Minecraft may have started as a PC game, but it has since evolved to a versatile game that can be played on any device to allow players the freedom to experiment with seemingly endless block worlds, gather resources, build shelters, and create complex automated machines.
In fact, the beauty of Minecraft lies in the fact that you don’t need the best Windows laptop or gaming PC, which means just about anyone can play it.
Our favorite laptops for Minecraft
That said, your gaming experience does improve with a better laptop, and if that’s what you’re looking for, well, here are the best laptops for Minecraft in 2021.
The best of the best Minecraft laptops for us is none other than the ASUS TUF FX505DT Gaming Laptop, which offers the smoothest gaming experience by letting you play Minecraft at high settings, including the frame rate.
That’s because it makes use of a powerful AMD Ryzen 5 core processor, along with a 120Hz display that lets you see those 120 frames per second that the graphics card and CPU combo can easily deliver.
This means you can play the game at 200 to 300 fps at low settings, 100 to 120 fps at high settings, and 50 to 60 fps at high settings with shaders. The best part? It’s a pretty affordable laptop if you compare it with other brands that offer comparable specs.
- 15.6” Full HD 120Hz display
- AMD Ryzen 5 R5-3550H CPU
- GeForce GTX 1650 GPU
- 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD
- Lightweight 4.85lb profile
- 5-hour battery life
Our second-best pick is the Dell Gaming Laptop, which is engineered with the demanding needs of a serious gamer. It’s a graphically superior laptop that brings you the most powerful graphics cards and the latest processors to make for an intense and realistic gaming experience.
It also features a 15-inch screen that offers a wide view and full HD resolution, in-plane switching, an anti-glare display, along front-firing speakers that really bring the noise with the Waves MaxxPro audio.
The best part, though, is the superior NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 that comes packed with 4 gigabytes of GDDR5 memory that lets you play your game in crystal clear detail even at high settings so you can enjoy a more immersive experience.
- 15.6” full HD IPS LED-backlit display
- 8th gen Intel Core i5 8300H CPU
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU
- 8GB DDR4 RAM, 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
We also really like the Acer Swift 3 Thin & Light Laptop, a lightweight, an ultra-portable notebook that makes for the perfect on-the-go companion with its magnesium-aluminum chassis that weighs a mere 2.6 pounds, features a slim 0.63-inch profile, and comes with a long-lasting battery that allows for an entire day of productivity.
Now, since you’ll be using this laptop to play Minecraft, let’s talk about how it can make the game experience amazing. For one, it makes use of a super-powerful, advanced, and ultra-responsive next-generation AMD Ryzen 7 processor.
Its full HD display with narrow bezels and the screen-to-body ratio at an impressively high 82.73% also promises eye-popping graphics, vivid color schemes, precision imagery, and an overall memorable experience packed in a fourteen-inch screen.
- 14” Full HD IPS display
- AMD Ryzen 7 4700U CPU
- Radeon GPU
- 8GB LPDDR4 RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD
- 11.5-hour battery life
If you’re heavily into shaders, especially the ones that are demanding on the hardware, or if you’d like to enjoy impressive frame rates, the best in class for Minecraft laptops that fit into that category is the Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop.
It boasts of a badass core processor and a superior 2060 RTX graphics card that lets you enjoy frame rates of anywhere from 20 to 100 fps depending on your game settings. In any case, an RTX GPU will give you the best performance and value for money.
To top it all off, this laptop is also great for running a variety of other games even at ultra-high settings, so there’s no need to invest in a powerful gaming PC for Minecraft and whatever other game you enjoy playing.
- 15” full HD IPS 144Hz display
- Intel Core i7-10750H CPU
- NVIDIA RTX 2060 GPU
- 16GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- 4-hour battery life
One really promising option is the Huawei MateBook X Pro Signature Edition Thin & Light Laptop, which claims to be the first to offer a full view display with its 13.9 touchscreens in 3K resolution and an outstanding 91% screen-to-body ratio.
