Gaming laptops have seen tremendous improvements in the last decade. Once reserved only for gaming desktops, high-end graphics cards now feature in many laptops. Even some of the most powerful Nvidia GPUs, like the RTX 3060, can be found on laptops for a reasonable price.
With so many laptops claiming RTX 3060 performance, how do you know which one is the best for your needs? Whether streaming, playing VR, or gaming on the go, we’ve narrowed down the best RTX 3060 laptops according to specs, features, and user reviews. Here’s our top five picks:
- Best Overall: Acer Predator Helios 300
- Best Budget Option: Lenovo Legion 5
- Best Travel Option: Asus ROG Zephyrus
- Best 17-inch Option: Asus TUF 17
- Best Performance Option: Acer Nitro 5
Best Overall: Acer Predator Helios 300
- Blistering fast display, and extreme gaming performance
- Flexible enough to seamlessly multitask
- State-of-the-art cooling technology
- Latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 with DirectX 12 support
- Up to16GB DDR4 memory and 512GB PCIe Gen 4 SSD
The Acer Predator Helios 300 takes home the title of “best overall RTX 3060 laptop” due to its unique combination of powerful hardware and attractive price.
The 144hz display in 1080p resolution nicely complements the RTX 3060 GPU, making this an ideal laptop for gaming, streaming, and video. You get a 512GB SSD (solid-state drive) and 16GB DDR4 RAM. This is more than enough to handle most games, and you can always upgrade later, thanks to the expandable design. Additionally, thanks to the array of ports, you get support for your peripherals, docking stations, and monitors. You’ll find USB 3, USB Type-C, Thunderbolt, and HDMI on each side of the laptop.
Another performance-enhancing extra is the Intel “Killer DoubleShot Pro” WiFi. As long as your home network is up to the job, you can take advantage of increased bandwidth and speed by utilizing ethernet and wireless connectivity simultaneously. This combination offers unparalleled performance for streaming and multiplayer games.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 also offers an outstanding design. Covered in fully customizable RGB lighting, this laptop is the center of attention. With a unique concave-shaped keyboard with 4-zone RGB backlighting, you can feel an increase in usability and functionality.
For thermal design, the Acer Predator Helios provides a stable and reliable system of heat dissipation tech and monitoring software. The built-in “Predator Sense” application lets you monitor and control your hardware, including checking the temperatures and changing fan modes.
Overall, the Acer Predator Helios wins the title of “best overall RTX 3060 laptop” thanks to its combination of price, performance, and design.
Check out the Acer Predator Helios 300 on Amazon.
Best Budget Laptop: Lenovo Legion 5
- Welcome to next-generation gaming – The AMD Ryzen 5 5600H has 6 high-performance cores, delivering a combination of lightning-fast frame rates with uncompromised battery life
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics bring 2nd Generation Ray Tracing, 3rd Generation AI Tensor Cores, and more for a huge leap in graphical performance
- Exclusive to Lenovo Legion laptops, the Lenovo Legion AI Engine, a system of AI solutions, dynamically shifts power between the CPU and GPU for more FPS on today’s top AAA titles
- Enjoy up to 120 Hz refresh rate, and <3 ms response time
- The legendary Legion TrueStrike keyboard with 4-Zone RGB backlight lets you strike with pinpoint precision
Finding an RTX 3060 laptop on a budget doesn’t have to be a monumental task. The Lenovo Legion 5 proves that it is possible to find a quality system with an RTX 3060 GPU for under $1000. As well as being reasonably priced, this laptop offers a competitive default configuration and plenty of expansion capabilities.
You do have to make some sacrifices to find such an attractive price. One major drawback to this laptop is the AMD Ryzen 5 processor. While the Zen 3 architecture is sufficient for modern gaming, its performance will lean to the lower end compared to Intel Core i7 and i9 processors.
You shouldn’t expect top-end performance, but if you’re happy with 1080p gaming on medium to high settings, the Lenovo Legion 5 is a great choice. With a 120hz 15.6” IPS display, you can enjoy gaming and graphics close to the mobile GPU’s full potential. You get 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a 512GB SSD for storage.
