5 Best Laptops For Interior Design (2023 Software)

So you’re after the best laptop for interior design either because…

You’re on your second year


You’re about join a new company so an upgrade to the old rig that got you out of interior design school is in order. 


I’m sure you’ve done plenty of research already and you’ve come to the conclusion that it all comes down to the graphics card and you’re sort of right, it does.


There’s a LOT of conflicting information about WHICH graphics card you need for interior design software like Revit.

The scary part is…

This laptop is running Lumion Pro with a 6GB vRAM GPU (900 dollar laptop) and there’s a LOT of juice left (see vRAM bar).

Some websites recommend a ‘workstation’ graphics card which can shoot up a laptop’s price in the 1000s! 

In fact..

If you outsource the 3D modeling part (3DS Max , Blender, etc) or if you just rely on Revit or Sketch Up or any other drawing software you don’t even have to spend more than 600 dollars.

And if you do want to create stunning 3D visuals through 3D rendering software and even use renderers like VT-Ray chances are even a 700 dollar laptop with a 4GB vRAM GPU will be all you need. 


We’ll clear up all the confusion here. 

Me and my brother were in the exact same situation several years ago.

Since our father could not afford an expensive laptop back in college we researched EVERYTHING there was to know to spend the least amount of money while at the same time getting a very capable machine.


Maximizing performance/money ratio depends on the kind of work you do. Some may need much less hardware (thus spend less money) and others may need to spend more (for high quality 3D rendering with VT-RAY and the like) , we’ll talk all about such cases in our laptop reviews.

Recommended Specs for Interior Design

Before we get to the best laptops for Interior Design let’s dwelve a bit more on the hardware you need based on the software you use as an interior designer. 


You’ve probably heard about each of the following software: 

Revit will be the most hardware demanding for Interior Design unless you want to also use 3DS Max for more high quality rendering.

Because the last 3 are exclusively used for BIM models and walkthroughs which as the name implies are 3D simulations they will require a ‘dedicated graphics’ card .

Note: AutoCAD 3D is the least hardware demanding of the 3D modeling software group. If you’re just using AutoCAD and the rest of the non 3D-modeling software you can get away with very cheap laptops as outlined in my AutoCAD post.

GPU: 4GB vRAM minimum

a) If you’re using Revit, AutoCAD & all the software highlighted in blue including Lumion. 95% of you will be fine with 4GB vRAM such as:


b) If you’re on a low budget, you can grab those with 2GB vRAM. Things may be a bit slower IF YOU decide to use high quality 3D rendering software like blender & 3DS Max but that’s about it:

NVIDIA: 1050GTX> MX450 > MX350 ~1050GTX > MX250

AMD: Radeon Pro RX 555XRX540 < RX550RX 560X

 On the other hand…

c) 3DS Max & Rhino (especially for high qualityt rendering) will work best with 6GB vRAM GPUs: 


***No need for 8GB vRAM GPUs or workstation GPUs. More details in the last section****

CPU: Min Core i5 or Ryzen 5

If you pick a 4GB vRAM or 6GB vRAM GPU, you’ll automatically get a high core count (for rendering) & clock speed (for fast drafting & drawing) CPU

If you find two laptops with the same GPU but different CPUs, you pick the one with more ‘clock speed performance’ in other words ‘the faster one’*.

*It isn’t easy to tell by the numbers, see a comprehensive list of CPU hierarchy in the last section.


8GB: This is the minimum for Windows & Interior Design software to run fast.
16GB: It will improve performance whether that’s significant or not depends on exactly what you do. Regardless RAM is cheap to upgrade, you can get 16GB even after purchase.

Storage: SSD (Solid State Drive)

SSDs are an absolute MUST. They are found on every laptop now instead of HDDs.

They will load up projects/files/models and the software lightining fast. They’ll also boot up your machine in 5 seconds flat.

Thus if you’re building a desktop or upgrading a laptop’s storage, do not use HDDs (Hard Disk Drive) unless you don’t mind having clients waiting 5 minutes for things to load while they stand behind you breathing over your shoulder.

Display: 15-17” FHD

15” FHD resolution displays are universal on laptops with dGPUs

QHD: This is 2500*1600 resolution, much much higher than FHD. Why would you want more resolution?

