If you’ve been on the hunt for the Best Laptops for Architecture, Design, 3D Modelling, or AutoCAD in 2021, then here we have the top 5 perfect laptops for architecture students and professionals.
A good quality laptop equipped with great features is crucial for architecture students. Modern-day architecture involves heavy software like Rhino 3D, Revit Architecture, ArchiCAD, Vectorworks, SketchUp, V Ray, Maya, AutoCAD, Grasshopper, and more require a powerful laptop with a powerful CPU and GPU, decent RAM, and SSD storage to run smoothly.
Additionally, architects and architects students travel a lot and need a powerful laptop that is lightweight, slim, and portable.
There are many laptops on the market today. However, not all laptops can run these powerful and graphic demanding software that architecture students use daily. You don’t want to wait for 30 minutes to perform a simple take that could take a few minutes to complete using a powerful laptop.
While a powerful laptop is important, I am also aware that most architecture students are on a tight budget and cannot afford costly laptops. That is why I have gone the extra mile to look for laptops that are powerful but affordable. All laptops listed above are durable, reliable, and deliver excellent performance but very affordable. These laptops can run any architectural and design software that you throw at them smoothly and efficiently without lags. They are also very good at multitasking, meaning you can run multiple applications simultaneously, and the laptop will not overheat or slow down. Lastly, they are compact, stylish, and lightweight, thus ideal for architecture students who are always on the go.
At the end of this article, you will have made your choice on which laptop to buy. When compiling this list, I considered some of the things include a processor, RAM, display, graphics, storage, operating system, portability, weight, battery life, and customer reviews and ratings.
Now without wasting more time, let’s get started.
Minimum requirements for the best laptops for architecture, design, and 3D modelling
|Features||Minimum system requirement||Recommended system requirements|
|CPU||Intel core i3||Intel Core i7 or above|
|RAM||4 GB||8GB RAM or above|
|Storage||128GB SSD||512GB SSD or above|
|Display||11 inch||15.6-inch (1920 x 1080)|
|Battery life||Up to 5 hours||8 hours or more|
|Operating system||Windows 8||Windows 10 Pro|
The 6 Best Laptops of Architecture, Design, AutoCAD, and 3D Modeling for 2021
|Acer Swift 5||16 GB||512 GB||i7||Most affordable||Check price|
|LG Gram 17-inch||16 GB||512 GB||i7||Most affordable||Check price|
|Dell XPS 15 9560||16 GB||512 GB||i7||Most affordable||Check price|
|Samsung Notebook 9 Pro||16 GB||256 GB||i7||Most affordable||Check price|
|HP Spectre x360 2 in 1||16 GB||512 GB||i7||Most affordable||Check price|
|Apple MacBook Pro||16 GB||512 GB||i7||Best MacBook Pro for Architecture||Check price|
1. Acer Swift 5
- CPU: Intel Quad-Core i7-8565U
- RAM: 16DDR4 RAM
- Storage: 512GB SSD
- Display: 15.6-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS
- Battery life: up to 10 hours
- Operating system: Windows 10 Home
- Weight: 2 lbs.
If you are looking for an affordable yet powerful laptop for performing your architectural tasks, including running heavy software, then Acer Swift 5 is the perfect choice for you. Although affordable, this laptop is compelling and delivers excellent performance even while multitasking.
Acer Swift 5 is equipped with a powerful Intel Quad-Core i7-8565U with turbo boost technology that clocks up to 4.6 GHz. Most architectural design software is graphics demanding, and this laptop does not disappoint. The Intel UHD graphics 620 0GB integrated graphics card that it features ensures you enjoy the powerful graphics while running applications and performing your assignments and projects.
This laptop is also equipped with 16GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory that ensures that the laptop never lags even when multitasking. You can run ArchiCAD and Vectorworks simultaneously, and the computer will not hang as is the case with other laptops. The 512GB Solid State Drive that it features is super-fast with quick boot speed. It also saves files fast, supports high-definition video playback, and stores more data. The 512 GB will provide enough storage space to store your important documents, including software, projects, assignments, and other important files. The SSD can be upgraded later if need be.
Another incredible feature that I like about this laptop is its lightweight and ultra-thin design. This laptop only weighs 2.2lbs and 0.6-inch thick, making it ideal for architectural students who travel a lot.
