Best Laptop for Rendering – There are many laptops for you to choose from for a good 3D modelling experience. The aforementioned laptops are much higher in specifications that you would possibly need, but these higher specifications would ensure smoother experience even in the higher versions of the graphics intensive software’s like Auto CAD.
Take your pick from this list of specialized computers. I’ve narrowed it down to the best laptops workstation options out there. So whichever one you go for, you can be sure you’re making a wise decision!
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- Professional-grade performance: 10th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, 1 TB SSD, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics for professional-level performance
- Extreme durability: Durable laptop build that meets military standards, giving you protection and peace of mind wherever you go
- Stunning display: 15.6-inch UHD OLED main touchscreen display and full-width ScreenPad Plus touchscreen offer 4K dual-screen computer interaction
- Optimized design: Sleek ErgoLift design elevates laptop for optimized cooling, enhanced audio performance, and improved typing position
- Convenient and comfortable layout: LED NumberPad and separate palm rest add comfort and convenience
- Professional level stylus: Active stylus lets you comfortably draw or take handwritten notes
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- 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS BrightView Micro-Edge WLED-Backlit Touchscreen Display, Intel UHD Graphics 620
- 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U Processor, (Quad-Core, 8MB Cache, 1.8 GHz Up To 4.0GHz), 12GB DDR4 Memory, 256GB SSD Boot + 1TB HDD
- 802.11b/g/n/ac (2x2), 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth4.2, Card Reader, B&O PLAY with Dual Speakers, HD Webcam
- 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1, 1 x HDMI1.4, 1 x Combo Headphone / Microphone Jack, RJ-45 Ethernet
- Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 Home, 41 Wh 3-Cell Battery, 4.25 lbs, 14.24" W x 9.51" D x 0.70" H, Mineral Silver
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- 【Upgraded】Seal is opened for upgrade only, 1-Year warranty on Upgraded RAM/SSD from Snow Bell, and original 1-Year Manufacture warranty on remaining components. 【15.6" FHD IPS Display】1920 x 1080 resolution boasts impressive color and clarity, Anti-Glare Energy-efficient LED screen.
- 【AMD Ryzen 7-4800HS Processor】Ultra-low-voltage platform. Octal-core, 16-way processing provides maximum high-efficiency power to go.
- 【16GB DDR4 RAM】Plenty of high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run your games as well as multiple programs. 【1TB SSD】Save files fast and store more data. With plenty amounts of storage and advanced communication power, great for major gaming, multiple servers, backups, and more.
- 【Backlit keyboard】Allows you to enjoy comfortable and accurate typing, even in dim lighting.【NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Graphics】with 6GB GDDR6 provide solid image quality for Internet use, movies, basic photo editing and casual gaming. Dual speakers with Smart Amp.
- 【Windows 10 Pro included】4-cell Lithium-Ion battery (76WHr). 14.2" x 9.9" x 0.8”, 4.62 lbs. 3x USB 3.2 Type-A Gen 1, 1x USB 3.2 Type-C Gen 2, 1x Headphone/Microphone Combo, 1x HDMI. Wireless-AC + Bluetooth, Brushed Black, Bonus 32GB SnowBell USB Card.
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- Processor Manufacturer: Intel
- Processor Type: Core i7
- Processor Generation: 10th Gen
- Processor Model: i7-10750H
- Processor Core: Hexa-core (6 Core)
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5.Acer Predator Helios
- 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H 6-Core Processor (Up to 5.0 GHz) with Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
- Overclockable NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM
- 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED-backlit IPS display (144Hz Refresh Rate, 3ms Overdrive Response Time, 300nit Brightness & 72% NTSC)
- 16 GB DDR4 2933MHz Dual-Channel Memory, 512GB NVMe SSD (2 x M.2 slots; 1 slot open for easy upgrades) & 1 - Available Hard Drive Bay
- 4-Zone RGB Backlit Keyboard | Wireless: Killer Double Shot Pro Wireless-AX 1650i 802. 11ax Wi-Fi 6; LAN: Killer Ethernet E2600 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN; DTS X: Ultra-Audio; 4th Gen All-Metal AeroBlade 3D Fan
- Connectivity technology: Bluetooth
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- GeForce RTX 3060: NVIDIA’s 2nd gen RTX—with new RT Cores, Tensor Cores, and streaming multiprocessors to give the most realistic ray-traced graphics and improved performance.
