wallpaper of architecture

In the world of architecture, finding the best laptop for the job can be challenging. As someone who has been a part of the industry, I know how frustrating it can be to have to work on a machine that can't keep up with your workload. That's why I created this guide to help you navigate your way through the confusing maze of specifications and technical terms to find the best laptops for architects.

Whether you're an architecture student or a professional, the demands placed on your laptop are high. You need a machine that can run complex design software, manage multiple applications at once, and handle rendering and 3D modeling with ease. With so many different brands and models on the market, it can be tough to know where to begin.

In this guide, I'll break down what you should look for when shopping for a laptop for architecture, including the essential components that make a machine suitable for demanding tasks. I've also included some handy tips that will help you get the most out of your new laptop. So, let's dive in and get started!

Processor for architecture

architecture processor

When it comes to choosing a laptop processor for architecture, there are several factors to consider, including performance, battery life, and budget. Let's take a closer look at what's new in the laptop processor market, why a fast CPU is essential for architecture, the differences between processor families and series, and how to identify the best processors.

What's new in the laptop processor market?

The laptop processor market is continually evolving, with several new chips released in recent years. Apple's ARM-based M1, M2, M2 Pro, and M2 Max chips offer exceptional single-core performance and battery life, while AMD has captured 20% of the laptop CPU market with its latest 7th-generation Ryzen processors. Meanwhile, Intel's 12th and 13th-generation Core processors provide different value propositions depending on your needs.

Why do you need a fast CPU for architecture?

The processor is the limiting factor in most architecture applications, such as Archicad, Revit, and the various skews of AutoCAD. Without a fast CPU, you may experience lag and slow rendering times, which can hinder your workflow and productivity.

Differences in processor families and series.

When choosing a processor, it's essential to understand the differences between families and series. For example, if you're looking for a fast processor, look for an H-series processor. Meanwhile, for a balance of performance and battery life, go for Intel's P-series or AMD's U-series. Finally, Intel's U-series chips offer the most extended battery runtimes but have lower performance than any other mainstream processor line.

How to identify which processors are best?

I use Cinebench and PassMark scores as a proxy for performance since they are well-known industry standards. However, if you're an engineering-type architecture, then a more tailored SPECapc benchmark for Solidworks could be used. Additionally, understand that extremely portable laptops (ultrabooks) will have slower processors, more limited graphics, and less heat dissipation capacity. So, unfortunately, your laptop may struggle to achieve its full potential.

Table of recommended processors, grouped by price bracket.
Price Range Recommended Processor
Minimum i5-1240P; Ryzen 5 6600U
Recommended Ryzen 7 6800H; i7-12650H
High-end i9-12900H; Ryzen 9 6900HX

In conclusion, when choosing a laptop processor for architecture, choose a processor family based on your budget and a processor series based on your priorities. Keep in mind that a fast CPU is essential for architecture applications, and extremely portable laptops may not achieve their full potential. With these tips and recommendations, you'll be able to make an informed decision and find the best processor for your needs.

Deciding on a graphics

laptop graphics chip for architecture

As an architect or BIM professional, a capable graphics card is essential for running 3D modeling and animation applications. Unfortunately, relying on the graphics card model name is no longer a sufficient way to determine its capabilities. Laptop OEMs now decide the exact wattage of GPUs instead of Nvidia's Max-Q label, resulting in varying performance levels even among laptops with the same GPU.

To judge GPU performance, 3DMark provides an apples-to-apples comparison of their performance potential, while SPECviewperf and SPECapc offer industry-specific tests. Although professional-grade GPUs unlock additional features and performance for double-precision floating-point calculations, their high cost is not worthwhile for most architects.

Here are some GPU recommendations based on different price ranges:

Price Range Recommended GPU
Minimum RTX 3060
Recommended RTX 3070; RX 6800M
High-end RTX 3080

Don't settle for integrated graphics as they are not ideal for architectural applications. Choose a laptop with a dedicated graphics card that fits your budget and performance requirements.

My storage recommendations for architecture

architecture laptop SSD

When it comes to choosing the right laptop SSD for architecture, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind. Let's take a closer look at what you need to know.

The Evolution of SSDs

It's worth noting that SSDs have come a long way in recent years. Nowadays, HDDs and even SATA SSDs are no longer commonplace. Instead, PCIe M.2 (usually NVMe) SSDs are becoming the standard. Since most laptop manufacturers have already ditched the SATA interface in favor of PCIe over M.2 (or soldered flash storage), we can ignore SSD performance limitations for the most part. Storage speed is no longer a factor constraining laptop choice.

