When Grand Theft Auto V was released for PC back in 2015, even high-end desktop rigs struggled to run it at Ultra (4K) settings. Finding an off-the-shelf laptop that could run GTA 5 Ultra was difficult unless you were happy to pay for top-range components.
Fast-forward to 2020 and there are plenty of gaming laptops vying for your attention, all claiming to run GTA 5 smoothly without any stuttering. We’ve reviewed seven of the main contenders, and found a few surprises along the way.
So read on, as we test 7 of the best gaming laptops that can run GTA 5 smoothly — one of them could be your next big purchase.
Can you play GTA 5 on any laptop today?
Most mid-range laptops today are capable of playing GTA 5, although you’ll probably have to play at low-ish settings. But if you’re looking for a laptop that can run GTA 5 smoothly, at 60 fps or more, then you need a purpose-designed gaming laptop. This will become even more important when Rockstar Games eventually release GTA 6.
Grand Theft Auto 6
Firstly, we don’t have any confirmed release date for GTA 6. There’s a supposed ‘GTA 6 Official Trailer’ on YouTube, but it’s been put together by a fan, so it’s more of a guess. The smart money predicts a release announcement in late 2021 and a console release in 2022. Unfortunately, not even well-respected sources such as GamesRadar+ can predict a release date for PC.
However, there’s a general agreement of the likely minimum and recommended requirements. Here’s the most important info:
Predicted Laptop Requirements for GTA 6
Graphics Card: AMD Radeon R9 390 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 (DirectX 12)
CPU: Intel Core i5-4460K 3.2GHz or AMD FX-8350
Graphics Card: AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (DirectX 12)
CPU: Intel Core i7-8700K or AMD Ryzen R7 1700X
What laptops will run GTA 5 smoothly?
For our review, we’ve chosen laptops that either meet or exceed the likely specifications for playing GTA 6. By doing so, we’ve also ensured that all of our review laptops can run GTA 5 smoothly, with an fps rate of 60 or higher.
7 of the Best Gaming Laptops that run GTA 5
All of these laptops will run Grand Theft Auto V at 60 fps or more. To jump to a particular review, just click on the name below.
- Razer Blade 15 (2020)
- Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
- Acer Predator Triton 300
- Dell G5 15 (2019)
- HP Pavilion Gaming 17
- MSI GL65 Leopard
- Lenovo IdeaPad L340
Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop (2020)
One of the best gaming laptops under £1,500 has just got better.
The older 2019 Razer Blade 15 was one of our favourite gaming laptops, and it’s good to see that the 2020 model retains the best features. The new model gets an upgrade to 10th-gen Intel Core, and the newest GeForce RTX graphics.
The model we’ve chosen sits in the middle of the Blade 15 range. The overall design hasn’t changed: the gorgeous CNC-milled aluminium unibody chassis still looks a lot classier than most and has a reassuringly solid feel. The case is just 0.78” thin when closed, and the 0.19-inch bezels help to make this one of the most compact (and lightest) 15.6” laptops you can buy.
The IPS screen outputs 100% sRGB at a refresh rate of 144Hz, producing a smooth and fluid image. The choice of RTX graphics means the Blade 15 can handle the most demanding AAA games, and it supports real-time ray tracing, giving dramatically lifelike shadows and reflections.
Connectivity is via Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.1, and a good range of I/O ports includes USB-C, Thunderbolt 3 and HDMI 2.0. It’s very easy to upgrade the Blade, so you can install a larger SSD (like the 1TB Western Digital WD Black (paidlink) if you’re going to be storing a lot of games and mods.
With the latest Nvidia RTX driving its stunning IPS screen, we think the Razer Blade 15 is the overall best gaming laptop on the market right now. And it looks absolutely gorgeous!
Razer’s top model is the reassuringly-expensive Razer Blade Pro 17 (2020), which pairs a 17.3-inch FHD 300 Hz screen with Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Super Max-Q. All this power is shoehorned into a 0.78-inch chassis, and there’s a new custom ‘vapour chamber’ cooling system to maintain optimum temperature.
We can also recommend the small (but perfectly-formed) 13.3-inch Stealth 13, which comes with a 120 Hz panel and the GTX 1650 Ti graphics card. For a full list of models, follow our link to the Razer Store.
