Creating interactive and immersive experiences using Unreal Engine XR can be both fun and challenging. But it also takes a powerful PC or laptop to run the software and simulate virtual environments. As a developer, you'd want to make sure you have the right laptop to match the level of productivity and graphics demands.
So what are the top laptops for Unreal Engine XR development? That's exactly what I'm going to answer in this post. By the end of it, you'll be fully equipped with the knowledge necessary to find the best laptop for Unreal Engine XR. I will also provide some practical recommendations that are tailored to different budgets.
So, if you're up for a journey into the hardware specs and a few carefully chosen laptop reviews, read on.
The CPU market has been changing rapidly with Apple's own ARM-based M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M2 system-on-chip modules offering exceptional single-core performance and battery life, while AMD has managed to take 20% of the CPU market with its 6th generation Ryzen processors, and we're still waiting for Intel's 13th-gen processors to reach laptops, where 12th generation is Intel's latest. Both Intel's and Apple's silicon chips adopted hybrid performance/efficiency core design (based on big.LITTLE). Ryzen models are best if you need a good battery life in a PC laptop.
Unreal Engine is available on Windows and macOS, so I'll include MacBooks in my recommendations; a PC laptop will do just fine if you're looking for a more affordable option. If you're looking for a gaming laptop – it's best to prioritize single-core performance since most games rely on it; however, you'll need at least 4 cores to avoid performance bottlenecks.
Clock speed is no longer the best indicator of how well an application will perform; instead, we should look at the CPU benchmarks such as PassMark or Cinebench R23 (or later). If you're looking for a budget option – don't expect high performance; instead, focus on getting the best price-to-performance ratio.
Here is a table of recommended processors and their average price tags:
With the latest iteration of Unreal Engine XR, game developers have more options than ever for creating immersive virtual worlds. From the Oculus Quest and Rift S to the HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality headsets, there are now countless possibilities when it comes to developing VR apps. But choosing the right graphics card for VR development isn't always easy.
Nvidia continues to dominate the laptop GPU market, with its RTX 30 series being the latest offerings. However, it's worth noting that Nvidia's new RTX 40 series cards are not yet available on laptops. They are expected to arrive in 2023, so keep an eye out. Additionally, due to desktop GPUs becoming more power-hungry in the past few years, the gap between power-limited notebook graphics and desktop graphics cards has widened. Lastly, Nvidia has also discontinued the Max-Q label for its RTX graphics cards, leaving it up to laptop manufacturers (OEMs) to determine the exact GPU wattage in their laptops. This means that there is a wide variance in graphics performance even in laptops with the same GPU chipset.
If you're looking for a MacBook, you can ignore this section since Apple has not yet released a laptop with an AMD graphics card that supports the latest APIs, thus you have to rely on integrated graphics. When it comes to VR development, the GPU is critical since it's used for both rendering and general-purpose computing (e.g. ray tracing). So, if you're looking for a high-end GPU, you'll need to buy a higher-end laptop such as a Razer Blade Pro; these laptops have better cooling systems and are more power efficient as they can deliver more power without overheating as quickly as lower-end laptops.
To compare GPUs across different vendors and generations, many rely on 3DMark, though this isn't ideal as it doesn't take into account the effect of CPU frequency scaling on performance. Instead, it's best to use real-world benchmarks such as those found in video review sites such as Unbox Therapy or Linus Tech Tips.
Now, if you're looking for a gaming laptop – don't expect it to be cheap; if your budget is limited – look for a mid-range gaming laptop with a Nvidia GTX 1650/AMD RX 560X. These will provide good performance at a reasonable price point while still being upgradeable to a faster graphics card down the line if your needs change.
Below is a list of recommended GPUs for VR development with Unreal Engine XR based on performance and battery life:
- Minimum: GeForce GTX 1650
- Recommended: GeForce RTX 3050
- High-end: GeForce RTX 2060
XR Laptop FAQs
What laptop specs do I need for Unreal Engine XR?
To effectively develop with Unreal Engine XR, you should have at least a Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a GeForce GTX 1650 for the minimum. If you plan to push the engine to its full potential, a Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a GeForce RTX 2060 will give you the best performance.
Is Core i7 enough for Unreal Engine XR development?
A Core i7 processor is enough for Unreal Engine XR development. It is recommended for users who are looking for the best performance out of the engine.