Storage Capacity

Storage capacity is the first and primary concern. You should already be able to make an educated projection of your storage capacity requirements. As a rule of thumb – try getting 1 TB. That's a good starting point for a mid-range laptop. Budget laptops (< $900) typically come with 500 GB, while high-end (~$2k+) options may offer 2 TB of storage.

Multiple Drives and External Storage

For most, a single large internal SSD with an external archive and a backup drive should be sufficient. Nevertheless, the best laptops for architecture tend to have at least an option for a 2nd drive. That's especially common in sizeable workstation-type desktop replacement notebooks. Unfortunately, this usually means an unoccupied M.2 slot.

External storage for project archives and backups is practically mandatory for any professional. No matter how much storage your laptop has, it's still a naive practice to keep all your work on a single machine – accidents happen.

Storage Performance Tests

While I'm a big fan of performance benchmarks, SSDs are no longer the bottleneck for most lines of work, so we can mostly ignore this aspect, at least for laptops for architecture.

Recommended SSD Configurations

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

Budget Recommended Storage Capacity
< $900 500 GB
$900 – $2k 1 TB
> $2k 2 TB

Ultimately, when choosing the right laptop SSD for architecture, storage capacity is king. Look for a laptop with a large enough internal SSD to meet your needs, and supplement that with external storage as necessary.

Picking a good display

architecture background colourful

When it comes to choosing the right laptop display for architecture, there are a few key factors to consider. First and foremost, size and resolution are important. Full HD is still the most common resolution and is perfectly suitable for professional work. However, now is the best time to get a QHD or even a UHD (sometimes labeled as "4K") laptop since prices have come down, and application scaling support for ultra-high resolution has caught up in essentially all professional CAD and BIM applications.

Next, consider the panel type. IPS panels are preferred by professionals due to their wide viewing angles and accurate color representation, but TN panels may be suitable for those on a budget. VA panels are somewhere in between, while OLED is considered the crème de la crème of display panels.

Refresh rate doesn't matter much for architecture work, so instead, pay attention to brightness, contrast, and color gamut. For architecture, aim for at least 300 nits of brightness, 90% Adobe RGB color space coverage, and a wide-gamut space such as P3 or Rec.2020.

In terms of price brackets, here are some recommendations:

  • Minimum: IPS; 300 nits
  • Recommended: IPS; 350 nits; 90% Adobe RGB
  • High-end: IPS mini LED/OLED; 400 nits; 95%+ P3

Overall, investing in a quality display is crucial for architecture work. Make sure to choose a panel type, resolution, and brightness that will suit your needs and budget.

Picking a good battery

architecture laptop battery

The battery market has come a long way in recent years, and decent battery life (around 6 hours) can be achieved even in budget laptops. However, power-hungry components such as CPUs, GPUs, and high refresh rate displays can take a toll on the battery runtime.

MacBooks are well-known for their excellent battery life, thanks to Apple's optimization of their chips' power consumption. However, it can be challenging to find Windows laptops that come close to what Apple offers in this regard.

When considering technical specs, batteries can be ranked by their capacity and number of cells. Cell count is crucial if you're looking for a battery that won't lose most of its capacity in the first couple of years.

As for personal battery life requirements, it's best to rely on environment-controlled benchmarks instead of trying to interpolate the battery life based on hard metrics. A third-party battery runtime test that runs a script doing regular web browsing is a decent representation of light work. While a maximum stress test is an excellent addition, these results will vary widely based on the upper limit of the laptop's component power usage.

Replaceable batteries are becoming less common in laptops, so investing in a business-class laptop with a removable battery may be wise for those who have had bad experiences with non-replaceable batteries.

When it comes to price brackets, here are some expectations:

  • Minimum: Look for at least 5 hours of battery life.
  • Recommended: Aim for 7 hours of battery life or more.
  • High-end: You can expect up to 12 hours of battery life.

Remember that battery life requirements may differ based on personal preferences and usage habits. Keep this in mind when selecting a laptop for architecture work.

4 Best Laptops for architecture

i7-12700H | RTX 3060 | 16 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 16.1″ IPS; 2560x1440 |

1.HP Omen 16

architecture laptop
  • Superb processor (i7-12700H)
  • Exceptional graphics card (RTX 3060)
  • Splendid display (16.1 IPS)
  • One of most affordable laptops with an Intel i7 processor
  • Mediocre memory amount (16GB)
  • Heavy (5.98 lbs)
  • Terrific processor (i7-11800H)
  • Awesome graphics card (RTX A3000)
    Ryzen 7 6800H | RTX 3060 | 32 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 16″ IPS HDR G-Sync; 2560x1600 |

    2.Lenovo Legion 5 Pro

    Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is a powerful machine with a high-quality display, fast charging and relatively easy serviceability.
    • 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
    • Warm CPUGPU temperatures when gaming
    • Moderate-heavy uneven backlight bleeding
    • Only average battery life

    With an upgrade from AMD Zen 3 to Zen 3+ and a 140 W TGP GPU to 150 W, Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is much faster than its predecessor. It features a high-quality 165 Hz 16:10 IPS display, relatively easy serviceability, integrated numpad, and fast charging.

