Laptops

5 Best Laptops For Revit: Reviews For Information Modeling

Revit, the building structural modeling software for engineers and architects, is world-class software. Part of that class, though, requires specific laptop capabilities for rendering images and large files.

If you are looking for the best laptops for Revit, you are in the right place. This article will rate, review, and compare the 5 best laptops capable of running Revit based on AutoDesk’s recommendations.

Image

Model

Processor

RAM/GPU

Screen Size

Storage

Battery Life

Check Price

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC,...

Intel Core i7, quad-core, 2.8GHz

32GB

15.6 Inches

256GB SSD

Up to 5 Hours

2020 HP Pavilion 15 15.6' FHD Touchscreen...

Intel Core i7, 3.9GHz, 4-core

16GB

15.6 Inches

1TB SSD

Up to 8 Hours

Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop (Windows 10 Home,...

Intel Core i7, 4.5GHz 6-core

16GB

15.6Inches

256GB SSD + 1TB HDD

Up to 6 Hours

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 12.3'...

Intel i5, 2.4GHz, 4-core

16GB

12.3 Inches

256GB SSD

10.5 Hours

Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS,15.6' Gaming...

Intel Core i7, 2.8GHz, 4-core

16GB

15.6 Inches

512GB SSD

Up to 8 Hours


Why Choosing the Right Laptop When Using Revit Matters

Revit, on its own, isn't a power-hungry program. However, rendering scaling models, large images, and other capabilities of the program require some muscle under the hood. What used to be a powerful desktop computer application can now be run on modern laptops with ease.

As long as you choose the right laptop, you will be able to run the program from anywhere, even on the job site. It is important to choose the right laptop based on performance, capabilities, and even potential upgrades.

We don't know what the world of Revit will offer tomorrow, and the laptop you buy today should be ready to handle anything.


Laptop Specs & Requirements For Revit

AutoDesk, makers of Revit, lists specific requirements based on the needs of the end result. They have their list split into 3 different categories, and to be honest, it can become confusing. Below, I have taken those specifications and split them into two groups: professional and student.

You will find that while most situations call for the same things, there are just certain aspects students don't need yet. However, it is always wise to weight future potential into the equation, and if you are unsure which specs to follow, always go for the higher specs when available. You can use the lower specifications as a fallback.

Project Size

Student projects generally are limited in size. Compared to a full presentation used by professionals, the student side will have smaller images, less rendering, and may or may not use all of the features Revit offers.

On the other hand, a professional will need to be prepared at any time to ramp up their performance and utilize features seldom chosen. Because of this, a higher-powered laptop is needed in such situations.

Laptop Specs & Features

Processor

The processor, or CPU is measured in hertz. Generally, gigahertz will be the standard measuring stick here, and the higher the number, the faster and more capable the processor. Unlike a rig set up for intense online gaming, you won't need to worry about overclocking speed or abilities (though you can if you want).

Instead, if you are a student, you should settle for nothing less than an Intel Core i5 series processor or AMD Ryzen series at least 2.4ghz in speed with multiple cores. The professional should find the highest speed and number of cores, usually resulting in the Intel i9 or AMD Ryzen 2; at least 3.0ghz.

Core I7 HQ And Intel HK I7 For Drafting Or Intel Xeon For Rendering
Depending on your chosen path through the system, the Core and HK Intel series may be better suited for your use when drafting more than rendering. Likewise, the Intel Xeon processor has multiple cores with a high clock speed capable of quickly rendering the most intense and high-resolution graphics.

Memory/RAM

The AutoDesk guide merely states that the more RAM you can use, the better the program will run. When drafting or rendering, the Revit software will utilize as much RAM as you can allocate to it.

For students, this translates to about 8GB of RAM minimum to not experience any lag. Professionals, on the other hand, will need to at least double that, using a laptop with at least 16GB of RAM.

Monitor/Display Panel

The monitor display should be high definition. Full 1080p is recommended, though nothing is stopping you from going 4k or 8k. The higher your screen resolution, the better your graphics will appear on the laptop.

