The list is plentiful when it comes time to choose a laptop for uses like business, and college. It starts to get complicated when looking for the best laptops for CAD, AutoCAD, and 3D Modeling since these computers have to handle heavy software usage. You always want to make sure that you choose the right ones so that you won’t run into any problems. Not every computer is made to handle the work that engineering students and others will put it through, which can make it hard for people and can sometimes be overwhelming for people to choose out ones that would work with their needs. 

I have put together some of the best laptops that are currently on the market for the use of CAD, AutoCAD, and 3D Modeling.

Top 9 Best Laptops for CAD, AutoCAD, & 3D Modeling

1. MacBook Pro

  • Brand: Apple
  • Model Name: MacBook Pro 16-inch
  • Operating System: Mac OS
  • Display size: 16 Inches
  • Processor Count: 6

We know that Apple is one of the leading brands when it comes to technology, they have laptops for everyone and every need which is why this laptop makes this list. A Lot of CAD users love this laptop and for good reasons, it comes with a ninth-generation 6 core Intel core i7 processor, an AMD Radeon Pro 5300M dedicated Graphics with a retina display, all of this combined gives users amazing, clear visuals.

It offers either 512GB or 1TB SSD storage options. For those of you that are workaholics CAD, this computer provides 12 hours backup charge after a single charge, which comes in handy for those times you don’t feel like carrying a laptop charger around. 

The system also provides 8 GB GDDR6 VRAM, an AMD Radeon Pro 5300M dedicated Graphics with the retina display, all of this combined gives users amazing visuals which helps users experience fast and optimized laptops that are currently out in the market.

Pros
  • Can be upgraded
  • Light
  • Retina Display
  • Amazing battery life
  • Optimized OS
Cons
  • Expensive

2. Dell XPS 15

  • Brand: Dell
  • Series: XPS 15 7590
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor count: 1 

This laptop’s performance is really powerful, not only is it a powerhouse compared to the MacBook Pro it is slightly on the affordable side which makes this the perfect laptop. 

To begin we’ll start the display size which is a 15.6-inch Infinity Edge display with a resolution of 3840 x 2400. It has 16GB DDR4-2666MHz RAM and either a 512GB or 256GD SSD. You’ll get spectacular visuals, seriously one of the best with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5 dedicated GPU and a 4-sided InfinityEdge display. It comes with a 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750h with 12MB cache and 6 core processors which can clock speed and be boosted up to 4.5 GHz. Finally, Let’s talk about the battery performance which is up to 8 hours on a single charge. 

This is one of the top best laptops for CAD, you will get your money’s worth.

Pros
  • Great performance
  • Dedicated Graphics
  • Vivid & High-Resolution Display
  • Great Battery Life
  • Premium Chassis
Cons
  • Expensive

3. Lenovo ThinkPad P53s 

  • Brand: Lenovo
  • Series: ThinkPad P53s
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
  • Processor Count: 4

Many businesses use this laptop because of its reliability, workstation level performance, and stability, and it has up to 10 different storage and RAM to choose from. That along with the many other features packed in this computer makes this a great choice for CAD usage. 

It comes with the Intel Hexa-core i7-9750H Processor which can reach 4.5 GHz clock speed. It comes with 16GB RAM and 512 SSD for storage space, also you can add storage when needed using the extra slot provided. The RAM slot can help you expand up to 64GB which is incredible.

 The display size is 15.6 Inches HDR 400 FHD IPS display, with features that are designed for you to have the best viewing experience such as wide viewing angle, and in-depth vivid colors. With the NVIDIA Quadro P1000 of 4GB dedicated memory, you’re able to get amazing graphics for artists, engineers, and architects.

Pros
  • Wi-Fi- 6
  • Strong GPU and Processor
  • Good keyboard
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Webcam quality
  • No 4k Display
  • Expensive

4. Dell XPS 15

  • Brand: Dell
  • Series: XPS 15 7590
  • Operating System: Windows 10 
  • Processor Count: 6

Another great AutoCAD laptop for any type of work including AutoCAD, 2D/3D modeling and so much more. You get advanced features that take you through your work process without lag. It is thin, weighing 5.5 inches with a screen size of 15.6-inch InfinityEdge display.

It is powered by the 8th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H Hexa-Core processor so you can be sure that the processing speed is advanced. The storage is 16GB DDR4 RAM and 1TB SSD, which really comes in handy in terms of multi-tasking.

Graphics is incorporated with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU with 4gb DDR5 dedicated memory. This range helps users have error-free smooth image processing during the use of the laptop.

The laptop is on the expensive side, however, if you decide to purchase it you won’t regret it. It is worth every penny.

Pros
  • Long Battery life
  • Strong Audio
  • ID Touch
  • Performance Speed
  • Great IPS Display
Cons
  • Poorly place webcam
  • Expensive

5. Acer Aspire 5

  • Brand: Acer
  • Series: A515-5G-73WC
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Processor Count: 4

This series is by far the best selling and top-ranking series by this company, and you’ll see that starting with the 10th generation Intel Core i5-10210U Processor which provides great processing to aid you in high-level AutoCAD usage. 

The processor comes with an abundant 8GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB SSD storage which aids greatly in multitasking on the laptop. It comes with an NVIDIA GeForce MX250 with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM to aid with flawless visuals processing.

