Like every other blizzard game, Overwatch can run on anything short of a toaster. However if you try to play Overwatch with old and weak specs, the game will start to look like a PSX game with jagged edges, polygons and huge drops in framerates.
If you want the best laptop for Overwatch, something you can start playing competitively with, you don’t have to shell out 3000$ for the latest alienware/ASUS ROG either.
But yeah the price will depend on how detailed you want the game to look and what framerates you want.
But I want to play at high settings…..
I think as long as you settle with 1080p resolution at high settings and getting +60fps you don’t have to spend more than 800 bucks.
I myself didn’t have to go that high though and didn’t embarass myself when playing the game either lower settings at medium or low are cool too if you get high enough framerates.
The problem is…
Picking up a laptop capable of hitting high framerates on your own can be nightmare.
Even if you know exactly what specs you need, there are hundreds of models to choose from and extremely difficult which ones are giving you the best bang for your buck.
That’s what this post is all about.
We are not just going to list the 5 best laptops for Overwatch with the best bang for your buck but also go over all the info you need to pick a laptop for Overwatch on your own( for any setting you want: from 720p to 4k resolution at 30-150FPS).
For this I’ve divided this post in 2 sections:
First we will show you the 5 best laptops for Overwatch then we’ll reveal all the details you need to figure this thing out on your own and play with the settings/FPS you want.
- Top 5 Best Laptops For Overwatch
- How To Buy The Best Laptop for OverWatch
Top 5 Best Laptops For Overwatch
When picking up a laptop from this list keep in mind that overwatch is a fast-moving, competitive title.
Because of the enormous speed of the game play, you should prioritize on picking a laptop that can run the game at least at 40FPS(60fps is ideal though).
Note: If you can’t afford a laptop from this list that can run it at 45 fps for the settings, then do yourself a favor and get a laptop that can play it at lower settings with 45FPS. Higher resolution/high settings look nice but they won’t up your game.
1. Acer Nitro 5
Best Budget Laptop for Overwatch
The 1650/Core i5 9300H/10300H combo on some laptops have the best performance/money ratio not just for OverWatch but pretty much any game. They’re both considered “mid-range” in the gaming industry but this is enough to play the game at 1080p at ultra settings and get 85FPS.
The best part of this laptop (and the other models we’ll go over) is that the manufacturer hasn’t cut down prices on the display quality (it’s still full HD IPS) nor the storage: the PCIe NVMe SSD.
If you can’t find this model on stock or you find it too expensive check out this table with more alternatives (we’ll go over the best option out of these the ASUS TUF in the next review).
|Acer Aspire 5||Core i5-1035G1||MX350 2GB||649$|
|ASUS ZenBook||Ryzen 5 4500U||MX350 2GB||699$|
|HP Pavilion Gaming||Core i5 9300H||1050 3GB||760$|
|MSI GF63||Core i5 9300H||1650GTX 4GB||750$|
|ASUS TUF FX505DT||Ryzen 5 3550H||1650GTX 4GB||750$|
|MSI GF63 Thin 9SCX||Core i5 9300H||1650GTX 4GB||699$|
|ASUS VivoBook||Ryzen 5 3500U||1050GTX 2GB||599$|
|ASUS TUF LCD||Ryzen 5 3550H||1650GTX 4GB||719$|
*Note those with 1050/MX350/250 will get you around 60fps at medium/high as opposed to +85FPS at ultra if you get a 1650GTX.
2. ASUS TUF FX505DT
Best Laptop for Overwatch 60fps and 120fps
AMD Ryzen 5 R5-3550H
GeForce GTX 1650
256GB PCIe SSD
15.6” 120Hz Full HD
Chances are the Acer Nitro might be out of the stock or the price has increased significantly (there’s been a huge demand for it for the past months) and there’s like 5 reviews of that laptop on Amazon piling up everyday.
But this laptop comes to the rescue it gives you pretty much the same framerates at ultra settings ( as you can see it’s got the same GPU). It is true the Ryzen 5 3550H isn’t as powerful as the Core i5 9300H (~0.3GHz) but it isn’t a big difference really so you’re going to get 80FPS on average at ultra settings 1080p resolution.
There’s a plus side on this model though, you’re actually getting a 120Hz display, which the Acer Nitro 5 nor any model below 800 bucks has. This is one of the reasons why it’s a good idea to pick up a Ryzen AMD chip these days, they’re just as powerful as their Intel competitors and cheaper so the manufacturers has extra cash to add new features to their laptops.
If you tweak down the settings to medium or high (which is what a lot of players due anyways), your framerates will definitely go past +100FPs and might even go as far as 130FPS . So this 120Hz will def. come in handy.
