6 Best Laptops For Minecraft 2020 (High FPS Shaders+Mods )

Ok let me take a guess. You haven’t played Minecraft in about a year and would love to get back into the game or maybe your daugther’s birthday is coming up and she’s requested a PC that can run Minecraft because she’s tired of playing it on the 360 or your iPad Mini. 

So the first thing you did is asking what’s the best laptop for MineCraft on the web..

And you got comments like:

“Minecraft can run on a toaster and if you get optifine it can run on a potato. Get a cheap +100$ laptop”

“Minecraft will run on an integrated graphics card and a pentium CPU”

“My pre built 10-11 year old machine eats MineCraft for breakfast”

“I have a 400$ laptop from 2 years ago with the screen falling off and MC still runs good”

You get the point….

Those comments do hold some truth to it. 

It is true that  MineCraft isn’t too hardware demanding but it requires more than people give it credit for. (I would love the people throwing those comments to jump on to the servers I play on and see if they still feel the same way though…)

So what If I listen to those guys and get 200$ second hand old laptop?

If you play it on an old atom 450 ( a dinosaur CPU) with 2GB RAM and Windows 7 on it you will get around 20 fps with minimum chunks loaded…

On the other hand…

If you get a modern decent laptop for about 400-500$,  you can run the game at max settings or at least at medium settings with some shaders/mods and still pull off a lagless +60fps.

The problem is…

Of course that most of you have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to computers.

Sit bax and relax…

In this post we are not only going to list the current 6 best laptops for MineCraft in 2020, we’ll also take an in depth look at Minecraft graphical settings, their impact on the game, the hardware specs every setting needs and your pocket.

Unfortunately that analysis can be awfully long and boring for many of you.

So we’ll try to summarize* it before we go over our 6 best laptops for Minecraft. 

*If you really want the full guide which you can use to find a laptop for your own or just to research more about MineCraft perhaps to squeeze out every bit of FPS of any machine, check out the last section “Buying a Computer for MineCraft”. That last section also includes a lot of information if you are on a tight budget and want to get the best bang for your buck by venturing into other options than just modern and new laptops.

Recommended Specs for MineCraft

The minimum official requirements listed on the official site basically translates to a low-end OLD laptop that will only run a bare-bones version of Minecraft with a screen resolution of 854 x 480 pixels at 10 frames per second, or less.

It definitely doesn’t include the ability to run all thousands of mods people have released.

So we are not going to re-list those “official” requirements.

Our requirements are going to be categorized in two types: recommended and best.

1. The “recommended” specs should let you run most mods and a few shaders without too much drama.

2. The “best” specs will let you run a fancy version of MC at FHD resolution with +120fps and the most hardware demanding shaders. 

CPU

MC runs primarily on one core so you should always prioritize “direct speed” over number of cores.

What I mean by this is: get the CPU with the biggest number next to the three letters G H Z (Giga Hertz, srry to dumb it down too much ).

Recommended: At least 3GHz.

Ex: Intel CPUs from the 8th generation onwards. Core i3 1050G1, Core i3 8145U, Core i3 10100U, Core i3 8310U, Core i5 8250U,  Core i5 8265U, Core i5 10210U

Ex: AMD Processor with the Ryzen label: AMD Ryzen 3 3200U, 5 3500U, 5 4500U. AMD processors are the best choice and more budget friendly imo.

Best:  ++4GHz processor.

Any recent Intel CPU from the 7th generation onwards with the H, HQ, HK labels.
Ex: i5 8300H, i7 8750H, i5-9300H, i5-10300H, i7-9750H, i7-10750H

Any AMD processor with the labels Ryzen and “H”.
Ex: AMD Ryzen 5 3550H, AMD Ryzen 7 3750H, AMD Ryzen 5 4600H, AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS

GPU

Just because MC doesn’t look “fancy” and seems to have “simple graphics” doesn’t mean you can skimp on the GPU . The later versions (1.10+ in particular) moves some of the CPU load to the GPU so you should look for the best GPU you can afford even if it’s integrated.

If you want to use shaders the GPU becomes even more crucial.

If you are not computer savvy it may be very difficult to see what’s a good GPU for your budget . Here are some recommendations though you can check the last section for more details:

Recommended

Integrated: only if you are on an extreme low budget: 5th,6th generation Intel HD Cards as a bare minimum. Ex: Intel 520, 620HD.


or AMD Radeon RX graphics cards (X=5.7,9,etc). Integrated will get you 70FPS+ amplified world with max graphics , normal render distance but with no shaders.
 
Dedicated: Highly recommended: NVIDIA MX150, MX250, 1050. +80-100 fps with shaders and Moderate to high settings.

Best:  Not an integrated GPU. Dedicated.

    Mid-Range: NVIDIA 1050Ti, 1060, 1650, 1660Ti. (Thelast one is the highest you should go for).

    High-End: 2060RTX, 2070RTX. Only useful for “RTX Minecraft”. Still in beta.

RAM

If you don’t plan going crazy with shaders, RAM will play a bigger role in eliminating lag when playing MC.
Aim for at least 4GB. Recommended 8GB.

Best: No point in assigning anything more than 12GB. You can’t find 12GB on laptops so 16GB if you really want to max it out.

Storage

Could be any type of hard drive honestly. MC doesn’t take a lot of space even with hundreds of mods and shaders.

Solid State Drives are standard these days and if you’re looking for an old refurbished computer make sure you get a SSD too.

It won’t get your FPS to higher numbers and won’t run MC any faster but it’ll help launch other games and your OS in literally split seconds.

Top 6 Best Laptops for Minecraft

While most devices can run Minecraft, it’s not easy to run Minecraft well. Java is slow so Minecraft needs a decent processor and plenty of memory. 

