What are the best laptops for AutoCAD? You will need a computer to run the AutoCAD software program, either a desktop or on a laptop.
However, using a laptop is more feasible because it will allow you to work on your AutoCAD projects on the go and also in the construction sites outdoors.
If you are on the lookout for one of the best laptops to use for your AutoCAD projects, you will be better off with your selection only if you weigh in all your requirements of software and job details and balance it with the specs and hardware components of the computer.
Moreover, if you are into professional AutoCAD then you must also remember that your job will not be limited to just creating 2D and 3D models and drafts or drawings.
You will also have to work on models for software and different apps of products, assist in photorealistic and Mental Ray rendering, 2D regeneration, 3D navigation, and also storing different objects in databases.
Therefore, as a professional designer, you will need a laptop that will allow you to use other software programs on it as well that will allow you to work in interconnection with AutoCAD more often than not.
Although most of the laptops today will support basic levels of rendering and simulations, you will need a device of higher specs and functionality if you want to be as good as one of those AutoCAD professionals of the top level.
Your system, if good and powerful, will help you in other areas of your job including production management, prototyping, designing different mechanical parts, forecasting the outcomes of different projects, envisioning larger infrastructure projects, and wireframing.
All these software programs will help you a great deal in better rendering, in advanced 3D modeling, and in creating high-end simulations.
In addition to that, you will also need to consider the usage, the computing resources, the nature of the work as well as the initiated processes.
All these mean that you will need to look for a laptop that comes with raw power. And, since you will not be working only on your computer day and night, you must also keep the option for entertainment and leisure gaming open.
There are lots of premium as well as budget laptops available out there in the market for you to choose from.
You should consider your needs, the demands of the AutoCAD and other software, portability, and other factors to make the right choice. This will make the laptop your perfect ally both for your work as well as for your entertainment.
This is not at all an easy task, especially if you are a beginner. Look at some of the top recommendations of laptops to use for AutoCAD and read the buying guide to know the things to look for in it when you buy a system for yourself.
This will make the seemingly difficult selection process much simpler, easier, and more productive.
Laptops for AutoCAD Price
What is AutoCAD and Its Importance?
AutoCAD is one of the most useful software programs that is used by professionals these days such as a mechanical engineer, a construction planner, an architect, a product designer, and others.
Ideally, CAD is the short for Computer Aided Design and is one of the oldest tools for designing.
This software is used for handling 3D modeling, drafting, annotations, 2D drawing, edge-shaping, lighting, and almost all forms of interface customization with utmost efficacy and unmatched accuracy.
In the old days, the engineers and architects illustrated their ideas and drew them on paper manually.
These days, computers have replaced the use of pen and paper by different design tools and software such as AutoCAD. This specific software helps in creating digital designs more efficiently and much faster.
AutoCAD is an interactive and functional tool developed by the company named Autodesk.
Apart from allowing you to create and edit digital 2D and 3D designs much faster and easily, this software helps you to store the files in the cloud easily so that you can access them anytime and from anywhere.
The importance of AutoCAD today is manifold. Some of them are as follows.
It helps in easy editing of the 2D and 3D files because you will not have to do anything manually whether it is finding any flaws in the design or for revising it.
With AutoCAD you will not have to recreate a new draft entirely. You can do it easily on the design itself. This will save you from additional labor, from creating a mess which will be difficult to interpret, and save a lot of time.
Production will be much faster because you will be able to replicate design parts by creating a reusable block library with the help of AutoCAD.
You can use and reuse the saved files over and over again to develop them, make them much better and increase your efficiency.
All your AutoCAD work will be much more accurate with the software than done by hand.
The software will not only allow you to draw much smaller designs, but will also help you to draw fractional parts of each of these smaller designs with much more accuracy.
In short, AutoCAD will allow you to create designs that will be faster and more accurate from all dimensions.
There are different versions of AutoCAD apart from the regular and original version that allows 2D and 3D modelling and designing. These specialized versions are used in universities as well as anyone who needs computer-aided designing.
AutoCAD LT is a less powerful version used for 2D designing of objects only.
AutoCAD Electrical is a 2D software that is used for circuit designing in a 2D representation only.
AutoCAD Architecture is not like regular AutoCAD because you will not have to design your project from scratch.
The advanced tools of this version will allow you to create architectural design from pre-made objects. It can include models of walls, doors, windows, and others in 3D.
AutoCAD Civil 3D is much similar to AutoCAD architecture but is optimized for designing roadways, landscapes, and others.
