Welcome to my guide to the best laptops for Autodesk AEC. The market is full of impressive laptops that can power Autodesk AEC, so it's essential to know what you're getting into.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Autodesk AEC, it stands for Autodesk Architecture, Engineering and Construction. Autodesk AEC is an incredibly powerful 3D modelling software used by engineers and architects around the world. In this guide, I'll be covering all the hardware specs you need to run Autodesk AEC.
Moreover, I'll also provide you with a hand-picked selection of the best Autodesk AEC laptops. And to make sure all those laptops I'll mention will perform, I will include benchmark scores for all of them so that you can compare the performance of each laptop. So, let's get started and find the best laptop for Autodesk AEC.
Today’s market is a battle between Intel and AMD when it comes to laptop processors. Apple has released its own ARM-based M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max and M2 system-on-chip modules, which offer exceptional single-core performance and battery life. AMD has managed to take around 20% of the market with its 6th generation Ryzen processors, while Intel is still on the 12th generation. Intel and Apple have both adopted hybrid performance/efficiency core designs (based on big.LITTLE). If you're looking for a laptop with great battery life, then you should definitely consider an AMD Ryzen model.
We won't be focusing on MacBooks for AEC applications, as the most popular OS in the AEC industry is Windows. However, if you're looking for a workstation-grade laptop, then you should look for one with at least 8 cores (or more). Note that some companies now allow employees to use their own laptops instead of company-issued ones; so make sure you know if your company has a BYOD policy before investing in a new laptop.
When choosing a laptop for AEC work, we prefer ultrabooks or business notebooks with long battery life. If you need more power, then you can go for a gaming laptop or even a desktop PC – it's not ideal but it'll do the job if you don't have any other option.
When comparing processors, we like to use PassMark and Cinebench scores since they're easy to find and give us an idea of how well each processor performs in general-purpose tasks such as web browsing or video editing.
A fast CPU isn't needed for most AEC applications, as most applications don't require intensive computations; it's just nice to have for 3D rendering tasks.
Which processors are best suited for AEC?
For budget options, you can go for an Intel i5-10500H or an AMD Ryzen 5 4600H. The i5-10500H is the more power-efficient choice, while the Ryzen 5 4600H provides better performance but with higher power consumption.
For mid-range laptops, I'd recommend either an Intel i5-11400H or an AMD Ryzen 7 4800H. Both chips provide excellent performance for their respective price ranges, with the Ryzen 7 4800H providing slightly better performance than the i5-11400H.
For high-end laptops, I'd recommend an Intel i9-11900H or an AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS. Both processors provide exceptional performance, with the Ryzen 9 4900HS being slightly more power-efficient than the i9-11900H.
|AMD Ryzen 5 4600H||Budget||Great|
|AMD Ryzen 7 4800H||Mid-Range||Great|
|AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS||High-End||Exceptional|
Overall, when choosing the right processor for your Autodesk AEC laptop, make sure to consider your price range and battery life needs first. Consider an AMD Ryzen processor if battery life is important, and consider an Intel Core processor if you want better single-core performance. The table above should give you an idea of what to expect from each price bracket.
Nvidia continues to dominate the laptop GPU market, and its latest notebook cards are in the RTX 30 series, such as the RTX 3070 Ti. Desktop GPUs are now a lot more power-hungry, so the gap between power-limited notebook graphics and desktop graphics cards has widened in the past few years. Additionally, Nvidia has discontinued the Max-Q label for its RTX graphics cards. Now, the exact GPU wattage is determined by the laptop manufacturer (OEM), leading to a wide variance in graphics performance even in laptops with the same GPU chipset.
A graphics card is not essential for most AEC applications, but it can come in handy if you're working with 3D models or rendering scenes in Revit. If you're looking for a gaming laptop, be prepared to spend some extra cash – they're not cheap!
Selecting a suitable GPU based on price range and performance requirements
At the lower end of the budget range, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 is capable of handling most Autodesk tasks with ease, while the GeForce RTX 2060 is a great mid-range option. For high-end performance, the GeForce RTX 2080 is a great choice.
You can use 3DMark to compare different GPUs, but I prefer to use benchmarks that stress the GPU directly such as Autodesk VIZ or SolidWorks since these applications are more popular in the AEC industry. Nvidia's latest generation of graphics cards are more energy-efficient than their predecessors, so there's no need to worry about battery life if you're working on the go.
