10 Best laptops for ZBrush in 2022

Sculpting with ZBrush

Are you a 3D artist looking for the perfect laptop to run ZBrush? Maybe you're starting in the field and feel like the laptop you bought a few years ago isn't powerful enough. Or maybe you just feel like a processor upgrade, a higher resolution display, or an extra RAM boost. I understand completely.

That's why I've written this laptop buying guide for ZBrush artists. With it, you'll be able to find the best laptop for 3D modeling from a wide range of price points. I'll also explore a few laptops that are optimized for art programs like ZBrush. Furthermore, we'll consider what specs matter when looking for a laptop for 3D art and how to find the most cost-effective yet powerful machines.

Deciding on a processor

It's been an interesting year for laptop processors, with both Intel and Apple releasing new chips to take on the competition. Intel has released the 12th generation of their Core processors (based on a hybrid performance/efficiency core design), while Apple has launched their own M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M2 system-on-chip modules, which offer incredible single-core performance and battery life. Meanwhile, AMD has managed to take 20% of the CPU market with their 6th generation Ryzen processors, which are best if you need a good battery life in a PC laptop.

If you're looking for a laptop for ZBrush, you have a lot of choices. You can get a laptop with either an Intel or AMD processor, as well as Apple's own M1 chips. As ZBrush is available on both Windows and macOS, you can choose between these platforms. If you're looking for a MacBook Pro, I'll assume that you're primarily using it for ZBrush, so I'll focus on that.

But first, let's take a look at the CPU. The processor is not as important as it used to be, but it's still important to get a fast processor if you want to use ZBrush's real-time rendering engine (Cycles). I'll use Cinebench R20 multi-core scores for my recommendations since it's one of the most popular benchmarks for 3D applications; however, any other benchmark will do just fine as long as it's recent enough to provide a good estimate of the processor performance in ZBrush.

And if you're looking for a high-end workstation, consider getting a laptop with an H-series processor; these are designed for demanding applications such as 3D modeling and gaming, and they offer better performance at the expense of battery life. However, you should also consider other factors when choosing a laptop for ZBrush such as thermals, battery life, and weight.

Now let's take a look at my recommendations by price range. For the budget-conscious user, I'd recommend getting an Intel i3-1115G4 processor; it offers decent performance at a very low price point. For those who don't want to compromise on performance, I'd recommend getting an Intel i5-10310U; it offers excellent performance and good battery life. For the high-end user, I'd recommend getting an Intel i7-1180G7; it offers the best performance of all but with lower battery life.

So depending on your budget and needs, you should be able to find the perfect laptop processor for ZBrush.

What's the best graphics for ZBrush?

If you're a 3D artist who works with ZBrush and you're looking for a laptop, the graphics card is one of the most important components you'll need to consider.

Nvidia currently dominates the laptop graphics market, and they recently released a few RTX 40 series cards, although these are not yet available on laptops. For now, you'll need to look at the RTX 30 series GPUs such as the RTX 3070 Ti. Unfortunately, desktop GPUs are now a lot more power-hungry and the gap between power-limited notebook graphics and desktop graphics cards has widened in the past few years. Furthermore, Nvidia has discontinued the Max-Q label for its RTX graphics cards. Now, an exact GPU wattage is determined by a laptop manufacturer (OEM) which can result in a wide variance in graphics performance even in laptops with the same GPU chipset.

So, how do you know if a graphics card is suited for 3D modeling and rendering? 3DMark is a well-known benchmark that everyone can access, and it's often used to compare different GPUs. Of course, if you're looking for a gaming laptop, you'll also want to look for one with an Nvidia G-Sync panel; it will ensure that your games run smoothly even when your framerate drops below the refresh rate of your display panel (which is usually around 144Hz).

Now, let's take a look at some recommended GPUs based on your budget. For a budget-friendly option, you could consider the GeForce GTX 1650. For a mid-range option, you could look at the GeForce RTX 3050. And, if you're looking for a high-end GPU, you could go with the GeForce RTX 3050 Ti.

Keep in mind that although a dedicated GPU is not necessary for ZBrush, it can speed up some tasks, especially if you're working with V-Ray or Octane.