- More Power: The 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H processor provides the ultimate level of performance with up to 5.0GHz Max Turbo and 6 cores.
- FHD 144Hz: Incredible performance paired with the fast 144Hz 15.6" Full HD thin bezel display helps edge out the win.
- Thin and Compact: The CNC aluminum unibody frame houses incredible performance in the most compact footprint possible, while remaining remarkably durable and just 0.78" thin.
- Ready To Connect: Fully loaded with Wi-Fi 6, Gigabit Ethernet, Thunderbolt 3, USB Type-A and Type-C ports, and HDMI, for a desktop-class experience
- Make It Yours: Customize the backlight color of the keyboard with Razer Chroma, and expand the memory and storage, making the Razer Blade 15 uniquely yours.
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- Display 15 6" Uhd (3840X2160) anti-glare wide view angle 4K
- Processor intel core i7-9750h 2.6 - 4.5ghz
- Graphics NVidia GeForce RTX 2060 6g gddr6 studio driver
- Memory 32gb (16 gram x 2) ddr4 2400mhz 2 sockets max memory 32gb
- Storage 1tb Teton glacier
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- 15.6 inch FHD 4 way NanoEdge bezel display with a stunning 88% screen-to-body ratio
- Powerful AMD Quad Core Ryzen 5 3500U Processor (2M Cache, up to 3.6 GHz)
- AMD Radeon Vega 8 discrete graphics with Windows 10 Home
- 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
- Ergonomic backlit keyboard with fingerprint sensor activated via Windows Hello
- Exclusive ErgoLift design for improved typing position
- Comprehensive connections including USB 3.2 Type-C, USB 3.2, USB 2.0, HDMI, and Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
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- 8th Generation Intel Core i7 8750H Processor (6 Core, 9MB Cache, up to 3.9 Giga Hertz w/Turbo Boost)
- 16GB 2666 Mega Hertz DDR4 up to 32GB
- 256 GB (SSD) Boot + 1 TB 5400 RPM SATA HDD Storage, No ODD
- 15.6 Inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Anti Glare, LED Backlit Display
- Be more productive; Windows 10 is the best for bringing ideas forward and getting things done
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- 8th Gen. Intel Quad-Core i5-8250U Processor 1.6GHz, up to 3.4GHz, 12GB DDR4 2400MHz RAM, 1TB SATA Hard Drive,
- 15.6" Touchscreen Truelife LED-Backlit Full HD (1920 x 1080) Display, Intel Integrated 620 Graphics
- 802.11AC, DVD-RW, Bluetooth 4.2, HD Webcam, MaxxAudio Pro Audio
- Backlit Keyboard, HDMI, 2x USB 3.1, 1x USB 2.0, combo headphone / microphone jack, Media Card Reader
- 3-cell 42 WHr Battery, 4.80lbs, Windows 10 Home 64-bits
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Best Laptop for Rendering – BUYER’S GUIDEback to menu ↑
The best CPU in a Laptop for Animation
This brings us to the CPU specifically.
What makes a CPU fast, anyway? Is it the number of cores, clock speed, cache size, or maybe just the brand: Intel or AMD?
To make it short: For animation, the most important CPU-feature to look for is the clock-speed. The CPU’s clock speed is more important than having lots of Cores or getting a certain Brand.
If your CPU has a low clock speed, your Viewport will become very sluggish, and you won’t be able to animate in real-time. The CPU has a Base Clock Speed, such as 2,6 GHz in the Intel i7-10750H and a higher Turbo-Boost Clock that the CPU can boost to, in this case, 5,0 GHz on some of those Cores.
The CPU Boosting technology can overclock your CPU automatically if:
- Not all Cores are in use at the same time.
- The CPU’s temperature is below a certain threshold.
- The CPU’s power draw is below a certain threshold.
In Animation, often only one or two CPU Cores are being used because of how animation workloads utilize your hardware.
