Mechanical engineers, architects, and students learning construction planning and graphic design need top-quality design software. Despite being one of the oldest design and architect programs, Autocad is an advanced tool that streamlines your design and is essential for anyone in the industry.
While Autocad has everything a designer needs, this automated solution is often used in conjunction with other software. For professional architects who are working on infrastructure and prototyping projects, a laptop that supports Autocad and other similar software is a must. Autocad is typically used with Blender, SolidWorks, KeyShot, and other such designing solutions.
So what is the best laptop for Autocad? We will cover the best laptops for this program later, but first, let’s take a closer look at this software.
What is Autocad?
Gone are the days when architects have to spend days drawing designs by hand. Today, the latest software applications make it a whole lot easier for designers to draw 2D and 3D models on their laptop and collect the blueprints easily. Autocad is one such interior and graphic designing software application that comes packed with a broad range of tools.
Launched by Autodesk, Autocad is a designing application that is used by mechanical engineers, graphic designers, game developers, architects, and project managers. The software runs on the latest Windows as well as previous versions. This designing and prototyping software is mainly used for drawing blueprints of buildings, roads, residential and commercial properties, and bridges. Most modern homes are designed using this automated designing software.
The use of this software isn’t limited to construction: Autocad has a large number of applications. It has become the developer’s best choice for graphic designing, such as logos, business cards, marketing posters, invitation cards, and more. People can also use it to create unique characters for their video games. You can save your designs, import them to your laptop for easy access, and get a printout of your designs in one click.
Requirements for Autocad
Autocad was launched in 1982, meaning that the software was originally designed for older-style processors and Windows. However, developers are continually updating the program to offer new and exciting features to designers. These updates have transformed Autocad into a graphics-intensive application.
You need a latest-gen processor and high RAM to be able to run Autocad on your laptop. Many PCs support Autocad, but professional designers and even students prefer a portable laptop. In order to choose the best laptop for Autocad, you need to know this application’s minimum requirements.
Here are the basic requirements you’ll need to run Autocad software on your laptop:
• CPU: You need an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor for Autocad.
• RAM: Autocad software runs well on a laptop with 8GB RAM. However, this RAM will not allow multitasking and heavy-graphics software. If you try to run multiple apps alongside Autocad, then chances are the apps will lag, so you need 16GB RAM for multitasking.
• Battery: The minimum battery life for Autocad is four to five hours, but you should look for a better option if you are planning to sit in front of the laptop for hours. You don’t want to have to carry a laptop charger and look for the power outlets everywhere you go.
• Storage: Fortunately, you do not need excessive storage for this design program. 256GB SSD storage will do.
• GPU: A graphics card isn’t necessary for Autocad as this software does not rely on the GPU. The minimum VRAM you need for this software is 128mb, which is available on any laptop. However, if you would like to use your laptop for video gaming and other graphic-intensive applications, then invest in a laptop featuring a dedicated GPU.
1. Asus ROG Zephyrus M Thin
Project managers and architects look for multiple computing resources to make the best of Autocad software. However, showing your designs on a PC or a different device to your audience or clients can be quite inconvenient. The Asus ROG Zephyrus M Thin laptop is a portable model that is packed with feature and will give you the best and comfortable drawing and designing experience.
Processor and RAM
Powered by an Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, the Asus ROG Zephyrus delivers excellent performance for CPU-intensive tasks. This latest-gen processor combined with 16GB RAM allows users to run multiple apps on Windows simultaneously. The processor is strong enough to support drawing, designing, database storage, 2D and 3D modelling, and layering seamlessly.
GPU and Storage
You don’t need a powerful GPU to run Autocad on your laptop. However, the Asus ROG Zephyrus comes equipped with Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card that can support graphics-intensive apps, such as video games. The graphics card has 8GB VRAM, which is sufficient to run heavy-graphics software on your laptop. If you want an Autocad workstation cum a gaming laptop, then the Asus ROG Zephyrus M Thin is the best laptop for you. Besides that, you will need a powerful GPU for SolidWorks, Ansys, Blender, and other such 3D modelling and graphic designing apps.
1TB SSD storage ensures that you get a high-speed performance for software applications and video games on this laptop. You can load multiple files, apps, software systems, and even practice virtualization for a smoother designing and drafting experience.
The 15.6-inches display with 1080p resolution enhances your experience with this model. Other hardware components installed on this laptop include a backlit and super comfortable keyboard, digital microphones, audible and loudspeakers, and a webcam. Its best feature is the innovative cooling system. Asus ROG Zephyrus M Thin offers anti-dust cooling technology that keeps your system cool even when under heavy use.