- Excellent Build Quality
- Wide Range of GPU/CPU Options
- Easily Upgradeable
- Performs as good as it looks!
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
Probably the most powerful 14-inch laptop in the world.
The Zephyrus G14 has been co-designed by Republic of Gamers, who tuned the system for high-end gaming performance. Asus then collaborated with AMD to produce a special low-power, low-thermal Ryzen processor — the first of its type to be fitted. This laptop is special, which is why T3 awarded it ‘Best Gaming Laptop‘ earlier this year.
Powering the ROG Zephyrus is the latest processor from AMD. It’s a 16-thread, 8-core heavyweight, yet its 7nm design means it can fit inside Asus’s incredibly thin and light magnesium/aluminium chassis. The 120 Hz graphics card features Max-Q, which intelligently balances power between GPU and CPU, meaning longer battery life.
Asus have also fitted a massive 1TB of SSD storage. This is ideal for GTA 5: the game takes up about 72GB so you’ll have plenty of space for your favourite mods.
The display is, frankly, excellent. Of the two options, we chose the WQHD which is great for gaming but also lets you run other apps and play video at a high definition. Hardcore gamers are better off choosing the 1080p display. Both panels offer a full 100% gamut of sRGB and Pantone colourspace, so images are always vibrant.
AdaptiveSync Technology cleverly synchronises the display’s refresh rate with the GPU’s frame rate to eliminate tearing — it’s not a stand-out feature but it does make gameplay more fluid. This is typical of Asus: the extra ‘wish list’ features are what makes this laptop stand out.
Another example is the speaker set-up. Gamers will typically use gaming headphones, but Asus have gone ahead and fitted Dolby Atmos virtual 5.1. It’s configured so twin tweeters fire sound directly at you, and dual Smart Amp woofers bounce low frequencies off the table. Clever — and genuinely useful.
Connectivity is also good: there are two USB Type-C ports (one with DisplayPort and Power Delivery), two standard USB 3.2 ports, and HDMI 2.0b. Internet connection is with Gig+ Ethernet, or via the 802.11ax card which gives you Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.
We could rave on about all the extras (like the power button with integrated fingerprint sensor), but we’re sure you get the general idea: with the ROG Zephyrus G14, Asus have thrown down the gauntlet and created the most powerful off-the-shelf 14-inch laptop available today.
If a 14-inch screen is too small, you should take a look at the ROG Strix range, which includes 15.6” and 17.3” panels. The ROG Strix G512LV model uses the same graphics card as our review model, but updates the refresh rate to 240 Hz (3ms response). For a full list of all the ROG models, follow our link to the ASUS ROG store.
- T3 Awards 2020 Winner – Best Gaming Laptop
- Incredibly powerful CPU/GPU performance
- Vibrant 100% sRGB screen (Pantone validated)
- Quad speakers with Dolby Atmos 5.1 surround
Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020 model with 300 Hz refresh)
A superb gaming laptop with a 300 Hz display and G-Sync.
Let’s just come out and say it: this Acer Predator boasts refresh rates of up to 300 Hz. This is currently the fastest laptop display speed in the world: only one screen beats it, and that’s a standalone monitor, not a laptop. The Predator 500 panel also has a 1ms overdrive response time (in Full HD), whereas other IPS gaming panels average between 3 and 7ms. Gaming on this laptop is accurate, fluid and fast.
Whereas previous upgrades were just iterations, the 2020 Predator gets a total re-design. The form factor is sleeker, bezels are thinner, and the casing feels more rigid. Predator 500 gets the same great chiclet keyboard as before, but it now features per-key RGB lighting. Unfortunately, the lid is still a fingerprint magnet, but we can live with that!
The Triton 500 comes with a very useful array of ports. You get three USB 3.2 Type-A ports (one of which is ‘always-on’), a Thunderbolt 3.0 port, HDMI 2.0a with HDCP support and a mini DisplayPort 1.4. This makes a tri-monitor display setup possible, which the Triton can handle easily. All the connectivity uses Killer components, including their E2500 Ethernet Controller (2.5 Gig+) and the Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650x card.
The Predator Triton 500 is a fantastic gaming laptop, with its standout feature of a G-SYNC IPS panel that refreshes at 300 Hz. If you’re looking for future-proof smooth gameplay (GTA 6, anybody?), it’s hard to do better than this.