This means having a high Boost-clock will speed up your Viewport’s snappiness while animating considerably.
Recommended CPU Models to get for your Animation Laptop:
- Intel 9th gen mobile CPUs: i7 9750H, i9 9880H
- Intel 10th gen mobile CPUs: i7 10750H, i7 10875H, i9 10980HK
- AMD Ryzen 4000 Series CPUs: 4800H(S), 4900H(S)
All of the above CPUs are excellent for animation as they have a high Base-Clock and a great Boost Clock.
Of course, you’ll find the CPUs above will usually be built into somewhat mid-range to higher-end Laptops.
If you don’t have the means to spend that kind of money, you could settle for a lower-tier CPUs. Be sure to always maximize your base- and boost-clocks.back to menu ↑
RAM (Memory) for the Best Laptop for Animation
The second most important factor in getting the Best Laptop for Animation is the RAM, or Memory.
RAM Speed isn’t that much of a factor, but the size of the memory will do wonders when working on complex scenes, long animations, multiple characters, high-resolution meshes, and textures.
The ability to keep preview Playblasts in your memory for comparison and checking the current animation state if you don’t have Real-time playback is a life-saver.
You will want to go with 8GB as an absolute minimum and target 16GB for a much better experience.
32GB will help in some cases. Having more usually isn’t necessary but might help with extremely complex scenes, large textures, animation simulations, and dynamics that are not keyframe-driven but will need to be cached.
Or, of course, when you’d like to have multiple Applications open at the same time.
The thing about RAM is, it doesn’t impact performance all that much unless you have too little.
If you don’t have enough RAM, your System will start swapping active working Files to Disk, and at this point, the overall performance will crawl to a halt.
You definitely want to avoid having too little RAM.
My recommendation for RAM capacity in your Animation Laptop:
- 8GB of RAM for beginners
- 16GB of RAM for every day, mid-sized scenes
- 32GB+ of RAM for highly complex scenes and/or multiple opened Applications
Best Graphics Card (GPU) for Animation in a Laptop
As discussed above, the Graphics card is responsible for displaying to your in-built Screen or any attached display device.
It will also help display textures and any other Shaders and Real-Time Effects such as SSAO (Screen Space Ambient Occlusion), Realtime Shadows, Anti-Aliasing, Anisotropic Filtering, for a more realistic experience.
The Maya Viewport 2.0, for example, makes heavy use of such effects, and you’ll be much happier with a stronger GPU.
Having a fairly strong GPU will definitely help, but only to a certain point.
As soon as your CPU becomes the bottleneck, the GPU will not help speed up your viewport. It will be waiting for the CPU to finish its tasks to display the result to your screen.
Here are four Laptop GPUs that will perform nicely in an Animation Laptop:
- NVIDIA GTX 1650 Super
- NVIDIA GTX 1660 Super
- NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti
Now, I’ve mentioned a couple of times that the GPU is not an important factor in the active process of animating.
This changes entirely if you plan on using GPU Render Engines.
GPU Render Engines have become quite popular recently, such as Octane, Redshift, Vray-RT, or FurryBall.
These Render Engines utilize your Graphics Card instead of your CPU to render scenes and can be quite a bit faster than using the CPU.
If you plan on using GPU Render Engines, then you should invest in a better GPU.
My GPU recommendations if you are looking at a stronger Laptop or want to use GPU Render Engines:
- NVIDIA RTX 3060
- NVIDIA RTX 3070
- NVIDIA RTX 3080
Beware, though, that having a powerful GPU in a Laptop will make the Laptop bulky and draw more power. It will also make the Laptop quite noisy when Rendering on the powerful in-built GPU.
You might want to consider external GPUs for Rendering on a Laptop. Or try to use an extra Computer or Render node that you can offload any Rendering-intensive tasks to.
Some of you might wonder why there are no AMD GPU recommendations here. The reason is simple:
Nvidia’s GPUs have wider Application and Render-Engine Support, and in many cases, perform better than AMD’s GPUs.
If you absolutely know you will only use Software that supports AMD GPUs, though (like ProRender), then by all means, get a Laptop with an AMD GPU.back to menu ↑
Storage Devices, HDD/ SSD for the Best Laptop for Animation
There has been quite an update in storage hardware over the past few years, and almost all laptops now come with Solid State Drives (SSDs).
