Best Laptops For Architects: Reviews For Professionals & Students

Unfortunately, as an Architect running programs like AutoCAD, design, and applications, your computer is going to have to have a higher spec than the average laptop. These programs often require higher levels of processing power, memory, and graphical ability.

This means that on average, your laptop is going to have a higher price-tag then those not in your industry. As a student, this is a large investment. When you are looking at laptops in this price range, it can be a hard task to wade through the hundreds of options.

Luckily for you, that's where we come in. We know how hard it can be to decide what is a good deal, what is best for you, who is pushing a product that just won't cut it.

We have reviewed all of the computers currently on the market that are suitable for architects and students of architecture. We have run them through our review process and picked seven competent machines, in 7 different categories. 

Laptop Requirements For Architecture: Buyers Guide

Processor/CPU – Recommended: at least 3GHz clock speed

The processor is the brain of every computer. It works by completing millions of complex processes every second.

When you are looking at processor specs, there are several things you are going to want to look out for. Although lots of manufacturers will want to bamboozle you with a myriad of different numbers and symbols, here is what you should pay attention too.

Firstly, you should look at clock speed. Clock speed will tell you how many processes that your processor can complete in any given second. Clock speed is measured in Gigahertz or GHz.

For a long time, processors only ever had one core. With massive leaps in computer technology, however, we have managed to create processors that have multi-cores. I won't be going into the exact details, but a dual-core processor that runs at 2.5 GHz, can essentially do 5,000,000 processes a second.

Intel and AMD have the CPU market cornered, and they are the only brands you are likely to find in any computer nowadays, here is a list of their offerings.

Intel Cores From Slowest to Fastest:
  • M3
  • M5
  • i3
  • i5
  • i7
  • i9
AMD Cores from Slowest to Fastest
  • E2
  • A6
  • A9
  • A10
  • A12
  • FX

Simply Put: The processor is the brains of your computer. It is the most critical component. When deciding what to allocate your budget on, this should be a priority. We recommend a clock speed of 3Ghz as a minimum requirement for architecture work. An i5/A10 will work at a push, and we advise an i7 or A12 or higher, though.

RAM (recommended 16GB)

RAM is your computer short term memory. It works differently to the storage you are probably used to.

To help your processor and other components, your ram is there to store short-cuts and data. Because RAM data is flash memory, it can be accessed lightning quick. This is incredibly important for your processor and graphics cards.

While your processor is making the millions of processes it makes every second, it will essentially store little cheat sheets inside your RAM on how it made that process. It will access these cheat sheet short-cuts from your RAM, allowing it to make that process even quicker.

RAM comes in different sizes and forms. The most important thing to look for is the size of the storage. This can come ranging from 2-64gb. RAM is the supporting player in so many different components that it should definitely be a top priority.

When it comes to higher-end design work, you might be able to survive on 8gb, but we would recommend 16gb as the sweet spot. If you want extra quick transfers, rendering times and to keep your processor extremely happy, the best way to do this is to bulk up your RAM.

Simply Put- RAM is where your computer's brain stores its cheat sheets for completing processes quickly. It is a storage system that can send data lightning fast to support other components. We recommend a minimum of 16gb RAM, but with RAM, the more you have, the better.

Graphics Card (decent or dedicated GPU to handle rendering tasks)

A good graphics card is a component that takes the number one spot in priority. In terms of entertainment and visual prowess, it is the component that makes things look awesome. From gaming to high-definition 4k displays, photo-editing, and 3D model rendering, your graphics card controls what you see.

The stronger your graphics card, the smoother all of those functions will run. For architects, your graphics card is going to help you with your model rendering. As a student, if you want to do some gaming or watch some 4k programs, you might want to think about investing in a good graphics card.

As your other components are already going to be pretty top of the range, you will not have to worry about matching a good CPU and RAM to your graphics card, as you will already have them.

Simply Put – A discrete graphics card is our recommendation, an RTX 2060/ GTX1660ti will enable your laptop to handle any architectural graphics demands that you place on it. If you like to game or video edit, stepping up to an RTX 2070 or similar will give you the ability to play all AAA+ games and edit videos smoothly.

