8 Best Laptops For AutoCAD 2024 (Latest Software Update)

I have worked with AutoCAD since my second year in college and I very well know finding the best laptop for AutoCAD can get very confusing.

If you try to look for answers online you’ll find…

People on forums saying integrated graphics cards will run AutoCAD just fine.

Then review sites & AutoDesk saying ‘workstation’ laptops are the way to go.

The truth is…

There’s not one size fit all.

What’s the best laptop for AutoCAD will depend on what you do with AutoCAD. 

Most students and engineers work with models with a relatively small number of parts. Notice that even in this situation….AutoCAD’s Viewport ONLY uses a fraction of the total 4GB vRAM GPU.

Most people will only need a laptop with a 4GB vRAM dedicated GPU because they only work with objects of the size / # polygons shown above (house planning, mechanical design).

A dedicated GPU found on (700+ dollar laptops) will give you smooth viewport performance (rotating a model in 3D).


If your plans or designs are limited to 2D: you don’t need a dedicated GPU and this is good because it reduces the price significantly. It also makes it more portable!

I’d say you’d be good with a laptop around 500 bucks.

What about workstation laptops? 

Workstation laptops have workstation GPUs which are special graphics cards for 3D CAD modeling software.

Long story short: they’re not THAT useful for AutoCAD. The performance difference between those GPUs and regular GPUs (of the same vRAM) is non-existent for the average AutoCAD user.

You may only find them useful if you use ANSYS, CATIA or any other heavy duty 3D CAD software (Solidworks).

They’re also useful if you run models with several 1000s (the higher the number of parts the more likely glitches and artifacts are to show up). This is rarely the case in AutoCAD however.


Now before we go over the best laptops for AutoCAD, I want to be more specific about the HARDWARE needed for a smooth lagless viewport performance & workflow.

Best Laptop Specs For AutoCAD

The following requirements are based on AutoCAD 2024 official requirements and my own experience with the software. 

The problem with the official site is that they’re not specific, it’s just one size fit all hardware recommendations.

The truth is the hardware you need depends on how large your models are.

 AutoCAD* Small ~ 300 parts Medium ~ 500-1000 Large  +1000
CPU Core i5(10th-13th gen)
Ryzen 5 (4rd-7th gen)
Core i5/Core i7 “H” (10th-13th)
Ryzen 5/Ryzen 7 “H” (4th-7th )
Core i7/Core i9 “HK” “H” (9th-13th)
Ryzen 7th 4th-7th gen (“H” “HX”)
RAM 8GB RAM 16GB 32-64GB

For those working with autoCAD in 2D ((maps, countours, circuit design,etc) you can ignore the table and grab any laptop of your liking with a RECENT CPU

a) Small : 90% of YOU fall into this category (Civil engineers, Architects, engineering students).

b) Medium: Most ( (mechanical, aeronautical)) engineers  will need this much.

c) Large: CAD engineers designing large scale machinery or very large buildings on multiple sheets for a company need at least 6GB vRAM.  As for very very very large scale designs  if the overall design is going to be split into several files ( to work collaboratively on this project) , 6GB vRAM will be okay.

If you’re doing it all on your own you probably want a desktop with as much vRAM as possible Ada RTX 5000.


Drawing/Drafting/Viewport:  When it comes to drawing/designing AutoCAD is not  multi-threaded. That means it doesn’t care about # Cores but rather ‘speed’. Thus it’s always better to pick the CPU with the highest clock speed you can afford. Here’s a quick summary:

Ryzen 7 8845HS > Ryzen 7 7840HS> Core i7 13620HX >Ryzen 7 7745HX>Core i7 12800H>Ryzen 7 6800HS> Core i7 11800H>AMD Ryzen 5 7535HS>AMD Ryzen 5 6600H = Core i5 12500H>AMD Ryzen 5 5600H>Core i5 13420H>Core i5 11300H>AMD Ryzen 5 4600H> Core i5 9300H>AMD Ryzen 5 3550H = Core i5 8300H

**I ignored Core i9 and Ryzen 9 they’re ridiculously expensive!

Rendering: The more cores the faster the rendering. However all high-end CPUs have at least 6 cores  and the wekaest CPUs have 4-6  #cores so it should not be a concern. 


TL;DR:   The graphics card MOSTLY  helps with 3D viewport (rotating, zooming, panning a 3D model).  

Viewport: Though CPU is ALSO used for viewport. The vRAM of a dedicated GPU, MASSIVELY speeds up viewport smootheness.

So for 3D objects w/ +100 parts or polygons, you want a dedicated GPU.

99% of 3D CAD users only need a 4GB vRAM since most 3D models take ~1-2GB vRAM). 2D CAD users don’t need to worry about dedicated graphics, the CPU will take care of it.

Rendering: Although AutoCAD will somewhat use the GPU to speed up rendering. #CPU cores has way more influence in fast renders. Some renderers (3DS Max & Lumion) will use the CUDA cores on NVIDIA GPUs and speed up significantly, not AutoCAD however.

8GB: Okay for small models. You will run out of RAM for other programs after AutoCAD and Windows have been opened so you should open any more heavy programs in the background 

16GB:  Useful if you want to speed up rendering. Also speeds up viewport performanec in the absence of dedicated graphics. 
32GB-64GB: Helps with the viewport of extremely large models (with the addition of dedicated GPU). Speed ups rendering somewhat too. 

256GB: AutoCAD Files take anywhere from 10MB-4GB with 100MB being the average. If you install AutoCAD & Windows (both add up to 50GB), there’ll be around 200GB left for everything else (including CAD files). Students should be fine with this much.
512GB: If you’re going to install other CAD software or make a living with AutoCAD for 3D models you’ll need this much. If it’s mostly 2D models this is too much.

Top 8 Best Laptops For AutoCAD in 2024

The first five laptops are aimed for those working with AutoCAD in 3D. That is, there’s a need to use viewport in 3D. The maining 3 are much cheaper laptops for AutoCAD in 2D (though they can handle 3D models too as long as they’re nothing too crazy).

Laptops 1-2: Ideal for students or those getting started with AutoCAD.

Laptops 3: Ideal laptop for ALL users especially those making a living out of AutoCAD 3D designs. 

Laptop 4: Laptop ideal for 3D CAD engineers working with large models

Laptop 5: Most powerful workstation laptop for AutoCAD

Laptop 6, 7, 8:  Laptops for AutoCAD in 2D & Small 3D models

1. HP Victus

The Best Laptop For AutoCAD

  Core i5 13420H

  8GB DDR4

  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 3050Ti 6GB vRAM

  512GB PCIe NVMe

  15” Full HD IPS 144Hz refresh rates

  5.06 lbs

   5 hours

  GPU: 3050RTX (4-6GB vRAM)

The 3050RTX is an interesting GPU because there are three versions: 3050RTX 4GB vRAM and 3050RTX 6GB vRAM, 3050Ti 4GB vRAM.

