Laptops are the most popular kind of electronics right now and are always preferred over desktops and tablets. It is because they’re portable, powerful, and power-efficient.
However, not every laptop is well-suited for all the applications that one can use – and if you’re primarily looking to use AutoCAD, then you must look for laptops with the most powerful hardware possible.
Before I get into the best laptops for running AutoCAD, let me run you through the bare minimums, and then the optimum hardware configurations.
What To Look For In a Laptop For AutoCAD:
Your requirements can differ depending on how intensive you expect your AutoCAD usage to be and of what type (2D or 3D). Nonetheless, something super low end – around the $400-$500 range will not cut it.
Let me help clarify what exactly you’ll need.
Regardless of what company makes the processor (Intel, AMD or Apple), make sure it clocks at least 2.5GHz. Don’t buy anything on the lower end like a Pentium, or even an i3. These are usually too slow for AutoCAD computations.
Any processor that clocks 3Ghz or above gives you buttery smooth performance without any stuttering.
Having a dedicated graphics card is critical – integrated graphics will not suffice unless you wish only to do low-intensity projects in AutoCAD.
If you’re an advanced user, you’ll probably want to look into certified workstation-grade hardware, that’s specifically designed for modeling software like AutoCAD. These components ensure maximum support and reliability – however, for most users, these are unnecessary.
Getting a laptop with a dedicated 1GB GPU is an excellent entry point to using AutoCAD professionally. A 4GB GPU is ideal and is beefy enough to handle even the heaviest of workloads with relative ease.
Having an SSD is crucial to your device’s performance.
SSDs are a lot faster than HDDs, which helps since saving large AutoCAD files takes a lot of time. Having an SSD makes or breaks you in such circumstances.
Most laptops have a slot for installing SSDs. So, even if the laptop doesn’t come with an SSD right out of the box, spending a few dollars on an SSD is well worth it.
Again, this one also depends on your needs. If you’re looking to do basic modeling, 8GB of RAM is good enough.
However, I do recommend having 16GB of RAM if you’re looking for snappy performance.
A Full HD+ display is a minimum resolution you should look for. Getting a laptop with a lower resolution screen will be annoying – since you won’t be able to see all the detail in your project.
I don’t particularly recommend getting a 4K monitor – it’s just not needed. However, you can invest in one if you’re particular about how you like your displays and have a little extra cash.
With all the hardware requirements out of the way, here is a list of laptops, hand-picked to ensure the best AutoCAD performance.
Image and Rating
Name and Features
The display is vibrant, with razor-thin bezels. However, some people find it small at 14″ – especially if they spend most of their time using modeling software all day.
The laptop makes up for size with lightness – it weighs in at 3.2lbs, which is pretty lightweight for the power it packs. The battery life is good and should last you about 7-8 hours.
There are additional slots for RAM and SSD, so memory and storage should not be an issue in the long run.
ASUS has fantastic customer support, and the S410 comes with one-year Accidental Damage Protection. It protects you from damage from spills, surges, drops, and fires.
The GeForce MX150 is decent. It does not have the most powerful graphics card on this list. Nonetheless, it does a great job of supporting the processor when you use AutoCAD.
For most individuals with light modeling needs, this laptop will suffice. However, don’t expect it to be a beast.
The black frame with blue accents makes this laptop look cool. The bezels are a little thick, but the display looks beautiful and is color-rich. The 15.6″ size helps one stay comfortable through the day.
The laptop is heavy – coming in at 7lbs. It’ll be a pain to carry around without the right bag. The battery is all right but won’t last you as long owing to the power-hungry components.
The fans get loud when the device is under load – which is something people tend to find annoying.
The laptop comes with licensed Windows 10 loaded, which is makes it ready for use right out the box.
It also has an SSD slot, which gives it an upgrade path down the line.
For the price, the G3 is a beast and blows some of the higher-priced products out of the water with ease.
The Acer Nitro 5 is a little similar to the G3 both in price and performance.
The RAM is a bit slower than the G3, at 2133MHz (the G3’s RAM clocks 2666MHz). However, this doesn’t make a huge difference in its performance.
Look-wise, the Nitro nails it with the red accents and the red backlighting for the keyboard. It’s based on plastic, but it doesn’t feel cheap.
