When it comes to buying computers or laptops based off a desired spec you need to find the sweet spot between performance and affordability. You don’t need a supercomputer that makes NASA jealous to play The Sims 4, but you also don’t want to spend a small amount of money on a glorified calculator that won’t run the game very well.
You want a laptop that not only exceeds minimum specs but runs the game proper, as well as handle any expansions or content packs you may want to get. The gaming laptop market is a minefield when it comes to getting your money’s worth, especially if you don’t know what to look out for.
Fortunately for you, we have the cheat codes to make your decision that much easier.
Below we’ve compiled a list of what we believe to be the best laptops for playing The Sims 4. We have even ranked them and picked a favorite!
Rankings are based on performance, affordability and the quality of their parts, with particular attention to the graphics cards as having a suitable card is half the battle.
We’ve also included a buyers’ guide and FAQ so that you know what to look for if buying gaming laptops in the future.
In a hurry?
This is our Winner!
Why is it our top pick?
Can’t wait to get started? We’ve got you covered with our top choice right here, the MSI GF63 Thin 9RCX.
An offering from reputable gaming/eSports brand MSI, this piece of kit looks and sounds like a gaming laptop unlike some of the others in the list.
With a choice of graphics cards, even the least powerful version dwarfs The Sims 4’s specs, and all for a modest price. Here’s why it was our top pick.
- Intel Core i5 9300h processor and a choice of GTX 1050Ti or 1650 graphics cards.
- Priced very competitively, will offer more than enough performance for The Sims 4 and other games.
- Comfortable, bezel design with on-brand red backlit keyboard so that it looks like more than your average laptop.
- 1 Best Laptop For Playing Sims 4 - Comparison Table
- 2 Best Laptop For Playing Sims 4 - Reviews
- 3 Best Laptop For Playing Sims 4 - Buyers Guide
Best Laptop For Playing Sims 4 - Comparison Table
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Best Laptop For Playing Sims 4 - Reviews
The MSI GF63 Thin 9RCX is an Amazon’s Choice gaming laptop that will be able to meet the Sims 4’s recommended specs, even dwarfing them, and leave the opportunity to play other games on it.
Carrying a GeForce GTX 1050Ti and a choice between Intel Quad-Core i5 9300H processor or the Hexa-Core i7 9750H, the MSI GF63 Thin 9RCX can handle a multitude of games so you can expand into others too.
If you are intending to only use this for gaming, its Solid-State Drives are perfect for fast reading and writing of data to slow load times down. This is better for gaming rather than the 1TB option which is more suitable for actual devices that will store lots of information.
If you’re planning on doing more gaming or need some extra juice, a GTX 1050Ti is perfect for you, though it also comes with the GTX 1650 option which is an improvement on the 1050Ti.
This isn’t just a great, low-priced laptop for The Sims 4, it’s a good laptop for playing other games of similar graphical quality. That’s why it’s our top choice.
Our highest spec choice on this list, this beast of a laptop can be fitted with either one of the 2070s or 2080s from NVIDIA’s newest, groundbreaking RTX line.
This means it could play most modern games let alone The Sims 4 but such performance comes at a steep price, so this is for those out there that would wish to stop all of their gaming related woes in one fell swoop.
Once again, I’d recommend getting the 512GB SSD, RTX 2070 with no HDD unless you plan on packing something heavier than game files into it (which you really shouldn’t, there’s much cheaper and better suited notebooks for work).
This should be the cheapest whilst being way more than enough to run The Sims 4 with any and all expansions and content packs past, present and future with ease.
If you’re familiar with how many of those EA pumps out, you know that’s a testament to this laptop’s strength.
For its strength it’s quieter than many gaming laptops that overheat into sputtering messes after prolonged use. This is thanks to their branded ROG Active Aerodynamic System to keep it cool and quiet.
As said, it is very expensive but unfortunately the high-performance laptops often are, and this is as high performance as you can get. Its battery is also short relative to other options, but the power it has cannot be denied, landing it at our number two spot.
Geared more towards those on a budget, the Acer Aspire 5 meets the recommended spec requirements to play The Sims 4 at 1080p on the highest graphical settings, with maybe some options turned down from ‘ultra’ to ‘high’ depending on how it performs later in its life.
There are cheaper alternatives from Acer which can ‘run’ The Sims 4, but these are often just scraping by the minimum specs and so end up damaging their own cards or offering a frustrating gaming experience by way of lagging and poor graphical quality.
The Aspire 5 itself has a lot of hardware ports for use with other gadgetry, if you’re considering doing other things on the laptop, though if you do too much this will eat into the 512GB SSD and have a negative effect on its gaming capabilities.
The most important part, the graphics card, is an NVIDIA GeForce MX250. For comparison’s sake, they perform a bit worse than a GTX 1050 but are nevertheless over the recommended NVIDIA GTX 650 listed on EA’s site.
With this retailing roughly around the price of a GTX 1050 card, this is the best affordable option for a satisfying way of playing The Sims 4.
Another affordable option where gaming laptops are concerned, the Lenovo Ideapad L340 comes equipped with a 9th generation Intel Core i5 processor and a GTX 1650 GPU.
The Ideapad series from Lenovo are designed to be multi-tasking laptops and so pack a decent punch for their price.
This is evident in its adjustability, having quick and quiet modes for the purposes of both gaming and working, plus it has Lenovo Vantage’s Eye Care Mode so that the display can be changed to reduce eye strain if you’re planning on long gaming sessions.
It has 8GB of RAM which should be all you need for most games and is double that of The Sims 4’s minimum spec.