Once you are done with the creation of your design, all you have to do now is to feed it into a 3D printer to create a prototype.
Measurements from your drawing can be also used to create parts of an object, be it a machine, a house or any other infrastructure.
Therefore, AutoCAD software application is very important these days and is used across different industries.
This has increased the demands for an AutoCAD professional to make the best use of the immense potential of this software.
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for AutoCAD
In order to have work on an AutoCAD project on your laptop, you must make sure that it comes with at least 8 GB of RAM, an Intel or AMD processor with a minimum operational speed ranging between 2.5 and 2.9 GHz, at least 7 GB of free hard drive space and a graphics card with at least 1 GB video memory and 29 GB/s bandwidth along with DirectX 11 support.
The system requirement for a laptop for AutoCAD however differs every year with the latest release. Therefore, you will need to know about the current requirements in order to get the best and most suitable laptop for your job. Otherwise, you can follow the recommended system requirements as mentioned hereunder.
Minimum system requirements: 9th generation Intel Core i5 9300H or higher| 8 GB of RAM | 256 GB PCIe SSD or a higher combo storage | NVIDIA Quadro T1000 or AMD Radeon Pro graphics | 15.6 inches screen | 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution preferably with True Color
Recommended system requirements: 8th generation Intel Quad Core i7 or higher processor| 16 GB of RAM or higher | 512 GB SSD or larger | NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 or higher | 15.6 inches screen or bigger | 1920 x 1080 pixels or higher screen resolution with True Color
5 Best Laptops for AutoCAD 2021:
1. Dell G5 5590 – Best Overall
Bottom Line: All users can expect to have the best overall performance from this laptop for AutoCAD jobs with its 9th generation Intel Core i7 processor and an equally powerful dedicated graphics chip. The wide array of ports allows lots of connectivity options, and so does the Windows 10 Home operating system.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 512 GB SSD
- RAM: 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: Intel Core i7 9750H
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
- This is the best laptop in performance and price ratio.
- It comes with the latest 9th generation processor for better performance.
- The system offers enough ports for connectivity.
- The system is heavy at 5.9 pounds.
- There is no optical drive in the system.
- The system comes with Bluetooth connectivity only.
This laptop for AutoCAD has a 15.6-inch full HD display that comes with anti-glare LED backlight non-touch feature and a narrow border.
This IPS display supports the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card, the Intel Core i7-9750H processor that operates at 2.6 GHz base frequency and up to 4.5 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology making the best use of the 12 MB cache.
The RAM of the system is upgraded to 16 GB for multitasking and comes with adequate high-bandwidth to ensure smooth running of multiple apps and browser tabs all at once.
The storage is upgraded to 512 GB and the SSD nature allows easy and faster access of the stored files.
The system comes with one HDMI 2.0 port, three Super Speed USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A ports including one with Power Share, one SD card reader slot, one wedge lock slot, and one headphone/mic combo jack.
The Windows 10 Home operating system will make your AutoCAD work even better, faster and smoother with its new feature such as the Edge Web browser which allows you to markup Web pages on your screen. Check out Dell G5 5590 Review.
2. Lenovo ThinkPad P53 – Runner Up
Bottom Line: Though this laptop comes with 9th generation Intel Core i7 processor, it is the slightly lower graphics chip that puts this device in the Runner up position. However, the good thing is that this system comes with larger SSD storage and RAM with fairly high speed to add to its performance.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 1 TB SATA SSD
- RAM: 32 GB DDR4 SODIMM
- Processor: 9th generation Intel Hexa-Core i7 9750H
- OS: Windows 10 Pro
- GPU: NVIDIA Quadro T1000 Graphics
- The system comes with a lot of SSD storage.
- There are two Thunderbolt ports in the system that offer more connectivity options.
- The laptop comes with a fingerprint reader feature for safer and faster log in.
- The product is a bit heavy weighing 5.5 pounds.
- The system does not come with any optical drive.
- The thick bezels make the screen look smaller.
The 9th generation Intel i7 processor, the 32 GB RAM, the 1 TB SATA SSD storage and the Quadro T1000 graphics will all work together to make your work much easier.
The system also comes with a large enough screen with full HD feature delivering clearer and sharper images at 1920 x 1080 pixels, a fingerprint reader to allow safer and faster login, Bluetooth and other connectivity options with two USB 3.1 ports, one HDMI port and one SD card reader.
The Windows 10 Pro operating system is adequately supported by the processor which operates at a high speed of up to 4.50 GHz and comes with 12 MB Smart Cache and six cores that ensures faster processing.