    ASUS TUF F15 FX507ZM-ES74
    • High TGP target for better gaming performance
    • Fast 300 Hz IPS panel with full sRGB coverage
    • Flexing on chassis base and lid
    • No per-key RGB lighting
    i7-12700H | RTX 3070 Ti | 64 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS-level; 2560x1440 |


    GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4 is a powerful gaming laptop for architects.
    • Highly responsive 165Hz panel
    • PCIe 4.0 SSD
    • Solid battery life
    • Thunderbolt 4 with Power Delivery
    • High power usage at idle and low load
    • Lacks a card reader
    • Only one USB-A port

    The AORUS 15 XE4 is a powerful and compact gaming laptop that delivers impressive performance for both gaming and non-gaming applications. It has a responsive 165Hz panel, wide colour gamut, PCIe 4.0 SSD, and solid battery life. However, it has high power usage at idle and low load, lacks a card reader, and has only one USB-A port.

    Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
    • Very bright display with good color reproduction
    • Good cooling performance
    • RGB illumination with poor color display
    • Slow Western Digital SSD
    Ryzen 9 5900HX | RTX 3080 | 64 GB RAM | 4000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS-level G-Sync; 1920x1080 |

    4.ASUS ROG Strix Scar

    ASUS ROG Strix Scar packs in some serious power for gaming, but falls short in terms of heat management and battery backup.
    • Sturdy construction
    • Fast Wi-Fi 6E
    • Excellent response times and no PWM
    • Wide color gamut coverage with Dolby Vision support
    • Limited display angle
    • No biometric login
    • Heavy SSD throttling during continuous reads

    The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533 is a well-built laptop that offers top-notch performance with its Intel Alder Lake Core i9-12900H and a 150 W Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti, along with an impressive WQHD 240 Hz display. However, it suffers from high heat and noise emissions under load, and its battery backup is subpar.

    Acer Predator Triton 500
    • High performance capabilities
    • Excellent, bright 240-Hz display
    • Soldered-in RAM
    • Inaccessible SSD

    Table of the Best Laptops for architecture

    LaptopPrice (approx)
    HP Omen 16
    Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
    ASUS ROG Strix Scar

    70 thoughts on “Best laptop for Architecture: 6 best laptops and how I found them (2017 Autumn Update)

    1. Would you recommend buying the Surface Pro 4 for a first year Architecture student? I am an Apple user and not used to Windows at all but the Surface Pro 4 looks extremely interesting to me due to the touch enabled screen along with the stylus and just as powerful as a laptop.

      1. Surface notebooks are great for students.

        First, let’s get this out of the way – it isn’t a powerful laptop. Even the fastest i7 version is barely faster than mid-range i5 option. Compared to other laptops in the same price range, it’s about 2x slower. But the limited performance is not an issue for many students. Students can take advantage of its strengths – great battery life (realistic 6-7 hours of light work), amazing display (400 cd/m, 1200:1, 95% sRGB coverage), light weight. All of these qualities are important for taking the laptop to classes and once in a while, working outside.

        The reason why I didn’t include it, because it isn’t a great option for a full-time professional, who would need more than 1 USB ports and who needs a faster CPU and GPU. Meanwhile, a student can play to Surface Pro strengths.

    2. i am wondering should I get the Microsoft Surface Book (256 GB, 8 GB RAM, Intel Core i5, NVIDIA GeForce graphics). 13.5inch screen might be too small but the surface seem very useful. Would you recommend?

      1. If you’re a student or portability is your top priority – then it’s a good choice.

        But if 3DMax or Tekla make up a fair share of your work – then you might be better off looking at other options.

        Sadly, the graphics (modeled on 940M) is not much faster than the most basic integrated Intel video chips.

        I can recommend it to students, architects that need a secondary/travel machine and professionals that do not need a high-performance laptop.

        1. Good article but a little out of date now. Surface Book 2 should be considered. As an architect using the surface line in my workflow i find the stylus a critical tool in my daily workflow.

    3. Me too same as the above what about the Surface? Lighter, good processor, detachable screen twists too, stylus, graphics too, what’s not to like for portable?