A slightly cheaper option is the Predator Helios 300, which swaps the RTX graphics card for a mobile GeForce GTX, and refresh rate takes a hit to 144 Hz. If you’re on a tight budget, take a look at the Acer Nitro range. The 15.6-inch Nitro 5 is a great example, with a 10th-gen Core i5 and GTX graphics powering an FHD IPS panel to 144 Hz. For the full range, follow our link to the Acer Gaming store.
- 300 Hz IPS panel with G-SYNC
- Redesigned, sleeker chassis
- RTX 2070 Super Max-Q graphics card
Dell G5 15 5990
Awarded a coveted Honoree status for Gaming at CES 2019, the G5 hits the sweet spot between budget gamer and desktop replacement.
Most gaming enthusiasts will have heard of Dell’s Alienware laptops, designed specifically for high-end gaming. They’re also expensive machines, starting at about £2,000. Dell needed to create a decent laptop for gamers that wouldn’t break the bank.
Step forward the G-series, which grew from Dell’s Inspiron range rather than sharing any DNA with Alienware. This makes it a much more affordable option — our base model is half the price of Dell’s cheapest Alien. We’ve chosen a 2019 G5, which sits in the middle in terms of price and performance.
The G5 15 boasts thin screen bezels and a chassis depth of only 24mm, belying the fact that this is an entry-level machine. Dell have also quietened down the ‘flair’, but kept the triple-blade design around the base — this is primarily to aid ventilation, but it also looks pretty cool!
The G5’s keyboard includes a full-size number pad and is backlit in a cool blue, which has two levels of brightness. The slightly-roughened chiclet keys are a little shallow, but still good for typing and gaming. There’s also a fingerprint reader on the keyboard deck, which is a nice surprise for a budget-priced machine.
Pairing a Core i5 with a GeForce GTX 1650 was a good idea in 2019, and it still makes sense today — you don’t get the graphics performance of Nvidia’s 2020 graphics cards, but you can still run GTA 5 smoothly at 60 fps. It also means the drain on the battery is quite low, which powers the G5 for up to 8 hours.
For I/O options we get an HDMI 2.0 port on the rear, along with Gigabit Ethernet and a USB 3.1 port. There’s a USB Type-C (DisplayPort) on the left with another USB 3.1 and the headphone jack. The right side has a third USB 3.1 port and an SD card reader. Wi-Fi is version 5, and Bluetooth 5.0 completes the list.
Dell worked hard to keep the costs down, and so made some compromises, but that didn’t stop the laptop from being awarded Honoree Status (Gaming) at CES 2019. We agree with the judges: if you’re a gamer who also wants a machine that can take on desktop duties, then you should seriously consider Dell’s G5 range.
The most obvious alternative is the 2020 version of the G5 15, which upgrades the CPU to a 10th-gen Core i5 and fits a 512 GB SSD. More importantly, the graphics card gets a major update to the GTX 1660 Ti which increases the fps to 144 Hz, giving you a laptop that’s future-proofed for GTA 6.
If you’re keen on a bigger screen, we suggest you take a look at the G7 17 7700, (2020 version), which marries a 17.3-inch 144 Hz panel to a GeForce RTX 2060 running G-SYNC. The main processor also gets an update to a 10th-gen Core i7, and there are a lot of other high-end gaming tweaks. For a full list of Dell’s gaming laptops, follow our link to the Dell Gaming store.
- Awarded Honoree Status (Gaming) at CES 2019
- Outstanding battery life
- Doubles as a desktop replacement
- Extensive configuration options
HP Pavilion Gaming 17
This 2020 redesign is quiet, efficient and even sleek — could this be the new standard for HP’s Pavilion range?
It’s been called ‘an HP Omen without the un-necessary bits’, which we think sums up this laptop quite nicely. A dramatically re-designed chassis and a good choice of components places the Pavilion Gaming 17 firmly in the upper mid-range of budget laptops.
Starting with the graphics card, we find a GTX 1660 Ti (with Max-Q) with 6 GB of GDDR6 video RAM, which is just about perfect. There’s no G-SYNC here, but Nvidia Optimus is included by default, ensuring GPU load-balancing duties are well looked after. Our review model uses a 10th-generation Core i7 – better than we’d expect – but you can specify a 9th-gen chip when you order, to keep the cost under the ‘magic’ £1,000 mark.
