Today is the release date of Age of Empires IV – October 28, 2021 – the game that no one really expected but everyone wanted. So for this beautiful occasion, I’ve prepared an in-depth guide on the best laptops for playing AoE 4 in all its glory.

The Lootbox game model has taken over the gaming industry, and the strategy game genre has been sidelined. For the past 10 years, no newcomers have made a dent in a seemingly shrinking market dominated by the old-timers – Starcraft and Age of Empires. Luckily, the genre is returning to relevance with AoE 2 experiencing a renaissance of sorts. The AoE 4 release is calling all RTS fans to come back and try something new yet familiar.

If you’re looking for the best gaming laptop for Age of Empires 4, let me share with you my research – best sellers, latest releases, reviews, benchmarks, and more. By the end of this article, you should have all the information you need to make an informed decision about which laptop to buy.

Age of Empires 4 system requirements

I like to begin with the desktop computer requirements. Then, carefully I’ll covert them to laptop requirements, filtering out the laptops that satisfy those requirements and finally hunting down the best laptop deals at the time. So, let’s begin with minimum system requirements for playing Age of Empires 4.

Optional Minimum system requirements for AoE 4

What computer will play Age of Empires? Simply, any computer that satisfies these system requirements for AoE 4:

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-6300U or AMD Ryzen 5 2400G
  • Graphics: Intel HD 520 or AMD Radeon RX Vega 11 (integrated graphics)
  • Memory: 8 GB
  • Storage: 50 GB of free space

If you know PC parts, you’ll know that Age of Empires 4 system requirements are not hard to meet. If you’re buying a new desktop PC, any new processor will suffice. Even basic modern integrated graphics will be enough to play AoE 4 on a desktop PC. Of course, I’m talking about minimal requirements, so don’t expect a smooth 60 FPS+ gameplay with integrated graphics.

Optional Recommended system requirements for AoE 4

What are the recommended system requirements for Age of Empires 4? Well, if you’re looking for the best computer for Age of Empires 4, you’ll need at the very least to meet these requirements:

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-9400 or AMD Ryzen 5 1600
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon RX 570
  • Memory: 16 GB
  • Storage: 50 GB of free SSD space

Optional What laptop do I need for Age of Empires?

Now it’s time to look at my unofficial system requirements for Age of Empires 4 laptops. If I’d match the benchmarks with their desktop counterparts, I’ll get these minimum laptop requirements for AeE 4:

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-10210U or AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
  • Graphics: Intel HD 520 or AMD Radeon RX Vega 11 (integrated graphics)
  • Memory: 8 GB
  • Storage: 50 GB of free SSD space

So, can you play Age of Empires 4 on any laptop? No, you can’t play Age of Empires 4 on any laptop, but anything above an entry-level laptop (~$700) should exceed the minimum system requirements.

But if you’re looking to buy a laptop for playing Age of Empires 4, I doubt you’ll be satisfied with ~30-40 FPS that you’d reach just by matching these requirements. So, what about recommended system requirements?

Optional Recommended laptop system requirements for Age of Empires 4

By doing the exact spec matching (and prioritizing single-core performance due to how RTS engines work), we get the following optimal laptop system requirements for AoE 4:

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-1135G7 or AMD Ryzen 5 4500U
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti or AMD Radeon RX 6600M
  • Memory: 16 GB

Now, you know the system requirements for Age of Empires 4 for desktop PCs and laptops. If you’re looking for the best laptop to play Age of Empires 4 – stay with me as I’ll break down the requirements in detail and provide my top 10 list of best laptops for Age of Empires IV.

Requirements for a Age of Empires IV laptop

Major What’s the best graphics card for playing Age of Empires IV?

age of empires

If you are still reading, I am pleased to announce some recommendations for your laptop. However, I am not going to name-drop each GPU on the market. It would be too confusing and require an unnecessarily long list. So instead, I have laid out my picks in three categories – bare minimum, recommend, and best.

