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CAD software is one of the most demanding applications for any laptop. A decent model requires 2D and 3D drafting and rendering, meaning GPU power is a direct requirement for optimum performance.
The problem is that every laptop comes with different GPU options such as Nvidia GTX, RTX, and many more. Further, the rest of the specifications, such as the CPU, RAM, storage, etc., also differ from laptop to laptop.
Therefore, choosing a laptop that suits your needs becomes more challenging. But now, you don’t need to bother. We will help you find the best laptops for AutoCAD to make things a lot easier for you.
As one of the most popular CAD applications, this software offers numerous CAD-related features in 2D and 3D CAD work.
The laptops on the list are all popular and reputable brands, promising the best performance in AutoCAD.
Here are ten of the best laptops I have shortlisted, so you can pick the one that works best for you.
- Best Laptops for CAD, AutoCAD & 3D Modeling
- Laptops for CAD Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How We Picked/Tested?
Best Laptops for CAD, AutoCAD & 3D Modeling
1. Lenovo ThinkPad P17
RAM: 32 GB DDR4 2933MHz
Storage: 1TB PCIe SSD
Display: 17.3 FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, anti-glare, 300 nits
GPU: NVIDIA Quadro T2000 4GB
- Fingerprint reader
- Bluetooth 5.1
- Backlit keyboard with number pad
- Large display
- A bit bulky
Lenovo ThinkPad P17 is perfect for professionals who need a mighty workstation for AutoCAD. In terms of specifications, this laptop comes with a Core i7-10750H processor, which contains six cores and 12 threads.
This processor comes with a comprehensive cooling system, which will enable it to run at peak performance for longer periods. Further, ThinkPad P17 comes preinstalled with 32GB RAM and a 1TB drive, which will help you perform high-end AutoCAD work.
The device also needs a powerful GPU to optimize performance when using a powerful CPU. Due to this, it contains a high-performance Quadro T2000 GPU, which enhances the overall production.
Additionally, this GPU features 4GB of VRAM for intense graphics performance. Furthermore, there is a large 17.3-inch Full HD display in the front, with a 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution.
Further, Lenovo ThinkPad P17 weighs 7.7 pounds, making it a bit heavier than its competitors. However, Lenovo ThinkPad P17 is a high-performance computer that is ideal for AutoCAD. Besides using it for CAD-based applications, this machine can also run software such as Solidworks, Blender, etc.
2. ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15
RAM: 16GB DDR4 3200MHz
Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Display: 300Hz 3ms 15.6 Full HD 1920x1080 IPS-Type
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 8GB GDDR6
- Intelligent cooling system
- Bluetooth 5.1
- IPS display
Asus ROG Strix G15 uses a Ryzen 9 5900HX processor that will help you easily perform high-end tasks. ROG Strix 15 also features an RTX 3080 GPU to handle graphics performance with 16GB of VRAM.
Additional video memory allows it to handle heavy workloads without lagging. Further, the laptop provides an HD display with a faster refresh rate of 300 Hz on its 15.6-inch screen.
With a fantastic screen-to-body ratio and color accuracy, it’s an excellent option for creators. This laptop displays clear and vivid colors, featuring 100% sRGB coverage. With 1TB storage and 16GB RAM, this laptop performs effectively.
Because this device comes with a lot of internal storage and RAM, it is an excellent choice for storing enormous amounts of data. A 3200MHz frequency is sufficient for the memory department to operate.
The laptop also has an SSD with 512GB of storage, making it a speedy laptop for reading and writing files. Additionally, it also has an Opti-mechanical keyboard, but many people dislike the ticking noise it causes.
3. Apple MacBook Pro M1
Storage: 512GB or 1TB SSD
Display: 16.2-inch (diagonal) mini-LED backlit display
GPU: Apple 16-core GPU
- Supports graphic intensive apps
- High-end performance
- Touch ID
- Long battery life
- Small screen size
Apple MacBook Pro M1 is our next laptop on the list. For moderate to high-level workflows, Apple MacBook Pro M1 is more than enough. A 13-inch display that features a resolution of 2560 x 2560 pixels comes standard with the laptop.
Display corners have minimal bezels, and the display itself is anti-glare. This display is particularly notable for its 500 nits brightness which results in high-end color reproduction. With its excellent display, it is an excellent choice for AutoCAD.