Usually I’d list the 4GB vRAM version of the 3050RTX as the first laptop or another 4GB laptop but this year I found the 3050RTX with 6GB vRAM under 700 dollars.

6GB vRAM 3050RTX vs 4GB vRAM 3050RTX:

If you do some research, you’ll find out the ideal GPU for AutoCAD is 6GB vRAM( because it can handle pretty much any model).

If you are a student, it’s definitely OVERKILL. You’d be better off with the laptops that have a 4GB vRAM GPU. But here’s the thing: this laptop isn’t that much more expensive than those 4GB vRAM dGPU laptops so why not spend a bit more and get you something that’s going to be future proof for several several years into the field (assuming you work as a 3D CAD designer).

Below is the kind of model this laptop can withstand, very unlikely you’ll come across this model nonetheless still nice to be future proof.

Now…the truth is about 90% of users will be happy with 4GB vRAM. You can do the test whether or not 2GB vRAM or 4GB vRAM will be enough for you right now if you don’t believe me:

– Find ANY laptop with a 2-4GB vRAM (or borrow one).
– Open BOTH AutoCAD and the task manager (CTRL+ALT+SUPR) just like I did in the screenshot near the intro.
– Open the biggest model you think you’ll work with (or download a similar one from some CAD site).
– Now, notice how the GPU almost NEVER bottlenecks through the graph as shown in the diagram. If it does, then yes you need a better GPU.

Again you can always just buy the 6GB vRAM laptop here or even better a 4050RTX which is more of a “TRUE” 6GB vRAM because it does have a much higher amount of CUDA cores (also useful for viewport) than this 3050RTX 6GB vRAM GPU.

Q: Would it be a better idea to buy a 8GB vRAM if I wanted to be more future proof?

I don’t think it’s a good idea to invest on 8GB vRAM dedicated GPUs just to be future proof. If you are expecting for “GPU aceelerated functions or effects”, that will probably never come to fruition.

AutoCAD was released about 20 years ago (probbaly a lot more) and never have they mentioned anything about GPUs used for video instruction sets that will speed up drafting & drawing, it’s always been about the CPU and it always will be imo.

Now there is a high chance they add GPU rendering to the software, which means using the “GPU cores” to speed up rendering. If that’s the case, then it an 8GB vRAM or a true 6GB vRAM (one with more CUDA cores) will speed up rendering significantly. We’ll go over those laptops soon.

HP Victus 
  • 13th generation CPU 
  • Fast rendering 
  • Spacious SSD
  • 8GB RAM & Upgradeable to 32GB
  • Latest WiFi card
  • Ideal for students & most CAD engineers
  • Bloatware
  • Long set up process (For Windows 11)
  • Low Battery
  • Not Optimal for very large 3D models

2. MSI ‎Thin GF63 12UCX-898US

Budget Laptop For AutoCAD

  Core i5 12450H

  8GB DDR4

   2050RTX 4GB vRAM


  15.6” 144Hz FHD IPS

  4.1 lbs

  4 hours

This laptop has the latest 4GB vRAM released on laptops: the 2050RTX.

Hardware:  4GB vRAM vs 6GB vRAM

There’s going to be a significant performance difference between the 6GB vRAM GPUs and the 4GB vRAM GPUs if you’re working with very large models.

If you’re only working with small and medium sized models there’s going to be no discernable difference in viewport performance.

However for rendering which is somewhat GPU dependent in the regular version of AutoCAD there will be a difference (though not much noticeable):

Since this is mostly a CPU dependent task and the GPU is only use somwhat you will only see the difference when rendering large models (which can cut down rendering times depending on textures by about 1-5 min).

All other functions will be equal for small-medium models.

CPU: Core i5-12450H 4.4GHz

Of course you could buy another laptop with a slightly older GPU like the 1650GTX which has 4GB vRAM but since they’re slightly older they will only come with older 11th or even 10th gen Core i5 CPUs. 

The CPU is WAY more important not just for rendering but for all your workflow in AutoCAD even for viewport thus it makes sense to opt for the 2050RTX (if possible) so you can ALSO get the more recent Core i5 or Ryzen 5s which have significantly more clock speed performance. 

Even a small 0.1GHz clock speed difference makes a HUGE difference when rendering as for drawing/designing its only when the model gets more and more bigger (during the final steps) that functions will run noticeably faster with the more recent CPUs.

Storage & RAM:1TB SSD & 8GB DDR5

A very cool thing about this laptop is that there’s never going to need any need for Storage upgrades even if you dedicate yourself to 3D CAD models and wish to save all previous projects as repository on the very same laptop.

RAM is not ideal for high-performance rendering though for designing & draft is fast. Either way you can upgrade RAM as there’s a free slot for an additional RAM stick. But this should only be done to speed up rendering of very large models, small models render pretty fast 5 min tops with 8GB RAM.

MSI GF63 Thin
  • Cheap laptop with dedicated graphics
  • 4GB vRAM Under 700 dollars
  • Recent 12th gen CPU
  • Perfect for students & small-medium 3D models
  • Handles up to 1000 polygons
  • Relatively thin & lightweight
  • Bloatware
  • Low Battery
  • Runs out of stock quickly

3. Surface Laptop Studio 2

Best Laptop or Tablet For AutoCAD

  13th gen Core i7-13700H


  NVIDIA RTX 4050 80W

  512 GB NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD

  14.4”  2400 x 1600 2 in 1 Tablet-Laptop w/ Stylus


  5-8 hours

The main problem with most laptops that have a dedicated GPU is that they’re usually heavy and not so portable. While weight isn’t an issue for engineers mostly working at an office, it is a big problem of anyone commuting be it students or engineers just going from sites to sites which need to take a laptop with them.

There are two solutions to this issue as far as I know:

  • Find a 2GB vRAM laptop. Provided your models are small (which are likely to be the case if you’re going to client’s places or contruction sites)
  • Get a Surface Device with dedicated graphics

The Surface Device I’m picking here is the Surface Studio 2 which along with the Surface Book 3 are the only recent Surface devices that have a dedicated graphics. The Surface Pro is also useful for CAD design, we’ll go over the Surface Pro way later.

 Surface Studio 2: Hardware

You can choose either the Surface Book or the Surface Studio both have the same functionality and almost the same hardware performance for AutoCAD.

I decided to feature the Surface Studio because it’s very very configurable in terms of hardware. For GPU you can choose between the 4050RTX, 4060RTX and the workstation GPU RTX Ada 2000. 

Since AutoCAD doesn’t seem to make good use of workstation graphics (we’ll get to that later) the choice is between the 4050RTX or the 4060RTX. The former has 6GB vRAM while the latter has 8GB vRAM.

