Best Laptop for Fusion 360 – Requirements & Reviews (2022)

Fusion 360 If you’re anything like me, you’ve been quite interested in learning how to 3D model. It’s a fascinating field that requires a whole new way of thinking. In that regard, Autodesk Fusion 360 seems to be the perfect software to teach one the very basics. Not only is it available for free (trial verzion) but it also offers a wide range of tutorials and projects to tackle along the way. For those willing to take the plunge and put some hours into learning a whole new skill – this might be a great first-step tool.

Once you’ve gone through a few tutorials and have learned the basics, though, there’s no denying that having access to a 3D modeling software from your laptop would be convenient as heck. For those of us looking for that, there are some great options on the market already. So great, in fact, that I’ve prepared a whole guide just for them!

TL;DR
  • Autodesk Fusion 360 is a great first step into 3D modeling
  • the best laptops for Fusion 360 are in this article

Requirements for a Autodesk Fusion 360 laptop

Major The right graphics card

Basic laptops

GPU orange

If you’re on a tight budget and only want to use Fusion 360 occasionally – an integrated graphics chip should be enough.

An integrated graphics chip is the cheapest option for any laptop, so this will likely be your first choice if you’re on a tight budget. You’ll notice performance hitches, especially when dealing with large assemblies. But for small assemblies, an integrated graphics chip should work just fine.

But, if you want to go the extra mile and buy a laptop that has a dedicated GPU – I recommend going for one of these cards:

  • GTX 1660 Ti
  • RTX 2070

I recommend GTX 1660 Ti over RTX 2070 because it is less expensive and better suited for basic assemblies. However, if you’re looking to get something with RTX and Nvidia Max-Q technology – the RTX 2070 is worth considering.

TL;DR
  • if you’re on a tight budget, get an integrated graphics chip (like Intel UHD Graphics 620)
  • if you want to spend more money, get a laptop with an Nvidia Max-Q graphics card (like RTX 2070)

Major Deciding on a processor

CPU orangeon a processor

If you’re on the hunt for a laptop that can run Autodesk Fusion 360 smoothly, then it’s time to dig deep into the specs. A powerful processor is one of the most important features of a laptop, so it should be one of your top priorities.

Requirements

When choosing a processor for an Autodesk Fusion 360 laptop, it’s crucial to know what the program needs. That’s because most tasks are not parallelizable and will be handled by only one core. That means that more cores won’t help with most Fusion 360 tasks. If you’re primarily using Fusion 360 for CAD or CAM, then go for a high-end processor like Intel Core i9-11900H. It’s worth noting that the number of cores doesn’t matter much for Fusion 360, but single-core speed does – so make sure your CPU is capable of running at least 3.5GHz per core (it will show up in benchmarks). For example, AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS would be perfect – it can clock up to 4.3GHz per core!

Recommendations

Here are some great processors for running Autodesk Fusion 360:

  • i5-1135G7 – if you’re looking for the best cheap laptop for Fusion 360
  • i7-10875H – if you want a middle-range laptop for Fusion 360
  • i9-11900H – if you’re looking for the best laptop for Fusion 360
TL;DR
  • if you’re primarily using Fusion 360 for CAD or CAM, go for a high-end processor like Intel Core i9-11900H (but make sure it can run at least 3.5GHz per core)
  • if you’re looking for the best cheap laptop for Fusion 360, get an i5 or i7 processor (and make sure it can run at least 3.5GHz per core)
  • if you want a middle-range laptop for Fusion 360, get an i7 processor (and make sure it can run at least 3.5GHz per core)
  • if you’re looking for the best laptop for Fusion 360, get an i9 processor (and make sure it can run at least 3.5GHz per core)

Major Memory that will work optimally with Autodesk Fusion 360

Minimum (8 GB)

ram stick orange

8 GB used to be the standard for RAM capacity for the longest time. In 2021, 16 GB is becoming the new de facto choice for budget laptops, starting at around $650. If you can’t go above that, 8 GB is still alright. In fact, it might be a wise choice if you’re prioritizing the CPU, which is much more critical for Autodesk Fusion 360.

Recommended (16 GB)

If you aren’t limited by a very tight budget – you’ll most likely end up with a 16 GB laptop. It just seems to do the job for most laptops under $2k. That’s the sweet spot for work, gaming, and everything in-between. These days a fast SSD can soften the impact of running out of RAM. That might be one of the reasons why I’ve noticed a slowdown in the continuous climb of RAM capacities in laptops. Especially if you’re buying a bulkier laptop that can be easily upgraded, there’s no need to sweat about getting 16 GB.