The MacBook uses Apple’s own Apple M1 chip, which utilizes 5nm manufacturing node technology. Moreover, this chip features an 8-core GPU and 16-core CPU for enhanced performance.
You’ll get up to 512GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. According to the manufacturer, the battery will last for 10-15 hours, and it also has a fast-charging feature. Based on its overall performance, I believe this might be one of the best AutoCAD laptops for MacOS.
4. Razer Blade 15
Storage: 512GB SSD
Display: 15.6 4K OLED
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 with Max-Q Design
- Aluminum chassis
- High performance
- 4K OLED display
- Average battery life
Razer laptops are known to be highly effective and powerful machines. The Razer Blade 15 is an example of a powerful machine by the Razer brand. With a 4K resolution and good color accuracy, this laptop features an OLED panel.
It features a 4K OLED display with a resolution of 3840 x 2160p on its 15.6-inch display. Furthermore, the provided panel covers 100% of sRGB colors with high-end visuals. Colors are vivid, and contrast is high on the display.
Due to these factors, this laptop is better suited for AutoCAD. Besides, the Core i7-10750H processor powers Razer Blade 15, including six cores and 12 threads. The processor can be boosted to 5.0GHz from a base speed of 2.6GHz.
Besides, the laptop has no compromises when it comes to the GPU. With its RTX 2070 GPU, it packs powerful graphics performance. There is 8GB of video RAM available with the GPU, making it adequate for graphics-intensive tasks. The laptop also comes with 16 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD. Overall, we recommend using Razer Blade 15 to run software like AutoCAD.
5. Acer Predator Helios 300
RAM: 16GB DDR4 3200MHz
Storage: 512GB PCIe Gen 4 SSD
Display: 15.6 Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS LED-backlit
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 (6GB dedicated GDDR6 VRAM)
- AeroBlade fans
- Crisp visual
- High refresh rate
- Great for gaming
- Noisy fans
Do you want to buy an RTX 3060 laptop at a budget-friendly cost for your AutoCAD work? If so, then you should buy the Predator Helios 300. Like most laptops on this list, the Acer Predator Helios 300 also has a wider 15.6 inches display.
A touchscreen display panel with LED-backlighting and 144Hz refresh rate with 3ms response time are present on this device. With a high brightness of 300 nits, the display has an HD resolution. In this laptop, Acer has used a Core i7-11800H processor, which delivers powerful processing.
Further, the processor also contains 16 threads and eight cores. Processors like this one run at 2.3GHz as a base speed and reach 4.6GHz at their maximum speed. The RTX 3060 GPU on the laptop offers 6GB VRAM for excellent graphics performance.
The laptop also features 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD, which support faster performance. However, Predator Helios 300 also provides additional slots to upgrade the RAM and storage when needed. Further, there is also support for Wi-Fi 6 and RGB Backlit keyboard.
It includes an AeroBlade Fan to help keep your computer cool during extended gaming. Despite this, you might still observe the heating effect during extended gameplay. In general, this is a good value under $1500 that includes a combination of high-end hardware and power-efficient design.
6. ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15
RAM: 16 GB DDR4 3200MHz
Storage: 1 TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe SSD
Display: 15.6 Matte QHD 165Hz 3ms IPS-Level, 300-nits
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, 8 GB GDDR6
- High-end performance
- HD webcam
- Anti-glare screen
- Biometric scanner is not accurate
There is no shortage of screen size when it comes to the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15. The 15.6-inch screen offers quite impressive visuals. Having a resolution of 2560×1440 pixels, this QHD display panel is of high definition.
A 165Hz refresh rate and an IPS display are the characteristics of this display. The laptop has a Ryzen 9 5900H processor, one of the most powerful processors available today. With its eight cores and 16 threads, it can perform high-level processing.
A GeForce RTX 3070 is installed on the laptop, which offers 8GB video memory. There is a max clock speed of 4.6GHz on this processor, while the clock speed is 3.1GHz. Despite its performance, this laptop has 16GB of RAM, usually present in high-performance laptops.
This RAM has a frequency of 3200MHz and is made up of DDR4 technology. Moreover, the laptop has been equipped with a PCIe SSD that offers 1TB of storage space.