Both are OVERKILL for engineering students and anyone getting started with AutoCAD but if you’re an actual working engineer, you know best by now that the 6GB vRAM gives you the best performance/money ratio as far as AutoCAD goes. If you’re also using other 3D CAD modeling software that’s a bit more heavy with much larger models you want to pick the 4060RTX with 8GB vRAM.

Of course, if you are a student if you have the budget, it’s not a bad idea to pick the 4050RTX. 


Unfortunately, the price of the newest Surface Laptop Studio with the 4050RTX can be around 2000 dollars! This isn’t an issue if you are a working engineer  but if you are a student…don’t worry if you want a portable beast like the Surface Laptop Studio 2 you have three options:

  • Buy the Surface Book which has been discontinued but still has models with 4-6GB vRAM dedicated graphics
  • Buy the Surface Laptop Studio which has the 3050Ti (4GB vRAM)

And the last options: buy a Surface Pro!

Surface Pro 9: 

Since your models as a student won’t get that much larger, you can make do with the Surface Pro’s integrated graphics. Viewport the main bottleneck of laptops without dedicated graphics will run okay if you meet the following conditions:

  • Models must obviously be small (50-100 parts). Typical student size.
  • You choose a model with 16GB RAM (not vRAM) which should boost integrated GPU performance.
  • Try to grab the latest versions (7,8,9) which have very recent CPUs (thus  faster integrated graphics).

Rendering: Important!

It’s not a good idea to use the Surface Pro for constant rendering that takes too long. The laptop will heat up for too long and it might fry the circuitry, this is an issue with small thin laptops which lack a heat dissipation system and a dedicated graphics.  The Surface Book and Surface Laptop Studio are more suited for rendering since they’re larger beasts, that are thicker and have a powerful graphics card.

If you’re working with small/medium projects rendering shouldn’t take that long and it’s not going to be damaging to the Surface Pro and much less the Surface Book/Laptop Studio.  Try not to render all day with 3DS Max/Revit with either of the surface devices though. The next model we’ll go over is much better suited for that.

Surface Laptop Studio 2
  • Portable & relatively lightweight
  • Three GPU choices
  • Ideal for all CAD engineers
  • Stylus for drawing
  • Very high resolution display
  • CAD Design With Stylus
  • Handles all types of models (depending on GPU choice)
  • Very Expensive
  • Low battery (for the powerful GPU versions)

4. Lenovo LOQ

Best Laptop For AutoCAD – Large 3D models

  Ryzen 7 7840HS

  16GB DDR5

  RTX 4050 125W + 15W (Dynamic Boost)


  16” 165Hz FHD IPS

  5.73 lbs

  2 hours

This is  a TRUE 6GB vRAM laptop. It’s got the same vRAM as the 3050 RTX we went over but I call it a true 6GB vRAM laptop for three reasons: Wattage, CUDA Cores & the CPU.

  4050RTX 140W 6GB vRAM

Let’s start with the wattage. While the 3050RTX has the same amount of vRAM it does not run at the same power nor do most 6GB vRAM actually, very few will run past 100W which makes the laptop more expensive (if you don’t know how to look for the good deals). It takes no genius to figure out what low power (wattage) does to performane. The question is how much performance do you lose with GPUs of the same vRAM that run at low power for 3D CAD modeling software? It depends on other factors but generall I’d say you lose about 50% performance. What I mean is that unlike a low power 6GB vRAM GPU, a high powered GPU can handle a model that’s about 50% bigger and more complex before viewport starts to lag. That’s just my estimate based on other benchmarks on the website. It’d be interesting to run the actual numbers.

The second factor is CUDA cores. If you compare a 3050RTX with 6GB vRAM vs the 4050RTX with 6GB vRAM:

3050Ti 2560 4GB 1485
2370 6B 2560

There isn’t much difference in the number of CUDA cores (second column) but there’s a significant difference in the amount of clock speed (almost by 1000Hz – 4th column). This means each CUDA core on the 4050RTX will run at much faster speeds (kind of like a more recent CPU runs faster than an older CPU).  The most significant perfomance will be GPU-rendering however since AutoCAD doesn’t use much (usually never uses the full power of the GPU) to render, there should not be significant performance gains.

Other CAD Software: However, if you use a GPU-renderer, which is very likely if you work as 3D CAD engineer (not likely if you’re a civil engineer unless you use 3ds max for walkthroughs), you will see ENORMOUS performance gains when GPU-rendering. Any GPU-renderer will take significantly less time with this GPU.

The third reason is the CPU….

CPU: Ryzen 7 7840HS
A 4050RTX or even a 3060RTX is always paired (on laptops) with a recent Core i7 or Ryzen 7. Both are SIGNIFICANTLY FASTER than the Core i5 on cheaper 6GB vRAM laptops (not just the 3050RTX, there are 4050RTX & 3060RTX laptops that have the slower Core i5 too). The difference in clock speed numbers on paper may be small but the performance gains on software (and games too) is SIGNIFICANT.
The question becomes which of the two Core i7 or Ryzen 7 is the best choice for 3D modeling. Well if we are to compare speed when drafting and designing it’s going to be pretty much the same and even the Core i5/Ryzen 5 might get you the same speed when drafting/designing (at least for functions that don’t take a while to load) . However, the true difference is rendering. The Ryzen 7 will beat the Core i7 (most of the time) due to the fact that their  extra cores run at higher clock speeds (on intel it’s usually the first few cores that onl run at the advertised clock speed).  Setting rendering aside: viewport, drafting and drawing, applying functions the performance should be equal.

What about a laptop with a 8GB vRAM GPU?

In the first video I posted. The 1000 part model ran fine with just a 4GB vRAM dedicated GPU. 8GB vRAM will indeed allow you to viewport into much higher parts but what are the chances of you running such projects?  1000 parts RAN absolutely fine with 4GB vRAM. So unless you’re working with large assemblies on other CAD software (ANSYS/Solidworks) etc with 5000 parts mechanical objects then it may come in handy. Not for AutoCAD. If you want to increase performance with AutoCAD, you’re better off investing on a much faster CPU,

Lenovo LOQ
  • Latest Ryzen 7 CPU
  • High Multi-Core performance for Rendering
  • Super fast viewport with large models 
  • High wattage GPU
  • Maxed out RAM & Storage
  • Large display
  • Heavy
  • Expensive
  • Very short battery

5. Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Gen 2 – RTX 5000 Ada

Most Powerful Workstation Laptop For AutoCAD

  Core i9-13950HX

  128GB RAM

  NVIDIA RTX 5000 Ada 16GB vRAM


  16″  UHD (3840 x 2400) TouchScreen  

  8 lbs

  1 hours

I’m only posting a workstation laptop for information purposes only because I don’t think any of you guys are going to need a workstation laptop.

If you do need one, keep in mind that there are THREE istances where you need one (As far as AUTOCAD goes) :

A) You have been FORCED by your company to buy a workstation GPU.

