The 10 Best Laptops for Animation in 2022 ( 3D & 2D ) + Hardware Guide

 

I get it, you want to be comfortably navigate through any scene with buttery smooth frames per second and render your scenes as fast as possible right? Hence, you’re looking for the kind of hardware that the best laptop for animation in 2022 should have.

The truth is, there’s no single best laptop for animation.

It’s really an individual thing, what’s best for you will depend on how complex your scenes and models are.

For example…

If your scenes consist of  high resolution texture details, an inmmese number of particles and ~100 lights & shadows or an insane amount  amount polys & rigs, then you’ll definitely need  to look at the most expensive and maxed out laptops out there. Otherwise, you’ll start lagging a ton and get around 15 fps when using viewport.

But listen…

Not all animators do that kind of work. (If you are, don’t worry, we’ll also show you something that will return your investment ASAP)

The problem is…

Most sites simply throw a bunch of overpriced laptops with overkill specs that weight around 15lbs thinking every animator is going to need without even explaining what exactly they can handle.

I’ve also seen sites integrated GPUs for 3D animation software and/or overpriced and outdated workstation laptops for beginners! 

I do think however that reddit & quora are always GREAT places to look for hardware advice.

Even if they have accurate hardware recommendations, you should also make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

Because…

Let’s face it, some of you will be eating potatoes for a month after buying one of these laptops.

Anyways..enough ranting.

What To Look For In A Laptop For Animation ?

There are two things you’ll find in this post:

  1. First we’ll go over the 10 best laptops for Animation of 2022. These should be able to run 3DS Max, Maya and hence any 3D animation software. We’ll also have a separate section for 2D animation laptops because the hardware specs that 2D animators need are different (much cheaper hardware).

     2.  In the last section( which you can jump to using the TOC). We will cover every single detail you need to know so you can safely look for other options on your own or if you just want to know the impact of specific hardware on animation software performance. 

I’ll try to briefly summarize that section here before going over the 10 best laptops for Animation. The full section and explanations are at the end of this post.

Software

When I say 3D & 2D Animation I mean the following:

3D animation: visual effects software (VFX) or any 3D application such as Maya, Blender & 3DS Max (including 3D game design software).

2D animaton: software with no viewport. Ex: Pencil 2D & Adobe After Effects in 2D. Also stop motion software.

CPU

2D animation
Any modern Core i5 CPU (8th ,9th, 10th, 11th gen) or Ryzen 5 CPU (3rd,4th or 5th gen).

3D animation
9th, 10th, 11th Core i7/Core i9 from the H seriesEx: Core i7 11750H, Core i9 11800H.
4th or 5th gen Ryzen 7/9 CPUs from the H series.  Ex: Ryzen 7 5800H. Ryzen 9 5900HS.

If you want speed particularly when: 

Editing & Animating: pick the highest clock speed you can afford(Ex: 5GHz as opposed to 4GHz).
Using viewport: Focus on clock speed too.
Rendering: As many cores as you can get (Ryzen 9/Core i9 may have 8/10 cores).

GPU 

2D Animation
Any GPU. Those integrated cards that come by default are okay too. Ex: Intel HD/AMD Vega X series are fine. Basically anything will be fine here, as long as you get one of the CPUs I mentioned.

3D Animation

Let me just say that I get sick of people calling the NVIDIA GTX/RTX “gaming cards”.

These GTX/RTX GPUs (Ex: 1660Ti GTX or 3060RTX) are pretty much equal (actually better in most cases) than “workstation GPUs”.

The truth is, at least for animation, whichever cards holds the most CUDA cores and “vRAM” wins. 

If you hear people going on and on about how “workstation cards” or “quadros” are the best choice, that’s outdated opinion.

Today the high-tier 10th generation GTX Cards (1070GTX/1080GTX) and the recent RTX series are most of the time better than these “firepro/quadro” cards especially for GPU rendering(in Animation at least, they do become more useful in other applications).

So…

Students : get at least a 1050Ti or its AMD equivalent(AMD Radeon RX 540/550/550/560). 4GB vRAM  is enough for buttery smooth viewport w/ small project loads & game development courses. 1660Ti would be bullet proof though.

Professionals: 10th generation cards NVIDIA GeForce Cards with lots of vRAM(1660Ti,1070,1080/2060/2070/2080) or even better one of the latest RTX series (RTX 3050Ti, RTX 3060, RTX 3070, 3080) . These will handle viewport of lots of rigs, a huge number of polygons, particles, etc, with buttery smooth framerates.

I’ll also include a decent NVIDIA Quadro for those who think they might need it though(they do become useful for a specific niche in animation)

RAM
8GB RAM: okay for those getting starting with animation. When larger projects like maps start coming in to your portofolio, you can always do the upgrade to 16GB RAM. All laptops are upgradeable.

16-32GB: bigger models need at least 16GB. 32GB is fool proof for pretty much anything even for those models with tons of details. 64GB may not be that helpful.

Rendering: highly dependent on RAM. Though anything more than 32GB may not be very helpful. 

Storage
Solid State Drives for everyone. PCIe NVMe are best but SATA III SSDs are okay too.

Virtually all modern laptops have now an SDD(except some below 500$). SSDs will make you spend less time on a project because loading applications/reading/writing files will be done in split seconds and seconds can add to hours!

Students or small animation models: 256GB SSD is okay.
Professionals: 1TB HDD + 256GB SSD or full blown SSD disks with at least 512-1TB.

*Do not get 128 GB unless you’re using your laptop solely for 2D animation.

Display

Resolution: 1080p is plenty for animation. 4k displays are nice especially if you target 4k devices but are not necessary even for such purposes.
Size: The bigger the better obviously becase you’ll see bigger frames and more details. 13” can be cumbersome to work with so avoid it unless you need the portability.


Top 10 Best Laptops For Animation 3D & 2D

Having presented the best laptop configuration specs, let’s go over 10 laptops that meet these requirements.

We’ll start with the best laptops for 3D Animation (1-7) then go over laptops for 2D animation and stop motion software exclusively (8-10). Obviously, you can use any lof the other 7 laptops for 2D animation too.

Note that these reviews will tell you what you can expect from each laptop and  what the specs can be useful for. Pros & Cons. The specs themselves are listed there for you to compare. I won’t be horsing around and repeating them like most sites out there.

Note: most of these laptops are similar to each other in terms of specs the difference between these boils down the GPU for 3D animation and CPU for 2D Animation


1. Acer Predator Helios 300

The Best Laptop For Animation & VFX

  Core i7-11800H 4.6GHz

  16GB DDR4

   NVIDIA RTX 3060 6GB vRAM

  512GB PCIe NVMe

  15” full HD 144Hz IPS

  5.07lb

  4 hours

In the world of animation there isn’t really ideal specs but you want to start with 8GB RAM and a recent mid-range non-integrated GPU. 

Obviously you need a 64Bit OS system and a multi core CPU or you won’t get past the welcome screen. 

Most laptops above 650$ have all of that so they can run any animation software no problemo. The problem starts when you use viewport and/or render scenes that have multiple light sources/layers.

The best way to minimize any type of errors and LAG  is to go for the latest and most recent dedicated GPUs available (that automatically sets you up with a great and recent multi core processor, +8GB RAM and +256GB NVMe SSD).

The latest of the latest are the RTX NVIDIA GPUs. Although the somewhat older GPUs like the 9th/10th gen GPUs will do as well.

