Minecraft wallpaper with good shaders Updated: October 15, 2021. Minecraft is a peculiar game. At first, it might look like a plucky little sanbox that should find fans in a small niche, then you look deeper and realize the sky’s the limit. Or, to be more accurate – The Sky is the limit (I can sense your eye-roll). I won’t give you a long-winded introduction; we all know why we’re here – finding your next laptop for Minecraft.

Given that you could play the game on a completely outdated computer, you might guess it isn’t that hard to find a decent laptop for Minecraft. So what’s the catch?

While it’s fair to say that any screen wired to a keyboard could play Minecraft (unless it’s a Chromebook, but even that might not a problem these days), the same gaming-capable laptop criteria still limit us. In some ways, it’s even more tricky to pick a laptop for a game like Minecraft because it’s not meant to be a single-purpose FPS-pumping machine but a general-purpose notebook with an emphasis on gaming. As a fair compromise between all-purpose and gaming, I found the ten best laptops to mine for diamonds no matter what your budget is.

Requirements for a Minecraft laptop

Major Processor

Importance of processor

minecraft art

I know what you’re thinking. “It’s Minecraft; who cares about the processor?” But it’s not just Minecraft. Think about all the other CPU-bound games out there. You’ll need a decent processor to enjoy a good framerate. Mainly, if you’re playing on lower chunk count and not planning to play with ray-tracing – you could be limited by your processor. But in practice, nearly no one is, at least in Minecraft. That’s because custom shaders put a lot more strain on GPU than the CPU, usually chilling at 10-50% usage.

Requirements

Minecraft is not an overly demanding game, but that doesn’t mean it can’t take up a lot of processing power (we all know it’s not particularly well optimized). Don’t get me wrong – if you’re skipping out on RTX, then a potato wired to a battery will be enough to play Minecraft. For that use case, I could even recommend an Intel Core i3/AMD Ryzen 3. It’s enough for a stable FPS on good graphics settings, but you’ll want more if you wish to have more chunks or an absurd framerate.

Recommendations

What can I recommend? Glad you asked! Intel Core i7-11370H is an excellent mid-range processor for all-around gaming. It’s powerful enough to offer a smooth experience on medium graphics settings, and it’s affordable enough to be a worthy upgrade from Core i3/Ryzen 3 processors. And if you want the best of the best, Intel Core i7-10875H and pretty much all AMD Ryzen 7s that end with an “H” are great high-performance options for laptops with ultra-high resolution and high refresh rate displays.

Major Memory

Whether you’ll need a lot of RAM to play Minecraft depends on a single criterion – do you plan on using plenty of mods. If not, any RAM amount will suffice. If you’re into extravagant mods – then consider investing in a larger memory buffer.

Minimum (8 GB)

Minecraft can work on 8GB of RAM, but you might need to tone down with modpacks. But at the same time, any laptop that has only 8 GB RAM will not be suitable for the most over-the-top mods.

Recommended (16 GB)

I would say 16GB of RAM is the sweet spot for Minecraft. You’ll have enough RAM to play the game and have some extra memory left over for multitasking or running other applications.

Best (32 GB)

For the past year, I’ve been recommending 32GB for upper-range gaming laptops. While Minecraft is not that memory-hungry, getting more RAM will never be wrong decision. You’ll keep Java runtime happy, and it’s plenty for multitasking without any limitations for the foreseeable future.

Major Graphics card

24 chunk render distance slider

Minecraft is a game that doesn’t require a fast graphics card. The graphics settings in the game are limited mainly to anti-aliasing, resolution, and rendering distance. A fast graphics card is not needed to run Minecraft at all… unless you want ray-tracing.

I’ve split my recommendations into 3 sections – minimum, recommend, and the best video card options for playing Minecraft. The latter category is obviously reserved for those who can afford it.

Minimum graphics (under $600)

The cheapest way to get Minecraft running is to invest in an integrated graphics chip. These modules are typically found in budget laptops and offer bare-minimum performance, hovering around 20-60 FPS on 13 chunks render distance. You might want to use Badlion or Lunar client. Also, you might need to make compromises on the visual settings and render distance to achieve playable framerates. I’d recommend those chips only if you have a VERY limited budget.