The display size is 15.6 Inches Full HD, with a screen resolution of 1920 x1080 Widescreen LED Backlit IPS display and a great battery life lasting up to 9.5 hours on a single charge.

Pros
  • Color and Brightness
  • Wide port selection
  • Massive memory and storage
  • Great battery life
Cons
  • Wi-Fi performance
  • Performance AC Adapter

6. Dell G7

  • Brand: Dell
  • Series: Dell
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor Count: 6

Dell truly has produced some of the most states of the art laptops and the G7 is right up there with the best one. It can handle the work of AutoCAD, and many other CAD software easily because of all the feature-packed features. 

Let’s first start with the display size which is 15.6 inches, 5.6 inches FHD 1920 x 1080 Anti-glare LED display. The laptop is run by the 8th generation Intel Core i7-8750H. It comes with hybrid storage which consists of a 1TB SATA hard disk and 512 GB SSD which aids in faster boosting. The graphic system is NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6GB GDDR5 video memory. 

Whether you are a beginner CAD user of a professional this laptop will help you accomplish all your tasks without any trouble.

Pros
  • Good design
  • Great port selection including thunderbolt 3
Cons
  • Cramped keyboard
  • Low color accuracy
  • SD Card reader slow
  • Expensive

7. Lenovo ThinkPad P71 

  • Brand: Lenovo
  • Series: Lenovo ThinkPad
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
  • Processor Count: 2

This workstation laptop is optimum for AutoCAD and architect applications and can be used to tackle many projects. The laptop comes with a display size of 17.3 Full HD FHD 1920 x 1080 matte IPS display.

It has the Intel 7th Generation Quad-Core i7-7700HQ, with a RAM of 16GB. The keyboard is backlit with a number pad and a fingerprint reader for extra protection and easy login access. It can handle work for 3D modeling and other designing fields. The graphic system is NVIDIA Quadro M620M with 2GB DDR5 VRAM. 

More things are right with this laptop than bad, so Lenovo ThinkPad is always a good buy.

Pros
  • Fantastic performance
  • Color correcting panels
  • Upgradable
  • Good 4K panel
  • Battery life
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Poor webcam
  • Low speakers

8. Eluktronics Pro-X

  • Brand: Eluktronics
  • Series: P650RS-G
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Processor Count: 4

This laptop model is doubtlessly deserving to be on this list for 3D modeling since it’s desktop performance is one of the best on the market currently. It is mostly used for gaming however the configuration on this laptop is well suited for 3D and CAD usage. The screen size is 15.6 Full HD 120Hz 5ms Matte display with G-SYNC technology.

Inside is the 7th generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad-Core processor which operates at a frequency of 2.8 GHz. It comes with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 VR ready graphics and being able to work with multiple files, using the web, running 3D software, and all types of multitasking are possible thanks to the laptop’s 32 GB DDR4 2400MHz RAM. The GPU 8GB DDR5 ensures that the computer doesn’t lag as you work on 3D models and other intricate applications. 

There are many port selections which is the icing on top of this amazing laptop, it comes with three USB 3.0 ports, two mini display ports, an ethanol port, one HDMI port, two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type C ports, a headphone jack, mic jack and a 6- in 1 SD card reader. All these wonderful features mix together brings forth a laptop that can handle most 3D modeling and CAD. 

Pros
  • Amazing performance
  • High-end features
  • Many ports
  • Large screen with IPS display
Cons
  • Battery life isn’t the best
  • Heavy
  • No Optical drive

9. ASUS ROG GU502GW-AH76 Zephyrus M Thin

  • Brand: ASUS
  • Series: ROG Zephyrus M GU502GW
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Processor Count: 8

This all-encompassing computer is perfect to invest in, it doesn’t compromise portability. The display size is 15.6 Full HD 1980 x 1080 IPS type Pantone validated display. The ASUS ROG is an ultra-slim metal chassis laptop 9mm thin and 4.4 lbs. 

It had a 9th generation Intel Core i7-9750H Hexa-core processor which comes in handy with projects for the most CPU-intensive 2D and 3D modeling tasks. The 4.40GHz clock speed helps handle basic drawings, data extraction, 2D annotation, and database storage easily.

The GPU is NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070, this allows users 3D rendering and is photorealistic. To effectively store and process high graphics textures easily it comes integrated with 8GB VRAM. The video RAM is 8GB for those assignments that are advanced applications like SolidWorks.  

The Asus ROG has a ROG intelligent cooling thermal system with a dual 12V fan anti-dust technology with adjustable fan modes. 

Working on AutoCAD on this beast is a dream, it can also be used for gaming.

Pros
  • Sharp display
  • Storage space
  • Powerful H-Series Processor from Intel
Cons
  • No NVME support on the SSD

Conclusion

If you choose any of the laptops on this list you can be sure that you’ll be getting your money’s worth. For students, I would recommend the Acer Aspire 5 since it is the cheapest on this list, and it will definitely hold up for all your college career and even take you into your career. If you are looking to splurge then I would recommend the Lenovo ThinkPad P71. This list isn’t in any particular order so I advise you all to take your time and compare the laptops and find what best suits your CAD, AutoCAD & 3D Modeling uses. Happy shopping!

Edited by Jack Leduc

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