Top Laptops for Playing Total War: Pharaoh: A Comprehensive Review

Total War: Pharaoh

In the intricate world of strategy gaming, finding the best laptop for Total War: Pharaoh can be as complex as navigating the game's sprawling Egyptian territories. As an avid strategy gamer and laptop enthusiast, I've spent countless hours on both the battlefield and with my extensive laptop spreadsheet, comparing the latest releases, specifications, and reviews. With this unique blend of passions, I aim to guide you through the labyrinthine process of selecting your ideal gaming companion.

Avid Total War: Pharaoh players know that the game's demanding graphics and enormous maps require a robust system, able to handle not just the game itself, but also any potential mods or expansions. The best laptop for Total War: Pharaoh should not only meet the game's system requirements, but surpass them, ensuring smooth gameplay even when the screen is teeming with units or when you're deep into a lengthy campaign. It's not just about raw power, though. A high refresh-rate display, for instance, can make a considerable difference in your gaming experience, making every move crisp and clear.

With an understanding of the nuances in the Total War: Pharaoh gaming community, from the vibrant discussions on strategy game forums to the detailed analysis of gameplay on Twitch streams, I've curated a selection of laptops that can truly enhance your gaming experience. Whether you're a seasoned Pharaoh or a novice still learning the ropes, this guide will help you find the best laptop that perfectly matches your gaming style and budget.

Conquer Pharaoh's Empire with the Right Processor!

Gaming Laptop Processor Landscape

When it comes to gaming laptops, the processor is one of the most critical components to consider. It plays a vital role in ensuring smooth gameplay, especially in strategy games like Total War: Pharaoh. As of September 2023, there are several options on the market worth exploring.

Apple has made waves in recent years with its ARM-based M1, M2, M2 Pro, and M2 Max system-on-chip modules. These processors offer exceptional single-core performance and impressive battery life. However, it's important to note that the selection of processors for MacBooks is limited, and upgradability is not their strong suit. If you're on a budget, the MacBook Air could be a viable option.

AMD has also made significant strides, capturing 20% of the laptop CPU market. Their 6th and 7th-generation Ryzen processors can be found in plenty of notebooks. If battery life is a priority, Ryzen models are particularly enticing.

Intel, on the other hand, has released their 13th-generation Core processors. While these provide cutting-edge performance, the 12th-generation Core CPUs can still deliver excellent value, especially if you're not chasing the latest and greatest.

How Much CPU Do You Need for Gaming?

It's worth mentioning that the CPU's importance in gaming has diminished compared to previous years, especially if you have a high-end graphics card. The GPU tends to have a more significant impact on gaming performance. However, in strategy games like Total War: Pharaoh, the CPU's role becomes more prominent due to the game's complexity and reliance on AI calculations.

Why I'm Not Recommending a High-End CPU for Gaming Laptops (And Why That's OK)

While high-end CPUs may be tempting, especially for those seeking top-tier performance, they often come with a premium price tag. In most cases, they provide diminishing returns when it comes to gaming. The extra power and features they offer may not be fully utilized by games, making them an unnecessary expense.

However, if you plan to engage in other CPU-intensive tasks like content creation or video editing, a high-end CPU may be worth considering. It all depends on your specific needs and priorities.

What to Look for in a Processor (And What to Ignore)

When evaluating processors for gaming laptops, there are a few key factors to consider:

  • Clock Speed: Higher clock speeds generally result in better gaming performance.
  • Cores and Threads: While more cores and threads can enhance multitasking and performance in certain applications, the difference in gaming performance is often negligible.
  • Thermal Design Power (TDP): A lower TDP usually translates to better power efficiency and less heat generation.

On the other hand, some specifications may not have a significant impact on gaming performance, such as cache size or integrated graphics capabilities. Don't let these distract you from the primary considerations.

Table of Recommended Processors Depending on Your Budget and Performance Expectations

Here's a table summarizing some recommended laptop processors for Total War: Pharaoh, taking into account different budgets and performance expectations:

Budget Processor
Minimum i3-1115G4
Recommended i5-1135G7
High-end i7-11370H

Please note that these are general recommendations, and individual preferences may vary. The listed processors should provide a solid gaming experience while striking a balance between performance and cost.

Remember to also consider other factors when choosing a gaming laptop, such as GPU, RAM, storage, and display quality. A well-rounded system will ensure an optimal gaming experience.

So, before diving into Total War: Pharaoh, take some time to assess your needs, consider your budget, and choose a laptop with a processor that strikes the right balance for your gaming and computing requirements.

Conquer the Nile with the Perfect GPU!

The state of the gaming GPU market

Nvidia continues to dominate the laptop GPU market, with their latest RTX 40 series cards making their way onto store shelves. However, it's important to note that the majority of laptops currently available still feature the RTX 30 series graphics cards.