Screen Size & Display

The first thing to think about is the screen size. Is this laptop going to be a desktop replacement, an on-the-go workstation, or something in between? With screens ranging from 11" to 17.3," the weight and battery life of your laptop are going to depend heavily on your choice.

Next, display quality, if you require the sharpest highest quality images that can be produced, you are going to want to look at getting a 4k screen and a laptop that can provide the juice necessary for it.

Bear in mind; not all 1080p screens are created equally. Some are brighter, some display colors better, some have better anti-glare technology. This we can review for you, so no matter which of our top choices you choose, you know that the screens perform well for their classification.

Storage Space

Storage space comes in two forms SSD and HDD. An HDD is the old school storage solution, using a disk and laser system to store your data, HDD's have been used for a long time.

Because of this, you tend to find large storage HDD's for a low price. Thanks to this, laptops are no longer burdened by low storage capacity. Most laptops that contain an HDD will have a minimum of 1tb (1000gb) of storage.

SSD's are the new kid on the block, using a similar style of flash memory to the type that you see in your computers RAM storage, they perform at a speed that makes an HDD look a little bit aged.

This means that loading programs stored on your SSD and transferring files happen at a much faster speed. Unfortunately, as newer technology, you get a higher price tag. For the price of a 4tb HDD, you would struggle to find an SSD over 500gb.

It is common to have both an SSD and an HDD in laptops nowadays, to complement the strengths and weaknesses of each other. By keeping important files and programs on your SSD, ready for quick boot and loading, you can then store less important data on your HDD.

For architecture work, we highly recommend getting a laptop with an SSD with as much storage as your budget allows. It will more than pay for itself in the speed increase you will see in day to day tasks.

Simply Put- We recommend a 500+ GB SSD as a minimum. If you can get a laptop with an SSD and an HDD, you will be thankful for it in the long run. Upgrading SSD/HHD's in laptops is a particularly painful process.

Battery Life

Battery life is something else that we suggest you think through yourself before committing to a purchase. There are some ways you can ensure you get a longer time away from an outlet.

Your screen is going to have a massive impact on your battery life, powering a 17" 4K screen requires a lot of juice after all. The power of your rig is already going to be high due to the nature of the programs used by architects, so you already have an immense power requirement here. 

Simply Put – If you require a longer battery life, go for a smaller screen with a lower resolution screen. Smaller screens do not need the higher resolution to look as good as a larger screen anyway.

Keyboard Typing Experience

People have different sized fingers, hands, and arms, and they have varying flexibility and typing preferences. What this leads to is an extremely personal typing persona. What some people will love on a keyboard, others will hate.

Simply Put – Keyboard styles vary from laptop to laptop are pretty user-specific. If you do not like the keyboard on your laptop immediately, I advise you to return it while you still can and find one you do like.


How your laptop connects to things is vitally important. Making sure you pick a laptop with good wifi/Bluetooth cards will save you a lot of headaches in the long run. This will reduce drop-offs and give you a more extended wifi range.

Making sure you have all the ports you need is another important factor many people overlook. If you are planning to connect certain peripherals like another monitor, headsets, mouse, and keyboards, you need to make sure you have the right ports to support all of these.

If you want a thinner low-profile laptop, you may be able to choose one with fewer ports if you have no use of them.


Design, portability, and weight are all things that are going to require you to consider your usage. Sometimes the laptops that are made to look visually impressive carry a higher price-tag just for their visual appeal.

If you work around clients a lot, this could be something you want to think about. If not, you can save money by choosing a less refined-looking machine with the same spec.

Weight and portability are other personal choices. If you want your laptop to be portable, you might have to reduce the spec to make it portable or spend more money on space-saving components.

Extra Features

The icing on the cake makes it all the sweeter, and the same is true with technology. Some useful extra features can help sway the decision when looking at two similar laptops.

One extra feature that has a massive impact on your laptop's functionality is 2in1 capabilities. This means you can turn your laptop into a tablet or spin the screen 360 degrees. This can be really helpful when showing clients work in meetings and for walking around jobs with your laptop.

Other extra features can range from detachable batteries to rugged scratch-proof screens and casings.


Different brands have different levels of warranty. This doesn't just mean the time that they give you either. Some companies have incredible levels of customer service, and they will come out the next day to fix your laptop and have it back to you within 24 hours.

