7 Best Gaming Laptop Under $3000 in 2021: Complete Buying Guide - The Cursed Crusade

The Best Gaming Laptop Under 3000 Dollars: Here Are Our Top 7 Picks

boy playing a videogame called Cyberpunk 2077 on a gaming laptop

What can you get in a gaming laptop when you stretch your budget out beyond the realm of most mortals? Actually, a whole lot. 

And we don’t just mean that in terms of hardware alone because rest assured- you’re getting top-of-the-line CPUs and GPUs when you spend this much.

It goes beyond that, with build quality and unique designs for both lighting and cooling coming into the picture once you get into that ultra-high-end space of gaming laptops.

After analyzing tons of customer reviews and seeing the unique innovations offered by each manufacturer, we’ve finally decided on a list of 7 ultimate gaming laptops. These are expensive, but they stand head and shoulders above the rest of the competition.

And among these 7 exceptional machines, one reigns supreme. The Razer Blade 15 Advanced is our top choice for the best gaming laptop under 3000 dollars.

With its powerful RTX 3080 graphics and Intel 8-core processor, this is a beast of a gaming machine that will outpace most gaming desktops.

Here is our list of 7 best laptop under 3000 dollars:

  • Razer Blade 15 Advanced
  • HIDevolution MSI GE66 Raider 10UG
  • HP Omen 15
  • Alienware m15 R4
  • Eluktronics MAX-17 Covert Gamer
  • ASUS TUF FX516
  • HIDevolution ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401QM

Razer Blade 15 Advanced

Gaming laptops have long held the stereotype of being cheaply made, obnoxiously flashy, and incredibly heavy. This is why a lot of people think they are impractical for any workload that isn’t hardcore gaming.

However, Razer broke the mold several years ago with their Blade series of laptops. These were sleek, refined, made from premium materials, and boasted excellent displays.

The new Blade 15 Advanced continues that trend by delivering on all 3 fronts- power, portability, and build quality.

Its chassis is made from a solid block of aluminum, machined with utmost precision. The result is a rugged yet lightweight laptop.

And the display isn’t typical TN fare like what you’d get on a lesser gaming laptop. This is a 2560 x 1440 (QHD) 240Hz IPS panel, with 100% DCI-P3 color space. Not only is it excellent for gaming, but you could even use it for professional-level photo editing.

And when it comes to performance, the Blade 15 Advanced is pretty much unrivaled. It beats the majority of gaming desktops out there with its RTX 3080 16GB GDDR6 graphics card and Intel Core i7-10875H octacore processor.

Complementing this CPU+GPU is 32GB of DDR4 RAM and 1TB of PCIe NVMe solid-state storage.

Even the keyboard is a work of art, with just enough travel and feedback for a crisp typing experience yet plenty of responsiveness for fast-paced games.

Audio is handled by top-firing speakers, arranged much like what you’d get on a MacBook. The trackpad is large, precise, and has excellent palm rejection.

Pros

  • Performance is 2nd to none, thanks to the combination of an Intel Core i7-10875H and NVIDIA RTX 3080 (max TGP 95W)
  • 32GB of DDR4 RAM, more than enough for AAA gaming. You could even use this laptop for video editing with this much memory
  • 1TB of blazing-fast PCIe NVMe storage
  • Exceptional QHD 240Hz display with 100% DCI-P3 color space
  • Unibody aluminum alloy chassis and glass-covered trackpad for that extra premium feel
  • The vapor chamber cooling system keeps temps under control even though this laptop is just 0.7” thick
  • All the connectivity you need- USB Type-A, HDMI output, Wi-Fi 6E, USB Type-C with Thunderbolt, etc
  • Windows Hello facial recognition via IR camera

Cons

  • Mediocre battery life, which could have been improved by using an AMD Ryzen 5000 series processor
  • The fans aren’t exactly any louder than most gaming laptops, but they emit a high-pitched whine which is more annoying

HIDevolution MSI GE66 Raider 10UG

Similarly priced to the Razer Blade 15 Advanced, but you get a slightly less powerful GPU in the RTX 3070. It has fewer CUDA cores, fewer RT cores- you get the idea. And less VRAM too, half as much compared to the RTX 3080 mobile.

However, the reduced VRAM shouldn’t be an issue since this laptop has an FHD display. Sure, it’s 300Hz for ultra high-level esports but still 1920×1080 which means there will be a lot less load on the GPU.

And 8GB of VRAM is plenty for a mobile RTX 3070 anyways, you can game for the next 4 to 5 years without any hiccups.

Where the GE66 Raider really shines though, is in the memory and storage department. It has literally twice the RAM and SSD capacity of the Razer Blade 15 Advanced. So 64GB of RAM, and 2TB of PCIe NVMe storage.

This is a gaming/ workstation machine, and you can compensate for the FHD display by using the Type C port to connect an external pro-grade monitor for all your photo/ video editing needs.