The no-frills IPS display refreshes at up to 144 Hz and achieves a full 100% of the sRGB colour space, which is impressive in a 17.3” panel. The screen’s output is rated at 300 nits, which is bright enough for viewing in sunlight.
The biggest change is the vastly improved build quality, we’re genuinely impressed! Flimsy lids and cheap-looking plastics were becoming the norm for Pavilions, but the Gaming 17 reverses this trend. Instead, HP have given us a new chassis that’s stronger and sleeker, and in many ways it outclasses HP’s premier Omen 17.
Cooling is superb: HP have employed an enhanced 4-heatpipe design, with two fans and some clever thermal routing. It works very well, and fan noise when the machine is idling is practically inaudible. This is a very efficient design, and we hope it gets rolled out to the rest of the Pavilion range soon.
Borrowed from the Omen range is ‘CommandCenter’, from where you can display and adjust all the key metrics for each game. Network Booster is also ported over from the Omen, which ensures that gaming traffic is prioritised whenever you’re playing online. Which brings us neatly to connectivity.
The Wi-Fi card is again an Intel AX201, with Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 and Gig+ support. All the I/O ports are on the left and right sides, and the range is excellent. There are two standard USB 3.0 ports and one Type-C, with DisplayPort 1.4 and USB power delivery. For external monitors there’s HDMI 2.0, and a multi-format SD reader is available for direct file transfer.
We’re impressed by this laptop. Not only is quieter than most gaming machines; it also benefits from a strong redesign both in the chassis and the choice of components. HP is clearly paying a lot more attention to its entry-level gaming laptops, and it really shows with the Pavilion Gaming 17.
If you’re planning to mainly use an external monitor, then the smaller HP Pavilion Gaming 15 is the obvious choice. The internal specs are identical to our review model, and you still get the benefit of HP’s radical redesign.
There’s also a cheaper 15.6-inch model based around an AMD Ryzen 7 3000-series chip with a slightly less-powerful GTX 1650 graphics card — it’s an ‘Amazon Choice’ for budget gaming laptops, so it might be worth a look if you’re on a tight budget. For all the configs, visit the HP Store.
- Excellent redesign
- Whisper-quiet performance
- 17.3-inch panel with 100% sRGB
- Great connectivity and I/O options
MSI GL65 Leopard
Who said thinner is always better? MSI have applied all their gaming know-how to bring us this desktop replacement that runs AAA titles with ease, but still qualifies as a budget laptop.
MSI are one of the most trusted names in gaming, and we’re always excited to see new models added to their line-up. The GL65 Leopard was launched in May 2020 and shares its basic design with MSI’s pricier GS75 Stealth range.
The display is a full HD IPS-like panel with a decent refresh rate of 120 Hz. Controlled by the ubiquitous RTX 20-series GPU, the GL65 Leopard’s anti-glare panel easily pushes beyond 60 fps for AAA gameplay (including, of course, Grand Theft Auto V).
The casing is an understated slate-grey affair, with a subtle passively-lit MSI logo. A comfortable rubber-feel keyboard has been fitted by SteelSeries, the gaming specialists, and we like that MSI haven’t forgotten the importance of a quality keyboard, even on a budget machine. Ours comes backlit by a single colour (red), but you can specify a per-key colour option if that’s your preference.
MSI have used the extra room to fit an advanced cooling system. Cooler Boost 5 uses two fans, two exhausts and seven heat pipes to cool both the 10th-gen Core i7 and the GPU. This is a very efficient set-up which virtually eliminates processor throttling, leading to smoother gameplay.
The I/O ports are all located on the left and right sides of the casing. On the left are the Ethernet jack along with a mini-DisplayPort and HDMI socket (supporting 4K at 30Hz), plus USB 3.2 and USB Type-C ports. The opposite side provides two more USB 3.2 ports and a multi SD card reader. Connectivity is via Intel’s AX201combo card, offering Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.
Often overlooked on a budget gaming laptop, MSI haven’t skimped on the audio setup. Compared to other budget machines the speakers are huge, and pump out lossless 24-bit hi-res audio. The inevitable bass roll-off means the speakers will never replace dedicated gaming headphones, but MSI have come closer than most.
