Most important computer specs for DE

Hi Guys,

I’m buying a new computer to be able to play DE, and eventually aoe 4 as well. However, I travel, so I need a laptop, and my budget is limited, so I can only afford either a good cpu or a good gpu. I’m ok with playing on the lowest grpahics settings, but it would be important that the computer can handle big fights, late game with 4 player teams, naval battles and the occasional mass fighting in a collo game. So if the priority is good gaming capabilities and graphics are not important, should I invest in a cpu or a gpu?

Currently my options are the following:

AMD R 4600H vs AMD R 3550H

Geforce 1650ti vs Geforce 1660ti (laptop versions)

It’s not possible to change the cpu or gpu in the laptop, so this would be a final decision (thinking of aoe4).

Thanks for helping out!

The two CPUs you mention will both be fine. If you can, though, go for the GTX 1660 Ti rather than the 1650 Ti. I play AoE3DE on a 9-year old Core i5 3330 with a GTX 1060 at max settings and I rarely experience any lag even in big battles. With AoE4, your GPU will be more likely be the bottleneck than your CPU if you choose the 1650 Ti.


I’d recommend at least 12 GB of RAM as well. I play with a 1660Ti on a laptop, it works well.

Maybe I’ll go with the better CPU, especially if you want to use your pc for other things like heavy work. If it’s your dedicated gaming laptop, go for the GPU.

Mayqbe you could share your laptop choices

Thanks for the insights Inocybe and Squirrel! My current options are

  1. Asus TUF Gaming FA506
    Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti, 4 GB
    AMD Ryzen 5 4600H
    8 GB RAM (easy to upgrade 8GB more later)
    512 GB SSD
    144Hz 15,6" screen
    650€ (about 700€ with 16GB RAM)

  2. Asus TUF gaming fx705
    Ryzen 7 3750h
    GTX 1660 Ti 6gb
    16gb RAM
    (should be 512 SSD)
    120hz 17,3’’
    750€ (used, a few months old, 1,5 yr warranty)

  3. Asus TUF Gaming fx505dv-hn276t
    AMD Ryzen R5-3550H (I assume not much different to 3750H)
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6 Gt
    16 Gt DDR4 RAM
    512 Gt M.2 SSD
    144Hz 15,6"
    800€ (used, but only 3 months old, 2yr warranty)

And just to reaffirm - I don’t mind playing on lowest graphics.

i dont know if i would ever buy a used laptop.

but between those i think 2nd option seems the most balanced, i just dont think you will get a huge uplift from a 2060 but the 3rd option isn’t bad either.

but as i said i would avoid used esp for laptops, you never know what its been through and unlike a desktop there is a real chance it might have some physical dmg that matters to you.

Ok, yes I suppose there might be a risk, though both still have warranty… Thanks anyway

I’m not sure if I replied to your comment Inocybe, so just sending this message so you get a notification from this thread.

Thanks, I would have come back anyway ^^

Does the first one comes with any warranty? I fear that adding ram to this one would void the warranty.

#2 and #3 are good pc. However, ask yourself if you want/need a 17-inch screen. Sure it’s always nice to have a bigger screen, but it also means a heavier device. It depend how you travel. For me, it’s the 17-inch paradox. If you travel a lot, you usually don’t want a heavy laptop. However, if you don’t travel that much, you can use a much bigger external monitor at home.

One last note, if you travel by plane, those gaming laptops are usually to much demanding regarding power consumption. I was annoyed when I noticed the electric plug desactivating itself when I was trying to plug my laptop. Now, I can’t play anymore when flying.

If you are going to buy a new laptop, you don’t need to worry about performance in AOE III DE. Any new laptop with dedicated graphic card should handle AoE III DE with highest details.

I have laptop with:
GPU: GeForce GTX 1050 (4GB VRAM)
CPU: Intel Core i5-7300HQ
This is not a strong configuration but I’m playing AOE III DE with highest details, 1080p and it is usually around 30-35 FPS.

Regarding AOE IV, I think it is good to wait unit April 10th. Maybe creators will reveal some information about AOE IV requirements.