More resolution lets you fit in more tools , interfaces, (which means less the drop-down menus to use) and of course a bigger canvas to draw. 

The last section includes more hardware details and benchmarks. Check it out if you have trouble understanding the above

Top 5 Best Laptops For Interior Design

Most interior designers work with Lumion , Revit & some of the creative cloud software for which you only need a 4GB vRAM dGPU which is also good enough for 3DS Max & Rhino.

It is very rare for someone to need 6GB vRAM unless they need to make very high quality walkthroughs through a 3D rendering software like 3DS Max or Blender.

1. HP Newest Victus

Best Budget Laptop For Interior Design

  Intel Core i5-12450H


  NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650


  15” FHD 1080p IPS 144Hz

  5.1 lbs

  2 hours (6 hours without using dGPU)


This is a  laptop with a very high specs per money ratio. The following explanations may be a little too complex for some of you if that’s the case give the last section a good read if you want to understand everything that comes next.

Long story short:

95 % of the interior designers (and students) reading this should be find this laptop MORE than sufficient for any type of 3D modeling work and even for GPU-based renderers like VT-Ray T.

GPU: GTX 1650 (4GB vRAM) vs 3050Ti (4GB vRAM)

This laptop has a 1650GTX and yes there are laptops with a 3050Ti which is on paper a BETTER graphics card but unless you care about GPU-rendering based work taking less time (25% less time) , they’re both equally useful when it comes to drafting, viewport and basically the most tedious part of interior design (drawing the model as opposed to waiting for the final render).

Why? Because they both have the same vRAM (4GB vRAM) and as I explain in the last section this is the single most important spec for a quick workflow along with the CPU as far as interior design goes.

CPU: 12th gen Intel Core i5-12450H

The reason why I favor this laptop over any other laptop with a 3050Ti is that it HAS a 12th gen Core i5 12450H. I go over in more detail in the last section but basically CPU clock speed (GHz) is the single most important spec be for modeling (drawing & designing) and this CPU has significant more performance than 11th gen Core i5 laptops that may come with a 3050Ti.

Add to the fact that Revit & AutoCAD barely use the graphics card, then the CPU becomes even more important if you rely on those two as your 3D modeling software (all the other non-3D modeling software can run on pretty much any modern laptop).

Now if you can find 3050Ti laptops with a 12th gen Core i5 CPU for the same price, all power to you. They’ll usually be 200-300 dollars more expensive.

Performance: 3D Design Softare + Renderer

The above work was drawn with SketchUp and rendered with Enscape 2.7. But if you use Revit and say VT-Ray T instead, you will get the exact same quick workflow. Revit, just like Sketch Up, is CPU-dependent only through the whole design process: drawing, viewport, rendering,etc and well you’ve got one of the highest clock speed (fastest) CPUs out of a 12th gen Core i5 here.

As for the renderer, the above ALSO used a GPU-base renderer like Enscape 2.7 which works the same way as VT-Ray T, it took about 20 min with a 4GB vRAM GPU (although the one used in the video was a very old GPU, though similar in performance to the modern 4GB 1650GTX, specifications are outlined in the description).

How far can you go with this GPU+CPU combo until you start noticing lag?

There’s only going to be SOME lag when you go way past 15 storie buildings for walkthroughs in 3DS Max.

Back then we used a 940MX (a 2GB vRAM GPU) which is way weaker (1/3 the speed of the 1650GTX) and we started to notice lag on walkthroughs with 15-20 story buildings. Just walkthroughs, because for everything else there was no lag whatsoever.

Design: Thin & Easy to Upgrade

Just like every laptop with a 4GB vRAM dedicated GPU, this one is upgradeable. 

I talk about it in the last section but ideally you want 16GB when rendering large high quality designs. This laptop supports up to 32GB (the limit for rendering) and you can also add an additional SSD. I have not upgraded this laptop in particular but if you check around this site, you’ll see tutorials on how to upgrade RAM & SSD on a similar model.