 Performance

Like every other update, we’ll start with  a mid-range GPU of the latest series available.

As of 2022, the latest is the RTX series, which was released last year and its mid-range chip is the 3060RTX. J ust like its 2060RTX cousin, the 3060RTX is also the most budget friendly high performance GPU out of its series. 

For animation software, this means you get the best bang for your buck in terms of vRAM size & number of CUDA Cores, the former plays a bigger role when fitting large and complex scenes in any animation software while the latter helps speed up rendering tremendously (they act like extra processors to some extent depending on the renderer).

Q: What’s so special about the Acer Predator Helios 300? I’ve seen thousands of 3060RTX laptops already.

Go right ahead and compare any 3060RTX model with the same CPU the predator has : the Core i7 11800H. See if you can find a model that beats the price.

Be warned: you’ll be wasting days looking for one. I’d let you browse around for 1h so you can purchase this model with no regrets.

CPU+RAM

Both RAM and CPU clock speed are up to the highest 2022 standards, in the very unlikely scenario where the scene starts to lag a little bit you can easily upgrade RAM to 32GB or even 64GB (though anything more than 32GB is unlikely to help).

One of the reasons to opt for the latest of the latest GPUs (the RTX & 10th GTX as opposed to the 9th) is that they have been optimize to work with real-time rendering with Unity and Unreal.

GPU: 6GB vRAM

Speaking of rendering,  6GB of vRAM will be OKAY as long as you dont have crazy scenarios like a christmas tree with hundreds of shadows, lights, objects & lights all over, which by the way will slow down ANY laptop really. 

Long story short, this machine should satisfy 95% of 3D animators on a budget working on 3D game development and/or 3D film animation

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2. Lenovo Ideapad 3 

Best Budget Laptop For Architecture 

  AMD Ryzen 5 5600H 

  8GB DDR4

  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB vRAM

  256GB PCIe NVMe

  15” Full HD IPS 120Hz refresh rates

  4.96lbs

   5 hours

The predator is a great investment if you are already working in the field, it is very likely you’ll get your money’s worth in a short period of time. However, if you are just getting started you don’t have to go for it…at least when you start out.

 Performance

Fear not, the 1650GTX GPUs are very budget friendly and they will STILL let you work with a high number of polygons and the typical light and shadows that goes along.

The 1650GTX is not an entry level GPU like the 1050/MX450 , it’s a lot more closer to the 1660Ti than it is to a 1050GTX actually and the 1660Ti/2060RTX area the closest thing to the 3060RTX. 

It’s not the bleeding edge of the RTX series but as you can see in the video, you can still edit relatively complex scenes with no issues.

The problem starts when doing playback rendering 2:45 – in the video, it’s going to be slow. This is both due to GPU but mostly about the CPU (Core i5/Ryzen 5 are quite entry leve for 3D animation).

What about the cheaper 1050GTX, 1050Ti, which come along with basically the same CPU? Will they work the same?

NO.

One, 1050GTX GPUs and those entry level AMD Radeon GPUs have only 2GB vRAM. If you scenes are quite small, it will make little difference when editing, however as you increase size, viewport and playback rendering will slow down unless you up your vRAM.

Two, even if you just want to play around with the software and would probably only be limtied to small scale scenes, current 1050GTX/MX350/MX450 laptops are not necessarily cheaper than 1650GTX laptops.

If they are, there will be only a minimal price difference (50$ at the most).

Do I need 4GB vRAM (1650GTX) or 6GB vRAM (1660Ti, 2060RTX, 3060RTX)?

You’ll only face issues with scenes that eat up more than 4GB of vRAM.

Scenes requiring more than 4GB vRAM are kind of rare unless you are already a Pro but basically everything will slow down significantly especially the on the post rendering when you start drawing/editing and navigating through it.

These are the type of scenes that require more than 4GB vRAM:

Note that even with the 1660Ti which has 6GB vRAM, there’s still an issue with playback rendering and viewport fps, that’s not necessarily due to the 1660Ti though but more due to the CPU which is  entry level.

The same situation will the most powerful GPU+CPU combo, it will slow down to a crawl with a scene that eats up all its resources. It’s all relative to what you are working  with.

So 4GB or 6GB vRAM?

1660Ti (6GB vRAM GPUs) should be fine as long as you don’t render anything crazy heavy and don’t deal with intense “real time rendering”. 4GB vRAM (1650GTX) will be useful if you’re getting started with Blender, Maya but not something you want to use to make a living out of it, for that I’d start with a 6GB vRAM GPU.

You know I actually taught myself 3DS Max on a laptop with a far weaker GPU/CPU than what this model has(a 960M w/ 4GB vRAM) and still never faced any problems with view port and rendering. So if you’re at that level, you should be good!

GPU rendering: CUDA cores

Another thing to consider is the type of  rendering software you want work with, some renders are completely GPU dependent.

This would be the case for iRAY which uses the GPU’s CUDA cores as extra CPUs to accelerate rendering. So the more CUDA cores you have the faster your rendering is going to be.

If you are not using any third-party plugin/software for rendering because you’re just getting started with Blender, Maya and 3DS Max, you can safely opt for a 1650GTX laptop for now and step it up once you feel comfortable with your work to make a living out of it.

If this mode isn’t available yet you can grab any of the following:

Laptop CPU GPU Price
Lenovo Ryzen 5 5600H 1650GTX 680
Evo Core i5 10300H 1650GTX 718
MSI Core i5  9300H 1650GTX 699
HP Core i5 10300H 1650GTX 755
ZenBook Ryzen 5 5500U MX450 680
ZenBook Ryzen 5 4500U MX350 633
MSI Core i5 10200H 1650GTX 670
MSI Core i5 10300H 1650GTX 650$

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3. ASUS ROG Strix G15

Best 3070RTX Laptop For Animation 

  AMD Ryzen R9-5900HX

  32GB RAM DDR4

  NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 8GB vRAM

   1TB NVMe PCIe SSD

  15” Full HD IPS 300Hz

  5.28lbs

  Up to 4 hours

We’ll now go over the GodZillas for 3D Animation.

 Performance

Any laptop with a 3070RTX or even better a 3080RTX is going to be bullet proof for just about ANYTHING you encounter in any 3D animation software especially if you use a GPU dependent rendering software because these two high-tier RTX GPUs have an insane amount of CUDA cores & add extra +2GB vRAM (several hundred more CUDA cores actually check table at the end for a full comparison).

Even if we ignore the CUDA cores and clock speeds of the high tier RTX GPUs, the 8GB vRAM will still make a huge difference in navigating through pretty large & intense scenes (w/ insane amount of polys,lights) and will also help you when docking into a larger (external) display. 

Ex:

Here’s an extreme benchmark. Imagine a scene with +18m polys +80 lights.

Either the 3080/3070 will get you around 20fps in shaded mode and 10 fps in realistic mode and 8fps with lights disabled.

That’s obviously but it’s impressive taking the fact that this is an unrealistic super heavy scenario that no one here will come across.

That scene is a christmas tree by the way, the heaviest type of object any animation software can handle (check how slow viewport is at the end of the video with a workstation desktop).

So something like this but with a surface that can show shadows.

 

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4. ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17

The Best Laptop For 3D Rendering and Animation

   AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX

  32GB RAM

  NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080

  2TB PCIe NVMe SSD

  17.3” Full HD IPS 360Hz

  5.95 lbs

  Up to 2h

We finally get to the most powerful laptop on the list, I don’t care what you are animating, this puppy should be able to handle it. 

