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Guide: Optimize your high-end portable gaming notebook for even more FPS

By Team GameAxis - 16 Dec 2018

Rise of the Tomb Raider, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided & Summary

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider is one of the more demanding games out there, so it is only natural that it would find its way into our gauntlet. The game gave us a default setting of High but we’re here to push those limits.

We saw a comfortable 70 to 75+ FPS in the game’s different environments. Playing through these spaces, however, did see some noticeable slowdowns now and again, especially when the level gets bigger and more sprawling. On one occasion, this slowdown did send Lara into an icy grave as she was busy fleeing from an attack helicopter.

Returning to the High graphical preset gave us 85+ FPS on average. Doing so eliminates most of the stuttering, though it does reappear when quickly rotating the cameras or entering previously unexplored areas. Overall, the experience on high felt smoother simply because the game stuttered less.

Our recommendation


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Another Square Enix game? You have to, the publisher knows a thing or two about visually impressive works. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided ranks as one of the more graphically intensive games on the market today, so into our fryer it went.

As with Tomb Raider, our first order of business was to max out the settings, leaving in on the Ultra preset with anisotropic filtering set to 16x. Our benchmarks gave us an average of 54+ FPS, while lowering the preset to High bumped the framerate to 70+ FPS.

After admiring Jensen's shiny, chrome-augmented arms, we started playing through the game proper. The framerate stayed consistent on Ultra settings, though only at 50+ FPS in the Dubai map. However, once we got into Prague the game was plagued with stutters.

Lowering the preset to High fixed that but, after a few hours of sticking tranquilizer darts onto people's faces, the stuttering eventually came back. On the bright side, this turned out to be a memory leak from the game itself – a quick notebook restart resolved things, at least for a while.

Our recommendation


Summing it up

Using the ASUS Strix SCAR II as our reference, it’s clear that these high-end gaming notebooks are more than capable of running modern games on their highest settings. However, with great processing power comes great sacrifice: cost. Luckily, advancements in mobile computing mean we are now getting what we pay for, and what we’ve got is a beast.

Where high-end gaming notebooks may fall short is in capitalizing on their 144Hz display, which is often part of the package. We would have to sacrifice texture quality and other graphical luxuries to even achieve that framerate (e-sports games don’t count as they are adequately served by budget models). That said, 60 or higher FPS already ensures a smooth and acceptable gaming experience for most; and the current crop of high-end gaming notebooks easily accomplish that with a few fool-proof tweaks we've doled out in this guide.

If you have the budget to spare and are looking to be able to game while moving about, a high-end portable gaming laptop might fill that niche for you. Early for an appointment? Find an empty desk and clear a few side missions while you wait. Gaming on the go doesn't mean you can't enjoy the striking visuals on a 15.6-inch screen.

Here's a summary of our gaming gauntlet, including rough performance expectations across all game settings:-

Performance Summary of high-performance portable gaming notebook in 2018
Game / in-game setting Low Medium  High Very High Ultra
PUBG 120+ FPS 110+ FPS 95+ FPS 90+ FPS 70+ FPS
Fortnite 140+ FPS 140+ FPS 120+ FPS 90+ FPS N/A
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 130+ FPS 110+ FPS 80+ FPS N/A 55+ FPS
Black Desert Online SEA 130+ FPS 125+ FPS 120+ FPS 110+ FPS 40+ FPS
Rise of the Tomb Raider* 115+ FPS 105+ FPS 100+ FPS 85+ FPS N/A
Duex Ex: Mankind Divided* 95+ FPS 85+ FPS 75+ FPS 65+ FPS 55+ FPS

*Scores recorded according to in-game benchmarking tools

Table Legend: Red < 60 FPS || 60 FPS < Orange < 90 FPS || Green > 90 FPS

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