8 Best Laptops For AutoCAD 2024 (Latest Software Update)

Finding the best laptop for AutoCAD can be very confusing.

If you browse around the web you’ll find…

People on reddit claiming that laptops with integrated graphics cards will run AutoCAD just fine.

Then you have laptop review sites & AutoDesk claiming only  ‘workstation’ laptops will work. 

Having worked with AutoCAD since my undergrad years, I understand  the confusion.

The reason 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 this high number of parts. Notice that even in this situation….AutoCAD’s Viewport ONLY uses a fraction of the total 4GB vRAM GPU.

Most people…

Work with objects of the size / # polygons shown above (house planning, mechanical design). For a fast workflow , they’ll need fast viewport (3D manipulation of the object).

For that, you only need a laptop with 4GB vRAM GPU (<$700 dollars).

On the other hand…

If you’re plans or designs are limited to 2D as shown below. You don’t need “dedicated graphics”. 

Note that the integrated GPU only uses 20% of its total power for a 2D plan with no need of the dGPU (i’ve disabled it to show you the iGPU can do it just fine).

This reduces the price significantly , makes it more portable and you only need a laptop with a recent CPU (they sell for about 500 bucks).

the latest version of AutoCAD (2024) also supports MacBooks. So you can use a MacBook Pro M1 or M2 too.

What about workstation laptops? 

The only difference between workstation laptops and regular laptops are the graphics cards. But the performance difference is non-existent for the average AutoCAD user.

Although, workstation GPUs are said to be SPECIFICALLY designed for CAD software, which is true, most people will not find them useful UNLESS on projects with parts in the  several 1000s (the higher the number of parts the more likely glitches and artifacts are to show up). I go over this issue in the last section if you’re interested.

Now before we go over the best laptops for AutoCAD, I want to be more specific about the HARDWARE you need, the bare bone minimum recommended hardware for you to have lagless and smooth viewport performance which is CRUCIAL for a fast workflow.

Best Laptop Specs For AutoCAD

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

The minimum hardware will depend on the size of your models. While you can find these hardware requirements on AutoCAD’s official website, they aren’t detailed or specific. I try to fix this by listing the MIN requirements based on the # of parts. 

 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-5th )
Core i7/Core i9 “HK” “H” (9th-11th)
Ryzen 7th 4th 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 engineers (mechanical, aeronautical) will need this much.

c) Large: CAD engineerins designing large scale machinery or very large buildings on multiple sheets need at least 6GB vRAM  if the overall design is going to be split into several files (work collaboratively on this project) . If you’re on your own, you probably need a desktop GPU or the workstation GPU with the largest amount of vRAM (currently 16GB vRAM on laptops – Ada RTX 5000).


Drawing/Drafting/Viewport:  AutoCAD is not  multi-threaded. That means it doesn’t matter how many CORES you CPU has when it comes to FAST drawing. In other words, forget about CORES and choose the FASTEST CPU instead (the fastest one usually has the highest number Ex: 4.0GHz vs 3.5GHz but not always). Below is a quick summary:

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

Rendering: while it’s true the more cores the faster the rendering. All recent CPUs have at least 6 cores so #cores should not be a concern. If you want even faster rendering you don’t need to go beyond 8 cores (Ryzen 7 & Core i7 ).


TL;DR:   ONLY helps with 3D viewport (rotating, zooming, panning a 3D model). Doesn’t help with 2D viewport. 

Viewport: Though CPU is ALSO used for viewport. The vRAM within a dedicated GPU, MASSIVELY speeds up viewport fps. So for 3D objects w/ +100 parts or polygons, it is a must if you want a fast workflow. 

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 it.

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

8GB: It is OKAYish for small models. There will be barely any RAM left after AutoCAD and Windows is open though (so you cannot open more programs, web browsing is OKAY).

16GB:  Useful if you want to speed up rendering. If you want to speed up viewport (in the absence of dedicated graphics).
32GB-64GB: Somewhat helps work with extremely large models (with the addition of dGPU). 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 (be it for 2D or 3D plans) you’re going to need at least this much.

Top 8 Best Laptops For AutoCAD in 2022

Five out of the eight laptops on this list are for AutoCAD 3D. I’ll start with those first since most people landing on this page work with 3D viewport. The remaining ones are for  5 are for AutoCAD in 2D.  A quick summary:

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: Same as Laptop #3 but way more portable. 

Laptop 5:  This is a workstation laptop with the latest & most powerful GPU for CAD software. Should only be used by those with unlimited funding, usually those working for companies that specialize in designing very complex 3D projects.

1. HP Victus

The Best Laptop For AutoCAD

  Core i5 13420H

  8GB DDR4

  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 3050Ti 4GB vRAM

  512GB PCIe NVMe

  15” Full HD IPS 144Hz refresh rates

  5.06 lbs

   5 hours

  GPU Performance (4GB vRAM)

The cheapest laptops with dedicated graphics cost about 600 dollars (usually have a MX450 or 1650GTX GPU) but this model isn’t that much more expensive (about 100 dollars more) and you get a GPU that not only has 4GB vRAM but ALSO more CUDA Cores , thus better performance than both 1650GTX and MX GPUs.