My recommendations for each budget category
- Minimum: GeForce RTX 3050
- Recommended: GeForce RTX 2060
- High-end: GeForce RTX 2080
When deciding on the right laptop RAM for Autodesk applications, the most important thing to keep in mind is the amount of memory needed. Most mid-range laptops come with 16 GB of RAM and high-end – 32 GB or more. The latest-gen Intel and AMD CPUs support DDR4 and DDR5, though DDR5 is still quite expensive and needs time to mature as a technology.
RAM is one of the most important components in a laptop for Autodesk applications. AEC professionals often need to load multiple models, scenes, and textures into memory at once, and they often need to do so simultaneously. This can be challenging if your laptop has only 16 GB of RAM, which is the bare minimum for most AEC professionals. 32 GB is a much better starting point. 64 GB is ideal for professionals working with complex models and scenes, but it's not necessary for most people.
When it comes to DDR5 vs DDR4, there's no reason to get DDR5 unless you're on a budget and don't mind sacrificing some performance for a lower price tag. If you're looking to buy a laptop that can last you for years to come – make sure it has upgradable RAM modules (not soldered-on).
How much RAM do I need for Autodesk applications?
At minimum, 16 GB of RAM is recommended, with 32 GB being ideal. If you're working with complex models and scenes, 64 GB would be the preferred choice.
Is there a difference between laptop RAM specs?
Yes, there are some key differences between laptop RAM specs. DDR4 is the standard for most laptops and offers good performance. DDR5 is the latest standard, offering improved performance and lower power consumption, though it is still expensive.
Secondary considerations when looking for RAM in a laptop
When choosing RAM for your laptop, there are several secondary considerations to keep in mind. First, make sure that the RAM you choose is compatible with your laptop's motherboard. Second, look for RAM with higher clock speeds and lower latency, as this can provide a noticeable performance boost. Finally, look for RAM that has good build quality and comes with a good warranty.
Table of what to expect depending on your budget
5 Best Laptops for Autodesk AEC
1.ASUS TUF A15Autodesk AEC laptop
- Competent processor (Ryzen 7 4800H)
- Exceptional display (15.6 IPS-level)
- First-class memory amount (64GB)
- Featherweight (5.06 lbs)
- Ordinary graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)
- Splendid processor (i5-12500H)
- Decent graphics card (RTX 3050)
- Run-of-the-mill memory amount (16GB)
2.ASUS TUF A15The ASUS TUF A15 is a powerful machine for Autodesk AEC at an affordable price but lacks in some areas.
- Powerful Nvidia graphics
- Fast and versatile AMD processor
- Affordable price
- Middling build quality
- Mediocre connectivity
- Poor trackpad
The ASUS TUF A15 is a budget-friendly laptop that provides a solid Nvidia GPU and fast AMD processor suitable for Autodesk AEC tasks. However, the middling build quality, mediocre connectivity, and poor trackpad might not be ideal for some users.
HP Victus 15t
- Sufficient processor (Ryzen 7 5800H)
- Adequate display (15.6 IPS Touch)
- Middle-of-the-road graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)
3.Lenovo Legion 5 ProThe Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is a powerful laptop for Autodesk AEC, but with some trade-offs.
- High-quality 165Hz 16:10 IPS display
- Relatively easy serviceability
- Integrated numpad
- Very fast charging
- Low-resolution webcam with no IR or privacy shutter
- Warm CPUGPU temperatures when gaming
- Moderate-heavy uneven backlight bleeding
- Only average battery life
With an upgraded AMD Zen 3+ CPU and 150W TGP GPU, the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is a fast and reliable laptop for Autodesk AEC. Its high-quality 165Hz display and MUX support make it great for productivity, but it comes with a low-resolution webcam, average battery life, and no Thunderbolt support.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
- High quality 165 Hz 16:10 IPS display
- Relatively easy serviceability
- Low resolution webcam with no IR or privacy shutter
- Very warm CPUGPU
4.GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4The GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4 is a high-performance gaming laptop suitable for Autodesk AEC.
- Highly responsive 165Hz panel
- Wide color gamut
- High system performance
- PCIe 4.0 SSD
- High power usage at idle and low load
- No card reader
- Only one USB-A port
The GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4 is a powerful laptop that can handle Autodesk AEC and demanding gaming applications with ease. It boasts an excellent 165Hz panel, wide color gamut, and high system performance, making it a suitable choice for professionals and gamers alike.