The DDR4 SODIMM RAM and the NVIDIA Quadro T1000 graphics card ensures that the system produces images at 1920 x 1080 pixels on the 15.6- inch full HD display.
The Bluetooth 5.0 technology along with the Ethernet connectivity allows a safer and faster connectivity.
The webcam allows taking better pictures and the fingerprint reader of this midnight black color allows a safer and faster login.
The 1 TB SATA SSD allows not only enough storage but also faster accessing of files. There are two USB 3.1 ports, one HDMI port, two Thunderbolt ports, and one Type C USB port that offers more connectivity options.
In addition to that, the SD card reader, the 3.5 mm combo jack, the Windows 10 Pro 64-bit operating system, the 3-cell 90 watt-hour battery all will help you in your AutoCAD work. Check out Lenovo ThinkPad P53 Review.
3. Asus ROG Zephyrus M – Unique GPU Switch Mode
Bottom Line: In addition to a good set of specs, this laptop comes with a unique GPU switch mode which adds to the ease in using this system for AutoCAD projects. Switching between the discrete and integrated graphics chips will not only increase the battery life but will also add to the performance.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 256 GB PCIe SSD plus 1 TB SSHD Fire Cuda
- RAM: 16 GB DDR4
- Processor: 8th generation Intel Hexa-Core i7 8750H
- OS: Windows 10 Pro
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
- There is Thunderbolt 3 port for better connectivity options.
- The keyboard and panel are good for web browsing and gaming.
- The graphics card of the device is very good for modelling and CAD work.
- The system weighs a bit more than 5 pounds.
- It does get hot depending on the usage type and hours.
- The battery life is one major issue of this laptop and needs frequent recharging.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus M is one of the best laptops for CAD work for its super-performing NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 GDDR5 graphics card of 8 GB capacity.
The 15.6-inch screen is another unique feature that allows better and wider viewing angles. It comes with an IPS type AVHA gaming panel and with 144 Hz refresh rate.
This full HD display also has an NVIDIA G-SYNC feature and a response time of 3ms to produce images at 1920 x 1080 pixels.
This ultra-slim gaming laptop will meet all your AutoCAD requirements and run all the necessary software most efficiently with its 8th generation 6-Core Intel processor operating at a base clock frequency range of 2.6 GHz and up to 4.1 GHz when Turbo boosted.
The better location of the vents near the hinge as well as the traditional cooling design of the system that involves 12-volt fans and an Active Aerodynamic System exclusively found in ROG allows the system to run at 20% reduced temperature as compared to other gaming laptops.
However, depending on the usage, the system and the environmental conditions, the system might get a bit hot.
Another unique feature of the laptop is the anti-dust technology that increases its longevity as well as the performance level.
The system design also allows you to use the GPU Switch Mode if you want to switch between discrete and integrated graphics for a better battery life and an enhanced performance.
The 16 GB RAM DDR4 memory runs at a speed of 2666 MHz and the best part of the system is the combination of 256 GB PCIe NVMe SSD storage and 1 TB SSHD Fire Cuda storage of 8 GB cache that provides more storage and faster access of the stored files apart from expediting the performance of the laptop.
The 64-bit architecture of the Microsoft Windows 10 Professional operating system allows better and more efficient operating.
The laptop comes with a lot of options to connect external devices that includes a Gigabit Ethernet LAN, a dual band 802.11 AC wireless LAN along with Bluetooth 4.2, one HDMI port, Thunderbolt 3 port, one USB 3.1 Type C port, and four USB 3.1 Type A ports.
The illuminated chiclet keyboard not only looks good for its four-zone RGB but also ensures more accurate and faster typing even in areas that are poorly lit.
4. Acer Predator Helios 300 – Better Display and Audio System
Bottom Line: The better display of this laptop and good audio system will add to the user experience during AutoCAD music projects specially. The full HD display has 120 Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time and the stereo speakers support Waves MaxxAudio, Waves Nx and Acer True Harmony technology.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 9th generation Intel Core i5 9300H
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti
- The backlit keyboard of the system assures perfect typing in the dark.
- The laptop comes with Ethernet connectivity and lots of ports.
- The audio system of the laptop provides exceptional audio experience.
- There is no optical drive in the system.
- The battery life is quite low at 6 hours only.
- The system is a bit heavier weighing more than 5 pounds.
This is a gaming laptop but has everything in it to support your AutoCAD needs and software.