 Performance: 3080RTX

This laptop has the best possible hardware you can get on a laptop for 3D animation.

Performance gains of these two cards (3070RTX and 3080RTX)  over the 6GB vRAM will become more and more obvious when using viewport  w/ Shaded & Shaded w/ edges face mode on even larger scenes.You’ll also see a big performance boost in other apps like Substance Painter/Designer – where scenes with large texture sets  may cause lower tier cards to slow down.

However, a 3080RTX isn’t necessarily going to give you significant performance gains over the 3070RTX because the amount of vRAM is the same. You will still see some gains due to the CPU and extra GPU cores especially if you use GPU dependent rendering software like iRAY but that’s about it..

 I’m just putting this model in case you really want to go all out and get the best out of the best so your laptop can chew up software updates and hardware requirements for at least 5 years to come.

One thing I would totally recommend if you decide to opt for a laptop like this one or the 3070RTX laptop is to make sure it’s a 17 inch laptop. These ultra powerful CPU+GPUs need as much ventilation as possible (which also means more space) if you want them to use  all their processing power to render scenes as fast as possible.  their highest clock speeds.

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5. Razer Blade 14

Best Laptop For 3D Animation & Gaming

  AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX

  16GB RAM DDR4

  NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070

  1TB PCIe NVMe SSD

  14” QHD 165Hz

  3.92lbs

  Up to 4h

Laptops with the best hardware for animation can weight as much as 7lbs and be as much as 2 inches think. They’re just not portable.

The Razer Blade does not have the same power as the ASUS G15 with the 3070RTX (because the GPU has been downclocked ) but it will still outperform a 1660Ti/3060RTX laptop (since it keeps the 8GB vRAM). 

So whenever you look for portable laptops with high-tier hardware,  you’ll definitely find them “downclocked”.  Downclocking a GPU/CPU is basically reducing the clock speed (though not by that much) in order for that GPU/CPU to survive the high temperatures that are natural in very compact machines.

Usually the clock speed is reduced by 10-15% however like I said vRAM is preserved and the #CUDA cores is also preserved so they still are significantly faster than 1660Ti/3060RTX laptops. The AMD Ryzen 9 is not downclocked (at least not downclocked more than any other Ryzen 9 laptop)

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6. MSI WS76 11UM 

The Best  Workstation Laptop For 3D Animation & 3D Modeling

  Core i9-11900H 4.9GHz

  64GB DDR4 RAM

   NVIDIA Quadro RTX A5000 16GB

  2TB NVMe SSD

  17” 144Hz FHD 

  5.39lb

  2 hours

Here is the “workstation laptop” some of you were expecting to see.

I’ll just be blunt and say it though:  “certified workstation GPUs” are wasted money.

In my experience , at least in animation, consumer aka “gaming” graphics cards will give you exactly the same or even, depending the renderer, better performance.

It may be useful for AutoCAD or Rhino but for 3ds Max/Maya I have YET to see ANY advantage.

Why are gaming cards better than workstation cards?

This is based on my experience  so it may be open to question but it does make sense if you think about it:

Workstation cards are designed for modeling “industry-like objects” where precise calculations & simulations of physical objects are needed: cars, pipin models for oil rigs, etc.

However animation is pretty much like gaming, there’s not need for precise calculations but there is a high need for rendering objects/scenes that interact with each other or for just plain viewport. So vRAM & CUDA  cores become A LOT more important .

In fact, putting vRAY and mental RAY aside, the Octane, fstorm and Redshift renderers encourage you to use a  consumer “gaming” card.

The only reason I’m listing one here is for those who have been forced by the old IT guy in the building to buy a workstation laptop for animation. 

Another reason is that some animators may know what they are doing and know exactly why they will need theses wokstation cards and in fact they might find it more useful (this is usually the case when you use VERY special plugins/software).

If you want more details on where exactly they become useful, check out this video, but I assure 95% of you 3D artists out there do not need it:

Obviously if a workstation GPU has more vRAM it will be more useful than a gaming GPU. In the laptop market, the 3080RTX is the most powerful GPU we have available and it’s only got 8GB vRAM and the A5000 RTX is the best workstation GPU available on laptops and has 16GB vRAM as well. So in this case, yes, it is better but in all other deparments: gaming GPUs are better (soon a gaming card with 16GB vRAM will be released which will “render” the RTX A5000 useless

Outdated “Certified” Workstation GPUs:

Be careful of choosing workstation laptops with outdated “certified” GPUs they’ll perform worse than small fry gaming GPUs AND they will charge you several more hundreds dollars for no reason.

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Laptops for 2D animation 

The next laptop can be used for both 3D and 2D animation

For 2D animation you just need a multi core processor & 8GB RAM (getting less than 8GB is kind of risky, 8GB will make sure there’s no lag whatsoever regardless of how many programs you’re running).

Dedicated GPUs are not helpful here so you have a wide range of choices which are all cheap and anywhere from 400-650$.


7. ASUS ZenBook

Best Laptop for 3D & 2D Animation Students

 

  AMD Ryzen 5 4500U 4GHz

  8GB DDR4

   GeForce MX350 2GB vRAM

  256GB SSD

  15.6” FHD IPS

  3.7lbs

  8 hours

Regardless of what you do in 2D animation, this laptop should be able to handle ALL of it.

It actually has way too much CPU power for 2D animation and it even has a dedicated GPU which is only useful for gaming and 3D graphics software.

Wait, didn’t you just said we didn’t need a dedicate dGPU?

Yes I said that and it’s still true.

But what if you want to try to run some 3D animation software from time to time for something simple then this dedicated GPU is going to come in handy and it’s not like this laptop is 1000$, it’s actually about 100$ more than the typical best laptop for 2D animation with no dedicated GPU.

Since 2D animation can ran on pretty much any modern laptop with a recent CPU, let’s talk about this entry level GPU and what it will you do for you in ALL animation software.

GeForce  MX 250/350/450:

The MX X50 series has about x4 the performance of an Intel HD (integrated graphics card).

If you aren’t rendering intense scenes with multiple shadows, lights, physics, diffusion, post processing, etc. You’ll find this laptop “OK” and enough to mess around with 3D animation software.

You can still render with it but it will take a long time. Nonetheless, it’s still going to be several times faster than using an Intel/AMD integrated GPU.

As for viewport , it will handle small scenes with a decent FPS but it won’t be as buttery smooth as the high end tier laptops. Viewport will only be fast with scenes up 20 polygs. All other processing steps will also take some time but nothing that will be get to be too annoying. 

So yeah, despiste being a low end entry level GPU, basic models/scenes  will run OKAY with mostly no lag. 

Why?

Because today’s dedicated GPUs are a lot faster than the ones developed 5 or 10 years ago and the fact that Maya/3DS Max are pretty old software too.

With that being said if you are really really on a tight budget and don’t usually work with crazy scenes, the MX450 will give you the best deal on the web for a laptop with a “dedicated GPU”. 

This is also another good option for those of you who want to move away from 2D animation and now teaching themselves 3D animation through courses on 3DS Max, Maya and so on but will later buy a desktop when your first job requires it.

Again both this and the 1650GTX laptop are not really useful if you are trying to make a living out of it, for that you should be breaking the piggy bank to get 2060RTX, 1660Ti,3060RTX laptops at the very least.