B) You work with EXTREMELY large models in AutoCAD (See the Tait towers in the last section for an example).

C) You want to get rid of small errors and artifacts (which do not really take a toll on your workflow).

Let’s talk about each of these instances and what hardware you need.


Before we adress each of these scenarios, it’s important you know the most commonl available workstation GPUs in 2024 which are shown below:

Workstation GPU Consumer Equivalent Cores/Shaders Clock Speed vRAM
RTX 3000 2070RTX+ 1280 1380 6GB
RTX 4000 2070/2080 2560 1560 8GB
RTX 5000 2080RTX+++ 3072 1350 16GB
RTX A2000 ~3050Ti 2560 1200 4GB
RTX A3000 ~3060RTX 4096 1560 6GB
RTX A4000 ~3070RTX 5120  1560  8GB
RTX A5000 ~3080RTX 6144 1695   16GB
RTX A5500 ~380Ti RTX 7424  16GB
RTX Ada 3000 4070RTX– 4608   8GB
RTX Ada 4000 ==4080RTX 5120   12GB
RTX Ada 5000 4090 RTX – 7424 1680 16GB
The second column has the most useful info to help you shop for workstation laptops. It tells you what the performance will be similar to (when using viewport).  Now what workstation GPU depends on the size of your models assuming you’re not working with mounstrous 3D models with lots of mechanical parts and polygons:
C) Artifacts & Errors: If you want to get rid of small artifacts and errors which are caused by using a gaming GPU. You can just go for on the cheaper (weaker) workstation GPUs no need to overspend on the latest/strongest workstation GPUs. Just find the equivalent gaming GPU which works with your model or use the table in the beggining to find how much vRAM your GPU needs.
A) Required to use a workstation GPU:   If you’ve been told you MUST get a workstation laptop then you need to get one with vRAM corresponding to the typical size of your models. No need to get the latest/most expensive ones either.
B) Extremel Large models: If you have to run very very large models . You MUST get the latest and fastest RTX or even use a desktop workstation as opposed to a laptop (workstation GPUs are MUCH more powerful than their laptop versions). If you must buy a laptop, only buy the one featured here which has the latest workstation GPU with the highest amount of vRAM : 16GB vRAM. That’s the point where there’s a real difference in performance between a gaming GPU and a workstation GPU for ANY 3D CAD modeling software. It’s not such a great idea to invest on the weaker workstation to handle larger models because you can get MUCH better viewport performance with a gaming GPU that’s MUCH cheaper.


Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Gen 2
  • 16GB vRAM GPU
  • GPU is CAD optimized
  • Second  Fastest Laptop CPU in 2024
  • Best multi-core performance
  • Handles viewport of extremely large models 
  • RAM & Storage are upgraded to maximum capacity
  • Very Large Display with Very high resolution
  • Very low battery (must be plugged in)
  • Extremely Heavy
  • Extremely expensive
  • May be overkill even  for very large 3D models

3 Best Laptops for AutoCAD in 2D & Small 3D Models

The following laptops are mostly for people who run AutoCAD but limit themselves to 2D plans and non-hardware demanding 3D models (plans of a city’s electrical connections ot buildings) . You can run regular AutoCAD with these laptops you aren’t necessarily limited to AutoCAD LT & Electrical!

If you’re working on small 3D models (with moving parts) these laptops should also be able to handle those with ease. They may BE a little sless smooth when you viewport but that’s it.

6. Acer Aspire 3

Cheap Laptop for AutoCAD 2D

  AMD Ryzen 5 7520U

  8GB DDR5

  AMD Radeon 610M

  512GB SSD

  15” full HD IPS

  3.92 lbs

  10 hours

    WiF 6 802.11AX

  Windows 11Home

As far as models in 2D goes or 3D models that do not have moving parts there’s almost no need for dedicted graphics and you don’t even need to get a very high performance and recent CPU.

As long as your CPU is not obsolete, there should be no lag with AutoCAD when you viewport, draw or doing anything. SImple quick renders may take more time but that’s about the only downside. For a list of acceptable CPUs check the section on CPU near the end of this post.

This laptop is about 390 dollars which may be a bit too cheap for you. If you have a higher budget and don’t mind spending a bit more, you want  to choose a laptop with either of the following (or a combination of all):

  • A much higher resolution display (QHD) simply because more space means a faster workflow
  • A Core i5/Ryzen 5 CPU because it automatically sets you up with a better graphics card which will handle viewport of huge models like city plans much more smoothly as well as small 3D CAD models.
  • More portable machine: laptops without dedicated graphics open up the possibility of having very lightweight and thin laptops (since there isn’t a need for the extra space required to cool down temperatures of a high-power chip like a dGPU).


Acer Aspire 5
  • Cheapest Fastest Laptop for 2D CAD models
  • Can handle small 3D models
  • Latest Ryzen 5 CPU
  • Good multicore performance – fast rendering
  • FHD display
  • Spacious SSD
  • RAM Upgradeable
  • Long Battery Life
  • Slow viewport for medium-large 3D models
  • DDR4 RAM (latest is DDR5)
  • Integrated GPU is slow

7. Lenovo Business Pro 5

Best Lenovo Laptop For AutoCAD in 2D & Small 3D models

  Core i5 11300H

  8GB DDR4 


  512GB SSD

  16″ 2.5k resolution


  3 hours

This is probably the best laptop for 2D CAD design of this small 3-laptop list for the following reasons:

  • 16” display: This is obvious. Bigger screen means more space to work with!
  • QHD: As we discussed before this also increases the amount of space on the screen. This means bigger canvas, less need to use viewport, less need to zoom out, more space for toolbars,etc.
  • 512GB: This is plenty for a lifetime for AutoCAD files in 2D and small 3D models. No need for upgrades!

And of course the 2GB vRAM GPU: MX450

 I know I said AutoCAD 2D users don’t need a dedicated graphics but it’s still  useful for those very rare cases you have to run a small 3D CAD models ! OR for those instances where you have to work with other CAD software that requires a dedicated GPU.  However, no need to go beyond a 2GB vRAM GPU , this is plenty to be bullet proof for the instances I mentioned. Unless you move onto becoming a 3D CAD designer then yes you will need 4GB vRAM or more.


Finding a QHD display + a MX450 (or any dedicated graphics) under 600 dollars is very rare and it’s likely this laptop will run out of stock. If that’s the case by the time you read this, check out the ASUS ZenBook 14. It never runs out of stock, the only drawback is that you no longer get the QHD display but you get a laptop that’s much lighter, thinner with a longer battery life and still with a 2GB vRAM GPU under 600 dollars.