We only choose laptops that we can guarantee to have a good brand behind them, as laptops are notorious for breaking when we need them the most.

7 Best Laptops For Architects & Architecture Students Reviewed

1. Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, Intel...
  • 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core...
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Graphics with 6 GB...
  • 15. 6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen...
  • 16 GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory, 512GB PCIe NVMe...

Best laptops for architects (top Pick!)


Intel i7


16 GB DDR4

Screen Size



256/512gb SSD

Battery Life



12 Months

Our number one choice and best all-rounder is the Acer Predator Helios 300. This is a laptop that has appeared in our top picks for a variety of categories. Acer has a knack of creating laptops that really scratch the itch.

They do this by using high-end parts, sleek designs, and, most importantly, by listening to the feedback of their users. In this regard, they are second to none, and their research team takes what we have to say on board and fixes or improves.

The Helios is a 15.6-inch laptop, so it is pretty big, it also has a decent weight to it and low battery life. If these are deal-breakers, then I suggest you look at other options on our list.

Now that the bad parts are out of the way let's get on with the numerous good parts. The Helios is powered by a 9th gen Intel i7 core, one of the more capable CPU's on the market.

To support this impressive CPU, the Helios comes packed with 16gb of DDR4 RAM, and a 256/512gb SSD. In the graphics department, the Helios utilizes Nvidias GTX 1660ti. This card has its own RAM and 6gb of it at that, making this laptop a real powerhouse.

Next, we have my favorite thing about the Helios. The button on the top right of the keyboard. The one that will get any computer nerd excited.

The big button that simply says “TURBO.” This button is obviously the first thing we pressed. When you do, the computer springs into life with the sound of jet engines, which are actually the two 59 blade fans powering up to cope with the overclock you have just put onto your laptop. 

In overclock mode, the Helios receives a power boost, one which turns it from a roaring lion to an intergalactic battlecruiser. Unthrottled and deadly.

Paired with the PredatorSense system Acer has implemented, you get a machine that can handle anything. This system allows you to customize almost every aspect of the Helios’s performance.

If that wasn’t enough to sway you, the full-HD 144hz refresh rate screen is stunning. The images it produces are far more impressive then the spec list would suggest. As a gaming keyboard, the throw, response time, and resistance of the keys are fine-tuned to perfection.

To sum up, this laptop is the type of laptop that is going to put a smile on your face. It looks gorgeous, it feels great, and it performs like a caged animal. If you can deal with the terrible battery life and slightly heavyweight, we can’t recommend anything more.

Also Recommended: 5 Best Desktops for Architects

  • Turbo Button Is Brilliant
  • Powerful Performance
  • Amazing Screen
  • Great Price tag
  • Heavy
  • Awful Battery Life

2. Apple MacBook Pro

2019 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM,...
  • Ninth-generation 6-Core Intel Core i7...
  • Stunning 16-inch Retina Display with True...
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • AMD Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics with GDDR6...

Best Laptop for Professional Architects


Intel i3/i5/i7/i9


8/16/32 GB DDR4

Screen Size



Up to 4TB SSD

Battery Life



12 Months

The new Apple MacBook Pro is a testament to why Apple have such a die-hard fan base and the best Apple laptop for architects. The front-runner for the tech giants laptop range is one of the most gorgeous laptops on the planet, and it also has the most incredible screens we have seen so far.

The Apple MacBook Pro shines as the best laptop for professional architects. The retina display is jaw-droppingly beautiful. Apple knows where its strengths lie, and this is one of them. If you need a screen that displays images in the highest definition, this is the choice we would go for.

To power the Retina Pro Graphics, Apple uses a Radeon Pro graphics card with 4gb of onboard GDDR5 Ram. Thanks to this, you can render 3D models in detail that is unrivaled.

It is hard to talk about the performance of the Apple MacBook Pro. This is due to the level of customization that Apple offers you when purchasing one. You can choose from any of Intel's CPU's from i3-i9. The i9 edition has a ridiculous eight cores, a clock speed of 2.4ghz, and a turbo mode that overclocks the chip to a mind-blowing 5.0ghz.

Next, they offer you a range of options for your RAM. Ranging from 8-32gb of DDR4 high-performance flash memory, you are spoiled for choice. Finally, you have to choose how much storage you want on your Apple MacBook Pro. Apple offer SSD drives from 256gb to a whopping 4tb of storage, all capable of reading data at 3.2gbps.