Another potential drawback to the Legion 5 is its weight. At 9.2 pounds or 4.17kg, this laptop isn’t exactly portable. If you want a system to travel with, you should look at more portable options like the Asus ROG Zephyrus. If you’re happy using your laptop at the desk, the Legion 5 is not a bad compromise for the low price.
Check out the Lenovo Legion 5 on Amazon.
Best Travel Laptop: Asus ROG Zephyrus
- 14" display
- AMD Ryzen 7 5800HS (8 cores)
- GeForce RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6
- 144Hz 100% RGB Pantone
- Backlit keyboard
- 16GB RAM
- 512GB PCIe SSD
If you need a portable laptop to travel with but still want to enjoy the performance of an RTX 3060, you won’t go wrong with Asus ROG Zephyrus.
With a 14-inch display, this laptop is on the smaller end. However, at just under 4 pounds, it is the lightest laptop you can get with the RTX 3060 GPU.
Despite its small size, this laptop still offers the performance of a full-size laptop. With an AMD Ryzen 7 5800HS processor, Asus has allowed this laptop to compete with larger systems like the Acer Nitro or Asus TUF. The Zephyrus stands out by maintaining a slim and lightweight form factor.
Zephyrus has 16GB of RAM and a 2TB PCIe SSD, more than enough resources for gaming, virtual reality, and streaming. Thanks to its expandable configuration, you can house a vast library of games and apps on such a large drive and upgrade the system even further if you desire.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus has a commanding presence while keeping a super high-end feel. The all-white finish looks like something from outer space, with the entire lid encrusted in RGB lighting. Even when idling, the system comes to life with its sea of LED lights, making the Zephyrus a sight to behold.
Overall, the Asus ROG Zephyrus offers the perfect combination of performance and portability, making it the ultimate travel machine if you’re looking for a good RTX 3060 laptop.
Check out the Asus ROG Zephyrus on Amazon.
Most Durable: Asus TUF 17
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS Eight Core Processor (16MB Cache, 3.0GHz-4.6GHz) 35W
- RAM: 40GB DDR4 3200MHz (8GB On Board + 32GB) | Hard Drive: 2TB NVMe Solid State Drive
- Keyboard: Backlit Chiclet Keyboard 1-Zone RGB | Operating System: Windows 11 Home x64
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 8GB GDDR6 | Display: 15.6" WQHD 165Hz 3ms IPS-level Anti-Glare Display (2560 x 1440)
- 32GB RAM / 2TB NVMe SSD Upgrades | 3-Year CUK Limited Warranty (View warranty section below for more details.)
If you’re hunting for a behemoth of an RTX 3060 laptop, then the massive 17-inch Asus TUF 17 is the gem to which you should pay attention.
The Asus TUF is supercharged with the help of an 11th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, and you can also find this model with a Ryzen 9 5900HX if AMD is more to your tastes. Besides being massive, this laptop is also durable.
Famous for producing high-grade and durable laptops, Asus has refreshed the TUF “Gaming FX” laptop with some highly appreciated upgrades. To start, you get 32GB of DDR5 RAM, making this laptop faster and more future-proof. You’ll get a massive 2TB NVMe SSD as part of the deal. To top it all off, the display on this laptop runs at 144hz and FHD 1080p resolution, perfect for enjoying gaming on your RTX 3060.
Weighing in at under 6 pounds, the Asus TUF is surprisingly slim and lightweight. The design is relatively neutral, without much to make this laptop stand out. Nonetheless, the construction and build quality are unparalleled, with military-grade testing performed to ensure durability.
Features like WiFi 6 and the latest Bluetooth are standard on this laptop. You get a generous selection of ports around the sides of the laptop, like USB 3, USB Type-C, and HDMI. Even still, what sets this one apart is the enormous display. So, if you’re looking for the best RTX 3060 laptop on the market with the biggest screen, the Asus TUF is a winner.
Check out the Asus TUF 17 on Amazon.