Here's a summary table of the recommended GPUs and their respective price brackets:

Graphics Card Price Bracket
GeForce GTX 1650 Budget-Friendly
GeForce RTX 3050 Mid-Range
GeForce RTX 3050 Ti High-End

Deciding on a memory

The amount of RAM you need to run ZBrush is determined by how complex your scenes and meshes are. Fortunately, memory prices have come down significantly over the past few years, so it's easier than ever to get a laptop with plenty of RAM for ZBrush.

Most mid-range laptops now come with 16 GB of RAM, which should be more than enough for most artists. However, if you're working with high-poly meshes or complex scenes, 32 GB or more is ideal. It's worth noting that DDR5 is still expensive and needs time to mature as a technology – DDR4 will be more than sufficient for most artists.

When shopping for a laptop with a lot of RAM (32 GB or more), make sure it has enough free DIMM slots to support it – most laptops have 2 free DIMM slots. Additionally, you should also look out for RAM latency and frequency, as this can affect the overall performance of your laptop.

Here's a table of recommended RAM configurations depending on your budget:

Budget Minimum Recommended High-end
Low 8 GB 16 GB N/A
Mid 8 GB 16 GB 32 GB
High 8 GB 32 GB 32+ GB

6 Best Laptops for ZBrush

HP Victus 15 I

1
Plenty of features for the money
Price
$600
i5-12450H | GTX 1650 | 8 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Up to scratch processor (i5-12450H)
  • Up to the mark graphics card (GTX 1650)
Cons
  • So-so memory amount (8GB)
  • Run-of-the-mill battery life (280min)
Alternatives
$690
Lenovo IdeaPad 3i
Pros
  • Up to the mark display (15.6 IPS)
  • Sufficient memory amount (16GB)
Cons
  • Not the best processor (i5-11300H)
  • Heavy (4.82 lbs)
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HP Victus 15

2
Best laptop for ZBrush under $700
Price
$650
i5-12450H | GTX 1650 | 8 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Adequate processor (i5-12450H)
  • Fair graphics card (GTX 1650)
Cons
  • Middle-of-the-road memory amount (8GB)
  • Garden-variety battery life (287min)
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GIGABYTE A5 K1

3
ZBrush laptop under $1000
Price
$790
Ryzen 5 5600H | RTX 3060 | 16 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Decent processor (Ryzen 5 5600H)
  • Great graphics card (RTX 3060)
Cons
  • Mediocre memory amount (16GB)
  • Bulky (4.73 lbs)
Alternatives
$880
Lenovo IdeaPad 3i 15
Pros
  • Fair graphics card (RTX 3050)
  • Excellent display (15.6 IPS)
Cons
  • Not the best processor (i5-11300H)
  • Weighty (4.73 lbs)
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ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14

4
Plenty of features for the money
Price
$1460
Ryzen 9 5900HS | RTX 3060 | 40 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 14″; 2560×1440
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Featherweight (3.63 lbs)
  • Awesome battery life (572min)
Cons
  • Ordinary processor (Ryzen 9 5900HS)
  • Average graphics card (RTX 3060)
Alternatives
$1,750
GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4
Pros
  • Solid processor (i7-12700H)
  • Superb graphics card (RTX 3070 Ti)
Cons
  • Unexceptional battery life (305min)
  • Bulky (5.28 lbs)
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ASUS ROG Strix Scar

5
Plenty of features for the money
Price
$2670
Ryzen 9 5900HX | RTX 3080 | 64 GB RAM | 4000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS-level G-Sync; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Solid graphics card (RTX 3080)
  • Good display (15.6 IPS-level G-Sync)
Cons
  • Average processor (Ryzen 9 5900HX)
Alternatives
$4,700
Lenovo ThinkPad P15
Pros
  • Very good display (15.6 OLED Touch)
  • Splendid memory amount (128GB)
Cons
  • Run-of-the-mill processor (Xeon W-10855M)
  • So-so battery life (300min)
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ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo

6
Best laptop for ZBrush under $5000
Price
$4410
i9-12900H | RTX 3060 | 32 GB RAM | 8000 GB SSD | 15.6″ OLED Touch; 3840×2160
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Decent processor (i9-12900H)
  • Awesome display (15.6 OLED Touch)
Cons
  • Run-of-the-mill memory amount (32GB)
  • Unexceptional battery life (260min)
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Table of the Best Laptops for 10 Best laptops for ZBrush in 2022

LaptopPrice (approx)
HP Victus 15 I$600
HP Victus 15$650
GIGABYTE A5 K1$790
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14$1460
ASUS ROG Strix Scar$2670
ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo$4410

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