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If buying second-hand is too big a risk for you, option 1 is not a bad choice, provided it comes with a reasonable warranty and you can install the additional RAM or have it installed without voiding the warranty. I personally don’t mind buying second-hand, but then I would prefer to inspect and test the laptop for myself first before buying it. I don’t know who the vendor of the second-hand devices is, but I suggest looking for reviews of their site online. If those look good to you, and if the vendor has a reasonable return policy, then I would go with option 3 for the RTX 2060, since it is more powerful than the GTX 1660 Ti. The biggest two differences between the Ryzen 7 3750H in option 2 and the Ryzen 5 3550H in option 3 is that the 3750H has a slightly higher boost clock and a more powerful integrated GPU. The first of these differences is minor and the second is irrelevant to you. The difference in boost clock is between 3.7 gHz on the 3550H and 4.0 gHz on the 3750H. Both CPUs should be able to do whatever you want to do with them for a long time still. The second difference, namely the more powerful integrated GPU on the 3750H, is irrelevant to you because both laptops have powerful dedicated GPUs.

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Have you looked into external GPUs? That would allow a highend GPU in a laptop and it can also be upgraded or used in the next Laptop.

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I second that! Currently running a four year old ThinkPad with an i7 and 24gb of RAM. Got a RTX3600oc hooked via Thunderbolt just a week ago. Increased my performance from ~20fps on lowest graphics settings to >75fps on highest settings - both on a WQHD screen.

That setup is paid for by my work, I would somewhat hesitate to buy these hugely over-priced GPUs atm. But: If you get an ultrabook with decent CPUand okay graphics chip, it will suffice for AOE3 DE and you can buy a graphics card and thunderbolt enclosure when AOE 4 is released, by which times GPU prices may be reasonable again.

Of course, this works only if you do not need extremely high mobility even though there are quite small enclosures, too.

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Great, thanks for the insight Inocybe, I hadn’t thought of the travel paradox. And yes the first one comes with a 2-year warranty, as it’s new.

Thanks for the tip Skadidesu, I actually didn’t know external gpu’s existed. I tried googling around, but couldn’t find a good article about them.

Is it possible to attach a desktop gpu to a laptop with some kind of case and also unplug it as necessary (i.e. does it use an external port like usb)? How much would such a case cost? And how much would a “dedicated” externa gpu of e.g. 6gb cost approximately?
And most importantly might there be problems with compatibilty or other errors and do some settings require repeated adjusting to use the gpu? (and does normal warranty approve using such a gpu)

That was a load of questions, might be easier to just link to an article if this is a bit too much. Thanks!

External GPUs (“eGPUs”) have slowly but surely been gaining traction over the years. They are a good solution if mobility is a must and if you have money to throw around. An eGPU consists of a normal desktop graphics card plugged into a special enclosure that connects to your laptop via Thunderbolt/USB C or a propriety cable of sorts. Most use USB C*. You can plug and unplug them as you need and using one will not affect the warranty on your laptop. Compatibility issues are unlikely with a gaming laptop like one of those you listed. I don’t know if your graphical settings will need frequent readjusting if you use an eGPU.

Here is a good article about some of the good options you can buy at the moment. The cheapest among them goes for about $280, and that’s without a GPU. While I’m not that up to date with international prices (I live in South Africa), it looks like a GTX 1660 Ti will cost you at least $700. That’s almost $1000 over and above what you are already paying for the laptop itself. Plus, if you buy one of the laptops you mentioned and then buy an eGPU, you will be paying for the GPU in the laptop (which you won’t be using because you have an eGPU) AND the eGPU itself. If you have the money, go for it, but I would not consider an eGPU a viable solution to your potential problems. As for graphical capabilities, I can hardly foresee either a GTX 1660 Ti or an RTX 2060 not being far more than capable of running AoE4 when it arrives.

*Correction: eGPU enclosures mostly use Thunderbolt, as BobingerBueble mentions further down in the thread, not USB C as I said here. While Thunderbolt and USB C cables are interchangeable, USB C does not have the speed that Thunderbolt has and which is required for the high volume of data that needs to move between the eGPU and the laptop.

The good thing about External GPU cases is that you can just put any GPU in them (unless they are physically too big).
I don’t know how good the compatibility is but I think it helps to have a laptop with Thunderbolt and not just USB 3.

I don’t know much about them because I never used one and don’t plan to ever do so.

Buying a notebook with a dedicated internal GPU and an external one is certainly pointless as MoreSquirrel126 has explained. If you go for an external GPU, you should instead go for a business ultrabook with a decent CPU and RAM but no dedicated GPU. Thunderbolt would also be mandatory to connect the GPU. With that, it is really plug and play. As said, you can use any desktop GPU that physically fits in the enclosure (which is really any for larger enclosures and short sizes for the small ones). The eGPU enclosures also deliver power to your machine and some feature USB ports, hence doubling as a dock for your PC. However, they are not ultra mobile. Keep that in mind…

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