Are you a Linux gamer in the market for a new gaming laptop? Can’t figure out what laptop will work well with your favorite Linux-based operating system? We can help! Here are 4 gaming laptops that handle Linux well!
Things to keep in mind
Buying a laptop for Linux gaming is a lot different than buying a laptop for Windows gaming. On Windows, any computer you purchase will work well with the operating system, as the graphics card, network card, Bluetooth card, and other devices all have supported drivers.
On Linux, picking a gaming laptop is not so simple. Not every laptop has excellent Linux support for the devices that come with it. You need to make sure that the graphics card has support, that your WiFi card will work, that you’ll have Bluetooth connectivity, and more.
In this list, we’ve carefully selected laptops that work the best with Linux. From the graphics card to the WiFi card and everything in between, the hardware should play well with most modern Linux operating systems allowing you to enjoy your favorite video games with no hassle.
What are the best gaming Linux laptops?
In our extensive testing, we’ve found that these laptops are the best for Linux gamers.
The MSI GF65 is a high-end, thin form-factor gaming laptop. MSI has gone through a lot of trouble to make the laptop light and portable. Nobody wants to lug around a massive laptop!
It’s got powerful specifications under the hood. It is sporting a powerful i7 9750H that has a base frequency of 2.50 GHz but can reach speeds of up to 4.50 GHz with a turbo boost. Aside from the CPU, it comes equipped with an impressive 6 GB, GDDR6 dedicated Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU, a 512GB NVMe SSD for fast storage, 16GB of RAM, a 120Hz IPS display, stereo speakers, a 5GHz compatible WiFi chip, built-in webcam, USB 3.0, Bluetooth support, a red-backlit keyboard to help you see in the dark while you type, and more.
As expected, the MSI GF65 ships with Windows 10. However, Linux is easy to install on the machine, and it is fully ready to handle just about any Linux video game you throw at it without breaking a sweat. That said, it does have an Nvidia graphics card, so proprietary video drivers must be installed to get full utilization out of it. The open-source Nvidia drivers don’t allow the MSI GF65 to operate at peak performance.
- 120Hz IPS display allows for gaming above 60 FPS.
- Ultra-powerful Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU can handle nearly any video game it runs.
- Stylish red backlit keyboard.
- Stereo speaker system.
MSI GF65 is one of the best gaming laptops that money can buy. But best of all, every piece of hardware inside of it works very well with Linux. From the graphics card to the WiFi chip, Bluetooth, and everything in-between, you’ll have great support on the platform, allowing you to enjoy the best Linux games out there without hassle!
The Predator Helios 300 is a slim gaming laptop from Acer. Highly portable and perfect for gaming on the go. Much like the MSI GF65, it comes packed with the i7-9750H CPU and the 6 GB RTX 2060 GPU. However, unlike the MSI GF65, it has a 144Hz 1080p monitor, to allow gaming at ultra-high framerates.
Aside from the epic i7-9750H CPU and RTX 2060 GPU, the Predator Helios 300 has 16 GB of DDR4 memory, a 512 GB NVMe SSD, 4 USB 3.0 ports, support for 5GHz WiFi networks, a 720p HD webcam, Bluetooth connectivity, stereo speakers, two built-in microphones, an RGB backlit keyboard, gigabit ethernet, a lithium-ion battery with up to 6-hours of charge, and much, much more.
Like all gaming laptops today, it comes with Microsoft Windows 10. However, Acer does not make it difficult to replace this operating system with Linux. Furthermore, Linux gaming on the Acer Predator Helios 300 is excellent, and all games are capable of running at the highest quality. However, as it uses a dedicated Nvidia card, be aware that the proprietary Nvidia drivers must be installed to utilize the GPU fully.
- Monster RTX 2060 GPU means it can handle any video game you throw at it.
- Two built-in microphones for easy communication while gaming.
- 144 Hz display for ultra-high framerate gaming.
- 6 hours of battery life.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a very costly gaming laptop. However, some might see the cost as worth it due to the high level of craftsmanship put into the device, as well as the extremely high-end components it comes with.
The MSI Alpha 15 A3DD-004 is an AMD Ryzen-powered, midrange gaming laptop. It isn’t a thin laptop, but it’s not very bulky, so it’s still a great machine for travel-gaming. It is powered by the Ryzen7-3750H CPU, which can reach speeds of up to 4.0 GHz. Along with a decent CPU, it packs in the Radeon RX5500M, which gives the user 4 GBs of DDR6 video memory to work with.
As for features, the MSI Alpha 15 A3DD-004 has a 15.6 FHD 144Hz LED screen, a 512GB NVMe SSD, 16 GBs of DDR4 2666MHz RAM, stereo speakers, a 720p HD Webcam, a full RGB keyboard, support for 5GHz WiFi networks, support for USB 3.0, HDMI out, and so much more.
The MSI Alpha 15 A3DD-004 is equipped Windows 10, as is standard on most laptops these days. That said, the BIOS is easy to tinker with, making Linux a breeze to get working. And, since the laptop comes with a Radeon GPU, the user does not need to configure graphical drivers to enjoy their favorite Linux games, as the open-source drivers built into the Linux kernel work perfectly!
- Radeon GPU means the user does not need to deal with installing graphical drivers to enjoy gaming.
- 144Hz monitor allows for ultra-high framerate gaming.
- Full-sized RGB keyboard.
MSI Alpha 15 A3DD-004 is pretty affordable but priced at what you’d expect a modern gaming laptop to be. If you need an excellent AMD-powered gaming laptop to run Linux on, do give this one a go!
4. HP OMEN
The HP Omen is a nice, midrange Nvidia-powered gaming laptop. It is powered by a quad-core Intel i5-9300H and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650. The form factor of the laptop is a bit bulky, but not so large that it is impossible to travel with.
HP Omen isn’t the pinnacle of high-end gaming, offering only a GTX 1650 and an Intel i5 rather than an i7 and a more powerful GPU. Still, it offers up some useful features that are competitive, such as a 15.6″ Full HD IPS display, 12GB DDR4 2666 MHz SDRAM, 128GB PCIe SSD (for OS) + 1TB 7200 rpm HDD (for storage), USB 3.0 support, USB C support, a 3-Cell 52 Wh Battery, dual speakers, Gigabit Ethernet, a full red-backlit keyboard w/ Numpad, and many other features.
HP has always been good about letting their customers replace Windows with an alternative operating system. HP Omen is no different, and users will have no issue getting their favorite Linux OS working. Most devices should work, though, as it has an Nvidia GPU, be sure to install the proprietary GPU drivers to get the best gaming performance.
- Full sized-keyboard with Numpad.
- It comes with two hard drives (SSD and HDD).
- USB C support.
- Gigabit Ethernet.
The HP Omen is one of the best gaming PCs you’ll find for the price. It’s not outrageously expensive, but it’s not too cheap, either. It’s priced at what most high-quality midrange laptops are, and it’s a great pickup for any price-conscious gamer.
In this list, we talked about 4 gaming laptops that work very well with Linux. With that said, there are many more gaming laptops out there with excellent Linux compatibility. What gaming laptop do you run Linux on? Tell us about it in the comments below!