As gamers and engineers, architects look for some considerations when buying a laptop to meet their individual needs. These considerations include CPU, GPU, storage, battery life, display size and resolution, ports and price. Keeping this in mind, we have made a list of laptops that are the best for architects. We have tested their performance, portability and build-in quality. In everything, they are comparable to their competitors and hard to beat. That makes them suitable for architecture students and creative professionals. Since the growing trend of adopting gaming laptops by the architectures due to the former’s powerful specifications, we have included laden with power. Before making a list of the best laptops for architects, let’s first throw light on the considerations that are required while doing architecture related work
What should be present in a laptop for architects?
If you are an experienced practitioner, young architect, or architecture student, the following considerations should be kept in mind while buying a laptop
• Overall Specifications:
The first important thing to keep in mind is the overall specifications. According to Brianna Grimm, 32GB of RAM, 30GB of free disk, and 4GB of video memory on the graphics card are the minimum system specs for an architect that regularly uses Revit. So, the overall specs should be enough for an architect to perform computing tasks with comfort.
Any architect would use powerful CAD and modeling software to get his work done. So the laptop should be armed with at least an Intel Core i7 processor or an AMD Ryzen 7 processor.
GPU is another consideration to be kept in mind. Hardcore graphic software such as 3ds Max, Rhino or Revit requires a powerful graphics card. Thus an ideal laptop would be that possesses at least a 4GB VRAM GPU.
A big chunk of RAM is needed while architectural software produces multitasking and high-quality renderings. That is why 16GB or 32GB RAM is preferable, but 8GB is enough for most purposes.
• Display Size and Resolution:
Another important consideration is display size. A laptop with a display size of almost 15 and 17 inches is considered good enough to perform architectural tasks with comfort. But, if your priority is portability, then a 13 to 14-inch display would let you do everyday tasks. Resolution is another necessary need. An FHD display should at least be in the display to avoid irritation while doing work. However, laptops with UHD, 4Kor, 5K displays make an excellent deal.
These are some considerations and requirements of architects. Let’s now look at the List of the Best Laptops for Architects:
Samsung Notebook 9
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14
HP Zbook Studio G5
Hard Disk Size
512 GB SSD
8 GB/ DDR4 SDRAM
16 GB/ DDR DRAM
32 GB DDR4 SDRAM
Windows 10 Pro
CPU Model Manufacturer
1: HP Zbook Studio G5:
The first laptop that is the best for architects is the HP Zbook Studio G5. The Zbook series has long been a pioneer of powerful mobile workstations, and the very model is named the “world’s most powerful workstation of its size.” Being the best laptop for architecture, the model at a glance comes with an Intel Core i9 processor and NVIDIA Quadro RTX Graphics that can handle the modelling and visualization needs of even the most promising projects.
Moreover, HP’s signature DreamColor screen and numerous other modifications make this best laptop for architecture students hard to beat. When it comes to price, this powerful laptop is comparable to its competitors. If you search for a lovely laptop for architecture, this high-end laptop will satisfy you with its powerful configuration. The same configuration of this 15.6-inch laptop includes i9-8950HK Hexa-core with a speed of 2.90 GHz, 32GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and in-plane switching (IPS) technology. This top laptop is known for its power and toughness, but not much for its portability. However, this best laptop for architects weighs 2kg, though a big and heavy machine.
Moreover, the 4K display affects its battery life. But even with this, this top laptop can perform intensive architecture tasks with ease. When it comes to power and performance, this best laptop for architects impresses everyone as HP claims it has “passed 14 rigorous military-standard tests like shock, drop and dust.” Summing up, Zbook Studio G5 is among the best architecture laptops that is a balanced amalgamation of power, performance, style, vibrant display and price.
- Bright 4K Display
- Xeon Processor
- Sufficient Port Connectivity
- Large and Heavy
- Moderate Battery Life
2: Samsung_Notebook 9 Pro:
Another laptop that comes in the list of best laptops for architects is Samsung Notebook 9 Pro. This best laptop for young professionals sports s a flappable touchscreen and a stylus for sketching so comparable to the Dell Inspiron and the Microsoft Surface Book. The very model is the company’s best laptop for architects. Arming with an Intel Core i7 processor, Intel UHD Graphics 620 and storage of up to 2TB SSD, this best-designed laptop is perfectly fine and can perform architectures with comfort. Weighing 2.8 pounds and measuring 0.5 inches, this 13.3-inch ultraportable 2-in-1 is one of the lightest in the series. That adds its appeal. Coming to battery life that can last for 12 hours, this flappable laptop can work for a day.