This means you only get a 0.57-inch slim profile on a lightweight 2.39-pound laptop that lets you view HD content in vivid detail, complemented by immersive audio provided by the second generation Dolby ATMOS sound system.
When it comes to performance, you can rely on the 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor, the NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card, and the Windows 10 Home operating system to deliver the level of power and speed that you need no matter what game you’re playing.
- 13.9″ 3K touchscreen display
- 8th Gen Intel Core i7 8550U CPU
- NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU
- USB, HDMI, and VGA ports
- 1-year manufacturer’s warranty
If you’re on the market for a cheap and affordable gaming laptop, we highly recommend the Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop. It’s not only one of the top laptops that can run Minecraft, but it’s also great for playing World of Warcraft, Sims 4, Counter-Strike, and plenty of other popular games.
This laptop boasts of an eighth-generation Intel Core i5 processor with a 4.6 GHz turbo boost, the NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics card, and plenty of RAM along with a hefty solid-state drive to let you install, save, and run any game smoothly.
Basically, it’s powerful enough to play various games with, as well as run high-end applications and do a variety of multitasking. It even features a sizable 15-inch screen to give you the best possible gaming experience, and it’s comfortable to use, too.
- 15” slim profile display
- Intel Core i5-8565U CPU
- NVIDIA GeForce MX250 GPU
- 12GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB SSD
Finally, you should also check out the HP 14″ Premium FHD IPS Laptop, which comes with a tenth generation Core i5 processor with a 3.7 GHz turbo boost that lets you experience responsive performance and maximum power.
This means you get to enjoy an immersive gaming and entertainment experience, as well as enhanced productivity in streaming and creating content with superior performance. It also features eight gigabytes of system memory and substantial RAM to run any kind of game, program, or application.
More than that, the 14-inch bright view LED display in full HD resolution also offers an amazing viewing experience, whereas the Windows 10 operating system introduces lots of new features, and the solid-state drive lets you store more data.
- 14” full HD IPS display
- Intel Core i5-1035G4 CPU
- Intel UHD GPU
- 8GB hi-bandwidth RAM, 256GB SSD
Want a bigger screen? Try the HP 15.6″ HD.
Minecraft Laptop Buying Guide
To help you find the best laptop for Minecraft that delivers an amazing Minecraft gaming experience, here is a comprehensive buying guide that talks about Minecraft laptop requirements so you can choose the best possible laptop (or PC/ desktop) that works for your gaming needs, whether that’s the latest top-of-the-line laptop that can run various mods and shaders, or an old, low-end, refurbished model that can run Minecraft at its most basic version.
Recommended: Dual or quad core, at least 3 HGz
For example, at least an 8th generation Intel Core (Core i3 1050G1/ 8145U/ 10100U/ 8310U, Core i5 8250U/ 8265U/ 10210U) like on the Acer Aspire 5 or an AMD Ryzen (Ryzen 3 3200U, Ryzen 5 3500U/ 4500U) like on the ASUS VivoBook 15
Best: ++4GHz processor
For example, at least a 7th generation H/ HQ/ K Intel Core (Core i5 8300H/ 9300H/ 10300H, Core i7 8750H/ 9750H/ 10750H) or an AMD Ryzen H (Ryzen 5 3550H/ 4600H, Ryzen 7 3750H/ 4800HS)
Modded Minecraft: 7th, 8th, or 9th generation CPU
The speed of your processor is what determines how fast your laptop is able to process the game, as well as how effectively it can do various operations while you play.
That said, Minecraft heavily relies on the CPU rather than the GPU, which is the reason why you can play it on pretty much any system nowadays since the CPU is what processes the graphics and the graphics card only renders whatever the CPU sends its way.
One thing you need to keep in mind is that Minecraft primarily runs on one core, which means you should prioritize direct speed as opposed to the number of cores.
