If you want to use your laptop for rendering, image drafting, and 3D modeling then buy a computer that is more professional. Computer-aided design is a profession that uses many resources. Usually, it includes drawing with 2D and 3D drawings. It also includes mechanical drafting and scaling machines based on specified measurements.
Many CAD applications are processor-intensive and utilize single-core proficiency. Do not worry about the performance of the GPU if you do not need rendering and simulation tools like KeyShot and Ansys.
Unlike 3D modeling and graphic design, CAD layouts do not need detailed textures. Some people say that they should convert their drawings to images. Other people say that they should not. 3D modeling is the most important step before building. You do it on a computer.
You need to choose the right software before you can start designing. CAD and Digital Content Creation tools are popular. You can use Maya, Blender, Cinema 4D, and more for animation. There is CAD software for every need.
If you prefer drawings that are more mathematically designed, try these software. If you are thinking about buying a notebook computer, then there are some things to think about.
If you want things to happen more quickly, at least get a quad-core processor. The first thing to do is get a powerful computer. You can use that for AutoCAD.
The i7 H or HK series is better for CAD-centric tasks. The Xeon processor is good for CAD but not for other uses. For the hard workers, HK-series laptops offer overclocking support.
Some 3D applications use special rendering algorithms. These might need more RAM. 8GB of RAM is enough for 2D workflows, but not 3D ones. Make sure to get a lot of memory. It might be the one thing that limits your notebook.
One final thing to think about is how big the storage space is on your gadgets. Bigger is better. You should also look for displays that are wider and screens that have a lot of color. Thunderbolt 3 ports are good too if you use CAD software professionally.
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
However, if your computer has the recommended or better hardware specs, it can handle professional CAD and CAM tasks. Laptops need to meet certain requirements. They usually correspond to 2D drawings and basic 3D modeling without relying on real-time and photorealistic 3D rendering.
Best Laptops for CAD in 2021
The specifications vary depending on what skills the person has. This is why it's important to be careful when you are choosing a laptop. Furthermore, there are many CAM and CAD resources. They are different and they need a specific set of specifications before they can work efficiently.
We tested 41 notebooks. We found 13 models that are most similar to what you want. There are many types of laptops that fit the needs of different people. Some may be cheaper, or easy to take with you. Others may have more professional features like a design studio or support center.
1. Best Overall: Razer Blade 15 Studio
This laptop is not a workstation. It is for people who are interested in buying a laptop that is nicer than most. The Razer Blade 15 Studio is one of the best laptops to run CAD applications.
The Intel Core i7-10875H CPU is the same as the previous generation CPUs and it has some new features. It has Hyper-threading, VPro and Turbo Boost technology. This 8700K processor is powerful. It can handle many types of 2D, 3D and parametric modeling with ease. This makes it a good option for computers that need to do rendering and simulations because it is reliable.
The NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 GPU is recommended for engineers who are not using software like Blender, Maya, or Revit. This device is future-proof. It has an octa-core or 16 thread architecture.
This graphics module is one of the faster modules available, with 3072 CUDA cores. This laptop has the best graphics card. The graphics card is made by Nvidia and it comes with 16GB of memory. It also has technology for helping you see better, called RTRT and DLSS.
This configuration of the gadget makes it easy to do big projects, hard textures, and on-site rendering without disrupting the system. The laptop has a 1TB SSD. The SSD is faster than your regular hard drive because it has support for something called NVMe. The Blade 15 Studio Edition's RAM is 16GB and it can process data at 2933MHz.
This phone has an extra-strong screen. It is the best in the world because it has a color on it that other screens don't have. LG used an OLED screen to make viewing the TV more enjoyable and accurate. This is a powerful workstation that has a big screen. It has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. The screen is really big and strong.
The Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition is very light. It's only 4.9 pounds (2.2 kg). Traditional coolants, like water and air, have a limited cooling capacity. It can be hard to manage the heat they make. If you like gadgets and want a more productive computer, then the keyboard with backlit keys, integrated webcam, and speakers are perfect.
The Razer Blade is thin and it has Thunderbolt 3, USB Type C and Wi-Fi 6. This will help you set up a professional workstation.