It has an Intel Core i5 9300H processor, a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card, a 15.6- inch full HD 120 Hz display that comes with 3ms response time, a backlit keyboard for comfortable typing, an 8 GB DDR4 RAM, a 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD storage, all of which works with perfect harmony to ensure highest level of performance.
The processor of the laptop belongs to the 9th generation and comes with four cores for a faster processing of data and operates within a speed range of 2.4 GHz and up to 4.1 GHz with Turbo boost technology.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card comes with 6 GB capacity that enhances the performance of this dedicated GDDR6 VRAM memory even more.
The pictures produced by this graphics card are displayed on the full HD screen with 1920 x 1080 resolution.
The widescreen LED backlit IPS technology of the display delivers better images using the Overdrive Response Time technology at 300 nit brightness and 72% NTSC and at 16:9 aspect ratio.
The DDR4 memory runs at 2666 MHz and one of the two PCIe M.2 slots allow easy upgrades and there is one available for Hard Drive Bay.
The system comes with a better LAN of Killer Gaming Network E2500 and a wireless connectivity of Killer Double Shot Pro Wireless AX 1650 of the wi-fi 6 or 802.11ac standard.
This dual band 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz comes with MU-MIMO technology.
The laptop will not become hot easily thanks to the 4th generation all-metal Aero-Blade 3D fan.
The system also comes with a better audio system with two built-in stereo speakers that comes with Waves MaxxAudio sound technology.
This ensures a better sound quality with Maxx bass, Maxx volume, and Maxx dialog along with hyper-realistic 3D audio with the use of Waves Nx and Acer True Harmony technology.
The two built-in microphones of the system also come with Acer Purified Voice technology that ensures clear and shaper sound while making voice calls.
Apart from that, for better and more connectivity, the system comes with Killer Ethernet E2500 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN, and one USB 3.1 Type C Gen 2 port to transfer data at the rate of 10 Gbps, three USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports of which one can be used for power-off charging, one HDMI 2.0 port with HDCP Support and one Mini DisplayPort 1.4.
This 5.07-pound system for AutoCAD also comes with a HD webcam that supports Super High Dynamic Range or SHDR.
The lithium-ion battery of the system however lasts for only 6 hours, a striking low by today’s standards. Check out Acer Predator Helios 300 Review.
5. HP ZBook 15u G6 – Value for Money
Bottom Line: The inclusion of the useful specs and the configuration of this workstation laptop will meet with help in AutoCAD job as efficiently as the others in this list. The high amount of RAM and faster SSD, the Intel Core i7 CPU and good enough GPU will offer a high value for money with its performance.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 512 GB PCIe SSD
- RAM: 32 GB DDR SDRAM
- Processor: 8th generation Intel Quad Core i7 8565U
- OS: Windows 10 Pro
- GPU: AMD Pro WX 3200
- The system comes with 32 GB of RAM.
- The laptop has a fingerprint security system.
- The backlit keyboard allows easy and comfortable typing in the dark.
- The system does not come with a backlit keyboard.
- The storage of the system could have been more.
- The palm rest is large.
This laptop has all that you want to use it for AutoCAD work.
It has an Intel i7 processor with four cores that has 8 MB smart cache and operates at a high speed of 4.60 GHz, 32 GB RAM, 512 GB PCIe SSD storage and a 15.6-inch full HD display.
It also comes with a fingerprint reader, wi-fi and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity along with Intel wi-fi 6 or 802.11ax connectivity.
There is also an Ethernet LAN connectivity and a 720p HD webcam in the system.
There are also two USB 3.1 ports and an HDMI port, one USB 3.1 Type C Gen1 port, one Smart Card reader slot and one headphone/microphone combo jack in the system.
All these will allow connecting more external devices.
The fingerprint security system of the laptop allows safer login and the backlit keyboard allows easy typing.
The Windows 10 Pro operating system, the AMD Pro WX 3200 4 GB GDDR5 dedicated graphics card, the DDR4 SODIMM RAM, the 3-cell 56-watt-hour battery and the NVMe SSD storage all will add to the performance level of the system and your AutoCAD work.
Things to Look for Before Buying a Laptop for AutoCAD
When it comes to choosing the best laptop for running software like AutoCAD and other related ones mentioned above, you will need to concentrate the most on the number of cores, the clock speed, SSD storage, a decent and sizable display, RAM, and a powerful GPU with generous VRAM.
While the GPU with VRAM will help you in large-scale 3D and Mental Ray Rendering and to store different textures during the drafting and drawing stage, the SSD storage unit will allow you to store all your files.