Core vs Clock Frequency
Since Minecraft is CPU bound, for the most part, it doesn’t multi-thread really well, meaning it doesn’t use a lot of cores. Even though the later Minecraft versions starting with 1.7.10 make use of more than one thread and offload to other threads at up to four cores, the biggest performance factor is still single thread processing.
Dual Core vs Quad Core
Dual cores on Ryzen 3 and Intel Core i3 processors will run Minecraft, even with the best Minecraft mods, without an issue, but quad-cores are still better when it comes to multitasking. That said, six and eight cores aren’t necessary unless you also plan on running complex programs like video editors, in which case you’ll be better off with a laptop for animation.
AMD vs Intel
Intel processors are typically more powerful (and more popular), but AMD processors are significantly more affordable, even on laptops that come with dedicated GPUs. However, they aren’t as easy to find, especially the AMD Ryzen 9 HS 4800, which boasts of cooling and design factors that allow for the top of line performance.
Recommended: NVIDIA MX— (Dedicated) or 5th or 6th generation Intel HD or AMD Radeon RX (Integrated)
For example, Intel 520/ 520HD, AMD RX5/ RX7/ RX9 to give you 70 fps+ amplified world with normal render distance and maximum graphics (without shaders), or NVIDIA MX 150/ 250/ 1050 to give you 80 to 100 fps at moderate to high settings (with lagless internal shaders)
Note: All Intel GPUs are integrated GPUs, such as on the Lenovo IdeaPad 3
Best: dedicated AMD Radeon R5 series or NVIDIA RTX (high-end), or NVIDIA —-Ti (mid-range)
For example, NVIDIA 2060/ 2070RTX to power the best Minecraft game in the highest settings while also running various other programs and applications, or NVIDIA 1050/ 1060/ 1650/ 1660Ti to give you at least 50 to 60 fps at the full screen even with heavy mods and shaders
Modded and shaded Minecraft: dedicated NVIDIA 970GTX, 1070, 1080, or higher
The graphics card is what determines the laptop’s rendering performance, meaning, a better GPU will allow for a much smoother overall performance especially when it comes to gaming and content streaming.
Thankfully, Minecraft uses relatively simple graphics, but you still need to invest in a good quality GPU (even an integrated one), especially if you’re playing a later Minecraft version starting at 1.10+, which moves considerable CPU load to the graphics card. The GPU becomes even more important if you’re planning to use high settings, shaders, and high-res textures.
Keep in mind that the game settings all affect the frame rate. We’re talking about the graphics, screen size, render distance, textures, lightings, and even the number of installed plug-ins and mods. This means that you’ll need to find a balance between a good playing experience and fancy effects so the game’s graphics won’t lag.
Integrated vs Dedicated GPU
An integrated GPU is one that exists on the processor, wherein the CPU reserves a small part of it for graphics requirements. The GPU also shares memory with the CPU, which means it takes away a considerable part of your total physical RAM, which then results in slower performance.
That said, integrated GPUs can also run Minecraft, save for a lower frame rate, and some performance issues every now and then, especially once you increase your settings or add heavy mods and shaders.
On the other hand, a dedicated GPU is basically a specific graphics powerhouse in the form of an expansion card that plugs in the laptop’s motherboard through the PCIe slot. This offloads graphical instructions, which means they can be processed and executed quickly. A dedicated GPU will also have its own dedicated memory or vRAM.
This is why an older, low-end dedicated GPU is much better than the latest integrated GPU. one downside, however, is that dedicated GPUs are more expensive, and they use more power while outputting more heat.
NVIDIA vs AMD
Both an NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics card are suitable choices if you’re playing Minecraft, and can both let you maximize the game settings as well as play with all the Minecraft mods, although AMD cards are significantly cheaper, whereas RTX cards are more powerful for playing GPU intensive games such as Call of Duty.
