There is an infamous question floating around these days,” What is the best laptop for architecture students?” Some may even argue that laptops aren’t necessary for architecture students, yet laptops are now a must-have for any student, let alone an architecture student who needs to run various architectural applications such as AutoCAD, Revit, Vectorworks, and Archicad for CAD work.
It can be tough to find a best laptop for architecture that meets the requirements of an architectural student. Architects require computers that are far more powerful than the norm. Many different programs are being used in architectural design to meet various objectives. Because a lot of the software is resource heavy, you’ll require a laptop with enough power to complete your architectural designs. Although many machines can run Revit or 3DS Max, it’s important to remember that they could not do so well.
Whether you like it or not, a PC, laptop, or Mac is one of the most critical tools for today’s architects and architecture students (apart from probably a sketching tablet). It’s nearly hard to succeed in studying the subject or running and managing a business without one.
So, when you’re shopping for your first computer for architecture student or simply replacing an old one, we’ve written this article to inform you of what is the best laptop for architecture students and architectural visualization.
When weighing your options and deciding on the best solution, keep in mind the system requirements of the apps you’ll be utilising.
Your institution / university / employer ought to be able to help you with this, however some of the more popular ones for architects and students are:
- AutoCAD, Revit, Vectorworks, and Archicad for CAD work
- SketchUp, 3ds max, Cinema 4D and rhino for 3D modelling
- Vray, Corona Render and Lumion for image rendering
- Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign for graphic work and image editing
In fact, it’s very probable that you’ll encounter all of them at some point!
We’ll go over everything there is to know about choosing a best laptop for architecture students
- 0.1 CPU
- 0.2 RAM
- 0.3 Storage
- 0.4 Screen Size
- 0.5 Graphics Cards [GPU]
- 0.6 Operating system
- 0.7 Weight:
- 1 Most Common Mistakes while choosing an Architecture Laptop
- 2 Conclusion
You’ll be working with heavy-duty CAD and modelling software. You don’t want these programs to run slowly or keep disconnecting. Selecting and applying all of the tools for designing and editing will be significantly easier with a high-end CPU.
Also, a quad-core or more CPU is strongly recommended; the higher the clock speed, the better. If a single core displays a picture in one minute, a dual core takes half that time, and a quad-core takes a fourth of that time.
For drafting or drawing, a decent CPU clock speed for architectural laptops should be +4GHz. Unless you’re rendering at home or using the cloud, a 5GHz processor with 6-8 cores, such as the Core i7-9750H/AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS, is recommended.
Overall, you’ll want as much processing power as feasible.
Architectural programs like cad and revit will completely consume all of your RAM, and if you are running numerous applications at the same time, your computer will most likely hang if you don’t have enough RAM.
best laptops for cad and revit should have at least RAM you’ll need is 8 GB, but we strongly advise that you acquire 16 GB or more to ensure that everything functions well.
For architecture students, 8GB RAM is recommended. Everyone else will definitely need 16-32GB.
Hard Disk Drive Storage
Architectural models and other 3D draughts eat up a lot of space on your hard drive. If you want to be sure you have enough space to save all of your files, acquire a hard disc with at least 1TB of storage and dedicate it solely to your architecture job.
You can always acquire an external hard drive if you run out of space.
Hard disc storage has its limitations and is frequently subject to physical damage. Your laptop’s interior isn’t always the safest area, and if something bad happens to it, you’ll lose all of your files as well.
Solid State Drive
Solid State Drives outperform hard drives in terms of speed and reliability. Architectural CAD software takes up a lot of disc space, therefore installing it on an SSD drive would make sense because it would load faster.
You can also use the SSD to store some of your important libraries and works in progress.
We advocate having a hybrid HDD and SDD so that you may keep your non-essential files on the HDD and your crucial files on the SSD.
When dealing with 3d maps and models, or when attempting to design the interior of a house, having a big field of view is advantageous.
You’ll spend less time scrolling up, down, or sideways if you have greater screen space. As a result, we suggest a screen size of at least 15 inches, but preferably 17 inches or more.
This implies that all MacBooks, MacBook Airs, and Chromebooks are no longer available. There are also a number of gaming notebooks available that have the necessary specifications but lack the necessary screen size.
Needless to say, creatives frequently employ multi-screen displays, which necessitates the usage of external GPUs.