There’s one big catch though…today’s MX350 laptop are not as cheap as they used to be a few years ago! They’re usually ~650$, which means that adding 50$ more bucks will get you a much better GPU (1650GTX). But if that’s all you can afford now and you’ll only be limited mostly to 2D animation software , it’s a good purchase.

Hopefully by the time you read this prices’ve gone down, if it costs you anything above 650$ , it’s really not worth even looking at it. As of Jan 2022, this laptop is 630$.

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8. Acer Aspire 5

Best Budget Laptop For 2D Animation

  Intel Core i3-1115G4

  4GB DDR4

  ‎Intel UHD Graphics

  128GB SSD

  15” full HD IPS

  4.19lbs

  7 hours

This is a laptop solely for 2D animation software.

Though I’d usually recommend a Core i5/Ryzen 5 CPU instead, current and latest Core i3/AMD Ryzen 3 chips are insanely fast (we are in the 11th and 5th generation in 2022 with lower tier CPUs approaching 4GHz!).

I picked a latest 11th gen Core i3 CPU over the latest AMD Ryzen 3 chip because as of Jan 2022 for some odd reason they are cheaper (both have nearly the same single core clock performance).

Now you may find several dozens of laptops with a Core i3/Ryzen 3 CPU below 500$, there’s going to be one big problem though.

If you take a close look, not every laptop has a FHD resolution. Oh and by the way, don’t worry about the Windows 10 S operating system , any Windows 10 S can be upgraded to Windows 10 Home with just one click away (and it’s free).

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9. Lenovo Ideapad 17

Best Laptop For Stop Motion Animation & 2D Animation

  Intel Core i3-1115G4

  8GB-20GB DDR4

   Intel UHD Graphics

  256-1TB NVMe SSD

  17.3” FHD IPS

  4.84

  7 hours

Speaking resolution, a 17” laptop with FHD resolution is as good as it’s going to get if you’re looking for the biggest working space.

That extra screen space + FHD will both become super useful when you want to work with multiple animation software simultanously. It’s also idea if you want something easier on the eyes when you are working for several days non-stop.

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10. Surface Pro 8

Best 2 in 1 Laptop For Animation

  11th gen Core i5, Core i7

  8GB-16GB RAM

  ‎Intel Iris Xe Graphics

  128GB-1TB PCIe NVMe SSD

  13” IPS ‎2880 x 1920 Resolution

  1.96lb

  +11 hours

I’ve gotten a few comments about asking for advice on a touchscreen laptop for 2D animation…

The truth is…touchscreen laptops are useless for pretty much anything unless they have something you can draw with a stylus sort of like an iPad

If you want that realistic feeling when drawing that the iPad has but cheaper check out WacCom tablets

If you insist on a laptop for animation (that is something that has an Operating System like Windows 10) where you are able to draw, the only real candidates are the Surface Devices, they act like laptops with Windows 10 and they can turn into a tablet sort of like an iPad.

What about the power? I want run every 2D animation software with no hiccups! Are these things fast?

As long as you get a non-mobile CPU and 8GB RAM in one of these, even if you get an older model, you will blast through any 2D animation software.

The latest versions of the Surface Devices have all recent and pretty powerful CPUs so it’s only the older models you have be careful with. Some of these have  a “mobile” CPU which are basically CPUs designed for tablets/phones. These are slow and you should stay from those(usually have something like m3 m5 y3 y5, intel Gold,etc, on their labels).

So which one should I get?

I particularly recommend the Surface Pro because it is lighter cheaper and more portable, it’s really the best out of three for 2D animation purposes. They become incredibly cheaper if you pick older models (just be careful with the CPUs).

If you want more power, then you may consider the Surface Book or the Surface Studio Laptop.

Whatever you get,  get nothing higher than an Intel Core i5 though, they’ve got plenty of power to run 2D animation software regardless of how old the model is.

Again if you are unable to buy the latest model shown here, you can always settle with older models (even the Surface Pro 4 will be okay). They are several times cheaper  and  have basically the same functionality as the current ones (90%). There’s almost no discernible difference when drawing too.

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How To Buy The Best Laptop For Computer (Digital) Animation

Why even bother with this section?

  1. Unlike other 3D creative workflows, there’s a good amount of software for animation.
  2. There’s different types of animation too: 2d, 3d, CGI animation, and many more.
  3. Animation projects are not all the same. Scenes/models with different shaders/details and sizes may have very disparaging hardware requirements.

Before we go into details, let me get something out of the way:

  • 2D Animators only need a laptop with any modern CPU (check table), 8GB RAM and  Windows 10 Home on it. Since most budget laptops under 600$ have all these things and more, if you have anything above 600$ you may want to spend that money on a laptop with an awesome display, more SSD space or even a portable, touchscreen laptop with drawingcapabiities like the Surface Devices. 

 

  • 3D Animators can’t have those luxuries and you must be very dilligent when buying a laptop if you want to that super speedy and buttery smooth workflow when working on your scenes. In other words, you must give yourself sometime to read this section.

Animation Software

A good place to start is by making a list of all the software you want to use and going to their official sites to see what the official hardware requirements are noting however that “hardware requirements” on these sites are might be “requirements in name” only, meaning that, you could use different hardware or even lower hardware requirements to get that super speedy workflow.

3D Animation

A complete list of the most commonly used 3D animation software can be found here.

However, the two you all very familiar with are: 

AutoDesk Maya

3D simulations, visual effects, matchmoving, compositing & rendering can all be done with Maya and the output fules can be used for films, tv, architecture and automatotive design.

Famous for being used for some of Harry Potter’s Movies, Kung Fu panda and Transformers.

It’s been used for the scenes in FIFA 09 & Prince of Persia too.

Autodesk 3DS Max

3D modeling and animation. Used mostly for TV, movies (Avatar, Tomb Raider Lara Croft, Transformers, X-men) architecture walkthroughs & even game development (World of Warcraft, Call of Duty).

2D Animation

The full list of 2D Animation software can be found here. The two most widely known are Pencil2D & Adobe after effects.*

Stop Motion Animation

“StopMotion Pro Clipse, Animator HD, Stop motion Studio, qStopMotion, IkITMovie,DragonFrame”

This is just another form of 2D animation and the hardware requirements for these are the same. 

Desktop or Laptop Specs for Animation ( 2D & 3D )

 

Recommended Specs For 2D Animation 

Like I said before, 2D Animation and Stop Motion animation don’t require anything more than a modern laptop with plenty of RAM. More specifically:

CPU
Any CPU from the table with Turbo Clock speed boost above 3.5GHz should be enough. If you want to be bullet proof for anything (maybe even throw in some 3D animation) 4GHz

Most laptops with these CPUs should be below 600$. If they aren’t make sure you’re also looking at Ryzen 3/Core i3 CPUs instead of Core i7/Ryzen 7 chips. 

Ideally, you want a Core i5/Ryzen 5 (for buttery smooth multitasking between several apps) and they should cost you less  than 600$.

GPU
Any.

Even Intel HD cards will do the trick or any that comes by default when you buy a budget 300-600$ laptop. 

2D objects do not need a dedicated GPU because single frame images do not occupy much “graphics memory”.

3D objects however need the “extra RAM” that comes from dedicated GPUs (vRAM – video RAM) because they are composed of several hundreds of images which constantly switch back and forth to give that “3D” simulation when you rotate them (viewport). .