Getting a good processor and enough RAM  isn’t expensive so don’t be alarmed, we’ll list budget laptops too. 

Laptops with plenty of CPU power and 8GB of RAM will only cost you ~ 450$ and even 350$ (if you got a copy of Windows 10). 

Note that I’m going to include only laptops that have an acceptable frame rate with MC, not just “playable”. All of them can run several mods but the prize will increase depending on the resolution and graphical effects you want to play with. 

Note that what really makes a lot laptop for minecraft more expensive than 450$ is the dedicated GPU. But of course, the dGPU is optional.  If you want to use fancy graphics and hardcore shaders, you’ll need it. The GPU will also come in handy if you want to get high framerates when using any of the big FTB modpacks.


1. HP 14 TouchScreen
Best Laptop For Minecraft Under 500

HP 14 TouchScreen - Best Laptop For Minecraft

  AMD Ryzen 3 3200U

  8GB RAM DDR4

  AMD Radeon Vega 

  256GB PCIe NVMe SSD

  14” IPS full HD 1080p

  3.24lb

  8 hours

This is not the best best laptop for Minecraft but it is the most budget friendly laptop for MC with windows 10 on it which you need to play the full version of MC.

You can find several laptops with the same specs and cheaper but careful some of them won’t have Windows 10 on it and will only come with 4GB of RAM. If you get ones for 400$ or less, you’ll just have to play the “App” version of MineCraft available from the Windows Store. If you got a copy of Windows 10 though, you can save yourself 100 bucks!

Link CPU RAM OS Price
ASUS ImagineBook Core M3-8100Y 4GB Windows 10S 349$
Acer Aspire 5 Ryzen 3 3200U 4GB Windows 10S 349$
Acer Aspire 5 Core i3 1005G1 4GB Windows 10S 399$
ASUS VivoBook 15  Ryzen 3 3200U 8GB Windows 10 HOME 450$
HP 15.6″ Core i3 1005G1 4GB Windows 10 HOME 424$
Lenovo IdeaPad 3  Ryzen 3 3200U 4-8GB Windows 10 HOME 359-449$

Now let’s get to the hardware, the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U is not a weak processor at all. It’s even faster than the 10th generation Core i3 processor and it’s actually much cheaper which has brought down the price of this laptop significantly.

The cool thing about this laptop is that it’s got the RAM already upgraded to 8GB and you even get a nice SSD in it.

The GPU however is integrated and you won’t find dedicated GPUs under 600 bucks. Although, it is an integrated AMD GPU, it’s almost as powerful as any recently released mobile Integrated GPUs from Intel.

You can expect an average of 100FPS with medium settings in building worlds. However, if you start adding shaders then FPS might go as low as 20,  not too bad.

As for Mods, if you’re planning on adding tons of Mods, you’ll be fine with nearly all of them  as long as you have 8GBs of RAM and +3GHz and a recent graphics card even if it’s integrated like this one.

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2. Lenovo IdeaPad 3
Best Laptop for Minecraft under 400

Best Laptop For Minecraft - Lenovo Ideapad 3

  Intel Core i3-1005G1 Up to 3.4GHz

  4GB RAM

   Intel UHD

  256GB SSD NVMe PCIe

  15” HD 

  4.07 lbs

  8 hours

If you actually looked at the table I posted above carefully and you know a thing or two about computers, you’d quickly realize that this is the best deal in it.

As for speed and performance, it’s pretty much the same as the HP 14, though it’s 100 bucks cheaper for the simple reason that it doesn’t have 8GB of RAM, just 4GB RAM.

Now 4GB might be okay for most mods and a few shaders and might also be okay if your son or you just want to run MC without any fancy graphics. If not, you can do either of these two things:

  1. You can upgrade it to 8GB RAM, yourself by buying a stick from this link. They both have to be of the same brand/size so you get a boost in speed(this is detailed at the end of this post). Saving yourself 150$
  2. You can buy the 499 version, which not only comes with 8GB RAM but a Core i3 10th gen processor and UHD graphics, which are both relatively faster than the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U/Vega 3 GPU.

Another cool thing about the 499, besides being faster than the HP 14/Ryzen 3 Lenovo models, is the fact that it has 256GB of storage and 32GB of USB storage, so if your son is going to use this for schoolwork or you’re going to edit some videos/photos for work it may come in handy.

But let’s not be kidding ourselves you’re going to use a laptop just for MineCraft or Minecraft youtube videos and if you’re going to do some work it’ll probably be some interior design with the Mr Crayfish Furniture mods

The only real downside about this laptop and the HP 14 is that they only got HD resolution.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many laptops under 600 with an IPS full HD display and Windows 10. 

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3. Acer Nitro 5
Best Cheap Gaming Laptop For Minecraft

Acer Nitro - Best Laptop For Minecraft

  Intel Core i5 9300H

  8GB RAM

   GeForce GTX 1650 

  256 PCIe SSD

  15” FHD 1080p IPS

  5.07lb

  5 hours

THis laptop is totally different from the other two, it’s not just the Core i5 processors, it’s the GPU that will have the biggest on impact on running heavy shaders smoothly and the game itself at high settings with +100fps.

Now to be more precise, this laptop will give you an average of 300 fps with low settings with mods like the MindCrack Pack however High settings using the same mods will make it go down to 150 or so.

Vanilla MC with shaders,at high settings will decrease it further to 70-80FPS. Still good considering that most laptop’s only have 60 hz refresh rates on their screens. Indeed it’s not just one of the best laptops for Minecraft but also the best deal for a gaming laptop!

