TOP 7+ Best Laptops for 3D Modelling & Rendering To Buy
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when I talk about 3D modeling and rendering? For me, it’s a list of software units like AutoCAD, Revit, Blender, Modo, 3D Max, Lightwave 3D, Solidworks, and Maya.
And looking at their system requirements, I wouldn’t worry any less about finding the best laptop for 3D modeling and rendering.
I spend a lot of time designing 3D models. Whether you call it my passion or job, I simply love doing it. But I have also seen people getting confused when it comes to buying a suitable laptop. Of course, CAD software units are not child’s play. You need something that can support CPU-intensive operations.
After an extensive research of 1 week, looking at all available options, I have made a list of the best laptops for 3D modeling, each with certain unique specifications. So keep scrolling until you find your match.
Top 5 Best Laptops for 3D Modelling in 2021
HP ZBook 15 G5
Acer Predator 300
Best Value For Money
ASUS TUF FX505DT
Best For Beginner
Razer Blade 15
GIGABYTE AERO 15
Best Screen Laptop
- 7 Best Laptops for 3D Modelling in 2021
7 Best Laptops for 3D Modelling in 2021
1.HP ZBook 15 G5 – Best Overall
3D modeling software requires a powerful workstation. And what could be better than HP in that case? The HP ZBook 15 G5 is a perfectly balanced and powerful model from the brand. It is a dream laptop for every 3D modeler out there. The HP Zbook 15 has dual storage capacity, which is the most attractive part about it.
To start with, the HP Zbook 15 G5 is powered by a 2.6GHz Intel Core I7-8850H CPU. Intel’s i7 model has already dominated the industry with its outstanding clock speed. Likewise, you can turbo its clock speed up to 4.3GHz. It also comes with a 9 MB L3 cache that minimizes your access time just like a gaming laptop (here are our recommendations).
I found the laptop all the more potent because of its 32GB RAM. With this much power, any software can run smoothly on your system. Ah, yes! As I said earlier- the laptop is unique because it has double storage capacity. It features a 1TB SSD along with a 1TB HDD.
So, it’s basically a 2-in-1 option, and you won’t have to buy an external HDD separately. You must install your CAD software in 1TB SSD since it is faster than HDD similar to this best laptop for stock trading 2021.
HP has included a 4GB NVIDIA Quadro P2000 graphics card in its HP ZBook 15 G5. The graphics card can support you during graphic-intensive 3D modeling and 3D rendering and comes with a 4GB VRAM.
The display of the laptop is touch-enabled. A touch-enabled display is an excellent option for 3D modelers. The 15.6″ display has a Full HD resolution.
The laptop also features a fingerprint reader, a backlit keyboard, an HD webcam, a built-in B&O speaker, an array microphone, and all other necessary ports just like these best laptops with backlit keyboard.
The only problem I found on this laptop is its heavy weight. Well, that can be for the powerful battery. But, it will make you a little uncomfortable to work with on your lap.
The HP ZBook 15 G5 can provide a standard battery backup of 5 hours. All these features together make it a great deal for all 3D modelers and architects who have to work with Solid Edge, AutoCAD, and other designing tools for finalizing their 3D models and renders.
|Processor||1th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 Processor|
|RAM||8 GB DDR4|
|Storage||256GB NVMe SSD|
|Display||15.6” Full HD IPS|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
- Powerful performance
- Suitable for multitasking
- Dual storage
- Compatible with all CAD software
- On the heavier side
- A little expensive
If you are looking for a laptop with a powerful processor and a 32GB RAM, the HP ZBook 15 G5 can be the suitable option for you. Apart from that, with its large display and powerful GPU, you can enjoy seeing movies or playing games.
2. Acer Predator Helios 300 – Best Value For Money
What is your definition of power? If you don’t have any, you can try out the Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop. Acer does not need any introduction. The brand has already captured the global market with its high-end products and their superior performance. The Acer Predator Helios 300 is basically a gaming laptop, highly suitable for 3D modeling and 3D rendering such as these best laptops for rendering.
The laptop houses Intel’s power Intel core i7-7700HQ Processor with 2.6GHz speed. By using the turbo mode, you can increase the speed up to 3.8GHz. I found it specifically helpful with various CAD software since the CPU can take the load efficiently.
While looking for the GPU, I found that Acer has included NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, an excellent card. It comes clubbed with a dedicated 6GB GDDR5 VRAM. So, practically you are getting both speed and visuals at the same time.
