s leave intros out of the way and get right into how to find the best laptop for Dota 2. 

The truth is…

The old version of DotA 2 COULD run on ANY cheap laptop ….

However…the introduction of Reborn has upped the hardware requirements a bit.

Nothing major, they just set the bar a little higher.

Now..

If you want to play the game at the highest settings, the situation completely changes. You will need a decent dedicated GPU if you want to get stable framerates throughout a match. It becomes even more important  when everyone is entangled in a group fight.

Watch me getting pwnd by a mob because the settings were too high for my laptop.

It is right there and then where you will experience framedrops if your graphics card cannot support “best looking settings”. 

Recommended Hardware Requirements For Dota 2

Now I’m sure you browsed around reddit and everyone’s telling you that any machine should be enough for you to kick butt in the game. 

That’s true…. If you are fine playing Dota 2 using the “fastest” rendering & settings.

Graphics Settings on Dota 2 go from fastest to best looking.

But if we are talking about best looking or “ultra” graphics, it is bollocks you need I’d say a 4GB vRAM dedicated GPU for competitive gaming.

Dota 2 is the oldest MOBA out there so it’s not surprising people still undermine how hardware demanding it can be.

They’ve forgotten there’s been tons of updates since the first release and ever since Steam acquired the game engine, updates are always around the corner.

GPU

1. Low or Medium Settings:  Integrated GPUs are fine. Just make sure they’re recent. The more recent the iGPU the closer it’s going to get to a dedicated GPU:

Integrated: Intel HD 520/620 Intel UHD are okay but old. AMD Radeon Vega 5/7 or Intel Xe are quite recent and as fast as entry-level dedicated GPUs.

2.  Max settings ~+100fps: Grab ANY dedicated GPU, even old ones will do. Now if you’re paying +550 dollars for a laptop with a dedicated GPU , be sure to avoid the following:

Avoid: MX150,MX250,MX230,MX350Radeon RX 555, 1050GTX (2GB , non Ti).

For the simple reason that modern integrated GPUs are cheaper (those in blue) and have as much power.

Grab instead either a 1050Ti or a 1650GTX. Do not go higher than a 4GB vRAM, this game is hardware demanding but it’s not Call of Duty!

CPU

Now if you’re on a really really low budget, it is then important to look after the CPU. If you’re budget is higher than $400, then just ignore this section since laptops which are around that price will have modern and super fast GPUs.

Dota 2 is still very CPU bound because the engine was programmed way before LoL and that’s a time when high performance dedicated GPUs were not avialable.

1. Number of cores don’t matter even if Steam claims that it does.

2. Just focus on clock speed. In other words, get the CPU with the highest “number” next to the “GHz” prefix.

a) High clock speed CPUs are those from the Intel Core i3 or Core i5 family (8th-12th generation) and any of the Ryzen CPUs from any generation.

b) Low-performance CPUs are those non-Ryzen AMD CPUs and those Intel Core CPUs from the 7th generation and below.

RAM
4GB would’ve been okay a few years ago but now Windows 10 and Windows 11 take a lot of it so at least 8GB RAM.

No need for 16GB RAM unless you’re streaming. 

Storage
FPS Wise you don’t have to get an SSD but it’s just going to make everything else faster. Virtually all modern laptops have one, it’s only an issue for those on a budget trying to grab something off of ebay. Check out my post on how to upgrade to an SSD if you have to get an HDD.

Display
Virtually every laptop with a dedicated GPU will let you run the game at +80fps (at least) on MAXED OUT Settings.

So (if you have the budget) it may be wise to grab a 120Hz display instead of opting for higher-tier GPUs. The game will look insanely realistically smooth.

Top 5 Best Laptops for DotA 2 

In these reviews I’m not going to restate specifications, they are listed there for you to see and compare.

Instead let us talk about the exact performance you can get out of each of these machines.

I’ll attach a youtube video of that model which I myself benchmarked (if available). If not, I’ll just post performance stats (framerates and settings) based on youtube benchmarks taken from other channels.  I will also advice you not to grab laptops with higher specs than what’s listed next, they’re just wasted money the game will not use any more hardware than 8GB RAM + 4GB vRAM dGPU

You may want to read the section at the very end if there’s computer jargon you don’t understand


1. Acer Nitro 5

Best Ryzen Laptop For Dota 2

  Core i5 10300H

  8GB DDR4

   GeForce RTX 3050Ti 4GB vRAM

  256GB PCIe SSD

  15 ” 144Hz Full HD IPS

  5.07lbs

  3 hours

It may come to as a surprise if you know anything about the dedicated GPUs to see the 3050Ti, I’m sure you’re thinking that it’s kind of overkill for Dota 2.

