Best Laptops for AutoCAD-12 AutoCAD Laptop Recommendations For Freelance CAD Designers

Last Updated on January 23, 2020 by Chimezie Chidi

Do you want to buy a laptop that works perfectly for your CAD designs?

I have put together the 12 best laptops for AutoCAD for your Freelance CAD projects.

There’s nothing better than a laptop made for your project. However, when you sit down to work and only witnesses’ things like the horrors of rebooting — trying to navigate across programs without setting your laptop on a hanging spree and watching programs crash again and again until the laptop decides to quit on you. 

Save yourself those troubles by buying a laptop that promises efficient workflow, speed, and reliability.

As a freelance architect, designer, or engineer working with CAD software applications, this is critical to the success of your projects.

Save yourself the traumas of getting a laptop with more headaches. You are dealing with heavy equipment that needs lots of power, RAM, processor, and GPU for rendering, so you can’t take any chances.



In this article, I will be listing some of the best laptops for AutoCAD that will give you all the power you need.

Some of these products are gaming laptops, which means they are designed for heavy workflow, but pretty expensive.

Some others fit the minimum requirements but are just budget-friendly designs, you can consider.

Ready to buy the right equipment? Read On!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and purchase an item, I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. See my Affiliate disclosure page for details.

AutoCAD Laptop Requirements-What to look out for when getting a laptop for AutoCAD?

Just like every other design software out there, you can’t run AutoCAD on a low-grade laptop.

You need a laptop that can provide sufficient space for the design software to run efficiently.

When you cut corners, you might end of ruining your laptop or getting frustrated trying to make the software work effectively. 

However, different versions of AutoCAD have specific systems requirement. You must also bear in mind that these requirements are just the minimum requirements but to run your program efficiently, opt for something higher than these requirements. 

Bearing in mind the latest system requirements for the most recent AutoCAD versions, there are things you should look out for: 

Features for Windows

  1. Processor: To run AutoCAD, you need a processor that runs fast. Currently, we have the 8th Gen Intel Corei7 processor, but you can still use other lower processors depending on the AutoCAD version you are using. However, you can use a 2.5 -2.9 GHz processor although it is recommended that you use 3+ GHz processor.
  2. RAM: AutoCAD on its own comes with a lot of multitasking, primarily if you work on 3Ds Max and other design programs at the same time. Therefore, you should ensure that your RAM is pretty large. You can use an 8GM RAM, but it’s recommended that you use a laptop with 16GB RAM. 
  3. Graphics Card: You don’t need the great graphics card used by gaming laptops, but you must have a standard graphics card that can handle your rendering projects.
  4. Storage Space: AutoCAD recently released a cloud and online CAD software, but if you can’t afford that, you must consider having enough storage space in your laptop. However, you also need an external hard drive to store your work as well. Without looking at space required for storing your files, your AutoCAD will require about 6GB of disk space.
  5. Display: Your Systems display is very important as well for AutoCAD. You need a 4K display or Full HD display with resolutions up to 38040 X 2160 for a better visual experience. For conventional displays lookout for 1920 X 1080 with True Color.
  6. .Net Framework: DirectX111 is recommended, but you can work with.NET Framework Version 4.7 or later

Features for Mac

  1. CPU: 64-bit Intel Core Duo CPU can serve, but it’s recommended you get 2GHz Intel CPU
  2. Memory: 3GB RAM is great, but 4GB or above is recommended
  3. Display: The best is 2880 X 1800 with Retina Display, but you can make do with 1280 X 800 display with True Colour. 
  4. Operating System: Apple macOS Sierra v10.12 or later; High Sierra v10.13 or later; Apple macOS Mojave v10.14
  5. Model: If you would rather work on a Mac, then you should look out for Apple MacBook 5.1 or later, MacBook Air 2.1 or later, Mac mini 3.1 or later, 

Additional laptop requirements for 3D Modelling, point clouds, and large datasets

AutoCAD recently released specialized toolsets such as AutoCAD MEP, AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD Plant 3D, AutoCAD Map3D, etc.

To run those tools, you need up to 12GB Diskspace and 16GB Memory alongside other specific requirements.

Click here to find out more. 

 #1. Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop

Good Gaming Laptop-Good Laptop for AutoCAD

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The Acer Predator combines the powers of an 8th generation Intel processor to the high performing NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060.

