5 Best Laptops for Overwatch 2020 – (Competitive Gaming)

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.

Fortunately…

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. 

Anyways….

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

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

Acer Nitro 5 - Best Laptop For Overwatch

  Intel Core i5 9300H

  8GB RAM

   GeForce GTX 1650 

  256 PCIe SSD

  15” FHD 1080p IPS

  5.07lb

  5 hours

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).

Amazon Link CPU GPU Price
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

ASUS TUF - Best Lapto For Overwatch 120fps

  AMD Ryzen 5 R5-3550H

  8GB DDR4

   GeForce GTX 1650

  256GB PCIe SSD

  15.6” 120Hz Full HD

  4.85lb

  5 hours

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.

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3. HP 14 TouchScreen
Cheap Laptop For Overwatch

HP TouchScreen 14 - Best Cheap Laptop For Overwatch

  Core i3-8100U 3.4GHz

  8GB RAM DDR4

  AMD Radeon Vega 

  256GB PCIe NVMe SSD

  14” IPS full HD 1080p

  3.24lb

  8 hours

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:

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$

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

MSI GF65 Thin 9SEXR - Best Laptop For Overwatch

  Core i5-9300H

  16GB DDR4

   NVIDIA 2060RTX

  256GB SSD

  15” full HD 120Hz IPS

  4.10lb

  4 hours

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).

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5. Acer Predator Helios 300
Best Gaming Laptop For Overwatch

Acer Predator 300 - Best Gaming Laptop For Overwatch

  Core i7-10750H

  16GB DDR4

   NVIDIA RTX 2060

  512GB PCIe NVMe

  15” full HD 120Hz IPS

  4.10lb

  4 hours

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. 

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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.

  Minimum Recommended
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
Memory 4GB 6GB
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:

Minimum:

  • CPU: ~3GHz (Dual Core)
  • GPU: Intel HD 520 Graphics/AMD Radeon Graphics

Recommended:

  • CPU:+3GHz (Quad Core)
  • GPU: GTX 950M/960M/1050GTX/Radeon Pro 540/550

 

1. CPU

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”.
 
Back to CPUs, it is true you’ll find some info about OverWatch being multithreadd (up to six cores) but benchmarks show the gains aren’t that big. Basically, like I said you can hit higher framerates if you choose a CPU with just a bit more clock speed than the ones with more cores. So yeah, it is multithreaded just not “very multithreaded”.
 

A processor from the 8th,9th or 10th generation goes above the min req, they’ll all automatically come with at least two cores and go past 3GHz for clock speed .

Intel

CPU Base Turbo Cores
i3 10050G1  1.2GHz 3.4GHz   2
i3 8130U  2.2GHz 3.4Ghz   2
 i3 8145U  2.1GHz 3.9GHz  2
 i3 10100U  2.1GHz 4.1GHz  2
i5 8265U  1.6GHz 3.9GHz  4
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

AMD

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
 

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 ~30FPSBasically ~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.

NVIDIA

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

 

AMD

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

*Current dedicated GPUs found on laptops as of 2020.

Medium Settings

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.

Ultra Settings

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:

  1. 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..
  2. 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.

3. RAM

Size

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.

Speed

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.

Dual Channel

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.

4. Storage

Size

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.

5. Display

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.

Resolution

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$).

Heat

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.

Comments?

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