What else does it have to offer? It comes with a 16GB DDR4 RAM with a memory of 2400MHz. The laptop also houses a 256GB SSD, making it blazingly fast. But sadly, there is no second storage option. The SSD capacity should be enough to store your recent documents, but can cause problems overtime. Hence, consider using an external HDD to store the old backup.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 has a 15.6″ LED-backlit IPS display with Full HD resolution. However, you don’t get a touchscreen display with it. I liked the part where Acer beats many of its competitors in battery life performance. This laptop can provide battery life for up to 7 hours like these best laptops for day trading.
I found one customer reviewing the laptop after almost one year saying, “Still works great, no issues so far. Handful of updates for drivers/BIOS. I have still not seen anything that competes with this on specs/price ratio.”
Apart from all these, you get two built-in stereo speakers, an HD camera, and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. It also houses 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 3.1 or Type C port, along with 1 HDMI port that also supports HDCP. All these features, altogether, make it a relatively cheap laptop for 3D modeling and rendering.
|Processor||Intel core i7 CPU|
|Graphics Card||GeForce GTX 1060-6GB|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
- Powerful performance
- Able to stand CPU-intensive workload
- Fast booting
- No extra storage option
- A little on the heavier side
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a gaming laptop housing 16GB RAM and 256 GB storage. It also houses NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU along with a Full HD screen. While comparing the features with its price, I found this laptop to be a deal-breaker.
3. ASUS TUF FX505DT– Best For Beginners
Does ASUS need an introduction? The brand has a dominating presence in the market. With thousands of products selling daily worldwide, Asus has won the hearts of millions. Our next top choice for the best laptop for 3D modeling is the ASUS TUF FX505DT. The ASUS TUF FX505DT Gaming Laptop houses a powerful AMD Ryzen 7 3750H processor.
AMD is the new competitor dominating a portion of the computer industry. Not just because of their performance, but AMD offers a far better deal in terms of price as well. The processor in this one is 4-core, offering a speed of 2.4GHz. You can turbo boost it up to 4.0GHz, enough to provide a powerful performance.
Asus, however, didn’t focus much on the GPU. But the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 should be enough to support your workload. In my personal opinion, the GPU addition could have been better. But hey! You can’t really demand any more in this budget. Along with the GPU, you also get 4GB GDDR5 dedicated VRAM.
In terms of memory, this one also houses 16GB DDR4 RAM with a memory of 2666MHz. For the primary storage, I found Asus using 512 GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD in this model. However, there is no secondary storage option available. So, it would be better if you get an external HDD for storing the backup.
Lastly, you get a 15.6″ LED Full HD display, a backlit keyboard. Impressed by the keyboard, a customer reviews, “I would say the keyboard is extremely satisfying to type on and I sometimes even use it instead of my mechanical keyboard.”
The dual fans with anti-dust technology keep the laptop cool and clear. Before I forget to mention, I found that it has a superior build – something the brand calls military-grade. But it also makes it a bit heavier and uncomfortable to work with on the lap. It also houses a powerful battery life, giving you a maximum backup of 10 hours.
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 5 R5-3550H Processor|
|RAM||8 GB RAM|
|Storage||256 GB SSD|
|Graphics Card||GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics|
|Display||15.6” Full HD|
|Operating System||Windows 10|
- Smooth multitasking
- Faster booting
- Large Full HD LED screen
- Up to 10 hours of battery life
- GPU could have been better
- Feels a little bulky
If you want to start your journey with a cheap yet powerful laptop, I would suggest you the ASUS TUF FX505DT. It is the most suitable laptop for beginners, housing a powerful AMD Ryzen 7 CPU. Apart from that, thanks to the powerful GPU and 16GB RAM, gaming can become another obsession.
4. Razer Blade 15 – Best For Powerhouse
If you want a feature-packed laptop to run all those intensive 3D modeling applications, tools, and software, the Razor Blade 15 can be an ideal choice for you. The Razer Blade 15 is a powerful laptop powered by Intel’s 10th Generation Intel core i7-10750H processor. Through turbo-clocking, it can attain speeds of up to 5.0 GHz.
With its powerful CPU performance, this laptop can handle CPU-intensive tasks and simulations with ease. I found that it works smoothly on 3D modeling platforms like ANSYS. For the GPU, the brand has included the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070, which is equally powerful.
An 8GB VRAM has been clubbed with the GPU. Thanks to this, CAD software like Blender, which favors CUDA cores, runs smoothly with this GPU at the helm. Razer has included 16GB RAM in this model, which offers smooth multitasking.
For the storage, it has 512GB of SSD, which is expansive, fast, and can boot up the supplied Windows 10 OS faster. The Razer Blade 15 has a 15.6″ Full HD LED display. The matte panel is really very comfortable for 3D modeling, courtesy of the 10% sRGB palette and 144Hz refresh rate.