One thing that you will either love or hate is Apple's decision to remove legacy ports from the MacBook Pro. Instead, you get 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports. Through these ports, you'd have the ability to charge the laptop, to transfer data at 40gbps, and to power up to 2 monitors in 5k high def.

It does, however, create a problem for those of us who want to plug peripherals that are not supported by Thunderbolt 3.

The keyboard is really comfortable to type on, the trackpad is awesome, and the force touch mechanism is intuitive after you get used to it. For those of you who enjoy music, the Apple MacBook Pro has a great set of speakers, correlating to the companies roots in music.

To conclude, the Apple MacBook Pro is an interesting one. Even in the basic builds, it has impressive power and an industry-leading display. However, Apple is known for being hard on the wallet, and the MacBook Pro is no different.

Although you can create one of the highest spec laptops on the market, not many people will have pockets that deep. The base-level MacBook is expensive for what it is and can’t compete with equal priced Windows laptops. Of course, if you are an Apple fan, none of this matters.

  • Thin & Lightweight
  • Best Laptop Screen
  • Best Laptop Speakers
  • Amazing Level Of Spec Control
  • Very Expensive

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 laptop for architect students


Intel i5


8 DDR4

Screen Size



256gb SSD 1tb HDD

Battery Life



12 Months

Dell holds a very special place in my heart, and they are my go-to brand for laptops. They have unrivaled customer service and an extremely high focus on both build and component quality.  That focus on build quality is evident in our top pick for students, the Dell G5 15.

The G5 is the perfect laptop for those that want to spend a little bit less and get a whole lot more. What you get for the price-tag with the G5, is a laptop that performs way above its price tag.

Powered by a 9th gen i5 processor, with 8gb of RAM and using a GTX 1650, the performance isn’t groundbreaking. It is, however, enough to deal with almost every task. Asides from high-quality AAA+ gaming and video editing, there isn’t much you will be able to throw at the G5 that it cannot handle.

The 15.6-inch 1080p display is one of the brightest we have ever seen. Displaying images in gorgeous color and deep dark blacks that provide sharpness that you won’t find on any other laptop in this price bracket. With a 144hz refresh, we could pick out individual hairs on the heads of tv presenters while watching the news.

Keyboard wise, Dell has cracked it. The keys are spaced well and large, and the added full-size number pad is a great touch. The design of the G5 is a love it or hate it affair, a mix between the sleek XPS notebook range and a gaming laptop, but not quite brilliant at looking like either.

Dell knows how to keep you connected; the ports on the G5 are numerous; you get a USB 3.1, USB-c, headphone jack, and HDMI. You also get an ethernet port and a lock slot.

Battery life is another area where this laptop surprised us. Laptops geared towards gamers have a reputation for being lacking in the battery department. The G5, however, managed nearly 9 hours of battery life unplugged with full-screen brightness, an impressive feat.

With anything this good, there have to be negative points, and there are. The HDD+SSD combo inside the G5 is slower than it should be. The G5 is also heavier than most laptops on the market.

If I had to describe the G5 in several words, it would be “Delightfully Surprising.” With reliable performance, an excellent keyboard, an unusually good battery life, and a great brand backing it, the G5 is undeniably the best laptop for architectural students.

Also Recommended: 5 Best Desktops for Students

  • Surprising Performance
  • Bright Sharp Screen
  • Dell Build Quality
  • Clunky SSD+HDD combo
  • Heavy

4. MSI GL62M 7REX-1896US

MSI GL62M 7REX-1896US 15.6" Full HD Gaming...
  • Display: 15.6" Full HD eDP 1920x1080 |...
  • Processor: Core i7-7700HQ (2.8 - 3.8 GHz)....
  • RAM: 8GB (8G*1) DDR4 2400MHz | Hard Drive:...
  • Special features: Thin and Light Chassis |...

Best for 3D Rendering


Intel i7


8 DDR4

Screen Size



256gb SSD

Battery Life



12 Months

MSI has always been out to prove that you do not need to pay a ridiculous amount of money to get a high powered gaming laptop. Luckily, the demands for an architect's laptop are very similar to the requirements for a good gaming laptop. This means that a good gaming laptop is often the best choice for those in the world of design and architecture.