Pros

  • Intel Comet Lake 10th generation i7 processor with 8 cores and 16 threads, plus a boost clock of 5Ghz (i7-10870H)
  • NVIDIA RTX 3070 8GB GDDR6 graphics (max TGP of 130W)
  • FHD 300Hz 3ms response time display
  • 64GB (32 x 2) of DDR4 RAM
  • 2TB PCIe NVMe storage
  • Gelid GC Extreme thermal paste applied on the CPU and GPU by HIDevolution, results in better thermals and more consistent performance
  • All components from the keyboard and trackpad to the display have been checked by HIDevolution for quality defects

Cons

  • The power button is right next to Delete
  • Comes with MSI bloatware installed

HP Omen 15

HP’s Omen line of gaming machines has garnered a reputation for being stylish and reasonably priced with respect to the hardware they offer. This Omen 15 laptop stays true to that formula by delivering on value for money.

It does that while maintaining a sleek, mature design that wouldn’t look out of place in a board room at some big corporation.

There is ample muscle in this laptop to run all your latest AAA games, thanks to an Intel Core i7-10750H processor and RTX 3070 graphics.

The Core i7-10750H is a hexacore CPU, unlike the i7-10870H and i7-10875H which are both octacores. You lose 2 cores and 4 threads which means this laptop lags behind in multithreaded performance compared to the MSI GE66 Raider or Razer Blade 15.

However, single-core performance doesn’t take a hit and you still have plenty of cores for streaming gameplay/ video editing.

Pros

  • Intel Core i7-10750H Comet Lake 6-core, 12-thread processor
  • NVIDIA RTX 3070 graphics with 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM
  • 300Hz FHD display
  • 64GB of DDR4 RAM
  • 2TB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Plenty of I/O-USB Type-A, Type-C, HDMI, mini Display Port, RJ 45 Ethernet, SD card reader
  • 802.11ax Wi-Fi
  • Sleek design, bold and sophisticated styling

Cons

  • Mediocre webcam
  • The trackpad could’ve been better

Alienware m15 R4

Alienware is probably one of the most well-known gaming brands. However, they gained a bad reputation some years ago for making overpriced stuff that wasn’t well-built.

That has changed somewhat in recent times, thanks to laptops like the m15 R4 which deliver on both build quality and performance without a bloated price tag.

You’re getting an Intel Core i7-10870H octacore processor along with an NVIDIA RTX 3070 graphics card for what we consider to be an excellent price. And the cooler in this laptop is also very well designed, managing to strike a good balance between thermals and noise.

The styling isn’t up everyone’s alley. However, it is a gaming machine first and foremost- the styling lets everyone know that. 

Pros

  • Intel Core i7-10870H octacore Comet Lake processor with 16 threads and a boost clock of 5Ghz
  • NVIDIA RTX 3070 graphics with 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM
  • 16GB of DDR4 RAM
  • 1TB of PCIe NVMe storage
  • Killer AX1650i network adapter for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.1
  • 15.6” FHD (1920×1080) 300Hz gaming display with a 3ms response time (GtG)
  • Excellent vapor chamber cooler with specially designed fans for more efficient air circulation
  • Magnesium alloy chassis with a special coating that reduces fingerprint smearing and other stains
  • Just 4.65lbs and 20.5mm

Cons

  • Very “gamery” styling, can be off-putting to some
  • Sub-par battery life

Eluktronics MAX-17 Covert Gamer

A finely built, well-tuned machine designed for gaming on the go. The Eluktronics MAX-17 is sleek, attractive, and pushed to the edge in terms of performance.

It has liquid metal on the Intel Core i7-10875H octacore, which means you get the lowest temps of any laptop on this list. Lower temps mean less noise, longer lifespan, and better performance since the chip will boost higher on more cores.

The RTX 3070 in this laptop has a standard power limit of 115W since it is a Max-P version (tuned for performance). This power limit will rise dynamically up to 140W, so you get pretty close to a 90W Max-Q RTX 3080 like what you get on the Razer Blade 15 Advanced.

And the display is a 17.3” 2560 x 1440 IPS panel with a refresh rate of 165Hz and narrow bezels.

On the top, Eluktronics has mounted an IR camera for Windows Hello facial recognition.

Despite all this heavy-duty hardware, the MAX-17 weighs just under 5lbs and is less than 0.8” thick. Oh, and it also packs a giant 91.24Wh battery.

Pros

  • Intel Core i7-10870H octacore processor with 16 threads
  • NVIDIA RTX 3070 Max-P graphics with 115W TGP (dynamically rises up to 140W)
  • 16GB dual-channel 3200Mhz DDR4 RAM
  • 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • 17.3” 2560 x 1440 IPS display with a refresh rate of 165Hz
  • 802.11ax, USB Type-C, IR camera

Cons

  • Mediocre battery life despite having a 91.24Wh battery, that’s because of the Intel processor and Max-P graphics
  • Webcam positioning could have been better

ASUS TUF FX516

TUF laptops from ASUS prioritize performance and ruggedness over flashy aesthetics or luxury features. There are no gimmicks or unnecessary additions here, only what you need to game comfortably on max settings.

The TUF FX516 packs an Intel 11th generation i7 processor which lags behind Comet Lake i7 processors in terms of multithreaded performance.