Apart from all these features, the laptop has a durable build quality. Furthermore, thanks to the Max-Q NVIDIA graphics design, you get many features without sacrificing portability. The brand has also thrown in an RGB backlit keyboard clubbed with various other specs in the webcam, touchpad, microphone array, and built-in speaker.
I personally found the speaker having a bad reputation among the customers. I found one customer reviewing that the speakers were “also a bit on the weaker side.” “I wish” he added, “they would just be a little more meaty.”
Razer has also included Thunderbolt 3, USB Type-A, and Type-C ports. The battery life offers a 6-hour backup, making it one of the top laptops for 3D modeling and helping it make it on the list.
|CPU||Intel Core i7-10750H 6 Core|
|RAM||16 GB DDR4|
|Storage||512GBGB SSD storage|
|Graphics Card||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q|
|Display||15.6″ FHD 1080p 144Hz|
- Powerful Intel 10th Generation processor
- SSD inclusion makes booting faster
- Full HD matte display
- Faster and more efficient Wifi 6 connectivity
- Storage support isn’t enough
- On the heavier side
- Speakers are a downside
With Intel’s 10th generation processor and NVIDIA RTX GeForce 2070 GPU, I can only call it a powerhouse. The Razer Blade 15 laptop is an outstanding selection for 3D modeling as it supports almost any CAD software.
5. GIGABYTE AERO 15 – Best Screen Laptop
I love combos. And if power comes with portability, who wouldn’t? The GIGABYTE AERO 15 laptop is one such portable powerhouse, an excellent choice for 3D modeling and rendering. Add Gigabyte’s reputation to it, and you won’t want to look at another option. I immediately fell in love with the model simply by looking at its sleek bezel display.
Anyway, let’s get into the specs. It houses an Intel Core i7-9750 CPU that makes CPU-intensive tasks easy to run on this model. It has a base clocking speed of 2.6GHz. You can turbocharge it and increase the speed when required. With its 16GB RAM, multitasking is as smooth as butter.
With the powerful NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU, it is a force to reckon with. 2060 is a speed higher than any GTX module you can find in the market. With the 6GB VRAM, graphics-intensive modeling and shading will run smoother than ever.
The laptop also has a 512GB SSD. It boots up in seconds so that you can always hurry in those rushing hours. However, there is no secondary storage, which can create a problem. So, again- buy an external hard disk to store your records. It features Windows 10 as the existing OS.
You are not only thinking about using it only for work, are you? Because I would never waste such a display only for work. The AERO 15 houses a 15.6-inch screen 4K display. It boasts unique DisplayHDR technology.
The super AMOLED display on it has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. Impressed by the quality, an user reviews, “Wow, the display is really great here.” According to him, the 4K OLED panel “is really bright and really vibrant.” So, won’t you be missing out if you don’t try Netflix on it?
The display also has a touch of the X-Rite Pantone display technology, which further magnifies the visuals. Some other features are its backlit keyboard with RGB fusion, fingerprint sensor, and touchpad.
I found its thermal cooling layout exceptional. It boasts the super cool 2 technology that keeps heat dissipation on the lower side. Hence, you can work while keeping the device on your lap. In my opinion, the Gigabyte Aero 15 is a great deal with style and beauty.
|CPU||Intel Core i7-9750H|
|Storage||512 GB SSD|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2060 Studio laptop|
|Display||15.6 4K UHD OLED|
|Operating System||Win 10|
- High quality 4K display
- X-Rite Pantone display technology
- Powerful performance
- Innovative cooling with super cool 2 technology
- Durable build
- The storage capacity isn’t enough for professionals
- On the heavier side
With its 4K display, powerful CPU, and GPU, you can run your CAD software, watch movies, or play games on it. Unlike those heavy gaming laptops, this takes the first place in terms of looks. The detailed pictures on this laptop will let you analyze your design more vividly.
6. ASUS VivoBook – Runner Up
What about a budget-friendly, thin, and lightweight laptop from ASUS? Wouldn’t it make your design more easy? If you agree, I would recommend trying out the laptop ASUS VivoBook Thin and Light Gaming Laptop.
It houses Intel’s powerful 7th Generation Intel core i7-7700HQ quad-core chip, which has a base speed of 2.8GHz. You can turbo boost the speed up to 3.8GHz. For the GPU, you have NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 clubbed with a 4GB VRAM.