The MSI GL62 comes packed with an intel core i7 processor and a GTX 1050ti graphics card. Combined, they make for an excellent combo when it comes to rendering 3D designs.

With 8gb of RAM and a 256gb SDD, it is an extremely capable machine. Finished in a matte black that feels great to touch and looks sleek and sophisticated, the laptop is a good looking piece of equipment.

Thanks to its gamer-friendly design, you will find no shortage of ports. On the right-hand side, there a single USB 2.0 port, an SD card reader, and a jack for the AC adapter. On the left, there is a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a USB Type-C port, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, a mini DisplayPort, a secure lock slot, and jacks for headphones and a microphone.

The 1080p screen provides great color and looks great, however it does suffer from being slightly dim, so it doesn’t do well in high light situations. Also, the laptop doesn’t have the best cooling mechanisms, running slightly hot under load.

Like the Dell G5, this is a laptop that comes with a lower price tag, and luckily, just like the G5, the GL62 performs better than expected. It may not have all of the fancy features that some of the more expensive models in our reviews do, but MSI has never been about that.

What you get with the GL62 is a laptop that squeezes every penny out of its price tag and puts it to practical use. This means that you get components that belong in much more expensive laptops for a fraction of the price.

  • Excellent Performance
  • Sleek Design
  • Perfect For 3D Rendering
  • Small SSD
  • Lacks Features

5. HP ZBook 15u G5

HP ZBook 15u G6 Workstation Laptop (Intel...
  • 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8565U 1.80GHz Processor...
  • 32GB DDR4 SODIMM RAM; Intel WiFi 6...
  • 15.6" Full HD (1920x1080) Display; 65W Power...
  • 2TB PCIe NVMe SSD; 2 USB 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI,...

Best laptops for architects and designers


Intel i7


32 DDR4

Screen Size



256g/512/1tb SSD

Battery Life



12 Months

If you are an architect who focuses on design work, you won't find much better on the market than the HP ZBook 15u G5. This workstation provides an extremely high level of power coursing through its veins.

The i7 Intel processor can clock up to 4.2ghz using the boost technology, using its four cores, this gives some of the strongest processing power on the market.

The screen is one of the highlights here too; the 4k screen creates images that you can take your eyes away, colors are bright and sharp, and the contrast is just right, it also deals very well in glare.

The ZBook is ridiculously light too, coming in at only 3.8 pounds, for the power it packs, this makes it a serious contender for those who need portability.

The biggest selling point is that the ZBook can utilize HP's new Z Turbo SSD's. Available in 256/512 and 1tb in storage, these SSDS are the fastest available amongst any laptop. This makes file transfers and boot-up time incredibly quick.

The graphics in the ZBook are not the best. That being said, they are still very capable; the AMD Radeon graphics card has its own 2gb dedicated GGDR5, which will allow for all but the highest demand rendering to be done.

Impressively, the ZBook comes with a whopping 32gb of RAM. In terms of flash memory, this is a laptop that absolutely kills the competitions when it comes to data transfer and loading times.

Port wise on the left side: 1 USB 3.0, on the Right, a headphone/microphone combo 1 power connector 1 RJ-45 1 USB 3.0 1 and a USB Type-C.

Bang & Olufsen have fitted this laptop out with speakers, so the sound quality when watching movies and such is pretty impressive. The keyboard is great, too, and comes with a spill resistance keyboard with backlighting options. 

Overall, the ZBook has a lot to offer, one of the only options on this list that has opted for the “workstation” feel instead of a gaming one, and it may be well suited to those who don't want a laptop that feels like it is preparing for a warzone. It has an excellent price tag and is quickly becoming one of the most purchased workstation laptops by businesses across the country. This makes it a perfect choice for any architects and designers.

  • Professional Workstation Look
  • 4k Screen is gorgeous
  • Perfect For 3D Rendering and Design
  • Best SSD on the market
  • Graphics card is lacking

6. Omen by HP

Omen by HP 2019 15-Inch Gaming Laptop, Intel...
  • Play the latest games, including Fortnight,...
  • 8th Generation intel(r) core(tm) i7-8750H...
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6 GB GDDR5...
  • 16 GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM (upgradable with 2...