In real life, you shouldn't use your phone for more than 3-4 hours at a time when doing other things. The device is good. The battery lasts for 5.5 hours. This is enough because it has an OLED screen, 10th generation processor, and the most powerful mobile processor in it.
If you have a lot of money, this device would be for you because it can do many things.
2. Best Runner Up: HP Zbook Studio G7
The HP Zbook Studio G7 is a great laptop that can hold lots of information.
The NVIDIA Quadro T1000 GPU is an entry-level module for workstations. You get a computer with a fast processor. It can speed up to 5.3GHz. The 8-core processor is still capable of handling most CAD applications that require 2D and 3D drafting skills.
VRAM of 4GB is enough to handle more complicated 3D textures. This is a good card for CAD. It has 384 CUDA cores and Pascal architecture, and you will see things more accurately.
This is a powerful computer. It can do many things. This device is not the most powerful for 4K video editing, data science, and game development. But it is still fast.
The LG monitor has a good viewing angle and a good color accuracy. It is good for text visibility. This laptop is good for displaying things. It has a screen that is 15.6 inches wide and a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The HP dual-storage module has 1TB SSDs for when you need to store data quickly, but it also has the Windows 10 Pro operating system!
The Zbook Studio G7 is light. It is one of the lightest workstations in broad retail space. HP also has a keyboard that lights up. It is easy to find the right key because of the light. There are two microphones that make it easy to speak to people on video chat even if there is noise around you. The computer also has a webcam and fingerprint scanner so you can log in using your finger instead of typing in a password HP made a strange decision when they made HPs new computer. They took out the Type-A and HDMI 2.0 ports. We don't know why. But it does have a lot of other stuff that is good, like Type-C, Thunderbolt 3, DP 1.4 support, and various legacy slots.
It has WiFi and Bluetooth. The battery on the Zbook Studio G7 lasts for a long time. It is one of the best laptops to buy.
3. Best Gaming Laptop: ROG Strix G15
If you need a CAD-friendly workstation, the ROG Strix G15 is perfect. You should think about what's best for you. Powerful laptops might be good for work and CAD.
The turbo boost will be helpful if you need to deal with single-threaded CAD processes. The CPU in this computer is an Intel Core i7-10750H with turbo boost clock speeds of up to 5GHz. The potential for this device is high because it has a Hyperthreading feature. This means that if AutoDesk starts using multi-core architecture, the potential for this device will get even higher.
Graphics are made by the new and powerful NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 GPU. It has 8GB of VRAM. In the tests we conducted, it didn't do as well as other devices. But the experience was better than many gaming laptops for a comparable price. It is important to know that this card is for playing games. It does not have as much math on it and can't be used for those things.
The 1TB solid state drive is enough storage for a mid-level professional. Windows 10 Home OS is a great option for CAD tools. It's compatible with the best CAD tools and applications that are available. The 16GB RAM on the laptop helps manage more complex 3D models. It is good if you want to use a VRAY and other renderers.
If you play video games, the 240Hz refresh rate and 3ms overdrive response time may be helpful. The Pantone-certified display is one of the highlights of this notebook. It has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.
This gadget is only 5.28 pounds and it has very many features to offer. This device has a lot of features. It has a webcam, speakers and microphones. The Asus VivoBook Pro has a keyboard. You can change the color of it if you want to.
All in all, this game system can also do CAD. It is a good resource. The Asus now includes the latest USB and fast Wi-Fi. It has many other options too. The battery in this laptop is good. It lasts for 5.5 hours when you are using the laptop on standard settings. Other high-end laptops don't last that long.
4. Best For Designers: MSI GL65 Leopard
This laptop is good for playing games. You can't run CAD on this laptop well, but you can play games.
This laptop has an Intel Core i7-10750H chipset. The processor can reach speeds of 5 GHz, which makes it a good choice for single-threaded processes. This computer has six things that are CPU's. It also has one GPU, which is a video card. We put 8GB of RAM in the computer to make it faster.
This machine can be used for games like PUBG, Fortnite and SIMS 4 or other tasks. This graphics card is great for projects that need a lot of graphical power. It can be used with programs like AutoCAD and SolidWorks.