This laptop features a 15.6 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology with frameless (0.23 inch) bezel that provides a good viewing experience, thus allowing you to perform your tasks for an extended period without getting tired. It also features the Acer colour intelligence and blue light shield that protects your eyes against the glare, thus allowing you to use the laptop for a long time without harming your eyes.
The cool boost technology with twin fans and quad exhaust ports helps keep the laptop cool even while performing strenuous tasks. It is also equipped with a powerful battery that can last for up to 10 hours, meaning you can perform your projects and assignments even when you are far from school or home where there is power without worrying that your laptop will go off.
The red-backlit keyboard that it features helps enhance visibility, allowing you to perform your tasks well, even when you are not in so well-lit areas. It is also equipped with a fingerprint sensor that enhances your privacy and security.
- Delivers excellent performance
- Long-lasting battery
- Decent RAM for multitasking
- Compact and lightweight
- It comes pre-installed with Windows 10 pro
- Plenty of storage space
- Some customers complain that it is quite noisy
Acer Swift 5 is a great laptop for architecture students searching for a quality laptop that is affordable and delivers excellent performance. It is equipped with a powerful processor and graphics that enable it to run heavy and graphic dense software with ease. It is also lightweight and portable, thus easy to carry around with ease.
2. LG Gram 17
- CPU: Intel Core i7-8565U Processor
- RAM: 16DDR4 RAM
- Storage: 512GB SSD
- Display: 17-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS
- Battery life: up to 19.5 hours
- Operating system: Windows 10
- Weight: 95 lbs.
LG is known for making quality and powerful laptops, and once again, they did not disappoint when they launched LG Gram 17 inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600) ultra-lightweight laptop. This it is equipped with including powerful processor and graphics. It is also slim, compact, and lightweight, ideal for architecture students who travel a lot.
The LG Gram 17 inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600) ultra-lightweight laptop stands out when it comes to performance. It is equipped with an Intel Core i7-8565U Processor 1.8GH that delivers excellent performance. It also features Intel UHD 620 Graphics that provide rich quality graphics that enable you to run graphic dense laptops such as SketchUp, V Ray, Maya, AutoCAD, and Grasshopper with ease. This powerful chipset is paired with 16GB DDR4 2400MHz RAM that ensures seamless performance even when multitasking.
If you love laptops with a widescreen, then this is the perfect laptop for you. LG Gram 17 inch WQXGA laptop is equipped with a whopping 17-inch FHD IPS LCD WQXGA (2560 x 1600) Display with an incredible 144Hz refresh rate. The large screen provides a great viewing experience, thus allowing you to perform your assignments with ease. The widescreen also an anti-glare function that allows you to perform your task for a long time without straining your eyes. 16:10 aspect ratio that it features also offers a great viewing experience.
This laptop is equipped with a 512GB NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive super-fast with incredible boot speed. The 512 GB storage is sufficient to install store all your documents. You can also upgrade the storage later if the need arises.
Although this laptop features a widescreen, it is slim and lightweight. It is thus easy to carry around when going on a field project. The Chiclet style keyboard that it features is super comfortable, meaning you can perform long typing sessions without getting tired. The keys are backlit for enhanced visibility while typing.
The vapour chamber cooling technology that it features helps keep the laptop cool even when performing strenuous tasks. It also features two 2W giant speakers that deliver great audio with a high degree of precision. The fingerprint sensor that it features helps to enhanced privacy and security, while the webcam allows you to communicate with other students and family members.
Another great about this laptop is its long battery life. The powerful 4-Cell 72 WHr Li-Ion 230W battery allows up to 19.5 hours of mixed-use. This means that you can use this laptop the whole day before charging the battery. It also comes with a fast charger that replenishes the battery by up to 50% in 30 minutes. It comes installed with Windows 10 Home.
- Excellent performance
- Sleek, slim design with super-thin bezels
- Widescreen size with high resolution
- Long-lasting battery life
- Decent storage
- Long battery life
- Fingerprints for enhanced security
- Short warranty period
LG Gram 17 inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600) ultra-lightweight laptop is a powerful laptop that is highly recommended for architecture students. Besides boasting of powerful processor, GPU, and RAM, its sleek and compact design make it a great option for architecture students who travel a lot.