Best laptops for chief architects


Intel i7


16 DDR4

Screen Size



512/1tb SSD /HDD

Battery Life



12 Months

As chief architect, you are going to want a chief laptop. One that looks incredible performs even better and demands attention. Everything about the Omen is impressive.

The design, which differs from the usual by elevating the screen on a set of two sturdy hinges, allows for the screen to be placed closer to eye level, ergonomically, this is great for those who spend a long period at their computer.

The screen, a 15.6" FHD IPS display with 144hz refresh speed, is a thing of beauty. The anti-glare backlit panel with micro-edge bezel design makes every task visually impressive.

The GTX 1060 graphics card gives you serious graphical power, taking on any tasks with ease, the 16gb of DDR4 ram allows the Omen to breeze through multi-tasking and the 512gb SSD, backed with a 1tb HDD allow for smooth and quick file transfers and makes boot-up times minuscule.

The i7 processor is one of the best on the market too. With all this power, this is a laptop that can even handle VR, which could come in handy for those wanting to produce virtual tours.

The dragon red keyboard has full-size arrow keys RGB lighting and makes typing a satisfying endeavor. Paired with the Omens metal chassis, the build quality HP has put into this laptop impresses us.

With ports in all the right places, the right side hosts a USB Gen.1 Type-A port and an SD card reader. The left side of the machine includes two USB 3.1 Gen.1 Type-A ports, a USB Gen 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port (with DisplayPort capabilities), an HDMI 1.4 port, and more jacks for a headset.

The Omen does, however, have its flaws. With any laptop, this powerful, heating is always going to be a problem. The Omen runs hot under load, not unbearably, but we would like to see better cooling systems in place in the future.

The bottom line is that the HP Omen is one of the best looking, high performing, powerful machines you can buy. Everything it does, it does exceptionally well. If you are the chief architect, and you want a machine that people can't take their eyes off, we can’t recommend anything better.

  • Unique Yet Gorgeous Design
  • Powerful Processing Power
  • Perfect For 3D Rendering and Design
  • Brightest Screen On Test
  • Gets Warm Quick

7. Dell Inspiron 15 7567

Dell Inspiron 15 7567 Laptop: Core i5-7300HQ,...
  • 15.6 inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED...
  • 7th Generation Intel Core i5-7300HQ Quad Core...
  • 8GB 2400MHz DDR4 RAM, 256GB Solid State Drive
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, Built in media...

Best budget pick


Intel i5


8 DDR4

Screen Size



256 SSD

Battery Life



12 Months

Finally, we have our best budget pick, the punchy little Dell Inspiron 15. This great look and an affordable laptop has lots of horsepower under the lid, with a punchy i5 processor that can be upgraded to an i7 you chose so, 256gb SSD hard drive, and a GTX1050ti, all supported by 8gb of ddr4 RAM, you get reasonable power from our pick for those on a budget.

With 4gb onboard RAM, the GPU really shines, allowing 3D model renderings in perfect quality and also allowing this laptop to handle moderate gaming. Don’t expect 60fps on high AAA+ games at top quality, but for most titles, you will be fine.

The soft-touch plastic and sleek design, which is somewhat a mirror of an Alienware offering, gives the laptop a real premium feel. When it comes to the Inspiron 15’s ports, you can find two USB 3.0, an HDMI port, and the 3.5 mm audio jack on one side and on the left side, an SD card reader, an additional USB 3.0 connector and the DC charging port.

One area the Inspiron shines is in the battery department. Considering this is technically a gaming laptop, getting 9+ hours is epic.

The keyboard, just like on all Dells, works really well. The buttons are big enough, the spacings just right, and the resistance to each keypress allows great accuracy and precision. The touchpad could use some improvement, though.

If you are looking for a laptop that can handle all the design work and demands that you will face as an architect, this laptop is king. For those on a budget, looking for a laptop that has enough power for moderate use, you won't find much as good as the Inspiron for the price.

  • Great Price
  • Strong Graphics Card
  • Really Good Battery Life
  • Sharp Edges
  • Lacking Processing Power Compared To Others On This List

Why Architecture Demands Powerful Laptops?

Architects often require the use of powerful design programming like AutoCAD to allow them to create 3D models and designs. These programs demand a lot of processing power and a strong graphics card.

