The 5 Best Laptops for AutoCAD in 2022

If you’re looking for the best laptops for AutoCAD, there are so many factors to consider.

You might be a student and need to use AutoCAD for your classes. Or maybe you’re a professional who relies on AutoCAD for 3D drawing, drafting, and modeling.

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, this guide will help you find the best laptop for AutoCAD. I’ll walk you through the essential features for any laptop for AutoCAD. 

For example, you’ll find out what kind of GPU and CPU you need for AutoCAD. The processor and graphics card are two of the most critical features, so we’ll go into detail. 

But we’ll also take a look at which laptops are suitable for AutoCAD projects ranging from small to large. Because what you need for simple 2D models is very different from complex 3D projects. 

As you can see, choosing a laptop for AutoCAD can get pretty confusing. But as an experienced 3D modeler, I’ll share my recommendations and tips with you. I want to help you find the best AutoCAD laptop that meets your unique needs! 

Top 3 Laptops for Autocad: Quick Comparison

Short on time? Then, here are my recommendations for the best laptops for AutoCAD. 

The best computer for AutoCAD overall is the Lenovo ThinkPad P53. It’s incredibly robust and powerful, with a dedicated Quadro T1000 graphics card.

But the MSI GP75 Leopard is a strong runner-up. Like its name, it’s fast, streamlined, and a bit of a beast. It has a gorgeous 17.3-inch display, although it is a little heavy and big to carry around. But it’s a great laptop for all your AutoCAD needs.

If you’re looking for a budget laptop for AutoCAD, the Acer Nitro 5 ticks all the right boxes. It’s incredibly affordable and one of the best laptops for AutoCAD at this price. The Nitro 5 is ideal for students or anyone who wants to get started with AutoCAD. 

lenovo thinkpad msi gp75 acer nitro 5
Product Lenovo ThinkPad P53Best Laptop for AutocadMSI GP75 LeopardRunner-up Laptop for AutocadAcer Nitro 5 Best Budget Laptop for Autocad
Operating SystemWindows 10 ProWindows 10 Windows 10 Home
ProcessorIntel Core i7-9750H 6-Core CPUIntel Core i7-10750H 2. 6 – 5. 0GHz9th Gen Intel Core i5-9300H
RAM32 GB 16 GB 8 GB
Internal Storage1 TB SSD512 GB SSD256 GB SSD
Screen Size15.6 inches17.3 inches15.6 inches
Display Resolution1920 x 1080 pixels1920 x 1080 pixels1920 x 1080 pixels

AutoCAD Laptop Requirements & Buying Guide 

Here’s what you need to know about laptops for AutoCAD. 

Will you work on small or large AutoCAD projects?

The type of projects you’ll create is the first thing to consider when choosing the best laptop for AutoCAD. 

If you’re a beginner, you’ll be starting with small, simple models. So, you might get away with a cheaper model, or you might not need to upgrade at first.

But a laptop that can handle small projects just won’t cut it for more complicated 3D models. Soon, you’ll need something more powerful with the processing power and graphics card to suit. 

A general rule is that you don’t need anything special for small projects of up to 300 parts. 

Once you get more advanced, you will start working on medium-sized projects. That tends to mean any models with around 500 parts (but sometimes up to 1000). 

By this point, you will need to invest in a laptop with a dedicated GPU. Many gaming or business laptops are suitable for medium AutoCAD projects. 

The largest projects can involve models with several thousand polygons. These are intensive, advanced models that are very time-consuming. But they’re also very demanding on your computer, so only the fastest, most powerful laptops fit the bill. 

Do you need to run AutoCAD 3D or 2D?

Another critical factor is whether you want to run AutoCAD 2D or 3D software. That will make a massive difference to what you’ll need from a laptop compatible with AutoCAD. 

If you only plan to work with AutoCAD 2D, then you’ll have a lot more options. And it will also work out cheaper for you, as you don’t need such advanced hardware. 

Some professionals will find that AutoCAD 2D is all they need. For example, you can use it to create contour maps and 2D drawings.

But if you want to create more advanced, large 3D models, it’s a different case altogether. Instead, you’ll need a robust laptop with a powerful CPU and GPU to run AutoCAD 3D. That’s essential to prevent a lot of lagging and ensure it’s up to the job. 