Lenovo Business Pro 5
  • 2.5k (QHD) resolution 
  • 2GB vRAM dGPU
  • Relatively lightweight
  • OKAY Battery (3 hours)
  • Useful for 2D & 3D AutoCAD
  • Slightly old CPU
  • Slightly old GPU
  • RAM is not upgradeable

8. Surface Pro 9

Best 2 in 1 Laptop For AutoCAD 2D & 3D Small Models 

  12th gen Core i5 or Core i7

  8-32GB RAM DDR5

  ‎Intel Iris Xe Graphics


  13” ‎2880 x 1920 pixels

  1.9lb and above

  +11 hours

The Surface Book and Surface Laptop Studio are overkill for AutoCAD in 2D. Completely unnecessary even for small 3D models in AutoCAD.

The Surface Laptop  MAY be overkill for AutoCAD in 2D as well if you choose a model that has too much CPU power & RAM.

You want to get the Core i5 + 8GB RAM models and if you can afford it the 16GB RAM. You don’t need the Core i7 version, that’s just too much CPU power for drafting and rendering it will make no difference compared to the Core i5.

Now…Why choose the Surface Pro over the much cheaper laptops with the same hardware. Basically because it’s portable which is very important in the following scenarios:

  • If you are a student, say an electrical engineering (chemical, software, etc) student who will mostly work with 2D models and ocassionally with 3D models. 
  • If you are a CAD designer who CONSTANTLY moves from office to office.

Price: the problem is the price of course but  the good news is that you don’t have the buy the newer models to get all the benefits we talked about. You can pick the slightly older models (no lower than the Surface Pro 6) and still get about the same performance!

As for the drawing & touchscreen feature & accuracy when drawing & designing with the stylus, it doesn’t get worse with the older models. I’d say the main difference between the newer and older models is mostly down to the CPU.

Upgrade: note that you cannot upgrade the Surface Pro after purchase this applies for all the models so buy whatever storage and RAM you can afford (and need) before purchase.

Surface Pro 9
  • Extremely portable
  • Can run small 3D models too
  • 12th gen Core i5
  • Very Long battery life
  • Hardware is Customizable (to your budget)
  • Older versions are just as fast
  • Can draw and sketch with touchPen
  • Cannot be RAM or Storage Upgraded after purchase
  • Flimsy keyboard on non-hard surfaces

Buying The Best Laptop For AutoCAD – Hardware Guide

This section will teach you everything you need to know to get the best bang for your buck laptop for AutoCAD.

You can also get good insights on how to software uses each piece of hardware. This is probably good info if AutoCAD is your main tool of work. If there’s ever need lag or you need to improve performance, you’d know exactly what to do if you understand thiese concepts.

Before we get to the hardware details , let’s review all the versions of AutoCAD available:

AutoCAD Software

AutoCAD is actually a broadterm which encompasses several products fromAutoDesk. Whether they are hardware demanding or not depends on 

This is the regular & original version of AutoCAD which all of you are familiar with. You can draw/draft models in both 2D and 3D.

Today the software has diverged into several other specialized versions. However, this (original) version is still out and it’s still used today especially in engineering schools. The main reason being because you can draft/work with it regardless of what your field is. 

A less powerful version of the AutoCAD described above,used mainly for 2D objects.

AutoCAD Electrical
Mostly for circuit design. Most circuit blueprints only need a 2D representation so it is a 2D software.

AutoCAD Architecture
In regular AutoCAD you have to draw everything from scratch but this version will give you advanced tools and access to small objects for architecture drafting such doors, walls, windows, etc. This is a 3D software.

AutoCAD Civil 3D
Same as  AutoCAD architecture. However optimized for planning roadways, rivers, landscapes , etc.

*A few points before we move on to the next section:

  • If you buy a laptop for 3D AutoCAD software, it will have obviously no issues with any CAD software in 2D.
  • AutoCAD in 2D doesn’t really need high-tier hardware, even the CPUs found on laptops baove 400$ will work fine. You do not need a dedicated graphics card so that really opens up your options to very low priced machines. The upcoming section applies to AutoCAD in 2D as well but keep what I said in mind.

Recommended Specs For AutoCAD

 Hardware usage and requirements will vary from software to software. This is only meant to encompass AutoCAD, not other 3D modeling software. If you are interested in how other 3D CAD software works check out my posts on Revit SolidWorks & architecture.

Again let’s start with the most important spec.


AutoCAD will predominantely use your CPU when drawing.

There are the two most important specs when choosing a CPU: clock speed and # cores.  

Because the speed of your workflow is based on how fast you can use tools, draw and rotate it’s important to see how much CPU juice uses in each of these instances so we can draw conclusions on whether to focus on clock speed or # cores when shopping for a laptop or desktop.

Drawing & Design: Single Core 

Although the software is apparently somewhat ‘multi-core’ when doing drawing, most of the processing is still done by a single core (not even a single core but a singel thread – half a core).

What’s interesting is that it’s not even one core but more like HALF a Core (only one thread is used – each core has two threads).

Now although there are several tasks in AutoCAD (a bit more in AutoCAD 2024 ) that are multithreaded now:

  • Threaded Xref regen
  • Publish multi-processing
  • ASM tessellation

That doesn’t mean however your top priority should be focusing on as many cores as possible if you want a fast workflow when drafting.

You aren’t likely to spend a lot of time going through those functions  and even if you do, they only make use of 3-4 threads at best and do not necessarily make use of all cores evenly (See Graph Above). Most laptops have at least 4 cores (8 threads) now and most desktops CPUS have 6 so you’re going to get as many as cores/threads AutoCAD will find useful for drafting anyways without looking at what CPU you’re getting. In other words, there are no 2 thread CPUs!

Q: But I’ve read all CAD software benefits from multiple cores! 

They do but just for RENDERING. 

The focus for super fast workflow when drafting should be single-core clock speed performance aka a fast CPU , #cores is not useful

Viewport: Multi-Core 

Now viewport hardware usage is interesting. 

Most people assume it’s all down to the GPU but that’s not true, it’s actually a CPU task too.

However a CPU is much less efficient at it especially with bigger models than what’s shown above. 

Viewport: panning, zooming, orbiting , rotating,etc, is a CPU task that’s somewhat multi-core. Conclusion: focus CLOCK SPEED for viewport perforamnce too IF YOU CAN’T INVEST on a dedicated GPU

Rendering: Multi-Core

Rendering is going to be a multi-core task, no matter what kind of software you use, if there’s something to render, more cores the faster the rendering.

Now the question becomes how many cores is TOO MUCH for rendering? If there’s a thing such as too much? Is there?

While it makes sense to assume that there’s no limit to how much cores you can use to render faster and faster

The truth is…

Rendering is fast with 4 cores already for small-medium sized models. What if they only take less than 10 seconds? would Would you spend an additional 300 dollars to make rendering take 2.5 seconds? That’s totally up to you.


If you’re going to work with super large models (with 5000 polygons and maybe even a 3D render of the object) then you probably want to invest on a CPU with as many cores as you can afford because that’s going to take MUCH MUCH longer ~1h on average. 