Touch screens aren’t a requirement, though they do open up more possibilities within the software for drafting, so it is worth considering.

Storage Drives

Most modern laptops will come with two storage drives. One, smaller SSD will have the Operating Systems and most of the required software installed on it. The sizes range from 128gig to 2TB, though it is common to find them in 128G and 256G.

The second drive is a standard HDD that has a much larger capacity. This is designed for the file storage and is where most of your project files will reside. Anything over 512G is recommended, though at least 1TB should be warranted for this program.

Dedicated Graphics Card

Your laptop needs to have a dedicated graphics card instead of an integrated card. This will allow your graphics to run on their own RAM and produce smoother faster graphics. GeForce and Nvidia usually run the laptop market and is what you will find most. Any of the GeForce M-series or higher cards or the Nvidia GTX cards will work just fine for your needs.

Portability

The whole idea behind a laptop is to be able to work from anywhere without being tethered to a desk all day. To help facilitate this, your new laptop should be lightweight and easily portable. The average weight of modern, fully capable laptops is about 5 to 6 pounds. If you find one with all the requirements under 4 pounds, grab it. These unicorns will serve you well.

Battery Life & Performance

Battery life is also important. Since the program does require a lot of system resources, it will also consume a lot of battery power.  The higher the graphics and the longer it takes to draft and render your project, the more battery is needed.

You should look for a battery that will last at least 5 hours, though anything over 8 hours is ideal.

Price & Warranty

Finally, you will want to keep an eye on your pocketbook. The price of a modern laptop can get pretty expensive. Part of this is trying to go top end on all equipment and hardware. While certain hardware parts (mentioned above) need to be higher-quality, the other parts are going to be a matter of preference.

If your preference is for a more expensive flavor, you will need to adjust your budget for that. You also need to verify the terms and conditions of the laptop warranty. Make sure you understand what it will entail to make a claim and the process and procedure, as well as the coverage period the warranty offers.


5 Best Laptops For Revit Reviewed

1. Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC,...
  • 9th Generation Intel Core i7 9750H 6 Core...
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Graphics with 6GB...
  • 15.6 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen...
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory, 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD...

Best Laptop For AutoCAD And Revit

Processor

Intel Core i7, quad-core, 2.8GHz

RAM/GPU

32GB

Screen Size

15.6 Inches

Storage

256GB SSD

Battery Life

Up to 5 Hours

Warranty

1-year limited warranty

The best laptop for AutoCAD and Revit happens to be a gaming laptop. This isn’t a real surprise since gaming laptops have some of the best parts and specs available. This particular model uses the Intel i7 chipset, which produces between 2.8 and 3.4GHz of speed and processing power.

It also has a dedicated video card, the GeForce GTX 1060. This video card has dedicated vRAM (6GB), so its performance isn't reliant on the RAM installed on the laptop. That 32GB of RAM supplies the power to the software running on the computer, and in the case of Revit, is much more than the program needs.

With a large 15.6-inch screen size and full 1080p HD resolution, you won't ever have to worry about lag, video frame rates, skipping, or blank spots. You also don't need to worry about performance issues. Revit will use all four cores of the processor, but the allocation will also allow you to run other programs simultaneously.

The battery life may be the one downside, offering up to 5 hours under optimal conditions. This means that running Revit only, you can expect between 3 and 4 hours before the battery needs a charge.

Also Recommended: Best Laptops for AutoCAD

Good
  • More system memory than required
  • Adjustable CPU speed
  • 4-cores for more processing
Bad
  • Lower battery life

2. HP Pavilion 15

2020 HP Pavilion 15 15.6" FHD Touchscreen...
  • Powered by latest 10th Gen Intel Core...
  • HP Pavilion 15: 15.6" diagonal FHD IPS...
  • 16GB 2666MHz DDR4 Memory for full-power...
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX 201 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5...