2. Lenovo Ideapad i5 

Best Cheap Laptop For Interior Design

  Intel Core i5 11300H




  15” full HD IPS

  4.4 lbs

   3 hours (Interior Design) / 8 hours (Basic Tasks)

Most interior designers do not need to render high quality walkthroughs of entire buildings (perhaps only one floor/apartment walkthroughs).

GPU:  MX450

Thus if you are on a budget, you can go for 2GB vRAM dedicated GPUs which are anywhere from 100 to 200 dollars cheaper than 1650GTX or 3050Ti laptops.

in fact, you can go even lower, if you’re mostly working on small projects (houses) with just  Revit + AutoCAD & Sketch Up then you might not even need a dedicated GPU to begin with. 

Laptops with integrated GPUs which are MUCH MUCH cheaper:

Will work too. Just be sure to get an 11th gen Core i5 or 5th gen Ryzen 5 with it, otherwise you will lag massively (viewport is highly dependent on CPU clock speed too).

Simple Remodeling Projects: 2GB vRAM GPUs

Anyways, back to this laptop. It’s only 100 dollars more expensive than laptops with integrated GPUs (such as the example above) so it is sort of like bullet proof for most of the work you’ll do (leaving huge walkthroughs in 3DS Max aside) 

Simple remodeling gigs are a good example and what I mean by this is:

  • Construction documents for kitchen remodeling.
  • Cabinet elevations.
  • Some 3D sketch up work
  • Use PhotoSHop, Illustrator and have all their  extra features unlocked.

For the kind of work above, the 2GB vRAM dedicated GPU is OVERKILl but again we’re assuming you can afford being bullet proof.

I can’t even afford this one, any other options?

You can use laptops with the integrated GPUs like the one I linked previously.

You MAY lag a bit when using viewport (with integrated graphics) however everything else including “simple remodeling” is doable.

3. HP Victus 16

The Best Laptop For Interior Design in 2023

  Core i7-12700H


  NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB vRAM


  16” FHD IPS 

  5.44 lbs

  4 hours Web Surfing / 2 Interior Design gaming

The is going to the most powerful windows laptop on this list and mostly tailored for professionals (not students) but only a small subset of interior designers: those working with remodeling projects of very large buildings where all floors and rooms must be on the same file (presentation) as opposed to split into sections (different files).

I’m referring to the walkthrough part of the process because the modeling and drafting process of very large , even opera-like auditoriums or stadiums run well on any laptop with dedicated graphics (the ones we talked about berfore) .

3060RTX: Walkthroughs & VT-Ray T Rendering

Thus the only reason why you should opt for a 6GB vRAM dedicated GPU or this laptop is for pretty much: high quality large walkthroughs on 3DS max or to maximize performance with GPU-based renderers like VT-Ray T (reduce the time it takes since ths 3060RTX has several thousands more ‘CUDA’ cores to speed up rendering’).

One more thing…

If you’ve landed here because you’ve already been using a 4GB vRAM laptop, let me tell you that you don’t need to go for 3080Ti or 3080RTX laptops, yes they may be useful for architecture work (in very special cases such as working on an extremely large collaborative project for the specific remodeling of say a concert in Rhino) but not for interior design. 

No one will need more power than a 6Gb vRAM as far as interior design is concerned regardless of the software you use.

Core i7 12th gen+ QHD + 16”

Now im sure you can find DOZENs of 3060RTX laptops perhaps some of them might even be cheaper but beware of the EXTRA specs this laptop has:

  • 16” QHD: This resolution is MUCH higher than FHD and paired up with the 16” display, it’s going to give you a MASSIVE amount of extra space for interfaces, menus and your canvas. This is exactly the same resolution and size you find on the most expensive MacBooks at almost half the price.
  • 12th Core i7, is probably the number one reason to choose this laptop over other 3060RTX laptops. There’s very few CPUs that are faster than the one here since the 12th gen have been released quite recently (for laptops) and it’s only superseeded by Core i9 and Ryzen 9 CPUs.

If you can’t afford this laptop but still want the extra speed for GPU rendering & walkthroughs check the following laptop:

Note that you’ll be giving up the high clock speed & display though.

