In-depth guide to 5 Best Laptops for Revit

What is the best laptop for Revit?The upside of Revit is that it doesn’t require a powerful graphics card and that makes Revit a lot more suitable for laptops. Knowing that I’m going to guide you through the requirements for a good Revit notebook and my picks for the best laptop for Revit.

November 16th update. Updated CPU, GPU write-ups, added MSI GL62 6QF and Dell XPS 15, updated the spreadsheet (290 laptops compared instead of just 58)!

What are we looking for?

I’m very glad that Autodesk put in the effort to outline various levels of Revit hardware/software requirements instead of just putting up a list of minimal requirements. This allows us to understand which parts scale better than others and where we should put our focus on.

Major Requirements for the best Revit laptop


Autodesk makes it very clear that the processor should be #1 priority:

“Highest affordable CPU speed rating recommended.” – Autodesk

Unlike other visual software (AutoCAD, Solidworks etc.), Revit does not need a powerful graphics card for rendering the drawings.

So what do I recommend?

For an entry model under 950$ – a higher-end Intel Core i5 model is a necessity. Anything above that should have a 5th-7th generation “i7” processor. In some rare cases (covered at the end of the guide), there are laptops under $900, that come with a fast i7 H-series CPUs.

Exact models, I am talking about are:

  • Intel Core i7-6700HQ, i7-4720HQ, i7-4710HQ or equivalent for 950$+ models
  • Intel Core i5-6300HQ, i7-6500U, i7-7500U for anything under 950$


As per usual, 8 GB of RAM should be your starting point and 16 GB is the magic spot where you don’t have to worry about the memory (for the most part).

Right now, 1100$ is a good line to draw for what amount of memory is acceptable. Any laptop under 1100$ can have 8 GB of RAM and anything above must come with 16 GB on board.

It does not matter whether it’s DDR3/DDR4 – the DDR4 potential isn’t yet fully used due to higher memory access time which is just as important as the memory frequency itself. In short, don’t worry about it.

Solid State Drive

For Point Cloud interactions, it is required to have either a 10,000+ RPM hard drive or a Solid State Drive (SSD). That leaves laptops with only 1 option – SSD. SSDs have fallen dramatically in price and apart from budget laptops – should be the standard package.

Now you need to draw a line on how much storage you need – 250, 500, 1000 GB? Most likely, something like 250/500 SSD + 1 TB HDD is enough. In that case, your OS, Revit, and projects you’re working on should stay on the SSD while older projects and general media can be moved to a spacious HDD.

There are some well-rounded laptops that don’t come with an installed SSD. In that unfortunate case, I recommend keeping 100$-200$ extra for 250/500 GB SSD (I’ve had the best experience with Samsung EVOs, but there’s plenty of good brands to choose from).

Minor Requirements for the best laptop for Revit

We’ve got down our 3 major requirements – processor, memory, and storage. Now any leftover budget should go towards making sure it lasts long, it has a great screen to look at and it can perform well when using other professional software apart from Revit.


You’ll be looking at it throughout the day (and once in a while – throughout the night), so we might as well make sure it looks good.

A good screen is essential in 3 simple ways:

  • it allows working during bright sunlight without straining your eyes
  • it helps you see your work as it should be seen (as it will be in real life and how your clients will see it)
  • it makes your work a bit enjoyable

Every screen can be broken down by its resolution, contrast, brightness and color gamut.

When talking about the resolution – go for Full HD (1920×1080). There’s not much reason to go above Full HD, especially when Revit developers do not recommend going above 150% DPI scaling. That simply means, that fonts and buttons in Revit will not scale properly at high resolutions.

Contrast should be 800:1 or more, average brightness should be 280 cd/m or more (which is ~20 cd less than usually advertised maximum brightness). Good contrast and brightness are mostly important when working outside or near a bright window.

Finally, color space/gamut is not usually mentioned with other specifications but some reviewers measure it. In that case, 90%+ sRGB coverage and 60%+ Adobe RGB coverage indicate a wide color space. That means that the screen can produce vivid colors. In some cases, you might need to manually calibrate the screen to minimize its color bias – tendency to be a bit too blue/green or red.

Battery Runtime

Importance of battery run-time varies person-to-person.

Someone like me might not care about battery life past 4 hours – I almost always have a plug nearby. But maybe you are dependent on your laptop not failing for a full work-day.

There’s nothing much to it – if you need a lot of battery life, make sure you look out for it. Just be aware that most manufacturers tend to overestimate the battery time by 1-3 hours as they measure it in a lab setting with lowest brightness settings, no internet connection, and various small optimizations.