How to choose a laptop for Unreal Engine XR development?
When choosing a laptop for Unreal Engine XR development, you should consider the following factors: processor type and speed, RAM size, GPU type and power, and storage size. All of these components should be considered to get the most out of Unreal Engine XR.
What laptop is best for Unreal Engine XR development?
The best laptop for Unreal Engine XR development depends on your budget and desired performance. For a moderate budget of around $900, you could go for an HP Victus 15t which has a Core i5 processor, 16GB RAM, and a GeForce RTX 3050. For those looking for something more powerful, the ASUS ROG Strix Scar at around $2,310 offers a Core i7 processor, 32GB RAM, and a GeForce RTX 2060.
What GPU do I need to develop with Unreal Engine XR?
The recommended GPU for Unreal Engine XR development is the GeForce RTX 2060. However, a GeForce GTX 1650 or RTX 3050 should be able to run the engine at lower settings and resolutions.
Is 16GB RAM enough for developing with Unreal Engine XR?
16GB of RAM should be enough for developing with Unreal Engine XR. However, more RAM can give you better performance and allow you to use more memory intensive applications at once.
How much storage is needed for Unreal Engine XR development?
Depending on your project, you might need up to 500GB SSD for storage space. We recommend at least 128GB for storing the Unreal Engine XR projects and other files.
Do I need an RTX card for Unreal Engine XR development?
An RTX card is not necessary for Unreal Engine XR development, but it can improve the overall performance of the engine and allow you to use features such as ray tracing.
Is 500 GB SSD enough for Unreal Engine XR development?
A 500GB SSD should be enough for most Unreal Engine XR development projects. If you plan to use more intensive applications or store large asset libraries, then you might need more storage space.
What hardware is recommended for Unreal Engine XR development?
The recommended hardware for Unreal Engine XR development includes a Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, a GeForce RTX 2060 GPU, and a minimum of 128GB SSD storage. A larger budget can allow you to get higher-end components such as an RTX 3070 GPU and 32GB of RAM.
Laptop RAM can make or break your development workflow with Unreal Engine XR, so it’s important to get the right configuration. Fortunately, in the past few years, the RAM market has seen a tremendous amount of development and improvements that have brought more options to the table at different price points.
Most mid-range laptops come with 16 GB of RAM and high-end models often have 32 GB or more. Both Intel and AMD CPUs support DDR4 and DDR5 RAM, with DDR5 still being quite expensive and not yet mature as a technology.
For game development with Unreal Engine XR, it’s not particularly demanding, but it’s still a good idea to get as much RAM as you can afford. The minimum you should go for is 16 GB, and 32 GB would be ideal for most projects. When shopping for RAM, pay attention to its frequency and latency. While DDR5 is faster than DDR4, the difference in performance will be negligible when choosing between two laptops with the same amount of RAM – for example, 4 GB of DDR4 vs. DDR5.
Also consider the upgradability of the laptop you’re looking at; some laptops have easy access to RAM slots while others require disassembly of nearly the entire machine to upgrade the memory module.
Here are our recommended RAM configurations for various budgets:
If your budget allows, go for ECC memory, as this type of memory is less prone to errors and will improve stability and performance.
7 Best Laptops for Development with Unreal Engine XR
1.HP Victus 15HP Victus 15 offers budget-friendly gaming and productivity, but with some trade-offs.
- Affordable gaming laptop
- Strong entry-level gaming performance
- Solid productivity performance
- Display and webcam quality could be better
- Too much pre-installed software
- Single-channel RAM in our review unit
The HP Victus 15 provides a solid entry-level gaming performance that is budget-friendly. However, the laptop has some trade-offs like a subpar display and webcam, too much pre-installed software, and only single-channel RAM in the review unit.
- Very good display (15.6 IPS)
- Great memory amount (32GB)
- Middle-of-the-road graphics card (GTX 1650)
2.HP Victus 15tHP Victus 15t: A Budget Laptop for Casual Game Development.
- Good gaming performance
- Low price
- Can double as a work laptop
- Bad battery life
- Plain design
- Weak GPU yields unsatisfactory frame rates
The HP Victus 15t is a cost-effective laptop that can cater to casual game development while also functioning as a work laptop. Though not recommended for long battery life and a flashy design, it is ideal for the price-savvy buyer who needs something that can balance high-end titles and other tasks.