4. Surface Pro 9

Best 2 in 1 Laptop For Interior Design

  12th gen Intel® Evo Core™ i5 or Core™ i7


  Intel Xe Graphics


  13” IPS ‎2880 x 1920


  +10 hours

The Surface Series: Surface Pro 9, Surface Book & Surface Studio are all good choices for interior design.
If you can can do the rendering and 3D work on another computer (perhaps outsource it) or just ignore it and rely on your sketches in Revit & Sketch-Up to show it to clients, they become an insanely useful and fun tool because you get to use a touch-pen to do the first sketches then turn into a laptop (by attaching a mouse & keyboard) to work on the final product.

TouchScreen + Stylus

You just have to flip the screen backwards to turn it into sort of a tablet which acts as a canvas for you to sketch.

Your productivity will shoot up massively , just imagine being able to sketch your designs anytime you feel like it (Since all three, especially the Surface pro, are portable).

It also becomes the best choice if you are an interior designer that’s constantly going to client’s places or if you’re someone going to meeting, then construction sites on a regular basis. 

If you are a student,

it becomes even a better choice because you no longer have to carry a laptop + books + notebooks + pencils to school, you can just store everything on the Surface Pro and use it as a laptop, tablet for drawing and as a notebook for noteking and as a replacement for textbooks (if you get all your textbooks in pdf format).


At first glance , they may seem like a toy (sort of a like an Ipad) in terms of performance but NO , in fact, they are just as powerful or in the case of the latest Surface Pro 9 , more powerful than most modern laptops.

However, they are not upgradeable. You will be stuck with whatever RAM & Storage you get before purchase. They also are VERY expensive, but this can be worked around if you buy older models as shown below:

And lastly, if you plan on doing 3D GPU rendering work through Blender or 3DS Max or any GPU-based renderer, you have to buy a model with a dedicated GPU and as of 2023 that would be the Surface Laptop Studio shown below:

5. MacBook Pro

Best Mac Laptop For Interior Design

  12‑core CPU

  16 GB RAM DDR4

  19‑core GPU

  512GB  SSD

  16.2” Liquid Retina


  +15 hours (Basic Tasks)

MacBooks can be useful for interior designers too. In fact, if you watch the tutorial below, it’s obvious the guy’s using a MacBook:

That is as long as you use Blender for your 3D work (3DS Max is not available on Macs) and do not rely on Revit  for drawing and sketching and use SketchUp, InDesign, PhotoShop, etc.

Software Compatibility Fix: Mac OSX

The entire Adobe Creative Suit is compatible with Macs. Sketch up is also compatible with Macs. The only real issue will come with Revit & 3DS Max which do not have a Mac Version. If you limit yourself to Sketch Up, Adobe Suite & Blender then you don’t need a Windows machine.

In the off chance that you need to run a software thats only compatible with Windows, you run Windows in two ways depending on what processor your MacBook has. If you are a running a Macbook with the the M1 or M2 Chips, you can revit through a Virtual Machine as shown in the video below:

There is a fear that running software on a virtual machine will be slower however from experience as long as you don’t work with anything that’s too big and complicated you can run AutoCAD,  Modo 901 , Revit and eve Rhino with no issues. 


If you have a model with an x86 chip, for example, the Intel Core series, you can install Windows on your Mac (you do not need to delete OSX) and then you can install any windows software you’d like:

The app designed to let you install Windows (without a VM – virtual machine) is called BootCamp. Going this route will be a much wiser choice if you plan on running very hardware demanding 3D models because BootCamp will make MUCH better use of hardware resources than a Virtual Machine Software.

Rendering with Macs

You can render with Macs as longas your renderer does not rely on the GPU.

VT Ray uses the GPU for rendering and although MacBooks MAY have better GPUs than NVIDIA GPUs, they are not compatible with VT-Ray.

Thus you have to use a CPU-based renderer instead. 

Blender is a good alternative.

The model featured in the links and image is the most powerful MacBook as of 2023, you don’t have to buy that one if you want a modern MacBook. Any of the other M1 & M2 MacBooks will work too

How to Choose The Best Laptop For Interior Design

Below is a list of the most commonly used software for interior design. The links will take you to the official site’s hardware requirements page.


It isn’t likely you’ll use ALL of these. You’ll be limited to mostly three:

Sketch-up: simple 3D sketches.
AutoCAD or Revit: remodeling.
3DS Max or Lumion: walkthroughs. 