In the past, these storage devices used to be Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) that were extremely slow and bottle-necked many aspects of a running system.
SSDs are much faster at reading and writing data, and you can now boot the operating system faster, start your programs more quickly, and load / save your scene updates in a fraction of the time it used to take.
SSDs are also much more robust, they don’t age as fast as HDDs, and they are almost completely shock resistant.
Having an SSD in a laptop is an absolute must.
My Storage recommendation for Animation Laptops:
- A 500GB (or larger) SATA SSD
For those of you who want even greater speed in saving & loading scenes and general storage-related workloads, NVMe SSDs are the way to go.
NVMe SSDs are about twice as expensive, but you get 5-6 times the speed in many workloads.
The sequential read and write performance of NVMe SSDs, in particular, is phenomenal.
Take a look at this comparison of HDD, SSD (SATA), and NVMe SSD Write and Read Speeds:back to menu ↑
The conventional Hard Drive still has its purpose, though.
As HDDs are cheaper per Gigabyte, you can use them as long term storage and for archiving and backing up your projects.
Basically, anything that is not directly involved in your day-to-day workflow should be moved to an HDD.
I usually have external HDDs that I switch on in the evening after a day’s work and backup anything I worked on to the external HDD.back to menu ↑
The best Laptop for Animation should have the ability to be upgraded as you’ll want to use this Laptop for at least a couple of years.
Because technology progression is so fast, though, the Laptop might not be up to speed anymore after a few years. If you can upgrade your Laptop, this will give you some extra time before you have to buy a new one.
In most Laptops, there are some components that you can swap out on your own and upgrade or have a repair shop replace for you.
For example, you could buy a Laptop with only 256GB of SSD Storage built in, now, and after a year, you might realize that you need more storage space for all the new projects and clients.
A larger SSD would certainly come in handy.
You can now easily upgrade to a larger and maybe even faster SSD as the technology has progressed.
Get a 500GB or even 1TB SSD that will take care of your pressing storage needs until it is time to get an entirely new Laptop for Animation.
The same applies to RAM.
You can usually get a laptop that will have some unused RAM slots, and you can add more RAM later on if you find your memory to be full all the time.
Both the CPU and GPU, unfortunately, aren’t that easy to upgrade on your own.
These are usually hidden beneath parts of cooling solutions, and you would have to talk to the manufacturer or a repair shop to have these upgraded.back to menu ↑
Frequently Asked Questionsback to menu ↑
What Laptops do Animators use?
You don’t really need an exotic kind of Laptop or any specific features to animate on a Laptop. There certainly are some features that will make your work more efficient & faster, but any Laptop that meets the minimum requirements for the Animation Software you would like to use, can basically be used to animate on.back to menu ↑
What is a good Computer for Animation?
If you’d rather like to use a Desktop PC instead of a Laptop for Animation, be sure to read on in-depth Guide on what the Best PC for Animation looks like.back to menu ↑
Is 8GB of RAM enough for Animation?
As we already discussed in this Article, 8GB of RAM can be enough for doing Animation on simple Scenes. You’ll be much happier with 16GB (or even 32GB) though, especially if your Scenes have lots of geometry, or if you’d like to use other Software in parallel.back to menu ↑
Are Gaming Laptops good for Animation?
Yes, absolutely! Many Laptop manufacturers market Laptops at Gamers, because the Gaming Target group is much bigger than the Animation or Content Creation Target Group. This doesn’t mean you can only game on a “Gaming Laptop”.
After some quick answers to those questions, here are our Animation Laptop recommendations:back to menu ↑
Along with a powerful GPU, a large storage and high RAM is also required. A computer with a higher screen resolution and a relatively large screen size serves you the best. The gaming laptops have great graphics and performance, and hence suits your needs for 3D modelling too.
Most CAD applications like Solidworks, Revit have published minimum hardware and system requirements on their website. Solidworks for instance needs atleast 8gb ram and 64bit processor with SSE2 support along with dedicated graphics card. The OS needs to be Windows 7 or above.