In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in power consumption for desktop GPUs, causing a wider gap between notebook graphics and desktop graphics cards in terms of performance. This means that laptop graphics cards are more power-limited compared to their desktop counterparts.

Furthermore, Nvidia has discontinued the Max-Q label for their RTX graphics cards, leaving the determination of exact GPU wattage to the laptop manufacturer. This has resulted in a significant variance in graphics performance even among laptops with the same GPU chipset.

Why a discrete graphics card is not needed for Total War: Pharaoh (yet)

If you're specifically looking for a MacBook, then the choice is straightforward – opt for a MacBook Pro with an Nvidia chip. However, for Total War: Pharaoh, a dedicated GPU is not essential but will greatly enhance your gaming experience. The game is not as demanding graphically compared to some other titles, so you can still achieve playable frame rates with integrated graphics.

How to know if a laptop has a high-end GPU?

If you're in the market for a gaming laptop with a dedicated GPU, there are a few factors you should consider. Firstly, comparing the 3DMark score of the laptop will give you a good indication of its graphics performance. Additionally, researching the laptop's general gaming performance in other games can provide further insights.

It's also important to keep in mind that when it comes to gaming on a laptop, the processor and graphics card have a greater impact on performance compared to desktop PCs. So, if you're primarily interested in gaming, it's worth investing in a higher-end processor and graphics card.

Best GPUs for gaming in various price ranges

When it comes to choosing the right graphics card for your gaming needs, here are some recommendations based on different price ranges:

  • Minimum: GeForce GTX 1650 – This entry-level graphics card will allow you to play Total War: Pharaoh at 1080p resolution with decent frame rates. It's a solid choice for budget-conscious gamers.

  • Recommended: GeForce RTX 3050 – This mid-range graphics card offers a significant performance boost over the GTX 1650, providing smoother gameplay and potentially higher graphics settings. It strikes a good balance between cost and performance.

  • High-end: GeForce RTX 2060 – If you're looking for the best possible gaming experience on a laptop, the RTX 2060 is a great option. It offers excellent performance and can handle demanding games, including Total War: Pharaoh, with ease.

Remember, these recommendations are based on the current state of the market and the specific requirements of Total War: Pharaoh. It's always a good idea to research and compare different laptop models to find the one that best fits your needs and budget.

Conquer Pharaoh's Empire with Optimal RAM!

Gaming laptop RAM options

When it comes to gaming on a laptop, having enough RAM is crucial for smooth gameplay and multitasking. In this section, we'll explore the different options available and help you decide on the right amount of RAM for Total War: Pharaoh.

How much memory is needed for gaming?

Total War: Pharaoh is a demanding game, and while 16 GB of RAM is common among gamers, it might not be enough for a smooth experience on a laptop. Keep in mind that if you're playing on a laptop, it's important to ensure it has a 64-bit version of Windows installed. This allows you to fully utilize the available RAM.

DDR5 vs. DDR4 – is it worth the upgrade?

The latest-generation Intel and AMD CPUs support both DDR4 and DDR5 memory. While DDR5 offers higher potential speeds and improved power efficiency, it is still relatively new and expensive. If you're looking for a gaming laptop that can last you a while, investing in DDR5 memory might be worth considering.

However, if you're on a budget and don't mind sacrificing some performance for cost-effectiveness, DDR4 is still a viable option. DDR4 RAM is widely available, more affordable, and offers good performance for gaming.

Other considerations (latency, frequency)

In addition to the type of RAM, other factors such as latency and frequency also play a role in gaming performance. Lower latency and higher frequency RAM modules generally offer better responsiveness and faster data transfer. However, the impact on gaming performance is not as significant as the choice between DDR4 and DDR5.

Table of recommended RAM configurations depending on your budget
Budget RAM Configuration
Minimum 8 GB DDR4
Recommended 16 GB DDR4
High-end 32 GB DDR5

Note: These recommendations are based on providing a smooth gaming experience for Total War: Pharaoh. While 8 GB might be the minimum requirement, investing in 16 GB or even 32 GB will future-proof your laptop and allow for more demanding games or multitasking.

In conclusion, when deciding on the right laptop RAM for Total War: Pharaoh, consider your budget, future-proofing needs, and the choice between DDR4 and DDR5. With the recommended RAM configurations, you can ensure an enjoyable gaming experience without breaking the bank.

Got questions? We've got answers!

Q: Can you play Total War: Pharaoh on a laptop?

Absolutely! Total War: Pharaoh can be played on a laptop. Whether you're a casual gamer or a hardcore enthusiast, there are laptops available for every budget and gaming preference. With the right hardware, you can immerse yourself in the strategic world of ancient Egypt.

What are the system requirements for Total War: Pharaoh?