And web-based interior design software. Ex: HouzzPro which require nothing more than a laptop with a web browser.

Hardware Specs for Interior Design

Because Lumion, 3DS Max & Revit are the most hardware demanding software of the group (though most will just use Revit) we’ll only talk about specs for those three software.


This is what speeds up rendering and modeling. What follows is based on my experience with Revit and benchmark studies by Pudget Systems on 3DS Max.

Modeling or Designing

This is going to be a single-threaded task regardless of software. In other words, AutoCAD, Revit , Sketch up, etc, will only use ONE CORE thus you have to focus on picking up a CPU with as much ‘speed’ as opposed to a CPU with more cores.

The higher the clock the less time it’ll take for effects , objects , sketches to load.


If you do some research, you may come across some articles claiming that drafting/modeling in Revit is now multi-threaded and that’s true but that only applies to a few functions:

 Here’s a list of all the functions that are multithreaded for Revit.

Even then it does not use multiple core effectively….for example it will use mostly one core and about 20 10 and 5 % of the total power of subsequent cores (calculating walls and loading all elements in view).

What’s more is that most CPUs now have at least 4 cores and on average 6 cores!

Which CPU to pick for fast drawing then? 

Since modern CPUs are multi-core anyways, you want to pick the CPU with the highest clock speed.

Clock speed is measured in GHZ and turbo is the highest clock speed a CPU can go up to.

Below is a comprehensive list of the most common CPUs found on laptops in 2023.


CPU Base Turbo Cores
i5 8300H 2.3 4 4
i5 9300H 2.4 4.1 4
i5-11300H 2.6 4.4 4
i5 11260H 2.6 4.4 6
i5 12500H 3.3 4.5 12
i7 8750H 2.2 4.1 6
i7 9750H 2.6 4.5 6
i7 10750H 2.6 5 4
i7 11375H 3 5 4
i7 11370H 3.3 4.8 4
i7 10870H 2.2 5.00  8
i7 11800H 2.3 4.6 8
i9 10885H 2.4 5.3 8
i9 10890K 2.4 5.3 8
i9-11900H 2.5 4.9 8
i9-11980HK 3.3 5 8

**12th generation Intel CPUs seem to have more ‘cores’ but in reality a lot of these extra cores do not support hyperthreading. More detaiils in my upcoming post. Point is you should pick them because of their seemingly high clock speed not cores!

***Also when comparing an AMD vs an Intel CPU, you can’t just guide yourself by the numbers. For example a Ryzen 7 5800H (4.4GHz)  isn’t as fast as a Core i5 11300H (4.4GHz). In this scenario, you use benchmarks. However, CPUs with the same color have approx the same perfomrnace.


CPU Base Turbo Cores
Ryzen 9 6980HX 
Ryzen 9 6900HS
Ryzen 9 5900HX 3.3 4.6 8
Ryzen 9 4800HS 2.2 4.4 8
Ryzen 7 6800HS
Ryzen 7 6800H
Ryzen 7 5800H 3.3 4.4 8
Ryzen 7 4800H 2.9 4.2 6
Ryzen 7 3750H 2.3 4.0 6
Ryzen 5 5600H 3.3 4.2  6
Ryzen 5 4600H 3.0 4.0 6
Ryzen 5 3550H 2.1 3.7

Rendering: Multi-Core

No matter what software you use, rendering will always be a multi-core task. That means, the more cores you have the faster it’ll be.

Since we spend most of the time drafting and modeling, it is always wiser to focus on ‘clock speed’ over number of cores. 

Add the fact that most CPUs have 6 cores, choosing an 8 core CPU isn’t going to give you mind-blowing rendering performance either. It may reduce the rendering from say 30 min to 20 min.

If you want to max out rendering performance too (if building a desktop), keep in mind that choosing more than 8 cores seems to give diminishing returns.