Best Laptop For Revit And Lumion

Processor

Intel Core i7, 3.9GHz, 4-core

RAM/GPU

16GB

Screen Size

15.6 Inches

Storage

1TB SSD

Battery Life

Up to 8 Hours

Warranty

1-year limited warranty

The HP Pavilion has been a benchmark working laptop for years now. Each new version is better than the last, and the HP Pavilion 15 is the best laptop for Revit a Lumion. Lumion, another 3D rendering architectural program, requires similar specs to Revit and Revit LT.

The HP model delivers, and you can rest assured that your final project will benefit from the power and performance of this machine.

From the large 15.6-inch touch screen down to the ultra-fast battery charging, you can't go wrong. When the computer is shut down and plugged in, the battery will speed charge to about 50%, allowing you to resume work in less than 45 minutes.

The 10th generation Intel i7 CPU has clock speeds near 3.9GHz for a blazing fast start-up and performance of even the most grueling programs. You won't see lag, screen flicker, or notice any downtime while using.

The downside here is that the graphic (Intel Iris) is built-in and not dedicated. This means that your screen images will require the use of the system RAM, which can hurt your rendering speeds, but the viewing won't be affected.

Good
  • Quick charge capable
  • Ultra-fast start-up
  • Touch screen for finger or pen
Bad
  • Uses integrated graphics

3. Dell G5 15

Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop (Windows 10 Home,...
  • Lead the pack with an elegant sleek design...
  • An innovative dual-fan cooling system with an...
  • 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) anti-Glare LED...
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with 4GB GDDR5...

Best Dell Laptop For Revit

Processor

Intel Core i7, 4.5GHz 6-core

RAM/GPU

16GB

Screen Size

15.6Inches

Storage

256GB SSD + 1TB HDD

Battery Life

Up to 6 Hours

Warranty

1-year limited warranty

The Dell G5 is easily the best Dell laptop for Revit. With an extremely fast 4.5GHz i7 processor (6-core), you can design, render, and export your Revit projects in record time. You won't have to worry about start-up, login, or retrieval for Revit as the program will spread comfortably over the 6 cores of the CPU.

It also comes with the GeForce GTX 1650 that offers you 4GB of dedicated RAM. The speed and performance are just as good as the 1060 model though you won’t have the extra processing power for higher resolutions. For Revit, though, you won’t notice a difference.

The G5 also provides you with two hard drives, a dedicated 256GB SSD for the operating system, and most program installs. The 1TB HDD can be used to store all of your Revit projects.

What you will notice is how smooth and efficient everything operates and works together. From one program to another, or running Revit with other processes and programs, you can seamlessly switch back and forth and never have to wait.

The battery, like our top pick, isn't the strongest. It can last up to 6 hours, but this is only running minimal applications. While in Revit, you can knock about 20 to 30% off of that time before you need to recharge the battery.

Good
  • 6-cores for faster processing
  • Won’t lag, jump or skip
  • Dedicated video card
  • Fast start-up and performance
Bad
  • Not the strongest battery

4. Microsoft Surface Pro 7

On Sale Today
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 12.3"...
  • Next-gen, best-in-class laptop with the...
  • Faster than Surface Pro 6, with a 10th Gen...
  • More ways to connect, with both USB-C and...
  • Standout design that won’t weigh you down...

Best 2 in 1 Laptop For Revit

Processor

Intel i5, 2.4GHz, 4-core

RAM/GPU

16GB

Screen Size

12.3 Inches

Storage

256GB SSD

Battery Life

10.5 Hours

Warranty

1-year limited warranty

If you want to go all out, the best recommendation we can make is the Microsoft Surface Pro 7. This laptop is incredible in its own right, and when running Revit, you won't believe your eyes. It will be hard to stop, in fact, and you will want to design and render all day long.

With an incredible 10.5 hour battery life, you can run the program as long as you need, without the worry of losing progress or having to shut down in the middle of a demonstration.