Graphics card

Requirements for a graphics chip are practically non-existent.

For an entry-model, “basic graphics” requirement is a “Display adapter capable of 24-bit color” which is just a mouthful way of saying “everything works”.

And for more advanced graphics you should have “DirectX 11 capable graphics with Shader Model 3” which has been an industry standard for the past 5 years. Even old integrated graphics modules as Intel HD Graphics 4000 have DirectX 11 support with Shader Model 5!

So why am I even bringing this up?

Yes, this is not a major requirement for Revit, but in many cases getting a beefy graphics card can be a lifesaver when using a lot of other professional software. If you’ll need to work with video editing/AutoCAD/Solidworks – a better graphics card will help you out tremendously.

Therefore, if the situation is right, I suggest increasing your budget by up to 100$ if that means getting a better graphics module. Sometimes it might not even mean getting a better, dedicated graphics card. For example, you might as well get an otherwise performance-identical 6th-generation processor over a 4th-gen one as Intel has greatly improved their integrated graphics in the few past generations.

If you’ll be working with other 3D software, you should refer to the following table:

Graphics performanceChips
Tier 0 (worst)Most Intel HD graphics
Tier 1Intel Iris; Intel HD 620; Nvidia GTX 940M/MX
Tier 2Nvidia GTX 950M, 960M; Nvidia Quadro M1000M, M2000M; FirePro W4190M
Tier 3Nvidia GTX 970M, 980M, 1060; Nvidia Quadro M3000M, M4000M, M5000M
Tier 4 (best)Nvidia GTX 1070, 1080; Nvidia Quadro M5500M

Nvidia Quadro should be preferred if you want a more stable card (less likely to crash) and you’re working with huuuge projects.

Laptop suggestions


i7-6700HQ | GTX 960M | 12GB RAM | 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD | 15.6″ 1920×1080 Matte IPS | below average brightness, weak color contrast, good color space

Before you get all hyped up, you should know that this particular model might be more expensive at the time you’re reading this. At the time of writing, it costs just $800, which makes it a massive deal. Even at its original price of $1000 it was a good pick and if you’re lucky to find it still at $800 – it’s a no-brainer.

It comes with a high-end Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor and a mid-range discrete 960M graphics card from Nvidia. 12 GB of RAM instead of a more standard 8 GB in this price range is definitely a nice touch. Finally, 128 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD setup offers plenty of space and the benefits of a faster drive for Windows and Revit. Even though 128 GB is somewhat limiting, it’s a great addition to any laptop at $800.

The display has an IPS panel and a matte finish. Going for a matte finish reduces reflections but it introduces its own issues – mainly, the need of a bit brighter backlight to keep up with glossy displays. It seems MSI did not equip this notebook with a strong LED and in result, the display is below average when it comes to lighting. The contrast of 450:1 is significantly below the recommended 1000:1 contrast. That usually betrays a lower quality IPS panel. One surprising metric of MSI GL62 6QF is its color space coverage – it covers nearly 100% of sRGB space and ~75% Adobe RGB. That somewhat redeems the display and its flaws.

Overall, if you need a laptop that’s fast and performs better than anything else under $1000 and you’re OK with an average display and a subpar battery life (just under 3 hours of real-life battery runtime).

View on Amazon

Lenovo IdeaPad 700

i7-6700HQ | 950M 4GB | 16 GB RAM | 250GB SSD + 1TB HDD | 15.6″ 1920×1080 IPS | good screen contrast, below average color space

If you’d rather get a laptop a larger SSD and a better battery life while trading out 960M for 950M – you can take a look at Lenovo IdeaPad 700.

View on Amazon


i7-6700HQ | 960M 4GB | 16 GB RAM | 128 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD | 15.6″ IPS Matte | Average brightness, good contrast and color space

First and foremost, it has a great processor, a lot of memory + a dedicated graphics card as a bonus.

So what do 1500$+ laptops have that this model doesn’t? SSD, mainly. As you can probably tell, lack of a large SSD is a repeating theme for laptops under 1500$.

Apart from that upgrade, if you’d get this laptop you are be basically set. The screen has no major drawbacks and if you’ve to stay under 1000$, there’s not much else you’d demand from a display in this price range.

One final note – be aware that it is on a heavy side – it weighs almost like a 17.3″ laptop.

View on Amazon

ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW

i7-6700HQ | 960M 2GB | 16 GB RAM | 512 GB PCIe SSD | 15.6″ Touch IPS 4K | Below average brightness, average contrast, quite good color space

This is a very nice and a well-rounded piece of hardware.

