CATIA is an industry leader in 3D CAD design and engineering software, but its strict hardware requirements make it difficult to run effectively on a laptop. That's why finding the right laptop for CATIA is a tricky but necessary task for any engineer.
In this guide, I'll provide the information needed for a computer that's well-suited for running CATIA. I'll also list a few tips and tricks for keeping your laptop from running too hot, as well as a hand-picked list of the best laptops for CATIA on different budgets. That way, you can get the most out of your purchase without breaking the bank. Let's dive in!
The processor is the heart of any laptop and its performance is often a deciding factor when making a purchase. It's important to choose the right processor for your needs and budget, and this is especially true for laptops that run CAD/CAM software like CATIA.
In recent years, Apple has released their 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 20% of the CPU market with the 6th generation Ryzen processors and Intel's 13th-gen processors are still yet to reach laptops, where 12th generation is Intel's latest. Both Intel and Apple's silicon chips adopted hybrid performance/efficiency core design (based on big.LITTLE). Ryzen models are a great pick if you need a good battery life in a PC laptop.
CATIA is available on Windows and macOS, so if you're going for a MacBook – you can ignore the CPU section. CATIA is a 3D-centric application, and while it can do some 2D work, it's not its primary focus. So when selecting a processor, we should look for one that performs well in 3D rendering benchmarks. I prefer looking at PassMark scores because they're more up to date than Cinebench R20 or R23 scores; however, I will use both since R20/R23 are more recent benchmarks.
Now, if you're looking for a laptop for CATIA but want to save some money – don't expect it to have the best CPU or GPU; instead, look for a mid-range processor and graphics card (if you need one).
Dual vs single-core processors and the importance of clock speed
Single-core processors are great for most everyday tasks and they tend to be more energy-efficient than their dual-core counterparts. However, when it comes to more CPU-intensive tasks, such as 3D rendering, a dual-core processor is preferred as it can offer improved performance over a single-core processor. Clock speed is also an important factor to consider when it comes to processor performance, with higher clock speeds typically equating to better performance.
Do you need a workstation-level CPU for a 3D modeling application?
For basic 3D modelling tasks, a workstation-level CPU is not necessary. However, if you plan on using more advanced features such as video editing or rendering, then it might be worth investing in a higher-end processor to get the best performance out of your laptop.
Table of recommended processors by price range
Below is a table of recommended processors by price range and what to expect at each price level. This table only shows average benchmarks and actual results may vary depending on the laptop's cooling solution and software optimization.
|Processor||Price Range||Passmark Single Core||Passmark Multi Core||Cinebench R20||Cinebench R23|
Nvidia continues to dominate the laptop GPU market, with its latest notebook cards being in the RTX 30 series (such as the RTX 3070 Ti). However, the RTX 40 series cards have not yet been released for laptops. Also, desktop GPUs are now more power-hungry than ever, which has widened the gap between power-limited notebook graphics and desktop graphics cards. Furthermore, Nvidia has also discontinued the Max-Q label for its RTX graphics cards. Now, an exact GPU wattage is determined by a laptop manufacturer (OEM), resulting in a wide variance in graphics performance even in laptops with the same GPU chipset.
Since CATIA is a 3D application, a dedicated GPU is required to run it efficiently. This is because the CPU alone isn't capable of keeping up with the rendering times when a GPU is used. The GPU is important for rendering and displaying models in real time, while the number of CUDA/OpenCL cores, clock speed, memory bandwidth, and core count also affect its performance.
For an apples-to-apples comparison of graphics cards, I recommend using 3DMark. If you're looking for a laptop that can be used for gaming, engineering, or anything else – it should have at least an Nvidia 940MX graphics chip inside; if you want more performance, go for an Nvidia 965M or better yet – an Nvidia RTX series chip (but expect to pay more).
To summarize, here's a list of recommended GPUs for various budgets:
Minimum: GeForce GTX 1650
Recommended: GeForce RTX 3050
High-end: GeForce RTX 2060
In the past few years, RAM technology has significantly improved and most mid-range laptops now come with 16 GB of RAM, while high-end laptops come with 32 GB or more. Latest-gen Intel and AMD CPUs support DDR4 and DDR5, although the latter is still quite expensive and needs time to mature as a technology.
