The 8 Best Laptops for AutoCad and Hardware Guide 2021

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Programs such as AutoCAD, 3D Max, SolidWorks, Adobe 3D Modeling and Revit require hardware. So if you are an architect, engineer or student in the same fields and want to run these programs on a laptop, be prepared to give up some serious $$$ because you need high-end specs. The same goes for data science laptops, for example.

For example, you need a powerful processor, a decent graphics card, good memory and enough storage space, all of which are expensive. Investing in a laptop that is not powerful or reliable enough is a waste of money, so there is no other option.

Buying a desktop PC is also not a viable solution, as you often have to travel and meet clients to present your work. Therefore, we are here to help you find the best laptop for AutoCAD so that you can accomplish this difficult task in no time.

Recommended Notebook Specifications for AutoCAD

First, and most importantly, consider the minimum and recommended requirements for AutoCAD laptops, offered by the Autodesk editor and supplemented by our own experts with similar options to expand the scope of the game.

Minimum requirements Recommended requirements
show 15.6 HD (1366 x 768) IPS 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080)
Processor Intel Core i5 from 7. Revival Intel Core i7
Graphics card 2GB NVIDIA GeForce MX250 NVIDIA RTX with 6GB vRAM or GTX with 4GB vRAM
RAM 8 GB 16GB
Storage 256 GB SOLID STATE DRIVE SSD with at least 512 GB
Battery life 4 hours 7 a.m.

AutoCAD 2D

The standard version of AutoCAD is capable of working with 2D and 3D models. If you are a chemical or electrical engineer, or if you work with isolation maps, you probably use the usual AutoCAD software. In this case, you can work with lower specifications that can easily fit into smaller projects.

These specifications also allow you to run other programs that do not require you to view 3D models, such as B. MatLab and Staad Pro.

AutoCAD 3D

At the same time, AutoCAD 3D, which includes both normal AutoCAD with 3D models and AutoCAD Architecture, requires a better hardware configuration. It can also be used to run other programs such as 3DS Max, Revit, SolidWorks and SketchUp.

Project scope

To give you a better idea, here are our project size measurements:

  • Small projects: Applies to students who regularly use AutoCAD in the classroom, with projects typically involving ~300 parts.
  • Medium-sized projects : Anyone using AutoCAD outside the classroom or for simple client work, with projects ranging from 500 pieces to up to 200 pieces.
  • Major projects : Professional engineers working in an office environment on collaborative projects usually involving large 3D drawings consisting of a large number of parts or polygons, often reaching over 5,000 parts on multiple sheets.

If you are a student, it is also helpful to check your department’s requirements for running AutoCAD on the laptop before buying it.

Top 8 AutoCADlaptops

Keep in mind that each of us uses the functionality of AutoCAD differently depending on several factors, including job hierarchy, skills, and personal or organizational needs. That’s why we’ve looked at some of today’s most promising laptops and made sure that each one meets the requirements for performance, functionality and relevance.

We have therefore ensured that the following CAD laptops on this list have all the functionality required to run the software and allow users to perform other related tasks including software block modeling, rendering and various simulations.

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Notebook

The first of the best laptops for AutoCAD and Revit, the Acer Aspire 5 Slim is an efficient, slim laptop that meets all your software and hardware needs. In fact, it’s one of the best CAD laptops you’ll ever see when it comes to rendering, modeling, and drawing.

All these great features are complemented by a light and elegant case. In addition, this notebook is equipped with an ultra-efficient Intel Core i5-8565U U-series processor with a chipset that offers a superior 3.9 GHz turbo clock speed. This means you have the ability to create more complex AutoCAD tasks with greater accuracy.

While AutoCAD is not very graphics intensive, this notebook has the added bonus of a dedicated GPU in the form of a GeForce MX250 graphics card with 2GB of vRAM, which is beneficial for 3D mesh modeling and photo-realistic rendering.

  • 15.6 Full HD IPS display (1920×1090)
  • Intel Core i5-8565U CPU
  • NVIDIA GeForce MX250 Graphics Processor
  • 8GB DRUM, 512GB SSD
  • 9.5 hours battery life

ASUS TUF FX505DT Portable game

A strong competitor is the ASUS TUF FX505DT gaming notebook, ASUS’ latest TUF gaming notebook that expertly handles most modern games while effectively setting itself apart from the competition with superior reliability, an RGB keyboard, GeForce GTX 16 series graphics, and AMD Ryzen processors.

The display features the new NanoEdge design with an ultra-thin bezel for an extremely immersive experience, all in a compact body. The wide viewing angles also ensure vivid and consistent colors regardless of the viewer’s position.

But the best part is the perfect combination of performance and portability, thanks to a graphics card that perfectly optimizes hardware performance. So you can work and play in ideal conditions, without problems or delays.