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4. ASUS TUF FX505DT 
Best Laptop For Minecraft Mods & Shaders

Best Laptop For Minecraft - ASUS TUF

  AMD Ryzen 5 R5-3550H

  8GB DDR4

   GeForce GTX 1650

  256GB PCIe SSD

  15.6” 120Hz Full HD

  4.85lb

  5 hours

I think this laptop right here might be the best laptop for minecraft you could get to play the game at high settings with high framerates and actually get a smoother gaming experience.

It’s not very different from the Acer Nitro, the Ryzen 5 CPU is just as powerful as the Core i5 9300H, it also has the same GPU and RAM size….

But…it does have a 120Hz display…which is nuts considering it’s only around 700$ about 100$ cheaper than the Acer Nitro. 

A 120Hz will allow your eyes to witness those 120FPS your GPU/CPU can output as opposed to the Acer Nitro’s 60Hz which will only limit it to 60FPS (although the game will actually run at +100fps).

Anyways because MC isn’t a very hardware demanding game you’ll still be hitting similar FPS numbers as the Acer Nitro:

+200-300 FPS with low settings.
+100-120 with high settings
+50-60 FPS with shaders at high settings.

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5. XPC MSI GF65
Best Laptop For RTX Minecraft

Best Laptop For Minecraft - XPC MSI GF65

  Core i5-9300H

  16GB DDR4

   GTX 2060RTX

  256GB SSD

  15” full HD 120Hz IPS

  4.10lb

  4 hours

This is the highest configuration you should go just for MineCraft.

The reason is simple. Higher processors and GPUs will start giving you diminishing returns, you’ll get +250-500FPS with Vanilla MC on all of them .

Lag spikes will no longer be caused by insufficient hardware and will only be caused by the lack of internet speed that we still face around the world because the number of players and everything has to render takes way too much data

The 2060RTX GPU here was released last year but it’s still quite popular and known as the most budget friendly “high end” GPU (along with the AMD equivalent which is only available on desktops).

How should we evaluate performance now with high end CPU/GPU laptops that  can all output far more FPS than our display can handle? By looking at how much FPS you can get with the most hardcore shaders.

The 2060RTX with a shader like ChocaPic will give you around 70FPS on average, which isn’t too bad for running one of the most hardware demanding shaders out there! 


6. Acer Predator Helios 300
The Best Laptop For Minecraft RTX

  Core i7-10750H

  16GB DDR4

   NVIDIA RTX 2060 

  512GB PCIe NVMe SSD

  15” full HD 144Hz IPS

  5.07

  4 hours

Indeed this is The “The” Best Laptop For MineCraft and pretty much any game out there and more than likely any upcoming expansion of MC itself.

It’s more appeaing for those that are really into shaders and plan on using the most hardware demanding ones to get higher framerates than just 50-60.

For that you just need a laptop with an “2060 RTX”  GPU and a big bad ass CPU like this one.  The increase in framerates with the most hardware demanding shaders won’t be significant though, only 20-30FPS but during all other instances of the game, the framerates should go up by 50 if not 100 .

Let me talk a bit more about the RTX GPUs…

There’s another good reason to opt for a laptop with an RTX GPU, RTX MineCraft.

Still in Beta but should come out this year and obviously RTX GPUs are the ones to go after and out of the three RTX GPUs ( RTX 2060, 2070 and 2080) , the RTX 2060 has the best performance/money ratio.

Another cool thing cool thing about getting this laptop or the MSI above is that you will never have to fight with your kids over your desktop because either of those laptops can run pretty much  any game out there at high at ultra settings just like a powerful desktop.

One of the downsides of the Acer Predator, maybe not a downside because it would make it much more expensive, is the lack of the 240Hz panel. The acer Predator here only has a 144Hz panel. If you really care about high refresh rates, there’s an EULEK laptop that’s only 150$ dollar more expensive with pretty much the same specs and a 240Hz display.

The 240Hz display will give you a better gaming experience if you play Vanilla MC at high settings because your eyes will actually be able to see every framerate output by your GPU/CPU (Up to 240Hz of course).

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How to Buy A Computer or Laptop For Minecraft

What’s in this section?

While minecraft will run best with any gaming laptop with a dedicated GPU those start from 750$ or 650$ if you are lucky to find them. However, most people reading this post probably can’t afford even that.

This section will not only be devoted to those who have the cash to play MineCraft with settings up the Wazoo with the most hardware demanding shaders or the latest RTX features but also for people who are willing to venture into refurbished, old and much cheaper laptops.

It’s a guide written for all gamers around. It’s quite long but well worth it for those who want to get the best bang of their bucks.

Just make sure to read it carefully and if there’s anything you don’t understand check our posts on the sidebars which explain basic computer terminology.

You can also use this section to help you build your own PC/desktop for minecraft. 

MineCraft can run on a Potato but…

A potato won’t let you unlock a tons of features or join the coolest servers out there. With a potato you’ll just be playing against….well other potatoes.

There’s also the issue of the rendering engine likely to be updated during future updates which will also raise the hardware requirements.

Keep in mind that if you decide to run Mods/shaders, the system requirements will go even higher dnd well…. if you don’t even know what mods you or your son is going to venture on you might as well overcompensate over the recommended/minimum requirements

Official Requirements

Before we get into the CPU, GPU, RAM and go over every single spec,  what role they play into running MC smoothly and what parts you should aim with the settings you have in mind, let’s dsicuss the Official Requirements.

  CPU GPU RAM Storage
Minimum Intel Core i3-3210 3.2 GHz Intel HD Graphics 4000 (Ivy Bridge) 2GB 1GB
AMD A8-7600 APU 3.1 GHz AMD Radeon R5 series (Kaveri line)
Recommended Intel Core i5-4690 3.5GHz GeForce 700 Series 4GB 4GB (SSD recommended)
AMD A10-7800 APU 3.5 GHz AMD Radeon Rx 200 Series
My Rig Core i7 8700K GTX 1660Ti 64GB 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD

 

Minimum

My cousin actually plays minecraft with the bare minimum requirements as you can see by this screenshot. It’s 2020 and his laptop is almost 6 years old. But he’s quite limited in a lot of ways with the game althoug he does still have fun with it.