3. Dell XPS 15 9560
- CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U Processor
- RAM: 16GB 2666MHz DDR4
- Storage: 256GB PCIe M.2 SSD
- Display: 15.6-inch (1920 x 1080) IPS widescreen Full-HD display
- Battery life: up to 10 hours
- Operating system: Windows 10 Home
- Weight: 84lbs
The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro NP940X5N-X01US has built itself a stellar reputation for its powerful specs and robust high quality. This laptop is also slim, lightweight, and portable, thus an ideal for architecture students who are always on the go. It is also made of high-quality military-grade materials that are super durable and stylish.
Samsung Notebook 9 Pro NP940X5N-X01US laptop features a brilliant Full HD 15-inch 1080p touchscreen for hands-on control with a 360-degree flip-and-fold ROTATING display. The widescreen features 250 nits brightness and a 100% RGB gamut that provides superior clarity. The anti-glare feature prevents your eyes from straining even when you use this laptop for a long time.
This laptop is also equipped with a powerful 4 Cell 3530mAh Lithium-ion that provides up to 12.5 hours of battery life. This means you can perform your tasks without worrying about the “low battery” warning. It also comes with a fast charger that can replenish the battery from 0-50% in less than 30 minutes.
When it comes to performance, this laptop does not disappoint. It features the latest 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U Processor 1.8GHz with TURBO BOOST that clocks to up to 4.00 GHz. This powerful chipset can handle anything you throw at it, including those demanding architectural software like Rhino 3D, Revit Architecture, ArchiCAD, Vectorworks, SketchUp, V Ray, Maya, and AutoCAD.
The powerful processor is paired with AMD Radeon 540 graphics card with 2GB dedicated memory that ensures the laptop provides quality graphics. The 16GB DDR4 RAM ensures that the laptop lever hangs when multitasking or performing strenuous tasks. The 256GB PCIe M.2 SSD provides super-fast and safe storage for all your documents. Samsung Notebook 9 Pro NP940X5N-X01US laptop comes preinstalled with windows 10 pro.
The laptop’s keyboard features a backlit that enhances visibility for a better typing experience. It also features The Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and Bluetooth 5.1 that it features allows fast connectivity even when in a crowded Wi-Fi environment.
- Excellent performance
- Super slim, lightweight, and portable
- A lithium-ion battery that lasts for up to 12.5 hours
- Fast charger
- Windows 10 pro-pre-installed
- Storage space is quite small
Samsung Notebook 9 Pro NP940X5N-X01US is the perfect choice for architect students looking for a powerful but affordable laptop to help them perform their tasks smoothly. It is equipped with great features that make it ideal for architecture students, including a powerful processor and graphics, decent RAM, and large SSD storage.
5. HP Spectre x360
- CPU: 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8565U
- RAM: 16 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM
- Storage: 512GB Solid State Drive
- Display: 15.6 Inch HD WLED-backlit touchscreen (3840 x 2160)
- Battery life: up to 10 hours
- Operating system: Windows 10 home
- Weight: 3 ounces
HP- Spectre x360 2 in 1 touch screen laptop is equipped with incredible features that make it an excellent choice for architecture students. It also stylish, sleek, lightweight, and portable, meaning you won’t have a hard time carrying it around. It can also fit on tight spaces, thanks to its sleek design. It comes preinstalled with Windows 10 Home 64 bits.
HP- Spectre x360 2-in-1 touch screen laptop features the newest 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8565U that clocks to up to 3.9GHz on turbo boost. NVIDIA GeForce MX150 (2GB GDDR5 dedicated) delivers unmatched graphics for all your graphics demanding architectural software. The 16 GB DDR4-2400 SD RAM ensures smooth performance even while running multiple software simultaneously.
This laptop 15.6-inch diagonal 4K IPS eDP micro-edge BrightView WLED-backlit (3840 x 2160) delivers a superior viewing experience. The 3840 x 2160 resolution delivers impressive colour and clarity, allowing you to use it for a long period without straining your eyes. It also comes with HP active stylus and HP sleeve.
The 512 SSD that it features delivers faster start-up times and data access. This large storage space will allow you to store all your important software and other important programs.
It is equipped with a powerful Lithium-ion battery that lasts for up to 10 hours of continuous use. The backlit keyboard enhances visibility even in not-so-well-lit areas. It also features Thunderbolt 3 that delivers fast data transfer of up to 40 GB/s. The Intel 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi delivers fast connectivity even when in a crowded Wi-Fi environment.