Graphics Card

As mentioned above, the graphics card is one of the most vital parts of any AutoCAD laptop. 

Combine an excellent GPU with a robust CPU, and you have the perfect AutoCAD laptop. 

For larger AutoCAD projects, you’ll need a GPU with at least 4GB VRAM. While with smaller ones, 2GB vRAM could be enough. 

If money isn’t an issue, look for a laptop with an RTX or Quadro graphics card. NVIDIA created these GPUs with heavy technical or creative projects in mind. So, they’re ideal for working in AutoCAD. 

Do I need a dedicated graphics card for AutoCAD?

For more basic AutoCAD projects, you can get away with an integrated graphics card. That’s assuming all the other features and specs are up to scratch on your laptop. 

But if you want to advance in AutoCAD, then a dedicated graphics card becomes crucial. 

Is a Quadro GPU necessary?

You’ll hear some people say that a Quadro graphic card is essential to AutoCAD. It’s a hot topic, and everyone has an opinion on whether you need a Quadro GPU or not. 

In case you’re not familiar, let me introduce you to the Quadro. These NVIDIA graphics cards are designed for intensive work like AutoCAD and CGI. 

So, without a doubt, a Quadro GPU is a huge bonus. It will ensure the smooth running of AutoCAD and allow you to work on your projects without any delays. 

But can you get away with a regular or gaming GPU?

The answer is yes; you can do AutoCAD projects even if your laptop doesn’t have a Quadro. But you will need a dedicated GPU for most medium to large projects. 

Let’s look at the other vital specs and features in a laptop for AutoCAD. These are all factors I consider when making an AutoCAD laptop recommendation. 

Can you use a gaming laptop for AutoCAD?

You might be wondering what laptop is best for AutoCAD. Does it have to be one of those bulky (and expensive) mobile workstations? Or will something else be suitable instead?

The good news is that some gaming laptops can meet your AutoCAD needs. So, you don’t necessarily have to invest in a high-end workstation laptop.  Even some business or creative laptops are suitable for AutoCAD. 

Gaming laptops can be just as good as a powerful laptop designed for 3d modeling. Some gaming laptops can provide all the power and performance you’ll need. 

So, you need to keep your eye out for the required specs and features. For example, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is a great gaming laptop. But it can also double up as an excellent laptop for AutoCAD. You can find the full review below. 

Processor

When it comes to the CPU, your priority should be a fast clock speed. With a higher clock speed, your laptop will power through your AutoCAD projects. So, your workflow should be smooth, without any lags. You’ll find that you’re getting through your work more quickly as a result. 

A hexacore or octa-core processor has its advantages during rendering. It should speed up the rendering process significantly. But you can get away with four cores on a budget laptop for AutoCAD. 

RAM

RAM (or random-access memory) is another important thing to consider. That’s because the RAM affects how quickly your computer can open your files.

Your computer uses RAM to access any short-term data. So, it will also make a difference to how fast it can run the software and how many programs you can open at once. 

Having more RAM will ensure a speedier and smoother performance. I would suggest looking for at least 8 GB of RAM, but 16 GB is even better. 

Internal Storage

When it comes to internal storage, I would recommend going for as much as your budget allows. 

The more storage you have, the better. When your laptop fills up, it will start to slow down. It’s also a hassle to transfer your files to an external hard disk or upload them to the cloud. 

But it’s not just about how much storage you have. You also have the choice between an SSD or an HDD.

An SSD is almost always better than a hard disk drive for AutoCAD. That’s because it’s so much faster, as it can access your files and power up software in seconds. So, you’ll have a streamlined experience and a more responsive laptop overall. 

You’ll notice a big difference between an SSD and an HDD when it comes to speed. So, always look for a laptop with an SSD and as much storage as possible. 

Display

The larger the screen, the better for AutoCAD. That’s because you’ll spend a lot of time on your laptop, and you’ll need to focus on small details. 

So, more screen space will prevent eye strain and headaches. I would recommend going for a laptop with a display of at least 15.6 inches. 