As the name suggests, the Asus ROG Zephyrus M Thin features a sleek and light chassis. This model weighs 4.4 pounds, which makes it a highly portable laptop meaning you can carry this unit around to execute your drawing and drafting tasks on the go. The battery of this unit can last for up to six hours.
2. MSI GS65 Stealth 006
A perfect laptop for 2D and 3D modelling doesn’t only have the best specs, but it also excels when it comes to portability and the overall design. If you need to use Autocad software on the go, then the MSI GS65 Stealth 006 is a laptop that will help you achieve the highest levels of productivity. Its innovative design and top specifications make it the ultimate option for your designing and drafting needs.
CPU and RAM
The unit comes with an Intel Core i7-8750H processor that can handle complex designing and prototyping jobs seamlessly. The MSI GS65 Stealth features 16GB of RAM, which is more than enough for handling multiple tasks. If the RAM isn’t enough to convince you, the unit has 512GB SSD memory that speeds up your file, apps, and software loading speed. The adequate RAM and powerful CPU guarantee uninterrupted Autocad performance.
Display and Specs
This model sports a 15.6-inch display that allows you to execute mesh modelling and drafting. You can set the resolution to 1080pixels. The laptop features anti-glare technology that reduces eye-straining and unnecessary headaches. The keypad is smooth and comfortable with the backlit keys. One quality that every user will appreciate in the MSI GS65 Stealth 006 is its powerful Whirlwind fans combined with Cooler Boost technology.
Design-wise, MSI has done a great job. This unit features a sleek chassis weighing only 4.19 pounds. However, the model doesn’t support many connectivity options. It comes with the standard connectivity ports, including a USB port and Thunderbolt. The battery gives a remarkable performance, capable of running for eight hours straight. If you are looking for a model that allows you to enjoy a seamless designing and drafting experience on Autocad, then the MSI GS65 Stealth 006 is a good option.
3. Lenovo ThinkPad P52s
Powered by an Intel Core i7-8550U processor, the Lenovo ThinkPad P52s is another model that can cater to your drawing, drafting, prototyping, designing, and 2D & 3D modelling requirements. This model comes equipped with the integrated Nvidia Quadro P500 Graphics card. The 2GB VRAM with 384 shades makes this GPU compatible with all kinds of graphic designing applications and CAD software systems. Its powerful graphics card also helps apply different effects to your design.
Running multiple tabs on your browser is never going to be an issue with 16GB integrated RAM combined with 512GB Solid-state Drive memory. Its adequate RAM and considerable storage guarantees fast-loading and seamless performance. You can load Autocad, Blender SolidWorks, and other such apps on your laptop without lag. You could even run video games and play music in the background while drafting and prototyping on Autocad.
Design and Specifications
The Lenovo ThinkPad P52s sports a 15.6-inch display with 1080p resolution. The manufacturer has added an LED-backlit panel that improves battery performance. Hardware components include a backlit keyboard with well-spaced keys, a fingerprint sensor, and an HD web camera.
For interior or graphic designers and architects who travel frequently, Lenovo ThinkPad P52s can be your best travel companion. Weighing only 4.3 pounds, you can pack this unit in a small laptop case and easily carry it with you. Lenovo has added multiple ports for higher productivity: you get USB Type-A and C ports, Thunderbolt, and HDMI connectivity slots.
The only drawback is the poor battery performance. The battery can last up to four hours (maximum) under moderate use. If you want to play video games and run multiple apps in the background, then you will need to charge the laptop frequently. Overall, this laptop covers all the essential specs needed for Autocad and other advanced designing apps.
4. Razer Blade 15
The Razer Blade 15 is a gaming notebook that’s designed mainly for video gaming fans. Its specifications match all requirements for Autocad and other designing software. You can perform drawing, drafting, prototyping, and even 3D modelling on this model.
The Razer Blade 15 is powered by a strong Intel Core i7-9750H processor and 16GB built-in RAM that enables users to run multiple tabs on the browser at once. It comes equipped with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card that is designed to handle scanning, navigation, and prototyping tasks seamlessly. The GPU features 8GB RAM, which is more than enough for graphics-intensive apps and games. The 16GB RAM works in conjunction with the 512GB SSD storage that loads large files and heavy applications with precision.
The 15.6-inch full HD display allows users to get clear textures and design patterns. Like its siblings, the Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop features the RGB Backlit keyboard. The keys are smooth and well-spaced. The model features advanced cooling technology with a strong set of speakers and a webcam. The model weighs 4.63 pounds, which is handy for business travellers. The battery can last for six hours under moderate use. It also has a decent number of connectivity ports.
5. Dell G5 15
If you are looking for a CAD-centric come video gaming laptop, then the Dell G5 15 is perfect for you. Its Intel Core i7-9750H delivers excellent performance in terms of handling resource-centric apps and software systems.