I found that it performs smoothly with CAD software units like AutoCAD. With its combination of powerful 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD, you can multitask while getting a lightning booting speed. But what I liked more is its dual storage. Along with the 256GB SSD, you also get 1 TB HDD- an excellent combination for professional designers.
You have also got a 15.6 inch Full HD anti-glare display with a 15 inch wide and 0.8″ ultra-thin chassis. It makes the laptop lighter and sleeker in design. Thus, it not only feels professional but premium as well. Yet, the shaky hinges may feel disturbing during those extensive designing hours.
Apart from all these, you get Windows 10 as the base OS, and it contains all necessary ports, including Type C, Type A, and HDMI. All these features make it one of the great laptops for 3D rendering.
|CPU||6th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ Processor|
|Storage||256GB SSD+1TB HDD|
|Graphics||GeForce GTX 1050 4GB|
|Display||15.6 inch Full HD screen|
|OS||Windows 10 Home|
- Powerful processor
- Silent cooling fan performance
- Easy to carry
- Sleek and thin design
- Battery life could have been better
- Shaky hinges
It is another top laptop choice for beginners and my second favorite. I will call it a portable package of power and performance. Along with a powerful generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ, 16GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD, it also carries a 1TB HDD. These features are a great inclusion to support most 3D modeling and rendering software units.
7. Lenovo IdeaPad L340 – Best Lenovo Laptop
People looking for the best laptop for AutoCAD can find the Lenovo IdeaPad L340 laptop a practical choice. Lenovo is a formidable competitor in the industry. They focus more on productivity. This model from the brand is one fine example of such quality and performance.
The IdeaPad laptop L340’s Intel Core i7-9750H processor is a marathon winner, able to reach turbo clocking speeds of up to 4.5GHz. It comes assisted by 12MB of cache memory. You get the intuitive NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU clubbed with 4GB of VRAM that offers superior performance.
Like most other models on our list, it has 16GB RAM and storage 512GB SSD, capable of enhancing the multitasking and booting experience. You get Windows 10 for the OS. However, the thing I liked the most about the IdeaPad L340 is its 17.3 inch Full HD display. It is an excellent inclusion for architects and designers.
Apart from all these, you also get two 1.5W in-built speakers, along with an HD webcam clubbed with a dual-microphone array. It provides you a battery life backup of 7 hours, which I think should be a great inclusion.
But it does not have any thunderbolt port. Speakers also don’t match the quality. According to one customer, “Everything about this laptop is awesome. Except the speakers.” He kept on adding, “With this being a gaming laptop and for the price of it, one would have expected better sound quality from Lenovo.”
However, it weighs only 6.13 pounds as it comes packed with powerful hardware. Hence, I would say that it is an ideal choice for designers who prefer a lighter model without compromising on power.
|Processor||9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H|
|RAM||16GB Dual-Channel DDR4|
|Hard Disk||512GB NVMe SSD storage|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB|
|Display||17.3 inch FHD IPS screen|
- Powerful processor
- 17-inch large IPS LED display screen
- Satisfactory battery life
- 12MB of built-in cache with Multicore processor
- Faster booting
- Smooth multitasking
- A little bulky
- No thunderbolt port
- Speakers do not match the quality
Larger displays are always a great advantage for 3D model designers. This one has a 17.6 inch large display screen with a powerful 16GB RAM, Intel core i7 CPU, and NVIDIA GPU. So, with smooth performance, you are getting a more expansive display for better work precision.
Things You Should Consider before Buying the Best Laptop for 3D Modeling
Many people have this misconception that GPU is more important than CPU for 3D modeling. Such thoughts can lead to a bad investment. The truth is, the CPU has a vital role in any computer system. It takes most of the load when you are using some designing tools.
Hence, a quality and high-performing CPU is mandatory. Intel is one of the world’s best CPU manufacturers. It is tough to look beyond any of Intel’s CPUs while buying a new laptop. It is not uncommon for anyone, even unversed in technical details, to hear the terms- Core i3, i5, Intel core i7, and i9. These are all famous Intel CPU models.
Intel uses i3 in its beginner model. While i5 makes the most computers out there, Intel core i7 is required for high-graphical performance, like gaming or 3D modeling. These models vary as per their core settings. The ideal decision is to buy the one with more cores.
Cores divide works and make the process faster. However, more cores means more heating. It is the reason why high-end, powerful laptops heat up so quickly. For the best laptop for 3D modelling and rendering, I would recommend buying only the Intel core i7 models.
Any designing work will fail without a good GPU. Graphics matter a lot when you are actually using GPU rendering. The graphics card in your laptop enhances your work by beautifying it, ejecting high frame rates, and making higher resolutions playable on your laptop.