    4. What lightweight laptop that can handle Revit and Grasshopper would you recommend? The HP ZBook is a great laptop but would be a pain to carry around all the time.

      1. OK, so HP ZBook is 15.6″ and 5.7 lbs. Let’s go down in weight while maintaining (or even surpassing) the ZBook performance while staying under $2000.

        Here are the 5 options I’ve got for you:
        Razer Blade (new) – 14″ 4.25 lbs
        MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro-068 – 15.6″ 4 lbs
        MSI GS40 Phantom-001 – 14″ 3.8 lbs
        VAIO Z Canvas – 12.3″ 3.4 lbs
        ASUS ZenBook UX303UB – 13.3″ 3.2 lbs

        1. Hello!
          I am looking for portability, great performance and design ( I want it all!)
          From the 5 laptops you suggest here above, I am looking at the Vazio Z Canvas because of its design.
          I see it being advertised for graphic artists and not so much for architects….
          Any thoughts of why? And how do you think it performs in with AutoCAD and Revit.
          Will it work as well with a mouse as with the pen? can I connect a bigger screen while working on my desk?

          1. It has a great processor, a lot of RAM and a fast storage which is ideal for graphic work. For some 3D applications, you’ll need a good graphics card which is not present in this model. Vaio Z Canvas has Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200 which is as good as integrated graphics gets but that might not be enough for large 3D projects.

            It can easily run AutoCAD and Revit though it might hit some limitations in AutoCAD.

            It will work with a mouse just like any other laptop – this is a given. It also has mini DisplayPort and HDMI connection which can be used to connect up to 2 external displays.

      1. If you prefer Dell, there are 3 viable picks:

        – [$1250] Dell Inspiron i7559-7512GRY – good pick for its price. Lack of an SSD is the only major issue.
        – [$1900] Dell Precision M5510 – great workstation. Quadro graphics card, massive 1 TB SSD, unlocked 6820HK CPU, 32 GB RAM (recommended)
        – [$2100] Dell XPS 15 – 9550 – good choice if you want a great display and decently long battery life

    5. What do you think about: https://amzn.com/B01578ZK9A ?

      Is it worth getting it for first year? My budget is 1050 dollars so cannot go for the Apache one.

      1. Yes, it is. It’s practically identical to the ASUS ROG GL552VW-DH74 I’ve recommended on the list. Of course, you’ve linked to the 17.3″ version which might be more difficult to carry around. But since the vast majority of work is still done at home – you might not have any problems with that.

      1. It depends on the specific laptop.

        As you probably already know, Alienware is Dell’s brand of premium gaming of laptops. Most Alienware laptops are capable of handling architecture software but I cannot be sure until I know what laptop you have in mind.

        Some latest Alienware models come without a discrete GPU which is non-ideal for architecture, especially when you consider that Alienware notebooks are more expensive than regular laptops.

        TL;DR, Alienware laptops can handle architecture software but I would need to know what are your specific needs and what Alienware model you have in mind to give you my recommendation :)

    6. Hey guys! So i need a bit of help because i´m not really a specialist or anything of the sort… I´m searching info for the nvidia quadro M2000M to understand if it´s a reliable graphic card for architectural purposes or the Nvidia Geforce 930M. I work mainly with AutoCad 2D and i´m trying to learn and practice a little bit more of 3D rendering (like 3ds MAX), but also sometimes with photoshop, illustrator and corel draw.

      The thing is that the company i work for wants to buy a professional laptop that can still be downgradable for Windows 7.

      Now, why this graphics? Because i need a laptop that´s available in Europe (preferably in Portugal) and is in the mid-range cost (up to 1500/1600€), and was adviced to check out the Lenovo P50 with some costumizations or the Toshiba TECRA Z40-C-103.

      Before all of this “advices” i was looking for a more afordable one like the Asus VivoBook Pro N552VX that comes with an Intel 6th generator processor (i7 6700HQ), an Nvidia Geforce GTX 950M and 16GB RAM DDR4. The problem is that it comes with Windows 10 Home edition and even if i purchase a Windows 7 PRO license, the IT guys that i´ve talked to say that they can´t exactly know if they´ll get all the drivers for the laptop in order for it to run fully.

      i´m lost now! I know this isn´t exactly the purpose of this page or anything…but why not give it a try and see if i can get some advice regarding this situation.

      Thanks for your time or any advice that you can provide.