You can use the dual-channel 16GB RAM module for projects that are complex and on-premise modeling. Storage-wise, it is the 512GB SSD that does most of the work. Windows 10 Home OS and appropriate CAD applications are on this hard drive.
A backlit keyboard will help you write. It can stop ghosts from going in your computer. This 1080p monitor displays well because other monitors by Samsung are also good. MSI puts a price on the 15.6-inch display that is 72% NTSC color gamut and 100% sRGB colors.
The ThinkPad P52 has a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port and an additional slot for connecting legacy devices. Lenovo has a laptop with a HD webcam, speakers, and sleek design. The 5th generation of Cooler Boost technology makes it new.
This laptop is good. It's worth thinking about. The thermal hardware made the laptop very thick. It was almost 5 pounds. The battery life of the product was not good. You can only use it for 5 hours.
5. Best 17-inch Display: HP Omen 17
The HP Omen 17 is not the best for people who are new to CAD or executives. It is better for people who do mid-level work in manufacturing.
The Intel Core i7-9750H is a powerful processor. In case you want to use Mental Ray or VRay, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card can provide enough processing power. You can use TinkerCAD or CAM resources with Fusion 360 to create beginner CAD layouts. It's fast because the turbo clock speed is 4.6GHz.
The 512GB SSD may seem like enough storage. Kingston's memory kit is good because it lets you add more RAM if needed. If you work on projects and tasks, you may need a 16GB module. But it is more difficult than if you had more memory. This is a digital device. It has 8 GB of memory. You can use it to do 3D modeling and advanced rendering applications like CAD.
1080p is a high quality screen. It is good for gaming because it has the screen refresh rate of 144Hz. If you are looking to use a Windows 10 Home OS, it is worth noting that this interface is very reliable. This laptop has a screen that is 17.3 inches wide and is made of thin pieces. This means you can see the whole screen at once no matter where you are in front of it. The screen also has lights inside so you can see it better when there are other lights around.
As a matter of fact, the Omen 17 is more like a desktop replacement since it weighs 6.43 pounds. The EliteBook x360 has many features that will help you be more productive. These include: a VR-ready interface; amplified DTS: X speakers; backlit keyboard with 4-zone anti-ghosting compatibility and cooling.
When you want to connect two or more devices or a lot of data, use HDMI 2.0 and other specs. Gamers should also know that this gadget includes the G-SYNC feature, which ensures that your fps are never above allowed standards.
You should get a new laptop. You could also buy the HP Omen 17. The battery in this phone lasts for a long time because it has a lot of space. (or) The battery in this phone lasts 5.5 hours, and is not limited by its screen size.
6. Best with RTX 2060: MSI P65 Creator
The MSI P65 Creator is a device that can help you create things. It has more than CAD, which is good for you. If you use CAD software, 3D modeling, and photorealistic rendering as a majority of your work, then commercial-grade laptops would be better than the P65 Creator.
In addition to these features, Intel's new 9th gen H-series chipsets are also a great choice. A majority of CAD processes are single-threaded, which is why Intel's turbo boost clock speed will come in handy. This notebook does not include a CAD license. But we will talk about the process and software in this review as if one was purchased. If you work with CREO, AutoCAD, or SolidWorks and need to cover specific processes then the hexa-core architecture will be very useful.
You need more than 6GB of video RAM to use AutoCAD or SolidWorks. The RTX 2060 is a high-end GPU from MSI. It has 6GB of VRAM. If you are more into 3D modeling, AI-enhanced professional indulgences and architectural rendering, then a graphics accelerator card is enough.
Our favorite part of the laptop is its RAM. The machine has a lot of system memory to store programs. This means that the machine does not slow down when you are using it, even if you have many programs open. DDR4 is good for people who use programs like Solid Modeling, Weldments, and Computations. It will help make the program run faster. This computer has one terabyte of space on an SSD. This is a good way to store projects and load the Windows 10 operating system quickly.
This device has a 4K display. Besides, the screen has a lot of space. These monitors have good screens. They are standard but they have the best resolution.