Although you might get away with a less powerful machine, it would be slow, and ultimately, you will probably lose money and your sanity watching loading bars. A powerful laptop allows an architect to design, transfer files, edit photos and videos and even do some gaming in their spare time if they like.

Architecture Software Programs & System Requirements

There is a vast range of different software and programming that an architect could require. Some of the common ones include AutoCAD and Solidworks. These programs may run on less powerful systems, but you will probably run into some problems if you try to do this long term.

The other common programs: Revit, Archicad 23. 3DS MAX, Rhino, and Photoshop, all require high-end components and large levels of processing power. If you try and run these on a rig with fewer specs then the ones we suggested in our buyers' guide, you simply will not be able to use them.

CAD Vs. AutoCAD: What’s the Difference?

CAD, or computer-aided design, is the broad term used for any program used to design and render models on a computer. AutoCAD is the name of a specific CAD program. AutoCAD is extremely popular; in fact, around 80% of designers use AutoCad; it is the industry standard for designers and architects.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How long do these laptops last?

The more you use your laptop, the quicker the parts will start to wear out. In addition to that, the higher the quality of the components inside your laptop, the longer they will last. Keep your laptop away from high heat sources and dust, and they should last you 5-10 years.

However, as computing technology advances so rapidly, your parts may become obsolete by then. As the laptops on this list are high-end, expect them to last between 3-4 years before needing an upgrade

Which processor is better for AutoCAD?

The better your processor, the better everything in your computer runs. We advise an i7 processor or above. Anything under this may struggle. Your processor should be one of the things you prioritize when looking for a laptop. A good processor is worth every penny.

What graphics card is best for AutoCAD?

The answer to this is similar to the one above. Although slightly less important than your processor, a good GPU is going to allow you to render 3D images way quicker and in better quality. When looking for a good laptop for design or architecture work, we suggest a 1050ti or above.

Are gaming laptops good for CAD?

Gamers like me have been pushing the boundaries of computer specs for decades. This means that gaming laptops usually come with the best specs. We need strong graphics cards, a good amount of RAM, and a powerful processor. This makes gaming laptops perfect for CAD.

What are some minor issues that one may encounter with these laptops?

When we exert ourselves, by doing things like running on a treadmill, you warm up very quickly, right?

This is the same when it comes to laptops. With laptops like the ones on this list, you have some very powerful parts working extremely hard. The bi-product of all this computing power is heat. Powerful laptops get hot easily, and although manufacturers spend a lot of time developing their heat dispersal systems and fans, they can still run warm under high demand.

To help with this, make sure your laptop’s fan ports are never blocked, keep your laptop away from direct heat sources, and give your laptop a little break every few hours to cool down during intense periods.

Why does AutoCAD software require more CPU and GPU processing power?

AutoCAD places a significant strain on your CPU, and this is because it has to think a lot and send a lot of decisions to the other components.

After it has made these decisions, your GPU has the job of taking the fast-flowing complex decision data from the CPU and translating it into a visual image on the screen. When rendering 3D models and doing architecture work, this happens at an extremely high rate.

Is the touch screen feature helpful for architecture students?

This is all down to preference; some people find using a touchscreen very helpful. I do not; I prefer to use my mouse. A touchscreen can come in handy for specific applications, though, so think about whether or not it would be useful to you before purchasing.

Which is the better operating system to use for architecture, Mac OS X, or Windows?

In the past, the divide between the two systems was pretty vast. There was a huge range of programs that worked on one system, but not on the other. That is no longer the case, and most program developers bring out their programming on both operating systems. So, if you are an Apple fan, stick to MAC OS X; if you have always used windows, stick to windows.


As an architect, your clients expect high-quality service and high polished designs and plans.To create these, you are going to need a laptop with enough fire in its belly to glide effortlessly through design programs, one that can render 3D images in gorgeous clarity and perhaps one that you can go home and play some counter-strike on.

All of the laptops in this list are capable machines. You can pick and buy any of them, and I can guarantee you will be happy with your choice.

If you are still on the fence or you have scrolled to the bottom because you couldn’t be bothered to read the in-depth reviews, I advise you buy the Predator Helios 300. The Helios is the perfect mix of budget, aesthetics and, more importantly, has a button that says TURBO on it.