I believe this laptop shoud lbe enough for MOST of the people who came across my post.

4GB vRAM GPUs are pretty common in small start ups using CAD software. If you are a student, it is a little overkill (as shown in this link) but still USEFUL nnetheless.

Also super useful if you are a CAD engineer working SOLO or as a freelancer. Basically, if your models do not get significantly more complex (more parts) than what’s shown below, this will be way more than enough.



Now 700-750 dollar is still a lot of money. If you can’t afford a 4GB vRAM like the 3050TI (there’s also the 2050Ti but it costs about the same), then you’ have TWO options:
– Go for a GPU with 2GB vRAM (MX Series).
– Go for a slightly older 4GB vRAM (1650GTX or 1050).

The second option is better but it’s not far from 750 dollars (approx 650), I show you laptops with those graphics in the next review.
For now we’ll talk about the first option: MX series.

MX Series GPUs ONLY have 2GB vRAM and this is IDEAL if you’re a student or getting started with AutoCAD (this reduces the price to 500-550).

If you can’t even afford a 2GB vRAM, you can still ‘MAKE DO’ with integrated graphics (laptops below 500 dollars).  Even an old Radeon 4000 (old desktop GPU) will run AutoCAD and let you work on 3D models (as long as they’re small) but obviously there’s going to be some lag. 

If you useAutoCAD 5 with an old laptop that has a 2GB vRAM GPU (940MX, MX350) , you SHOULDN’T face ANY lag as long as your models are not around 400-500 parts. The following are all laptops with a MX GPU I’ve found as of Q3 2023. 

Please be sure NOT to buy MX250 or MX150 as their performance isn’t that much higher than regular integrated GPUs found on laptops under 500 dollars.

Name GPU CPU Storage RAM Price
ZenBook 14 MX450 Ryzen 5500U 256GB 8GB 529
ASUS ZenBook 14 MX450 Ryzen 5500U 256GB 8GB 539
ZenBook MX350 Ryzen 4500U 256GB 8GB 550
ZenBook MX350 Ryzen 4500U 256GB 8GB 555

CPU: Core i5-13420H (4 Cores , 4.4GHz)

3050Ti laptops are usually 680-720 dollars but this laptop is a bit more expensive (around 750 dollars), the main reason for this is the 13th gen Core i5 in it. 

This CPU is currently the. FASTEST in this price bracket and was just recently released a few weeks ago (on laptops). Although any of the CPUs I’ve gone over are already CRAZY fast for DRAWING & DRAFTING in.AutoCAD, it’s always NICE to have a faster CPU because even a tiny bit increase in clock speed has huge performance gains for drafting but more importantly RENDERING!

Another PLUS from this CPU is the fact that it has MORE cores than its predecessors (11th and 10th gen Core i5 CPU), this CPU and it’s 12th generation equivalent not only have more “cores” but also their cores are more “efficient” thus making rendering way faster (I’m talking minutes!).

GPU: 3050Ti vs High Tier GPUs

You probably read in some forum that the ideal GPU has to have 6GB vRAM and that’s not incorrect. But like I said, it’s an individual thing, most CAD users will be HAPPY with a 4GB vRAM like the 3050Ti.

But most people feel “at ease” having a GPU that can provide some headroom for possible future extremely complex models. Most people do not work with those models and hence why I recommend this GPU to you. Nonetheless if you want to join the “6GB vRAM GPU community” , scroll down and you’ll find the latest best bang for your buck 6GB vRAM GPU.

Before you do that though, I want you to run a small test (just to be sure you’re not wasting money on unncessary power):
– Find ANY laptop with a 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. If it does, then yes you need a better GPU (6GB vRAM).

Why go through all of this? Because laptops with 6GB vRAM are COSTLY.

Q: What about going buying a better GPU (6GB vRAM or 8GB vRAM GPU) for upcoming GPU accelerated effects in AutoCAD or any upcoming future updates?

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.

If they however, decide to add GPU rendering to the software, then yes it MAY help speed up rendering but it’s already PLENTY fast with high-tier CPUs, any GPU-performance gain when rendering isn’t going to be significant.

Of course, if you KNOW you’re going to move up to much BIGGER projects in the future then YES by all means a 6GB vRAM is a good investment. 


For those willing to go for slightly older CPUs or laptops with less storage, you may save a few bucks while still getting the same 3050Ti GPU. 

Link GPU CPU Display Storage Price
Victus 3050Ti i5 12500H FHD 512GB 703
Ideapad 3050Ti i5 11300H FHD 256GB 699
Ideapad gaming 3050Ti R5 6600H FHD 256GB 659
Ideapad 3050Ti i5 12500H FHD 256GB 699
Acer Nitro 5 3050Ti i5 12500H FHD 512GB 775


HP Victus 
  • 13th generation CPU 
  • Superfast 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 useful for 2000+ part models

2. HP Victus 15-fa0031dx

Best Budget Laptop For AutoCAD

  Ryzen 5 5600H

  8GB DDR4

   GeForce GTX 1650


  15” 120Hz Full HD IPS


  5 hours

Laptops with the 1650GTX are about 100 dollars cheaper, there isn’t much performance loss when you compare it with the 3050Ti.

