What Specs Are Best For CAD?

What Specs Are Best For CAD?

One of the most important factors to consider about CAD is precision. The entire purpose of CAD is to create visual constructs that mimic physical attributes rather than just make things look good like image or video editing applications. Before you begin your design, it is important to ensure that your laptop or computer meets the requirements to perform the task required. The article talks about What Specs Are Best For CAD based on the type of modeling i.e 2D or 3D.  

There are a few steps you can take before delving deeper into the specifications required. By now, you will probably know the program you’re going to use for CAD. Check the system requirements for the program you use the most. Although these requirements provide basic information, they can help eliminate unsuitable machines and guide your decision. Furthermore, you can also check the certified hardware provided by the program. This can help anticipate the features your machine should include, after which you should start choosing the components that fit your criteria. 

The Answer To What Specs Are Best For CAD? 

The Answer To What Specs Are Best For CAD? 
Image Source: Unsplash

Type of Work

The first thing to consider is the best specs for CAD. This is important as it determines the type of design you’re going to be working on (2D or 3D). The computing performance required for 3D is far greater than 2D. In 3D CAD work, GPU is of major concern as you’ll be creating 3D drawings and working on those, therefore, a better GPU will allow your computer to function smoothly. 3D CAD also requires a better processor whereas 2D CAD work doesn’t require a higher performing laptop or computer. 


The processor is the heart of the computer machine that performs all the computing work. It processes all the input orders and allocates the necessary resources within your computer to efficiently execute the task required. Intel series including i3, i5, and i7 are primarily used in consumer-grade PC and laptops. However, if you’re working on a High-end 3D consumer or workstation, you might need Intel Xeon or Intel i9. 

Clock Speed

The processors come with cores and the speed with which these cores can execute a task is referred to as clock speed, hence the higher the better. Commonly, most processors involve four cores. The clock speed can be measured in megahertz (MHz) or gigahertz (GHz). A minimum of 3MHz is recommended for CAD however it varies as heavy-duty CAD tasks might require 3.5MHz, however, small 2D tasks can easily function with 2.6MHz and above. 

The number of cores used by the processor also matters. Simple 3D modeling and drafting software such as AutoCAD might only require one core; however, there are many features involved in 2D and 3D CAD applications that may require multiple cores. Higher number of cores will enable multiple simultaneous operations and result in faster processing. For example, if you’re using the latest software such as Vray or Maya, a processor with more cores would be ideal. 


Ram or physical memory dictates the number and size of programs and datasets you can have open simultaneously. It varies according to the type of design you’re performing. 2D CAD workflows usually require 8GB ram whereas 3D CAD workflows require 16GB to 32GB. A common misconception is more RAM will allow your computer to work faster however, it simply provides more breathing space for your computer to work. 

Graphic Card

A graphic card, also known as GPU, is the unit that displays information on the monitor. The minimum graphic resolution required for CAD systems should be HD resolution of 1920 x 1090 with True Color. NVidia brand graphic cards are recommended, alternatively, you can also use GTX series cards. The P2000 is considered better in terms of performance and cost. A less expensive graphic card might be preferable for 2D plan drafting such as K600. 

Hard Drive 

There are two types of hard drives: Solid State Drive (SSD) and Hard Disk Drive (HDD). All modern laptops tend to contain SSDs. SSDs are more compact and have a faster data transfer rate as compared to HDD. It is generally recommended to have at least 520 GB SSD. 


Desktops are better to use as compared to laptops as their frames are more compatible with power. Ultrawide monitors are better for CAD. Moreover, it is remarkable for multi-tasking and provides you with sufficient space for drafting space or CAD modeling. 


Image Source: Unsplash

By reading this article you must know what specs are best for CAD. The next step would be to buy the laptop or desktop according to your preferences. 

Written by Syed Muhammad Imad

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