Rendering is a multi-core task. The more cores the better but you won’t see significant gains when rendering if you work with models of the size shown above as they’ll only take a few seconds

Conclusion: Recommended CPUs

Intel CPUs

CPU Base(GHz) Turbo(GHz) Cores(GHz)
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
i3 1215U
3.3 4.4 6
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 1240P
3.3 4.4 8
i7 1260P
3.4 4.7 8
i5-11300H 2.6 4.4 4
i5 11260H 2.6 4.4 6
i7 10750H 2.6 5 8
i7-11375H 3.3 5 4
i7-11370H 3.3 4.8 4
i7 12800H 3.7 4.8 6+8
i7 13620H 3.6 4.9 6+8
i7 13650HX 3.6 4.9 6+8
i9-11900H 2.5 4.9 8
i9-11980HK 3.3 5 8
i9 12900H
i9 13900H
i9 14900HX

*+ sign means the CPU has “efficient” and “performance” cores.


CPU  Base (GHz) Turbo (GHz) Cores(#)
AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS 4 5.2 8
AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS 3.3 4.9 8
AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX 3.3 4.6 8
AMD Ryzen 9 4800HS 2.2 4.4 8
AMD Ryzen 7 7745HX 3.6 5.1
AMD Ryzen 7 6800HS 3.6 4.7
AMD Ryzen 7 5800H 3.3 4.4 8
AMD Ryzen 7 3750H 2.3 4 4
AMD Ryzen 7 7730U 2.0 4.5 8
AMD Ryzen 7 5800U 1.9 4.4 8
AMD Ryzen 7 5700U 1.8 4.3 8
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U 2.3 4 4
AMD Ryzen 5 7535HS 3.3 4.55 6
AMD Ryzen 5 6600H 3.3 4.5 6
AMD Ryzen 5 5600H 3.3 4.2 6
AMD Ryzen 5 7530U 2.0 4.5 8
AMD Ryzen 5 3550H 2.1 3.7 4
AMD Ryzen 5 5500U 2.1 4.4 6
AMD Ryzen 3 7320U
2.4 4.1 4
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U 2.1 3.7 4
AMD Ryzen 3 5300U 2.6 3.8 4
AMD Ryzen 3 3300U 2.1 3.5 4

Slow, Average, Fast, Fast, Very Fast, Extremely Fast

You need to pick a CPU depending on the software or models:

AutoCAD 2D

Pretty much any CPU released within the past 5 years will do. Even those Core i3 and Ryzen 3 in red will be fast,

I would recommend you get a Core i5 or Ryzen 5 just to be future proof for upcoming updates as well as the possibility of running 3D models at some point in the future. 

AutoCAD 3D: Small to Medium Models

A Core i3 and Ryzen 3 laptop with an integrated GPU will do but viewport will be slow and you’ll also have to wait for loading bars for a couple of functions (mostly those involving rendering and viewport). 

The recommended minimum is a Core i5 or Ryzen 5 (U or G – low voltage or the E or P series from Intel). If you want to work with bigger models (much bigger than the model shown above), you need a dedicated GPU. We’ll talk about dedicated GPUs soon.

AutoCAD 3D : Extremely large Models with +1000 parts

You would nee at least a Core i7 or Ryzen 7  .

If there’s EVER lag, you want to break up the project into smaller projects if its possible before you consider buying new hardware

Xeon CPUs:

Xeon W-11855M 3.2 4.8 6
Xeon W-10855M 2.8 5.1 6

The only real advantage they bring to the table is making super high resolution and details render faster and by faster I mean taking 30 seconds as opposed to taking 1:30 half with regular CPUs because they have way way more cores.

As for the ECM feature (Error correcting memory) it is not paramount for AutoCAD. All CPUs will do the same job.

These Xeon CPUS  however are useful for servers/banking systems/stock trading where small fluctuations in calculations can translate to much bigger consequences.


Integrated GPU: AutoCAD 2D

If you are using AutoCAD for 2D projects as shown below (landscape, maps, circuit design, etc):

Map of a city. Viewport and CPU usage is minimal when navigating through it.

You do not need to worry about graphics cards, the ‘integrated GPU’s that come by default with CPUs will work.

You still want a fast integrated GPU so pick a recent CPU  which by default gets you a fast & powerful integrated GPU. They’ may not be so useful for 2D viewport but they’ll be useful for 3D viewport if you ever need to use it as well as possible future small 3D models.

i3 1315U Intel UHD 64EU
i3 1220P
Intel UHD 64EU
i3 1115G4 Intel Xe*
i5  1135G7 Intel Xe
i5 1240P
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs
i5 1345U
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs
i7 1135G7 Intel Xe 
i7 1255U
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs (
i7 1355U Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
Ryzen 3 5300U RX Vega 6
Ryzen 3 7320U
Radeon 610M
Ryzen 5 5500U RX Vega 7
Ryzen 5 7530U Radeon 610M
Ryzen 5 7520U
RX Vega 7
Ryzen 7 5700U RX Vega 8
Ryzen 7 7730U RX Vega 8
  • The weakest GPUs are found those in red, not that they’ll perform much worse than the other GPUs but they’re weaker nonetheless.
  • The fastest ones are found on Core i7 and Ryzen 7 and I’d advoid those simply because they’re found on very expensive machines which can cost as much as a laptop with a dedicated GPU.
  • The best bang for your buck are found on Core i5 and Ryzen 5 CPus (with the exception of those Ryzen 5 highlighted in red).

Dedicated GPU: 3D AutoCAD

It’s important to differetiate which graphics cards are too weak, just right and too powerful for AutoCAD otherwise you may be either overspending lots of money on GPU power you’ll never need or wasting money on a GPU that’s too weak to get you fast viewport performance.

Below a summary of the most common GPUs found in 2024:

NVIDIA 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
MX 550 1024 4GB 1320


NVIDIA Cores vRAM Speed
1050 Ti 768 4GB 1620
1650 1024 4GB 1560
2050 1477 4GB 2048
1060 1280 6GB 1670
1660 Ti 1536 6GB 1590
3050Ti 2560 4GB 1485
2370 6B 2560
2060 1920 6GB 1680
2080 2944 8GB 1710
2070 2304 8GB 1620 
3060 3584 8GB 1780
3070 5888 8GB 1730
4060 3072 8GB 2370
3080 8704 10GB 1710
4070 4608 8GB 2175
4080 7424 12GB 2175
4090   9728 16GB  2040

There’s only two instances where they become useful ‘3D Viewport’ an PERHAPS Rendering.

A) Viewport: vRAM

They’re called dedicated because they have their own ‘vRAM’. Dedicated ‘memory’ for graphics. If you have a 3D object and configure AutoCA D to use your ‘dedicated’ graphics card as show below:

AutoCAD using dedicated GPU with 6GB vRAM to orbit a 3D object.

It’ll store your 3D project on vRAM which massively accelerates the speed at which you can interact with the object through viewport.