Moreover, the keyboard is comfortable and easy to type on, making longer periods easy and comfortable. Areas of compromise are port connectivity and moderate display. However, this touchscreen Samsung laptop offers good performance and robust battery life that make this laptop architect-friendly.
- Decent Performance
- Solid Battery Life
- Premium Design
- Moderate Display
- Not Impressive Port Selection
3: Acer Nitro 5:
If you are an architect and looking for the best laptop, the Acer Nitro 5 ticks off all the right boxes for your architecture needs. Ideal for architecture students, this new best laptop can handle more demanding tasks without the sweat. It is armed with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics card, a mid-tier 8th Gen Intel Core processor, a decent 1080p display and a comfortable keyboard. That keyboard gives a comfortable and pleasant typing experience. Students and especially architecture can work on this top laptop for hours without getting tired. Other configuration includes 4 to 16 GB RAM, 1TB HDD and a 128GB SSD. The combination of low price and powerful specs makes this high-end laptop the best laptop out there.
Moreover, battery life is sufficient enough to perform computing tasks without carrying a charger everywhere. As everything has some flaws, the same goes with this laptop. The cheap plastic back cover, the basic keyboard and the heavyweight are some shortcomings of this top laptop for designers. Even with all this, this high-end laptop is a good choice for architects who are looking for a laptop that offers good performance at an affordable price.
- Good Battery Life
- User Controllable Fans
- Good Performance at an Affordable Price
- Thick Display Bezel
- Basic Keyboard with too Much Travel on Trackpad
4: Lenovo IdeaPad 3:
If we talk about budget Chromebooks, their styling, build quality, and look are not very impressive, but this is not the case with the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Chromebook. The only bargains this bargain laptop comes with are temperate areas such as storage quantity and display resolution that help perform architecture-related tasks. That is the reason this high-speed laptop is among the top architecture laptops. Moreover, 4GB of RAM, Intel Celeron processor and 720p HD display of this high-powered laptop are insubstantial by Mac and Windows. The build quality of this processor laptop is much more solid than the average $250 laptop.
However, if you have a limited budget and you want to buy a laptop that can best perform projects of architects, this model will come up with your needs. At the high-resolution display cost, you will get plenty of external connectivity, enough power for basic tasks, well-built chassis, good battery life, and an attractive style. If you don’t need powerful computing components or a high-resolution display, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 impressively comes up with value for money, thanks to its decent keyboard, good battery life and attractive styling. Such is an appeal of this best architecture laptop.
- Sleek Silver Exterior
- Spill-Resistant Keyboard
- Long Battery Life
- Built-in MicroSD Card Reader
- USB-C Charging and Lots of Ports
- Very Low Price
- No Wi-Fi Support
- Cramped 32GB Storage Drive
- Low-Resolution, Dim TN-based Display
5: ASUS VivoBook 15:
When you think of speed, style and long battery life, the ASUS VivoBook 15 does not disappoint you. If you want to fulfill your architecture needs and buy a powerful laptop, the very model will not let you down. This high-powered laptop is equipped with Intel Core i3-1005G1, Intel UHD graphics, 8GB RAM and 128 GB SSD, and this 15.6-inch laptop is architecture-friendly. However, given the price, the overall size, like 3.7 pounds weight and 14.1*9.2*0.8, is both pleasant and a surprise. When it comes to power, this high-speed laptop surpasses its competitors. However, a dim display and short battery life are unmatchable even with laptops in this price range. Even with all this, this high-performance laptop is a suitable option for architectures looking for performance at an affordable price.
- Bright, Colorful Display
- Good Connectivity
- Powerful Processors
- Short Battery Life
- Only 1080p Resolution
6: HP Pavilion 15:
HP Pavilion is another laptop with a great reputation for providing good performance at a reasonable price, making this high-end laptop suitable for architectures. The HP Pavilion comes in a 15.6-inch full HD IPS touch screen. Moreover, this new best laptop occupies 512 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM and Ryzen 5-2500U processor that makes this machine powerful enough to do your computing tasks. Other specs that make this best laptop out there favourite for creative designers include Intel Core i7 and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660. That means this top laptop is a pendulum swinging between performance and price.
Moreover, the keyboard gives a pleasant typing experience. With the performance it gives, this laptop for architects undercuts most of its competitors, making it an ideal choice for architects. Coming to shortcomings, this best laptop for young professionals is predominantly plastic and not super lightweight, making it difficult to carry. However, there is nothing wrong with this laptop, and it is a respectable contender that will satisfy architectures with its performance.