NVIDIA is one of the most reputed manufacturers of high-quality GPUs. It produces graphics cards for both gaming and designing. The GeForce by NVIDIA is a series of consumer-grade cards known as “gaming GPUs.” The Quadro and Titan series, on the other hand, are dedicated graphics cards. These are geared toward AI, rendering, and scientific computation.
Like CPU, GPU also has cores. Do check out the clock speed of the GPU to ensure that it gives smooth performance while you work. You can overclock a GPU to increase its speed as well.
Once you have confirmed the CPU and GPU efficiency and performance, it is time to look out for the best RAM. RAM houses the necessary details during the process. It manages your workload instantly and makes the process more responsive. Animation software requires high responsiveness. So, without a powerful RAM, your system wouldn’t be able to handle that.
I recommend choosing a considerable size of at least 16GB. Remember, although your laptop may seem like a gaming one, it’ll take the huge load of such high-grade industrial animation software. Hence, the bigger the size, the better the performance. You can also opt for 32GB RAM, if your budget permits for laptops.
SSD (Solid State Drive)
SSD or Solid State Drive is a brand new technology of storage devices. Replacing the old HDDs, SSDs are now hammering the market. Most PC manufacturers are now using SSDs, even in entry-level laptops.
SSD boosts laptops speed almost 10x than hard-disk drives. Speed and access to memory are precisely what you need for 3D modeling and animation rendering. Therefore, I always recommend choosing nothing but an SSD as your primary storage device.
Go for laptops offering a minimum of 256GB SSD storage. It would be great if the storage is upgradeable. Brands like Segata, ADATA, and Samsung are some reputed manufacturers of quality SSDs.
HDD (Hard Disk Drive)
Didn’t I say not to pick an HDD laptop? Yes, I did. However, what I meant was not choosing a laptop with HDD as its primary storage option in laptops. Many laptops for 3d modeling come with a secondary storage option. In that case, if your laptop is offering SSD as primary storage and HDD as secondary, it would be the best computer deal.
But, having such a 2-in-1 laptop computer is rare and also costly. Naturally, an SSD should be able to deliver the desired performance. But, you may face a problem when it runs out of space.
So, I would recommend using an external hard disk for storing your previous work records. External hard disks are cheap and affordable. Plus, they are easily available on both online and offline platforms.
When you purchase a laptop with all these features, you will naturally get a good quality screen. It is not the quality that matters. The size of the screen matters a lot in designing.
Since you are not using a desktop, you have limited screen size options. So, try to pick the bigger ones as they will ease your job. I would recommend opting for a screen size of at least 15.6 inch computer.
- What is the minimum RAM requirement for 3D Modeling and rendering?
If you are a beginner with laptops, you can start with 16GB RAM. However, some graphic-intensive animation software may require 32GB of RAM. You can update the RAM later or use it straightaway.
- Will more RAM increase 3D rendering speed?
It is a misconception that RAM increases 3D rendering speed. RAM has almost nothing to do with it. Your laptop’s CPU and GPU are responsible for controlling the speed. Hence, it is necessary that you pick these wisely.
- Is Blender suitable for beginners on laptops?
If you are starting your journey in the 3D modeling animation world, you would want to start with something more simple. Starting with Blender might be hard at the beginning. However, Blender certainly has some unique features that make it one of the most worthy animation software.
3D modeling and 3D rendering can be fun with laptops. You get to find your passion for 3D designing and see it in reality. But you would require software to make your designs. The animation software units are intensive and massive and creates a lot of burden on your computer system.
Therefore, having a laptop matching all the requirements is vital. While making the list of these best laptops for 3D modeling and animation, I took care of every detail.
But I must say that I was fascinated with what the HP ZBook 15 G5 has to offer. It is a powerful laptop with 32GB RAM and a powerful CPU and GPU computer. It has dual storage- with a 1TB SSD, it also houses 1TB HDD. With such specs, you can easily imagine how efficiently it would manage your 3D modelling and rendering.
Following closely, the computer ASUS VivoBook Thin and Light Gaming Laptop wins the runner-up trophy with a powerful 16GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, and 1TB HDD. Its powerful CPU and GPU make your design more professional and enjoyable.
Thirdly, I was impressed by the GIGABYTE AERO 15. It houses a powerful CPU, GPU, or RAM and a cool and eye-catching 4K AMOLED display. However, people may have different laptops choice. So, consider my buyer’s guide, which would help you to find your perfect laptops match.
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Dean Colin is an avid reader and an internet enthusiast who is the man behind TheBestLaptops.net where he reviews cutting edge technology.