I thought so too until I tested it out and apparently it isn’t, like I said before, Dota 2 with the latest updates has become more hardware demanding IF you want the best looking graphics.

Dota 2 BenchMarks: 3050Ti Laptop – Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3

Moving around the map: 150fps (Best looking settings + Shadow Quality set to Ultra).

Group Fight: 122 fps (Best Looking Settings + Shadow Quality Set to Ultra)

GPU:  3050Ti RTX

I have not tested the Acer Nitro 5 especifically but I have tested the Lenovo Ideapad gaming 3 with the 3050Ti. You are welcomed to buy either.

Both have a 3050Ti with different CPUs so whether you get this Acer Nitro 5 or the Lenovo makes no difference. Just buy whichever is on stock because both are definitely cheap and run out of stock pretty quickly.

Check out my post on  GPU Wattage if you don’t know what it means

Anyways, both GPUs can run at 85W which is the maximum wattage of 3050Ti Laptops. if you check the lower left corner of the video, you’ll see the game , Dota 2, is FORCING the dedicated GPU to go full wattage on the highest epic settings.

Now it’s not necessary to have that many framerates at high settings so you are welcomed to “down-clock” the dedicated GPU to run at lower wattages.

Which brings me to my next point, the Acer Nitro 5 and the Lenovo Ideapad 3 both have several modes of GPU performance: Balance, Performance and OverClock.

The reason why I recommend the 3050Ti first over any 1650GTX is because once you set it to balance mode you can still get pretty high framerates on super high settings while keeping tempereatures safe which should make your laptop last for several years to come even if yo ugame all day.

RTX Mode For Dota 2: 3050Ti Has it!

Another reason why opt for an RTX 3050Ti is that the RTX mode can be enabled which changes the way animations look. Here’s a famous example of how Nidalee’s Spear looks when RTX mode is on.

You can go for other RTX Laptops like the 3060RTX and 3070RTX and so on. But I’d advice you to go for those IF you want to play the game at 1440p and 4k resolution only, otherwise it’s just wasted money, the framerates are already insanely high with the 3050Ti AND you’ve also got the option to see RTX Effects.

CPU: Core i5 10300H vs AMD Ryzen 5 5600H

The Acer Nitro 5 has a Core i5 10300H and the Lenovo Ideapad I have tested has a AMD Ryzen 5 5600H. The AMD Ryzen 5 5600H outperforms the Core i5 10300H according to CPU benchmarks and will help in some multi-core games too but as far as Dota 2 goes it is mostly single-threaded so the performance should be the same also because the dedicated GPU just overshadows any fps gains you may get from either. 

What you can do though instead of worrying about which one of the two to pick is to dual-channel RAM which should increase fps on either set up. I have written a post on what this means and how to do it here: What is Dual-Channel RAM? 

Display: 144Hz vs 120Hz

The reason why I recommend the Acer Nitro 5 over the Lenovo Ideapad 3 tested is the display, you’re getting a 144Hz display for nearly the same price of the Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3 (only 30 bucks more expensive) and I know how excited people get to see the 144 magic number be it for framerates or refrehs rates.

On the other hand, if you are looking to get better fps performance on OTHER games besides Dota 2 then I’d suggest you grab the Lenovo Idapad Gaming 3 as the AMD Ryzen 5 5600H outperforms the Core i5 10300H for games outside of Dota  2. It also has a high refresh rate display ~120Hz which should work out just as good as 144Hz (most people will notice no difference).

Alternatives & Prices

The average laptop with a 3050Ti sells for 750, the Lenovo Ideapad is currently on a deal (below 700 bucks) and the Acer Nitro is a little more expensive but has a 144Hz over the 120Hz display of the Ideapad.