Hardware:  1650GTX vs 3050Ti

The only real difference between the 3050Ti and 1650GTX is the #CUDA cores & ability to use RTX mode (for gaming), other than that both GPUs have the same amount of vRAM and this is the only real useful spec in AutoCAD ( for viewport purposes) since all other functions (drafting & rendering and even viewport to some degree) is CPU dependent.

CPU: Core i5-12450H 4.4GHz

Now, while there are many other 1650GTX models that might be cheaper. This model has the fastest CPU in the price range of 600-700 laptops with a 1650GTX.

As we discussed, the CPU is WAY more important for a quick AutoCAD workflow. Once you’ve got a dedicated GPU, it’s ALL about the CPU. That’s where alll the ‘apply effects’ ‘run functions’ ‘drawing’ calculations happen.

Even a 0.1GHz clock speed gain makes a huge difference ESPECIALLY when rendering.

Storage & RAM: 512GB & 8GB DDR5

All laptops in this list can be upgradeable. 8GB RAM however should be plenty for students and those starting with AutoCAD, it will make rendering take a bit longer but it’s not a deal breakre (maybe 5-10 minutes tops). If you want to speed up rendering , especially on larger models, then you want to up RAM to 16GB.  I advice you to do the upgrade yourself ( I have a tutorial demonstrating how easy it is to upgrade RAM) instead of buying a laptop with 16GB RAM because they are unncessarily expensive.

Alternatives:  1650GTX

The following are alternatives to the HP Victus MIGHT be a little cheaper but you may have to compromise display (refresh rates) or SSD space besides the 12th gen CPU. None of them are a deal breaker, they’ll work just as good just slightly slower though.

Name CPU GPU Display Storage Price
Idepad i3 i5 11300H 1650GTX 60Hz 256GB 648
MSI GF63 i5 9300H 1650GTX 60Hz 256GB 544
Ideapad 3 R5 5600H 1650GTX 120Hz 256GB 630
MSI GV15 i5 11400H 1650GTX 144Hz 256GB 639
MSI GF63 i5 10300H 1650GTX 60Hz 256GB 564
HP Victus i5 12450H 1650GTX 120Hz 256GB 630
HP Pavilion i5 9300H 1650GTX 144Hz 256GB 609
MSI GF63 i5 10300H 1650GTX 60Hz 256GB 564
MSI GF63 i5 9300H 1650GTX 60Hz 256GB 544
MSI GF63 i5 10200H 1650GTX 60Hz 256GB 599


HP Victus
  • Cheap 1650GTX GPU
  • 4GB vRAM Under 700 dollars
  • 12th gen CPU
  • 120Hz resolution (useful for gaming only)
  • Best for most CAD engineers & students
  • Can handle up to 1000-2000 part projects
  • Bloatware
  • Low Battery
  • Very heavy
  • Low Storage Space
  • Cannot large models (+2000 parts)

3. Surface Laptop Studio 

Best 2 in 1 Laptop For AutoCAD

  Core i7 or Core i5 11th gen

  16-32GB RAM

  NVIDIA GTX 3050Ti/Intel Iris Xe Graphics


  14.4”  2400 x 160


  8 hours

The problem with laptops that have too much CPU & GPU power is that they are NOT PORTABLE. Well ,t his isn’t an issue if you are a CAD engineer working at an office or someone who barely moves from place to place. 

It is a problem though if you’re say someone who’s moving from the office to construction sites or the client’s place all the time. It may be troublesome to carry a 4lb machine along with other things in a backpack.

Now as of 2023, there are SEVERAL laptops that have managed to pack the power of gaming laptops into a very portable machine. Of course this is going to make it more expensive. 


Now the best bang for your buck portable laptop as of 2023 is either going to be the Surface Book or the Surface Laptop Studio…there may be a few others like the MacBook Pro or Dell XPS 15 but they’re INSANELY expensive and really offer no performance gain over the Surface Laptop Studio. Why? For most CAD users, the surface studio featured here for example, is ALREADY maxed out. 

Core i5 11th gen CPU isn’t that far off from the Core i5 13th gen CPU…yes it’s slower but no deal breakers, you still get a fast workflow when drawing.

As for the GPU, it’s the exact same 4GB vRAM GPU (3050Ti) of the first laptop.  Needless to say, 90% of you should be fine with this model.  If you have extra budget and more cash to spare, I suggest you pick a surface laptop studio with the Core i7 BEFORE upping any other spec. If the budget is higher then you want to upgrade RAM then storage in that order.

Surface Book 3:  6GB vRAM GPU

For those of you working with VERY LARGE CAD models and need 6GB vRAM for high fps numbers in viewport, you have to choices:

  • Buy the Surface Book 3 which has a 6GB vRAM GPU
  • Wait for the NEW SURFACE LAPTOP STUDIO which should come out this year and will have a 4050RTX (6GB vRAM)

Either way, truth is, viewport performance is the most crucial aspect for a fast workflow when working with very large models. The Surface Book 3 & The new Surface Laptop Studio should get you the same performance (both have 6GB vRAM ). But the Surface Laptop Studio, again still to be released, will have a 13th gen which will have way more clock speed, which will significantly (compared to the Surface Book 3) increase drawing & rendering performance.