I’ll post a video of his game play soon (it can’t even tolerate recording screen software).

Recommended

On the other hand, is far more powerful than the recommended requirements and this is the kind of stuff I can do on it:

 

Moral of the story is this. Like every game…you can run it on a potato but with potato graphics, potato settings and potatoe gameplay.

Extra power will always give you better frame rates, longer rendering distances, more textures etc and the ability to run more mods. There’s still a limit though and that depends on how bad ass you want the graphics to be or what exactly you want to do with MC…

Heck possibilities are endless with this game, gamers have even created a 1:1 scale representation of the entire country of Denmark, a recreation of King’s Landing from the Game of Thrones television show, and even a mini-game version of Minecraft within the game itself. 

Would you do all of that with a potato laptop? 

Anyways enough with intros let’s talk about CPU, GPU, RAM and Storage and what role they play to get the FPS/Settings you want and which ones you should get to get the graphics/gameplay you want.

The point of going in detail of every single spec is to get you informed enough so you can squeeze every dollar you have dry until you get every ounce of power for MineCraft.

CPU (Processor)

The CPU speed determines how fast the computer can process the game, and how well it can handle doing multiple operations like running Skype or a browser while you’re playing. Dual or quad core will make this much easier, and you want to look for a speed of at least 2.6 GHz. 

And as you probably noticed , MC is not really a “graphics game” as much as it is a “CPU game”. That’s why it can be played on almost all systems these days because most of the graphics are actually processed by the CPU and the GPU only renders what the CPU tells it to.

You can launch MC and notice that it’s consistently somewhat high on the CPU consumption scale.

In fact, both in RAM and CPU usage, Minecraft is higher than any other game with the same graphics I play or have played with.

Core vs Clock Frequency

Minecraft is generally pretty CPU-bound and doesn’t really multi-thread well.  This means that it can’t use a whole bunch of cores so don’t sweat it if you can’t get the latest 10 core processor  because MC won’t be able to take advantage of all cores.

Although the later versions of MC actually use more than one thread ( this started with 1.7.10 and offloading even more to other threads in higher versions, up to four cores), single threaded performance is still the biggest factor on performance.

So if you come across any of these CPUs when shopping for laptops or desktops, you should prioritize “clock frequency” over number of cores or other features.

CPU Base Turbo Cores
i5 8250U 1.6GHz 3.4GHz 4
i5 8300H 2.3GHz 4GHz 4
i7 7700HQ* 2.8GHz 3.8GHz 4
i7 8550U 1.8GHz 4.0GHz 4
i7 8750H 2.2GHz 4.1GHz 6
i7 9750H 2.6 GHz 4.5 GHz 6
i9 8950K 2.9 GHz 4.8 GHz 6
i5 9600K 3.7 GHz 4.6 GHz 6
i7 9700K 3.6 GHz 4.9 GHz 8
i9 9900K 3.6 GHz 5.1 GHz 8
i7 10750H 2.6GHz 5GHz 8
i9 10890K 2.4GHz 5.3GHz 8

 

CPU Base Turbo Cores
AMD Ryzen 9 4800HS 2.2 4.4GHz 8
AMD Ryzen 7 3750H 2.3 4.0 4
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U 2.3 4.0 4
AMD Ryzen 5 3550H 2.1 3.7 4
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U 2.1 3.7 4
AMD Ryzen 3 3300U 2.1 3.5 4

What’s the highest I should aim for?

When it comes to minecraft there is no such thing as overkill on the cpu front. Better CPU will always translate to better graphics and more features. Check our full post on AMD/Intel CPUs if you want a much better comparison table of what they currently got to offer.

But generally the CPU should be at least in the mid to high 2GHz range, +3GHz is ideal.

QuadCore vs Dual Core

Today, dual cores are found mostly Intel Core i3 or Ryzen 3 processors. They’ll run MC with no problems and even let you play with mods but you should opt for quad cores CPUS anyways. Although they will not increase performance with MC significantly they’re all round better at multitasking.

Six Core and Eight Cores

These are not really needed unless they got more clock frequency. They’ll only be more useful for  tougher jobs, such as video editing .

Modded MC

Preferably gen 7/8/9. (Look for processors with names that have “Core i7-7XXX” for 7th gen and “Core i7-8XXX” for 8th gen etc.)

AMD vs Intel

Laptops

Generally AMD processors will give you the best bang for your buck even on laptops. You can check out how several laptops with AMD processors and a dedicated GPU are a lot cheaper than their Intel Counterparts. So if you’re looking to get the best bang for your buck in terms of CPU performance + GPU, you should definitely include a couple of AMD laptops on your list.

If you have the budget to afford the most powerful CPU out there, you’re going to do a lot better with Intel CPUs as you can easily see on the table above. Note that the AMD Ryzen 9 HS 4800 CPU might actually be more powerful than many of the Intel Processors with “higher clock speeds”. This is due to design and cooling factors. Unfortunately AMD Ryzen 9 CPU laptops are like a unicorn today and you won’t find them that easily.

Desktops

For years i’d have said intel on desktops too, now AMD is strong on single clock frequency too. In fact, I would go for AMD myself now. I bought my Intel processor way before the new Ryzen Series was out. 

At nearly every price range AMD will give you better performance, better “price” , better connectivity and better overclockability(is that a word?).

I suggest you pick an AMD Ryzen processor in almost every instance unless you have unlimited budget and want the best performance for gaming by opting for one of the most insanely powerful Intel CPUs.