Because of the SSD, the boot times are faster than the G3. The 1050Ti does give it a performance boost, and the Nitro feels snappier as a result. Temperature regulation is excellent, and even under heavy loads for long hours, the processor doesn’t get any hotter than 70°C.
There are additional RAM, SSD and HDD slots, useful if you’re looking to get a little extra performance out of the laptop or want extra storage.
Overall, the Nitro 5 is the best value for money option on this list – it nails the look, the performance, and the price.
The screen looks sharp, with the bold colors and the thin bezels. The chassis is super sturdy, and the battery is powerful and gives you hours of modeling time before it needs a charge.
The 15.6” size is perfect for modeling – not huge or too tiny. However, with size and features comes added weight, and the GF63 does very poorly in that department, weighing in at a hefty 7.5lbs.
The 8th generation i5 comes coupled with the GTX1650 – from Nvidia’s latest line of GPUs. The device tackles almost every task you throw at it without any stuttering.
The primary drive is an NVMe SSD, which enables swift boot times. There’s another M.2 slot, and a bay for a 2.5″ drive, so you’re free to add an SSD or HDD.
It also has an extra RAM slot, to which I recommend adding in another 8GB of RAM right when you get it.
The device stays surprisingly cool, even after long hours with a heavy workload.
All-in-all, MSI’s GF63 is a great deal.
If you go back and look at the recommended hardware, the G5 seems to fit perfectly and checks all the boxes. The eighth-generation chip, paired with the 1050Ti, does a formidable job and delivers impressive performance.
The laptop has two RAM slots, both of which are occupied by 8GB RAM sticks. However, you’re free to switch to larger RAM at any point by just undoing a few screws.
The device has several ports – it features 3 high-speed USB 3.1 Type-A ports, a 3.1 Type-C port, an HDMI slot, and a card reader.
It also has a backlit keyboard and comes with Windows 10 preinstalled.
Even with all these features, it is comparatively lightweight at 5.5lbs. It feels sturdy and is built to last a long time.
The G5 has everything that a professional AutoCAD user looks for – it delivers staggering computing performance, is reasonably lightweight and has a perfect size.
The display will blow you away. 120Hz displays do make a difference – the laptop feels much more responsive, and navigation looks fluid.
The 6GB graphics card coupled with the Ryzen 7 chipset offers insane performance on AutoCAD. 3D modeling and rendering are straightforward and super-fast, and saving doesn’t take much time thanks to the PCIe SSD.
The TUF has gigabit Wi-Fi, which makes uploading or downloading huge files ultra-fast – making data transfers less of a chore for AutoCAD teams.
The laptop is weighty (8lbs!). Carrying it around may be difficult.
It comes with licensed Windows 10 and has all the required drivers already installed. The components are startlingly power-hungry, and the battery lasts only about an hour and a half under heavy load.
The laptop is not one that you should carry around without a charger. However, performance-wise it’s a beast and tough to beat.
The 9th generation i7 processor coupled with the latest 1660 Ti, make this laptop a perfect option for any modeling.
Although it just has a single SSD, the laptop also has another slot for a second SSD and a hard drive bay in case you’re looking for an upgrade.
The bezels are thin, which give it a sleek feel when you use it. The bright backlit keyboard completes the chassis.
The Helios 300 is the heaviest laptop on the list, coming in at a massive 9lbs! Therefore, carrying it around may burn more calories than you might think.
The chassis is made out of military-grade metal, making the laptop super sturdy. It’s bound to catch some eyes with RGB lighting on the back, and also on the keyboard.
Even with all the power it packs, the 15.6″ laptop manages to stay reasonably light at 4.63lbs. The battery life is average and lasts a little over 2 hours.
The screen is curved, landing a great first impression. However, it begins to bleed in after a few days of use, which is terrible. It is the Zephyrus’s only downside; the blacks on the screen look bad.
The RAM is soldered on, meaning that it cannot be removed. It does, however, have one extra RAM slot.
It also has only one SSD bay, and you cannot add any other drives to this laptop – you can only replace the original one.
Overall, Zephyrus is a powerful machine. However, it does have minimal upgrade possibilities.
All the laptops on this list are beasts in their own right and can run most applications and even HD games fairly well.
Depending on how aggressive of a user you are, if you’re looking to get into modeling or are already a power-user, one of the laptops on this list will surely fit your palette just right. Now all that is left for you to do is pick what you like best!
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