2. GPU (Graphics Card)

Here are the instances where the GPU plays a  big role:

  • Viewport (panning, zooming, orbiting, rotating, etc) when drafting.
    • As for viewport, revit seems to only use the GPU slightly. However, for all other 3D modeling software for interior design (3Ds Max, Maya, Lumion,etc) it becomes crucial especially when LOD (level of detail) approach 400.
    • Thus if revit is your only 3D modeling toolk work (along with sketch up) GPU is not important (CPU is).
  • Walkthroughs 
    • Highly GPU dependent
  • Rendering
    • It’ll speed up rendering, the same an extra core does. 
    • Not all renderers use the GPU though (most will only rely on the CPU).
      • Revit  for example does not use GPU.
      • V-ray RT is a GPU dependent.  
      • V-ray advanced only uses the CPU.

Choosing a GPU is not tricky if you use mostly Revit because the software does not seem to use it beyond viewport (even then it only does so slightly)

Now if you have to buy a good graphics card because you Rhino, 3DS Max or any GPU-dependent renderers then you have to know the difference between dedicated and integrated.

A) Integrated GPUs

These go by the name of: Intel Xe, Intel Iris, Radeon Vega X, Intel HD, Intel UHD,etc. Basically anything that says Intel or Vega.

They come by default with your CPU, you will get the best ones if you choose the most recent CPUs (not necessarily the fastest CPUs). As of 2023, that would be the Intel Xe graphics cards.

They are much much weaker than  dedicated GPUs but will work well for anyone relying mostly on Revit & AutoCAD with projects that stay in the smallish. Since a lot of interior designers fall into this category (50MB files) they will be okay.

Obviously integrated GPUs are not IDEAL for Revit & AutoCAD but if you’re on a budget and you can only afford laptops with integrated GPUs (below 550 bucks), the software will still run relatively fast especially with low LOD models

B) Dedicated Graphics Cards

They become a must for project files (either on Revit or AutoCAD ) in the hundreds of MB if you want to have a quick workflow.

Dedicated GPUs usually have the keywords “NVIDIA” “Radeon RX” “GeForce” “RTX”. They are much much more useful and powerful than integrated ones because they have way more extra “cores” and their own “vRAM” which can go up to 16GB (on laptops) as opposed to .5MB (integrated).

Below are the most common GPUs found on laptops as of 2023 (NVIDIA & AMD).
Pay close attention to the ‘vRAM’ column since that is the most important single spec for graphics card the same way clock speed was for the CPU

NVIDIA Cores vRAM Speed
MX250 384 2GB-4GB 1582
MX350 640 2-4GB 1354
1050 640 2GB-4GB 1493
MX450 896 2-4GB 1580
1050Ti 768 4GB 1620
1650 1024 4GB 1560
1060 1280 6GB 1670
3050Ti 2560 4GB 1485
1660 Ti 1536 6GB 1590
2060 RTX 1920 6GB 1680
2070 2394 8GB 1620
3060 3584 8GB 1780
2080 2944 8GB 1710
3070 5120 8GB 1620
3070Ti 5888 8GB 1485
3080 8704 8GB 1710
3080Ti 7424 16GB 1590