Technically the Surface Pro is a tablet and not a laptop. With the touchscreen interface and attachable keyboard, though, you won’t mind. However, because it is a tablet, you will miss out on some of the semi-important specs. There isn’t a dedicated video card, for example. The Intel Iris video card will work but isn’t the best for this application.

The screen size is a little small when using it as a display tool. However, running the Revit application for yourself, the size will only be a preference matter. You can also hook the Surface Pro to an external display or a video projector so others can share too.

Also Recommended: Best 2-in-1 Laptops Under $400

Good
  • Choice of Intel i3, i5 or i7 CPU
  • Extremely lightweight and portable
  • Ideal for student use of Revit
Bad
  • Smaller screen
  • No dedicated graphics card

5. Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS

Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS,15.6" Gaming...
  • 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad Core...
  • 16GB, 2400MHz, DDR4; up to 32GB (additional...
  • 512GB Pie Solid State Drive , No Optical...
  • 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare...

Best For Students Using Revit

Processor

Intel Core i7, 2.8GHz, 4-core

RAM/GPU

16GB

Screen Size

15.6 Inches

Storage

512GB SSD

Battery Life

Up to 8 Hours

Warranty

1-Year warranty

Dell enters our lineup again with the popular Inspiron. This laptop uses the Intel i7 chipset with a turbo clock speed of 3.8GHz (base is 2.8GHz). This model is perfect for the student or for the professional with a lot of files to store.

The 512GB SSD is not the largest capacity, but for a student using Revit, it will be plenty. The professional should take advantage of cloud storage and rendering when available. Regardless of use, the quad-core processor and GTX 1050 dedicated video card make the anti-glare, full HD screen come to life.

The graphics card maybe a little too light for some more intensive operations, but you can easily upgrade to the 1060 or even 1070 if you feel the need later on. The computer can also have more RAM installed (up to 32GB) if you feel that the program or rendering starts to lag with the standard 16GB.

While the Dell Inspiron isn’t a top-of-the-line model, it is a brand and model series that is both recognized and durable under almost any usage variable, including Revit.

If you want a great laptop to run Revit, while saving a bit of money over some of the higher-end gaming laptops, the Dell Inspiron is a go-to laptop with thousands of professionals already using the system.

Also Recommended: Best Laptops for Engineering Students

Good
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Ideal for student or pro
  • Anti-glare full HS screen
Bad
  • May need to update graphics card

Revit Software Version System Requirements

Each year AutoDesk puts out a new version of their software. Most of the updates are small bug fixes or additional features added to the program. As the program grows, the need for a more powerful laptop becomes apparent.

Currently, you can choose between two versions of the software, Revit or Revit LT. The light version (LT) has fewer features and requires less resources. However, it may not be for everyone.

While the Revit 2020 versions are on sale now, you can download a free trial of the Revit 2021 version through the AutoDesk website. Let’s take a look at the recommendations for the two versions.

Revit LT 2020

By far, the Revit LT is the most common version. It is less expensive, either choosing the monthly or annual plan and is robust enough for most tasks. You will find the LT version on the computers of interior designers, architects, and other designers.

The program is still fully functional but is a streamlined version of the program that doesn't have all the bells and whistles that most users don’t need anyway. This version of the program is also beneficial to students because of the lower price.

Revit 2020

The full Revit 2020 version is a complete BIM software capable of almost anything. You will find this version on the laptops of contractors, architects, MEP and structural engineering firms and employees.

The main difference here aside from the much higher price is the extended cloud capability, which allows for faster rendering of larger files and storage of everything related to the project. The other big difference to note is that the Revit program has the capability to be network deployed, where the LT version is not.


Revit vs. AutoCAD

AutoDesk makes both Revit and AutoCAD, and you may be wondering what the differences are. The truth is that AutoCAD has lead the industry for years. Revit, though, is poised to revamp the entire structural flow and make things easier for everyone involved in the project.

Both programs are back-compatible and will have no issue opening older files as the new versions are released. The main difference here is that AutoCAD is not a Building Information Modeling (BIM) program, Revit is.