  • 15.6-inch Full HD display, 120 Hz
  • AMD Ryzen 5 R5-3550H Processor
  • GeForce GTX 1650 GPU
  • 8 GB DDR4 RAM, 256 GB PCIe SSDs
  • Windows 10 Home OS

Acer Nitro 5 game notebook

We also love the Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop, an ultra cool computer that lets you take your gaming to the next level, anytime, anywhere. The slim, attractive and mobile design has a 15.6-inch Full HD display and a wide range of rich features that give you full control over the gaming action.

This beautiful notebook harnesses the speed and power of a 9th generation Intel Core processor. Made with a powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics card based on the Turing architecture. This combination of smart features makes it a notebook with breathtaking power.

Plus, even with the most demanding hardware programs and CPU- or GPU-intensive tasks, or when using the laptop for hours or days, you won’t have to worry about overheating, thanks to Acer’s CoolBoost technology and dual fans that take the load off your shoulders.

  • 15.6 Full HD IPS Display
  • Intel Core i5-9300H CPU
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics Processor
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB NVMe SSD
  • Windows 10 Home OS
  • 8 hours battery life

Acer Predator Helios 300 Laptop Gaming Computer

Another important choice from Acer is the Acer Predator Helios 300 gaming laptop, a very popular option not only for gamers but also for many STEM domains, as it strikes a delicate balance between dedicated graphics card and processor features to give users the best in terms of performance and functionality.

This powerful CPU and exceptional GPU with gaming capabilities provide users with exceptional computing power. Intel’s Core i7-9750H, for example, is one of the highest quality chipsets on the market today, and it can do a lot, from observation port layout to photorealistic rendering and 2D regeneration to data extraction and migration.

We’re also impressed with the turbo speed, which can go up to 4.5 GHz. Simply put: This processor screams performance and reliability. This way you can enjoy an exceptional notebook that is not too expensive, but has an unmistakable high-end look.

  • 15.6 Full HD IPS Display
  • Intel Core i7-9750H CPU
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPUs
  • 15GB DRUM, 512GB SSD
  • 6 hours battery life

Microsoft Surface Book 2

Fifth place goes to Microsoft Surface Book 2, a professional productivity laptop that can run a variety of software all day long thanks to Intel’s latest quad-core processors and the best graphics cards on the market.

Every detail of this notebook’s design is packed with innovation, resulting in unprecedented performance and power in a lightweight and compact notebook. It even has a touch screen and backlit keyboard, and comes with a stylus for unlimited productivity on the go.

If you want a laptop that adapts to the way you work, here is a very versatile, powerful and portable laptop that can be transformed into a tablet or a studio. All in all, it’s an excellent choice for work, creativity and limitless play.

  • 13.5 or 15 PixelSense display
  • Intel Quad Core i7 CPU
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Graphics Processor
  • 16 GB RAM, 256 GB storage
  • Windows 10 Professional operating system
  • 17 hours battery life

Lenovo Ideapad L340 Gaming Laptop

Don’t forget to also check out the Lenovo Ideapad L340 Gaming Laptop, a powerful gaming laptop that paves the way for exceptional professional performance, especially for those working with CAD programs for modeling, design, engineering and more.

Thanks to the Intel Core i5-9300H chipset, which is equipped with four cores and runs satisfactorily at a turbo speed of 4.1 GHz, this notebook is a good choice for AutoCAD. It even comes with an SoC that can help with SHF detection, making it ideal for basic modeling, rendering, drawing and design tasks.

You also have 8GB of RAM for working with large data sets and spreadsheets, and for multitasking. SSDs also have many features and ultra-fast capabilities. All in all, it’s a serious contender for the best laptop for CAD.

  • 15.6 Full HD IPS Display
  • Intel Core i5-9300H CPU
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics Processor
  • 8GB DRUM, 512GB SSD
  • 9 hours battery life

Razer Blade 15 Playbook

One of the best workstation alternatives for using AutoCAD is the Razer Blade 15 gaming notebook – a gaming notebook powerful enough to handle complex 2D or 3D simulations, creations and drawings.

That’s because it’s equipped with an incredibly powerful processor, the Intel Core i7-9750, with a turbocharged clock frequency of 4.5 GHz. Here you get an existing SoC with 12 MB of cache memory to effectively minimize processing time and application access. It also features a GTX 1660Ti graphics card that handles 3D CAD tasks efficiently and with great precision.

Moreover, this graphics card has 6 gigabytes of video RAM, allowing you to decipher complex textures easily. We also love the 16GB of RAM, which complements the processor perfectly, especially in multitasking mode. Even the SSD, though limited in size, is super fast.