Moreover, the thermal design is more minimalistic and relies heavily on symmetrical fan placement. The MSI P65 Creator weighs just 4.20 pounds, even with all the features. MSI has a good keyboard. It has a smooth trackpad, stereo speakers, and a fingerprint scanner. These are all good things for when you do work. The webcam is also important so that you can see your team if they are not there with you.
A TB3 port is a high-speed data transfer and networking port. Furthermore, the wired connection offers GigE with WiFi 5 standard. This laptop is powerful and has a wide range of connectivity. It has Mini DisplayPort, 3 Type-A slots, HDMI, Ethernet and the elusive Thunderbolt 3 Port.
MSI GT83 Titan is a laptop that can handle VR, but for some programs it can be hard to use. The MSI P65 Creator is a laptop that is great for people who want to design. They need to have a 4K display, but it is one of the best laptops.
7. Best from DELL: Alienware M15
The new M15 is lighter than other gaming laptops. It is one of the lightest ones on the list.
The M15 is a gaming laptop. It can also do work-related tasks with the help of its Intel Core i7-9750H processor. The CPU is able to run at speeds up to 4.6GHz even though the hexa-core architecture ensures that CED requirements for the future can be met.
Graphics are handled by the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, with 6GB VRAM. This software has helped me with the view of my CAD and BIM projects. It is for making it easy to see things in real time.
An integrated RAM is 16GB and they are what help the processing conglomerate. The PCIe NVMe SSD is very fast and has plenty of space. It lets Windows 10 Home load and work much faster than a HDD.
The screen is 15.6 inches and has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Gamers can use a 144-hertz refresh rate on their TVs, which will make their gameplay smooth. The new IPS display is an excellent choice for professional creators. It has a 72% NTSC color gamut and 300-nit brightness.
The m15 CPU cooler is very good because it has an innovative design that keeps the computer cool. The Alienware has a 1.7mm key on the keyboard and a touchpad. It is also loud, has speakers, eye-tracking technology, and overclocking support.
The computer's chassis is made of lightweight metal. However, it still has a lot of heat coming out. As far as the port management is concerned, people can use a Mini display-connector (MIDI), high definition multimedia interface 2.0, and other slots for external devices and data transfer.
In a 6-hour emergency, your car will not work. Despite the small problems, laptop computers like the Alienware m15 are still popular. They are good for making CAD drawings because they work with them.
8. Best Budget-Friendly: Acer Predator Helios 300
Regardless of the professional intricacies at play, this computer is powerful enough to handle even the most demanding tasks.
This laptop has a new, fast processor. It can run up to five times as fast. This 10th generation CPU can process multiple-core CAD processes, such as a few rendering tasks.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU with six GB of VRAM is good for multitasking. It can also help your computer to do real-time rendering and Ray Tracing 3D jobs.
The dual-channel module offers 16GB of RAM to work with. NVMe-compatible solid-state drives are able to store up to 512GB. This is good because it makes storage easier.
The SSD unit is very fast and loads Windows 10 and demanding apps like SolidWorks and AutoCAD in no time. If you need more storage space, there is a slot for an M.2 (this is one of the newest types of computer storage) and a place to store your hard drive. The $1,399 laptop has a good display. It is 15.6 inches and it has a wide angle view.
The Acer PredatorSense UI has lots of fun features. It lets you work and play. Acer has a lot of nice features. There is 4 different zones on the keyboard, and a high definition webcam. It also has good speakers and cooling system for your laptop.
The battery on display is a 6-hour backup. The device itself supports USB charging. This is a heavy gadget but it still has power. Furthermore, the connectivity suite does not have a lot of features. You should buy the Acer laptop because it has many ports.
People like to play tennis because it is a popular sport among amateur, collegiate, and professional athletes. The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a laptop that can do many things, but it is not the best one.
9. Best Workstation: Lenovo ThinkPad P52s
In case you do not want to spend a lot of money on gaming resources, the Lenovo ThinkPad P52s is a perfect laptop and workstation for purchase.
This laptop has a fast processor and it isn't expensive.
Although there are low-power processors with manageable TDP levels, it doesn't matter because the processors in computers for CAD (a type of design software) don't care about that. The new NVIDIA Quadro P500 GPU is connected to the existing chipset. It can have 384 shaders and a 64-bit data bus.