This means that the Revit program instantly spots changes in structural components and updates all affected parts. For example, if your contractors need to remove a wall in the design, he can do so. With AutoCAD, every affected part of that wall removal will need to be evaluated by a human and manually adjusted on their scope of the project.

Using the same situation in Revit, when the program sees that the wall removal will have effects on plumbing, electrical, and air ducting routes, all of those project files are instantly updated without having to do anything manually.

The primary difference, though, is that AutoCAD is a tool to create 2D and 3D drawings. Revit is a BIM that not only creates the drawings but can also produce the blueprints for building and all components that go into the construction of the rendered building.


Basic Revit Laptop Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting your Revit laptop is a fairly straightforward process. The program itself doesn't have a lot of bug reports, and it won't cause many issues, if any, with your laptop, providing, of course, you meet the specs to run the software.

One of the most common issues is seeing a warning box that states Revit has an unrecoverable error. This happens most when you are opening an existing project and can be a scary sight. The issue, though, is that the project is being accessed on a device that doesn’t have all of the same Revit extensions that were used during the last save.

To solve this issue, you simply need to ensure that all workstations, computers, servers, and laptops using the same project files all have the same extensions installed. Once the extensions are there, the project will open without issue.

For more specific troubleshooting, the AutoDesk site has a section devoted to any problem you may encounter. It will ask you a series of questions based on your version, extensions, and issue and offer a reason why the error happened and what steps you can take to resolve it.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Are gaming laptops good for Revit software?

Gaming laptops are excellent choices for Revit. Because the gaming industry demands high-quality, affordable pricing and amazing specs, computer makers are in high demand to comply.

While a top-end gaming laptop is going to be quite expensive, there is no doubt that these rigs can handle anything Revit has to throw at it. One of the best gaming laptops at the moment is the Alienware M17. The specs on this gaming rig far surpass anything Revit requires.

Is 8gb RAM enough for Revit?

8GB of RAM is enough to run Revit. However, the program will use most of those resources. If you are only running Revit with nothing else (except your firewalls and antivirus, of course), you won’t experience any problems.

If, however, you need other applications to run while using Revit, you may notice some lag in the programs. It is ideal to have at least 16GB of RAM installed for smooth operation of all laptop functions.

Which graphics card is best for Revit?

Graphics will always be an issue with Revit renderings. If you are working on large projects (15,000m +), you will need a higher-end graphics card to keep up. Currently, one of the best cards for the money is the Nvidia GTX 1060. It is a higher-end gaming graphics card, but meets and exceeds all Revit requirements, making it ideal for both the value and performance.

Can I multitask by running Revit and other programs with these recommended laptops?

All of the laptop models in our list above are capable of running multiple programs at once. Each has a multi-core processor that will handle the delegation of resources to the various applications running.

Which is better to use for Revit, desktop, laptop, or tablet?

Laptops are more and more powerful and can handle just about anything a desktop station can do. However, for the full Revit program and all of its extensions, the power, performance, and dedication of a desktop computer is still the best option.

Laptops will run the software and make your life easier, though, but there will be a noticeable difference in speed and rendering. Using a tablet for Revit isn’t going to work, at least not yet. Tablets don’t have the storage or speeds required to run the program.

What are the best laptop brands for interior designers, architects, and AutoCAD users?

If you are looking for the best laptop for interior designers or the best laptop for architects, you can rely on Dell, HP, and MSI. For the best laptop for AutoCAD, you can add Asus and Acer to that list as well.

Are there any affordable, cheaper laptops that can run Revit?

There are a few budget-friendly laptops that will run the full version of Revit. Most mid-tier laptops will also have no problem with Revit LT. The best laptops under $700 will, for the most part, fit the bill for meeting the recommended requirements.


Conclusion

The best laptop for Revit is going to be one that meets or exceeds all of the recommended specifications for the program, while still being able to allow for future needs.

It can be a difficult decision, which is why we highly recommend the Acer Predator Helios 300. This laptop is near future-proof when it comes to Revit and will run the program easily for years to come.