It has all the features you need for your AutoCAD projects and more. It’s actually a gaming laptop, so the speed of navigation is really incredible.

It equally has a gorgeous display and a great nonmechanical keyboard. However, it gets too hot, and the fans make lots of noise. 

  • CPU: 8th Generation (2.20 – 4.1 GHz) Intel Core i7-8750H 6-Core Processor.
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (plus 6GB GDDR5 VRAM)
  • RAM: 16GB DR4 2666MHz DRAM Memory & 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Storage: 256 GB 
  • Screen: 15.6 Inch Full HD Display
  • Battery: 7 hours 

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#2. Lenovo Legion Y7000 Gaming Laptop

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With 1Terabyte of Flash memory and 16GB RAM, this laptop is super fast for your AutoCAD projects.

It's pretty sleek and portable. However, you have to make do with only 5 hours of battery life, which can be considerably lower when running your AutoCAD software.

Also, the port placements are at the back of the laptop, which is pretty weird. As a gaming laptop, it’s not a quiet beast. 

  • CPU: 8th Generation ( 2.20 – 4.1 GHz )Intel Core i7-8750H 6-Core Processor
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (plus dedicated GDDR5 VRAM)
  • RAM: 16GB DR4 2666MHz DRAM Memory & 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Storage: 256GB SSD 1TB HDD
  • Screen: 15.6 Anti-glare IPS LED Backlit Full HD Display
  • Battery: 5 hours 

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#3. ASUS ROG Zephyrus S Thin and Portable Laptop GX502GW

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With the 9th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and 1Terabyte of space, you don’t need anything else for your projects. It’s equally resistant to cold, extreme heat and humidity, so you can travel anywhere without worrying about your laptop. However, you may have to worry about its lack of an integrated webcam. 

  • CPU: 9th Generation 4.5 GHz Intel Core i7-9750H 8-Core Processor, Windows 10 Home (64 Bit)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
  • RAM: 16GB DR4 2666MHz DRAM Memory & 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Storage: 1TB
  • Screen: 15.6 Inch Full HD Display
  • Battery: 7 hours 

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#4. ASUS VivoBook Pro 17 17.3″ Thin and Portable FHD Laptop

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This is a great laptop when on a budget. It has a great processor, but you will have to make do with an 8GB RAM. However, the NVIDIA Graphics card is exceptional for your rendering tasks.

Also, the battery life is just approximately 3.5 hours, which is depressing.

  • CPU: 8th Generation 4.0 GHz Intel Core i7-8750H 8-Core Processor
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX150 2GB
  • RAM: 8GB DR4 2666MHz DRAM Memory & 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD + 1TB HDD
  • Screen: 17.3 Inch Full HD Display
  • Battery: 3.5 hours 

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#5. Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch with TouchBar and Touch ID

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The MacBook Pro comes with an incredible retina display with true technology and 2.6Ghz 6-core Intel Core i7 with turbo boost up to 4.3Ghz. It’s perfect for the AutoCAD platform if you can make do with the different layout.  This boasts of the Apple’ true tone display, so you have to remember to switch it off when carrying out edits where you require more colour accuracy. 

  • CPU: 8th Generation 6-core (2.9- 4.8) GHz Intel Core i7 processor 
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 560X 4GB 
  • RAM: 32GB DR4 2400MHz DDRA 
  • Storage: 512 – 2TB SSD
  • Screen: 15.4- Inch Retina Display
  • Battery: 10 hours

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#6. Dell G5 Gaming Laptop

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The Dell G5 has good batteries but is plagued with a dull display and bad speakers. Again you will have to deal with the weight.

However, it’s still excellent for your AutoCAD projects. It’s pretty fast and gives off an excellent performance. 

  • CPU: 8th Generation 6-core Intel Core i7-8750H Processor ( up to 4.1GHz Turbo Boost)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 TI
  • RAM: 16GB DR4 2666MHz DDR4 up to 32GB ( sold separately)
  • Storage: 256 SSD + 1TB HDD
  • Screen: 15.6- Full HD LED
  • Battery: 6 hours

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#7. Lenovo THINKPAD P50 20En 15.6” Notebook

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The Lenovo ThinkPad P50 is excellent for all your design and CAD-related projects. It can effectively handle multiple projects at the same time and is especially great for viewing up to an angle of 160 degrees.

