AutoCAD is one of the oldest CAD systems out there, which also means it’s extremely popular. There are lots of opportunities for this CAD system in pretty much any industry you can think of. That means many people will be looking for an AutoCAD laptop, which leads to lots of questions about what the best laptop for AutoCAD is. We’re going to attempt to answer these questions by diving deep into the hardware specs required for an optimal AutoCAD experience.
As always, we’ll start by reviewing what hardware specs are important in an AutoCAD laptop. We’ll then go over each spec in detail, before jumping into specific recommendations at the end of the post.
After reading this post, you’ll know exactly what the best laptops for AutoCAD are according to your budget and professional needs. I can’t wait to get started!
Picking a good processor
The importance of a processor in a CAD laptop is paramount. As such, it dictates the overall performance and every other component is balanced around the CPU to show its full prowess.
The most common processor line is Intel Core. Intel is often superior in single-core performance and is a good option all-around. Nowadays, AMD is as relevant as ever with its Ryzen CPUs. They’re not as widespread as Intel in laptops, but AMD CPUs trend towards more cores, offering a better bang for the buck for multi-threaded work. Sadly, AutoCAD is not as optimized for that, so a solid single-core performance is still king.
For an AutoCAD LT 2022 laptop, we can disregard Core i3 and Ryzen 3 (although they are still very viable options). Instead, I’d go for at least i5 H-series CPUs that are performance-oriented (i5 models only – no “U”s!). In short – if it doesn’t have an “H” in its model name – it’s no bueno for CAD (although they are still very viable options). Starting at $700+, we can find some laptops with i5-10300H or i5-11300H – my recommended options for the best cheap laptop for AutoCAD LT 2022! For mid range CAD computers (starting at $1k).
I’d expect nothing less than a Core i7/Ryzen 7 processor. A prime example – Intel Core i7-10750H.
To top it off, I can give three recommendations for the very best CPUs for AutoCAD LT 2022:
- Ryzen 9 5900HS
How to choose the right graphics card for AutoCAD LT 2022?
AutoCAD LT is a popular CAD software. The software relies on high-performance graphics cards for rendering. It is worth noting that the rendering process takes a lot of time and it will be reduced if you have a high-performance graphics card.
In this section, we’ll take a look at the best graphics cards for AutoCAD LT 2022.
Minimum graphics (under $1000)
If you want to use your computer for AutoCAD LT 2022, you’ll need a laptop with a dedicated graphics card. There is an option of an entry-level dedicated GPU, such as GTX 1650. That’s fine for small assemblies. I’m not recommending a cheap laptop for AutoCAD LT, but it’s an option for a tight budget.
Recommended graphics ($1000 – $2000)
If you can’t go over $2000 – just go for a consumer-grade card. End of discussion. This includes most students, part-time freelancers, and hobbyists. Non-workstation cards are mainly acceptable for general assemblies with basic parts. If you’re looking to spend less than $2000, I recommend these cards:
- RTX 2060
- RTX 3060
Best graphics ($2000+)
If you’ll be working full-time or your part-time gig justifies getting a $2000 – $4000+ laptop – a certified Quadro/FirePro chip might be exactly what you need. As an alternative, you could either go for a high-end consumer card (RTX 3070/3080).
- for AutoCAD LT, any laptop will do (if you can’t afford a dedicated GPU)
- GTX 1650 is a good choice for small assemblies (if you can’t afford a dedicated GPU)
- if you’re looking to spend less than $2000, get RTX 2060/3060 or RTX 3070/3080 (if you can afford a dedicated GPU)
The right memory
Minimum (8 GB)
8 GB is enough for AutoCAD LT 2022, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Most laptops with 8 GB are either outdated or budget-oriented. AutoCAD requires an efficient processor and plenty of RAM to run smoothly.
You can run AutoCAD on 8 GB of RAM, but if you want to keep your laptop for a few years, I’d recommend upgrading to 16 GB at the very least.
Recommended (16 GB)
AutoCAD LT 2022 runs on 16 GB just fine. It doesn’t require that much power to run – it’s mainly for graphics-heavy applications like Photoshop or 3D rendering software. There are even 16 GB laptops that cost under $1000, which is pretty reasonable considering how prices have gone up in the past few years.