To play Total War: Pharaoh, you'll need a laptop that meets the minimum system requirements. These include an Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor, a GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, and 8 GB of RAM. However, to fully enjoy the game with smoother performance and enhanced visuals, it's recommended to have a laptop with at least an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor, a GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card, and 16 GB of RAM. For the ultimate gaming experience, a laptop with an Intel Core i7-11370H processor, a GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card, and 32 GB of RAM is ideal.

Best laptops for playing Total War: Pharaoh?

When it comes to the best laptops for playing Total War: Pharaoh, we've got a few recommendations for you. The HP Victus 15, priced at $880, offers excellent value for its performance and affordability. For a step up, the ASUS TUF Dash F15 and the ASUS ROG Strix G15, priced at around $1,600 and $1,750 respectively, provide a balance between power and price. And if you're looking for top-tier performance, the ASUS ROG Strix Scar and the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16, priced at $2,050 and $3,390 respectively, are the ones to consider.

Recommended specs for Total War: Pharaoh on a laptop?

For the best experience playing Total War: Pharaoh on a laptop, we recommend having at least an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor, a GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card, and 16 GB of RAM. These specs will ensure smooth gameplay and allow you to enjoy the game's graphics and details without any compromises. However, if you're aiming for maximum performance and want to future-proof your laptop, consider opting for an Intel Core i7-11370H processor, a GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card, and 32 GB of RAM.

Will my laptop run Total War: Pharaoh?

Whether or not your laptop can run Total War: Pharaoh depends on its hardware specifications. If your laptop meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements, you should be able to play the game. However, keep in mind that meeting only the minimum requirements may result in lower graphical settings and less smooth performance. To ensure the best experience, it's recommended to have a laptop that meets or surpasses the recommended specifications.

Can I run Total War: Pharaoh on integrated graphics?

While integrated graphics have come a long way in recent years, they may not provide the optimal performance for playing Total War: Pharaoh. The game's recommended specifications include a dedicated graphics card, such as the GeForce RTX 3050 or higher. Integrated graphics, such as Intel's integrated GPUs, may struggle to deliver the required level of performance for an enjoyable gaming experience. If possible, we recommend opting for a laptop with a dedicated graphics card to fully enjoy the game.

Minimum requirements for Total War: Pharaoh on a laptop?

The minimum requirements for playing Total War: Pharaoh on a laptop include an Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor, a GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, and 8 GB of RAM. These specifications will allow you to run the game, but you may need to adjust the graphical settings for smoother performance. To fully enjoy the game without any compromises, it's recommended to aim for a laptop that meets or exceeds the recommended specifications.

What laptops can handle Total War: Pharaoh?

If you're looking for laptops that can handle Total War: Pharaoh with ease, we recommend considering the HP Victus 15, ASUS TUF Dash F15, ASUS ROG Strix G15, ASUS ROG Strix Scar, and Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16. These laptops offer a range of performance levels and price points, allowing you to choose the one that suits your needs and budget. With their powerful processors, dedicated graphics cards, and ample memory, these laptops will handle Total War: Pharaoh without breaking a sweat.

Is a dedicated graphics card necessary for Total War: Pharaoh on a laptop?

While it's possible to play Total War: Pharaoh on a laptop with integrated graphics, a dedicated graphics card is highly recommended for the best gaming experience.

6 Best Laptops for Total War: Pharaoh

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HP Victus 15 $880
i5-12450H | GTX 1650 | 32 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS WA; 1920x1080 |

1.HP Victus 15

HP Victus 15: Budget gaming laptop offering good performance at an affordable price, despite design drawbacks.
  • Excellent price
  • Good gaming performance
  • Solid array of ports
  • Bad battery life
  • Plain design

The HP Victus 15 impresses with its budget-friendly price and commendable gaming performance, making it a solid choice for those seeking value in a gaming laptop. While its design may not be visually striking and its battery life falls short, the laptop compensates with its sturdy build, sharp display, and competent CPU and GPU for stable gameplay. The subpar battery life and lack of key backlighting may be deterrents for some, but the Victus 15 stands out as a cost-effective option for gamers on a budget.

HP Victus 15
MSI Thin GF63$970
MSI Thin GF63
  • Affordable price
  • Strong Intel Core i5 processor
  • Limited gaming performance
  • Dull 60 Hz screen
HP Victus $939
i5-12450H | GTX 1650 | 64 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 15.6″ G-Sync; 1920x1080 |

2.HP Victus

HP Victus: Solid gaming performance with minor display drawbacks.
  • Delivers smooth gameplay at 1080p.
  • Fast SSD.
  • User-replaceable memory and storage.
  • Good port selection.
  • No VRR to reduce screen tearing.
  • Some performance loss on CPU under load.