This workstation is good for people that do complex projects. It has a lot of RAM and strong graphics. They offer a 1TB Solid State Drive. This is faster and better for storing files and loading programs than other hard drives. The featured GPU uses the Pascal architecture. That means that it will work well, but you need to make sure to keep 2GB free for VRAM if you are using it for VR.
This monitor has a 1080p high-quality screen. It is easy to see and colors are not too bright or too dark. This machine is 15.6' across the diagonal and has some power-efficient LED backlighting technology. Lenovo's computers have a full-sized keyboard with backlighting, powerful speakers, and a webcam which is 720p.
The Lenovo ThinkPad P52s is very light. It weighs 4-and-a-half pounds. This laptop has a lot of good ports. One is called Thunderbolt 3. It's like a mouse that plugs into your computer.
Lenovo likes gadgets that last 9 hours without charging. The Lenovo P52s is the best laptop for work if you want one that you can take with you.
10. Best with MacOS: Apple MacBook Pro
The latest Macs are good for using. They might not be the best for CAD operations. You can get a trial of Fusion360, LibreCAD, and CorelCAD for free. You can also use AutoCAD.
Apple's newest Mac has a VRAM to support productivity. It is a good computer because you can use it for many purposes. It has a fast speed, and this helps the CAD-centric tasks. Intel's Core i7-9750H is a very powerful processor.
The 512 GB SSD module handles storage-centric requirements. Apple's newest operating system, macOS Catalina, is fast when it starts up. You can do two things at the same time because this computer has 16GB of RAM.
If you are using AutoCAD with Bootcamp or Virtualization, this SSD will make it faster.
The phone has a wide color gamut and can be viewed from many angles. Apple has made this screen easier to see and more vibrant with a high-resolution of 300PPI. The MacBook Pro has cool features and you like the keyboard. It is easy to type with just a touch. Shortcuts show up onscreen at just the right time.
A lack of a thermal layout doesn't stop this laptop from being cooled. This notebook is the most beautiful to look at. It weighs 4.30 pounds. The laptop has four ports. They allow you to do things like transfer data from one place to another. The data can go at a very fast speed - 48gps!
This MacBook Pro is very good. It can do CAD and its battery lasts for 11 hours.
11. Best Value For Money: Gigabyte AERO 15
If you want a laptop that is good for most things, get a GigaByte AERO 15. It has an excellent display, it is very portable, and it also has a productivity suite.
We designed the whole model to be able to do 3D design and modeling. Gigabyte has put in the Intel Core i7-9750H so that the computer can process a new level. The CPU has speeds of up to 4.6 GHz and the graphics card has 6GB of high-speed VRAM.
Intel's 760p-series SSD is very efficient and does not have any performance issues. You need a 16GB RAM module to support the CPU-GPU association. The processing speed is 2666MHz. GigaByte makes room for Samsung's DRAM memory module and follows up with an NVMe-compatible, 512 GB solid state drive.
The screen is very beautiful and exciting. It has a color that is both beautiful and exciting. The laptop screen is a 15.6-inch AMOLED screen with 3840 x 2160 pixels. The backlit keyboard can be used when it is dark to type, and the interactive interface and fingerprint scanner are easy to use.
This computer has technology that will make sound louder and cool your home better. Plus it is light and can still be strong.
This notebook has a battery life of 5 hours. The AERO 15 has many different ports. It can charge your phone and it can be plugged into a computer with the USB port. Wi-Fi 6 and Killer E2600 Ethernet driver make connectivity not a problem.
The most popular notebook is the AERO 15 made by GigaByte. It has good color and is affordable for consumers.
12. Best with Dual Storage: Dell G5 15
The Dell G5 15 is good for CAD-centric applications. It is a good gaming laptop too.
The Intel Core i7-9750H processor offers the advantage of HyperThreading technology and an exceptional clock speed. The GeForce GTX 1650 is good for 3D rendering. It has 4GB of RAM, which is better than most cards, and it also has a Turing architecture that lets your computer render even faster.