However, it comes pre-installed with just Windows 7 which you can upgrade to 10 Pro (64 bit).

  • CPU: 2.8 GHz Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5 Quad-Core Processor( up to 3.70Hz Turbo boost)
  • Graphics: Nvidia Quadro M2000M 4GB GDDR5
  • RAM: 16GB SDRAM DDR4 up to 32GB
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD 
  • Screen: 15.6- Full HD LED
  • Battery: 13.2 hours

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#8. MSI WE72 7RJ 1032US 17.3” Professional Workstation Laptop

For best Laptops for AutoCAD

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With an explosive combination of Quadro M2200 Graphics MSI and a 7th Generation processor, you can quickly navigate through your CAD programs exceptionally. It promises high speed and performance for your tasks.

You can run up to 12 large CAD files without lags. However, due to high power, it does lose battery quickly.  Also, this is not a new laptop, but it can be efficient for your tasks.

  • CPU: 7th Generation Core i7-7700HQ (2.8-3.8GHz)
  • Graphics: Nvidia Quadro M2200M 4GB GDDR5
  • RAM: 32GB DDR4 
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD 
  • Screen: 17.3- Full HD LED
  • Battery: 4 hours

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#9. Acer Aspire V17 Nitro Black Edition Gaming Laptop

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Acer Aspire V17 Nitro is a powerful gaming laptop, and although it is pretty heavy, it comes with exceptional hardware components to power up your designs. However, you may have to deal with a redesigned keyboard which might take some time understanding why your end keys suddenly became the power key and so on. Also, this laptop is older than two years but can do okay. 

  • CPU: 7th Generation Core i7-7700HQ (2.8-3.8GHz)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD 
  • Screen: 17.3- Full HD LED
  • Battery: 6 hours

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#10. Alienware M15 2019 Thin and Light 15″ Gaming Laptop

Best Gaming Laptop for AutoCAD

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This is yet another laptop for AutoCAD, but there are two variants. It’s recommended you get the 17.3-inch option for your tasks. But again, you will have to deal with its weight.

In addition., the 8GB SSD is depressing. You will need an extra SSD pack before you can enjoy the true speed of your machine. Without an SSD, it will be a nightmare navigating across applications. 

  • CPU: 8th Generation Core i7-8750HQ (2.8-3.9GHz)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with 4 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
  • RAM: 8 or 16GBGB DDR4
  • Storage: 256GB PCIe M.2 SSD
  • Screen: 15.6 or 17.3- Full HD LED
  • Battery: 6 hours

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#11. HP ZBook 17 G2 Mobile Workstation

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The HB ZBook does so many amazing things in terms of price, speed, and performance. Its display may not be the highest, but it is pretty impressive for graphics rendering. However, it is pretty heavy and virus prone. It has a pretty chicklet-style keyboard, but it would take a long time getting used to the left-set touchpad. 

  • CPU: 4th Generation Core i7-4810MQ (2.8-3.6GHz)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro K5100M – 2 GB GDDR5 SDRAM
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 SDRAM
  • Storage: 240GB SSD
  • Screen: 17.3- QHD LED
  • Battery: 4.5 hours

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#12. Microsoft Surface Book 2 FVH-00001 Laptop

Microsoft Surface Book 2-One of the best laptops for AutoCAD

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Microsoft Surface Book 2 is the ultimate digital drafting board specially made for all kinds of graphics related affair. It has a very bright display, higher contrast ration, and enhanced performance.

However, it is a bit pricey. 

  • CPU: 8th Generation Core i5 or i7 (Quad Core)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 discrete GPU w/6GB GDDR5 Graphics Memory
  • RAM: 8GB or 16GB
  • Storage: SSD 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB PCIe SSD
  • Screen:13.5” or 15” PixelSense Display
  • Battery: Up to 17 hours video playback.

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Concluding thoughts

Apart from the features listed, what other unique specifications do you want in a laptop?

We all have unique needs besides having the professional angle to check for. Those little things will also affect your choice for a new laptop.

However, you should make sure that those desires don’t compete against your professional goals.

Higher-end gaming laptops, for instance, can be quite impressive for your work, but they get hot too quickly and can be a bit heavy.

Make sure you have checked through the specifications of any laptop you want before purchase.

If you need more help, especially with regards to laptops outside this list, place it in the comment section, let’s talk about it. 

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