Lenovo Legion 5 17.3
- Decent gaming performance
- Sufficient amount of ports
- Short battery life
- Small touchpad
3.Dell G15Dell G15: A budget-friendly laptop that delivers smooth gaming experience with good CPU performance.
- High CPU performance
- Good WLAN transfer rates
- Space for two NVMe SSDs
- Illuminated keyboard
- Dark display poor in contrast
- No Thunderbolt
- Low color space coverage
- No frame to install a second SSD
Dell G15, equipped with Ryzen 7 APU and GeForce RTX 3050 Ti laptop GPU, brings a seamless gaming experience with an excellent battery life. Though the display isn't very impressive, space for two NVMe SSDs and good WLAN transfer rates make it a good investment.
ASUS TUF A15
- Impressive Nvidia GPU
- Fast AMD processor
- Middling build quality
- Mediocre connectivity
4.Lenovo Legion 5 ProLenovo Legion 5 Pro offers a high-quality display and easy serviceability for Unreal Engine XR development at a steep price.
- High-quality 165Hz 16:10 IPS display
- Relatively easy serviceability
- Integrated numpad
- Very fast charging
- Low resolution webcam with no IR or privacy shutter
- Very warm CPUGPU temperatures when gaming
- Moderate-heavy uneven backlight bleeding
- Only average battery life
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is an expensive laptop for development with Unreal Engine XR. It offers a high-quality 165Hz IPS display and easy serviceability. However, it lacks Thunderbolt support and has only an average battery life.
ASUS TUF F15 FX507ZM-ES74
- High TGP target makes it faster than most other GeForce RTX 3060 laptops
- 300 Hz IPS panel w full sRGB coverage
- Chassis base and lid exhibit some flexing
- No per-key RGB lighting
5.GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4Gigabyte Aorus 15 XE4: A Solid Option for Development with Unreal Engine XR.
- Highly responsive 165Hz panel and wide color gamut.
- High system performance with PCIe 4.0 SSD and a free M.2 2280 slot (PCIe 4.0).
- Individual key lighting, solid battery life, Thunderbolt 4, and Power Delivery.
- High power
The GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4 is a high-performing 15.6-inch compact gaming laptop with an impressive 165Hz panel, a wide color gamut, high system performance, and the ability to accommodate two PCIe 4.0 SSDs, making it a great option for Development with Unreal Engine XR. However, its high power usage at idle and low load, lack of a card reader, and only one USB-A port may pose some drawbacks.
ASUS ROG Strix G15 G513RM
- Fair design and solid build quality
- Good inputs and IO
- Some quirks affecting everyday ergonomics
- No ThunderboltUSB 4, card-reader, camera or biometrics
6.ASUS ROG Strix ScarASUS ROG Strix Scar is a powerful choice for Unreal Engine XR development but with some thermal concerns.
- Powerful Core i9-12900H and RTX 3070 Ti
- WQHD 240 Hz display with Dolby Vision
- Fast Wi-Fi 6E
- Sturdy construction
- High heat and noise emissions under load
- Limited display angle
- Heavy SSD throttling during continuous reads
- No biometric login
The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533 is a great choice for development with Unreal Engine XR, thanks to its powerful Core i9-12900H and RTX 3070 Ti. The WQHD 240 Hz display with Dolby Vision and fast Wi-Fi 6E are added bonuses, but its thermal performance is questionable.
Acer Predator Triton 500
- High-performance capabilities
- Excellent, bright 240-Hz display
- Soldered-in RAM
- Inaccessible SSD
7.Eluktronics MECH 17 GP2 Liquid CooledDevelopment with Unreal Engine XR laptop
- First-class processor (i9-13900HX)
- First-class graphics card (RTX 4090)
- Very good display (17.3 IPS G-Sync)
- Great memory amount (64GB)
- Heavy (5.94 lbs)
MSI Titan GT77 12UHS-064
- Bright 4K display with good color coverage
- High system performance
- Bulky and heavy
- Extremely pricey
Table of the Best Laptops for Development with Unreal Engine XR
|HP Victus 15||$710|
|HP Victus 15t||$900|
|Lenovo Legion 5 Pro||$1,350|
|GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4||$1,600|
|ASUS ROG Strix Scar||$2,310|
|Eluktronics MECH 17 GP2 Liquid Cooled||$4,200|