The HP Victus 15 offers powerful gaming capabilities with Intel 12th Gen. CPUs and NVIDIA discrete graphics, delivering smooth gameplay at 1080p. It features a fast SSD, user-replaceable memory and storage, and a good port selection. However, its 144Hz display has a slow response time leading to noticeable ghosting, and the lack of variable refresh rate (VRR) may result in screen tearing during gameplay.

i7-12650H | RTX 4060 | 64 GB RAM | 4000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS-level; 1920x1080 |


GIGABYTE G5 KF5: The best budget-friendly gaming laptop choice.
  • Great gaming performance
  • Nice-looking screen
  • Solid chassis
  • Easy to upgrade storage
  • Loud under load
  • Larger SSD upgrade is a must
  • Would prefer more P-cores

The GIGABYTE G5 KF5 impresses with its solid design and performance, offering great gaming capabilities and easy upgrade options at an affordable price point. While it may get loud under heavy loads and requires a larger SSD upgrade, it remains a top contender for budget-conscious gamers.

Lenovo Legion 5i Pro 16 $1,300
Lenovo Legion 5i Pro 16
  • Stylish, sleek form factor
  • Gorgeous display
  • Webcam quality is subpar
  • Lacks biometrics
ASUS ROG Strix G15 $1,750
Ryzen 9 5900HX | Radeon RX 6800M | 64 GB RAM | 4000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS G-Sync; 1920x1080 |

4.ASUS ROG Strix G15

Unleash gaming power with the ASUS ROG Strix G15 for Total War: Pharaoh at a high price.
  • High-performance CPU and GPU
  • Excellent display quality
  • Sturdy construction
  • User-friendly maintenance
  • Limited connectivity options
  • Occasional coil whine

The ASUS ROG Strix G15 is a powerhouse gaming laptop with an RTX 3070 GPU and Ryzen 5000 CPU, delivering exceptional performance for Total War: Pharaoh on its impressive 300 Hz display. The laptop boasts excellent workmanship, a sleek design, and user-friendly maintenance, making it a top choice for gamers. However, the limited connectivity options and occasional coil whine can be drawbacks for some users.

HP Envy 16$1,800
HP Envy 16
  • Plenty of CPU and GPU power
  • New 120Hz screen refresh rate
  • Merely adequate base screen
  • Optional OLED has fewer pixels than before
Lenovo Legion Pro 5 $2,630
i9-13900HX | RTX 4070 | 64 GB RAM | 4000 GB SSD | 14.31″ IPS G-Sync; 2560x1600 |

5.Lenovo Legion Pro 5

Lenovo Legion Pro 5: A solid mid-tier laptop with some caveats.
  • Good build quality and design
  • Impressive screen and IO
  • Competitively priced
  • Competent CPU with multiple GPU options
  • No Thunderbolt or biometrics
  • Hotspots during gaming
  • Limited battery life
  • Poor speaker quality

The Lenovo Legion Pro 5 is a good-value mid-tier laptop with a strong build quality, impressive screen, and decent performance. However, potential buyers should be wary of overheating during sustained use, limited battery life, and subpar speakers.

Lenovo Legion Pro 5$2,840
Lenovo Legion Pro 5
  • Strong performance for the price
  • Quality build and port selection
  • Display quality and battery life are just decent
  • Bulky and heavy
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16 $3,390
i9-13900HX | RTX 4090 | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 16″ HDR; 2560x1600 |

6.Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16

Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16: A powerful gaming laptop with a sleek design and reasonable price point.
  • Strong overall performance
  • Big, bright, and fast display
  • Per-key RGB lighting
  • Some flex to keyboard deck
  • Poor battery life

The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i impresses with its i9-13900HX processor and RTX 4090 GPU, offering strong overall performance at a competitive price. Despite some limitations in GPU performance, it remains a solid choice for gamers prioritizing efficiency and affordability, with a large, vibrant display and per-key RGB lighting adding to its appeal.

HP Omen $3,970
HP Omen
  • Slim and portable design for a 16-inch laptop
  • Midrange gaming performance at a good value
  • All-AMD configuration lags behind Intel- and Nvidia-based laptops
  • Average 144Hz refresh rate and full HD display

Table of the Best Laptops for Total War: Pharaoh

LaptopPrice (approx)
HP Victus 15$880
HP Victus$939
ASUS ROG Strix G15$1,750
Lenovo Legion Pro 5$2,630
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16$3,390
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Mathew Greensbig
I'm an enthusiastic gamer with extensive knowledge of computers, laptops, components, and gaming. It's this depth of knowledge that I bring to writing reviews for the most suitable laptops for specific games. My finely tuned understanding of the intersection between cutting-edge technology and gaming requirements ensures that gamers are equipped with the best tools to augment their gaming experiences. I pride myself on my ability to distill complex tech concepts into understandable advice, proving myself to be a trusted guide in the vast landscape of gaming technology.