Storage
SSDs are no longer optional in 2022, if you want a speedy workflow you have to get one.

Booting up your machine, opening large image files and launching your software can be done within 5 seconds if you have an SSD as your primary drive.

2D & Stop motion animators: there’s really no more to say about 2D animation software hardware requirements. The next part of this guide will solely focus on 3D animation software

3D Animation Software

The hardware you need depends on how big and detailed your scenes are.

Long story short, most animators, on average, need a +4GHz clock speed CPU and a 2GBvRAM-6GBvRAM dedicated GPU.

If you are just an animation student, 2GBvRAM dGPU.

If you are a profesional animator,  you could get away with a 2GBvRAM GPU depending on the kind of work you do. However, 6GB vRAM dGPUs are not expensive and they will get you through pretty much ANYTHING.

Anyways, before we go into more details.

Let us go over the official (minimum) hardware requirements of the most popular and hardware demanding*  3D animation software. 

Software Processor RAM GPU
Maya 64-bit Intel® or AMD® multi-core processor 8GB higher than a GTX 680 
3DS Max 64-bit Intel® or AMD® multi-core processor 8GB NVIDIA GTX 690 or equivalent
Blender* 64-bit quad core CPU (eight core recommended) 8GB Open GL Support and 2GB RAM (8GB vRAM recommended)
Cinema 4D* Quad Core Processor 8GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660MX or equivalent

*This is what I mean by “in name only”. 8GB vRAM is ridiculously too much GPU memory for blender even for real-time rendering and viewport of super large scenes.

We’ll focus on Maya & 3DS MAX since that’s what you probably to run flawlessly.

Recommended Specs For 3D Animation

The above are the minimum of the minimum recommended requirements to run the software and the official websites don’t go into much detail about what the best CPU and GPU would be for the average 3D animator. Now, you could go ahead and follow the minimum reqs however chances are you may only be able to run the software and play with a few scenes/effects with small scenes.

It’s much smarter to ignore these requiremetns and go with what people on youtube or other animators like myself recommend. 

CPU

2022 Intel CPUs*

CPU Base Turbo Cores
i3 8130U 2.2 3.4 2
i3 8145U 2.1 3.9 2
i3 10050G1 1.2 3.4 2
i3 10100U 2.1 4.1 2
i3-1115G4 3 4.1 2
i5 8265U 1.6 4.9 4
i5 8250U 1.6 3.4 4
i5 1115G4 2.4 4.2 4
i7 8550U 1.8 4 4
i7 1165G7 2.8 4.7 4
i5 8300H 2.3 4 4
i5-11300H 2.6 4.4 4
i5 11260H 2.6 4.4 6
i7-11375H 3.3 5 4
i7-11370H 3.3 4.8 4
i7 8750H 2.2 4.1 6
i7 9750H 2.6 4.5 6
i7 10750H 2.6 5 8
i9 8950K 2.9 4.8 6
i9 9900K 3.6 5.1 8
i9-11900H 2.5 4.9 8
i9 10890K 2.4 5.3 8
i9-11980HK 3.3 5 8

2022 AMD CPUs

CPU Base Turbo Cores
Ryzen 9 5900HX 3.3 4.6 8
Ryzen 9 4800HS 2.2 4.4 8
Ryzen 7 5800H 3.3 4.4 8
Ryzen 7 3750H 2.3 4 4
Ryzen 7 5800U 1.9 4.4 8
Ryzen 7 5700U 1.8 4.3 8
Ryzen 7 3700U 2.3 4 4
Ryzen 5 5600H 3.3 4.2 6
Ryzen 5 3550H 2.1 3.7 4
Ryzen 5 5500U 2.1 4.4 6
Ryzen 5 3500U 2.1 3.7 4
Ryzen 3 5300U 2.6 3.8 8
Ryzen 3 3300U 2.1 3.5 4

*They’re colored according to their model, CPUs with the same color are basically the same model but upgraded. Ex: Core i3 8130U and i3 115G4 are the same model with different generations. Nothing to do with performance.

Whether your building a desktop or picking up a laptop. You should always prioritize on clock speed and here’s why.

Editing and Animating

How fast you make bank depends on the speed of your workflow and if you want the best workflow you can afford (instant effects,fast your previews, smooth viewport performance) , your first focus is getting a clock-speed CPU.

And all of these functions are mostly single threaded. In other words, they will make use one just one core.

You can check this out by yourself by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL when you have a software like 3DS Max open. If you do this, you’ll notice that only one core will be fully used.

Viewport

The benchmark studies people carried out showed that viewport is MOSTLY single threaded but they do make good use of any extra CORES. There are some performance gains when you have multi core CPUs: 6-core CPUs will give you a 6% FPS increase, 10 core 15%, etc. 

However, viewport is still mostly about vRAM than anything else. Yes you can get a nice boost in FPS if you get that 8/10 core CPU but it’s nowhere near the performance gain you’ll get if you get a dedicated GPU with lots of vRAM.

Rendering

The final rendering process has always and will always benefit from multicore CPUs.  However, this isn’t likely to take days especially when you have a high clock speed CPU.

It really means nothing because:

  1. Modern CPUs are already multi core. They have up to 4-6 cores for Core i7/Ryzen 7 CPUs and 8 cores for the most expensive ones Core i9/Ryzen 9 CPUs.
  2. Most 3D modeling software, and this includes animation software, only use up to 6 cores when rendering.

So you’re going to automatically get a multi core CPU when you shop for high clock speed CPUs anyways.

So what does this all mean when picking a CPU for 3D animation?

The main takeaway from this is that…

  1. If you see two laptops or have too choose between two desktops processors with different #cores and clock speeds, choose the CPU with the highest clock speed. 
  2. Do not buy a Xeon CPU or any CPU that has more than 6-8 cores especially if you are compromising clock speed

Multitasking

I know it’s very common to run TWO programs simultanously(say After Effects/Cinema 4D). That’s still no reason to be picky about #cores because most CPUs have way more cores than the number of heavy applications you’ll be running. 

GPU ( Graphics Card For Animation )

2022 Consumer Gaming GPUs

GPU Shaders vRAM Speed
MX150 384 2GB-4GB 1532
MX250 384 2GB-4GB 1582
MX 230 256 2-4GB 1519
MX 350 640 2-4GB 1354
MX 450 896 2-4GB 1580
1050 640 2GB-4GB 1493
1050 Ti 768 4GB 1620
1650 1024 4GB 1560
1060 1280 6GB 1670
1660 Ti 1536 6GB 1590
3050Ti 2560 4GB 1485
2060 1920 6GB 1680
2080 2944 8GB 1710
2070 2304 8GB 1620
3060 3584 8GB 1780
3070 5888 8GB 1730
3080 8704 8GB 1710

If CPU is the meat , the GPU is your potatoes.  The key to getting the best performance out of every nickle you have is to find the right balance of GPU/CPU.

vRAM: Viewport

Like I said before, vRAM is the single most important hardware resources for navigating through 3D object. The more vRAM your GPU has, the more information it can hold onto. In other words, more vRAM translates to  bigger scenes, more details,  more polygons, particles, lights, etc.).

So the question is….

How big are your scenes? 

If you have a clear answerthen you might save yourself several hundreds of dollars because every single extra gigabyte of vRAM you find on a GPU adds A LOT to the price.

Small:

If you are working with just one or two objects interacting in a relatively large house, then you probably need nothing more than a 4GB vRAM.