- Lightweight and portable
- Excellent performance
- Attractive design
- Backlit keyboard for enhanced visibility
- Decent storage space
- Long battery life
- Some customers claim that it is not as powerful as they claim
HP- Spectre x360 2 in 1 touchscreen laptop is a powerful laptop equipped with great features that make it ideal for architecture students. I particularly liked its super clear wide display with anti-glare that allows you to enjoy a great viewing experience without straining your eyes. Its powerful processor also allows you to perform your project and assignments smoothly.
6. Apple MacBook Pro
- CPU: 2.5 GHz Intel Core i7Intel Core i7-10750H processor
- RAM: 16GB of Onboard 1600 MHz DDR3L RAM
- Storage: 512GB SSD
- Display: 15.4-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS
- Battery life: up to 9 hours
- Operating system: Mac OS X 10
- Weight: 57 lbs.
Apple MacBook Pro laptop is a perfect laptop for architectural students because it is agile, portable, durable, affordable, and delivers great performance.
This laptop features a 2.5 GHz Intel Core i7Intel Core i7-10750H processor with up to 5.0 GHz on turbo boost. It is ideal for architectural students who multitask a lot. The AMD Radeon R9 M370X Graphics (2GB GDDR5) provides great visual quality for this graphics-demanding software. The powerful processor is paired with a 16GB of Onboard 1600 MHz DDR3L RAM that ensures a seamless running of the laptop even when multitasking.
The 15.4-inch LED-Backlit IPS Retina Display with 2880 x 1800 native resolution provides a great viewing experience. The anti-glare feature ensures that you perform your tasks for a long period without straining your eyes.
Apple MacBook Pro laptop features an impressive 512GB PCIe-Based Flash Storage that is incredibly fast and reliable. This storage space is sufficient to enable you to store all your important software and documents.
This laptop features a lithium-polymer battery that can last for up to 9 hours of mixed-use. So, if you plan to travel and still want to perform, don’t worry that the laptop won’t disappoint you.
- excellent performance
- Incredible graphics
- sleek design
- lightweight and portable
- Long battery life
- Small warranty period
Apple MacBook Pro laptop (refurb) is a great option for architecture students looking for a powerful laptop but on a tight budget. It can save up to $800 when you buy this laptop and still enjoy a quality performance.
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Frequently Asked Questions:
Which laptop is best for architects?
The best laptop for architects is Acer Swift 5, high performance, ultra-thin and lightweight laptop. This laptop is equipped with great features that enable it to deliver excellent performance. Some of the features it is equipped with include an Intel Quad-Core i7-8565U processor, 16GB DDR4 RAM, and 512 SSD storage. It is also compact and lightweight, thus easy to carry around.
Which laptop is good for architecture students?
A good laptop for architecture students should have the following features:
- CPU: i7 and above
- Graphics: 2 GB of dedicated GPU
- Storage: 512 SSD and above
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4 and above
- Weight: Below 5 pounds
Is a MacBook good for architecture?
Yes, MacBooks are known for their quality and excellent performance. They are equipped with a powerful processor and RAM and can run any architecture software with ease. They are also thin and lightweight, and virtually all of them have an incredible battery life which is crucial for architecture students.
How much RAM do I need for architecture?
Architecture software will account for check of your RAM, particularly when multitasking. The recommended RAM for an architecture laptop is 8GB, but 16GB DDR4 is preferable.
Is 16GB RAM enough for architecture?
YES, 16GB RAM is enough for running architecture software like SketchUp, V Ray, Maya, AutoCAD, and Grasshopper. It is also enough for multitasking.
Is Core i5 good for architecture?
Core i5 is pretty powerful but not recommended for architecture students. It is not recommended that it struggle when running heavy programs like AUTOCAD when running multiple programs simultaneously. The ideal processor for architecture is i7.
Do architecture students need laptops?
YES, a good quality laptop is essential for architecture students. Architectural tasks are made more efficient with computational software such as Revit Architecture, ArchiCAD, Vectorworks, SketchUp, V Ray, Maya, and AutoCAD that can only run on a powerful laptop. Having a laptop is therefore important for architecture students.
Is MacBook air good for architecture?