      Best regards,


      1. Hi, Cláudia.

        NVIDIA Quadro M2000M performance-wise is better than GeForce 930M. M2000M is a good option for AutoCAD whereas 930M is only sufficient for 2D AutoCAD. Don’t get me wrong – it will run AutoCAD and 3DMax but you shouldn’t expect a smooth workflow or quick previews when working with large projects.

        Asus VivoBook Pro N552VX and Lenovo P50 are both solid choices I recommend in various occasions. Now, you can usually downgrade Windows 10 to Windows 7 (or just reinstall with Windows 7 CD/USB).

    7. Hi,

      I would like to know your opinion. I am planning to buy a laptop mainly for architectural visualisation rhino vary photoshop 3dsmax.

      I am thinking about Razer blade, MSI GS63VR 6RF stealth pro and lenovo think pad 50.

      I would appreciate it you could help me with the choice. I can’t decide which way to go.


      1. Hi,

        it depends on which exact models you’re considering.

        For professional work, Lenovo ThinkPad is the most suited candidate but it can be a bit more expensive if you’re targeting a model with a good Quadro GPU, which is where these models shine.

        Razer blade should be preferred only if you need a small and light laptop. And for work with 3D make sure you’re getting a Blade model with dedicated GPU because a lot of cheaper Razer models come only with integrated Intel graphics.

        MSI GS63VR 6RF is probably the best pick if you want a lot of performance for a reasonable price. But it has subpar battery life and it’s a viable option only if you’ll work in an office/at home nearly all of the time.

    8. I just bought MSI GS63VR a few days ago to see how it performs.
      I am not loving it but not hating it so far.
      I just started to study architecture and am not really familiar with windows PC with great graphics.
      Do you think it is a fair game for me to stick to MSI or should I give a try to ASUS ROG and LENOVO P50?
      One of the reason I am not a bit skeptical about MSI is this model does not seem sturdy..
      Please let me know!

      1. If MSI GS63VR is not performing to your expectations, then you probably need a truly high-end professional laptop. In that case, you should target for Lenovo P50 with high-end Intel i7 CPU (or Xeon) and Quadro GPU (preferably M2000M or better – M3000M, M4000M…).

        Asus ROG is similar to the MSI model so likely you’d be left with the same impression as you were when you bought MSI GS63VR.

    9. Hi Zyg,

      thank you for your review.

      I’m urgently needing a computer, I am really interested in Lenovo P50 or P50s.
      The programs that I will mainly use is ***Rhino+ Vray renderer for rhino***, Autocad, Revit, and Adobe (photoshop, illustrator) and maybe, but less prioritise, Maya, Grasshopper and Sketchup in the future.

      Do you think the cheaper alternative of Lenovo P50s will be good enough for running these programmes?

      My main concern is that it has a lower graphic card of NVIDIA M500M 2GB as compared to NVIDIA M1000M from P50, do you think this will affect Rhino usage and V-ray renderer?

      Thank you so much


    10. Hello, Erica!

      Sadly it won’t. In my opinion (and according to benchmarks), M500M is a low-end GPU comparable to 940MX and even some integrated graphics modules. That’s a lot less than needed for your demanding set of applications (especially for using VRay in CUDA/OpenCL modes for faster rendering).

      At the same time, make sure you’re getting at least i7 CPU as some of the models in the Lenovo page you’ve linked come with an i5-6300U. Ideally, you should get an i7 H-series or even a Xeon CPU. But an i7 U-series CPU can still work, especially if you heavily prefer a good battery life.

      Nvidia Quadro cards are “worth it” only if you’re getting M2000M or better. Anything below that basically performs ~3x worse than consumer-level GeForce cards.

      1. Hi Zyg,

        thank you so much for your reply, that helps me a lot.

        If I may ask one more question, I am now considering between dell XPS 15.6″ VS Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming.

        Are you familiar with any of them/ heard any user experience? Do you think they are suitable for running CAD and 3D modelling based apps like rhino +vray?



        Thank you so much

        1. Yes, they should be able to run Rhino without a problem. It has GTX 960M which is alright for 3D work. GTX 1060 would be a lot better but there aren’t many laptops on the market with it yet. If you’re not working with 0.5 million+ polygons, then 960M should be able to keep up.

          I don’t know anyone that used them for this specific purpose, but I know 4 people all pretty happy about their XPS laptops (some even annoyingly recommending me to get one, hah).