If you are getting yourself started by taking animation classes, this will be most likely the case for which you can just grab any of the orange dGPUs on the table.

If you are on a very extreme low budget grab those in red (they’re lot better than getting a cheap integrated GPU which has ZERO vRAM).

Medium: Getting Paid

Anything more complex than that will at least require you to have a 6GB vRAM (those in blue). 

 

 

This rule only applies to graphics card within the same generation though

Why?

Graphics card with newer architecture can outperform those with the same available vRAM

For example the GeForce 10xx series will out perform most of its predecessors (those from the 9th generation)  due to their new design not because the amount of vRAM.

If you have a complex model with a lots of rigs, an scene with quite a lot of polygons or a huge number of particles then you will benefit from the latest 10th generation Graphics Cards with the highest amount of vRAM.

If your scenes aren’t that complex then, you will be fine with the older mid range card like the GeForce 960M or the 1050ti which have 4GB vRAM.

What happens if I don’t get enough vRAM?

Hell witill happen. Performance willl drop dramatically in some apps if you have too little vram (Substance Painter comes to mind immediately).

3DS Max will start making objects dissapear completely at random when using viewport. Although this is rare today because 10th generation & 9th generation graphic cards already have a lot of vRAM so you’re likely to see this when working with large scale scenes .

Quadro/FirePro for animation

A few years ago, the quadro/firepro might have outperformed the GTX Geforce series by a long shot. 

Even though these cards are designed with 3D Modeling in mind, for animation the performance gain from these cards may not be worth your money.

NVIDIA Quadro & AMD Fire Pro cards are more beneficial for modeling real products for a market where precision is far more important than looks (for the best simulation possible) so the amount of polygons & calculations end up being extremely high. This is the case for other 3D modeling applications such as SolidWorks.

You will also get support from software manufacturers if you ever run into issues, otherwise they’ll just blame any errors to your “non-certified” graphics card.

But the vast majority of animators (even animation majors during their curricula) will do fine with a regular consumer card.

So if you don’t mind a few pop up erros here and there (which you can just click OK and move on ), there’s no reason to overspend on a Quadro.

To give you an example I started with a 970GTX which was top of the line back then and it wasn’t on the list of certified workstation cards. I only had to deal with a pop up error basically saying the graphics card is not compatible for which I just clicked OK and ran the software just fine ever since.

In fact it runs better than an old “certified workstation” than I have.

Note: Software’s like Maya and Houdini are system extensive. The older versions won’t support on your newer cards like Maya 2012 or Maya 2014.

Nvidia vs AMD for animation

Nvidia cards perform better than AMD cards according to benchmarks studies.

However, AMD offer more speed for the same price Nvidia cards offer. This is only an issue with desktops where you can configure your graphics card to your liking but laptops come with an installed graphics card so your choices are very limited.

Another reason to stick with NVIDIA is their “CUDA Core technology” which basically act as more “mini processors” that many renderers out there like Octane support.

You may find a few bugs (if you have maxwell or 9th generation card) for example with Adobe After effects but there’s always way to overcome it.

Either way stick with Nvidia for now, today it’s still better for 3D applications & gaming.

RAM

Viewport: Besides storing data for calculations when modeling/drawing a 3D object, RAM also plays a role when viewporting. Although vRAM obviously is far more effective in improving viewport performance, RAM is CHEAP!

You should try to max it out right from the start especially if you think you’re buying a dGPU that’s not up to par to what you will work on.

Multitasking: You almost never have one 3D animation software open, this is another reason to max it out.

How much RAM will I need?

Since it’s cheap, you should max it out to 16GB anyways and up to a maximum of 32GB if you want to squeeze every bit of perfomance gains from extra RAM.

All laptops are at least upgrade to 16GB and if you pick something from 2022 that’s at least 600$ , it’s very likely to be upgradeable to at least 32GB. Separate RAM sticks you can just install on your own cost about 25-50$

However, if you want to know exactly how much you need …

8GB: should be fine if you are a student or if you are working with small scenes especially if you have at least a 4GB vRAM dGPU. If you can’t get a dGPU w/ 4GB vRAM, then you should REALLY max it out to 16GB to offset any performance issues.

16GB: This is the bare minimum for anyone serious about this job. Get less and you’ll flicker, lag, wait between steps.

32-64GB:

It seems that virtually almost every animation software makes good use of RAM up to 32GB.

So on paper, it should be the maximum you should be getting for any serious work. If for some reason things slow down, you can try upgrading to 64GB but I personally haven’t seen benefits from that much.

Storage

With the release of Solid State Drives, today’s storage devices can tremendously speed workflow. 

Solid State Drives, as most of you know, are several times faster than the old fashioned hard disk drives when it comes to reading/writing data.

This means launching software/saving files/opening files will be several times faster (about x7 according to benchmark studies). You will also be able to boot up your machine in split seconds so you are ready to go anywhere and anytime.

Size

So it’s no longer about how much storage capacity you get but what type of storage you get.

Sure, you also have to watch out for capacity since the generated 3D files of 3DS Max, Maya, and so on are no joke and they will quickly fill up 256GB.  But it all depends where you are in you career path.

512GB-1TBNVMe:  If you’re a professional and making bank, you’ve gotta get at least 512GB, preferably 1TB NVMe especially if you having several programs installed and you want to have easy access to past projects. If you need anything more, you can just buy an external hard drive or even store your files in the cloud (they’ll be a LOT safer there).

SSD + HDD on the same desktop/laptop

If you are on a budget and you can’t get either two SSDs or a single high storage capacity SSD, this is still a popular set up (1TB HDDs sell for 30$!)

Here’s how to get the best out of it:

  1. Have all of your applications on the SSD along with any current files/projects you are working on. This should give you quick file access, quick model previews and launch 3D software fast as hell.
  2. Footage, old files, completed projects can be stored in the large 1TB HDD.
  3. Also use the HDD to store anything that’s not work related.

SSD+SSD :  The fastest performance set up for 3D animation

On the other hand if you have deep pockets and have no problems getting more than one SSD. You can increase reading/writing speeds even more (~<10%) by having two SSDs. For this to work:

  • You have to install Windows 10 AND any animation software on ONE SSD and just leave it at that. 
  • Use the other SSD to store any working files, data files, project files, etc

Storage Speed based on type

For the people reading this guide to build a desktop, it might be useful to know the hierarchy of the storage speeds of currently avialable storage devices:

1. SSD w/ NVMe Protocol
2. SSD on PCI Express interface (some of the M2 slots offer this)
3. SSD on SATA3 interface
4. SSD on SATA2 interface
5. 7200RPM HDD
6. 5400 > 5000 > 4600 > green HDD.

Display

The goal here is to maximize workspace area as much as possible. 

Resolution

Most laptops and even workstation laptops comes with FHD resolution and for all purposes this is just fine, yes, icons will look a little bigger but nothing that will dramatically slow down your workflow.

2k-4k resolutions: Ideally, you’d want as much resolution as you can get from a laptop or a monitor (if building a desktop), 4k,2k resolutions are cheap on desktops but they are very expensive on laptops.

By the way as of 2022, all 3D animation software is fully compatible with very high resolution displays so whatever you spend on a display isn’t necessarily going to waste.

External Monitor

You ended up in this post because you obviously want something portable but that doesn’t mean you have to settle with 15-17” displays. You can always buy yourself an external monitor(if you feel like you need more space) to dock into at home.