CPUs like the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 or 3600x are a great budget choices. Intel doesn’t really compete for budget CPUs right now.

OLD CPUS

AMD and Intel are always releasing new generations of processors and they come out with a new generation at least once a year. So previous generations aren’t that bad and may still be worth buying if you are not looking to run MC on turbo mode.

But just because you heard that MC can run on a toaster and you only have enough money to buy the oldest one doesn’t mean you should. If you plan on buying an OLC CPU due to budget issues, follow these simple rules and you won’t be wasting all that hard earned cash:

  • Avoid any of the low voltage versions, AMDs E1, E2 or Micro processers, and Intel Celeron, Atom, M or Y processors(Ex: m5-6Y54 , m5-6Y57).
  • Look instead for  AMD processors with a 7xxxP or 8xxxP part number, or Intel processers with 4xxx, 5xxx, or 6xxx part numbers.  
  • When browsing around old CPUs with confusing labels and are not sure which processor runs faster than the other, You can compare processor speeds at NotebookCheck’s Comparison of Mobile Processors (CPU Benchmarks). Ignore the numbers and use search (Ctrl-F) to find each chip’s rank in the tab
  • As a general rule don’t go below the 6 year mark:
    • Ex: Ivy Bridge(3rd generation Intel CPUs) use very old integrated GPUs on the CPUs, and Intel does not support those GPUs on Windows 10.
    • Also 32-bit CPUs cannot access enough ram to run an OS and 1.10.2 packs simultaneously.
    • There are exceptions to this rule and some really old CPU can run MC but why play with fire though?

The cool thing about old CPUs is that you can get laptops/desktops for less than $200 US that can run up to  4GHz. Considerably less if you don’t insist on the bigger brand.

Price CPU Performance Lowest Price
200-300 A8 or A10 AMD P Processors; 4th, 5th, or 6th generation Intel Core i3 processor Low all the settings turned down 150
300-400 AMD A10 processor, the A10-7400P or the A10-8700P.
Core i5 or i7 processer 4th or 5th generation
Medium Settings 250
400-500 AMD FX processor, the FX-7600P and FX8800P,  5th or 6th generation Core i5 or i7 processors (Must have a NVIDIA dedicated CHIP or don’t bother)  Full HD, all settings on maximum.  

400-500 can seriously run the game at high settings:

For ex: An Intel Core i5  4210 U + GT 840M will run MC at +130 FPS in 1.8. Note that the CPU is actually a dual core processor (though with hyperthreading) and with 1.7-2.4GHz of clock frequency.

These CPUS are extremely hard to find though  and you shouldn’t pay that price unless they come with a dedicated GPU and are professionally refurbished because modern laptops within that price range have far better and faster processors.

When you’ve come up a shortlist of laptops, search for the processor numbers on Notebookcheck’s Comparison of Mobile Processors (CPU Benchmarks) to see where they come. Higher is obviously better. Aim for the top 200.

OLD CPUs for Moded MC

Just so you know the section above was not including Mods. A CPU will heavily more loaded with a big modpack.

Ex: CPU: RLcraft is much heavier on the CPU than regular MC. You should at least aim for a Core i7, 7th gen (that’s actually not old but older than 8th 9th gen CPUs).

GPU

The GPU pretty much determines how good your computer will be at rendering, the better the GPU, the smoother performance overall you can expect from games.

 

Graphics Fancy is more resource intensive; it turns on shadow rendering, dynamic water, volumetric clouds, and transparent leaves, among other things. Switch to “Fast” to disable the effects and increase  FPS.
Render Distance  How far the Minecraft engine renders the game, in chunks, from the player’s current position. Lowering this number increases FPS.
Smooth Lighting  This setting has a very minimal effect on performance; we suggest leaving it on because toggling it to the lower settings is pretty ugly (and you gain very little FPS boost in return).
Max Framerate  This section is actually a bit counterintuitive. Your computer cannot display a frame rather higher than the refresh rate of monitor so limiting it to the refresh rate of your monitor (30, 60, or  120hz) is recommended.
3D Anaglyph  For use with traditional red-blue 3D glasses.
View Bobbing  When on, the players head bobs slightly while walking; when off, the view is stable.
GUI Scale  Adjusts the onscreen display (e.g. quick access bar and health/hunger). If you are playing on a very large monitor and find the GUI to be too small, you can fix it here.
Advanced OpenGL  Only works on machines with GPUs that support OpenGL 2.0+; helps increase FPS by only rendering what is visible to the player. There is no risk in turning it on (if you do not have the right  GPU, nothing will happen).
Clouds  Turning the clouds off offers a minor increase in performance.
Brightness  No effect on performance, simply a gamma-style adjustment of in-game light levels.
Particles  Turning off particles, (e.g. the smoke from torches) offers a minor increase in performance.
Full screen  Switching the game to full screen mode can increase performance as more of the GPU is directed explicitly toward the game.
Use Vsync  Vsync locks your frame rate to the refresh rate of your monitor. Turn this off if you are routinely getting less than the refresh rate of your monitor (e.g. your monitor is 60Hz but you usually only  get 25FPS) because it can cause lag and an annoying stuttering of the on-screen image. If you have a powerful computer Vsync is an easy way to frame limit your FPS to the current monitor’s  refresh rate.
Mipmap  Higher levels offer higher texture smoothing; decreasing Mipmap level can increase performance but at the cost of uglier textures.
Anisotropic Filtering  Works with the Mipmap system and restores detailing (especially on surfaces viewed at a distance or at an angle); turning off the AF can increase performance.

The settings you choose for graphics, lighting, textures, render distance, and screen size – plus the number of mods and plug-ins installed – can all slow the frame-rate.

If the graphics start to judder and lag, you will need to dial back the fancy effects until you get a good playing experience.