Minimum integrated graphics (under $700)

I’ll start with the most basic of setups – integrated graphics chips. They’re easy to identify as they are not separate modules but are part of a processor’s architecture. The critical downside is that these chips tend to be 20 – 30 FPS on the lowest settings.

If you are looking for a cheap laptop to play Age of Empires 4, you might get away with a bare integrated graphics chip. Don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t recommend them for gaming. But if you’re not much of a “gamer”, you could consider integrated graphics.

In particular, I’d look for AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 11 or Intel Iris chips in their 10th/11th generation processors. These chips manage to run AoE 4 on the lowest settings at 30 FPS – not too shabby considering it comes built-in with many latest laptops.

Minimum dedicated graphics ($700 – $1,000)

GTX 1650 and GTX 1650 Ti are my top picks for the best laptop for AoE 4 under $1000. While you’ll need to keep your visual settings below max if you want a 60 FPS average, it’s not much of a compromise considering these cards can be easily found in laptops under one grand. GTX 1650 starts at ~$750 and GTX 1650 Ti sits pretty at the $850 – $1000 range.

Recommended graphics for AoE ($1,000+)

Now we’re getting into slightly more demanding territory with a mid-range RTX 3050 Ti GPU. This card can handle pretty much any game on 1920×1080 resolution – it offers excellent bang for your buck. In addition, it’s benchmarked to deliver 60 FPS with all settings maxed out on Full HD displays.

Best graphics ($1,800+)

Finally, I’ll round it off with the heavy hitter – RTX 3070. It has enough juice under its hood to allow 70 FPS on all graphical settings maxed out at 4K resolution – a dream come true!

Now, there’re a few caveats – some laptops come with lower wattage versions of RTX 3070. These will produce slightly lower framerates, but they’re less noisy and more power-efficient. However, I doubt you’re in for power efficiency if you’re buying a laptop with RTX 3070.

What about RTX 3080? There is no reason for it unless you’re willing to pay top dollar to get the best gaming laptop for Age of Empires 4.

TL;DR
  • AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 11 or Intel Iris chips in their 10th/11th generation processors are the bare minimum
  • GTX 1650 and GTX 1650 Ti are my top picks for the best laptop for AoE 4 under $1000
  • RTX 3050 Ti is a good pick for mid-range laptops with Full HD displays
  • RTX 3070 is best for the top of the line gaming laptops; just make sure you’re getting appropriate wattage

Optional How much RAM do I need to play AoE 4?

So, how does AoE 4 compare to other games when it comes to RAM? Pretty well, actually. If you’re planning on playing just AoE 4, then even 8GB could be enough, though barely.

If you are in the market for a new laptop and will be playing games or running applications that are memory-intensive, the best advice I can give is to get as much RAM as possible – preferably 32GB. With current technology trends in mind, this is one of the easiest ways to future-proof your purchase.

Major What are the best processors for Age of Empires?

Processor age of empires

As is often the case, this is a matter of give and take. Graphics cards are good at accelerating graphics-intensive games, but they don’t do much for CPU-bound games. As a basic example, even with a top-notch GPU, Age of Empires IV will have to rely on your processor for managing AI.

There’s no point in spending hundreds of dollars on a top-of-the-line graphics card if you’re going to bottleneck it with a mediocre processor. That’s why I like to start with the CPU when picking a laptop for RTS games that rely on single-core performance.

Requirements

Age of Empires IV is not an overly demanding game when it comes to raw power – it needs an i5/Ryzen 5 processor at the very least. But you might want to upgrade your rig if you care about high framerates or enjoy playing in higher resolutions.

The main thing to look out for here is single-core performance. The faster your CPU can execute commands per second, the better your experience will be in Age of Empires IV – especially when considering the AI management load. Intel Core i5/i7 processors are usually your best bet here – or if you’re willing to spend more money on a laptop, AMD Ryzen 7 is also an excellent choice.

Recommendations

So what should you get? If you want the cheapest option possible without losing any performance, I recommend an Intel Core i5 1035G1 or AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor. If you want something mid-range but affordable, I suggest opting for Intel Core i5 1135G7 or AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processors. And if you’re looking for high framerates at higher resolutions – well, then I’m afraid that only high-end laptops are up to the task right now. So I recommend sticking with Intel Core i7-11800H or Ryzen 7 4800H processors.