Surface Pro 9: 

The Surface Pro 9 is much cheaper but doesn’t have a dedicated GPU and beleive it or not AutoCAD will run just FINE too. I’m not talking about 2D AutoCAD or 2D CAD models….it CAN work with 3D models too . That is , viewport will be fast, as long as you meet the following requirements:

  • Models must obviously be small (50-100 parts).
  • Must have 8GB but preferably 16GB RAM (this will speed up viewport with 150-200 part models).
  • Grab one of the latest versions (which have a more recent CPU).

Basically the Surface Pro 9 is the ideal laptop for engineering students taking a few courses that use AutoCAD 2D.

Rendering: Important!

I don’t advice you use the Surface Book or Surface Pro 9 for CONSTANT rendering. Actually I wouldn’t use the Surface Laptop Studio for continous rendering either.

By that I mean, don’t go around rendering with either of those laptops all day. They are more deliqate in a sense that their cooling system will not be able to keep temperatures down for HOURS of rendering non-stop (some projects can take that long).

Of course if you are working with SMALL or MEDIUM projects, rendering should be quick and it SHOULDN’T be damaging to the CPU or GPU. In fact, I think whatever you RENDER with AUTOCAD on either of these machines should be okay because AutoCAD rendering is pretty basic thus FAST.

But it’s not OKAY to use other sotware like Revit or 3DS Max for high quality renders all day with these laptops. 

Buy Desktop: 

If you are an engineering who has to constantly render large models, then I suggest you buy a desktop on top of ANY of the laptops in this list. Use the laptops to do your craft and the desktop for the final touches and render.

Surface Laptop Studio
  • Extremely Portable
  • Highly Customizable
  • Fast  Viewport
  • 6GB vRAM GPU
  • Relatively Long Battery
  • High Resolution display (more canvas)
  • CAD Design With Touch Pen
  • Useful for large models too 1000-5000 parts.
  • Bloatware
  • Very Expensive
  • 11th gen CPU (we are in the 13th gen)

4. Lenovo Legion 7 Gen

The Best Laptop For AutoCAD – Large Models

  Ryzen 7 6800H

  32GB DDR5

   NVIDIA RTX 3060 6GB vRAM 140W


  15” full W QHD 

  5.3 lb

  4 hours

This is a bullet proof laptop for someone working as a CAD engineer mostly because of the 6GB vRAM GPU. I don’t recommend students or CAD beginners to buy this because it may be unncessarily expensive.

  GPU: 3060RTX 6GB vRAM 130W 

Of course, there are many many laptops with a 3060RTX or a 6GB vRAM GPU. Usually, you have the 1660Ti, 2060RTX and 4050 RTX. Reason why buy a 3060RTX instead of a 4050 RTX as of late 2023? The 4050 is too expensive and offers no advnatage over the 3060RTX. The 1660Ti & 2060RTX are a little too old (nothing wrong with that) so they come with a  much slower CPU ( 5 years old CPU).

Now why chose the lenovo legion with the 3060RTX over all other 3060RTX laptops. Two reasons: 

  • Wattage: Most 3060RTX laptops run at 105W and those under 900 bucks run at 85W. That means they run at low power or “wattage” , you can guess what that means for performance. But how much performance do you lose with a lower wattage GPU? For AutoCAD purposes, almost nothing because you still have the 6GB vRAM.However….keep in mind that lower wattage GPUs usually come with MUCH slower CPUs…and that’s where you’ll lose performance again.
    If you find a 3060RTX laptop with the same or similar CPU as this model, by all means grab it. You won’t lose MUCH performance regarding viewport and there’ll be no performance loss when rendering.
  • Other CAD software: however for other CAD software you may use (probably for rendering purposes), GPU renderers will run slower with lower wattage GPUs. So opting for the 130W 3060RTX here will speed up GPU rendering MASSIVELY. Im talking. about software like 3DS Max, Lumion, etc. It may also speed up viewport in very large models.
  • QHD 16”: Very few 3060RTX laptops have such an awesome display.  Not only is the resolution MUCH MUCH higher than FHD but the display is slightly bigger. This translates to A MASSIVE INCREASE in SCREENSPACE for you to draw and draft. It makes EVERYTHING much easier and faster to work with. Viewporting through a model is a BREEZE, finding smaller details is FAST. Your workflow will improve and your eyes will thank you for it. 
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 6800H vs Core i7 11800H

Usually but not always, the Intel Core i7 equivalent of the AMD Ryzen 7 (in this case the Core i7 11800H but probably has the same performance as the Core i7 12800H) will have higher clock speeds (not significant) so yes they will improve performance when drawing/drafting/viewport albeit slightly but an improvement nonetheless.

