Maya is a professional 3D animation application designed by Autodesk, the company behind virtually every other creative tool on the market. Working with Maya requires a lot of computing power. Therefore, a solid workstation is necessary to avoid frustrating software lags and crashes while working on a large project. For the purpose of this article, I've assumed you already have an idea of what parts are needed for a good Maya machine. I'll cover everything else in my requirement breakdown below. Also, if you want to skip the planning phase and get some solid laptop recommendations instead, just scroll to the bottom.
If you're looking to buy a new laptop to run Autodesk Maya, you're in luck – there are more options than ever before, and the competition between Intel and AMD has never been more fierce. In this article, we'll take a look at what's new in the processor market and how much horsepower you need for 3D modeling and animation. We'll also touch on other considerations like battery life, thermals, and acoustics.
What's new in the processor market?
The biggest news in the processor market is the release of Apple's M1 system-on-chip (SoC) modules for the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. These chips offer exceptional single-core performance and battery life, and they're based on Arm architecture (which is also used in smartphones). However, they're not yet compatible with Maya, so if you're looking for a MacBook to run Maya, you'll need to wait for the M2 chips (or go with an older model).
On the PC side, AMD has managed to take 20% of the CPU market with its 6th generation Ryzen processors. These chips offer great value for money and competitive performance, but they're not yet compatible with Maya.
How much horsepower do you need for 3D modeling and animation?
Maya is a 3D application, so it's heavily reliant on the CPU performance – especially when working with complex scenes with many assets and long render times. If you're using other applications in your workflow (e.g., Adobe Premiere Pro), then make sure to check their respective benchmarks for multi-core performance; this will give us an idea of how well Maya will be able to handle multiple tasks at once.
The most common ways to measure processor performance include Cinebench and PassMark scores; these are good enough for comparing processors within the same price range but they don't tell the whole story since some processors have higher TDP than others which means they'll throttle more easily under load. That's why I prefer to use core count as an indicator of single-thread performance when comparing different CPUs in Maya – this is especially true if you're working with complex models or scenes with long render times which can't be offloaded to a GPU due to limited memory capacity (especially on laptops).
64-bit Intel ir AMD multi-core processor with SSE4.2
Autodesk Maya is a demanding application, so you'll need a good graphics card (GPU) to get the most out of it. If you're using an integrated graphics chipset, you can skip this section, as there's no point in discussing dedicated GPUs for Maya if your laptop doesn't have one. In this section, we'll discuss how to rank GPUs by performance and price, and we'll provide a list of recommended GPUs for Maya.
When choosing a laptop for Maya, don't forget about other components such as RAM and storage – these will also affect your performance when working with complex scenes in Maya.
How to Rank GPUs by Performance and Price
You can use 3DMark scores to compare different graphics cards and rank them by performance. In general, the higher the 3DMark score, the better the GPU. However, keep in mind that 3DMark is just one benchmark and doesn't necessarily reflect real-world performance.
In terms of price, you can use two measures: cost per 3DMark score or cost per frame. Cost per 3DMark score is simply the price of the GPU divided by its 3DMark score. This measure is useful if you want to compare GPUs with different 3DMark scores. Cost per frame is the price of the GPU divided by its frame rate in games. This measure is useful if you want to compare GPUs with different frame rates.
Recommended GPUs for Maya
Here are some recommended GPUs for Maya, based on 3DMark scores and prices:
- Minimum: RTX 1650
- Recommended: RTX 2070
- High-end: RTX 3080
4 Best Laptops for Autodesk Maya
1.MSI SwordAutodesk Maya laptop
- One of most affordable laptops with an Intel i5 processor
- Spacious 1TB SSD
- Backlit keyboard
- Its screen gives away its price
HP Victus 15 I
- Strong entry-level gaming performance
- Solid productivity performance
- Display and webcam could be better
- Too much preinstalled software
2.HP Victus 15tHP Victus 15t: A Budget-Friendly Laptop for Maya, with Decent Gaming Performance.
- Excellent price
- Good gaming performance
- Can double as a work laptop
- Bad battery life
- Rather plain design
The HP Victus 15t is an affordable gaming laptop that can handle high-end games and double as a work laptop. While the battery life is subpar and the design is plain, the laptop's price point and performance make it a good option for those on a budget.
Lenovo Legion 5 17.3
- Decent gaming performance
- Sufficient amount of ports
- Short battery life
- Small touchpad
3.Lenovo Legion 5 ProLenovo Legion 5 Pro: Powerful Laptop for Autodesk Maya, but with Some Limitations
- High quality 165 Hz 16:10 IPS display
- Relatively easy serviceability
- Integrated numpad
- Very fast charging
- Low-resolution webcam with no IR or privacy shutter
- Very warm CPUGPU temperatures when gaming
- Moderate-heavy uneven backlight bleeding
- Only average battery life
The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is a powerful laptop that can handle Autodesk Maya and other demanding software with ease. However, it has some limitations such as a low-resolution webcam, moderate-heavy backlight bleeding, and no Thunderbolt support.
ASUS TUF F15 FX507ZM-ES74
- Powerful GPU with high TGP
- High refresh rate and color accurate display
- Chassis has some flexing
- No per-key RGB lighting
4.ASUS ROG Strix ScarASUS ROG Strix Scar delivers top-notch performance with some thermal limitations.
- Sturdy construction
- Fast Wi-Fi 6E
- Unhindered Core i9-12900H and RTX 3070 Ti performance
- Wide color gamut coverage with Dolby Vision support
- High heat and noise emissions under load
- Limited display angle
- Battery backup could have been better
- Heavy SSD throttling during continuous reads
The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533 is a powerful laptop with an improved display and the latest Intel and Nvidia components. Its sturdy build quality, fast Wi-Fi, and unhindered performance make it an excellent choice for gamers. However, the laptop suffers from high heat and noise emissions, a limited display angle, and average battery life.
Acer Predator Triton 500
- High performance capabilities
- Excellent, bright 240-Hz display
- Soldered-in RAM
- Inaccessible SSD
Table of the Best Laptops for Autodesk Maya
|HP Victus 15t||$900|
|Lenovo Legion 5 Pro||$1,350|
|ASUS ROG Strix Scar||$2,310|