It’s hard to find fault with the GL65 Leopard. The physical build is impressive, and the GPU/CPU pairing offers better-than-expected performance for the price. As mid-range gaming laptops go, MSI have produced a great machine.
At this price point, GTI have some excellent game-configured machines. For increased portability, take a look at the GF 63 Thin, which swaps out the RTX graphics card for a GTX 1650 Ti and reduces the weight to less than 2 Kg. Or, if you’re after a true gaming beast, MSI has you covered with the Titan range, up to and including the awesome GT76 Titan. For all the possible configs, head to the MSI store.
- 120 Hz refresh rate
- Excellent keyboard designed by SteelSeries
- 24-bit Lossless Audio
- Cooler Boost 5 advanced thermals
Lenovo IdeaPad L340
It might be the cheapest on our list, but Lenovo’s budget gaming laptop might just surprise you.
Lenovo’s main gaming brand is ‘Legion’, and they’ve brought some of that quality to bear in this IdeaPad. For a sub-£700 machine, the IdeaPad L340 has some standout features.
First up is the screen: a true IPS panel with a very respectable sRGB gamut of 72%. The display tops out at 60 fps, which is perfectly acceptable, and pairing it with the capable GTX 1650 means AAA games like GTA V will run smoothly without any stutter. It looks great as well, surrounded by thin left/right bezels and covered with a very effective anti-glare coating.
The processor is a 9th-generation Core i5 which can turbo up to 4.10 GHz, so there’s more than enough power on tap. However, the budget status shows when we look at the RAM, which is just 8 GB. There’s only RAM slot inside, so if you want to upgrade you’ll have to buy a 16GB stick.
Another victim of cost-saving is the SSD storage, which at 256GB is barely adequate. Again, we suggest you upgrade if possible, bearing in mind that Windows 10 plus GTA 5 will take up roughly a third of the available space.
The overall build quality is surprisingly good — the casing is toughened plastic with a brushed aluminium finish and we found no evidence of bending or twisting. The sleek casing has a subtle all-black finish, with a muted blue logo on the lid as the sole colour accent.
Lenovo makes some of the best keyboards around, and the L340’s is a case in point. It’s thoughtfully laid out, and the keypress depth is just about perfect. As a nice touch, the cool blue backlight can be dialled up or down according to taste.
Unusually, all the I/O ports are on the left edge. There are two USB 3.1 ports and one USB C-Type, an HDMI output and an Ethernet connector. There’s no DisplayPort or SDcard reader, but we can live with that. Wi-Fi is version 5 (802.11ac) and Bluetooth is version 4.2.
There are some welcome imports from Lenovo’s Legion range, including Dolby Audio and RapidCharge technology, which recharges the laptop from flat to 80% in under an hour. Additionally, Lenovo include their Q-Control firmware, so you can switch to a dynamic battery saving mode when you’re away from an AC socket.
For less than £700, we weren’t expecting much. But with the IdeaPad L340, Lenovo have produced a laptop that’s ‘decent’ in every way that matters. It can run games at Full HD resolution, and the inclusion of a true IPS display is generous. This laptop won’t break any records, but it won’t break the bank either.
For almost the same price, you could get yourself the Asus TUF FX705. With a 17.3-inch, 120 Hz display it’s resolutely a gaming machine, not a portable everyday laptop, but it’s a popular choice with many serious gamers who know a bargain.
Another alternative is Lenovo’s Legion range of dedicated gaming laptops. The Legion 5 is a good starting point, with a 144Hz 15.6-inch IPS panel powered by an RTX 2060. For the full range, visit the Lenovo Legion store.
- True IPS display
- Decent performance for a budget gamer
- QuickCharge technology
- Surprisingly good build quality
To Sum Up
Thanks for reading our review. All the models we’ve reviewed will give you a great GTA experience, and we hope you’ve found our comments interesting.
If you own one of the models we’ve reviewed, we’d love to hear your personal opinion, so please get in touch.
|Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop||Razer||View on Amazon|
|Asus ROG Zephyrus G14||Asus||View on Amazon|
|Acer Predator Triton 500||Acer||View on Amazon|
|Dell G5 15 5990||Dell||View on Amazon|
|HP Pavilion Gaming 17||HP||View on Amazon|
|MSI GL65 Leopard||MSI||View on Amazon|
|Lenovo IdeaPad L340||Lenovo||View on Amazon|