When it comes to hardware requirements, Lumion is one of the few suites of software that will demand the very best. A few years ago there hardly was any hardware capable of running Lumion at a desktop level. Of course, even the best laptops can’t match top shelf desktop hardware but it can get surprisingly close. With recent improvements with Nvidia’s 10th generation graphics, I can finally recommend some laptops for Lumion.
Here are requirements for Lumion 8 (as of 2017 November).
Official minimum Lumion requirements
- CPU: Quad-core 3.0+ GHz
- GPU: 2,000 PassMark points, 2 GB VRAM
- RAM: 8 GB
- Resolution: 1600×1080 or higher
Official recommended Lumion requirements
- CPU: Quad-core 4.0+ GHz
- GPU: 8,000 PassMark points, 6 GB VRAM
- RAM: 16 GB or more
- Resolution: 1920×1080 or higher
Processor is most likely to be the bottleneck in a laptop for Lumion. Laptop processors fall behind desktop counterparts and only the best mobile CPUs are suitable for Lumion.
To run Lumion you’ll need at least i7-7700HQ or i7-7820HK. There are a few laptops that come with desktop processors such as i7-7700K but then you can forget about the battery life. Also, laptops with desktop processors are likely to experience performance throttling due to limited cooling in a laptop chassis.
Graphics card performance can be measured in various tests designed to benchmark the overall performance of any particular GPU. One of these standard tests is PassMark. It boils down video card’s ability to render visuals to a single number which is called PassMark G3D Mark.
If you want a laptop satisfying minimum requirements for simple scenes in Lumion, you’ll need a GPU with at least 2,000 PassMark points in videocard benchmarks. That is just where Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M lands. It can be found even in budget laptops costing ~$700.
For acceptable performance you’ll need Nvidia’s 10th generation GTX graphics: 1060, 1070 and 1080. Out of all Nvidia cards, only these are recommended for complex environments (with the best being at the top):
- Quadro P5000
- GTX 1080
- GTX 1080 (Max-Q)
- GTX 1070
- Quadro P4000 (Max-Q)
- Quadro P4000
Out of these cards, only GTX 1080 (with Max-Q and w/o) and P5000 are suitable for extremely complex Lumion 8 scenes.
Max-Q graphics are recommended if you want at least 4 hours of battery life. These are slightly underclocked chips that consume less power and produce less heat. So GTX 1080 Max-Q will be more power-efficient but slighly slower than a regular GTX 1080.
Also, if you can, buy a laptop without G-Sync. It is a neat feature for gamers but it is entirely useless for professionals. Since G-Sync is incompatible with Nvidia Optimus, it will result in your powerful GPU sucking juices out of your battery even if you’re just browsing the internet. Long story short, G-Sync is a one-way ticket to short battery life.
Storage requirements aren’t particularly high. You’d need at least 30 GB of free file storage space to install and run Lumion. That translates to at least 128 GB SSD drive. Though, I recommend getting 256 GB to fit any additional software and leave some overhead for downloads and personal files.
Anyone who wants a larger drive will need to get either a 512 GB SSD or aa bonus HDD drive. These are a lot cheaper than Solid State Drives. Larger laptops (15.6″ – 17.3″) often come with multiple storage slots, especially when modern PCIe SSDs don’t occupy drive bays. Even if a large laptop doesn’t come with an additional HDD, there’s a good chance that you can upgrade it.
99% of laptops with a recommended Intel i7 processor and Nvidia graphics card will have at least 16 GB DDR4 memory. That’s the recommended amount. Some high-end models will come w/ 24 GB or even 32 GB RAM.
Best laptops for Lumion
Lumion requires high specifications and getting a cheap laptop isn’t possible, so the start point is going to be Dell Inspiron. It comes with specifications that are close to recommended ones to use Lumion. 8 GB is sufficient for simple scenes but in the long run it is advised to install additional 8 GBs so your workflow isn’t affected by the amount of resources in the scene.
Both CPU are GPU meet recommended requirements, but according to official Lumion support, GTX 1060+ is proposed. However sacking good performance we get about ~7 hours of battery life when WiFi browsing but when working, you should be able to get 3 to 4 hours of work without the plug. On top of this, there’s lots of storage to play around with. 128 GB SSD to store Windows with Lumion and 1 TB to place all of the resources you use.
There’s a good alternative to this Dell model which is HP Pavilion 15-inch Laptop. It has 12 GB of RAM, 1050Ti (30000 Passmark) and Dell 1050 (25000 Passmark). HP Pavilion includes smaller features that Dell lacks which are Touch IPS, touch isn’t actually useful for Lumion and it drains battery however, you won’t use the laptop ONLY for Lumion.
Overall both of the laptops can work well with Lumion and the only thing they require for upgrading is RAM.
The first laptop that meets all of the requirements for Lumion. This Asus ROG model is actually verified by Lumion as a Bronze laptop. It has GTX 1060 6GB which is capable of rendering near-maximum quality in Lumion. (In complex scenes only 1080 can pull off smooth working experience).
The specifications are similar to the previous laptop suggestions, but this one comes with a more sleek design. It is rare to have a powerful laptop with a business looking design, but this one is perfect if you don’t want to look like a total gamer in your job.
But if you prefer same specifications, but gaming design, there’s a good side-option for this. HP Omen 17. The main differences are GPU (ASUS – 1060; HP – 1050Ti) and displays (ASUS – 15.6″ G-Sync; HP – “17.3” IPS). So it is completely up to you which one suits you the best. The differences are small and in terms of performance, there wouldn’t be any changes.
Another verified laptop by Lumion and is tagged as a Silver laptop. Once again MSI delivers a high-end product with a lot of RAM so you’ll be buckled up for 3-5 years for sure with 32 GBs. For this price sadly it comes with 250 GB SSD and 1 TB, personally I’d prefer having 500 GB SSD at such price range, but to compensate that we get a beasty laptop.
The only drawbacks are its battery life and weight. 3.6kg (8.0 lbs).
All in all the deal is perfect if you don’t want to care about upgrading your system and care about getting lined up with the new tech.
If you want to have a big 17″ inch laptop that is capable of doing anything at a reasonable high-end price, this is for you. There are a lot of many great features such as 4K IPS, 8 GB VRAM, Fully-sized backlit keyboard, relatively decent battery life for performant laptop and 500 GB SSD with additional 2 TB.
Basically, you won’t lack any popular high-end features using this laptop so if the budget allows you to make a future investment like this. Perfect option!
One of the best laptops in the market in terms of performance. Unlocked 7th generation CPU and latest GTX 1080. These two allow working with Lumion smoothly without losing any frames.
Drawbacks of such laptop are its mainly going to be a mobile workstation as the laptop is heavy and doesn’t have a healthy battery life, however, such performance will ensure that future releases of Lumion (Lumion 8 for example) won’t struggle running on your laptop.