For architecture students, 17” would be ideal, but that would mean carrying extra weight. Only recommended for professional architects who aren’t constantly going from site to conference. If you need a large panoramic view of the tools/interfaces, 4k is no longer something to be avoided.
Graphics Cards [GPU]
When dealing with applications where small, minute details matter a lot, having a high-quality graphics card and ample graphics RAM is critical. In these circumstances, the antialiasing must be flawless.
If you’re going to be rendering and altering 3D models, you’ll need a graphics processor with at least 2 GB of memory. If you’re still in college, any graphics processor from Nvidia above the 960M range would suffice.
The Nvidia Quadro or AMD FirePro family of graphics cards are designed specifically for Workstation laptops. Computer-aided design (CAD), computer-generated imagery (CGI), digital content creation (DCC), and other applications require graphics cards.
These graphics cards are even recommended by the firms that create the CAD software. Because of their increased Error Correcting Code Memory and floating-point precision, the margin of error and mistakes when using these graphics cards is low.
Fortunately for you, there are a plethora of laptops that meet this criterion, and some of them aren’t even that pricey.
For students, a 1050/1050Ti GPU is sufficient. Professional architects or students who already perform some side work can benefit from a 1060GTX/1660Ti. Only use a Quadro/FirePro if you’re working with Revit/3DS Max’s specific plug-ins.
You can also equip a peripheral GPU to boost your laptop’s graphics performance to make it best architecture laptop
The operating system is in charge of the computer’s software and hardware, including files, memory, and any attached peripherals. People often disagree over which operating system to use, and everyone has a favourite.
Most architectural firms, especially in the United Kingdom, have long preferred windows. Despite the fact that many businesses are migrating to the more design-oriented OS X, Windows is still widely used. One of the biggest advantages of Windows is that it has more applications than any other operating system. Revit is included with this. The Mac version of Autodesk Revit has yet to be published. Another advantage of Windows PCs is that they are frequently less expensive, and there is a wide variety to choose from.
Apple is well-known for its attractive designs and high-quality products. OS X, their operating system, has the same feature. It’s simple to use and comes with a wide range of mac architectural software right out of the box, making it a joy to use. Revit is not yet available on OS X, which is a problem. What exactly does this imply? For the time being, you can use Parallels to run Windows alongside OS X and install Revit on Windows.
MacBooks offer the most up-to-date technology, including strong CPUs, excellent graphics, and a stylish design – all of which can come at a big price!
In case you missed it, there’s also the Chrome operating system, which was created by Google just for their Chromebooks. Because the Chromebook doesn’t support Adobe, you won’t be able to use Photoshop. Regrettably, they are insufficiently powerful for real architectural work!
3lb would be the appropriate weight for somebody on the move. Unfortunately, laptops with dedicated graphics cards and fast CPUs weigh around 5 pounds on average. 3.5lb-4lb with excellent GPUs and CPUs are available, however they are prohibitively pricey.
Most Common Mistakes while choosing an Architecture Laptop
The truth is that most of you won’t need to spend more than $3000 on a good laptop for architecture (although a very small fraction of individuals will). If you’re a student or someone on the go with a lot of cash, you’d be better off spending it on a portable and well-designed laptop than on electricity you may never use.
You’ll find out what kind of laptop you’ll need and how to avoid the three most common mistakes architects make when purchasing one:
Choosing the incorrect graphics card:
This is dependent on the size of your models and whether or not you’re utilising any specific plugins.
When it comes to rendering, not having enough RAM makes all the difference.
Insufficient workspace for drafting, resolution conflict with some software and is one of the biggest mistakes an architecture student can make.
What is the best laptop for architecture students? Is a critical question for architecture students.
It’s crucial to note that these system requirements are above and beyond what would be considered standard, therefore the hardware required is more advanced and expensive than your typical student PC, but fairly similar to that of an engineering student or animator.
As a result, these types of computers are not usually accessible “off the shelf,” and thorough study is required to guarantee that you get the best laptop for architecture.
The good news is that, aside from specific rendering requirements (architecture visualisation), 2D, 3D, and graphic work have very similar requirements.
Remember that each laptop has a unique collection of options that cater to a unique set of requirements, so read the specifications carefully to determine which one is the best fit for you.