Yes, MacBooks are known for their quality and excellent performance. They are equipped with powerful processors and RAM and can run any architecture software with ease. They are also thin and lightweight, and virtually all of them have an incredible battery life which is crucial for architecture students.
What computer do architects use?
Architects use powerful laptops equipped with great features. Most architects use laptops with the following specs: CPU: i7 and above, Graphics: 2 GB of dedicated GPU or more, Storage: 512 SSD and above, RAM: 8 GB DDR4 and above.
Which processor is best for architects?
The best processor for architecture students is i7. It is mighty and can run multiple architectural software, including heavy ones, with ease without lagging.
Is IPAD pro good for architecture students?
Yes, the IPAD pro is a mighty device and highly recommended for architecture students. You can easily multitask, thanks to the split-screen option that it features. There are also multiple great apps available that are ideal for architecture students.
Is Asus good for architecture?
Yes, ASUS laptops are incredibly powerful and can run architectural design software with ease. They are also sleek, lightweight, and portable, thus ideal for architecture students who are always on the go. They are also equipped with a powerful battery and fast charger.
Which graphics card is best for architecture?
The best graphics card for architecture is 5 GB of dedicated GPU (DDR5). This graphics card delivers quality graphics that can run graphic demanding architecture software like AUTOCAD.
Is 8GB of RAM enough for AutoCAD?
For AUTOCAD, 8GB of RAM is enough to run the software. However, for the smooth running of this heavy software, I suggest 16GB of RAM.
Is Razer Blade good for architecture?
YES, the Razer blade laptop is ideal for architecture students. They are equipped with a powerful processor and decent RAM that allows you to run even intensive software with ease. They are also lightweight and compact, thus easy to carry.
Is CAD Better Mac or PC?
It depends on the software that you are running. For instance, if you’re running Vectorworks, developed for Mac OS, I’d suggest getting a Mac. On the other hand, if you are running AutoCAD, you should get a PC.
Which Mac is best for AutoCAD?
The best mac for AutoCAD is the apple MacBooks pro. It is equipped with a powerful processor that delivers smooth performance and large RAM for multitasking.
Can MacBook run AutoCAD?
Yes, MacBook can run AutoCAD smoothly. It runs on Mac OS X 10 that is compatible with AutoCAD. It is also equipped with an i7 processor and 16GB RAM that ensures the smooth running of this software.
Is a 4GB graphics card enough for architecture?
YES, a 4GB graphics card is ideal for architecture. Most architectures software such as Revit Architecture, ArchiCAD, Vectorworks, SketchUp, V Ray, Maya, and AutoCAD run smoothly on a 4GB graphics card.
Is GTX 1650 good for architecture?
YES, GTX 1650 good for architecture works best for most architecture software like AutoCAD. However, GTX 1650 is not recommended for software that requires good open GI performance for rendering like Solidworks.
What graphics card is fastest?
The fastest graphics card is NVidia GeForce RTX 3090. This graphics card is compelling and can run graphics demanding software with ease.
What graphics card do I need for 3D modelling?
For architect students who do a lot of 3d graphics works, it is recommended that you use NVidia GPU to achieve appropriate rendering speeds.
Is Ryzen good for architecture?
Yes, Ryzen is good for architecture. Ryzen is currently one of the best CPUs on the market. It is potent and fast, with no drawbacks or flaws.
Is RTX 2060 good for architecture?
RTX 2060 is mighty and recommended for architecture. They are inexpensive but powerful and reliable. They are highly recommended, especially when running heavy software like AutoCAD.
Is Ryzen 5 good for architecture?
Ryzen 5 is currently one of the best CPUs to go for architecture. It is mighty and can run architecture software with ease without lagging. They are also fast with no drawbacks. AMD offers more cores and threads and maintains a high clock speed that comfortably handles heavy software and 3D design workloads.
Is Intel or AMD better for AutoCAD?
AMD is a great option for budget users. AMD is based on pure multi-core applications with precision boost and XFR. However, if you are looking for greater efficiency, lower TDP, and unmatchable single-core performance, Intel is unrivalled.
Is Intel or AMD better for rendering?
The CPU is used for everything you do on your computer, meaning a faster CPU equal better performance. Intel CPU generally offers the best single-threaded performance, while AMD CPU offers the best multi-threaded performance.