Rendering

Before we wrap it up I just want to talk about Rendering just in case people reading this have movie-like projects that may take days to render.

  • Rendering is not a visual computation (GPU) but rather mathematical process(CPU).
  • So your focus should be on RAM and CPU
  • Rendering is faster with more cores. physical cores not virtual cores 
  • GPU can help rendering (depending on the software/plugin) but you should max out CPU clock speed/(8 cores) before you try to up your GPU.
    • Mental Ray isn’t likely to give you much performance gains even with the GI.
    • Regular vRAY primarily uses but offloads some of the calculations to the GPU. It supports AMD GPUs too.
    • Other renderers like Octane will only work with CUDA cores(NVIDIA).
  • If you are rendering on a laptop, get a cooling stand or it may not last you more than 2 years 

Comments?

If you have any questions, questions or any suggestions. Please leave a comment below. Your input is taken seriously in our posts and will also be used for future updates.

6 thoughts on “The 10 Best Laptops for Animation in 2022 ( 3D & 2D ) + Hardware Guide

  • May 10, 2017 at 5:28 pm
    Permalink

    Very informative post. i have been looking to buy a laptop for some time now (almost 4 years) lol. had a laptop so never needed one. but now i need one, its about time after all. But after waiting for so long and doing research i am more scared than ever to finally decide on one. So i need a little nudge (confirmation). i need a laptop for adobe and autodesk software, So far i have been dodging between dell and asus.
    Also you havent mentioned Mac…. is it because you hate working on a mac like me ?

    Reply
    • May 10, 2017 at 6:44 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Annie, I suggest (if you have the budget) opt for the Dell Precision Model I have listed here. Make sure you get the one with SSD for storage and NVMe protocol, the protocol it’s just a way of programming the device to make it extremely fast. That way it’ll be useful for pretty much any project in animation you’ll encounter. Most people who land on this page end up with the Dell Precision.

      Mac is fine but the graphics card is limited to the AMD Radeon series and not as good as the workstation graphics card listed here or the NVIDIA graphic cards you get from Windows Machines (I actually love apple but I have to tell the truth) but if you are a student and your models have low number of polygons/rigs or you are dealing with relatively smaller scenes then it makes sense to get the MacBook Pro (make sure you get one of the latest ones) or any other laptop with a decent and modern graphics card be it Radeon or NVIDIA.

      As for adobe software pretty much any graphics card will do, it doesn’t take much advantage of dedicated graphics card but as long as you have one you’ll avoid a lot of minor issues and be able to use all 3D accelerated effects. I have another post for that if you look on the top menu section for “laptops” just make sure you get at least an SSD (any technology) and 16GB RAM if possible but 8GB RAM is fine as long as you are limited to photoshop only.

      Reply
  • August 30, 2017 at 9:23 am
    Permalink

    Could you do recommendations for using blender with Linux OS with a partition? Why are there no choices for touch screen or stylus interaction? Should I wait? I like the HP Zbook G2 but I don’t really use MS –I use google apps because they are free and free to store on google drive. Can you recommend where to have this kind of OS custom built?

    Reply
    • December 3, 2017 at 10:14 pm
      Permalink

      Hey I apologize for not replying. I haven’t checked the comments in months due to grad school stuff. If you want to run Blender with Linux you should just focus on finding a linux compatible laptop especially one that has no issues with graphics cards. If you have the cash I’d recommend the Dell developer edition, shown here http://laptopstudy.com/best-linux-laptop/ . As for touchscreen laptops for animation, this article is for 3D Animation. If you are into 2D Animation and would like the touchscreen feature I’d recommend the Surface Pro though the HP X360 is a great alternative.

      Reply
    • December 12, 2018 at 2:01 am
      Permalink

      @disqus_Pyy2nG9TN3:disqus Here’s a reply from one of our “experts”. Basically my animation buddy sent me an email I didn’t check before:

      “@ river, personally, if you are in the “industry” then “touch screens” are out. Go buy yourself a Wacom Cintiq. This is about as “Touchy/Fcv eely” as you’re going to NEED to get.

      I can’t imagine trying to work Maya with at touch screen. Since I’ve been using a mouse and keypad for SO long.

      This is why you won’t hear people talking about using a Wacom in Maya either. It’s just not “there” …at least for me. : )

      And you want a “CUSTOM” OS BUILT??? ??? ??? Heh! Good luck with that. OR start learning how to code…

      A “custom” PROGRAM for a company I worked for, worked its way into the $100K’s. And THAT was just a simple PROGRAM… based on something that they had already had a “base” to start with.

      Yeah, get back to us on that “Custom OS” when you get a chance. Heh!

      It SOUNDS like you are using primarily Open Source programs anyway. FREE stuff. I am surprised that you don’t just order a computer WITH Linux built in. It IS an option on SOME of the manufacturer’s sites. And get this!! It’s at NO COST to the computer build. : D

      Anyway, from what I have found, if you want a machine that DOES the work, get the LATEST-AND-GREATEST with EVERYTHING MAXED (i.e. RAM, VRAM, HDD’s [SSD’s now]) with as MANY ports as that puppy can handle (USB’s, HDMI, Mini’s, et al) that way, you have a machine that will SMOKE today, and STILL get the job done, in four or five years. : ) You may spend a few grand (or more) getting there, but in the long run it’s WAY worth it. And don’t have enough RIGHT now? Don’t worry. Prices STAY pretty much the same, for the “Top-End” equipment, so SAVE. And who knows? By SAVING and taking that time to save, you MAY just have a BETTER machine, than you can buy TODAY, tomorrow… FOR the same $$$$’s. Heh! And in the SHORT (or long) run, you will kick some CG arsk!! : D For years, and years to come.