Remember, a laptop for AutoCAD in 3D will support any AutoCAD software in 2D but the same is not always the other way around because it may lack a dedicated graphics card.
Here are the exact specs that you should look for in a laptop for AutoCAD along with an explanation as to why you need them.
These are the specs that you will need in your laptop whether you use it for teaching in school, for 2D, for 3D, or for any other specific purpose.
First of all, your laptop should have a processor that is as fast as possible to work on AutoCAD. Anything belonging to the 8th generation and core i7 family is highly recommended but this does not mean it is the only type of processor to choose.
You can also choose the latest and fastest processors to run AutoCAD on your laptop successfully.
It can be the 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor, or, if you do not have the budget for the 10th generation CPU, you also go for the 9th generation Intel core i7 processor which is equally good and fast.
If you are a beginner or a student and have even a smaller budget, then you can go for a laptop with an i5 processor. This will be powerful and fast enough to handle all of your basic CAD requirements.
There is one more thing you need to consider when you choose the processor.
It is the number of cores of the processor. a dual core processor will not be able to handle anything more than the basic CAD software and requirements.
Ideally, a quad-core or hexa-core processor will be more of a feasible choice to handle your CAD applications.
The next important thing to look for in your laptop is the RAM. The minimum RAM requirement is 8 GB but if you want to run AutoCAD and other software on it smoothly then 16 GB of RAM is recommended. This will also help you a lot while multi-tasking.
On the other hand, if you have to work on AutoCAD, 3Ds Max, other programs and do a lot of multitasking then spending a few dollars more on a laptop with 32 GB or 64 GB of RAM will be a more prudent decision.
The graphics of the laptop is also a very important thing to consider though you will surely not need high-end graphics that are used for playing those modern games.
A decent graphics, preferably dedicated, will be enough to handle the software and all your rendering tasks.
Also make sure that the graphics card is at least 2 GB, though 4 GB is recommended, so that it is easy for the system to handle all the 3D files and also render them faster.
The next crucial thing to consider is the size of the display of your laptop.
You certainly cannot use a mini laptop with an 11-inch screen for AutoCAD tasks. Ideally you will need a screen ranging between 13 to 14 inches, however, bigger the better.
Typically, if you want to have a better viewing experience and wider viewing angles you should get a full HD or 4K display.
Finally, you will need to consider the internal storage space of the laptop as well. An adequate amount of storage space in the laptop will allow you to store the large files of your projects in the system and access them easily.
This will save a lot of time and from the pain of transferring these files from the laptop to an external hard drive every time you work on those files.
Of course, if your budget permits, you can go for a storage much more than the minimum requirement of 256 GB, but make sure that it is SSD and not HDD storage. Though it will cost you a little bit more, the system will perform much faster.
Therefore, choose a storage according to your budget and requirement.
Do I need a CPU or GPU-intensive laptop for AutoCAD?
When it comes to processing, the AutoCAD software will mostly depend on the CPU, thar too the number of cores, rather than the type of GPU. This is due to the calculations and logic decoding. On the other hand, rendering and 2D modeling can be perfectly integrated with the integrated GPU. This means that it all depends on your and AutoCAD preferences.
How much RAM is needed for a laptop to support the AutoCAD process?
AutoCAD usually comes with a diverse set of tools that includes Plant 3D, Map 3D, architectural and electrical enhancements. If you follow the general rule of thumb, then 8 GB of RAM will be sufficient for basic AutoCAD work, minimal multitasking, and to run a single process. However, for top-level professional AutoCAD works, 16 GB of RAM is the minimum requirement, 32 GB being better.
What is the role of GPU in the laptop for AutoCAD?
Most of the laptops today come with high-end processors with an integrated GPU. These are good enough for running 2D renders and modeling. However, for 3D and mesh modeling, Mental Ray and Photorealistic rendering you will need a dedicated GPU that supports ray tracing. Anything over and above NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20-series is good for graphics-intensive AutoCAD process.
Should I buy a laptop with touchscreen features for AutoCAD?
Touchscreen is popular nowadays for its wonderful convenience in drawing and sketching. You do not need a mouse to work on a laptop with the touchscreen feature. Since you will be doing a lot of drawing and designing for your AutoCAD projects, it will be more convenient for you if your display is a touch screen. However, this is not mandatory.
Is an additional port necessary for a printer in the laptop for AutoCAD?
Thanks to the development in technology, most of the printers of today do not need a dedicated port for it to operate. You can use a USB cable to connect the printer to your laptop. some printers may even work wirelessly through LAN. You should check your system compatibility for that matter.