However, AMD CPUs will usually (if not always) outperform Core i7s when it comes to “multi-core” performance. In other words, advertised clock speeds run ACROSS all cores and not just in one or two cores as opposed to Intel CPUs. This isn’t that useful for drafting…but for viewport and rendering, it helps a lot. You can see how viewport uses multiple cores in the screenshot shown in the lase section if you have any doubts.

What about a laptop with a 8GB vRAM GPU?

If you check the first video above, you’ll see that a CAD model with 1000 parts RAN absolutely fine with 4GB vRAM. So, why would you think about buying an 8GB vRAM?

Now if you are working with models that big and add other details like shades and mechanical parts moving as you viewport, then yes you MAY need a 8GB vRAM but even then I think a 6GB vRAM will be enough. You can check the benchmarks on this link.

Some of you are going to work with very complex 3D CAD models perhaps use other CAD software , not just AutoCAD,  if you think you’re going to work with something super complex like skycrapper building with LOD in the 400-500, or city plans in 3D, objects with 5000 mechanical parts, then yes 8GB vRAM might make viewport smoother but I dare to say even those kind of projects will still run absolutely fine with a 6GB vRAM dGPU . I would instead try to up the CPU to maybe a Core i9 or a Core i7 with more clock speed performance.


Lenovo Legion Gen 7
  • Latest Ryzen 7 CPU
  • High Multi-Core performance = Lots of Cores
  • High Wattage GPU (130W) = Faster Viewport
  • 1TB SSD
  • Maximized RAM
  • Can run EXTREMELY LARGE models 3000-5000 parts.
  • QHD resolution display = bigger canvas, larger view of models
  • Heavy
  • Expensive
  • Very short battery

5. Lenovo 2023 ThinkPad P16

Best Workstation Laptop for AutoCAD 

  Core i9-12900HX 4.9GHz

  128GB DDR5 RAM

   NVIDIA Quadro RTX A5500 16GB


  16” 164Hz QHD Touch 


  1 hours

I really did not want to post a workstation laptop on the list but unfortunately I know some people NEED it for two reasons:

  • They’ve been told by the IT guy in the building to buy one.
  • They work with very large models and they also need to use special functions that only workstation GPUs can unlock.
  • They want to get rid of small errors and artifacts with large models (most people just deal with them though, they’re just visually annoying and nothing else). 


There isn’t going to be any performance gains compared to GPUs with the same amount of vRAM….you will avoid erros and pop-up messages, artifacts and so on when you work with models in the thousands however.

They do have performance gains in other CAD software however like Solidworks & CATIA since these are more specialized in the actual physics & mechanics of a model than AutoCAD is. 
Now, the workstation GPU I chose to feature here is one of the latest and most powerful workstation GPUs. If you ask me, there’s no point in choosing other workstation GPUs because other than stability they don’t offer the same amount of vRAM as gaming GPUs which are cheaper. 
Thus if you’re buying a workstation laptop, if you want to get best bang for your buck, you should buy one with 16GB vRAM. 
If your models only need 6GB vRAM, don’t waste money on a RTX 3000. If you’re still temped to go for workstation GPUs despite my warnings, check the out the video below and see what the performance difference is betweentwo similar GPUs (workstation vs gaming):

Of  say your company has already tried laptops with gaming consumer GPUs (with 8GB vRAM) and the latest CPU on each and everyone’s still facing errors, lag when viewport (which I find very unlikely unless you’ve got really old harwdare) then yes it’s definitely a good reason to buy workstation laptops.

I advice you to buy from well known companies if you’re buying a workstaiton laptop with maxed out specs because it is CRUCIAL the cooling system is top notch otherwise when you use CAD software both the GPU and CPU will overheat and this can lead to hardware failure and render your laptop useless

Now if you HAVE to buy a workstation GPU for whatever reason…(maybe the IT guy in the building is FORCING YOU to choose a workstation GPU because that’s just headquarters orders), then PLEASE be sure to refer to the following table so you CAN KNOW what the ACTUAL PERFORMANCE therefore the ACTUAL VALUE of a laptop with a workstation GPU is.
For example… an RTX 3000 is equivalent to a 2070…the price should be higher but not MUCH higher. You dont want to buy an outdated workstation laptop for 2000 dolalrs only to find out it performs WORSE than 3050TI (4GB vRAM GPU found on 700 dollar laptops).
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 ~3080Ti 16GB
RTX A6000 ????? Soon to be released

+ means slightly faster
+++ significantly faster
~ equal or approximate equal


Lenovo ThinkPad P16
  • 16GB vRAM GPU
  • GPU is CAD optimized
  • Latest Core i9 CPU
  • High multi-core performance (Ultra fast rendering)
  • Insanely fast viewport
  • Can handle EXTREMELY LARGE models +5000 parts
  • RAM & Storage are upgraded to maximum capacity
  • Large Display
  • High Resolution Display  (bigger workspace)
  • Perfect for 3D CAD Engineers

  • Non-existent battery (30 min – 1 hour)
  • Very Heavy 
  • Extremely expensive

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

The following laptops are not limited to AutoCAD LT & Electrical, you can run ANY model on AUTOCAD on these laptops with ZERO LAG as long as plans stay in 2D and if there’s 3D viewport (plans of a city’s electrical connections ot buildings), you can still viewport in 3D with no issues.