3. HP 14 TouchScreen
Cheap Laptop For Overwatch
Core i3-8100U 3.4GHz
8GB RAM DDR4
AMD Radeon Vega
256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
14” IPS full HD 1080p
This is not the cheapest laptop that can run Overwatch but it is the cheapest on that can run the game at 40-50FPS w/ low settings at 720p .
Those models used to cost around 350$ last year (with older CPU/GPUs of course) however they’ve now added a PCIe NVMe SSD and 8GB of RAM making the price jump by nearly 450$.
You can try and look for cheaper models like on the table here:
|ASUS ImagineBook||Core M3-8100Y||4GB||Windows 10S||349$|
|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$|
The problem is that many of these do not come with Windows 10 so you’ll have to either pay for a Windows 10 license or not play Overwatch because it is not compatible with Windows S.
However many of them do come with Windows 10 and are cheaper like the Lenovo 3 however they also come with just 4GB RAM so you may have to do an upgrade on your own. I’d recommend doing that to people who know about computers but if you don’t just buy the HP model here and save yourself the hassle.
What About the AMD Ryzen 3/AMD Vega 3 GPU? Isn’t the Intel HD/Core i3 combo better?
Well it is better but mostly for multicore applications and OW isn’t realy one of them so you’ll be getting about the same framerates.
On the other hand, the Vega 3 integrated GPU is not substantially faster than the Intel HD 620 but it is faster.
Anyways, the point is that Ryzen 3 laptops are currently the thing for those on a really tighit budget that don’t mind playing or doing anything at low settings.
4. MSI GF65 Thin 9SEXR
Best Laptop For Overwatch under 1000
15” full HD 120Hz IPS
I wrote the article on WoW too and I’m going to say it again. I’m a big fan of the 2060RTX.
Why 2060RTX? Because it is the cheapest of the latest Ray Tracing GPUs right now and the one that gives you the best bang for your buck (you’ll be hitting +100 FPS on ultra for most games) and might even be good for 4k gaming (though you will struggle to get 60fps with this CPU).
Anyways I made a list of about 50 laptops with a 2060RTX. and the cheapest one really came down to this MSI model which was released last month and it’s easy to why: it’s got a Core i5 9300H.
The Core i5 9300H isn’t as expensive as Core i7 of the same generation but it does have about the same clock speed and that’s what’s important for gaming. What I’m trying to say you’re not losing a lot of framerates unless you step into 10th Core i7 but that would increase the price significantly.
Another thing to be aware of is the 120Hz display, it’s still there.
The 2060RTX will get you around 130FPS at Ultra settings with 1080p resolution. 4k gaming isn’t really smart here because the display only has 1080p but it can be used for that as long as you get na external display (but really you might as well get a desktop).
5. Acer Predator Helios 300
Best Gaming Laptop For Overwatch
NVIDIA RTX 2060
512GB PCIe NVMe
15” full HD 120Hz IPS
Lastly, the laptop I currently own myself and the best deal among the most recent beats out there.
The Acer Predator, I am sure you’ve heard of it, if not, is actually popular among gamers not just because of their beast hardware but the fact that it’s insanely optimized for high end gaming from the display to the RAM /the CPU/GPU and even the keyboard.
What I love about the Acer Predator are the temperatures and the cooling, they keep my CPU/GPU at safe levels so I can game for long sessions.
But what makes it so popular for gamers is that they actually give you the best bang for your buck in the high end sector of the gaming market.
The Core i7 here is of the 10th generation and it’s a huge leap from the Core i5 9300H, of about 1GHZ.
Now this beast lets me run the game at 80FPS at EPIC settings (not Ultra) but I don’t really play at this settings for long sessions because the temperatures can get a little dangerous and you really shouldn’t on a laptop.
How To Buy The Best Laptop for OverWatch
Blizzard has a lot of experience making their games reach out as many systems as possible.
Not every gamer is equipped with a high-end 2000$ gaming rig. The characters, the interface, the sound, the maps, the comic style and colors are not only designed to make the game appealing to the eyes but also scalable to low end systems.
These are the recommended official specs for desktops listed on their site.
|Processor||Intel Core i3 or AMD Phenom X3 8650||Intel Core i5 or AMD Phenom II X3 or better|
|Graphics||Nvidia GeForce GTX 460, ATI Radeon HD 4850 or Intel HD Graphics 4400||Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7950 or better|
|Minimum Resolution||1024 x 768||1024 x 768|
If you don’t know a lot about computer jargon (we have a tutorial on everything you need to know on the sidebar/end of this post if you reading on this a mobile phone), translating what they mean for laptops can be difficult.