Hitting F3 will show the frame rate. I’d aim for at least 50-60 frames per second at full screen. As usual, more is better.

Besides hitting high settings, the GPU also comes into play when you start using high-res textures and shaders.

But of course you don’t necessarily NEED those things. The game can look amazing with 32×32 textures and the lagless internal shaders. If you are interested in going beyond that then you need to learn a bit about GPUs(video cards).

Integrated GPU

To keep it simple an integrated GPU exists on the CPU and is a little part of the CPU reserved for graphics, integrated GPUs share memory with your CPU, so out of 8GB of total physical RAM, your integrated GPU could reserve 1GB or so to itself. This is one of the reasons why an Integrated GPU will slow down performance in a game, it’s taking away extra RAM your CPU could be using. You may be temped to go for the latest “integrated GPU” hoping to get great graphics performance but in fact you would be better off with an old and low end dedicated GPU.

If you see an Intel HD something-or-other as the graphics adapter, you have an integrated GPU. Intel GPUs are always integrated. For AMD you have to make a google search, it’s not easy to tell.

Of course, Integrated video cards will also let you run Minecraft, but you’re more likely to run into performance issues and a lower FPS the moment you start upping the settings or adding heavy mod packs/shaders. Some integrated graphics cards will let you install a great deal of mods but definitely you won’t be able to use shaders and expect smooth performance.

And obviously high graphics settings will bring them to their knees even with OptiFine and other optimisations.

Which Integrated GPUs are worth buying?

INTEL:  If you’re relying on built-in graphics aim for Intel HD 520,620 cards which aren’t too bad for MC and might even let you get away with Medium Settings. These are only found on 6th generation processor onwards.

AMD: If you see AMD, best to look it up on the internet to see if it’s an integrated or dedicated because it’s hard to tell. However if you see integrated, don’t immediately recoil and look for another computer if this is your best option. AMD GPUs tend to be comparable to low-end dedicated cards which are more powerful than integrated HD Cards on avg.

As a general rule, I suggest you grab anything equal or higher than a AMD Radeon R5 GPU for laptops and R7 250 or higher for desktops. The latter can actually provide some headroom to run some of the lighter shader packs..

Check our post on AMD GPUs to see which AMD GPUs are similar to the cards mentioned.

Dedicated GPU (dGPU)

A dedicated graphics card is an expansion card that plugs into your computer’s motherboard through a PCIe (Peripheral Component Interface express) slot, and it’s a dedicated graphics powerhouse that your computer offloads graphical instructions to to process and execute very quickly.

Not only can are they better at  processing graphical instructions but they also have their own memory dedicated memory “vRAM” (so no more sharing system RAM). This is why having even a low end and OLD dedicated GPU will perform far better than any recent integrated GPU.

However, dedicated cards also tend to suck up more power and output more heat, and are more expensive to manufacture, hence they’re only find on mid to high end laptops. They add a significant amount to the final cost of a computer/laptop.

Which dedicated dGPU is good for me?

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

Intel does not have dedicated GPUs and if you see NVIDIA, your always going to have a dedicated graphics card. Which GPU?

That depends on how exactly you want to run MineCraft.

Low End dGPUs: MX 150, MX 250, 1050. If all you are after is maxing out rendering distance, texture details and every graphical settings on MC and still be able to hit +60 fps. You can just grab any of the low-end GPU or anything similar.

Mid Range dGPUs: 1050Ti,1650,1060,1660Ti. If you want do all the above but add heavy mods and shaders you can settle with any of these GPUs. The highest you should go for is a 1660Ti. There’s no point on getting more powerful graphics than that if you just plan on using it for MC.

High End dGPUs: The 1080, 1070 series are pretty much useless for MineCraft because that money could invested on a RTX card instead: RTX 2060,2070 and 2080. And even these are only useful to play RTX Minecraft. High end GPUs are not worth your money for just MineCraft, you’ll get enough power for heavy mods and shaders with mid range GPUs.

Modded + Shaded MC and High End Dedicated GPUs

 AMD and Intel have been improving there integrated graphics and today there is less reason to insist on dGPU unless you deal with high res resource mod packs and shaders .

But that not only depends on what modpacks and shaders you are using but how large your bases tend to be. A casual player in single player mode may not need a super high end GPU if his bases are relatively small but he is still using shaders+modpacks….you may be OK with an entry to mid range GPU.  Basically anyone who doesn’t build a super complex and large base may not need to use high end GPUs,

But if you do, you’ll need at least a GPU with the power of a 970GTX. This equals to 1070,1080 and any of the high end GPUs. This isn’t likely the case for most people because not everyone is really into complex and monstruous size bases.

 

AMD or NVIDIA?

ATI Radeon or NVIDIA GeForce are actually both good choices for MC. AMD GPUs are way cheaper and I hate to say this again but in fact unless you are planning on playing RTX Minecraft or other GPU intensive games like CoD, you may be better off with an AMD GPU , they are not that “powerful” but are powerful to maximize MC settings and let you play with all mods and at a cheaper price.

Laptops: Unfortunately, this is only true for desktops because laptops rarely come with an AMD GPU. If you find an AMD  dedicated GPU on a laptop, it will only have the power equal to an entry level NVIDIA GPU and more than likely won’t be any cheaper (most of the time they’re found on MacBooks and you know how that story goes…)

Note: There’s a saying that some AMD owners have found a few bugs with AMD GPUs and later on find NVIDIA GPUs to be more compatible with Open GL based applications like MC, this means that shaders will give you some bugs here and there. That may be partly true but we haven’t seen this happening with our AMD Rigs and it probably would have happened if we had to deal with them from the very beggining (the first drivers for that AMD GPU). What I’m trying to say is that later drive updates will eliminate these issues.