ASUS ROG Strix G15 G513RM
- Solid build quality with fair design
- Good inputoutput
- High CPU and GPU temperatures with games demanding loads
- No ThunderboltUSB 4, card-reader, camera or biometrics
5.Dell XPS 17 9720Dell XPS 17 9720 has an impressive display and high-end specs, but lacks in graphics performance.
- Excellent 4K display with AdobeRGB
- High-quality build
- Very high system performance
- Fast card reader
- Lower graphics performance than the predecessor
- Performance not completely stable under combined load
- Not Wi-Fi 6E compatible
- 720p webcam
Dell XPS 17 9720 boasts a stunning 4K display with AdobeRGB and high-quality build, as well as very high system performance and fast card reader. However, the laptop falls short in graphics performance compared to its predecessor and can suffer from instability under load.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo
- Impressive, thin design with dual displays
- Top-end performance with GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPU and Ryzen 9 CPU
- Expensive, with a price tag of 7,500
- Awkward keyboard and touchpad layout
Whether you're just starting out or you're an Autodesk AEC veteran looking to up your game, finding the right laptop to maximize your performance and keep up with the requirements of the software can be tricky. We're here to help.
Here are our recommended laptop requirements based on your budget:
|Price Range||Processor||Graphics Card||Memory|
|Minimum||Intel Core i5-10500H||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050||16 GB RAM|
|Recommended||Intel Core i5-11400H||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060||32 GB RAM|
|High-end||Intel Core i9-11900H||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080||64 GB RAM|
No matter your budget, we have you covered. By following these guidelines you can be sure that your laptop will provide you with the performance necessary to make the most out of Autodesk AEC.
AEC Laptop FAQs
Q: What is the best laptop for Autodesk AEC?
The best laptop for Autodesk AEC depends on your budget and specific needs. If you're looking for the best performance, the MSI Titan GT77 12UHS-007 is a high-end option that can handle any task. However, it's also the most expensive laptop on our list at $6,240. If you're looking for a more affordable option, we recommend the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 or the ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 UM535QE-XH71T.
What laptop should I buy for Autodesk AEC?
The laptop you should buy for Autodesk AEC depends on your budget and needs. If you're on a budget, the Acer Nitro 5 is a great option at $870. If you want a higher-end laptop that can handle more demanding tasks, we recommend the ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 UM535QE-XH71T or the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14.
What laptops can run Autodesk AEC?
Any laptop that meets the minimum hardware requirements for Autodesk AEC can run the software. We recommend a laptop with at least an i5-10500H processor, a GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card, and 16 GB of memory.
Is 4 GB RAM enough for Autodesk AEC?
No, 4 GB of RAM is not enough for Autodesk AEC. We recommend a laptop with at least 16 GB of memory to run the software smoothly.
Which laptop is best for Autodesk AEC under $3,000?
For under $3,000, we recommend the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 or the ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 UM535QE-XH71T. Both laptops have the recommended hardware requirements for Autodesk AEC and are powerful enough to handle most tasks.
What is the minimum hardware requirement for Autodesk AEC?
The minimum hardware requirements for Autodesk AEC are an i5-10500H processor, a GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card, and 16 GB of memory.
What laptop specs do I need for Autodesk AEC?
To run Autodesk AEC smoothly, we recommend a laptop with at least an i5-10500H processor, a GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card, and 16 GB of memory. For higher-end performance, we recommend a laptop with an i5-11400H or i9-11900H processor, a GeForce RTX 2060 or RTX 2080 graphics card, and 32 GB or 64 GB of memory.
Can Autodesk AEC run on a laptop?
Yes, Autodesk AEC can run on a laptop as long as the laptop meets the minimum hardware requirements.
How to choose a laptop for Autodesk AEC?
When choosing a laptop for Autodesk AEC, consider the hardware requirements and your budget. Look for a laptop with at least an i5-10500H processor, a GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card, and 16 GB of memory. If your budget allows for it, consider a laptop with a higher-end processor, graphics card, and more memory.
Do I need a dedicated GPU for Autodesk AEC?
Yes, we recommend a laptop with a dedicated GPU, such as a GeForce RTX 3050 or higher, for Autodesk AEC to ensure smooth performance.
Table of the Best Laptops for Autodesk AEC
|ASUS TUF A15||$870|
|ASUS TUF A15||$1,140|
|Lenovo Legion 5 Pro||$1,350|
|GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4||$1,600|
|Dell XPS 17 9720||$5,600|