I'm looking to upgrade to a slightly more powerful gaming laptop. I have the specs I want in mind but just want recommendations of brand and model that match, some pros and cons of each, and maybe a roughly expected price range for a device of these specs.

I currently have a MSI cyborg 15. This has an Intel i5-12450H, RTX 3050 and 16GB DDR5 RAM. It's great for playing regular GTAV online but when playing on custom servers with heavy graphics, it can struggle now and then, especially if its set to 144hz instead of 60hz. For university, I also use it for compiling and rendering 3D games, hosting servers, and complex mathematical computations (e.g. calculating mersenne primes)

Desired specs:

  • Intel i7 13th gen
  • RTX 3070/80 (depending on compatibility with my price range)
  • 32GB DDR5 RAM

I've chosen these specs because they're better than what I currently own but I think still withing my price range. Specifically I stated the 3070 and not a 4000 series GPU because based on all my research the 3080 and even 3070 will still outperform a 4060.

My price range is preferably £1200-£1400. I believe the 3070 will better fit that price range. I don't really know how to compare the 3000 series and 4000 series so if there are RTX 4000 series laptops that would have equivalent performance to one with the 3070 then I'm open to knew ideas.

  • 1
    Hi Ethan, welcome to Hardware Recs! Can you clarify why you think these specific specs are appropriate to you—especially given that 12th Gen and the Nvidia 3000 series are both last-generation hardware? Are you trying to run a specific game (or set of games) at a specific resolution/framerate, and think these will achieve it? What's your budget? Do you have a desired screen size/resolution? Do you care about weight/portability? Any other requirements?
    – JMY1000
    Commented Jan 28 at 1:29
  • 1
    Unfortunately without that information it's really hard to make a good recommendation, since we don't really know what we're trying to improve for you. There are tons of laptops out there that fit the specs you provided, but we don't know which (if any) would be right for you. If you can add that info to your question, it'll help us; once you have, feel free to ping me and I'll reopen it.
    – JMY1000
    Commented Jan 28 at 1:31
  • @JMY1000 - Hi, l'm i'm not sure why I stated 12 gen cpu so l've altered that. I've also edited with justification for my other decisions and given a brief description of what l'll be using it for.
    – Ethan
    Commented Jan 28 at 14:16
  • Great, thanks! Do you know how large/heavy of a laptop you're looking for? Screen size and maximum desired thickness tend to be important for gaming laptops. Also if you're just looking for more GPU power, you could look into eGPUs; £1200-£1400 will buy a very nice eGPU enclosure and GPU.
    – JMY1000
    Commented Jan 28 at 15:40
  • @JMY1000 - In terms of size and weight it doesn't really bother me, just what us necessary for the desired specs. Screen size I'm looking for about 17". The eGPU would be perfect for improved gameplay but for my other task I need to upgrade the cpu and ram too. Idk if just upgrading the cpu and ram on current laptop would be more cost effective... tbh that exactly why I'm seeking advice here.
    – Ethan
    Commented Jan 28 at 15:55

1 Answer 1


Wait a few weeks

Intel and AMD just released new laptop chips, in the form on Meteor Lake (Core Ultra) and Hawk Point (Ryzen 8000) chips respectively at CES 2024. A bunch of laptop manufacturers debuted or announced laptops with these chips at CES, but most of them either aren't out yet, aren't widely available, or target a higher end price point then you're looking.

As such, in the coming weeks, I'd expect there to be two classes of laptops that work well for you:

  • New releases, mostly based on Meteor Lake, that you can pick up for the latest and greatest experience. These will probably come with the better battery life of Meteor Lake, and several generational improvements, but will still feature the same GPUs as "last generation" laptops.
  • Discounted "previous generation" laptops, mostly based on Raptor Lake. These laptops will probably outperform the new laptops on a $/performance basis at your price point, but will be less power efficient in doing so, especially with multithreaded, CPU-bound tasks. Meteor Lake currently tops out at the 185H with 6P/8E/2LP-E cores, where most gaming laptops in your price point went for chips with 8P/12-16E cores last generation. Since the GPUs are the same for both the previous generation and the current generation, your performance in most games should be about the same for a given model of GPU.

Many of the former category just aren't available yet—especially in the UK. Conversely, getting a good deal in the second category may take a little deal-hunting with your local retailers, as they try to clear out stock to make way for new models.