RAM

RAM means memory and that memory is where Minecraft will be stored when played. More specifically the necessary files to run MineCraft including mod packs, shaders and so on will be transfered from your hard drive to the RAM for the CPU to process. The CPU could process those files directly from your storage drive but that would make it unrealistically slower. RAM is memory that sits right next to your CPU and it can be read a lot faster.

Most Laptops will come with 2, 4, or 8GB installed, and have expansion slots for you to upgrade them if needed.

How much RAM Do I need?

Although MC can run fin with 1/2 GB of RAM if allocated (we’ve tested it) you’ll be severely limited in what you can do. 

Single player mode and Multi Player mode will do okay but nothing else added.

Given that the operating system will also need to use some of the RAM, we suggest 4GB at a minimum if you got nothing but Windows 10 running on the background ( Windows 10 will take about <1.5GB)

I’d personally opt for about 8GB because I may be running other stuff on the background.

2GB isn’t enough for anything these days especially if you start running Minecraft with mods.

What’s the highest RAM I would benefit from? 

More RAM is always a good thing with MC:

Minecraft uses a software paging system which is ‘horizontally scaleable’. This means, the more ram you throw at it, the better the paging. I believe they’re called ‘chunks’ in Minecraft.

A lot of times the lag in minecraft is caused by having to page the chunks as they come into view. So if you have a lot of ram, the chunks can be pre-loaded and you are likely to never face any tiny bit of lag.

Of course there’s a limit to it.

I found that I was still getting benefit up to about 12Gb assigned to the JVM, after that there was pretty much no benefit.

Modded MineCraft 

RAM is actually the biggest thing for modded minecraft, if you don’t have enough you’ll be screwed even if you have pretty good GPU.

The 1.10.2 and newer modpacks will easily use 8GB of ram. So get at least 8GB preferably 12GB if you ever go crazy with Mods and if you want to add texture packs too.

But on average modded will take about 1GB of RAM more (80mods) versus ~300MB or so megabytes for vanilla(remember to take Windows into the equation too),

Is there too much RAM for MC?

Actually there is but only if you specifically allocate too much RAM to MineCraft. That’s because JAVA can periodically cause high lag when it runs its memory cleanup garbage collection.

RAM Speed

We are now in the 4th generation of RAM, in other words, you should be able to come across DDR4 RAM sticks only. But sometimes you may see DDR3 RAM sticks on laptops and used desktops just remember that DDR4 is faster and will play a huge role in eliminating lag with MC.

Storage Drive

Capacity

Minecraft files are not large so really just about any sized hard drive will do. All new computers have more than enough space to run the game and store a reasonable amount of mods, so as long as you have at least 1GB you’ll be fine.

But I’d strongly STRONGLY recommend getting a SSD in your rig. I don’t think a high end GPU is worth the price if you plan on upgrading a desktop or buying a new high end gaming laptop you’d be better off paying that extra money for a medium-sized SSD.

Display

Obviously Minecraft will run on any sized screen but I found the larger the screen, the better the gaming experience that may be obvious too but think about  the screen size if you’re going to play minecraft for hours on end.

A nice big screen not only helps with the immersive experience but also the comfort of having it up at eye-level, rather than craning your (old) neck peering downwards.

Refresh Rates

Anyways modern displays, even on laptops, have all the features to put out a nice color and enough resolution to enjoy the game. The only thing you should look at, especially if you are going to use shaders and play the game at fancy settings, is your monitor’s refresh rates.

Vanilla MC with no fancy graphics

If you’re just building a PC or a laptop to get 60 fps on MC, then you shouldn’t realy worry about what display or monitor you’re getting because most of them will be able to output those 60fps on your screen (refresh the screen with 60 frames per second).

Shaded MC with Fancy Settings

On the other hand, if you’re investing a lot of money to use the most realistic shaders and texture packs and setting it all to the highest possible settings and still have your FPS counter give you +100 fps (which you can access with F3), it will all go to waste if you get a regular monitor that can only display 60fps.

In other words, if you’re trying to get the best gaming experience you need to be aiming for a 120Hz or a 240Hz monitor depending on how much FPS you want to see on your screen and how much FPS your rig is outputting.

For example, if your rig is outputting 120 fps and you only got a monitor with 60Hz refresh rates, you’re only going to see 60FPS with your eyes (although the counter will still say 120FPS).

Ports 

If you’re buying a laptop don’t read this section. It’s for desktops.

It can get a little more complicated.

Even if your rig can output 100FPS and your Monitor has 100Hz, you may not be able to see those 100FPS on your monitor becaues you may still be capped by the lower refresh rate capabilities of the ports on your graphics cards (GPU) or display.

For example, some gaming monitors feature 120Hz refresh rates, but have HDMI 1.4 and DisplayPort 1.4. This means that you can only take advantage of the 120Hz refresh rate if you use DisplayPort; you’ll be stuck at 60Hz if you use HDMI.

Read our blog post on DisplayPort vs HDMI vs DVI vs VGA to learn about the pros, cons and limitations of the different types of connections and more details about this issue.

Budget Options and MineCraft’s Speed

This section is meant to be read by people who can’t even pay 400 bucks for a low-end computer that can run MC with no lag. If you don’t fit in that category, then this post is over! You don’t need to read this. Although if you just want to learn more about MC and perhaps squeeze even more framerates, the last two sections may come in handy.

Ultra Cheap Desktops 

Cheap desktops you find at CostCo and even those with Intel Pentium processors are actually viable and will more than likely give you better framerates than a new cheap modern laptop.

This is because unlike laptops desktops have plenty of room for fans and their processors are able to run faster (hotter) without auto destroying(which happens if a laptop’s processors goes all out). 