Name Shaders vRAM Speed NVIDIA Equivalent
Pro RX 555X 768 2GB 855  MX150/MX250
RadeonRX 540 512 4GB 1219 ~950M
Radeon RX 550 640 4GB 1287 – 1476 +950M
Radeon RX 560X 1024 4GB 1172 – 1275 1050GTX
RX 580 1536 6GB 1077 ~1060GTX
RX 5500M 1408 8GB 1327 – 1645 ~1660Ti
RX 6700M 2304 10GB 1792 ~3060RTX
RX 6800M 2560 12GB 2116 – 2300 ~3070RTX++
2-4GB vRAM GPUs: 
95% of interior designers will need nothing more than 4GB vRAM dedicated GPUs especially if they mostly use Revit and Lumion Pro for modeling and rendering.
The remaining 5% of interior designers may be working on very high LOD (+400) models in Lumion Pro (not Revit) that require high quality walkthroughs with 3DS max and similar software. This is the minimum for that.
It is very very unlikely an interior designer will need any GPU with 8GB vRAM or more unless they are working on some colossal architectural design too.
CUDA Cores & GPU Rendering
So far we’ve discussed vRAM for viewport and walkthrough purposes.
However, if you want the best rendering performance with GPU renderers such as with vRay RT (reduce the time it takes to render), you want to focus on CUDA cores, the more you have the faster the rendering will be. 
To give you an idea something of very very very high quality as shown below:
Will take 2 hours with a 1650GTX (1024 CUDA cores) and about 40 min with a 3080 RTX (8000+ CUDA cores).
*GPU Renderers only make use of NVIDIA CUDA Cores, Not AMD ‘Shaders’, as of 2023.
C) Workstation GPUs
I bet a few of you are wondering why I haven’t listed any of the ‘Quadro’ or ‘FirePro’ because you’ve checked out the official sites of AutoCAD & Revit and saw that they were ‘recommended’.
Here’s basically why you should stay away from those:
As of 2023, workstation graphics card have the same performance for AutoCAD , Revit and similar 3D modeling software
In fact, gaming GPUs, the GPUs we’ve listed so far, perform better than workstation GPUs (vRAM &CUDA cores being equal) when using GPU renderers and very GPU dependent 3D modeling software like 3DS Max.
Add the fact that interior designers BARELY make use of dedicated graphics and it becomes a no brainer why they are not good for you.
In fact, if you head over to the site of interior design departments of universities, you will rarely see, if ever, a workstation GPU being recommended
  • Watch out for very old dedicated graphics (GTX 770M) anything older than the 9th generation (960GTX for example) is likely to be imcompatible. 
  • Don’t worry about the software ‘not working’ due to the GPU, that will never happen, especially with the ones I’ve listed since their architectures are almost identical to the ‘recommended’ workstation graphics. 
  • Yes, you MIGHT get a few bugs with the GPUs I’ve recommended but you will just have to click OK and move on, it won’t affect your workflow or stop you from working.
Workstation Cards Advantages
Now if you’re reading this because you’re IT guy in the building and been forced to buy workstation laptops by a company with pretty much unlimited budget or because they told you they NEED workstation laptops due to the following:
  • Less bugs and glitches
  • Official support from AutoDesk if something goes wrong.
  • Need to use special plug-ins that only run on workstation laptops.

I urge you to check the following table:

And pay close attention to the ‘Equivalent’ column which tells you which consumer (or gaming) dedicated graphics card has the same power (CUDA Cores & vRAM). This is important to avoid being RIPPED OFF as vendors love to 

Workstation GPU Equivalent 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
RTX A5500 ~3080Ti RTX 7427 ???  16GB 

3. RAM

RAM is actually a way more useful spec for interior designers than graphics card.

Here’s why:

Revit & AutoCAD: Draftting/Modeling

All the objects and details you use on a 3D model , for the CPU to do all the heavy lifiting, will be PRIMARILY stored in RAM especially in the absence of ‘vRAM’ (no GPU).
Thus the more you have the better it will be for your workflow. Obviously, there’s a limit but if you don’t meet the minimum you will lag when using viewport, doing walkthroughs no matter how fast your CPU is.
8GB: Minimum
Most laptops with the CPUs & GPUs I’ve recommended have 8GB RAM so its not something to look out for. In the off chance you buy a laptop with 4GB RAM due to low budget constraints, no biggie, you can always upgrade it to 8GB on your own (in fact it is cheaper to go this route).
16GB: Maximum
This is as much as 95% of you will find useful for fast viewport & drawing. Most laptops do not have that so you’ll have to the upgrade on your own if you want 16GB. Note that this will BOOST performance SIGNIFICANTLY in the absence of dedicated graphics (for reasons explained before) and it will only slightly boost performance on laptops with dedicated graphics (as far as viewport & drawing is concerned).
32GB: Useful for Rendering

When you render the amount of details (data) is increased significantly, the software takes your MODEL and final work, and starts adding high quality pixels all over.

All this data is still stored on RAM and most of the time , the amount of data is SO large , that the software will not find enough RAM to fit ALL of into it. Thus , a large chunk of data gets queued. If you have a lot more RAM, there will be no queue and the only time constraint will be how long it takes for your CPU & GPU to do the ‘processing’. 


On average, people will find 32GB as the maximum limit to speed up rendering (most interior designers have to wait 25-30 min).

However, you may see an additional 3-5 min reduction with 64GB RAM depending on what you’re rendering (most laptops support up to 48GB though).