To begin with, it comes with the about the same level of performance as previously mentioned models. With 1 big exception. It packs a whole 512 GB of PCIe NVMe SSD. That surpasses any hard drive requirements for Revit by a big margin.

The screen on this baby is leaving me with some mixed feelings. It’s great to have a 4K screen, even if Revit can’t fully take advantage of it. At the same time, touchscreen surface and an IPS panel seem to fully round out the package. On the other hand, when measured, the screen is rather underwhelming, especially when compared to other ZenBook models.

What’s the bottom line? I’d suggest buying this model if you can’t be bothered with upgrading cheaper models and you’re OK without a top of the line screen.
But if you need a better display and you can spare 150$ on it – take a look at a very similar but a bit older Asus Zenbook NX500JK

View on Amazon


Best Revit laptop
i7-6700HQ | 960M 2GB | 16GB RAM | 500GB PCIe SSD | 15.6″ Touch IPS 3840×2160 | great screen brightness & contrast, very good color space

Finally, if need a top of the line display and great performance all wrapped up in a sleek laptop – Dell XPS 15 should catch your attention.

Just as any other laptop on the list, it delivers the computational power that’s needed for uninterrupted work with Revit. It also has a large and very fast 500 GB PCI-Express SSD.

The display on this beauty is one of the best ones out there. 400 cd/m brightness, 1600:1 contrast and 98% sRGB coverage – all of these metrics match or surpass what’s recommended for work with 3D models. What is more, it even has a 4K resolution. Just make sure you’re using the latest Revit version or you might need to downgrade the resolution to the classic 1920×1080 if you’re having any issues with the default ultra-high pixel density.

You can go for some other more expensive laptop ($2000+) if you need a Quadro/FirePro graphics card, a larger storage drive, and a longer battery life. But for the absolute majority, Dell XPS 15 is the top laptop for Revit they can or should get.

View on Amazon

Final thoughts

I’m glad you managed to reach this closing section of the article. As a bonus, I’m giving out this laptop comparison spreadsheet including laptops in this article and many others that didn’t make it!

Best laptop for Revit comparison sheet

Here’s the link to the laptop comparison spreadsheet

I hope this article helped you to find the best laptop for Revit. Don’t forget to share it with your colleagues and drop a comment down below if you have any suggestions or questions!

33 thoughts on “In-depth guide to 5 Best Laptops for Revit

  1. Thanks for this great guide! I’m looking for a new laptop to run Revit on and to be honest I didn’t have a clue what to look out for, thank you so much this was very helpful

    1. recently bought an AZUs rog for high end engineering and found that the Fn keys and touch
      pad only work with win 10. drivers not available for win 7
      not much use if autodesk and Microsoft have yet to get their act together:-((
      Bought PC direct from states and had to return it!!
      shame was a good power house

  2. Awesome article! One quick question: should I be concerned about buying a laptop preloaded with Windows 10 in order to run Revit? I know some people experience issues when updating to 10.

    1. Problems with Windows 10 are basically solved. Though, that mostly depends on your Revit version. Revit 2017 is officially supported and should work flawlessly. Most people report 2015 and 2016 working just fine but if you’re going to use Revit 2014 and below – stick with Windows 7.

      If you face some problems, you might need to reinstall Microsoft C++ Visual Studio Redistributable 2012 and .NET 4.6 (which are the frameworks required to run Revit).

      There still can be issues if you’re buying a laptop with a very high resolution. Then you should manually adjust font sizes as seen here.

  3. Thank you so much for this valuable resource. I am looking to make a laptop purchase soon. Do you have any updates since the time this was posted, such as a price drop on a particular model that makes it a better deal, or new insights, or just anything that would make you recommend another laptop beyond the 5 listed. Do you know how easy it is to see if there are empty slots to just add more ram rather than replace? Also, I’ve always thought a dedicated graphics card was extremely important when working in 3D, sounds like that is not necessarily the case? Any additional insight at this time is greatly appreciated. Thank you

    1. Hi, thank you! I hope, I’m still in time to help you out!

      The Asus Zenbook fell $100 in price which makes it a bit better deal. I’ve also just posted a new guide for architecture laptops. The laptops in that section can be used almost interchangeably with the laptops for Revit.

      To know whether a laptop has empty memory slots, search for “[model] disassembly] on Youtube. More often than not, there are videos showing the default memory bank and how many slots are still ready for an upgrade. Apart from that, you could make an educated guess that every 17.3″ will have spare memory slots and anything under 14” most likely won’t.