The overall specifications make it an impressive laptop, and it could be a good option if the budget permits. Otherwise, you can find much better options for a lower cost from this list.
7. Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3
RAM: 8GB 3200 MHz DDR4
Storage: 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD
Display: 15.6 FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS
GPU: GeForce GTX 1650
- Privacy shutter for the camera
- Easy upgradability
- High-quality build
- Low storage
On the list next is an IdeaPad laptop from Lenovo. As far as AutoCAD 2D and 3D work go, the IdeaPad 3 is an ideal machine. AutoCAD and other CAD applications should run smoothly on the laptop’s hardware.
There is a 15.6-inch display with Full HD resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels on the IdeaPad Gaming 3. The screen is decently bright at 250 nits, and it has an anti-glare coating to restrict undesired reflections of light. It offers a 120Hz of refresh rate, which is average for a display.
Further, there are six cores in the laptop’s Ryzen 5 5600H processor, supporting multi-threading through 12 threads. At its base speed, the processor runs at 3.3GHz, but it can reach up to 4.2GHz at its maximum.
This laptop features GeForce GTX 1650 graphics processors with 4GB of VRAM. It also offers 8GB RAM that runs faster than the average laptop.
Furthermore, the internal storage is 256GB of SSD, which might be less storage for many users. In general, Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 is one of the most economical options for doing AutoCAD work.
8. ASUS ROG Strix G17
RAM: 16GB DDR4 3200MHz
Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Display: 300Hz 3ms 17.3 Full HD 1920x1080 IPS-Type
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 8GB GDDR6 with ROG Boost
- Grizzly metal compound
- Great cooling system
- Ultrafast Wi-Fi 6
- IPS-type display
- No webcam
ASUS ROG Strix G17 is another powerful laptop that you can choose for your AutoCAD work. As compared to other laptops, ASUS ROG Strix G17 has the greatest amount of power available.
In terms of performance, this laptop’s specifications enable it to run AutoCAD 3D at high speed, making 2D work seem effortless. Further, it has a resolution of 1920 x 1080p and a display size of 17.3 inches.
This laptop has an anti-glare screen with an IPS type. With over 100% sRGB coverage, this laptop maintains excellent color accuracy. It also offers a high refresh rate of 300 Hz and a response time of 3ms.
Despite these specifications appealing to gamers, a display with good color accuracy is suitable for AutoCAD users. It comes with a Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU with an octa-core process with 16 threads to enable hyperthreading. 3.3GHz is the clock speed of this processor, and it can speed up to 4.6GHz if needed.
Furthermore, a dedicated GPU, the RTX 3070 GPU, is also present in ASUS ROG Strix G17. In addition to 8GB of video memory, the GPU also has clock speeds of 1.50MHz. It also contains 16GB RAM, which runs at a clock frequency of 2933MHz.
9. Lenovo Legion 5
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD
Display: 15.6 FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
- High VRAM
- RGB backlight
- Lightweight compared to other laptops in this class
- Low speakers quality
Lenovo Legion 5 is the final recommendation in the list of best laptops for AutoCAD. The laptop displays HD resolution and has a maximum brightness of 300 nits on a 15.6-inch screen.
Ryzen 7 5800H is the laptop’s processor, which further includes 16 threads and eight cores. In addition to its fixed 3.2GHz clock speed, the processor can be overclocked up to 4.4GHz.
This laptop has a GeForce RTX 3050Ti card, which renders high-end graphics. It has a 6GB video memory that helps perform AutoCAD work without lagging as a gaming laptop. Featuring 16GB of RAM running at 3200MHz, this system boasts a lot of power.
Furthermore, it also comes with 512GB of SSD that helps in fast booting. In general, this is one of the best gaming laptops under $1200 because it is both potent and offers excellent color accuracy, making it ideal for AutoCAD work.
10. Gigabyte Aero 15
RAM: 16GB Memory (64GB Max)
Storage: 1TB SSD
Display: 15.6 Thin Bezel UHD 4K 3840x2160 Samsung AMOLED
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU 8 GB GDDR6
- Pantone validated color accuracy
- Supports high-end AI rendering
- Top-notch performance
- Thin bezel display
- Slightly heavy
There are some excellent and heavy specifications in the GIGABYTE AERO 15. It is, therefore, an excellent choice for a professional AutoCAD user. The machine has a large 15.6-inch display, making it suitable for performing AutoCAD tasks like 3D modeling.