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card featuring 4GB video RAM enables users to make 3D models and perform prototyping on Autocad easily. The GPU might not be needed for Autocad, but it can help you run a plethora of heavy-graphics designing software apps.
Next, we have 16GB integrated RAM that can handle multitasking seamlessly. One interesting quality that caught our attention in the Dell G5 15 is the dual-storage unit. It features a 256GB solid-state drive memory coupled with a 1TB HDD memory.
Anti-glare technology prevents eye-strain and you can run CAD software and other apps on this 15.6-inch display with 1080p resolution for hours. Dell has added a smooth and sleek touchpad, a powerful set of speakers, and a webcam.
The model comes with advanced cooling technology. Coming to the drawbacks, it seems like the manufacturer has compromised the aesthetics for its performance. The Dell G5 15 weighs six pounds, making it a little heavy for travellers and professional users.
The model has multiple connectivity options, including YSB slots, Thunderbolt, headphone jack, and a card reader and it supports a wireless connection. The standard battery life is eight hours under moderate use. You can also use this unit for video gaming and graphic-intensive applications.
Tips and Tricks for Buying a Laptop for Autocad
Not all laptops are designed to support drawing, prototyping, drafting, and 3D modelling. Even students who are majoring in architect or interior designing must invest in a CAD-compatible laptop.
You don’t have to opt for a laptop that only meets the minimum requirement criteria. You will probably need to upgrade your processor or unit in the future. So, it’s better to spend a few extra bucks and purchase a high-quality and premium laptop rather than settling for a decent model. Here are some tips for buying the best laptop for Autocad.
Focus on the CPU, not GPU
Autocad is a CPU-intensive software app that can run without a dedicated GPU. You need to focus more on the processor and RAM of the laptop when it comes to Autocad and other such CPU-intensive applications.
You need a laptop with at least 16GB RAM if you plan on running multiple designing and prototyping applications at once. For smooth and fast operation, we recommend a laptop with the Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB RAM.
Design and Aesthetic is Important
You can’t carry a PC or extremely heavy laptop around. For professional graphic designers and architects, a portable and sleek laptop is a good investment.
Consider other Specs
As an architect or engineer, your requirements aren’t limited to a CAD-compatible laptop. For the best designing and drawing experience, you need a smooth keypad with RGB lighting. The battery performance, cooling technology, display, speaker quality, and connectivity ports are also important.
Can Autocad Run on an Integrated GPU?
Yes, the Autocad program will work fine on a laptop with an integrated GPU. Make sure that the design and drawing operations rely more on the processor than the graphics card. While you don’t need a dedicated GPU to use Autocad, you will definitely need a latest-gen CPU to run the software efficiently on your laptop. Remember that Autocad and other drawing software apps are CPU-intensive.
Do I Need the CAD Workstation?
Well, any laptop that supports Autocad software will help you draw and design anything you want. However, if you are a professional designer with specific requirements, then you should consider the CAD workstation. It comes equipped with special graphic processing features that can run demanding CAD software apps seamlessly. A workstation offers a high RAM and an advanced processor to allow multitasking.
An engineer or interior designer needs to run a host of applications on one server simultaneously. That’s exactly what a CAD workstation helps you with. In addition to graphics-intensive apps, you can run video games and play music in the background while drawing a 3D model on Autocad. As exciting as its features sound, a workstation can cost a fortune. That being said, CAD workstation is a good option for those with a high budget and regular drawing and designing requirements.
How Much RAM Do I Need to Run Autocad?
The minimum RAM required for Autocad is 8GB. Now, that is only for the users who do not plan on multitasking. While 8GB is sufficient to use CAD software, it doesn’t guarantee the best performance. So, don’t be surprised if you notice the application lagging on your laptop.
Autocad features a set of tools, such as Map 3D, Plant 3D, and more. You cannot use them on a laptop with 4GB RAM. Even if you are not going to run multiple tabs on your browser, you will need at least 8GB RAM to use Autocad.
Usually, engineers, professional architects, and interior designers have heavy workloads. They are supposed to execute drawing and designing operations on their laptops. If you are going to use CAD software for professional designing requirements, then you need a laptop with 16GB RAM.
Autocad is a functional and CPU-intensive application that caters to your designing, drawing, and modeling requirements. Unfortunately, the software is not compatible with older or outdated laptops. For instance, Autocad can run on a 4GB RAM laptop, but the demanding tools of the software may freeze your laptop.
The models we have mentioned above are not only compatible with Autocad, but they offer the best performance. You can use Autocad and similar software applications on any laptop listed in this article.
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