When it comes to CATIA, the most important thing to consider is RAM, and the general recommendation is to have at least 32 GB of RAM for optimum performance. It should also be noted that DDR4 memory is not strictly necessary for CATIA, although there are some benefits to using it.
Other components to consider when choosing a laptop for CATIA are fanless laptops, upgradability, and battery life. Depending on your budget, you should be able to find a laptop with these components that is suitable for your needs. Here's an overview of what you can expect at various price points:
|Low||Dual Core or higher||8 GB||SSD 256 GB|
|Mid-Range||Quad Core or higher||16 GB||SSD 512 GB|
|High-end||Eight Core or higher||32 GB||SSD 1 TB or more|
What laptop specs do I need for CATIA?
CATIA requires at least a GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, an i3-1115G4 processor, and 8 GB of RAM. For the best experience, you should aim for the GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card, an i5-10310U processor, and 16 GB of RAM.
Which laptop is best for CATIA?
While there are many laptops that can run CATIA, we recommend the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro or GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4 if you are looking for something that fits in a medium budget of around $800-$1000. For a higher budget of around $2,000 or more, we recommend the ASUS ROG Strix Scar or Acer Predator Triton 500.
How much RAM is required for CATIA in laptop?
CATIA requires a minimum of 8 GB RAM but 16 GB RAM is recommended for the best performance.
What laptops can run CATIA?
Any laptop that meets the minimum requirements outlined above can run CATIA.
Can CATIA be used on a laptop?
Yes, CATIA can be used on a laptop as long as it meets the minimum requirements.
What are the requirements for running CATIA on a laptop?
The minimum requirements for running CATIA on a laptop are GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, an i3-1115G4 processor, and 8 GB of RAM. However, for the best experience, you should aim for the GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card, an i5-10310U processor, and 16 GB of RAM.
Do I need Core i7 to work with CATIA?
You do not need Core i7 to work with CATIA but it is recommended for the best experience.
Is RTX 3060 enough for CATIA?
The RTX 3060 is more than enough to run CATIA with no performance issues.
Is 500 GB SSD enough for working with CATIA?
500 GB should be more than enough storage space for working with CATIA as long as you aren't storing any large files like videos or high-resolution images.
How to choose a laptop for CATIA?
When choosing a laptop for CATIA, it is important to consider the laptop's graphics card, processor, and RAM to make sure it meets the minimum requirements. Additionally, you should consider your budget when choosing a laptop as more powerful laptops will generally be more expensive.
6 Best Laptops for CATIA
Pros and cons
- Low price
- Good port selection
- Mediocre battery life
- Poor display and webcam quality
- Solid performance for productivity applications
- Attractive and sophisticated design
- Lower display brightness than expected
- Older GPU than expected
Pros and cons
- Value-for-money price
- Robust performance for CATIA
- Graphics processor not suitable for gaming
- Dim display with low resolution
- Comfortable keyboard with tactile feedback
- Efficient cooling for long-term usage
- Single-channel RAM may limit multitasking
- Comparatively slow processor compared to competitors
Pros and cons
- Sleek, Durable Design
- Outstanding Performance for CATIA
- Bulky 300W Charger
- Noisy Fans and High GPU Temperatures
Pros and cons
- Rapid Response with 165Hz Panel
- Lightning-Fast PCIe 4.0 SSD
- High Power Consumption with Low Loads
- No Card Reader
- Exceptionally High Performance for CATIA
- Robust Build Quality
- Unfavorable Coil Whine in Certain Conditions
Pros and cons
- Core i9-12900H and RTX 3070 Ti deliver powerful performance
- Wide color gamut coverage with Dolby Vision support
- Limited display angle
- High heat and noise emissions under load
- Robust aluminum case and extensive connection equipment
- Fast WiFi and 2.5 Gbit Ethernet
- Soldered-in RAM and inaccessible SSD
- Fan noise and warm palm rest
Pros and cons
- Fast processing capabilities for CATIA tasks
- Bright, clear 240-Hz display
- RAM soldered-in and inaccessible SSD
- Uncomfortable fan noise and warm palm rest
Table of the Best Laptops for CATIA
|HP Victus 15||$740|
|HP Victus 15t||$870|
|Lenovo Legion 5 Pro||$1510|
|GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4||$1600|
|ASUS ROG Strix Scar||$2310|
|Acer Predator Triton 500||$2500|