However, AMD graphics cards are mostly on desktop computers, and even laptops with AMD GPUs (such as MacBooks) aren’t really powerful enough, nor cheap. In any case, another issue you might face with an AMD card is a few bugs due to the shaders.
Recommended: 4GB minimum or 8GB for multitasking
For example, 1/2GB of allocated RAM for Minecraft will work for single and multiplayer modes with no added game features, 4GB RAM like on the ASUS ImagineBook is a decent amount for playing Minecraft with no other program running, and 8GB will let you multitask.
Best: 12GB RAM or higher
For example, 12GB RAM (JVM assigned) will give you noticeable benefit with preloaded chunks (horizontally scalable software paging system) and little to no lag issues. This is ideal for vanilla gaming that takes around 300MB of RAM.
Modded Minecraft: 12 to 16GB RAM
For example, 8GB of RAM is a must with texture packs and mods, 12GB RAM is better for newer modpacks and the 1.10.2 version of Minecraft, higher RAM if you want to use a lot of mods and shaders that take at least 1GB RAM or more
Note: RAM with expansion slots are a must for future upgrading
RAM basically translates to memory. It stores all the necessary files that are needed to run the game, which includes shaders and mod packs. All of these are transferred to the RAM from the hard drive so the CPU can process these files without compromising speed and performance.
RAM is also important in eliminating lags, as well as in enabling you to add shaders and mods without much issue.
When it comes to RAM speed, nowadays, there really are only DDR4 RAM sticks since we are under the fourth generation of RAM. If ever you do see older DDR3 RAM sticks on lower-end laptops and used PCs, still opt for the DDR4 since it’s significantly smoother and faster.
Recommended: at least 1GB HDD or SSD
For example, a 1GB HDD is technically enough to store all your Minecraft files including hundreds of shaders and mod packs, but a 1GB SSD will make everything load faster even on an old computer or laptop
Best: 4GB SSD or higher
For example, a 4GB solid-state drive is enough if you want to launch Minecraft and other games in a split second rather than waiting for long buffers, but if you want the best possible SSD for all other games and complex programs, a 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD is ideal
The reality is that all relatively modern computers or laptops will have enough storage space to store and run all your Minecraft files and a decent amount of shaders and mods. Still, though, an SSD is significantly better than an HDD so it’s better to invest money in that.
Recommended: any laptop display or desktop monitor with 60 fps capacity
For example, if you want to play a vanilla version of Minecraft without fancy graphics, any modern laptop display or PC monitor will be able to give you 60 fps on the screen as you hit refresh at the 60 fps setting.
Best: 120Hz or a 240Hz laptop display or desktop monitor
For example, a monitor with 120Hz refresh rates will be able to match your rig that’s outputting 120 fps, and the same goes for a 240Hz monitor in what it can allow you to see on the screen, whereas a 60Hz monitor can only display 60 fps of visuals even with a rig output of 120 fps.
When it comes to displaying, there are two things that you need to consider: the size of the screen, and the refresh rates. In terms of the screen size, the general rule is that the larger the screen, the better your gaming experience will be as it will make the game more immersive, and also let you see things at eye level without having to use lifters or platforms.
As for the refresh rate, any modern monitor will have a decent refresh rate to let you see the game with nice visuals and transitions, not to mention in great resolution and color vibrancy to really let you enjoy the game. At least, this is true for the vanilla Minecraft, but once you play in fancy settings and use lots of shaders, you’ll need better refresh rates from the display.
Minecraft For Desktop Requirements
If you are looking for a computer for Minecraft, the processor and ports are some of the things you need to factor in your decision. Take note that other things like the specs for the RAM, storage, display, and GPU are largely the same as what you’ll need for a laptop.
Recommended: any AMD CPU
For example, AMD Ryzen 5 3600 or Ryzen 3600x if you want performance on a budget
Best: Intel Core i5-4210U or AMD Ryzen counterpart
For example, the Intel Core i5 is a dual-core processor that comes with GT 840M and hyperthreading, plus 1.7-2.4GHz clock frequency to run Minecraft at high settings.