TL;DR
  • it’s not an overly demanding game, but you should still get a decent processor for better performance
  • if you want the cheapest option possible, get an Intel Core i5 1035G1 or AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor
  • if you want something mid-range but affordable, get an Intel Core i5 1135G7 or AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor
  • if you’re looking for high framerates at higher resolutions, get an Intel Core i7 11800H or Ryzen 7 4800H processor

Optional requirements for a Age of Empires IV laptop

Optional Choosing the right laptop display for Age of Empires IV

Resolution

Display AoE 4

If you’re playing on a laptop – FHD (1920×1080) is the way to go. As for 4K gaming – you’ll need to get your hands on a powerhouse laptop that can handle high-res gaming smoothly. But if you don’t want to spend so much money, there’s no need to fret – high-quality visuals are still possible with QHD or even FHD. Especially if you’re not buying a 17.3″ laptop – you might not even notice much of a difference between resolutions.

Panel type

I strongly advise getting an IPS panel. It’s not a hard requirement, and IPS panels are far from being the same. What are IPS panels? In short, they’re a display technology that improves viewing angles and, in many cases, color contrast. They’re becoming the standard display type in laptops over ~$1,000. But it can be skipped if you’re not looking for vivid colors, you’re using an external display for gaming, or you’d instead divert the additional cost of an IPS panel (~$100) to a better processor or graphics card.

HDR support

HDR laptop displays are still tough to find. But if you’d happen to land on one that supports it, or you’re looking for HDR display because you’re working with images/videos, – then you’re in for a treat. You’ll appreciate the free 4K HDR Video Pack DLC, which contains ultra-high fidelity videos.

High refresh rate, response time, and Adaptive sync

It’s always good to have a display with a high refresh rate when gaming. I’d advise 120Hz displays for a first-person shooter, even for a mid-range laptop (~$1,200). In contrast, RTS games do not benefit much from a high refresh rate display. Even in more reaction-time-sensitive RTS titles like Starcraft II, I wouldn’t call it a worthy investment for all but the most competitive players.

So if you’re looking for the best laptop for playing AoE 4 – it’s perfectly OK to skip the high refresh rate hype train and prioritize other aspects.

Finally, response time and adaptive sync (G-Sync and FreeSync) are not necessary for an RTS game like AoE 4, where the monitor’s refresh rate doesn’t bottleneck frame rates and frametime variability remains small enough for typical humans’ sensitivity thresholds (< ~5ms).

Optional How much space does AoE 4 need?

Laptop storage drive

The good old HDD – not too old, but you know, ancient in computer years – is obsolete in today’s market. Sure, they’re still plenty of them out there, but when the dust settles – there will be no HDDs left standing. It’s all about the SSDs nowadays. Why? Speed is the obvious answer – read/write speeds are much faster than HDDs, and that translates to less waiting time when loading files and programs. There are other benefits too: lower power consumption, less heat generation, more reliability and longevity with a lot less wear-and-tear due to regular data reading/writing cycles. And that’s not all! SSDs are a lot quieter than HDDs and a lot smaller in size with less physical moving parts – perfect for laptop users on the go.

How much space do we need?

As for AoE IV specifically, it requires only 50 GB of free space to be installed on your PC or laptop. That being said, chances are you’ll need more space for other games and apps on your PC or laptop – I don’t know about you but I have one or two myself. Sure you could get away with a 256 GB SSD if you were just playing AoE IV and nothing else on your laptop – but it’s always better to err on the side of caution and get yourself a 1 TB drive instead.