These specs roughly translates to:
- CPU: ~3GHz (Dual Core)
- GPU: Intel HD 520 Graphics/AMD Radeon Graphics
- CPU:+3GHz (Quad Core)
- GPU: GTX 950M/960M/1050GTX/Radeon Pro 540/550
Just like pretty much every other game out there, Overwatch is very very single-threaded.
By this I mean multicore CPUs,how many cores they have, do not matter even if Blizzard says it does. (They have a small impact on the game but the point is that you’ll get way better performance with a high clock speed CPU than a low speedd CPU with more cores).
So what matters is really your CPU’s single clock speed (measured in Hz) and RAM clock speed (we’ll get to that later) as we’ll go over soon the GPU doesn’t matter that much a lot as long as it’s a “dedicated one”.
|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|
|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|
That doesn’t mean they will all give you the settings you want.
Low Settings: Although overwatch is insanely optimized, you still can’t settle for cheap and old processors. I would not go lower than a 6th generation Core i3 processor and lower than AMD Ryzen(labeled in Blue).
In other words, avoid Celeron, Pentium (laptops) and mobile chips like m3 m5 Y3 and any non Ryzen AMD CPU made before 2018.
Follow this rule and you’ll be hitting anywhere from 30-50FPS at low settings with 720p resolution. This is not the best but still playable.
Medium: You could pull off medium at 720p with chips similar to the i3 8145U, i3 10100U , i5 8250U i5 8265U AMD Ryzen 5 3500U and AMD Ryzen 7 3700U or any of the Green chips and get ~30FPS. Basically ~3.5GHz
However for 1080p gameplay and 60FPS you’re going to need at least an entry level “dedicated GPU”(we’ll go over that soon). All processors just mentioned do not have a dedicated GPU paired up with them, only integrated ones and this is what will limit them to run at 30fps medium settings.
High And Epic: The purple CPUs (those well above +4GHz) should get you +60FPS on high to epic settings. However you will need a “mid range GPU” if not you’ll just be able to hit medium settings. We’ll go over what mid-range GPUs mean.
2. GPU(Video Cards)
GPUs can be divided into integrated and dedicated. Integrated are basically those that come by default and are “attached” to your CPU sharing the same resources. Dedicated are pretty much own their and have their own resources so they are several times faster for processing graphics.
Integrated Video Cards
As a minimum, Blizzard suggests that you have at least an Intel HD 4400(desktop).
For modern laptops, you’ll find integrated cards as:
HD 520, HD 530,HD 620 Iris 550,
HD 530, HD 550, Iris Pro 520. All of them pretty capable to play the game at low settings.
And on AMD processors you’ll find them as:
AMD Radeon R(3,5,7) GPU or AMD Radeon Vega X(3,5,7). I would only touch Vega GPUs for AMD though.
These cards are included on laptops made during the past 3 years ( on the 5th,6th and 7th generation Intel processors and current Ryzen U processors).
Note that on average(depending on your CPU) these cards will give you around 30-50fps with 1366×768 on low detail settings and 33-75% render scale.
Dedicated Video Cards
If you want to go above 1080p resolution and still hit +60FPS you need a dedicated GPU, there’s no workaround, no matter how fast your CPU is. Even a low entry like the MX150 on the video will do because the game isn’t very GPU dependent. In fact, there are no benefits going beyond a certain point.
|2060 Super||2,176||8GB||1650 MHz|
|2080 Super||3072||8GB||1815 MHz|
|Radeon 610||320||2GB||1030||Intel UHD 620|
|Pro RX 555X||768||2GB||855||MX150/MX250|
|Radeon RX 550||640||4GB||1287 – 1476||+950M|
|Radeon RX 560X||1024||4GB||1172 – 1275||1050GTX|
|RX5500M||1408||8GB||1327 – 1645||~1660Ti|
*Current dedicated GPUs found on laptops as of 2020.
720p+full Render Scale(56FPS) or 1080p with ~73% Render Scale(75FPS): On paper this requires a GeForce GT 750M or the 940MX (~56FPS). Today this translates to any green GPU on the table.
1080p w/ 80% render scale (~80FPS) : Like I said OW isn’t GPU intensive (like CoD) , these settings were achievable with an 870/880M/980M in the past. Those were the most expensive cards 5 years ago and today’s mid-range GPUs are just as powerful.
In fact, you can get 85FPS at Ultra settings with any of the purple GPUs (as high as +130FPS with the RTX2060). Higher GPUs will start giving you diminishing returns (10FPS incrementally).
4k resolution (60FPS): The RTX 2060, 2070,2080 and the 1660Ti, 1070,1080, RX M5550M will let you play at 4k resolution start from 60FPS.