If you are having LAG right now and you have dedicated GPU, you may not really need to upgrade your graphics but rather make sure that AutoCAD is using your dedicated GPU by checking hardware options as shown in the picture.

How much vRAM do I need?

2-4GB vRAM: Viewport for a house or a 3D object with ~100-500 parts (the figures above is a good example) will run totally fine with GPUs labeled Red/Blue in the table.

If you are a student, this is definitely going to be the case for you so you don’t have to spend more than 700 bucks on a laptop for AutoCAD.

If you are a professional architect, mechanical engineers, 3D engineers (freelance), etc, you will probably be fine with a 4GB vRAM GPU   

6GB vRAM:  Useful for viewport for extremely large models with ~1000 polygons. his is still not too expensive so you can grab a dGPU with this much vRAM if you want to be ‘future-proof’.

8GB vRAM: it’s very rare to need this much and this will be useful when you work with something in the scale of the model below. It’s the famous Tait Towers.  Shown and discussed in this paper. 













B) Rendering: CUDA Cores

Rendering is mostly a CPU task but there’s a slight GPU usage when you render bigger objects (the CUDA Cores act as additional cores) but it will still be a 95% CPU’s job. This is for AutoCAD’s built-in renderer.

Thus spending money on the latest & most powerful GPUs will not make rendering faster, a high core count with high clock speeds CPU will . Most rendering tasks in AutoCAD take a few minutes TOPs very rarely will they take 30min to 1h.

Rendering with third party software

Now if you use  other software for rendering such as Lumion and 3DS Max then the GPU’s “CUDA Cores” will speed up rendering exponentially.

Although CUDA Cores are not as efficient as ‘CPU Cores’ the performance gains with these GPU renderers is HUGE  because there are thousands of little ‘cores’ (CUDA cores) doing the work.

Thus if you want to render with OTHER SOFTWARE OUTSIDE of AUTOCAD AND YOU WANT RENDERING TO BE MUCH FASTER then it makes sense to spend lots of money on the a powerful GPU. If not and you work with small-medium sized models, you’ll be fine with 2-4GB vRAM dGPUs.

C) Workstation GPUs

Now it’s probably become obvious why you may not need a workstation GPU: 

  • Graphics card are only useful for Viewport. Not for Drafting & Editing.
  • Viewport only uses a small fraction of the GPU total power.
  • Most people work with very small models for which autocad will only use ~1GB vRAM.
  • There is almost no issues regarding errors & stability with consumer gaming cards.

Now if the old IT guy in the building has forced you or told you to look for WORKSTATION LAPTOPSor Workstation GPUs on desktop  and you can’t convince him otherwise.

Then make sure you knowthe performance of each of the following workstation GPUs otherwise you may be ripped off. It’s very common for vendors to overcharge you for a workstation GPU because most people can’t tell the difference in their power:

Workstation GPU  GPU
Cores/Shaders Clock Speed vRAM
P500 MX150- 256 1519 2GB
P520 MX150 384 1493 2GB
K2100M GT 750M 576  667 2GB
K3100 765M- 768 706 4GB
P620 MX250/1050 512 1442 4GB
M620M 950M- 512  1018  4GB
M1000M 950M 512 1072 4GB
Pro WX 3200 RX 550  1082 640 4GB
M2000M 950M/960M 640 1197 4GB
M1200 960GTX 640 1150 4GB
P1000 1050GTX 512 1519 4GB
P2000 1050Ti 768 1468 4GB
T2000 1650/1660Ti 1024 1785 4GB
T1000 1650- 768 1455 4GB
RTX 3000 2070RTX+ 1280 1380 6GB
RTX 4000 2070/2080 2560 1560 8GB
RTX 5000 2080RTX+++ 3072 1350 16GB
RTX A2000 ~3050Ti 2560 1200 4GB
RTX A3000 ~3060RTX 4096 1560 6GB
RTX A4000 ~3070RTX 5120  1560  8GB
RTX A5000 ~3080RTX 6144 1695   16GB

Because most people think having a workstation GPU(any) is better than any consumer GPU for AutoCAD, vendors will put a much higher price tag on these when in reality only a few workstation GPUs are better than the latest consumer GPU.

Ada Workstation GPUs

Cores/Shaders Clock Speed vRAM
RTX 5000 RTX 4090 – 9728 1680Hz 16GB
RTX 4000 = RTX 4080 7424  ?? 12GB
RTX 3500 RTX 4070 – 5120  ?? 12GB
RTX 3000 RTX 4070 — 4608  ?? 8GB

These are the latest workstion cards please note that for AutoCAD purposes, they’re simulation enhanced by AI feature helps do  variations of the same simulation to find a stable/optimal structure.

Say you’re building a tower using AutoCAD with mechanical parts, running this simulation to find the best fit will take longer with regular GPUs due to the fact that each variation must be tested seperately. With the Ada, the problem is in a way ‘extrapolated’ and there’s less need to test each variation. 

Whether that feature is useful to you is up to you. 

When are Workstation GPUs useful for AutoCAD? Aren’t they recommended anyways?

They are SUPER useful for those type of projects that need as much vRAM as you can get. Think about the tait towers, which was an project divided into several files and about a team of 10 people working on the combined 3D model.

Parts per file was probably around 1000 with a LOD of 500 if not more and when you start using viewport with that much detail you need as much vRAM as possible.

However, vRAM will start giving the software diminishing returns at some point however the more vRAM you have the greater the performance. I cannot say at which point vRAM becomes useless because that depends on a lot of new factors like the CPU, RAM, temperatures, etc.

However, back in the good ol’ days, it was found that AutoCAD made good use of 6GB vRAM with models shown the following video:

I’ll quote  Pudget Systems “…AutoCAD is still very light on VRAM usage, so there is no reason to pay out for a card with lots of VRAM for strictly AutoCAD use.”

Getting a 4090RTX or even the Ada 5000 RTX both with 16GB RAM will get you the same performance with the 6GB vRAM dGPUs as long as you keep models of the size shown in the video.  Most people reading this will work with models up to the size shown in the clip. (car prototypes, machinery, etc). 

If you work with something as Large as the Tait Towers and you high quality renders through other software like 3DS Max then you want to invest on the latest/most powerful workstation GPUs. 

Q: But I still keep reading about GeForce Cards having issues when running AutoCAD…

Now you probably heard that these workstation GPUs have special ‘drivers’ with improved error correction and they are more precise with floating point operations thus there is no artifacts , wrong shaders or errors popping up.

While all of that its true, given that you don’t work with super large models, those erros & artifacts when using viewport or when drawing is rare and if it happens you can just ignore it. As for the errors, they won’t stop the software a window might pop up but you just click OK and keep working. 

Also, most of the issues people report about ‘gaming’ or consumer cards due to ‘bad shaders’ or ‘slow viewport’ and ‘artifacts’ is mostly because they need AutoCAD to recognize their GPU.