If you need a lightweight laptop for travel, you might decide to go for a smaller 13-inch model. But there are some great 15-inch laptops that are both compact and lightweight. So, check out the different options available before you part with your money. 

Computer Build

When you buy a laptop for AutoCAD, you’re making a significant investment. So, you want a durable laptop that will last for years. 

But laptops vary a lot in their build and materials. Generally, a laptop with a metal build is sturdier than one with a plastic case. 

I would also recommend checking out the warranty conditions on your chosen laptop. What does it cover, and how long does it last? These things are good to know before you buy! 

Best Computer for Autocad: Reviews 

Here’s a detailed guide to the best laptops for AutoCAD. I’ve picked out the best options for working in AutoCAD. They provide the power and performance to run AutoCAD software smoothly and efficiently. 

Acer Predator Helios 300

Best Gaming Laptop for AutoCAD

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop Best Gaming Laptop for AutoCAD

(Images credit: Acer)

The Predator Helios 300 is an excellent choice for an AutoCAD laptop. Although Acer designed it as a gaming laptop, it works just as well for drafting and 2D modeling.

The Helios 300 is extremely fast, robust, and powerful. It has a large 15.6-inch display and all the features necessary for AutoCAD. 

The screen is nice and bright, with 300 nits and excellent viewing angles. And the 144 Hz refresh rate will spoil you for any laptop with a 60 Hz rate. It’s so much sharper, faster, and smoother. While the dual-channel memory ensures that everything functions flawlessly. 

The clock speed is very high, and it has superb, crisp graphics. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 is outstanding and has 6 GB vRAM. So, that’s pretty impressive for a laptop with an integrated graphics card. 


You could see the lack of a dedicated graphics card as a downside. But at this price, it’s one of the best laptops for AutoCAD that you’ll find. It offers economy, performance, and power. 

It provides enough power to handle 3D modeling, ray tracing, and some serious gaming. 

Best Laptop for AutoCAD

(Images credit: Acer)

Plus, it also looks cool and has a nice backlit keyboard with concave keys. This versatile laptop is suitable for AutoCAD, gaming, and any other use you can imagine. 

At 5 lbs, it’s not the lightest laptop out there. It’s a little chunky, but you could still take it with you. But I wouldn’t recommend it as a laptop for regular travel or commuting due to its bulk.

Another drawback is the battery life, which can last for around 6 hours. But you’ll probably only use this chunky laptop at a desk. So, you can keep it plugged in most of the time anyway. 

Acer Predator Helios 300 for Autocad

(Images credit: Proactive Creative)

Overall, the Acer Predator Helios performs admirably. You might notice it starts to overheat on the most intensive AutoCAD projects, so keep that in mind. It might not be the right choice if you need to do a lot of 3D modeling. 

  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-10750H processor Hexa-core 2.60 GHz
  • RAM: 16 GB 
  • Internal Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • This multipurpose laptop is ideal for AutoCAD, gaming, and entertainment
  • It has superb specs and an impressive performance
  • It doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card – but the graphics are still crisp and sharp
  • It has a gorgeous screen with a super-fast 144 Hz refresh rate
  • It’s made from plastic which can feel a little flimsy
  • The webcam isn’t great 
  • It’s quite bulky 

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Acer Nitro 5

Best Budget Laptop for AutoCAD

Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop Best Budget Laptop for AutoCAD

(Images credit: Acer)

If you’re a student (or just on a tight budget) the Acer Nitro ticks all the right boxes. It’s the cheapest laptop on this list by far, but you can still use it to get started with AutoCAD.

The Acer Nitro 5 is a reasonably priced gaming laptop. Even more importantly, it’s suitable for smaller AutoCAD projects. Plus, you can use it for gaming, entertainment, and all your other tasks. 

This multipurpose laptop is all you need as you learn how to use AutoCAD. But as you advance to bigger projects, you’ll probably want to upgrade when possible.

The Acer Nitro 5 has the older i5 processor, so don’t expect as much power as the high-end models. But it can handle some basic AutoCAD projects and is very budget-friendly. 

It comes with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU with 4 GB of dedicated VRAM. Plus, it has an LED-backlit HD display and a great battery life. It’s also sleeker and more compact than many gaming laptops and mobile workstations.