If you’re working on small 3D models (50-100 parts) you’ll also be able to use viewport and have zero lag. In other words, these are useful for any 2D CAD engineer (electrical) and civil engineer.

6. Acer Aspire 5

Cheap Best Laptop For AutoCAD LT 2023 and AutoCAD in 2D

  AMD Ryzen 5 7530U

  8GB DDR4

   Radeon Vega 7


  15” FHD TN Anti-Glare

  3.83 lbs

  7 hours

    Windows 11 HOME

Laptop with the latest CPUs (such as the 7th gen Ryzen & or 13th gen Intel) aren’t a MUST to have performance with viewport/drafting/rendering with 2D CAD models.

You could go for cheaper models. In fact, if you’re strictly limited to 2D models, you can go as low as 300 dollars and find a Core i3 or Ryzen 3 laptop with 8GB RAM.

If your budget is higher, I wouldn’t advice you to go for Ryzen 7 or Core i7s. Instead you should try to get a 2GB vRAM (which we’ll go over next). Sure you may not viewport or work with 3D models nonetheless having a dedicated GPU still offloads some of the workload and processing from the CPU to the GPU and this will come in handy when you come across very HUGE models in 2D say of city plans or when you start working with 3D models.


Acer Aspire 5
  • Cheapest Fastest Laptop for 2D CAD models
  • Can handle 3D models up to 100-150 parts
  • Latest Ryzen 5 CPU
  • Good multicore performance – fast rendering
  • FHD display
  • Spacious SSD
  • RAM Upgradeable
  • Long Battery Life
  • TN display (less colorspace – useful for photoshop only)
  • DDR4 RAM (latest is DDR5)
  • A little expensive than the average Ryzen 5 laptop

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

Probably the best bang for your buck laptop for 2D CAD engineers. Under 600 dollars, you’re getting:

16” Display: This makes a huge difference although it may seem like a small gain. If you go to a computer store and compare to displays with one 1 inch difference , you’ll notice there’s a huge extra screen space because this extra 1 inch is measured diagonally.

QHD: Now add the fact that the resolution is QHD (that’s TWICE the resolution of FHD). You’re going to have EVEN MORE extra screen space. How’s that useful? Well your canvas will be bigger, there’ll be less need to viewport as you’ll get a bigger view of your models AND you also get space to have customized toolbars right next to your canvas. In other words, this translates to less time clicking on drop down menus or keyboard commands to access a function. 

MX450 & 11th gen Core i5 CPU: Now the MX450 is a dedicated GPU. I know I said you don’t need a dedicated GPU but then it still becomes useful as I’m sure you’ll encounter a 3D CAD model every now and then and you might even work with other CAD software too. The CPU is not the latest but it’s still somewhat recent, it has 4 cores (8 threads) all running at around 4GHz so rendering will be a BREEZE.

512GB: This is just a nice bonus. Most laptops under 700 with dedicated graphics do not have this much RAM and they’re MUCH MUCH less likely to have them if said laptop has a QHD display (this is expensive ).

This laptop will probably run out of stock by the time you read this, it’s just too much computer goodness under 700 bucks (mostly the display). If that’s the case, then don’t worry the dGPU or the display are not requirements they’re nice additions sure but any laptop that doesn’t have either it’s a not a deal breaker. 


Lenovo Business Pro 5
  • 2.5k (QHD) resolution 
  • 2GB vRAM
  • Can run 100(small) to 700(medium) models
  • Spacious SSD (512GB)
  • relatively lightweight
  • OKAY Battery (3 hours)
  • 11th gen Core i5 (we are in the 13th gen)
  • Bloatware (must unsintall)
  • Somewhat expensive

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

Any of the models that have 8GB RAM should be MORE than enough for AutoCAD 2D or small 3D models. This means you can go for much older models too and this reduces the price significantly. Just be sure it has at least 8GB RAM and either a Core i5 or a Core i7 ( any generation is fine, 9th, 10th, 11th,12th ,etc) .

The Surface Pro  is IDEAL in in two 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 because this thing is VERY VERY portable.

If you want to run 3D models (albeit small) with high framerates on viewport (fast viewport) then make sure you either grab the Surface Pro 9 shown here (any configuration, the lowest would be fine too) or if goign for older models make sure you get at least an 8th gen Core i5 CPU and if there’s any cash left, a model with 16GB RAM. Note that RAM cannot be upgraded so you’ll be stuck to whatever you choose at the time of purchase.


Surface Pro 9
  • Extremely portable
  • Can run small 3D models (Up to 300 parts)
  • Late gen 11th Core i3
  • Long battery life
  • Customizable (to your budget)
  • Latest 12th gen CPU
  • Can draw and sketch with touchPen
  • Cannot be RAM or Storage Upgraded after purchase
  • Very Expensive 
  • Flimsy keyboard on non-hard surfaces

Buying The Best Laptop For AutoCAD – Hardware Guide

This section is basically a guide that will include everything you need to know to get the best bang for your buck hardware for AutoCAD.