Link GPU CPU Refresh Rate Storage Price
Acer Nitro 3050Ti i5 10300H 144Hz 256GB 744
Ideapad 3050Ti R5 5600H 120Hz 512GB 749
2022 Ideapad 3050Ti R5 5600H 120H 512GB (16GB) 849
Ideapad Gaming  3050Ti 5 5600H 120Hz 512GB 698


2. Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3

Best Gaming Laptop For Dota 2

  Core i5 10300H

  8GB DDR4

   GeForce GTX 1650 4GB vRAM

  256GB PCIe NVMe SSD

  15.6” 120Hz Full HD IPS

  4.96lbs

  5 hours

 

It may come to as a surprise if you know anything about the dedicated GPUs to see the 3050Ti, I’m sure you’re thinking that it’s kind of overkill for Dota 2. I’ve thought so too until I tested it out and apparently it isn’t, Dota 2 with the latest updates from Steam has become more hardware demanding IF you want pretty high graphics.

Dota 2 BenchMark – Core i5 + 1650GTX (Lenovo Ideapad L340)

100-120fps at the highest settings

GPU:  1650 GTX

The 1650GTX laptop tested above is the Lenovo L340. You should get the same performance out of ANY 1650GTX laptop however. 

The 1650GTX in the Lenovo L340 will outperform most 1650GTX laptops though, not just on Dota 2 but for most games due to the fact that it does not have Optimus. 

What is Optimus and MUX Switch? Read about it here
 

The laptop I have featured here has Optimus which reduces dedicated GPU performance by 15-20%, you can compare the benchmarks of any Core i5 + 1650GTX on youtube and see it for yourself.

CPU: Core i5 9300H vs Core i5 10300H

So Why Am I not featuring the Lenovo L340? Because people alwayas want something modern even if they have to give up some power, the laptop featured here has a Core i5 11300H but there dozens of alternatives at cheaper prices with slightly older CPUs you can check them down below. I’d say all Core i5 CPUs have the same performance for gaming purposes whether you get an 11th gen Core i5 or 10th gen Core i5 with lesser cores it all works out the same.

It really comes down to how the dedicated GPU behaves which the Lenovo L340 has on “turbo” mode due to the lack of Optimus.

If you want to increase CPU performance you may want to up RAM to 16GB and make it dual channel though, that will give you far more fps gains than just being picky on modern generation CPUs. I mean I understand so feel free to pick up the modern CPU and give up a few framerates.

Note I am not saying all older Core i5 CPUs will outperform the modern 1650GTX laptops with recent Core i5 CPUs, it’s just the Lenovo L340 as far as I am aware and any laptop that doesn’t have Optimus or a laptop that has MUX Switch with the exact same dedicated GPU.

Display: 120Hz vs 60Hz

Here’s another reason why you should give up the 11th gen Core i5 CPU. You will not find it under 700 dollars with a 120Hz display. Virtually every 1650GTX laptop that has a 11th gen Core i5 CPU is going to have a 60Hz display. So again it is up to you to choose the smoothness of a 120Hz display or the pretty sticker that says “11th gen Core i5” CPU.

Alternatives and  Prices

Link CPU GPU Display Price
MSI GF63 i5 9300H 1650GTX 60Hz 665
L340 i5 9300H 1650GTX 60Hz 713
ASUS TUF i5 10300H 1650GTX 144Hz 17” 818
Ideapad i5 11300H 1650GTX 60Hz 15” 699


3. HP Pavilion Gaming

Best Gaming Laptop For Dota 2 

 

  AMD Ryzen 5 5600H

  8GB DDR4

   GTX 1650 4GB vRAM

  256GB PCIe NVMe SSD

  15.6” 120Hz FHD IPS

  4.37lbs

  4 hours

The last high performance machine you should consider for this game is a 1650GTX laptop with the Ryzen 5 CPU. There’s no reason to go for higher-end GPUs like the 3060RTX or even the 1660Ti, those are definitely overkill so this will be the last high performane sort of expensive machine in this list.

Dota 2 BenchMark : Ryzen 5 + 1650GTX

90-100 fps on Highest settings
 

GPU: 1650GTX

This is the kind of 1650GTX you’ll find on every single 1650GTX laptop although it runs at full wattage it does have optimus and lacks a MUX switch. Notice how you get about 20 less framerates than the Lenovo L340 we’ve tested before. 