TL;DR
  • you’ll need 50 GB of free space on your PC or laptop for AoE 4 installation
  • you’ll need more space for other games and apps on your PC or laptop
  • 512 GB is the recommended amount for most mid-range laptops (under $1,500)
  • 1 TB and up is best for high-end laptops ($1,500+)

9 Best Laptops for Age of Empires IV

Lenovo Ideapad L340

1
Age of Empires IV laptop under $800
Price
$770
i5-9300H | GTX 1650 | 8 GB RAM | 256 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • One of most affordable laptops with an Intel i5 processor
  • Numpad
Cons
  • Ordinary processor (i5-9300H)
View on Amazon

Acer Swift X SFX14-41G-R1S6

2
Fantastic value
Price
$1050
Ryzen 7 5800U | RTX 3050 Ti | 16 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD | 14″ IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Decent processor (Ryzen 7 5800U)
  • Terrific graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)
Alternatives
$850
Asus TUF FX505DT
Pros
  • Exceptional processor (Ryzen 7 3750H)
  • One of most affordable laptops with an AMD Ryzen 7 processor
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ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14

3
Age of Empires IV laptop under $1200
Price
$1120
i7-10750H | GTX 1650 | 8 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD | 14″; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • One of most affordable laptops with an Intel i7 processor
  • Backlit keyboard
Cons
  • Unexceptional processor (i7-10750H)
  • Underwhelming graphics card (GTX 1650)
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ASUS ROG Strix G15 G513QE-ES76

4
Well-rounded laptop
Price
$1300
Ryzen 7 5800H | RTX 3050 Ti | 16 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 15.6″ 300Hz IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • First-class processor (Ryzen 7 5800H)
  • Adequate graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)
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Sager NP7879KQ

5
Great value
Price
$1380
i7-11800H | RTX 3050 Ti | 16 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 17.3″ 144Hz Matte; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Solid processor (i7-11800H)
  • Up to the mark graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)
Cons
  • No IPS Panel (worse contrast)
Alternatives
$1,550
Sager NP7879PQ
Pros
  • Great processor (i7-11800H)
  • Adequate graphics card (RTX 3060)
Cons
  • No IPS Panel (worse viewing angles)
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MSI GE75 Raider I

6
Best laptop for Age of Empires IV under $2000
Price
$1720
i7-10750H | RTX 2060 | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD; 2000 GB HDD | 17.3″ 144Hz IPS-level; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Terrific graphics card (RTX 2060)
  • Great display (17.3 144Hz IPS-level)
Cons
  • Substandard processor (i7-10750H)
Alternatives
$1,890
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14
Pros
  • Great processor (Ryzen 9 4900HS)
  • Terrific graphics card (RTX 2060)
Cons
  • Run-of-the-mill memory amount (16GB)
  • No IPS Panel (inferior color reproduction)
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MSI 15 Inch

7
Laptop for playing modern games
Price
$1760
i7-10750H | RTX 3060 | 32 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 15.6″ 144Hz IPS-level; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Good graphics card (RTX 3060)
  • Awesome display (15.6 144Hz IPS-level)
Cons
  • Run-of-the-mill processor (i7-10750H)
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MSI WF75 10TK-250

8
Forget about shortage of storage
Price
$2200
i7-10750H | Quadro RTX 3000 | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 17.3″ 144Hz IPS-level; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Good display (17.3 144Hz IPS-level)
  • Exceptional memory amount (32GB)
Cons
  • Middle-of-the-road processor (i7-10750H)
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ASUS ROG Zephyrus

9
Forget about shortage of storage
Price
$2580
Ryzen 9 5900HS | RTX 3070 | 40 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 15.6″ 165Hz IPS-level G-Sync; 2560×1440
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Excellent processor (Ryzen 9 5900HS)
  • Awesome graphics card (RTX 3070)
Alternatives
$3,020
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen
Cons
  • Ordinary processor (i7-10850H)
  • Garden-variety graphics card (Quadro T2000)
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Table of Best Laptops for Age of Empires IV

LaptopPrice (approx)
Lenovo Ideapad L340$770
Acer Swift X SFX14-41G-R1S6$1050
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14$1120
ASUS ROG Strix G15 G513QE-ES76$1300
Sager NP7879KQ$1380
MSI GE75 Raider I$1720
MSI 15 Inch$1760
MSI WF75 10TK-250$2200
ASUS ROG Zephyrus$2580

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