  • Although this section may only be useful for those who do not have a reseller of the models I posted above,  if you are in the US and have no problems finding the models I posted above,you can also use read this section to understand how AutoCAD uses specific hardware specs. If this will be be your main tool of work you might as well learn everything you need to know about the software.

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

This section will only talk about AutoCAD (not revit, inventor or any other software out there). Hardware usage and requirements will vary from software to software (Inventor may be more GPU intensive), so keep that in mind. If you want to know more about other CAD software look for my other posts on the site: Revit, Architecture, SolidWorks.

Again let’s start with the most important spec.


Just like most CAD software, AutoCAD will predominantely use your CPU when you draft and draw.

As you probably know there are two specs on a CPU: clock speed and # cores, there’s also cache size but that’s sort of irrelevant for laptops because there isn’t much CPU variety as in desktops. 

Because the speed of your workflow is based on how fast you can use tools, draw and rotate. We’ll check the performance of CPU 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 

When it comes to drawing and drafting as you can see above although the software is apparently somewhat ‘multi-core’ when doing this, all the processing is still done by a single 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).

There are several tasks in AutoCAD (a bit more in AutoCAD 2023 ) that are multithreaded now.  Ex:

  • 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 listed in the link and even if you do, they only make use of 3-4 cores at best and do not necessarily make use of all cores evenly (See Graph Above). Most laptops have at least 4 cores now and most desktops CPUS have 6 so you’re going to get as many as AutoCAD will find useful for drafting anyways. 

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

For rendering yes, we’ll get to that.

But for drafting/editing/drawing, none of them really finds more cores as useful as high single clock speed performance.

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 is an interesting topic when it comes to 3D modeling software.

Most people assume it’s all down to the GPU but that’s not true, it’s actually a CPU task too. Obviously, a CPU will do a much much less efficient job at handling much bigger models than the above but if your models stay around the size , a CPU with 4GHz of clock speed should be no problem. 

Viewport: panning, zooming, orbiting , rotating,etc, is a CPU task that’s somewhat multi-core. Conclusion: focus should be single-clock core speed in the absence of a good 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 will do it faster. Now the question becomes how many cores will AutoCAD find useful for rendering? Well, it makes sense to say that the more you have the better and there’s no limit to it and that’s true…


What if 4 cores already render a model as shown above in less than 5 seconds? Would you spend an additional 300 dollars to make rendering take 2.5 seconds? That’s totally up to you. But 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 should take MUCH MUCH longer ~1h on average. Most people don’t do that anyways.

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 it’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 3.7GHz 4.8GHz 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


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 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

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

AutoCAD 2D

Pretty much any CPU released within the past 4 years will do. Even those Core i3 and Ryzen 3 in red.I would recommend you get a Core i5 or Ryzen 5 from the tables above because chances are you will also work with small 3D models at some point and even for the model in the picture, these will be plenty fast for rendering & viewport too. 

AutoCAD 3D: Small to Medium Models

You could in theory get a Core i3 and Ryzen 3 laptop with an integrated GPU but viewport will be slow and you’ll also have to wait for loading bars when doing a couple of design tasks (mostly those involving rendering and viewport). 

As a bare bone minimum you should aim for a Core i5 or Ryzen 5 (U or G – low voltage ). That should give you a fast workflow. 2D renders will be fast too (take 30 seconds at the most). However, viewport will start to lag (though still fast enough to get the job done) as soon as you work with something like the models in the figures above.

You would have to add a dedicated GPU to the CPU for a very fast workflow we’ll go over that next.

AutoCAD 3D : Extremely large Models with +1000 parts

You would nee at least a Core i7 or Ryzen 7from the table above to make design tasks, drafting, fast. You’d want to break the project when it starts to lag though.

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 does not use 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 do the work. You’d want to make sure to pick a recent CPU so you can get ‘by default’ a recent integrated GPU, though not exactly useful for AutoCAD in 2D , it’ll be useful for small models in 3D or any viewport you may come across in the future. 

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
i7 1135G7 Intel Xe 
i7 1255U
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs (
i7 1355U Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs

Intel UHD

Ryzen 3 5300U RX Vega 6
Ryzen 5 5500U RX Vega 7
Ryzen 5 7530U RX Vega 7
Ryzen 7 5700U RX Vega 8
Ryzen 7 7730U RX Vega 8

I would avoid the Ryzen 7 and Core i7 CPUs for 2D AutoCAD simply because they’re unnecessarily powerful and too expensive.

Dedicated GPU: 3D AutoCAD

Dedicated GPUs add +200 dollars to the overall cost of a laptop or a desktop. Some graphics can add up to +1000 dollars to the total cost (on laptops) so it’s important to know which of these graphics cards will be enough for what you do, you don’t want to overspend on a graphics card you’ll literally never put to full use.

Below is a summary of all modern graphics cards found on laptops and desktops (desktop specs will be different though).

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

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 accelerated 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.