Best (32 GB)

If you’re only running Autodesk Fusion 360 on your laptop, 32 GB is only necessary if you typically use lots of sample-based instruments (each running Multi-GB orchestral libraries & ROMpler style plugins, for example). But I doubt any of us are running Autodesk “naked”. I’d guess you’ll have a browser running in the background and then a couple more applications on the side. In that case, 16 GB, while perfectly capable, is not optimal for the best laptop for Autodesk Fusion 360. That’s why I recommend 32 GB for anyone going over $2000, where 32 GB laptops are ubiquitous. On top of that, 32 GB is a sure-fire way to future-proof your laptop.

TL;DR
  • you’ll most likely end up with a 16 GB laptop
  • 16 GB is a sure-fire way to future-proof your laptop.

Decorations (links, key phrases, TL;DR, images):

Optional requirements for a Autodesk Fusion 360 laptop

Optional The best storage that will work optimally with Autodesk Fusion 360 in 2021

When should you get a laptop with an SSD?

SSD yellow

To answer this question, let’s break it down into two simple questions:

  • What do you need your laptop for?
  • How much are you willing to spend on it?

The answer to the first question is easy – if you’re buying a laptop solely for AutoCAD 2022 or Fusion 360, then an SSD is necessary. If you’re using other programs in addition to CAD software, then there are less rigid requirements. If you need to carry around large files, use specialized software, or edit video – I’d recommend getting a laptop with an SSD.

The answer to the second question is harder – in general, if you can afford it, I’d recommend getting a laptop with an SSD. That said, if your budget is tight and can’t stretch more than $1,000 – then don’t worry about the size of the drive. Instead focus on other aspects like RAM or display quality.

Common storage sizes in SSDs for laptops

The vast majority of laptops come with either 256 GB or 512 GB drives these days. Generally speaking, these are enough for AutoCAD 2022 and Fusion 360 workloads respectively. On the other hand, there are exceptions where AutoCAD 2020 can exceed 1 TB of storage space per year – in which case I would recommend looking at 1 TB or 2 TB laptops.

TL;DR
  • SSD is necessary for AutoCAD 2022 and Fusion 360 workloads
  • there are less rigid requirements for laptops used for other programs or for file transfer/editing/video editing/etc.

6 Best Laptops for Autodesk Fusion 360

Lenovo -

1
Good price-to-performance ratio
Price
$690
Ryzen 5 5600H | GTX 1650 | 8 GB RAM | 256 GB SSD | 15.6″ 120Hz IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Terrific processor (Ryzen 5 5600H)
  • Terrific graphics card (GTX 1650)
Cons
  • Substandard memory amount (8GB)
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Lenovo Legion 5

2
Laptop with insane price and performance ratio
Price
$830
Ryzen 7 5800H | RTX 3060 | 16 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD | 15.6″ 165Hz IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Great processor (Ryzen 7 5800H)
  • Superb graphics card (RTX 3060)
Cons
  • Mediocre memory amount (16GB)
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Dell XPS 9710

3
Autodesk Fusion 360 laptop under $1500
Price
$1140
Ryzen 7 5800H | RTX 3050 Ti | 64 GB RAM | 4000 GB SSD; 8000 GB HDD | 15.6″ 120Hz Touch; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Superb processor (Ryzen 7 5800H)
  • Superb memory amount (64GB)
Cons
  • No IPS Panel (subpar viewing angles)
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ASUS ROG Strix Scar

4
Autodesk Fusion 360 laptop under $3000
Price
$2770
Ryzen 9 5900HX | RTX 3080 | 64 GB RAM | 4000 GB SSD | 15.6″ 300Hz IPS-level G-Sync; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • First-class processor (Ryzen 9 5900HX)
  • Excellent graphics card (RTX 3080)
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Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen

5
Best laptop for Autodesk Fusion 360 under $5000
Price
$3650
i9-11950H | RTX 3080 | 64 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 16″ IPS HDR; 3840×2400
Pros and cons
Pros
  • First-class graphics card (RTX 3080)
  • Competent display (16 IPS HDR)
Cons
  • Unremarkable processor (i9-11950H)
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MSI Raider GE66-15

6
Autodesk Fusion 360 laptop under $10000
Price
$5910
i9-12900HK | RTX 3080 Ti | 32 GB RAM | 8000 GB SSD | 15.6″ 120Hz IPS; 3840×2160
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Superb graphics card (RTX 3080 Ti)
  • Awesome display (15.6 120Hz IPS)
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Table of Best Laptops for Autodesk Fusion 360

LaptopPrice (approx)
Lenovo -$690
Lenovo Legion 5$830
Dell XPS 9710$1140
ASUS ROG Strix Scar$2770
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen$3650
MSI Raider GE66-15$5910

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