- Decent Battery Life
- Nice Keyboard
- Good Speakers
- Average Display
7: Acer Swift 3:
When it comes to getting the best laptop for architects, the Acer Swift 3 is hard to beat with performance, speed, style and price, making it ideal for creative designers. This high-speed laptop exceeds all expectations. This model proves that a portable does not necessarily come at a high price where performance is concerned. Intel Core i5 processors, Intel UHD graphics, 8GB DDR4, 512 GB SSD, 1.2 kg weight and size of 12.6*8.5*0.6 make this laptop laden with power.
Moreover, this top laptop is the epitome of a budget laptop. When it comes to flaws, this high-powered laptop still possesses some of the previous model’s flaws, such as the tinny, downward-facing speakers. When it comes to improvements, the model has better performance and longer battery life making it suitable for architects. The result is solid performance with longer battery life and lower price. In other words, the Acer Swift 3 is a fantastic Ultrabook that will impress you with its performance. Being a budget laptop adds its appeal to designers and architects.
- Highly Portable
- Very Affordable
- Excellent Multitasker
- Not Great for Gaming
- Speakers are “Meh”
8: Dell G3:
Dell G3 is one of the best laptops for designers and architects thanks to its price, performance and look. Although configuration is upgradable with the price, yet Dell’s cheapest laptop is back and better than ever. Basic configurations include Intel Core i5 9th Gen, GTX 1650 GPU backed by the Alienware Command Center’s full power and long battery life, making this best architecture laptop a good choice. However, a 15.6-inch super dull display is uncommon for a laptop in this range, making outdoor work difficult. But overall performance is good enough. In addition to this, lightweight and being slim make this laptop easy to carry and travel-friendly. Designers, as well as architects, can travel with this comfortably. Summing up, if you are on a tight budget, the Dell G3 is the cheap laptop where you have to make a sacrifice for a super-light display.
- Good Performance for the Money
- Thin and Light
- Longer Battery Life
- Attractive Design
- Super Dull Display
9: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14:
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 is among those machines that have specifically been designed for the graphic requirement and demanding power. In addition to this, this top laptop is a suitable choice for architects who are looking for a machine with good specs and a reasonable price. Armed with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU and AMD Ryzen 9-4900HS processor, this high-end laptop occupies a lot of power in its 14-inch chassis.
Moreover, with 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD and more than 11 hours of battery life, this high-powered laptop is like dreams have come true. This is not a dream because ASUS G14 is powerful enough to perform many tasks without sweat that makes it suitable for architects. Except that, its portability and being travel-friendly adds to its reputation, making it appealable for students. If we sum up, it will be right to say that the model at a glance delivers great performance, good battery life and unbeatable portability. That makes this top laptop suitable for architects.
- Good Performance
- Longer Battery Life
- Extremely Portable
- No Webcam
- Keyboard has Backlighting Issues
10: Lenovo Legion 5:
The Lenovo Legion is the best laptop that provides worth for the money paid for performance. Since the AMD Ryzen platform performs marvelously in CPU-heavy tasks, this flappable laptop offers good inputs, a clean utilitarian design, vibrant display, and multiple configuration options. When we compare it with others, this high-speed laptop hides great performance beneath a minimalist hood. Being a combination of both hybrid work and play potential, this new best laptop is a fantastic choice for architects. Be it design, display, keyboard, performance, battery life or price, this high-speed laptop is difficult to beat, making it architects-friendly.
Moreover, its design is very stylish that makes it very attractive. That is the reason this best-designed laptop is among the best laptops for architects. In short, this 15-inch laptop offers great performance at an affordable price.
- Stylish Design
- Decent Battery life
- Encouraging Specs
- Could be Lighter and Thinner
To pen off, it can be said that the laptops mentioned above are the best laptops for architecture students. Their configuration, design, display, processors, graphics card, keyboard, battery life, performance, storage and price are all architect-friendly. The combination of encouraging specs and affordable price make them perform even intensive tasks with ease, making them favorite among the designers and architects.
Buying guide for laptops for architects
As an architect, you need a powerful laptop to perform your tasks regardless of your skill level. Architects need a lot of processing power, graphics performance, software compatibility, and tools to run demanding software like AutoCAD, Revit, Rhino 3D, etc.
If you don’t know what to look for, you may end up getting the wrong laptop. It will not only waste your money but also harm your productivity. Hence, we have written this article that highlights the need of the architects and guides them through the buying process.