    11. Thank you for the article. I am in the market to purchase a laptop and admit that I am as computer illiterate as they come. I am in my second year of an architecture degree and am currently using the Asus 1607? (Intel(R) Core (Tm) i7-3610QM Cpu @2.3 GHz, 8 GB RAM) which I purchased approximately 5 years ago. I am having trouble running Autocad efficiently (3d) and get often crashes in illustrator. My only concern is speed and performance while running multiple programs, (autocad, maya, illustrator, photoshop, rhino). I have read multiple articles and assume that they are all biased because there seems to be a different set of laptops on each list. The one thing that is consistent is the lack of mac products being toted.
      As I said earlier I am only concerned with performance as this computer will only be used for design work and preparing presentations. I also see how you recommend a computer than suggest upgrading a certain item, is there no laptop that is just ready to perform “as is”. My budget is around 2k but my biggest issue is lack on knowledge on the latest and greatest and aside from talking to the service provider at Best Buy (who is likely to sell me something I don’t really need) I have no real trustworthy external insight on what to purchase.
      Thank you

    12. Hello! I’m Deveeka Mutha, an architecture student from India. I want to buy a new laptop. I have been using Dell Inspiron 15R for the past five years and it’s time for me to buy a new one. I use a lot of softwares like autocad, sketchup, Photoshop, coreldraw, rhinoceros, lumion, 3D max, revit, etc. Which laptop would U suggest for me to buy ? I personally liked HP’s Spectre 13 series. Do u think it’s suitable for my usage ? Thank you!

    13. Hi, What would you say about the AORUS X7 DT V6. Is it OK regarding the money it costs? It lacks the Thunderbolt 3 port, but is it essential for architectural visualizations?
      Thank you in advance!

    14. What about the Asus Strix GL502VS? What do you think about that one? It’s a bit costly cause it runs 1070! Will it do it? But I’m afraid about the battery life! Any suggestions?


    15. Hi Zyg,
      I just want to know your opinion cause i mostly use softwares are AutoCad, Sketchup, Revit and 3DsMax.
      Can you help me decide which laptop to choose between ASUS ROG G752VS and ASUS ROG G502VS, and both laptop runs GTX 1070, but I would like to consider also the HP ZBook 15 G3 as you mentioned in the list with Quadro Graphics.

      Thanks you for the review and thank you in advance for your reply!


    16. Hey there! Im actually an interior design student and want the best laptop with over 16gb RAM, and the best graphics card there exists! Light weight and long battery life are leisure features that i want (cause if its the best then I wouldn’t mind carrying a heavier laptop) The Dell xps 15 is really winning my heart and even though its not suggested buy any website or blog, according to what I’ve researched it looks like the best option. I want you to give your opinion on it even tho after reading your previous replies i get a feeling that your not a big fan of the xps. Also i need the laptop to work without wearing out for at least 4 years as the current laptop i have had for nearly a year and a half has already started to trouble me with it mouse pad. Lastly, if there are cheaper options with same features as the xps 15 then please specify.

    17. Hello, thanks for the great article.
      A question! Have you done any comparison between GTX 1060m and Quadro m2000m?
      Is it logical for an architect with lots of rendering and Revitting and all, to consider this GTX new generation vs Quadro older gen?

      1. Thanks!

        Yep, I have.

        First of, note the lack of “m” in GTX 1060 – Nvidia started using nearly the same GPU in desktop and laptop models, which GTX 1060 is a lot way faster than previous-gen “m” GPUs). So, there used to be GTX 960 for desktops and 960M for laptops. Now it’s all the same GPU, which is great for laptop users, as we can get 99% of desktop performance.

        GTX 1060 is a bit faster (~10%) in OpenGL performance (which is Quadro’s strong suit) and A LOT faster (~250%) in DirectX performance, gaming and CUDA computational capabilities.

        Quadro still has some advantages such as better drivers for system stability, higher calculation precision and it unlocks some features in professional software.

        Now we’re in a bit of an awkward period when laptop GPU performance has skyrocketed with all new GTX 10xx cards but the Quadro line is not yet refreshed. Right now, GTX is a better pick just because of that.

        In the next 6 months, we should start seeing laptops with Quadro P-series – equivalent to GTX 10xx releases. Then, a card like Quadro P3000 would be equivalent to GTX 1060 in performance and it would have the mentioned professional features.

        Once at least a few laptops with Quadro P are out – I’ll have a take a revise the whole guide with new options.

        I hope that helps!

        1. Hello again! Again thanks for all the time you put into this and helping all of us.
          I thought we should mention BOXX laptops here as well! I wouldn’t talk about them then, but now they released their new series, with Quadro latest generation. It is expensive though! Not sure if I could ever afford one! :)
          I like the slim model, better than their biggger laptops! I also like their Rendr boxes! I kinda dream about all of those products! ;)
          Anyway, I thought I suggest these here to your article and ask if you’ve had any experience with this company and their products and what you think of them.