This is a good notebook to store things in. It has two storage areas. Dell uses RAM that is 16GB. They use it to do cool stuff, like designing and storing things for the processor. Install the demanding CAD app and Windows 10 on the SSD. Put your files on the hard disk drive.
Dell comes with a screen that is 15.6 inches. And it is anti-glare, too. The screen size of a computer depends on the model and the price, but you can expect to have more space than you know what to do with. Dell has the best keyboards, speakers, and desktops.
This laptop has a Thunderbolt 3 port. It also has an HDMI 2.0, USB 3.1 port, and RJ45 output. The best part about this laptop is that it has two fans. These help keep the laptop cool when you do hard things on it. Dell is not very light and easy to carry because it weighs 3.07 pounds.
The Dell G5 15 is a great laptop. It has advanced cooling tech and dual storage. The battery on offer can work for 7.5 hours. That's more than enough time for an advanced phone.
13. Cheapest Laptop: Lenovo IdeaPad L340
If you are someone who wants to learn about 2D and 3D layouts on a laptop, the IdeaPad L340 is the perfect machine.
A GeForce GTX 1650 GPU has 4GB of video RAM. The quad-core processor is able to do all the basic CAD operations well. This computer uses a powerful Intel Core i5-9300H processor. It can do things quickly.
Lenovo laptops have 8GB of RAM to process data and media faster than ever. It is possible to store projects, CAD software, and Windows 10 OS on a 512GB SSD module or NVMe support.
Lenovo's new phone is better than others because it does not make your eyes feel bad. The IdeaPad L340 has a screen that is 16 inches across. It is color-accurate, and it shows colors well. The 1080p (or higher) display is the best because it has an In-Plane Switching technology. This means that you can see the picture from any angle and it will be sharp.
This gadget is 4.84 pounds and works when you use it with a battery. You can use it for up to 6.5 hours on moderate usage, or less if you need it more often. Lenovo has a standard keyboard for powerful productivity. It also has good speakers and a thermal design that makes it perfect for professional use.
For people who do not know CAD, the Ideapad L340 is a good machine. It is easy to use and it does not cost much. The connectivity solution is robust. It has Type-A USB 3.1, HDMI 2.0, and Wi-Fi 5 available options.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a CAD workstation?
If you are into product manufacturing, the best option for you would be to invest in a workstation. A CAD workstation is a computer for making drawings. It has powerful processors, like VPro or Radeon Pro. They can do a lot of things. They are very smart. They can use the computer to make layouts with good code and hard drives that fix mistakes.
Why do you need a higher chunk of RAM for CAD operations?
Unless you are into 3D sculpting and DCC programs. Most tasks can be best addressed with a minimum system memory of 16GB. When you use a CAD design, it may be easier if you have more RAM. When it comes to the design of CAD, RAM can be the bottleneck. If you only work with 2D drawings and basic 3D modeling, then 8GB RAM is enough.
What are the benefits of opting for workstation-grade GPUs over consumer-grade ones for CAD operations?
Consumer-grade graphics cards are not very good at math. They are better than a person with no card because they can make bigger frames and work faster than people without them. Workstation GPUs are computers for work. They have a lot of power. The Quadro P600 and RX5000 can be used to do things like CAD, CAM, or 3D modeling and they have ECC support for high polygon geometries.
What is the best storage configuration for CAD operations?
Professionals are advised to use a dual storage module so they can work continuously. The first hard drive should always be an SSD. It will make your computer start faster and load things quickly. The hard drive must also be big enough to store your projects and other files. It is better to buy a laptop with slots where you can put more memory in. You should also get a laptop that has space for a hard drive. This way, you can have more storage space.
What is the best display size for running CAD applications?
Larger and older notebooks are best for running CAD applications. They have more space to store the data that you need.
There are no set rules if you want to buy a gadget for Computer-Aided Design. Tasks like modeling and rendering are done with a notebook. But if you need to do heavy duty renderings, then you should use either CAD or BIM/DCC station for your workstation.
Therefore, each of these gadgets has a different purpose. They are based on how you want to use them and what your budget is. According to our experts, ____________________.
We might have the right website for you. If you have questions about what laptop to buy, please send us your question. We will help you decide which one is right for you.