Plus most desktops(again because of space) have their own dedicated graphics cards which do not share memory with the CPU’s RAM as in the case of laptop’s integrated GPU.

In the off chance, you don’t get a dedicated GPU on the desktop you’re trying to buy, you can always install one yourself later. On the other hand, laptops are not upgradeable, so you are stuck with whatever you get. However, make sure to check out what that motherboard can support (which GPUs you can install in it).

Intel Pentium/Celeron Laptops

These are the cheapest laptops you’ll find online NEW, they cost from 200-300 bucks and can go as low as 150$.  However, just because MineCraft doesn’t look fancy doesn’t mean you’ll be able to play comfortably if you set everything to low. 

I’ve tried to play the game on a 14in HP Laptop with a Celeron Processor, 4GB and 64GB of eMMC storage , a laptop that can cost you around 250$, and it wasn’t really worth it.

Now you may say “Wait the RAM is too low” but I’ve also tested on my cousin’s laptop which has an AMD Processor (A8-7410) with 4GB of RAM and a much slower storage (HDD) and the results were vastly different, he was at least able to play the game with low settings with 20-30 FPS.

In other words, if you go for pentium/celeron laptops you’re going to give a LOT of CPU power and storage space just to save 100$ bucks.

[Tip] This is why I can’t recommend Pentium/Celeron or similar low end machines for playing the full version of MineCraft even if plan to use it with the lowest settings and Optifine. The Pocket or BedRock edition would be a better bet, and even then you’ll be able to run it faster on an XBox One[/tip]

But then again…running on a console isn’t a good idea anyways…you’ll have to face the problem of not being able to share your world or back it up or just move it between devices?

Rerfurbished Laptops

“Say What? I’m not going to buy used Laptops!”

Let me tell you something all of us in the site have bought refurbished laptops (not for the site but for our personal use). Why? We aren’t rich and a lot of us are still in grad school and we are not dumb either….

They’re a good Deal…

Few people realize that refurbished laptops when sold by very respectable companies like Amazon or Apple are a great option if you can’t afford a new one.

There’s warranty…

Of course like every new laptop, you may end up with a defective one. But the good news is that if you have a 3 month warranty you can return it and get another one or get your money back. Three months is a pretty good timeframe to find out if you really got a bad apple.

Opt for good brands…

You can minimize these chances by trying to buy refurbished laptops from last year and perhaps avoid certain brands. We recommend Lenovos, ASUS, MSI and Acer in that order. 

You can upgrade them later too which is cheaper…

You can easily find a refurbished laptop that sells for 350 bucks at 250 with a processor that can will let you run MineCraft at least at medium settings. You can then replace the RAM and HDD at your will to make this thing fly in the future. Just make sure you’re not buying an Pentium/Celeron like processor (forgot what was the AMD equivalent) and to land a “recent” integrated GPU as we discussed these are good enough for MC.

If you’re patient you can find a nice deal…

If you keep sniffing around Amazon/Ebay for a while, you’ll definitely come across a great bargain. One of us got a great gaming machine with an entry level card and a SSD for about 350 bucks.

But Why do we have to be so careful and Why is MineCraft So slow? 

This is hella surprising even for me, the only computer science major on the site.

I’ve definitely been able to run games with more fancy graphics on a Pentium/Celeron processor and even on a ChromeBook (game apps with cool 3D graphics).

My first thought was: Java. Java is not a popular programming language for games and large applications, it’s just too slow (due to garbage collection). But even then I haven’t heard of Java making any game too slow to require high processing power, so it is unlikely to be the only cause.

After doing some research, I read about an user commenting on what MC has to process: it has to render chunks back and forth, all the time, this might make it more resource intensive.

But then we can also dig into MC’s history, the developer,  wrote the game mostly for fun at the beginning. Then people around him commented on how  cool it was and he decided to make it big with it. He originally chose Java as the language because well it was meant to be an experiment or something easy  to play around withi basically it wasn’t meant to be what it is today.

This probably led to sloppy code in places where it mattered (places where it would’ve helped optimization for less hardware) and an overall inefficient design.

He did hire a development team right after he started to foresee that this thing might become very popular.However, even with the development team and the time they have had to optimize the original code by now, perhaps they’ve all decided along with Mojang to leave some of the original code for unknown reasons and this has led to its relative slow performance with computers.

These are all just conjectures, they’re the only ones who have the answer to this question.

Optimizing Minecraft

There are hundreds of videos and posts on how to optimize the game. We are not going over every tip but only what’s essential to know and what worked for us.

Opfitine

This is the most known script/software you can use to optimize your FPS.  Although MC is mostly single threaded believe or not, this software can do a lot of wonderful things including the expansion of multi core usage. In some cases, it may make the game playable on an old laptop that just couldn’t run the game properly before.

Java
It’s funny how some people can run Crysis on High settings and still experience some lag with MC. The reason is simple, it’s all Java’s fault. What MIGHT fix the issue is updating your version of Java or getting the correct one.

Antivirus

Okay, if you’re like me, and using tons of mods, chances are you may have downloaded a virus as well. Make sure you get a good antivirus, you’ll be surprised to find out you’re riddled with them!

BackGround Apps

The most simple tip is to avoid running anythiing else at the same time. However, you can actually take this to the extreme and use a softare like. Razer Cortex Game Booster which will automatically shut off any unnecessary process and app when you’re gaming and then running them again when you stop gaming.

This is much safer than pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL and just clicking end process on any task you don’t recognize.

Hardware Optimization

Besides Optifine, Magic Launcher for Minecraft . may come in handy if you’re a big mods guy. It will let you allocate more RAM to Java and make mod usage a lot simpler. It can also make the window size smaller which can increase your FPS.

Comments?

If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or recommendations on finding the best laptop for minecraft. Please let us know in the comments below.