        2. Wow, you’re a wealth of information that I’ve been needing to make a decision on laptops!

          Now that the new Pascal Quadro cards are out, would you prefer the P3000 with an I7-7700HQ processor, or the M2200 with a Xeon E3-1505MV6 processor?

          Specifically I’m looking at a couple of MSI workstations: the WS63 7RK-297CA and the WS60 7RJ-680CA (Canadian models). Just curious what you think of them!

          Thank you for sharing, and advising!

          1. Hello Graham,

            Not sure if you needed my suggestion Zyg’s, but here is mine! I definitely go for the better graphics between the two CPU you mentioned. As long as it’s quad core, it’s enough! Because I spend more time in 3D softwares like Revit and Sketchup and others, modeling and designing compare to rendering, so I need more graphic processing power. That’s for me!
            Unfortunately I haven’t used any of those hardwares yet, but I can imagine they both should be great. It’s all depends on your specific needs.
            Hope I could have been of any help!

    18. Hi Zyg!

      I am an architectural student and I have been using Macbook Pro for a few years. I would like to purchase a Window laptop mainly for rendering and building models in softwares like 3dmax, rhino and autocad.

      I have been looking at Alienware 17 and MSI ws72. Do you know which one is better?
      Thanks a lot!

    19. Hi, I’m an architect and I’m looking for a laptop to work that is light and not very big. I mainly use programs like autocad 2d, sketchup, revit and photoshop. I would like to know your opinion about the models I am considering:
      – dell precision 5520 (intel xeon / ssd / gpu: frame M1200 / 16gb Ram).
      -Msi ws 63 7rk (intel xeon / ssd + hdd / frame M3000 / 16gb ecc ram).
      -Microsoft Surface Book i7 (Intel i7 / 16gb / ssd / nvidia geforce gtx 965m). As you see I try to find the balance between power and portability.
      If you have any suggestions?
      Thank you very much!!

    20. Hello, Im an interior Architecture student, I’am looking for a light durable laptop. I had the ASUS G551J I’ve been using it for two years so far but I faced a lot of Hardware problems with it. I mainly use Rhino with Vray, autocad, photoshop, illustrator and Indesign. What laptops would you recommend? I have an open budget i don’t want something cheap i want fast, durable, good graphics and if possible light laptops.

      I was looking for
      1) MSI GS73VR (intel core i7-7700 processor, 16GB RAM/ 256GB SSD = 2TB HDD- 17.3″ FHD/NVIDIA GTX 1060) but the problem with this one i think is the weight.

      2) Microsoft Surface Book.
      Which one would you recommend and if you were to suggest another laptop that best suites me what would it be? please provide me with the exact model name i dont really know much about laptops and wont know which one would best suit me. So i would appreciate your help
      waiting for your response

    21. Hey Zig,

      First thanks for the article, very informative

      What do you think of the Lenovo Ideapad 7000 16GB ram, I7 6th generation, Nividia GeForce GTX 950M, 1T HD and 256 SSD, 15.6″ Full HD 1920 x 1080

      I am only concerned with the 950M and Full HD screen resolution?

      My problem is I do not want a laptop that has this gaming design yet I want the gaming laptops features and specs.

      My other option is the Dell Ispiron i7559 GRY which has GTX 960M and a UHD screen resolution?

    22. Hi! Thanks for sharing this information. What do you think about this one?


    23. Hi I’m antes Revit, 3Dsmax and vray user and othee Autodesk sofwares, I’m between this TASUS two laptops and I would like to know what do you think about them..
      1.- Asus ROG Strix GL702VM-DB74 17.3″
      2.-ASUS Gaming ROG GL702VM-DS74 17.3″
      There are two diferences between them, the 6700hq & 7700hq processor and the 256 & 128 ssd.. I don’t know if 128gb ssd would ve enought for Autodesk software..
      What would you suggest me..

    24. Am an architecture student just about entering into a M.arch programme, Thinking of getting an MSI WT73VR 7RM Please help me on the benefits, disadvantages and positives of this MSI brand and any other better alternatives.

    25. I am going to be an architect student this fall. I’m looking for a laptop with a multi-core intel Xeon or I series processor, 64 Bit operating system, Microsoft windows 7, 8 or 8.1, 15″ screen (1,680 x 1,050) minimum, 250 GB Hard Drive or more, 8GB Ram minimum, a DirectX 11 capable graphics card with shader model 3, and 25 GB of free disk space. Can you recommend the laptop that best fits this criteria?? Thank you so much!