Cheap Laptop for AutoCAD

(Images credit: Proactive Creative)

While this model only has 8 GB of RAM, you can upgrade that to 16 GB. You should also keep in mind the internal storage, which is quite limited. 

Acer has equipped this model with Cool Boost technology to prevent overheating. But you might still notice that it gets quite noisy and hot when you’re working it hard. 

Ultimately, it’s a fantastic starter laptop for AutoCAD. It’s fast and responsive. And it’s powerful enough for students to create simpler 2D and 3D models and drawings. 

  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Processor: 9th Gen Intel Core i5-9300H
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Internal Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • The Acer Nitro 5 offers fantastic value for money
  • It’s a perfect laptop for students or anyone new to AutoCAD
  • It has great graphics, thanks to the GeForce GTX 1650 GPU
  • The internal storage & RAM aren’t the best 
  • It might struggle with more advanced projects
  • It can overheat during intensive tasks

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MSI GP75 Leopard

Best Laptop for Autodesk & 3D Modeling 

MSI GP75 Leopard

(Images credit: MSI)

The MSI GP75 is another reliable choice for using Autodesk and other CAD software. 

It’s super-fast and powerful, making even larger projects look easy. Most AutoCAD projects should be a breeze with the MSI GP75. 

The 17.3-inch display is a huge bonus, as you’ll have even more room to work on. Seeing those little details has never been easier, and the screen is nice and bright. Colors look rich, vibrant, and fully saturated. And as for the 240 Hz refresh, it’s pretty insane – it’s as fast as they come. 


But as with everything, it has its downside. The MSI Leopard isn’t very portable due to its massive size. As a result, this laptop is best if you plan to use it at home or in the office. But I don’t think it’s ideal if you need to carry it back and forth with you. 

MSI GP75 Leopard Best Laptop for Autodesk & 3D Modeling 

(Images credit: Proactive Creative)

Don’t expect much from the battery, either. It sucks up the battery very quickly, especially on those big projects. So, you’ll need to stay plugged in most of the time.

However, you can’t fault the performance, power, or graphics. It also has great speakers and tons of vents to keep this laptop cool, no matter what you’re doing. Plus, you can adjust the fan speeds, giving you more control over your experience. 

All these factors make it an excellent laptop for any kind of 2D or 3D project. And it’s a lot cheaper than the MacBook Pro or the ThinkPad P53. As laptops for AutoCAD go, that makes it very reasonably priced. 

  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-10750H 2. 6 – 5. 0GHz
  • RAM: 16 GB 
  • Internal Storage: 512 GB 
  • Screen Size: 17.3 inches
  • Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • This laptop is very fast and powerful
  • It can handle AutoCAD projects smoothly and flawlessly
  • It has an extra-large 17.3-inch screen
  • The 240-Hz refresh rate is insanely fast
  • Due to its size, it’s not very portable
  • The battery life is poor

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Lenovo ThinkPad P53 Workstation Laptop

Best High-End Laptop for AutoCAD

Lenovo ThinkPad P53 Workstation Laptop

(Images credit: Lenovo)

If money is no object, check out the Lenovo ThinkPad P53. It’s long been a favorite among professionals who use AutoCAD for their work. 

The ThinkPad P53 packs all the power and performance you’d need for complex AutoCAD projects. It’s ideal for advanced 3D modeling and drafting. 

This Lenovo has an excellent Intel Core i7 Processor with a high clock speed. It also comes with a Quadro T1000 graphics card that will significantly speed things up. 

Plus, it has a high-resolution screen and loads of RAM for a speedy, streamlined experience. Combine all these factors, and it’s the perfect formula for an AutoCAD laptop.

And as for connectivity, the ThinkPad has a good range of ports. The only downside is that it doesn’t come with a Thunderbolt 3 port. 

Lenovo ThinkPad P53 Best High-End Laptop for AutoCAD

(Images credit: Proactive Creative)

The Lenovo ThinkPad P53 doesn’t just meet the hardware requirements. It also looks stylish and professional, making it suitable for the office. While some gaming laptops are too flashy, this one is understated and classic. 