Again the Lenovo L340 is sort of a rarity and you can see this by checking the stats on both videos, the Lenovo L340 does not have the integrated GPU inolved when running the game while the 1650GTX here and on every laptop will hence the Lenovo L340 will outperform most 1650GTX laptops. 

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600H or Ryzen 5 4600H

Anyways, there are reasons to choose a Ryzen 5 over any Core i5 even if it has a better 1650GTX. The AMD Ryzen 5 will on average have two more cores regardless of generations and better multi-core performance, although this doesn’t mean much for Dota 2 because it is mostly single-threaded. It does make a difference on several other games as you can double check on my youtube channel and compare framerates between a Core i5 and a Ryzen 5.

So my advice? if you’re buying this laptop for games outside of Dota 2 especially those that claim to be multi-core grab the Ryzen 5.

Display: 120Hz 

Most 1650GTX laptops with a Ryzen 5 will have a 120Hz display very very few will have a 60Hz so if you’re not getting a 120Hz you are being ripped off especially if you’re paying anywhere from 650-720 bucks. Just beware of that.

Below you can see several examples of this and you can also use the table below to look for alternatives if this runs out of stock or if the prices of those below have gone down.

Alternative & Prices

Link CPU GPU Display Price
Ideapad R5 4600H 1650GTX 120Hz 700
Ideapad R5 5600H 1650GTX 120Hz 679
Ideapad 3 R5 5600H 1650GTX 120Hz 689
HP Pavilion Ryzen 5 5600H 1650GTX 120Hz 750


4. ASUS ZenBook 14

Best ASUS Laptop For Dota 2

  AMD Ryzen 5 5600H

  8GB DDR4

   GTX 1650 4GB vRAM

  256GB PCIe NVMe SSD

  15.6” 120Hz FHD IPS

  4.37lbs

  5 hours

MX450 laptops like the ASUS ZenBook 14 are  about 100 dollars cheaper than most 1650GTX laptops like the Lenovo Ideapad 3 but they’re still powerful to run the game at high settings as you can see in the benchmark below:

Dota 2 Benchmark : MX450 + Core i5 1135G7

65 fps on average while in Combat against 4 players or so. This is on the highest preset settings

GPU: MX450

I have to warn you though not all MX GPUs are created equal. I would only buy either the MX450 or the MX350, you see the other two : MX 250 & MX150, in fact any other dedicated GPU, that’s not the MX450 and the MX350 isn’t any more powerful than integrated GPUs found on recent Core i5 and Ryzen 5.

Thus unless you are paying around 450 dollars, such dedicated GPUs are not worth it because you might as well get integrated GPUs which are cheaper and will get you the same performance.

Not that there is no need to worry about MUX Switches or Wattages. All MX450s have the same set up: NO MUX Switch  and they rull at full , albeit, low wattage (~30W). 

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5500U vs Core i5 1135G7

You’ll find M450 laptops with either of these two CPUs. Out of the box they perform equally well for gaming. However, once you dual-channel RAM, the AMD Ryzen 5 5500U seems to have a slight edge over the Core i5 1135G7 though it is not very significant (5-10fps), this can mean a lot since the MX450 only allows you to hit 60 fps on Epic Settings.

Display: 60Hz FHD IPS

This laptop and every other laptop with a MX GPU has a 60Hz. All of them will have a FHD IPS so it’s not like you have to be careful when shopping for one. If you are playing Dota 2 on High setting with this laptop, you are not going to past 100fps anyways so you don’t need a 120Hz (not that here is any around this price) so stop looking for one.

Alternatives: 

I am attaching a few alternative links to more MX450 laptops, remember not to pay more than 550 bucks for one. Anything more and you’re getting close to 1650GTX prices.

Link GPU Name Storage RAM Price
ZenBook 14 MX450 Ryzen 5500U 256GB 8GB 529
Slim ZenBook 14 MX450 Ryzen 5500U 256GB 8GB 599
ASUS ZenBook 14 MX450 Ryzen 5500U 256GB 8GB 539
ZenBook MX350 Ryzen 4500U 256GB 8GB 550
ZenBook MX350 Ryzen 4500U 256GB 8GB 555


5. Newest HP

Cheap Laptop For Dota 2

  AMD Ryzen 5 5500U

  8GB RAM

  Radeon Vega RX 7

  256GB SSD NVMe PCIe

  15.6” FHD 

  4.2 lbs

  8 hours

This is the cheapest laptop on this list. It’s the absolute minimum I recommend people to buy for Dota 2. It should be around 450 dollars or so. 