I’m not a big fan of 4k gaming though thats why I have not included those high end GPUs on the list. Imo, you just need 1080p to play competitively and squeezing out more FPS at lower resolutions will always give you an edge over other players.
9th/8th generation NVIDIA GPUs and Older AMD GPUs
If you’re on a budget and found a cheap older (new or refurbished) model, it may not come with any of the GPUs on table. How can you tell what kind of framerates will you be getting on the game? You can do two things:
- Either you take the data here and compare it let’s say a 970M GPU to a GPU on the table . Notebookcheck is the best place to do this. You can’t use NoteBookCheck to track fps numbers because they’re kind of innacurate(they may use bots) though they’re useful to make relative comparisons..
- Check out the thousands of youtube videos by users benchmarking all of those cards.
AMD vs NVIDIA
AMD GPUs are cheaper and found on budget laptops more frequently, NVIDIA graphics are a bit more expensive but all things being equal they are about 10% better in Overwatch compared to their AMD equivalents. That translates to…let’s say 110FPS instead of 100FPS. Evaluate if that’s a huge difference for you.
Windows 10 takes ~ 2GB of RAM.
Overwatch will require around ~2GB RAM at any given time.
You need at least 4GB if you’re not running anything in the background but…
If you are using an integrated GPU then it’s going to be using 1-2GB (integrated GPU don’t have dedicated “RAM” – vRAM as dedicated GPUs).
So you actually at least 8GB RAM.
The speed by which your RAM can feed data to your CPU(images/sounds/etc) is affected by how fast your RAM is.
The fastest RAM is always the latest, we are in the 4th generation. Just make sure yours reads “DDR4” instead of “DDR3”. DDR3 is not bad but you’ll be losing a few more frames here and there and there’s no excuse for manufacturers to stick DDR3 sticks.
If you’re getting 8GB RAM, it would be much more efficient for your rig to have x2 4GB RAM sticks rather than one BIG 8GB RAM card. Don’t ask me why…it just makes it faster and easier for your CPU to process data. This applies to 16GB, 32GB, etc. Two sticks of the same size and if possible the same brand/model. This is called “Dual Channeled” RAM.
Overwatch is First Person Shooting game and with the exception of Call of Duty, they don’t take much space.
It starts with 13GB I believe but now it requires ~30GB. Because Windows 10 only takes 32GB
Overwatch only requires 6GB for its instalation, unlike other modern FPS games which require more than 30GB. You can choose any hard drive you can afford. Modern laptops have more than enough.
SSD vs HDD
It’s been said that Solid State Drives don’t really have an impact on framerates and the game general but I beg to differ.
We’ve seen frame dips caused by 1TB 5400RPM HDDs. That is there was no lag spikes with rigs that had an SSD as opposed to those with an HDD(these rigs were Core i3 laptops with integrated GPUs so it may matter more if you go for high end laptops).
An SSD has a lot more benefits than framerates though. It’s just standard these days. Going for an PCIe NVMe isn’t really a requirement to get those benefits, as long as you get one you should be okay.
Overwatch is pretty much a graphics firework with explosions of colors all over the place. So unlike other games your display will actually enhance your gaming experience.
IPS over TN
I am not saying that Overwatch looks better than Star Wars Battlefront or any game of like that, but having an good display IPS panel over TN panels will make a huge difference on how the game looks even if the overwatch graphics are mediocre compared to other games.
IPS panels are found on nearly every laptop above 600$ dollars and even on some budget laptops that sell for 300-400$. You should just make sure yours also has one because manufacturers try to cut down prices by shipping a TN display with on their product.
1080p is also standard. Found on nearly all laptops and even those that cost around 350$. But again there are some weird apples that don’t have a 1080p resolution but an HD+(900p) resolution or even worse a 720p resolution. This may not be a problem if you’re playing at low settings.
If you want to do 1440p-4k gaming on your laptop, get an external monitor. Laptops with 4k displays are riducously expensive and they may not even have the proper GPU to output 4k gaming (because both the 4k display and the high end GPU would make them cost +3000$).
A few rounds of Overwatch can make some laptops so hot you don’t want to touch them.
Laptops from ASUS,MSI, Sager, Gygabyte (gaming brands) will deal with the heat much better than any other brand. So if you are spending a lot of cash to play Overwatch at high settings, then get a laptop from any of those brands (my favorite is ASUS).
If you’re buying a low end laptop, OW is going to take a huge toll on the CPU/integrated GPU, you should get yourself a cooling pad.
If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or recommendations on finding the best laptop for overwatch . Please let us know in the comments below.