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Laptops with the Best CPU Performance

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

If you're crunching numbers in a giant spreadsheet, transcoding a huge 4K video or playing a demanding game, you'll need a computer that's just plain speedy. We use Geekbench 4 (and 4.1), a synthetic benchmark, to measure overall performance. We then took the scores from all the laptops we've tested and listed the top 10 in order of best CPU performance.

As expected, the laptops with the latest Intel Core i9 (H-series) processors topped the list, followed by those with Core i7 CPUs. If you'd like to learn more about the components powering these laptops, check out our laptop processor comparison. You'll also notice that most of these top machines are featured on our best gaming laptops ranking, proving that these RGB-illuminated rigs aren't just great at gaming, but also at powering demanding programs. 

If you're interested in buying a gaming laptop, you should check out our list of the laptops with the best graphics performance and our best and worst gaming laptop brands report. If you prefer a laptop for business use, consider one of the laptops on our best workstations page.

Best laptop CPU performance (Geekbench 4.1)

1. Asus ROG Mothership: 34,879
2. Alienware Area-51m: 32,591
3. MSI GT76 Titan: 32,167
4. Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch): 31,012
5. Alienware m17 R2: 29,862
6. Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR: 28,879
7. Dell XPS 15: 28,165
8. Origin PC Eon17-X: 27,347
9. Asus ZenBook Pro Duo UX581: 26,470
10. Dell Precision 7730: 24,800

Here is a closer look at the 10 laptops with the best CPU performance. 

1. Asus ROG Mothership: 34,879

Part laptop, part all-in-one, this unique hybrid device offers shockingly fast performance, thanks to its Intel Core i9-9980HK GPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU. Yes, you could argue that the ROG Mothership isn't really a laptop, but we don't care: This thing is crazy powerful, having notched a record-breaking 34,879 on the Geekbench 4.1 overall performance test. Despite that insane power, the ROG Mothership remained cool throughout our testing. Impressive.

Read our Asus ROG Mothership review

2. Alienware Area-51m: 32,591

The Alienware Area-51m topped our best graphics performance ranking and now comes in second in CPU performance. It's no wonder Alienware marketed this beast as a true desktop replacement. It lives up to that title, not just for the performance it brings but also because all of its major components are upgradable. Beyond the numbers, the Alienware Area-51m has a striking design, a comfortable keyboard and a superfast SSD.

Read our Alienware Area-51m review

3. MSI GT76 Titan: 32,167

The GT76 Titan isn't just one of the most powerful laptops around, it's also one of the most well rounded. Sure, it's a beefy monster and costs a small fortune, but you get a lot for your money, including a gorgeous 4K panel, a supercomfortable keyboard and an attractive aluminum design. Now, about that CPU performance: With a score of 32,167 on the Geekbench test, the GT76 is faster than almost every other laptop we've tested. It's really no wonder the GT76 Titan is featured on both our best gaming laptops and best 4K laptops pages. 

Read our MSI GT76 Titan review

4. Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch): 31,012

Notice anything about the top laptops on this list? That's right, they're all chunky, heavy gaming rigs. But then there is Apple's incredibly sleek MacBook Pro, which offers class-leading performance when equipped with an Intel Core i9-9980HK CPU and 32GB of RAM. At 4 pounds and 0.6 inches, the MacBook Pro is much more portable than just about every other laptop on this list. And the MacBook Pro's more than 10 hours of battery life crushes any gaming laptop on the market. If that powerful Intel CPU weren't enough performance, Apple outfitted the MacBook Pro with the fastest SSDs we've ever clocked. Oh, and you also get Apple's reliably gorgeous Retina display. 

Read our Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch) review

5. Alienware m17 R2: 29,862

If you can get past its lofty price, the Alienware m17 R2 is essentially the perfect productivity laptop. Unlike most of its gaming laptop rivals, the m17 R2 is actually surprisingly portable and even gets decent battery life (for a gaming laptop). If you're wondering how it shapes up against the MacBook Pro, we can say with confidence that the m17 R2 has a much better keyboard and stronger graphics performance. When it comes to the CPU, the Core i9-9980HK inside the m17 R2 is an absolute beast at productivity. 

Read our Alienware m17 R2 review

6. Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR: 28,879

Gigabyte might not be a mainstream laptop brand, but the company's flagship Aero 17 HDR can go toe-to-toe with the best of them. The laptop's 0.8-inch-thin chassis houses a beastly Intel Core i9-9980HK processor, which blazed through our real-world performance tests without the slightest hint of lag. Along with that excellent performance, the Aero 17 HDR has a bright, 4K display, a comfortable keyboard and surprisingly long battery life (5:30).

Read our Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR review

7. Dell XPS 15: 28,165

Dell's XPS 15 is the bigger, more powerful brother of the best overall laptop, the XPS 13. As such, it offers a lot of the same perks, including a compact, premium design, a stunning 4K OLED display and excellent performance. Because the XPS 15 packs a beefier Core i9-9980HK processor, you can expect significantly faster performance than what its smaller cousin can muster. All things considered, the XPS 15 is the best MacBook Pro (15-inch) alternative Windows has to offer, and one of the best laptops on the market.  

Read our Dell XPS 15 review

8. Origin PC Eon17-X: 27,347

With blistering performance offered by its Core i9-9900K CPU and a supercomfortable keyboard, the Origin PC's Eon17-X is an outstanding laptop for gamers or creators. That said, the laptop's screen is very dim, so we recommend buying a monitor while you're plunking down several thousands of dollars on this beast. Fortunately, you won't need to purchase a pair of headphones, because the speakers in this tank of a laptop can seriously jam. 

Read our Origin PC Eon17-X review

9. Asus ZenBook Pro Duo UX581: 26,470

The Asus ZenBook Pro Duo's outstanding performance will undoubtedly be overshadowed by its dual, 15.6-inch and 14-inch displays. And that's just fine by us. After all, the highlight of this innovative machine is the secondary, 14-inch, 4K display on the deck, which lets you multitask like never before. The components that allow you to do so — an Intel Core i9 CPU and RTX 2060 –– might not be as sexy, but they're churning away while your eyes feast on the ZenBook Pro Duo's stunning displays.  

Read our Asus ZenBook Pro Duo review

10. Dell Precision 7730: 24,800

Some of the fastest laptops we review are for gaming, but don't rule out workstations, or devices meant specifically for productivity. Among those, the Precision 7730 offers the fastest CPU performance when equipped with an Intel Core i9-8950HK processor and 32GB of RAM. But the best reason to buy the Precision 7730 rather than any of these other laptops is for its extensive security features and endless configuration options. Moving away from the specs sheet, the Precision 7730 has a gorgeous 4K display, a durable chassis and a comfortable keyboard.  

Read our Dell Precision 7730 review