      Dedicated graphics are important, but only starting ~$850. Trying to squeeze in Nvidia GPU under that price point requires to sacrifice CPU or RAM which are more important for low budget machines. Starting with $1000, there are almost no reasons to not get a dedicated GPU for Revit just because the CPU and RAM requirements have been met.

  4. I am also looking more at a 15″ screen, as you mentioned, and I’ve experienced, traveling with a 17″ is not convenient at all, Thanks again for all your help.

  5. The computers I’m looking at have GeForce 960M cards which are DirectX12 capable cards, is that the next step beyond Direct X11 or just because its Direct X 12 capable, does that not mean it is Direct X11 capable? Thanks

    1. I assume you’re talking about Surface Pro 4.

      I wouldn’t recommend it for most. Even though it has one of the absolute best screens on the market, it falls short in other more important areas when it comes to Revit.

      First of all, the processor of its ‘high-end’ model, i7-6650U, is weaker than i7-6700HQ, which is found in every laptop in this list, by a factor of ~1.6x. That’s a bit underwhelming for their most expensive Surface Pro 4 model. Also, a small 12.3″ screen is not ideal for professional work in many cases (I’d suggest to go for 14″-15.6″). That’s why I wouldn’t seriously consider it – not because it’s bad, but because there are better options at its price point (for example, if you want a small tablet-laptop hybrid – VAIO Z Canvas – though, it doesn’t have a long battery life due to its powerful processor).

      On the other hand, I could recommend i5-6300U model if you want a laptop/tablet hybrid. It’s just slightly slower than i7 model and it’s a lot cheaper.

      Overall, Surface Pro 4 is a good option if you have an actual need for it in its tablet form. Otherwise, there are better laptops to choose from.

    1. They’re comparable to GoBOXX 15 SLM, but not the Performance Edition. At the same time, GoBOXX Performance Edition laptops cost 2x than laptops in this list. But if you need highest performance no matter the price – sure, you can go for GoBOXX.

  6. Hi! Thank you so much for your articles they are a great resource for students. I am looking to purchase a new laptop and I’m willing to spend a bit more for something that will last me through grad school (M. Arch). So far I’ve been looking at ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW, Lenovo ThinkPad P50 or Ideapad Y700, or this not yet released MSI VR Ready GS63VR Stealth Pro-068 (

    I like that Lenovo offers a number of configurations so I could put a lot of upgrades in but Asus doesn’t offer many options and from what I understand doesn’t have the space to add much. I have noticed through some of your recommendations you tend to favor the Zenbook though so I was curious why. I’m actually pretty drawn to the MSI in part because it seems like one of the more portable options and I commute to school. I’m also not particularly concerned with battery life and I know I tend to run my machines pretty hard. I’d love any advice you might have!

    1. Asus tends to have less models but they’re often a good deal compared to other brands. Tough, I’m aware that due to my research/comparison methods, Asus (and to some extent Acer) models are overrepresented. Right now I’m working on adding build quality and upgradability measurements to which I haven’t paid as much attention as I probably should. Then, I presume, Lenvono (and HP/Dell business lines) might earn a few more spots in my laptop evaluations.
      Thank you for the question. I’ll get back to you with my opinion on these laptops in just a bit!

      1. IMO, there is two good options in the market for 3D/CAD: DELL Precision (7510/7710) series and Lenovo P series (P50/P70). Lenovo is more expensive for the same specs (at least +1000-1500eu/$). It would be a dream to pick such mobile workstation with Intel Xeon or i7 with 2,7-2,9GHz and (very important) 8Mb cache + Nvidia Quadro M2000M + 32 Gb RAM. That’s it. This would be enough for at least 3 years.

  7. HI! I am overwhelmed trying to figure out my best laptop option for Revit. There are just sooo many options. I am an apple user making the transition to PC and totally lost.

    Im sort of narrowing it down to Ideapad Y700 17″, HP Pavillion or Dell Precision 15 5000 M5510 15.6

    Guidance please. Thank you so much!

    1. All these laptops are good options in their respective price ranges – great picks!

      Out of all of them, Dell Precision M5510 is best but it’s also the most expensive. Now, we need to know whether you’ll need what it offers.

      You can save a hefty sum of money by going for HP Pavilion if you’ll need to run Revit but not other 3D intensive software. Even though Revit is a 3D application, it’s mostly CPU-driven. In that case, HP Pavilion is a great match for it as it has great CPU but poor GPU performance.