You don’t have to buy a laptop with 32GB RAM out of the box, you can always just get one with 8GB and do the upgrade later

4. Storage

Sketches and drawings (on Sketch Up, Revit , so on) don’t really take up much space. You can have a thousand of these and even the  storage with the lowest capacity will only be 20% full. 

Thus instead of worrying about how much storage you can get out of a laptop, you should instead focus on the TYPE of storage you’re getting IF you want to maximize performance.

Although I will say this: Storage type has a somewhat small impact on performance these days so it may not even worth your time worrying about which storage to pick for the following reason:

SSD vs HDD: Storage Speed

Everyone knows that SSD (Solid State Drives) are several times faster than HDDs and they will give you the following benefits:

  • Opening files and saving files will happen in an instant.
  • Revit will be up and ready in less than a min.
    • Consider that revit has a bucketload of libraries for diagrams, surfaces, textures, lightining ALL needed to load for you to use the software. 
  • Opening large files in 3DS Max, Rhino, AutoCAD, will be several times faster (usually take 30 sec tops as opposed to several minutes with HDDs).
  • Windows also launches in less than 10 sec, thus you can have your system up and ready to go as soon as you feel like using it and turn it on.

So why should I not worry about storage type with all these benefits?

Because virtually every laptop made within the past 4 years has a Solid State Drive now. They may be PCie NVMe, SATA III, etc, but they will all have the same benefits and almost equal speed for the tasks just mentioned.

If you want to be nitty picky about it and perhaps make sure all the above is done milliseconds faster then you look for PCIe NVMe SSDs with 4 lanes.

Hard Disk Drive Upgrade

It is likely a lot of people reading this are buying a new laptop because their current one is so slow but little do they know that  changing the HDD (if they have one) to an SSD can massively improve performance and may go as far as buying a new laptop useless.

If you’re buying a very old laptop with an HDD due to budget constraints, you can do the same too: upgrade your storage to an SSD. You’ll be surprised to know what a big difference an SSD does and if you add more RAM (16GB) the difference in performance will be massive. 

5. Display

There is a lot of specs when it comes to displays: constrant ratios, brightness levels, colorspace, gamut,etc

Those are useless specs to look out for. Virtually every display found on laptops has enough brightness, good constrant ratios and enough gamut (# of colors or colorspace) for interior design purposes. 

What you should be concerned is:

Making your workspace area, canvas, as big as possible

Why? Because it’s just easier to work on something when you have a bigger & more detail view of your work. Plus the amount of extra screen space also allows you to fit more toolbars and quick action buttons which eliminates the need to use drop down menus which at the same time increases your productivity as you’ll spending less time looking for a function and more time sketching.


The obvious way to do this is by choosing a big display. Laptops are limited to 17” however and it may not be wise to choose a 17” display either because that adds a massive amount of extra weight making them too heavy to carry.

If weight is not an issue by all means go for it.

However, a much better way or an additional way (on top of a big display) to increase your workspace area is by choosing a high resolution display.

High resolution basically means more pixels and more pixels means more objects can be rendered withouth the needs to use much screen space thereby reducing icons & objects to smaller sizes yet still keeping them high quality.

HD & HD+ (768p and 900p): These resolutions are very very low and must be avoided at all costs, HD is obselete and you will only find them on cheap old laptops only. HD+ is common on laptops under 450 bucks, they are not as bad but you cannot settle for them if you look long enough you can find the next ones.

FHD (1080p): This is the minimum for any serious interior design work and its virtually available on every laptop with a dedicated GPU (+550 dollars). You can also find them under 550 dollars and will ocassionally be found on laptops around 350, the lower the price the lower the chances of finding it.

QHD (2.5k): This is becoming more and more common even on somewhat affordable laptops (See HP Victus selling for 650 dollars). Ideally you want this but this is rare rare to find under 1000 dollars. If budget is not an issue and this is your main tool of work, it’s definitely a good investment.

UHD (4k): the best and highest resolution found on laptops. Unfortunately, you’ll only find them on laptops over 2000 dollars. Not worth it, QHD displays are enough.


If you have any questions, suggestions please leave a comment below. I will reply ASAP and also update this post accordingly.

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.

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