  • 15.6 Full HD IPS Display
  • Intel Core i7-9750H CPU
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPUs
  • DRUM 16GB, 256GB SSD
  • 6 hours battery life

ASUS ROG Zephyrus S Playbook

Finally, there is the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S gaming laptop, another good choice for an AutoCAD laptop. The fact is that this laptop is far from affordable, so it is definitely not a suitable choice for unemployed students, but for seasoned professionals, the hardware configuration of this laptop makes the price a good deal.

On the one hand, the 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor. Add in 16 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM, 512GB of NVMe SSDs, and an awesome NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card, and you have a powerful workstation like no other.

In fact, a single storage space is enough to keep you from deleting or moving your files for a good two years. That’s not the only good thing either. This notebook also features a Full HD display with a high refresh rate and a backlit keyboard. It is also an excellent notebook for SketchUp, ProgeCAD, DraftSight and TurboCAD Pro.

  • 15.6 Display IPS 144Hz
  • Intel Core i7-8750H CPU
  • GeForce GTX 1070 GPU
  • 16 GB DDR4 RAM, 512 GB PCIe SSDs
  • Windows 10 Home OS

How to find the best AutoCADlaptop?

You’ve read the requirements for running AutoCAD on a laptop, as well as our key recommendations for AutoCAD laptops. Now let’s talk about the hardware specifications you need, depending on what version of AutoCAD you want to work with and why you need hardware for these tasks.

Since you mainly work with AutoCAD for your job, a better understanding of the software and how your laptop works will help you choose the right tools to increase your productivity.

Of course, if you’re still a student and work mostly on small projects, you can get by with simpler, less powerful and cheaper laptops.

AutoCAD software

AutoCAD is actually a collective name that includes several AutoDesk products. There are many different versions of AutoCAD, which can be divided into 2D and 3D AutoCAD depending on the hardware requirements.

The original and regular version, AutoCAD, is the one most of us know. With this software you can design and simulate 2D and 3D objects. As such, it is still the most widely used even in the most recent versions, especially in universities, as it is a great and useful way to introduce someone to CAD design.

Other versions of AutoCAD

Other software versions are also used, such as. B. AutoCAD LT, which is slightly less powerful and used primarily for 2D projects, and AutoCAD Electrical, another 2D program used for 2D rendering, schematics, and circuit design.

There is also AutoCAD Architecture, which is equipped with advanced architectural design tools that allow for 3D design with prefabricated objects for models, for example. B. Windows, Walls and Doors. You will also see AutoCAD Civil 3D, which is similar to the previous version, but optimized for landscape, road and river design.

Of course, your laptop purchase must match the version of AutoCAD you want to use. For example, if it is 3D, you need a special graphics card. This allows you to work with 2D and 3D projects. However, if you only need the 2D versions, the integrated GPU will suffice.

Processor

Laptops and desktop processors offer tremendous potential because they are the heart of the computer. There are many Intel and AMD processors on the market, many with faster speeds thanks to smaller transistors and, in other cases, adding additional cores to the processor.

Number of cores counterclockwise

Having multiple cores means you can run different applications at the same time, with each application using a different core. However, since AutoCAD is not optimized for multiple cores, it is best to use the CPU clock speed in GHz, unless you plan to perform multiple tasks with different applications, in which case a quad-core processor is a good idea.

When it comes to choosing a processor, the Intel i7 and AMD Ryzen 5 are among the best options. Note that some Intel and AMD processors have a turbo mode that turns off all unused cores to make active cores run faster. Depending on how you plan to use your laptop, this may or may not be useful.

In addition, if you want to use certain features from Autodesk or third-party rendering engines, you should check whether these elements are multi-threaded, and if so, you should invest in additional cores. Ultimately, the best choice will be a processor with a high clock speed and more cores, but it will also be the most expensive.

Graphics card

The fact is that AutoCAD is not really a graphically sophisticated application, mainly because it creates lines in a 2D environment, with the occasional 3D project. The same goes for other AutoDesk applications such as Revit and 3DS Max, especially in terms of rendering.

So there is no need to invest in a high-end graphics card unless you plan to use the laptop for other, more graphics-intensive tasks, such as gaming. B. Games, to be used. However, the GPU should not be overlooked either. Choose at least one dedicated GPU with 2GB of vRAM for decent performance.

Integrated Graphics Processor

If you’re working on relatively small projects, the prospect of a cheap integrated GPU won’t be too bad. And if you have at least one Core i5 processor and enough RAM, you can even do without an Intel HD card. Unfortunately, this is only about students. If you are a professional, you have no choice but to invest in a dedicated GPU.