Alright, with that said, let's get into some of the contenders. This really isn't an exhaustive list just due to the fluid nature of the market at the moment, but I'll go over a few that I think are worth looking at.

New releases

Dell Alienware m16 R2 - $1850

enter image description here

  • Intel Core Ultra 7 155H (6P/8E/2LP-E cores @ up to 4.80 GHz on the P cores)
  • RTX 4070 (mobile)
  • 2x8 GB of DDR5-5600 (socketed, so it is upgradable)
  • 1 TB M.2 NVME
  • 16.0" 2560x1600 @ 240Hz IPS panel
  • Intel BE202 Wi-Fi 7 2x2 and Bluetooth 5.4
  • 90 Wh battery with 240W barrel-jack power adapter

Compared to some of the other offerings we've seen in the past year or so from other vendors, the m16 R2 isn't anything crazy. It's using a solid display, but not an OLED; it's not huge, but not small; it's not bad looking, but it's not sleek (IMO.) Still, it's a nice step forward, bring a much reduced footprint compared to the previous generation m16. And, for the price, it's pretty good value for the latest Dell has to offer... except, that as far as I can tell, it's not available in the UK yet. I'd expect it to come soon, but I don't have a definitive timeline.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 (2024) GU605 - ???

enter image description here

  • (Up to) Intel Core Ultra 7 185H (6P/8E/2LP-E cores @ up to 5.10 GHz on the P cores)
  • (Up to) RTX 4090 (mobile)
  • (Up to) 32 GB of LPDDR5-7467 (soldered, non-upgradable)
  • Unknown, includes two M.2 NVME slots
  • 16.0" 2560x1600 @ 240Hz OLED or IPS panel
  • Wi-Fi 6E 2x2 and Bluetooth 5.3
  • 90 Wh battery with 240W barrel-jack power adapter

Asus's refresh of their popular G16 is looking pretty good. While it strangely lacks Wi-Fi 7, it's a minor oversight in an otherwise compelling device. I personally find the refreshed look to be quite aesthetically pleasing, especially in white. However, the OLED panel here is the real star of the show, and it's got good reviews so far. The big sticking point is the price. The device isn't actually out yet, so we have no idea how much it'll cost... and I wouldn't be surprised if it's out of budget, unfortunately.

Honorable mention: MSI Stealth 16 AI Studio - $2100

enter image description here

Out of budget, but worth a mention.

Honorable mention: Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9

There's very little info available on this laptop (Lenovo doesn't even have a page up yet for it, only the Pro 7i Gen 9), but given the lack of an OLED screen, I struggle to see it being more compelling than the Zephyrus G16 unless you care deeply about Lenovo's keyboards or it's priced very competitively. In any case, it's not out yet.

Previous generation

Honorable mention - Gigabyte Aero 16 OLED - £1800

enter image description here

Still out of budget, but this deal from Curry's is pretty compelling. I do have a bit of a personal aversion to Gigabyte due to their... less than stellar... support staff if something goes wrong, but the hardware is reasonably solid.

Honorable mention - Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (K6604) - £2200

enter image description here

It's a great laptop, but for whatever reason, it seems to be weirdly expensive in the UK; an identically spec'd version of this laptop was $2179 (about £1700) in the US before CES 2024, yet it's somehow more expensive now. Don't ask me how. If it happens to come up on a steep sale, I'd recommend it, but otherwise you'd probably be better off waiting on the new G16.

  • I was lookin at the MSI stealth 16 as in the UK its is 1499, only slightly out of budget, and my current laptop is an msi so it's familiar and I know they're good. While browsing I came across the MSI Katana. Same RAM same 4070 graphics, but the katana has 13th gen i9 instead of 13th gen i7. Surprisingly though, the katana is 1299, £200 cheaper. What am i missing? £200 cheaper but has a better CPU.
    – Ethan
    Commented Jan 31 at 16:40
  • Which version of the Katana were you looking at? I'm only seeing an i7 in the B13VGK. The biggest downgrade I'm seeing is that it's only a 1080p panel, which is not going to look great at a 16" screen size.
    – JMY1000
    Commented Jan 31 at 16:48
  • 'MSI Katana B13V 15.6" Gaming Laptop - Intel® Core™ i9, RTX 4070, 1 TB SSD' is the full title.
    – Ethan
    Commented Jan 31 at 17:14
  • Yeah the 1080p panel is the immediate thing that stands out to me as being not great; don't know much about it otherwise.
    – JMY1000
    Commented Jan 31 at 17:39

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