Now I would have LOVE to put those 350-400 dollar laptops with the Core i3 or Ryzen 3 but Dota 2 isn’t like it’s rival competitor ( whose name can’t be mentioned…LoL) , it is somewhat hardware demanding and you’re going to go below 60fps even below settings with such laptops. You can check out the benchmarks on youtube yourself, just type : Dota 2 Core i3 Or Ryzen on the search bar.

Dota 2 Benchmark : AMD Ryzen 5 5500U + RX Vega 7 – 1080p

60fps at low setting WHILE in COMBAT AND when several players popping up special abilities

Note that the game is still running at FHD, there is no need to compromise resolution either. If you do buy the Core i3 or Ryzen 3 models, you may have to settle with 720p to hit stable 50fps on low settings.

GPU: AMD Radeon Vega RX 7

That’s because AMD Ryzen 5 and Core i5 laptop (the recent ones) have integrated GPUs that are significantly more powerful than what you find on Core i3 or Ryzen 3 laptops. In fact, these two GPUs : RX Vega 7 for Ryzen and Intel Xe for the Intel Core i5 approach the performance of older MX GPUs with 2GB vRAM like we discussed in preceeding discussion.

For that to be the case you will have to up the RAM of this laptop or any laptop with an integrated GPU to something like 12GB or 16GB, the extra RAM will come in handy to the integrated GPU acting as “vRAM” thus it’s going to make it behave like a true 2GB vRAM dedicated GPU. This has not been done in the video I have attached above so you can expect at least 15fps extra framerates.

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5500U vs Core i5 1135G7

If I have to choose between the two I’d just choose the cheapest one, both CPUs perform equally well for Dota 2 but I would consider the Ryzen 5 5500U because it’s going to be a bit more handy when multitasking , aka when running stuf in the background too, as it has two extra cores. It’s also more responsive when you dual-channel RAM , according to the benchmark tests I’ve carried out. Both the Core i5 and Ryzen 5 will benefit from dual channel though (you can see an extra 30fps! if you do it right so check out my post on Dual-Channel RAM) but you will get an extra 2 or 5 fps with the Ryzen 5s.

Display: FHD IPS

Buying laptops with integrated GPUs under 500 dollars is tricky becauses NOT all of them will have a FHD display, the IPS panel is just a fancy spec but the FHD display is a MUST for the game to even look decent so if you’re not buying this specific model perhaps because you are not located in the US remember to make sure it’s also got a FHD display so you can run Dota 2 in FHD which makes a BIG difference in the way the game looks and adds tons of extra colors to the animations.

Alternative and Prices

Link CPU GPU Display Price
ASUS VivoBook i5 1135G7 Intel Xe FHD 15” 426
GateWay Slim i5 1135G7 Intel Xe FHD 15” 529
HP 5 5500 R5 5500U RX Vega 7 FHD 15” 448


How to Buy Best Laptop for DotA 2

In this guide we are going to cover everything there’s to know about Dota 2 and its hardware usage. This is useful if you want to extract every bit of fps out of your budget.

This is also useful if you’re venturing into older laptops off of ebay (here you have to know what you’re buying so you don’t end up with something that’s totally useless ).

First, let us talk about the bare minimum official requirements.

They are written for desktops but translating them to laptops is easy:

  • Dual Core processor 2.8GHz ~ This means any CPU made within the past 10 years basically.
  • 4GB RAM ~ Not even useful for Windows 10 and much less useful for Windows 11 both taking at least 3.5GB.
  • GTX NVIDIA GPU 930M ~ This is basically telling you to get a 1GB vRAM dGPU.

Those guidelines are pretty useless if you ask me and they’re just not accurate on so many points.

You see Steam assumes you’re all at least getting a laptop or computer made within the past 5 years for which , because of its low hardware usage, the game will run with no hiccups. 

So they just list the bare minimum specs the game will launch and run since the chances of you actually going for a laptop with such low hardware are basically zero.

What if you get a laptop off of ebay with those specs? 

Truth be told, you should be getting ~30FPS on low settings which isn’t bad at all.

The problem however is the RAM listed there, that’s just only going to get you 500MB left (after windows and background processes ) for the game to run and the chances of crashing are going to be pretty high when you’re entangled in a teamfight.