Best Performance: Acer Nitro 5
- 15.6" FHD(1920 x 1080) screen with LED-backlit Display
- 64GB (32GB x 2) memory and 2TB PCIe SSD
- Powerful and efficient NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card
- Multiple ports and connectivity options, including Bluetooth,
- Windows 11 Home 64-bit comes pre-installed
For those discerning customers who want the best performance, the Acer Nitro 5 offers the perfect answer.
Acer is a big name in gaming laptops, and the company shows its gaming laptop prowess in this laptop. With a 144hz display to back up the graphics power of the RTX 3060, this system offers the most immersive gaming experience.
Acer packed this laptop with a whopping 64GB of DDR4 RAM. Such a vast amount of RAM is more than any game or application requires, but the extra memory comes in handy if you are a heavy multitasker. Additionally, you get an enormous 2TB PCIe SSD with enough space to hold a massive library of games and apps.
An array of ports lets you connect all your peripherals, docking stations, and monitors. This laptop is equipped with USB 3, USB Type-C, Thunderbolt, and HDMI ports. While nothing out of the ordinary, you certainly won’t be lacking any critical connections.
Intel’s “Killer DoubleShot Pro” WiFi also enhances performance. You can increase the bandwidth and speed of your system by utilizing ethernet and wireless connectivity simultaneously. Streaming and multiplayer games benefit greatly from this combination.
Acer backs up the incredible performance with an equally impressive design. While nothing too unusual, you will notice the striking red accents along the back and sides. This is complemented by a shale-gray finish, making for a premium look and feel.
Check out the Acer Nitro 5 on Amazon.
How To Pick The Best RTX 3060 Laptop: Step-by-Step
When shopping around for the best RTX 3060 laptop, it is essential to pay attention to the other hardware in your system so as not to cause a “bottleneck.” Your system’s performance will bottleneck when you have a powerful GPU but a lack of CPU power, RAM, and storage to run at full potential.
To take full advantage of the RTX 3060 graphics card, you should ensure your laptop holds up in these areas:
- Display quality
- Ram and storage
- Design and cooling
Let’s explore each topic in more detail.
A laptop’s processor is arguably the most vital component for gaming and other applications. Along with the graphics card, the processor, or “central processing unit,” handles heavy calculations like graphics, textures, loading, and rendering.
Since the RTX 3060 is a relatively new GPU, most laptops that include this card also have a recent CPU. Nonetheless, you should pay attention to the model and generation of your processor to ensure you are getting a good deal. If a laptop with an RTX 3060 seems too cheap, that may be because of a low-end processor.
To ensure you get the best performance for your money, you should try to pair your RTX 3060 with an 11th-generation or newer Intel processor. If you opt for a laptop with an AMD processor, you should look for at least a Zen 2 or Zen 3 chip.
If you want to maximize the potential of a powerful graphics card like the Nvidia RTX 3060, you need a good quality screen and plenty of screen real estate. A GPU of this power should be taken advantage of by using the best display possible. Most RTX 3060 laptops also have a high-resolution display to enjoy a visually stunning experience.
You’ll commonly find RTX 3060 laptops with varying screen sizes from 14-inch to 17-inch. You can select the screen size based on your own personal preference since it does not affect performance. A larger screen may provide a more immersive gaming experience but adversely affect portability. A smaller model will be more portable and weigh less.
Resolution and aspect ratio are essential for user experience, whether you are gaming or just being productive. The RTX 3060 is most commonly found in 1080p laptops since it isn’t powerful enough for most 4K gaming. Because of this, you’ll often see RTX 3060 laptops with 1080p resolution or slightly higher.
RAM and Storage
RAM and storage are essential in an RTX 3060 laptop. You need to have enough of both to match the performance of the 3060 so as not to bottleneck the system. A bottleneck will occur when you have powerful hardware, but your computer is held back by a lack of RAM or a shortage of storage.
To ensure you don’t cap the performance of your GPU, you should aim for at least 8GB or 16GB of RAM. More RAM is always preferred, even up to 32GB, but you won’t notice much additional benefit beyond this.
Since the advent of cheap SSDs, storage has been of minimal concern. However, you should still pay attention to the storage capacity to ensure you have space to install all of your favorite games and applications. A capacity of 256GB is on the low end and should be upgraded if possible. 512GB is sufficient for most gaming, but the best bang for your buck is a 1TB or higher capacity.