Whilst we’ve advised you keep your gaming laptop just for gaming when using one of the budget options, if you need a great all-rounder laptop that you want to use to play The Sims 4 on the side then this is a great option.
The cheapest product on this list, the HP X360 is for those who are on a budget but want to get playing as soon as possible. It’s armed with an AMD Radeon 530, roughly equivalent to the MX150 from NVIDIA if not slightly weaker.
It’ll play some games, including The Sims 4, in low settings with very little room for expansion content. As a machine to play The Sims 4 on sporadically whilst using it for other things, its touchscreen stylus and convertibility into a tablet make it ideal for travel and mobile work.
Beware of its small SSD however, which could make the sometimes-torturous loading times in The Sims 4 much longer due to lack of memory.
Best Laptop For Playing Sims 4 - Buyers Guide
The Sims 4 minimum and recommended specs
Here are the minimum specs for The Sims 4 as listed on EA’s website:
- Operating System: 64 Bit Required. Windows 7 (SP1), Windows 8, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10.
- CPU: 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, AMD Athlon 64 Dual-Core 4000+ or equivalent (For computers using built-in graphics chipsets, the game requires 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.0 GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-62 or equivalent).
- RAM: At least 4 GB RAM.
- Disc Drive: DVD Drive required for installation only.
- Hard Drive: At least 15 GB of free space with at least 1 GB additional space for custom content and saved games.
- GPU: 128 MB of Video RAM and support for Pixel Shader 3.0. Supported Video Cards: NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or better, ATI Radeon X1300 or better, Intel GMA X4500 or better.
- DirectX: DirectX 9.0, 10 and 11 Compatible.
- Online Requirements: Internet connection required for product activation.
- Operating System: 64 Bit Windows 7, 8, 8.1, or 10
- CPU: Intel core i5 or faster, AMD Athlon X4
- GPU: NVIDIA GTX 650 or better
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Hard Drive: 18 GB of Hard Drive space
The important specs for gaming
All specs are important to know what you’re buying, of course. For the purposes of this review however, we have to decide which are specs are best to accommodate someone playing The Sims 4 and which ones you can ignore.
The operating system is simple enough, most games are compatible with Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10. The usual sticking point is whether it needs to be 64 or 32 bit.
The Sims 4 needs a 64 bit OS and getting that more capable version is a good way to hedge your bets for the bit requirement of any future games you might get.
The processor is the next place to start. Coming in multiple variants, don’t bother with only two core processors in this day and age.
A quad core processor is a happy medium to be at, and six cores are naturally better. Intel runs a line of cores that gets up to 18, but these are useless for gaming unless you’re building the Matrix in your garage. Besides, for laptops these are unfeasible, so their Quad Core i5 or i7 will see you satisfied for now.
GPU (Graphics Card)
Next is the big one, the GPU, more commonly called the graphics card. This is the backbone of your computer’s ability to display videogames, or anything, at a consistent visual quality.
With GPUs the lower the model number, the lower the performance, that simple.
NVIDIA seem to be the go-to, especially with laptops with built-in cards. However, AMD has its own dedicated fans who prefer their GPUs, so If you opt for an AMD card go for the newest series like the RX 500 line.
An important lesson to learn with GPUs is that later releases do not equivocate better quality. An example from above would be the MSI GF63 9RCX where GTX 1650 is better than the 1050 but at benchmarking the 1650 consistently performed worse than the GTX 1060 which came out a whole two years before.
GPUs with have memory capacities tied to them, but these are negligible if you’re not shooting video with your PC, all GPUs you’ll find nowadays will have the required 1GB of data to manage 1080p resolution.
You won’t need RAM nearly as much as you may think, so don’t overspend on it. 8GB is plenty for most, though if you’re operating with 4k you may need 16GB at most. Don’t bother with 64GB specs.
For your executables, videogames included, having an SSD in your laptop or desktop is now more affordable than ever. Solid State Drives read and write data quicker than Hard Drives, though get adversely affected by data piling into them. This is why you’ll often see machines with both SSD and HDDs since large long-term storage is more suited to hard drives.
For gaming laptops which will be used almost exclusively for gaming, having a HDD isn’t the same requirement that it is with a desktop, you can get away with just having an SSD to shorten your games’ load times.
And that’s it! The many, many peripherals on offer don’t factor into whether you can run and enjoy videogames as long as you have the four pieces of the puzzle above.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best laptop for The Sims 4 with its expansions?
Simmers will know that the game and its publishers EA are notorious for having so many expansions and content packs released, often for years after the game launch. This makes your concern over future-proofing your laptop decision a reasonable one as the game can look quite different years later.
If your graphics card is part of the GTX 1000 series, so 1050 to 1080 (and if they’re the Ti variants, even better) then you should run the entire game at highest settings with ease.
How do I get The Sims 4?
The Sims 4 and its expansion content is distributed by EA’s launcher platform called Origin. This means it’s not on Steam like the majority of games and is in fact an active competitor.
Through Origin you’ll buy the game and install it on your machine, no need to use a disc drive with a physical copy though that avenue is still open. You’ll be walked through the entire process, and from Origin you can get other EA games if your chosen laptop has the strength to play them.
Origin also has deals going on semi-frequently, usually Black Friday, and you can get the game as a bundle where you choose some expansion packs for a reduced price.
How big is The Sims 4 when installed?
The Sims 4 comes in at about 9GB for the default version with no updates or expansions. More updates and expansions mean that the allotted memory for the game will slowly but surely get higher.
Another 10 to 20GB, dependent on how many expansions you plan to have, should leave a wide enough margin to accommodate any Sims related downloads.
Last update on 2021-01-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API