In this article, you will learn what to look for in a laptop as an architect. We want to help you get the best laptop. So, stop worrying and start reading!
5 considerations before buying a laptop for architecture
The focus of this article is to help architects get a decent laptop. We want you to get the best possible laptop without making unnecessary costs. You probably cannot afford an expensive laptop if you’re a student.
However, entry-level laptops can barely deal with the workload of architecture students and professionals. A true gaming laptop may cover most of the essential requirements. But you still need to be careful. We have written this article for both students and professional architects. So, let’s get started.
The CPU/processor is an essential component of any mobile workstation. It carries out the instructions by performing different arithmetic logic. The processor also deals with inputs and outputs.
The processor instructs the GPU on what to show on the screen. It works hard when you work on different programs. The more details and objects you have in your 3D designs, the harder your processor will work.
That’s why your laptop needs high processing power. You can choose from an Intel or AMD processor. Get a 7th gen Core i7 or a 9th gen Core i5 processor. If you want to use your laptop for at least 3-4 years, you should get a 9th gen Core i7 processor. If you choose an AMD processor, buy a Ryzen 3700x.
Architectural software compatibility
Architects use a lot of demanding software. The laptop needs to be compatible with the software. If you want to buy a MacBook, make sure it supports the software you need.
Architecture software is expensive and specially made. The OS is crucial. When buying a laptop, you need to ensure it supports the software you need. If your computer is unsuitable for the software you use, it becomes useless.
Architects run a lot of demanding software on their laptops. If your laptop doesn’t have a dedicated GPU, the processor with integrated graphics will have to deal with it.
GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit. A dedicated graphics card takes off the processing strain from the CPU. They can also contain their own memory to take the strain off the system RAM. So, you need a good graphics card because it will determine your performance in a 3D workspace.
We recommend following the Lumion standards. Lumion changes its system requirements every year. You can check the software version you intend to use and get a laptop GPU accordingly. 4 GB graphics memory is recommended. You can check out the Lumion standards here.
Ports are also essential for architectural laptops. But GPU comes before that. If you need to sacrifice, do that on ports. You can do fine with a few ports short.
You need ample storage to store all your designs and files. The storage type and space both are crucial. You will need to process a lot of data. SSDs are the fastest type of storage and processes data a lot faster than traditional HDDs.
We recommend laptops equipped with at least 512 GB of SSD storage. If you need more space, you can combine an HDD with an SSD. Just make sure your laptop supports that. An SSD with big memory will run architectural programs smoother.
On the computer, you can run certain programs at the same time. You can open more programs simultaneously with a more powerful RAM. We recommend 16 GB RAM so the laptop can perform the required tasks properly.
For example, a higher amount of RAM (DDR4 16GB) will allow you to run AutoCAD, Photoshop at the same time without stressing out the processor. But if you open Lumion and multiple browser windows as well, your laptop will struggle. A 32 GB RAM will be perfect for handling all types of work. But if you have the budget, go for 64 GB RAM.
Getting the perfect screen size is tricky. You want a big enough laptop, but you don’t want it to be heavy. You should get a light laptop you can work anywhere. If you carry a heavy laptop, it will put a strain on your back.
On the other hand, very small screen size will put a strain on your eyes. We recommend a 15.6-inch laptop. If you use a MacBook (13-inch, 14-inch models), it won’t be suitable for long-term usage. In that case, bigger monitors are recommended.
Frequently Asked Questions
MAC vs. Windows- which should I get for architecture?
It’s a matter of perspective and preference. MacBooks are more expensive. MacBooks are really powerful (especially ones with the M1 chip). If you’re into the Apple ecosystem, you can go for MacBooks. MacBooks have sleeker designs. If that is important to you, you can go for MacBooks.
We prefer Windows laptops for architecture. You can save a lot of money by picking Windows laptops. If you want to get an affordable laptop for architecture, go for Windows. Windows laptops are ideal for all types of software as well.
AMD vs. Intel-which processor is best for architecture?
Both AMD and Intel have powerful processors. But we recommend AMD processors. Gaming laptops with AMD processors are becoming increasingly popular among the gaming community. They are comparatively stronger than Intel processors in terms of architectural processing and work.
Intel processors are great as well. But they are a bit expensive. You can get better performance within the same budget from an AMD processor.
Architectural laptops are expensive. You cannot compromise on quality here. However, you don’t want to spend needlessly either. Hopefully, you have found this article helpful. Let us know if you have any questions. We will be happy to help.