For my own laptop, I’ve been using 16GB for a while now and I’m happy with it. Though, I would upgrade to 32GB if I had the chance – they are becoming more affordable these days. But this is one of those things where you can never be too sure what will happen in the future – who knows what needs will arise in 2020?
Best (32 GB)
I would always recommend 32GB of RAM on a professional laptop. AutoCAD requires some hefty specifications to run smoothly, so you might as well future-proof your laptop with 32GB of RAM. This way you won’t have to worry about making any changes later on down the line – your computer will be ready for anything!
- 16GB is recommended for AutoCAD LT 2022
- 32GB is best for AutoCAD LT 2022 (but 16GB is fine)
Picking a good storage
More on storage
256 GB SSDs are, in my opinion, the perfect minimum storage capacity for AutoCAD LT 2022. These are generally found in new laptops that cost anywhere between $850 and $1,870. That’s a range I’d be comfortable with – anything below that would mean either an underpowered laptop or overpriced machine.
512 GB SSDs, on the other hand, can be found in laptops for about $1400. It’s an excellent balance of storage space and price – but there are other factors to consider before picking one up. For example, while 512 GB should be enough for most AutoCAD LT 2022 users, if you’re also working with other professional software then it might not be enough space.
Finally, 1 TB SSDs are not just unnecessary for AutoCAD LT 2022 – they’re barely worth mentioning at this point. That’s because brand new laptops with 1 TB SSDs are typically found in the $2,200 range – which is well outside of the budget laptop category.
- 256 GB is enough storage for AutoCAD LT 2022
- 512 GB is good for most AutoCAD LT 2022 users, but there are other factors to consider before picking one up
- 1 TB is unnecessary and barely worth mentioning at this point for AutoCAD LT 2022 users
Display for AutoCAD LT 2022
TN panels are a common compromise in budget laptops
- For a budget laptop, a TN panel is a fair trade-off between price and quality.
- If you’re not going to invest much in your AutoCAD LT 2022 laptop, then go for a TN panel with at least Full HD resolution.
- TN panels have limited viewing angles and limited color gamut, but this isn’t too bad for the CAD work in AutoCAD LT 2022.
IPS panels have better viewing angles and higher color accuracy
- IPS panels have much better viewing angles and more accurate colors than TN displays. They also tend to be brighter. But IPS panels are also much more expensive than TN displays. So if you’re on a tight budget, it’s worth going for an entry-level laptop with a TN display. You’ll sacrifice brightness and viewing angles, but you’ll get the best value for your money.
- A mid-range laptop with an IPS display will be noticeably better for AutoCAD LT 2022 than an entry-level laptop with a TN display.
TN panel has limited viewing angles and limited color gamut, but this isn’t too bad for the CAD work in AutoCAD LT 2022.
Table of Best Laptops for AutoCAD LT 2022
5 Best Laptops for AutoCAD LT 2022
Pros and cons
- Good processor (i5-10200H)
- Solid graphics card (RTX 3050)
- Substandard memory amount (8GB)
- Sufficient processor (Ryzen 5 4600H)
- Light-weight (4.4 lbs)
- Average graphics card (GTX 1650)
- So-so memory amount (8GB)
- Excellent display (15.6 IPS HDR Touch)
- Sufficient memory amount (16GB)
- Ordinary processor (i7-9850H)
- Middle-of-the-road graphics card (Quadro T2000)
Pros and cons
- Superb processor (Ryzen 7 5800H)
- Decent graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)
- No IPS Panel (worse contrast)
Pros and cons
- Exceptional processor (Ryzen 7 5800H)
- Solid memory amount (128GB)
- Ordinary graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)
- No IPS Panel (inferior color reproduction)
Pros and cons
- Excellent display (15.6 240Hz IPS)
- Solid memory amount (64GB)
- Mediocre processor (i7-12700H)
- Not the best graphics card (RTX 3060)
- Terrific processor (i9-11900H)
- Good memory amount (40GB)
- Substandard graphics card (RTX 3060)