    26. Hi there,

      I am looking for a laptop and would appreciate any advice you could provide. I am an architect but this laptop is not my primary work computer. I will use it for architecture intermittently when doing private jobs or updating my portfolio. I use sketchup, autocad, revit and adobe suite primarily. My budget is around 1400 pounds. These are the two im currently looking at:

      Dell Precision M7510
      Intel Core i7 6820HQ Processor
      16gb memory
      Quadro M1000M Graphics (2GB)
      1 TB HDD & 256 GB SSD


      HP Z Book 15 G3
      Intel Core i7 6700HQ Processor
      16gb memory
      nVidia Quadro M2000M (4GB)
      256 SSD

      The Dell is a couple of hundred more expensive

      Any advice much appreciated,

    27. Hello! I’m an architecture student from India. I want to buy a new laptop. I’ll be learning a lot of softwares like autocad, sketchup, Photoshop, coreldraw, rhinoceros, lumion, 3D max, revit, etc. I have a budget of between $1100-$1500 and so far have these laptops in mind ;
      Acer Predator Helios 300
      Lenovo legion y520 {16gb)
      Lenovo legion y720
      Acer Rog series laptops
      Dell XPS 15
      For MSI and HP I don’t really have any idea. Which laptop would you suggest for me to buy ? Thank you

    28. hi , i’m an architecture student and currently lookin for an affordable laptop . portability is also my priority. my friend recommended asus vivobook N580VD or ROG GL553VD. which one would you recommend? thankyou !

    29. Hello!
      I am going to an architect school next year – 2018.
      As I’m not familiar with what I’m learning and what computer is suitable most.
      I hope you are able to give me some good advice about which laptop I should buy.
      Basically I just hope I can use minimumly for 4 years and I’m alright with the pricing. ( as I can work for it this year ^^ )
      I really you can help me out, thank you in advance !!!

    30. Hi, nice to meet you, I am Erin.
      I would love to get your opinion.
      I am an interior architecture student.
      I need a good one steady and fast. Works like a real good PC for rendering.
      No lagging. I love window 7 and currenly on window 8.1 i hate it.
      The laptop i going to purchase are on windows 10 which i havent try but i dislike the edition layout. Would it be good if i down grade it to window 7 after purchasing it?
      I donot have budget.
      Should i go with MSI PE70 or ASUS ROG (the one you recomment in this blog)
      Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you :)

    31. Thanks for the most awesome run down of detailed info. Plus I love that spreadsheet you included in previous article on best bim laptops. I started my own and then came across yours, viola!
      I am looking for best touch-able laptop for bim and adobe. I’m an interior designer so need the auto cad / revit 3d abilities but also like to hand render (on computer, via adobe creative suite) on the 3d images from revit. Sometimes I need to do quick in field sketches so I desire the precision of a stylus drawing component.
      Looking at the Lenovo thinkpad p40 yoga. This looks it’d check all my boxes, but it aint cheap, and wonder about the graphics card. Know of any comparable or have totally different recommendation based on described use? Thanks, love you and all your input!

    32. Hello
      I have a MacBook pro mid 2012
      I7, 8 GB RAM, 750 GB HDD, Intel HD graphics 4000
      I’m a fresh graduate architecture student, i mainly use AutoCAD, sketchup and Vray for sketchup.
      I’m upgrading to 500GB SSD, cause my old HDD isn’t working.
      Do i need to upgrade my RAM as well?
      And what kind of performance should i expect?
      Thank you

    33. Hi Zyg,

      Aren’t touchscreen laptops advisable? I’m eyeing a Lenovo Yoga 720 which has all the great features you’ve mentioned. (i7-7700; 16gb ram; 4gb gtx 1050; 512ssd) Only draw back I see is the limited ssd space which doesn’t bother me that much since I save most of my files in a portable drive.

      What do you think about Lenovo Yoga series?

    34. Thanks for a great article. Super helpful. FWIW, I helped my son get a really good Cyber Monday deal on a Lenovo 15.6″ Legion Y520 Notebook, with 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad-Core, 8GB DDR4 RAM | 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4GB GDDR5). We can upgrade the RAM to 16 GB later. All in $849 at B&H. He just graduated with an BS in Arch and is working in the field–hopefully this works for him.

    35. I’m looking at a MSI GS60 for basic Revit, AutoCAD, sketchup, and photshop software. It has NVIDIA Geoforce GTX 965M 2GB GDDR5 with an i7 6th gen 6700HQ. 16GB memory with 1TB HDD and 128GB SSD.

    36. hi, I am a second year architecture student. I need a light weight laptop with all the required configuration for architectural software.. would you please recommend me if I should go for a Macbook or Dell or Asus laptop?

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