It’s not as lightweight as some laptops, so it’s not the most portable option. But that’s to be expected for such a beast of a machine. 

If you want a laptop that blows all the other ones out of the water, the ThinkPad won’t disappoint. It’s perfect for advanced AutoCAD work in a professional setting. 

This laptop will impress with its speedy performance and amazing graphics. While it’s the most expensive on the list, it’s a wise investment for all your AutoCAD needs.

  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core CPU
  • RAM: 32 GB 
  • Internal Storage: 1 TB SSD
  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • One of the best laptops for advanced AutoCAD & 3D modeling
  • It has a powerful dedicated Quadro T1000 GPU
  • Plenty of RAM & a huge internal storage
  • It has a stylish design that will look great in the office 
  • It’s quite bulky and heavy
  • It’s very expensive 

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Apple MacBook Pro

Best Mac Laptop for AutoCAD

Apple MacBook Pro

(Images credit: Apple)

The Apple MacBook Pro needs no introduction. If you’re a Mac user, this 2021 model is the best of the bunch for AutoCAD. 

Apple hasn’t cut any corners with this beautiful new MacBook. It has outstanding features and specs, and it looks stunning. 

The edge-to-edge 16-inch display is gorgeous. Plus, it’s the perfect size for portability and creative work. It’s large enough to prevent eye strain but slim and compact enough that it’s still easy to carry with you. 

As for the resolution, it’s distinctively high at 346 x 2234 pixels. And it comes with the Liquid Retina XDR display. So, any graphics and drawings will look amazing, as will entertainment in your downtime. In my opinion, it’s the perfect machine for all your uses – professional and personal! 

This 2021 MacBook is also the first model to use the new Apple M1 Pro chip. The processor is devastatingly fast and powerful, with ten cores. It also packs an out-of-this-world GPU with up to 32 cores. So, there’s no doubt this laptop can handle even the most demanding CAD projects. 

Apple MacBook Pro Best Mac Laptop for AutoCAD

(Images credit: Apple)

The battery life beats almost all other laptops out there, especially mobile workstations. While some only run for four or five hours, this MacBook can last up to 21 hours. So, you can work on the go from anywhere without needing to charge it.

Overall, it’s hard to find any fault with this latest MacBook Pro. That is, other than the price. This laptop will appeal mainly to professionals who rely on AutoCAD for their careers. Otherwise, the steep price may put it out of your budget – for now, at least. 

  • Operating System: macOS
  • Processor: Apple M1 Pro chip
  • RAM: 16GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Screen Size: 16 inches
  • Display Resolution: 3456 x 2234 pixels
  • A gorgeous and insanely powerful MacBook
  • It’s sleek, stylish, and robust enough for all your AutoCAD needs
  • The new CPU and GPU are the best Apple has produced
  • The display has superb color accuracy and a high resolution
  • This latest model has had some issues with light bleed
  • It’s very expensive

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best laptop for AutoCAD

As you can see, the type of laptop you’ll need will depend on your specific AutoCAD projects. So, consider the kind of projects you’ll do before you buy. 
For advanced AutoCAD work, you’ll need the best CPU and GPU possible. A dedicated GPU is essential, with RTX and Quadro graphics cards coming in top. 
If you’re a student, you don’t need to spend as much. There are budget laptops for AutoCAD out there. But you’ll still need a robust processor, decent GPU, and plenty of storage. Ideally, you should look for a larger screen and at least 6 GB of RAM. 
However, you should also factor your budget into your decision. Will your new laptop be a long-term investment that you will use for years to come? 
Or maybe you’re a student on a tighter budget? Then, you might want a cheaper model to tide you over as you get started with AutoCAD. 
Read on for my reviews of the best laptops for AutoCAD. There’s something for everyone from budget to high-end laptops for beginners to pros. 

Best laptops for autocad reviews and buying guide

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The Wrap Up

There you have the best laptops for AutoCAD right now. They range from affordable laptops for beginners to high-end, premium models for professionals. 

So now, you should have a good idea of which laptop meets your AutoCAD needs. Let me know which one you choose and how you get on in the comments below! 

Make sure to follow Proactive Creative on Pinterest for all the latest tips, reviews, and resources.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, Proactive Creative may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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