Nowadays, AMD processors are just so much better than Intel ones when it comes to desktops, especially since AMD CPUs offer strong single-clock frequencies, such as those in the Ryzen series. In fact, an AMD processor at any price point is almost always guaranteed to offer better performance, connectivity, and overclockability.
The only time you should think about getting an Intel CPU is if you want tremendous amounts of power and superior gaming performance, and even then, you need to be prepared to shell out tons of money.
Older generation CPUs from both AMD and Intel are decent enough if you’re not particular about running Minecraft on turbo mode, primarily since older generations aren’t really all that old and still very much capable. However, if you’re on a limited budget and are planning on buying an old processor, it’s important that you take note of these tips so you don’t waste your money:
- Opt for AMD 7xxxP or 8xxxP processors, or Intel 4xxx, 5xxx, or 6xxx processors
- Always choose a 64-bit CPU as opposed to a 32-bit one since it won’t be able to access enough RAM for running a 1.10.2 Minecraft with mod packs alongside your OS
- Avoid low voltage versions like microprocessors, AMDs E1 and E2, Intel Celeron, and Atom, M, or Y CPUs; moreover, avoid anything that’s six years old or older, such as 3rd generation Intel processors like Ivy Bridge that aren’t supported on Windows 10
- If a CPU comes with a confusing label and you would like to compare its speed and performance with another model, a Google search will give you accurate information, especially if you search the chip’s rank on a CPU benchmark
Now, the beauty of old processors is that a lot of laptops and desktops with these CPUs cost less than 200 dollars (even from the bigger brand names) and can even run up to 4GHz.
There are also more expensive old CPUs that can run Minecraft at much higher settings, although these are hard to find, and rarely include a dedicated GPU, in which case, it’s much better to opt for a modern laptop at the same price point.
The thing is, buying a desktop monitor to play Minecraft is a bit complicated since you need to worry about the ports on your GPU as well- more specifically, their capabilities in terms of refresh rate.
For instance, if the refresh rate capacity of your GPU or display is a bit low, it will effectively cap the fps on-screen even if you have a 100Hz monitor and a 100 fps rig output.
Or, if you have a DisplayPort 1.4 and an HDMI 1.4, but are using a 120Hz monitor, you have to always use the DisplayPort rather than the HDMI so you can get the full 120HZ refresh rate rather than 60Hz.
How To Optimize Minecraft
If you want to optimize your gameplay, here are some of the best and most helpful tips that you can follow, as recommended by serious and expert Minecraft gamers:
Games in general take up a lot of computer space. Maybe it’s processor heavy or GPU reliant. Either way, playing any decent game on your laptop will slow it down if you run any other program or application while you’re playing. How noticeable that reduced performance and speed is will depend on the quality of your hardware.
That’s not to say that you need to invest in the highest-end processors, video cards, and SSDs. Sometimes, all you need to do is close to unnecessary apps and processes while you’re playing.
If you want to go crazy with mod packs and shaders, you should seriously consider Magic Launcher for Minecraft, as it allows you to allocate more RAM to Java, which means using mods will be so much simpler.
Though, if you want to optimize the frame rate, the most popular software or script you can use is OptiFine, which offers a host of benefits when it comes to expanding your multi-core usage even though Minecraft is primarily single-threaded.
If you are having issues with Minecraft especially in terms of lag, even though you are able to run Crysis on considerably high settings, these issues are likely caused by Java. You can try to fix this by getting the correct Java or updating your current version.
If you want to download lots of mods and shaders, be sure that you have a reliable antivirus so you can avoid accidentally downloading a virus and corrupting all the files and programs on your laptop, Minecraft related or not.
Finding the best laptop for Minecraft means knowing exactly what the game requires and accounting for the game version as well as the quantity and quality of mods and shaders you use, then looking for a suitable laptop that meets these requirements and fits your budget.