Either installing drivers or forcing autocad to use the dGPU will fix the issue.


It is no secret that 3D Cad software is extremely memory demanding. If you fail to get the bare minimum, everything will slow down to a crawl even if you have the best CPU & GPU in the world. 

Drafting & Viewport

8GB: The bare minimum for students. Windows already takes 4GB. Background processes will take up ~1GB…leaving 3GB to AutoCAD enough for 2D and medium sized 3D models.

16GB:  You want 16GB if you work with mostly 3D objects regardless of size. This is sort of bullet proof for drawing very large & detailed models. More RAM doesn’t seem to help beyond 16GB.


Fast renders in AUTOCAD depend on both a good CPU and RAM. For large & complex models , the more RAM you have the better.

You will see significant benefits up to 32GB. 

Although most people should be fine with 16GB which should get you  ~1min renders with the type of objects (not the tait towers) you’ve seen in this post.

Storage: HDD vs SSD

HDD (Hard Disk Drive)

They are obselete on modern laptops.

If you are buying a laptop because your current laptop is too slow for AutoCAD. There’s a big chance that replacing the HDD for an SSD (after upgrading RAM to 16GB) will do the trick especially if you work with small 3D models or 2D models. 

SSD (Solid State Drive)

Found on nearly every modern laptop. This is a good thing for everyone because these SSDs will massively improve reading / writing performance with AutoCAD files and also….

  • Launch Windows 10 in 5 sec
  • Launch AutoCAD in less than 1 min
  • Save/Load Files ~20 sec
  • Import files ~1 min

Q: How Much storage do I need ?

AutoCAD takes about 6-8GB.

Your output files are the ones that will take up most of your storage. Some models may only weight ~100MB tops but big 3d models may weight ~1GB.

Even then 256GB (provided you don’t install games or anything) should be plenty of space. Most laptops in 2024 have at least 256GB of storage.

If you ever run out of space (unlikely unless you install other CAD software like Revit & Solidworks) then you can just upgrade the storage on your own. You can check my tutorial how to upgrade storage to get a glance of how the process is done.

Best Storage Set Up: Speed Up Performance

You can further increase the performance boost from SSDs by having TWO SSDs on the same laptop (as shown in my upgrade SS tutorial). 

Once you have the TWO SSDs on the same laptop if you do the following you should get an extra performance boost ~8%:

  • Install Windows on ONE SSD
  • Install AutoCAD on the same SSD (where Windows is).
    • It’s important you have nothing besides Windows and AutoCAD on the primary drive.
  • Have all your project files on the secondary SSD.
  • Bonus: if you’ve got a workstation laptop or desktop that can support a 3rd HDD or SSD, have all inactive files in that drive.


You get to be most productive when you have enough space to viewport your model with ease and no space restrictions while at the same time having all the interface tool bars you use more often right on the display(that means no need  access menu bars).

You get more screen space by choosing , obviously, a bigger display but resolution plays a role too.

Display Size vs Weight

Unfortunately display size translates to more weight. If you are a student, it isn’t wise to grab a 17” or even a 15” display if the laptop itself is too heavy (some laptops have 15” displays and are still lightweight but they are very expensive).

Display Avg. Weight
13” 3lb
15” 4lb-5lb
17” 6lb-10lb


Not a choice if you are a professional because you’ll be dealing with projects all day everyday. 

A good choice for undergrads and students as projects are only done ocassionally and they don’t take much time either.

15”: Anyone serious with AutoCAD must have this much as the minimum.

17”:  If your laptop has to stay at an office most of the time, you should grab a display with this much space, it’s going to make a huge difference in your workflow.


Resolution also plays a role towards a larger screen space. It does so by reducing the size of the interface tools. Higher resolution means having more pixels thus more images can be drawn. 

1080p: Most laptops have FHD resolution these days even those under 500 dollars. This is the bare bone minimum resolution to have a fast workflow with AutoCAD. 

QHD : This is starting to become common on laptops near the 600-1000 range. If you have the budget, it’s wise to invest on this much resolution  (2600x1660p) because it will massively increase the size of canvas and thus your workflow

UHD: the ultimate resolution for any type of work unfortunately they’re only found on laptops well over 2000 dollars.


If you have any questions, suggestions, feedback or perhaps any experiences with AutoCAD software with your current machine, please let us know (posting specs would help us tremendously).

Author Profile

Miguel Salas
Miguel Salas
I am physicist and electrical engineer. My knowledge in computer software and hardware stems for my years spent doing research in optics and photonics devices and running simulations through various programming languages. My goal was to work for the quantum computing research team at IBM but Im now working with Astrophysical Simulations through Python. Most of the science related posts are written by me, the rest have different authors but I edited the final versions to fit the site's format.

Miguel Salas

I am physicist and electrical engineer. My knowledge in computer software and hardware stems for my years spent doing research in optics and photonics devices and running simulations through various programming languages. My goal was to work for the quantum computing research team at IBM but Im now working with Astrophysical Simulations through Python. Most of the science related posts are written by me, the rest have different authors but I edited the final versions to fit the site's format.

7 thoughts on “8 Best Laptops For AutoCAD 2024 (Latest Software Update)

  • November 18, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Great article! its very useful and accurate about the autodesk or CAD necessities. Well done!

    • November 28, 2017 at 3:12 am

      Unfortunately you are right the ASUS K501UW is sold out, the culprit being this page obviously 🙂 .

      But your suggestion is a great alternative the graphics card is upgraded and the CPU is faster too Unfortunately that comes with the drawback of a very low battery life and the upgrades won’t make much of a difference with AutoCAD but it’s nice to have them anyways if you want to use other 3D Modeling programs with it. The specs are overkill for beginners with 3D Modeling software and if you are a student constantly on the move.

      • November 30, 2017 at 4:01 pm

        This would be one of the low cost leaders, with a price tag less than $1000. I’m glad to hear that it is overkill for a beginner… so is there anything new since the article came out that is suitable for a beginner with a proportionally smaller price tag?

        • December 3, 2017 at 9:49 pm

          Hey, sorry for taking so long. Honestly the higher the CPU power and graphics card the lower the battery life, so the 7 hour battery life claimed by most manufacturers is probably not true. You’re better off reading reviews on amazon, I bet the battery is about 2-3 hours but who knows. If you really want a long battery life at a low price you have to sacrifice either the CPU or the graphics card, since the graphics card is more essential for autocad just look for laptops with dedicated GPUs and CPU with the U tag on it (they stand for ultra low power). As i wrote in the article, AutoCad doesn’t care if you have 1000 core CPU, it only cares about the clock speed so you should be good with a regular CPU , just make sure you have a dedicated graphics card either from 940MX or 960MX these are the sweet spots and most recommended for beginners or those in a budget. I use the 940MX myself and have no issues with it.

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