Recommended graphics without ray-tracing (under $1000)

If you’re looking for a balanced mix of price and performance, we can turn to Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 or AMD Radeon RX 5600M. These cards can deliver 80 FPS on 32 chunk render distance (Full HD). All in all, these cards offer a nice balance between price and performance and are more than enough if you’re not looking for a more expensive RTX card. What about non-RTX framerates? Low hundreds on vanilla Minecraft and ~70 with SEUS PTGI.

Recommended graphics with ray-tracing ($1000-$1600)

If you instead want to experience ray-tracing on Bedrock Edition, or you’re just out for the latest graphics cards – RTX 3060 is an excellent starting point. It can reach 30-50 FPS with RTX and 24 chunks. It will need a lot of help with DLSS upscaling to go beyond Full HD and do not overdo it with custom shaders.

Best graphics ($1600 and up)

I recommend RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 as the best options for playing Minecraft with ray-tracing for those that can afford it. Both cards offer playable framerates at 1080p with ray tracing, but only RTX 3070 and 3080 can reach an average of 60 FPS (and a bit less in specific locations). While you won’t experience RTX 3090 framerates, especially because notebook graphics are slower than their desktop counterparts, it’s the best you can get on a laptop.

Optional requirements for a Minecraft laptop

Optional Storage

laptop with empty M.2 slots

I recommend that you get an SSD with at least 250 GB of storage space. The higher your budget, the more storage space you can afford. 500 GB is a lot more than enough for a casual player, but 1 TB is a better choice if you have an extensive Steam library.

Is HDD an option?

HDDs are still a thing, and you can get one for dirt cheap. But you’ll be best off with an SSD, which is much faster and will reduce your game loading times significantly. HDDs are prone to regular wear and tear – they will inevitably slow down over time. Even defragmentation has its limits.

Price

An SSD price varies a lot depending on the size and model. An average 250 GB laptop will cost $550. Meanwhile, expect to spend ~$2k for a gaming notebook with a 1 TB SSD. It’s hard to make recommendations on this topic because it all depends on your needs. I’d recommend you start with 500 GB – it’s the best balance between price and storage space.

Upgrading

Upgrading is relatively easy with laptops that have empty M.2 slots for expansion. You can also consider getting a separate external hard drive to supplement your storage needs – if you’re into the whole organization thing (which I am).

TL;DR
  • HDD wear and tear will slow down your game loading times, get an SSD instead
  • M.2 expansion slots allow for cheap and easy expansion
  • An external hard drive is a good way to supplement your storage needs

Optional Display

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Minecraft was never centered around visuals. Minecraft is a game about creativity and exploration. But if you’re going for top-of-the-line shaders or RTX, you’ll appreciate a good display to keep your company.

Resolution

FHD is the bare minimum. If you want to have an immersive experience – consider a laptop with a QHD or 4K display.

Refresh rate, response time & adaptive sync

The refresh rate of a display refers to how many frames per second it can show. It’s not essential for Minecraft, but it can be advantageous in first-person shooters and similar reflex-oriented games. The same can be said about response time and adaptive sync (G-Sync).

Panel type

Everyone’s a fan of IPS panels, at least when comparing them to TNs. Minecraft is a great game for an IPS panel – more accurate colors, better viewing angles and the only disadvantage of IPS panels – slightly slower response time – is not relevant in Minecraft. Though, if you’re trying to get a laptop with a 144Hz panel (or better), you might need to consider TN panels. They are not as color-accurate, but they’re a great budget option if you want a milisecond-sharp display.

TL;DR
  • Minecraft is not about visuals, it’s about creativity and exploration
  • you can play Minecraft on any laptop, but you might need to compromise on panel quality if you want a 144Hz panel
  • TN panels are cheap, but color accuracy is worse than with IPS panels

9 Best Laptops for Minecraft

Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55-53E5

1
The best mid-range gaming laptop
Price
$770
i5-10300H | RTX 3050 | 8 GB RAM | 256 GB SSD | 15.6″ 144Hz IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Terrific graphics card (RTX 3050)
  • Competent display (15.6 144Hz IPS)
Cons
  • Unremarkable processor (i5-10300H)
  • Unexceptional memory amount (8GB)
Alternatives
$750
HP Pavilion -Inch
Pros
  • Superb display (15.6 IPS Touch)
  • One of most affordable laptops with an Intel i5 processor
Cons
  • Unremarkable processor (i5-9300H)
  • Unremarkable graphics card (GTX 1650)
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MSI GL65