Dota 2 Laptop Requirements

The point is, you can ignore those recommendations and instead follow my advice here:

CPU

MOBA games are usually CPU bound but DoTa 2 , due to being a lot of older than most of them, is more CPU bound
 

More specifically, this is because the game engine of DoTa 2 was developed way before we had access to the awesome 2GB vRAM GPUs (which came around 2010) we have today. LoL and the rest of the gang only became prominent after 2012 for which we already had a lot of 2GB vRAM GPUs market. 

This means the code of DoTa 2 is meant to focus more on the CPU than the GPU.

How can you test this? 

Well if you check around youtube, you’ll see fps gains of +20fps if you compare two laptops that have the exact same hardware except for a slightly faster (~100Mhz = 0.1GHz) CPU.

Multithreaded Performance

Dota 2 is not multithreadded , more cores doesn’t help unless you’re also streaming

This is important to keep in mind if you’re buying a laptop for the ultimate DoTa 2 performance because you can definitely overspend a lot of money on laptops with 8 core or 10 core CPUs.

Although Steam has been doing a great job optimizing the Source 2 engine to take advatange of multiple cores. As of 2022, the game is still mostly single threaded (it uses one core for the most part).

You might benefit a bit if you shop for 6 core or 8 core CPUs but clock speed will get you much more performance

Modern CPUs

Intel

CPU Base Turbo Cores
i3 8130U 2.2 3.4 2
i3 8145U 2.1 3.9 2
i3 10050G1 1.2 3.4 2
i3 10100U 2.1 4.1 2
i3-1115G4 3 4.1 2
i5 8265U 1.6 4.9 4
i5 8250U 1.6 3.4 4
i5 1135G7 2.4 4.2 4
i5 8300H 2.3 4 4
i7 8550U 1.8 4 4
i7 1165G7 2.8 4.7 4
i5-11300H 2.6 4.4 4
i5 11260H 2.6 4.4 6
i7-11375H 3.3 5 4
i7-11370H 3.3 4.8 4
i7 8750H 2.2 4.1 6
i7 9750H 2.6 4.5 6
i7 10750H 2.6 5 8
i9 8950K 2.9 4.8 6
i9 9900K 3.6 5.1 8
i9-11900H 2.5 4.9 8
i9 10890K 2.4 5.3 8
i9-11980HK 3.3 5 8

AMD

CPU Base (GHz) Turbo (GHz) Cores(#)
Ryzen 9 5900HX 3.3 4.6 8
Ryzen 9 4800HS 2.2 4.4 8
Ryzen 7 5800H 3.3 4.4 8
Ryzen 7 3750H 2.3 4 4
Ryzen 7 5800U 1.9 4.4 8
Ryzen 7 5700U 1.8 4.3 8
Ryzen 7 3700U 2.3 4 4
Ryzen 5 5600H 3.3 4.2 6
Ryzen 5 4600H 3.0 4.0 6
Ryzen 5 3550H 2.1 3.7 4
Ryzen 5 5500U 2.1 4.4 6
Ryzen 5 3500U 2.1 3.7 4
Ryzen 3 5300U 2.6 3.8 8
Ryzen 3 3300U 2.1 3.5 4

Green CPUs: They’re plenty fast to run the game at medium settings and get you up into the 80fps. As you’ll see soon, they also come with really good and recent integrated GPU which is why you’ll get this much performance over older CPUs with the same clock speed yet older integrated GPUs.

Blue CPUs: This is probably as much as you need to hit +80fps (with a dedicated GPU , any) on maximum settings also because they will (99%) come with a dedicated GPU. There’s really no need to go higher unless you feel more “at ease” running the game with at least 120-150fps (which is claimed to be the sweet spot for competitive gaming).

Pink CPUs: Those are just as much CPU power I would get for this game alone, they’re even good for to get both: MAXIMUM PERFORMANCE+ STREAMING. You’ll usually find them on laptops with very powerful GPUs which we’ll go over soon. I can’t give you exact benchmarks for these because that will depend on the GPU too (blue CPUs will 99% have either a 1650GTX or 1050GTX , MX450 GPU).

Red CPUs: These are way way too powerful for this game alone. I would only buy these if I know I’m going to run much more hardware demanding games like Fortnite or Call of Duty. 