2-4GB vRAM: Viewport for a house or a 3D object with ~100-500 parts as shown in the all the figures 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 (50-100 parts models) 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 too

6GB vRAM:  Useful for viewport for extremely large models with ~1000 polygons. Sort of like the Tait towers. This is still not too expensive so you can grab a dGPU with this much vRAM to sort of be ‘future-proof’.













B) Rendering: CUDA Cores

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

Having the latest GPU will not significantly increase rendering times as much as having a better 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 third-party renders such as Lumion or 3DS Max for which GPUs ‘much more useful.

The part that does the rendering FASTER are the CUDA ‘CORES’ found in NVIDIA GPUs, they’re not as efficient as ‘CPU Cores’ but they still speed up performance when rendering because there are hundreds if not thousands of little ‘cores’ inside a GPU.

Thus if you want to render with OTHER SOFTWARE OUTSIDE of AUTOCAD & YOU WANT RENDERING TO BE MUCH FASTER then it is WISE to spend A LOT of MONEY on a dedicated GPU whether it’s for a laptop or desktop. If those two conditions are not MET, you should just settle with 4GB vRAM GPUs.

C) Workstation GPUs

You can probably see why you don’t need any workstation GPUs now:

  • 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 zero 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 LAPTOPs or WOrkstation GPUs on desktop or you have so much money you can afford the ‘extra’ stability when using viewport (this is sarcasm btw) then you gotta make sure you use the following table so you are not ripped off:

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 RTXA5000+ 9728 2.19GHz 16GB
RTX 4000 RTX4000+ 7424 2.25GHz 12GB
RTX 3500 RTX A4000+ 5120 2.25GHz 12GB
RTX 3000 RTX A3000++ 4608 2.16GHz 8GB
RTX 2000 RTX A3000+ 3072 2.36GHz 8GB

These are the latest workstion cards please note that for AutoCAD purposes, they’re simulation enhanced by AI feature is extremely helpful for CAD software where simultaneous variations of the same simulation must be run to find the optimum 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.

What that means is that more vRAM will start giving the software diminishing returns. So these GPUs are kind of like the limit of AutoCAD’s GPU vRAM usage . This has been corroborated by Pudget systems where the viewport performance of a large model was tested under different GPUs (check out this link to see the 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.”

So if you get something like a 3070RTX,2080RTX,3080RTX or even a workstation GPU with 16GB vRAM , viewport performance will still have the same performance with models like the one shown on the video. 

For anything that’s not super large but actually a very realistic project viewport performance will not get better if you use GPUs with more vRAM (8GB vRAM).

The 2060RTX/3060RTX will  handle stuff like full prototypes of Cars though with smooth fps on viewport. Should be enough for 95% of you

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.

You might get some errors here and there when using viewport and working through a model but this is very very rare and even if it happens, you can just click ‘ACCEPT’ or ‘OK’ or ‘NEXT’ and move on….it won’t stop you from doing your work.

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

16GB:  This is sort of bullet proof for drawing very large & detailed models. More RAM doesn’t seem to help beyond 16GB.


Fast renders depend on both a good CPU and RAM. For large & complex models , the more RAM you have the better. You will see benefits up to 32GB. I use 64GB and saw no gains at this point.

Although most people should be fine with 16GB which should get you  ~1min renders with the type of objects you’ve seen in this post.


As of 2023, there are still two types of storage:

SSD (Solid State Drives) and HDD (Hard Disk Drives). 

SSD (Solid State Drive)

They are now found on nearly every laptop. This is a good thing for all CAD users buying a new laptop because these SSDs will massively improve reading / writing performance with AutoCAD files. This will speed up operating such as:

  • Launching Windows 10 in 5 sec
  • Launching AutoCAD in less than 1 min
  • Saving/Loading Files ~20 sec
  • Importing files ~1 min

HDD (Hard Disk Drive)

They are obselete on modern laptops, only found on under 300 dollar laptops which have weak CPUs for AutoCAD anyways.

If you are buying a laptop to replace a laptop you’ve found too slow for AutoCAD. There’s a big chance that replacing the HDD for an SSD (after upgrading RAM to 16GB) is all you really need since AutoCAD is mostly CPU intensive. 

Q: How Much storage do I need ?

AutoCAD takes about 10GB tops. Your output files are the ones that will take up most of your storage. Some models may only weight ~100MB tops but huge models ~1GB.

Even then 256GB (provided you don’t install games or anything) should be plenty of space. Virtually all laptops in 2023 have 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 it on your own. I have a tutorial on how to upgrade storage here.

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).
  • 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 right on the display without having to 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 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. It’s doable but just not the best choice. 

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 actually plays a bigger role giving you more screen space. It does so by reducing the size of the interface tools and having more pixels/area to show an image (this means less pixels are wasted on the screen).

1080p: Virtually all laptops have FHD resolution. Some under 450 dollars (which do not have an iGPU thus most useful for 2D projects) dont have this resolution so make sure yours has one too.

QHD & UHD: These are 2k & 4k. Even the 2k resolution (2600x1660p) will massively increase the size of canvas. The UHD is 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).

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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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