2
Minecraft laptop under $800
Price
$780
i5-10300H | GTX 1650 | 16 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD | 15.6″; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Great memory amount (16GB)
Cons
  • Unexceptional processor (i5-10300H)
  • Average graphics card (GTX 1650)
View on Amazon

Acer Nitro 5 AN515-45-R83Z

3
Minecraft laptop under $1000
Price
$850
Ryzen 5 5600H | GTX 1650 | 8 GB RAM | 256 GB SSD | 15.6″ 144Hz IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • First-class processor (Ryzen 5 5600H)
  • Sufficient display (15.6 144Hz IPS)
Cons
  • Mediocre graphics card (GTX 1650)
  • Average memory amount (8GB)
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HP Pavilion

4
Minecraft laptop under $1000
Price
$900
Ryzen 5 4600H | GTX 1650 | 16 GB RAM | 256 GB SSD; 1000 GB HDD | 15.6″; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Decent processor (Ryzen 5 4600H)
  • Solid memory amount (16GB)
Cons
  • Run-of-the-mill graphics card (GTX 1650)
  • Weighty (4.4 lbs)
Alternatives
$980
Asus TUF
Pros
  • Very good memory amount (16GB)
  • A lot of storage 512 GB SSD 1000 GB HDD
Cons
  • Substandard processor (i5-10300H)
  • Run-of-the-mill graphics card (GTX 1650)
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Acer Predator Helios 300

5
Laptop with solid price and performance ratio
Price
$1230
i7-11800H | RTX 3060 | 16 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD | 15.6″ 144Hz IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Very good processor (i7-11800H)
  • Great graphics card (RTX 3060)
Alternatives
$1,460
MSI GL75 Leopard I
Pros
  • Decent graphics card (GTX 1660 Ti)
  • Splendid display (17.3 144Hz IPS)
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Sager NP7879KQ

6
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
  • First-class processor (i7-11800H)
  • Sufficient graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)
Cons
  • No IPS Panel (subpar viewing angles)
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Sager NP7879PQ

7
Minecraft laptop under $3000
Price
$1700
i7-11800H | RTX 3060 | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD; 1000 GB HDD | 17.3″ 144Hz Matte; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Splendid processor (i7-11800H)
  • Excellent graphics card (RTX 3060)
Cons
  • Heavy (5.5 lbs)
  • No IPS Panel (worse contrast)
Alternatives
$2,400
MSI GE75 Raider 17
Pros
  • Competent graphics card (RTX 2070)
  • Very good memory amount (64GB)
Cons
  • Unexceptional processor (i7-10750H)
$2,600
ASUS ROG Zephyrus
Pros
  • First-class processor (Ryzen 9 5900HS)
  • Splendid graphics card (RTX 3070)
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Clevo X170 KMG 17

8
Forget about shortage of storage
Price
$3750
i9-11900K | RTX 3080 | 64 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 17.3″ 300Hz G-Sync; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Splendid processor (i9-11900K)
  • Excellent graphics card (RTX 3080)
Cons
  • No IPS Panel (worse contrast)
Alternatives
$3,200
Lenovo Thinkpad P17
Pros
  • Ample 1TB SSD
  • Numpad
Cons
  • Ordinary processor (Xeon W-10855M)
  • Substandard graphics card (Quadro T2000)
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ASUS ROG Strix Scar G733QSA-XS99

9
Forget about shortage of storage
Price
$3800
Ryzen 9 5900HX | RTX 3080 | 32 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 17.3″ 360Hz IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • First-class processor (Ryzen 9 5900HX)
  • Solid graphics card (RTX 3080)
Cons
  • Mediocre memory amount (32GB)
View on Amazon

Comparison spreadsheet

If you’d like to watch how I’ve crunched the numbers, check out the Minecraft laptop comparison spreadsheet where I’ve listed and compared 100 top laptops for Minecraft (for their respective price).

Table of Best Laptops for playing Minecraft

LaptopPrice (approx)
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55-53E5$770
MSI GL65$780
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-45-R83Z$850
HP Pavilion$900
Acer Predator Helios 300$1230
Sager NP7879KQ$1380
Sager NP7879PQ$1700
Clevo X170 KMG 17$3750
ASUS ROG Strix Scar G733QSA-XS99$3800

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