Design and Cooling
Although we’re placing it last on the list, the design is still one of the most important aspects to look at when considering an RTX 3060 laptop. A basic design with a no-frills approach will satisfy some customers, while others may prefer something more flashy to back up the higher price tag.
Not only does the aesthetic layout of a laptop matter, but the materials and composition as well. When you look at a laptop, you can appreciate its visual design and appearance, but when you use it, you can more closely appreciate its materials and construction. For this reason, you should look for laptops with a strong composition, like magnesium alloy or carbon fiber.
A laptop’s design also consists of its thermals and cooling. The intelligent cooling design will mean that your laptop can keep its temperatures in check and last longer. One thing to note is that a better thermal design doesn’t consist merely of additional fans or heatsinks. Using the latest materials in heat pipes and thermal compounds will ensure that your laptop stays at a suitable temperature for a long time.
What it’s Like to Use: RTX 3060 Laptop
Since the RTX 3060 is a midrange card, you can expect performance on a level between an RTX 3050-Ti and 3070. Video editing and other graphics-intensive tasks are no problem for this GPU, so your laptop will be fit and ready to take on almost anything you throw at it. Gaming is a different story.
Generally speaking, you’ll enjoy decent gaming performance on 1080p resolution and at high settings for most games. This is nothing near the performance offered by a pricier card like the RTX 3080 or 3080-Ti. Additionally, you should know that a mobile RTX 3060 is not equivalent to a desktop 3060. Since the laptop version runs at a lower wattage with lower graphics memory, it underperforms compared to its desktop counterpart.
What to Know Before Buying an RTX 3060 Laptop
Before settling on a specific laptop, you should take stock of a few things. First of all, which games do you want to play? Knowing what games you plan to load up on your new laptop will give you an idea of the recommended requirements to look out for. Compare the requirements of each game to the specs of a potential laptop to ensure you’re making a suitable purchase.
Another thing you’ll want to know before buying an RTX 3060 laptop is which OS or “operating system” you want to use. For most buyers, this decision is an easy one. Windows 11 comes loaded on almost every laptop on the market.
More advanced users may prefer to load their own OS. For many, various flavors of Linux provide everything to get started. With so many free versions of Linux available, choosing the best one for your needs is a little more complicated than just using Windows. Fortunately, there are many great Linux distros for gaming and other uses.
Finally, decide how much you want to invest in your new RTX 3060 laptop. Thanks to recent declines in GPU prices, it is becoming more accessible and easier to find a great deal on a 3060 laptop. Most systems cost between $1000 and $2000, although you can occasionally find reliable systems for less if you research.
What’s New in RTX 3060 Laptops
Recently, there have been significant advances in RTX 3060 laptops:
- New Releases: Several new laptops featuring RTX 3060 graphics have been introduced recently. These laptops offer diverse features and configurations, providing options that cater to various user needs.
- Price Reduction: The prices of RTX 3060 laptops have decreased recently. This is attributed to factors like improved availability of RTX 3060 graphics cards and declining costs of other components.
- Enhanced Performance: RTX 3060 laptops have seen improvements in performance recently. This is due to the release of optimized drivers and game enhancements specifically for RTX 3060 graphics.
Future Updates in RTX 3060 Laptops
In the future, RTX 3060 laptops are expected to undergo notable advancements:
- Enhanced Efficiency: Keeping a powerful GPU cool in thin and lightweight laptops poses challenges. However, ongoing development of new cooling solutions, materials, and power management techniques is likely to improve the efficiency of RTX 3060 laptops.
- Higher Clock Speeds: Higher clock speeds can unleash the full potential of the RTX 3060 GPU. As efficiency improves, running RTX 3060 laptops at higher clock speeds will become feasible, leading to enhanced overall performance.
- New Features: Apart from gaming capabilities, the RTX 3060 supports advanced features like ray tracing and DLSS. These technologies are continuously evolving, and we can anticipate their integration into RTX 3060 laptops, making them even more versatile and capable.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©MZinchenko/Shutterstock.com.