GPU(Graphics Card)

Now as long as you get a dedicated GPU and by that I mean a dGPU with at least 2GB vRAM, you should be able to hit ~80fps with all settings maxed out. The issue becomes when you’re on a budget and you can only go after integrated GPUs or older dedicated GPUs.

Integrated Cards

Any GPU that doesn’t have it’s own “vRAM” , is integrated.

Anything that says Intel HD is integrated or any Radeon GPU that doesn’t have the RX or Pro suffix.

Now integrated GPUs are plenty fast today so as long as you grab something modern you can get those 80fps (on medium settings). 

Thus you must avoid the following:

Intel HD 4000/4400, Intel HD 550/520/530, Intel HD 620/630, AMD Radeon R3, R5,R8

I would only grab those in green if you’ve got no more than 250$ and want to get something off eBay.

If you’ve got something above 250$, you should instead opt for something like the following:

Intel Iris, Intel Iris Pro, Intel Xe Graphics, AMD Radeon Vega 3, AMD Radeon Vega 5, AMD Radeon Vega 7, AMD Vega Radeon 8
 

Blue GPUs: those are old but not very old (~2018 GPUs) but they’re definitely a lot  better than Intel HD GPUs. You should pay no more than 300$ for laptops with these.

Pink GPUs: these are the latest and the most powerful as of 2022. Once you up that RAM to 8GB RAM or higher, (yes RAM not vRAM), they can perform just as good as entry level dedicated GPUs! I have another post on this!

Discrete Graphics Cards

The following are literally ALL the dedicated GPUs you’ll find on eBay, Alibaba or Amazon (ignoring 9th and 8th gen – aka older NVIDIA GPUs).

NVIDIA Cores vRAM Speed
MX150 384 2GB 1532
MX250 384 2GB 1582
MX230 256 2GB 1519
MX350 640 2GB 1354
MX450 896 2GB 1580
1050 640 2GB-4GB 1493
1050Ti 768 4GB 1620
1650 1024 4GB 1560
1060 1280 6GB 1670
1660 Ti 1536 6GB 1590
3050Ti 2560 4GB 1485
2060 1,920 6GB 1680
1080 2560 8GB 1733
2070 2304 8GB 1620 
2080 2944 8GB 1710
3060 3584 8GB 1780
3070 5120 8GB 1620
3080 6144 16GB 1710
3070Ti 5888  8GB 1485
3080Ti 7424 16GB 1590

AMD Shaders vRAM Speed Equivalent
RX 555X 768 2GB 855  MX150/MX250
RX 540 512 4GB 1219 ~950M
RX 550 640 4GB 1287 – 1476 +950M
RX 560X 1024 4GB 1172 – 1275 1050GTX
RX 580 1536 6GB 1077 ~1060GTX
RX 5500M 1408  8GB  1327-1645  ~1660Ti 
RX 6700S 2304 10GB 1890 ~3060RTX (Low power)
RX 6800S 2048  12GB 1975 ~3070RTX
(Low Power)


Any discrete (dedicated) GPU with 2GB vRAM should let you play the game with at least 60fps on MAXIMUM Settings. Modern dedicated GPUs, especially those with 4GB vRAM, will hit 80 or even 150 fps.

Green GPUs: I would still avoid those in green (unless they’re cheaper than $500) because integrated GPUs like the Intel Xe or AMD Vega 7 will perform just as good if not better once you up RAM to +8GB RAM. 

Blue GPUs: If we are talking about being comptitive, those with blue will do. They will all let you hit +60 fps (more around 80fps, 3050TI 1660 ~120fps) on maximum settings. If you lower down settings to med or low, you can get past 200fps.

Pink GPUs: This is as high as you want to go even for competitive purposes. Anything more is just useless for DoTa 2 alone (those in gray).

Older GPUs

The MX150, MX250, MX230 and the 1050GTX can be considered relatively old so you should pay no more than $500 for each of these. 

Now if you’re fine buying refurbished laptops off ebay witih dedicated GPUs, those will do too as long as they’re not:

940MX, 940M and anything below like the 820M, 850M, 830M, 770M, etc…

Only the 960M, 970M, 950M and 980M are worth considering because the truth “integrated GPUs” like the Intel Xe or the AMD Radeon Vega 7.