      Hell, I have a SEVEN year-young, HP Elitebook, with two HDD’s (I’ve swapped both since, one SSD and the other a std. HDD.. AND HP had (has?) what they call their “Drive Guard” …that actually has accelerometers built-in and IF the laptop takes a dive [which after 7 years has had a couple] it FREEZES the HDD’s in place, so no data is corrupted OR lost… NICE!!!) anyway, 24GB of RAM, 17″ monitor and I am ONLY running the “stock” video card with ONLY 1GB of VRAM. It also has a finger print reader for added security AND one of those “Track/Trace/Database programs (in case she’s stolen, it can be pinpointed to exactly where she’s plugged-in at) but that is a feature that I do NOT like to use. : P Same with the biometric crap. But hey!! It’s there, for those fools who like to give their personal info away. : D Say CHEESE to the camera. Which it ALSO has, freaking EXCELLENT quality too, even for “today.” HOW they make them SO small… …??? …??? Baffles the HECK out of me. “Stereo” microphone ( two built-into the display lid, on each side of the camera. …I could go on and on about this machine.
      I’ve been doing CG and 3D rendering for more years than I’ve had my “baby.” And when I got her, I was using an “off-the-shelf” ACER computer. What USE to take me literally ALL night (my render stats went OVER 15 hours, JUST to render ONE frame, of a 10 second short… well YOU do the math (at 24fps)…
      My HP?? She rendered the ENTIRE scene in JUST about the same time. a BIT shorter. I think it was, like 12.5 hours (or something to that effect.)
      Hahahahahah! I even had a scene that my “off-the-shelf” model simply could NOT handle. Too MANY polys on the model. And that was at LOW res. I popped it into my HP to “see” if I could get her to render a frame for me and it was done, in LESS than a minute.
      So it is getting “time” now again, since these software manufacturers can’t leave “well enough” alone, and are SPITTING out new releases every other month. SOME only moving crap around in the UI, but SOME are effecting the performance of the machine. Using more processing “power” to render a scene.
      Anyway, it’s starting to get to that point in time, where I need to start looking for a NEW “baby” to replace my tried and true… of COURSE, I am going to go look at HP first off. Their warranty (in office or in house is STUPID COOL, if you need to utilize it. And I THINK it’s golden, for THREE years. : ) Not bad. Eh?
      But I will have to “build” my own computer, on their site. As there IS NO “OFF-THE-SHELF” computer that is going to do, what you want it to do. And “replacing” or “upgrading” parts for them is next to impossible (still talking laptops here.)
      I KNOW that I am going to be looking at PROBABLY $4-$6K for what I will “need.” But then again, IF I only have to purchase ONE of these… and they LAST for seven years… what is that monthly? High-end, ~$10/month? NOT that bad, if you ask me. : D
      So SAVE!!! SAVE and get the BIGGEST, BADDEST-ASSED machine that you can afford. If you CAN’T “afford” it (TODAY) then that only means that you need to start saving. : ) And again, who knows? MAYBE when you have enough dough, to actually PAY for it, there MAY be a “better” machine or “option(s)” that you can THEN buy.
      JUST my two-cents… but when I see a “one size fits all” kind of article, for computers that “do” CG and/or 3D kind of WORK… I’ve found that there AIN’T ONE!!! !!! !!! : /
      You will have to GO to the manufacturer’s sites and BUILD your “own” computer. One that ROCKS!!! ; D
      Good luck, to us all. And may we ALL have a “hiccup-FREE” modeling, motion graphics, photo manipulation, movie “splicing” and editing experience. EVERY day!!! : ) WHOLENESS, to ALL!!! : ) -EB”

      Reply
  • July 26, 2018 at 4:00 am
    Permalink

    @ river, personally, if you are in the “industry” then “touch screens” are out. Go buy yourself a Wacom Cintiq. This is about as “Touchy/Fcv eely” as you’re going to NEED to get.

    I can’t imagine trying to work Maya with at touch screen. Since I’ve been using a mouse and keypad for SO long.

    This is why you won’t hear people talking about using a Wacom in Maya either. It’s just not “there” …at least for me. : )

    And you want a “CUSTOM” OS BUILT??? ??? ??? Heh! Good luck with that. OR start learning how to code…

    A “custom” PROGRAM for a company I worked for, worked its way into the $100K’s. And THAT was just a simple PROGRAM… based on something that they had already had a “base” to start with.

    Yeah, get back to us on that “Custom OS” when you get a chance. Heh!

    It SOUNDS like you are using primarily Open Source programs anyway. FREE stuff. I am surprised that you don’t just order a computer WITH Linux built in. It IS an option on SOME of the manufacturer’s sites. And get this!! It’s at NO COST to the computer build. : D

    Anyway, from what I have found, if you want a machine that DOES the work, get the LATEST-AND-GREATEST with EVERYTHING MAXED (i.e. RAM, VRAM, HDD’s [SSD’s now]) with as MANY ports as that puppy can handle (USB’s, HDMI, Mini’s, et al) that way, you have a machine that will SMOKE today, and STILL get the job done, in four or five years. : ) You may spend a few grand (or more) getting there, but in the long run it’s WAY worth it. And don’t have enough RIGHT now? Don’t worry. Prices STAY pretty much the same, for the “Top-End” equipment, so SAVE. And who knows? By SAVING and taking that time to save, you MAY just have a BETTER machine, than you can buy TODAY, tomorrow… FOR the same $$$$’s. Heh! And in the SHORT (or long) run, you will kick some CG arsk!! : D For years, and years to come.

    Hell, I have a SEVEN year-young, HP Elitebook, with two HDD’s (I’ve swapped both since, one SSD and the other a std. HDD.. AND HP had (has?) what they call their “Drive Guard” …that actually has accelerometers built-in and IF the laptop takes a dive [which after 7 years has had a couple] it FREEZES the HDD’s in place, so no data is corrupted OR lost… NICE!!!) anyway, 24GB of RAM, 17″ monitor and I am ONLY running the “stock” video card with ONLY 1GB of VRAM. It also has a finger print reader for added security AND one of those “Track/Trace/Database programs (in case she’s stolen, it can be pinpointed to exactly where she’s plugged-in at) but that is a feature that I do NOT like to use. : P Same with the biometric crap. But hey!! It’s there, for those fools who like to give their personal info away. : D Say CHEESE to the camera. Which it ALSO has, freaking EXCELLENT quality too, even for “today.” HOW they make them SO small… …??? …??? Baffles the HECK out of me. “Stereo” microphone ( two built-into the display lid, on each side of the camera. …I could go on and on about this machine.
    I’ve been doing CG and 3D rendering for more years than I’ve had my “baby.” And when I got her, I was using an “off-the-shelf” ACER computer. What USE to take me literally ALL night (my render stats went OVER 15 hours, JUST to render ONE frame, of a 10 second short… well YOU do the math (at 24fps)…
    My HP?? She rendered the ENTIRE scene in JUST about the same time. a BIT shorter. I think it was, like 12.5 hours (or something to that effect.)
    Hahahahahah! I even had a scene that my “off-the-shelf” model simply could NOT handle. Too MANY polys on the model. And that was at LOW res. I popped it into my HP to “see” if I could get her to render a frame for me and it was done, in LESS than a minute.
    So it is getting “time” now again, since these software manufacturers can’t leave “well enough” alone, and are SPITTING out new releases every other month. SOME only moving crap around in the UI, but SOME are effecting the performance of the machine. Using more processing “power” to render a scene.
    Anyway, it’s starting to get to that point in time, where I need to start looking for a NEW “baby” to replace my tried and true… of COURSE, I am going to go look at HP first off. Their warranty (in office or in house is STUPID COOL, if you need to utilize it. And I THINK it’s golden, for THREE years. : ) Not bad. Eh?
    But I will have to “build” my own computer, on their site. As there IS NO “OFF-THE-SHELF” computer that is going to do, what you want it to do. And “replacing” or “upgrading” parts for them is next to impossible (still talking laptops here.)
    I KNOW that I am going to be looking at PROBABLY $4-$6K for what I will “need.” But then again, IF I only have to purchase ONE of these… and they LAST for seven years… what is that monthly? High-end, ~$10/month? NOT that bad, if you ask me. : D
    So SAVE!!! SAVE and get the BIGGEST, BADDEST-ASSED machine that you can afford. If you CAN’T “afford” it (TODAY) then that only means that you need to start saving. : ) And again, who knows? MAYBE when you have enough dough, to actually PAY for it, there MAY be a “better” machine or “option(s)” that you can THEN buy.
    JUST my two-cents… but when I see a “one size fits all” kind of article, for computers that “do” CG and/or 3D kind of WORK… I’ve found that there AIN’T ONE!!! !!! !!! : /
    You will have to GO to the manufacturer’s sites and BUILD your “own” computer. One that ROCKS!!! ; D
    Good luck, to us all. And may we ALL have a “hiccup-FREE” modeling, motion graphics, photo manipulation, movie “splicing” and editing experience. EVERY day!!! : ) WHOLENESS, to ALL!!! : ) -EB

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