      A step up from that would be Y700 and it’s great if you need a budget laptop for Revit and other 3D applications.

      Finally, Dell Precision laptop is oriented to professionals, which is not hard to tell by looking at its price tag. It has a CAD-certified graphics card (which is irrelevant to Revit, but it can play a big role in AutoCAD and SolidWorks). It also has a lot of small advantages over cheaper laptops: good Wi-Fi reception, high-quality display, USB 3.1 Gen 2 port (w/ Thunderbolt III) and a long 36-month warranty. I would suggest getting Dell Precision if you’re established professional and you can invest into all the bells and whistles that come with it.

  8. Hello,
    Thank you for all the time and effort u put for us students looking for laptops!
    I’m a BIM student (building information modeling)
    And I will be working with revit and Tekla in first hand but also a bit with 3dmax/ sketch
    I find portability as a prior, also the need to take my laptop to construction sites.
    The laptop I wanna invest in that will take me through my 2 years in uni (after uni I’ll invest in a much more powerful PC)

    Latest generation lenovo X1 Carbon
    Windows 10 pro
    Intel HD 520
    192 GB SSD, SATA-600, M.2 (I will be using an external HDD at home)
    8GB RAM

    Can I survive with this for 2 years or do you recommend something else that has similar portability?
    Thank you,

    1. You could “survive” 2 years with it.

      It’s a great laptop if portability is very high on your priority list. Since it has a low-end i7 processor and an integrated video module, it will struggle with Tekla and 3dmax.

      Tekla has very high requirements (their 2016 version recommends getting 1060, which is found only starting at $1,500 and only on “desktop replacement” laptops that are very heavy and with virtually no battery life.

      Trying to match the portability with the needed performance you’d basically need to go for Dell XPS 15. But that costs ~$2100 and might be not within your budget.

      Right now, if priority is above all and you will not be working with large Tekla/3DMax projects, you can get survive 2 years with this Lenovo X1 Carbon. Otherwise, you’ll need to sacrifice the portability or you’ll need to spend a lot more to get the best of both worlds.

      1. Thank you!
        So basically I could use it for at least 2 years IF NOT working on too large projects? Simply basic smaller projects works fine?

        1. Yes. HD 520 is a slow GPU, but for OpenGL computations (that are used in Tekla) it’s not that bad. If you stick with small projects you’ll be OK.
          Meanwhile, in 3DMax, you’ll definately need to use the lowest 3D preview settings.

  9. Any thoughts on this Costco Deal?—Intel-Core-i7—4K-Ultra-HD—4GB-Graphics.product.100291434.html

    Processor & Memory:
    Intel® Core™ i7-6500U Processor 2.5GHz
    16GB DDR4 System Memory

    512GB Solid State Drive

    Operating System:
    Microsoft® Windows 10

    802.11 Dual Band Wireless-AC + Bluetooth 4.0
    10/1000M Gigbit Ethernet (RJ-45 Connector)
    Integrated Webcam

    Graphics & Video:
    15.6″ 4K Ultra HD (3820 x 2160) Matte Display
    4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M Graphics

    1. Hi.

      Great find!

      For the most part, it’s a very well-rounded laptop. The only weak point is its CPU. Even though it’s i7, it’s the weakest 6th generation i7 CPU. That might not be ideal if you want a lot of performance (then, it would be better to get i7 6700HQ + 960M + SSD setup).

      But if you don’t need a high-end CPU, which would speed up 3D rendering times, there aren’t any reasons to not go for this laptop. I just love its 16 GB RAM + 500 GB RAM setup.

  10. Very useful article. I was about to go through the entire process of making this comparison spreadsheet myself – you have saved me a days work at least!

    Many thanks for taking the time to do this and publish for everyone.

    1. Thanks!

      I’m already working on a new & updated spreadsheet with latest 7th gen CPUs and Nvidia Pascal GTX cards. Hope to get it out before the end of November!

  11. Hi,
    I am looking for a $500- $700 laptop that can run revit, Autocad, photoshop, ect. A lot of the laptops in that price range on your spreadsheet have low ratings. Could you give me your top suggestions for this price range? I’m looking for something lightweight with good battery life. Any help is appreciated. I am replacing a macbook air that I’ve been using for the past four years and it’s my first PC purchase.

  12. Have a nice day Sir.I’m civil engineer from Myanmar.I’m looking for around $700 laptop to use autocad and revit. What is the best for these software running.
    Thanks you Sir.

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