It provides a high-end display that can handle multiple things at once. With the Core i7-11800H processor, this laptop can easily perform heavy-duty processing.
Aside from that, GIGABYTE AERO 15 supports an Nvidia RTX 3070 GPU, which offers 8GB of VRAM. Also, AERO 15 comes with a total of 1TB of SSD and 16GB RAM.
The laptop is one of the best 4K laptops that you can buy for a reasonable price. It is a good choice if you’re looking for a high-end laptop for your AutoCAD work.
Laptops for CAD Buying Guide
When choosing a good AutoCAD laptop, you should consider the following factors:
AutoCAD 2D VS 3D
A good idea of your workflow is important when buying a laptop for AutoCAD. When you use AutoCAD for 2D or 3D drawings, we cannot ignore the performance of CPU and CPU, and if you often work in 3D in AutoCAD, you can’t either.
However, choosing an extremely high-end laptop will be a mistake if you mainly work with 2D drawings.
The performance of any software depends on a good CPU. According to several websites, you need a multi-core processor at the top of the line to run AutoCAD efficiently. However, AutoCAD is primarily a single-threaded program.
Therefore, please don’t be concerned if someone suggests that you opt for a multi-core processor. To summarize, a laptop with approximately four to six processing cores will suffice for AutoCAD.
You may also decide to purchase a dual-core processor if your budget is not large enough. It is recommended to use the latest Core i5 or i7 processors or AMD Ryzen 5 or Ryzen 7 chipsets. For the best-in-class performance, Ryzen 9 is the right choice.
Furthermore, it would be best if you chose a processor with a high clock speed since, in addition to the multi-threading, the clock speed of each core has a significant impact on the performance of AutoCAD.
Avoid using the integrated GPU solution for applications such as AutoCAD. You should opt for a laptop with a dedicated GPU of at least 2GB to 4GB, even if you will only be doing 2D stuff.
Whenever you work in 3D in AutoCAD, you should have at least 6GB of GPU. With the new Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 series GPUs, you can upgrade the GPU VRAM requirement to even 8GB.
RAM & Storage
Applications like AutoCAD are memory-hungry, as they are some of the most demanding applications. Whether your laptop is 2D or 3D, AutoCAD will consume a lot of RAM.
We recommend having at least 8GB of RAM on your laptop to run smoothly. To avoid lag in multitasking, make your laptop equipped with at least 16GB of RAM.
It may be subjective how much storage you need since your workflow may dictate how much you need. As a primary storage option, you should look at SSD storage.
You can also use HDD storage as backup storage. SSDs are fast storage and can read and write data faster than a conventional HDD. Hence, SSDs are the better choice over HDDs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Following, you will know some common questions about the best laptops for CAD work. These questions will make it easier for you to find the best product.
A laptop must have 8GB of RAM to run AutoCAD smoothly. Having this much RAM will allow you to use the app smoothly while doing a decent amount of multitasking. It is the case if your work is more multitasking-intensive. Choose RAM between 12GB and 16GB.
Although AutoCAD does not consume a lot of CPU power, its CPU utilization is still adequate. Due to its lack of multi-threading, it does not utilize all the cores and threads of the processor. To process any data on a computer, a strong CPU is essential.
It all depends on your preferences and requirements. A laptop is the only portable machine you need if you travel a lot. But if you’re at work or home, desktop computers are always preferable since they’re easier to customize.
How We Picked/Tested?
It has been a pleasure to test and review laptops since we began several years ago. As well as testing hundreds of different models every year, we perform benchmark tests to determine the performance and battery life of each device, which is essential for AutoCAD work.
Our experts review each product daily to determine how well it performs. Due to several laptops available, we can compare them to its direct competitors.
Computer-Aided Design doesn’t have any criteria to consider when selecting the right gadget. If you plan to work with BIM and DCC applications, you can always persist with a mid-range laptop with decent computing power to handle basic modeling and rendering tasks.
However, if you work on BIM and DCC, a workstation will also be an excellent choice. If you are looking for the right laptop for CAD work, this guide should be of immense help.
The list is created based on a study of the market and our findings. Now it’s up to you. Before choosing your ideal laptop for architectural works, you can conduct your research.