However, it is ahead in IPC and boasts significantly better energy efficiency thanks to the 10nm manufacturing process.

As for graphics, the TUF FX516 packs an NVIDIA RTX 3070 8GB GDDR6 graphics card. At the time of writing this article, the only laptop GPU faster than this is NVIDIA’s own RTX 3080 which also has twice the VRAM.

Still, for a 1080p display, this GPU is overkill if you just play AAA games. As for esports like COD or Rainbow 6: Siege, you will love the 240Hz display and crisp visuals at max settings.

Pros

  • Intel 11th generation quad-core Tiger Lake processor with Xe integrated graphics (i7-11370H)
  • NVIDIA RTX 3070 graphics with 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM
  • 16GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM
  • 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • 240Hz FHD display
  • Rugged, utilitarian design
  • Pretty good battery life by gaming laptop standards

Cons

  • No webcam
  • Mediocre audio quality

HIDevolution ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401QM

The cheapest laptop on this list, yet ridiculously expensive for most who are accustomed to run of the mill HP and Dell office laptops. Still, you can’t argue against the fact that this ROG Zephyrus is a steal for the price.

It packs an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS processor which is the fastest CPU you can get in a laptop, 2nd only to the Ryzen 9 5900HX (same chip, slightly higher clocks). 

The Ryzen 9 5900HS spanks Intel’s best, both in terms of speed and efficiency. And it does all that while costing less, which is astounding.

The G14 packs an RTX 3060 graphics card with 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM. It isn’t on the level of an RTX 3070 or RTX 3080, but that’s still plenty of muscle for 1080p gaming.

It just so happens that the ROG Zephyrus G14 in this review has a 1080p display, but this is no ordinary 1080p display. It has a refresh rate of 300Hz and 100% sRGB coverage (75.35% Adobe RGB).

Pros

  • Very well-built with an aluminum-magnesium alloy chassis and unique AniMe Matrix lighting on the lid
  • AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS octacore with Zen 3 cores for blisteringly fast single and multi-threaded performance
  • NVIDIA RTX 3060 graphics with 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM
  • 24GB of DDR4 RAM at 3200Mhz
  • 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Pantone Validated 14” 144Hz 100% sRGB display (FHD, 1920×1080)
  • HIDevolution applies Gelid GC Extreme thermal paste on both the CPU and GPU, for better temps
  • Ample I/O- USB Type-C, USB Type-A, HDMI, etc
  • 802.11ax Wi-Fi

Cons

  • No webcam
  • 8GB of the RAM is soldered to the mainboard, limiting upgrade options

How To Select The Best Gaming Laptop Under 3000 Dollars

Usually, the hardware itself is going to be pretty similar between the price range of 2200 to 2800 dollars. You will get a top-tier GPU and a top-tier processor.

Along with 16 to 32GB of RAM, and either a 512GB or 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD. So what you should focus on is the other stuff- build quality, cooling system, display, etc.

Is the chassis plastic or metal? Is the display FHD, QHD, or UHD? What’s the refresh rate? If you’re a competitive gamer playing Valorant, CS: GO, Rainbow 6: Siege, etc. you want a high-refresh display. Something like 165Hz or 240Hz.

If you are more of a AAA gamer who plays single-player story-driven titles with a focus on visual fidelity, you want a QHD or UHD display. And the most powerful graphics card your budget can afford.

Two laptops using the exact same GPU can perform differently in graphics benches, and there’s a reason.

Some manufacturers restrict the power limits, in favor of lower noise levels and better battery life. This means the exact same graphics chip can perform differently depending on the brand and model of your laptop.

NVIDIA has both silence-focused and performance-focused versions of the exact same graphics chip, so watch out for the “TDP” value.

Higher TDP= more performance at the expense of thermals, battery life, and noise levels. A well-designed cooler is essential to keeping noise and thermals in check.

Frequently Asked Questions

Conclusion

We hope this article helped you decide which ultra-high-end gaming laptop you should purchase. There are a lot of excellent options from companies such as ASUS, Lenovo, Alienware, etc.

In our opinion, the best gaming laptop under 3000 bucks is the Razer Blade 15 Advanced. You can also buy a 17” version of the Blade at a slightly lower price than the Blade 15 Advanced.

However, it comes with an RTX 3070 instead of the slightly more powerful RTX 3080. It all depends on what you value more- FPS or a larger display.

The 17-inch Blade also has a lower refresh rate (165Hz) despite having the exact same resolution as the 15-inch Blade. 

And if you want a laptop that doubles as a workstation for 3D rendering, animation, etc., there’s the HIDevolution MSI GE66 Raider. This laptop comes with a monstrous 64GB of RAM and 2TB of PCIe NVMe storage.

Want a relatively cheaper option? The HIDevolution ROG Zephyrus G14 is exactly what you need. Even though it is so sleek and lightweight the performance is truly amazing.

Thanks to an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS and RTX 3060, this is probably the best 15.6” gaming laptop for the money. And it also has the highest battery life of any laptop on this list.