Why soome people claim to run DoTa with much older machines and still getting +60 fps?
That only applies to desktops. Laptops are much much weaker than desktops this is especially true if we are talking about older laptops with 9th generation NVIDIA GPUs. Modern laptops (10th gen NVIDIA GPU or RTX GPUs and the latest Intel 11th , 12th and AMD Ryzen 5th CPUs) have dedicated GPUs and CPUs which are pretty close in performance to desktops.
However, CPUs on laptops are downclocked severely to mantain safe temperatures. Thus most desktops , even those with older CPUs, will vastly out perform laptops.

RAM

DotA 2 uses roughly 2GB RAM.
Windows 10 (the latest updates) take ~3GB RAM.

Needless to say 4GB RAM is just not enough. You need at least 8GB RAM.

Streaming

Now if you’re streaming, you want at least 8GB RAM but having a bit more (12GB-16GB RAM) will provide some headroom for everythiing else in the backgrund run without interrupting DoTa 2.

Integrated GPU 

You can massively increase the performance of integrated GPUs by upping RAM beyond 8GB RAM, the extra RAM basically acts as “vRAM” turning your integrated GPU into a sort of “entry level” dedicated GPU with 2GB vRAM.

Dual Channel

Now if you really want to squeeze every bit of framerates (which is definitely a must if you’re going for budget laptops that only have integrated GPUs), you can up your RAM to 16GB RAM and make it dual-channeled. 

I have a whole post on what dual-channel RAM means and how to set it up on your laptop but it basically means having two RAM sticks of the same characteristics (size, brand, type, speed, etc). Doing this, somehow increases CPU “data-reading”efficiency thus improving gaming performance (more framerates).

Storage

Size

Not an issue on every laptop released within the past few years. Windows 10 or 11 take ~40GB, Steam + Dota 2 ~20GB and if you like to save tons of replays ~5GB. Thus you’re looking at 65GB and most laptops have at least 128GB (even the cheap $350 laptops).

Speed: HDD vs SSD

SSD isn’t required to prevent the game from crashing. However, honestly, SSDs are far far better than HDDs and they can make an enormous difference in your computer’s overall performance which includes launching the game. Most laptops have SSDs today it’s only a concern if you’re buying refurbished budget laptops below $300. If you are be sure to do the upgrade later. I have another post on how to do the upgrade (check it out here).

Display

IPS FHD

IPS are not standard yet and there are a lot of “TN” displays on laptops even today. Either is fine unless you plan on doing some graphic design.

The game will look more “colorful” with IPS panels though but not by that much.

Virtually all gaming laptops will have IPS displays with FHD resolutions, it’s only a problem when you start looking at budget laptops.

Refresh Rates: 60 vs 120Hz

Because this is just a MOBA game and not FPS game , refresh rates don’t matter. Save yourself hundreds of bucks by steering away from laptops that have 120Hz or 144Hz although they are kind of unavoidable once you start looking at 3060RTX laptops. 

If you’re getting a 120Hz display at a good price then by all means grab it, it’s not going to bump up your gaming but it will make everything look really cool.

Comments?

If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or recommendations on how to find the best laptop for Dota 2 . Please let me know in the comments below, I’ll try to answer as soon as I can. 

 

4 thoughts on “The 5 Best Laptops For DotA 2 in 2022 (Competitive Gaming & High Framerates)

  • April 20, 2018 at 5:30 pm
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    So if my budget is 1000 pounds are there recommendations that are better than the above?

    Reply
    • April 25, 2018 at 6:57 pm
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      Yeah…. I mean anything above 1050GTX laptops are overkill for dota 2 but if you can afford it, go for 1060GTX laptops like the Acer Helios Predator 300. That one is the best gaming laptop you can find for ~1000 bucks. Check it out on amazon, you’ll see it’s selling like hotcakes. The difference between a 1050 and 1060GTX is huge, you’ll be able to pretty much play any game at high settings.

      Reply
  • May 14, 2018 at 4:16 am
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    so if i buy a laptop with 970M, can i play dota 2 in ultra setting ?

    Reply
    • July 26, 2018 at 10:51 pm
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      Yes but you won’t find a laptop with a 970M card, they’re obsolete by now (at least new ones). 1050ti and above should give you the same performance.

      Reply

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