Dedicated Graphics Card (dGPU)

The problem actually starts with selecting a dedicated GPU, as many of the available options are not compatible with AutoCAD and the list of compatible models in AutoDesk is not yet complete. This means that you need to do some research to make sure that the graphics processor on the laptop you are looking at can actually run AutoCAD.

RAM

Apart from the processor, the RAM of the laptop is also an important factor that affects the performance. Especially with AutoCAD or something like 3DS Max, you need as much RAM as possible, probably around 16 GB.

While 8GB of RAM should be sufficient for basic CAD work, you will definitely need more RAM for optimal performance, especially when rendering 3D models.

Storage

You probably know that there are two options for laptop storage solutions: hard drives and SSDs. Whatever the criteria, an SSD is always better. First, the read and write speeds of SSDs are significantly higher. They are also lighter, take up less space and discharge the battery less.

DSS are a bit more expensive though. So, if you need enough storage space and can’t invest in a massive SSD, a combination of the two should be viable. Or maybe just buy an external hard drive. It’s really up to you. Be aware that transferring files from your laptop to an external hard drive can be tedious.

SSD (Solid State Drive)

While SSDs are still more expensive than hard drives, the cost differential has steadily narrowed over the years. So there’s no reason not to choose an SSD, especially if you need a fast and reliable way to host your operating system, AutoCAD software and the active projects you’re working on. A hard drive allows you to load files, launch applications and improve system performance in seconds.

Hard disk drive (HDD)

If there’s a trade-off for hard drives, it’s that more memory is easier to find and cheaper to buy. In fact, it is so common to find a 1TB hard drive in modern laptops. That’s why many people choose an SSD combination hard drive.

Display

Don’t forget the quality of the laptop screen, especially if you work with AutoCAD or 3DS Max, because you need good visual effects to work better. At the very least, you can use a Full HD display with IPS technology to enjoy accurate colors, Full HD for wider viewing angles, or even 4K for a better overall experience.

size

If you need a computer for AutoCAD, the smallest you should choose is a 13-inch screen, which is really only suitable for students who aren’t going to spend much time with the software, and even if they do, it will probably be with a huge PC in their department’s computer lab. In fact, you should only buy an 11-inch laptop if you only use it for everyday tasks.

For professionals seriously interested in CAD, a 15-inch laptop will do. If you don’t have any issues with portability, you can also try a 17-inch laptop, but don’t expect to get far with it due to its massive size and weight.

Resolution

The resolution of the screen is just as important as the size of the screen, because it is possible to install more tools in the viewing area, so you can play with more of the area next to the screen. It also means quick access to tools and commands instead of having to click on menus every time you need something.

The good news is that all laptops with dedicated GPUs can easily be equipped with a Full HD or 1080p display at the very least. Now, even though 4K looks like a dream, keep in mind that not only does it cost more, but it’s not optimized for CAD software, so you may have issues with the 4K screen starting with odd tool size and placement.

Operating system

All the CAD laptops we tested in this list are equipped with the Windows operating system, since this is the operating system for which the AutoCAD software is optimized. We have no problems with the Mac, but the simple fact is that it’s not really compatible with most AutoCAD software. So if you don’t want to dual boot your Macbook with Windows, you should stay away from Mac OS.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is AutoCAD more CPU or video intensive?

AutoCAD, like many other similar programs used today, is more dependent on the processor through computation and logical decoding. In fact, even 2D rendering and simulations can be perfectly initiated by the CPU and any integrated GPU.

How much memory do I need to run AutoCAD optimally?

Since AutoCAD comes with several toolsets, including architectural and electrical extensions, not to mention Plant 3D and Map 3D, the general rule of thumb is to invest at least 8 GB of RAM to run the software. However, if you want to multitask or work in a professional environment, 16GB of RAM is the bare minimum.

Why is the graphics card important in AutoCAD?

In most cases, AutoCAD does not require a graphics card, which means that many integrated graphics processors are compatible. However, if you plan to do 3D modeling, photorealistic rendering, meshing and mental ray tracing, you need ray tracing to perform these graphics intensive tasks, and that’s where a GPU, dedicated to God, becomes important.

What is the best processor for advanced use of AutoCAD?

When using AutoCAD, there are several options that processors can work with. One of the best chipsets currently available is the i9-10900K, both in terms of performance and power consumption. All 9th or 10th generation Intel i7s. The generations are also very numerous. In any case, make sure the processor has a substantial base clock speed and an even more impressive turbo clock speed.

Final words

We hope this review and buying guide has helped you find the best laptop for AutoCAD in 2021. Remember, there are many options on the market. So, if you prioritize your needs and requirements, you can find a great CAD laptop within your budget.

Also, keep in mind that buying a laptop is a big investment, so it makes sense to do it right the first time. Don’t be afraid to spend a few extra bucks here and there if you think it will make your life easier at work.

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