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The short answer is yes; for the most part gaming laptops are packed with high-end components to withstand 3D workload. Powerful CPU/GPU combos are awesome for running resource-hungry software like 3D modeling apps.
If you have a high-performance gaming laptop, it will most likely perform well with Blender, Maya, Autodesk CAD, and others.
But that doesn’t mean gaming laptops are without drawbacks. So before going off and buying one, hear us out.
Laptops & 3D Modeling | Source: pxfuel.com
Table of Contents
- What Is the Difference Between a Gaming Laptop and a 3D Modeling Laptop?
- Benefits of a Gaming Laptop for 3D Modeling
- Drawbacks of a Gaming Laptop for 3D Modeling
- What Laptop Specs Do I Need for 3D Modeling?
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
- Create Stunning 3D Worlds
What Is the Difference Between a Gaming Laptop and a 3D Modeling Laptop?
Laptops for 3D modeling require similar components as their gaming counterparts: fast CPU, powerful graphics card and lots of RAM.
If I had to single out one thing that makes a gaming laptop less than the best choice for 3D modeling, it would be color accuracy.
What do I mean by this? Simple. Gaming laptops usually have displays with a high refresh rate. A high refresh rate is vital if you are into competitive gaming since the picture remains smooth and blur-free.
But displays with a high refresh rate in many cases lack color accuracy. And I don’t need to tell you how important that is if you already know a thing or two about 3D modeling.
So before buying a laptop, make sure to check the color gamut percentages. The higher the sRGB and DCI-P3 percentage, the better.
Benefits of a Gaming Laptop for 3D Modeling
The most obvious benefit, of course, is the high-end hardware that makes these machines capable of handling heavy-duty 3D modeling apps (especially CPU and GPU).
Just like video games, 3D software heats up your computer pretty quickly. The good news is that gaming laptops usually feature a powerful cooling system that keeps your machine purring regardless of what you throw at it.
With a gaming laptop, besides working on your 3D creations, you’ll also be able to play modern AAA games when you feel like blowing off some steam.
Drawbacks of a Gaming Laptop for 3D Modeling
Gaming laptops are known to have short battery life. Powerful hardware components can drain the battery pretty quickly. So if you’re often out and about, take a power bank.
Portability is also an issue since gaming laptops are usually large and heavy.
What to Watch Out For?
Color accuracy can be off in some gaming laptops. If color accuracy is important be sure the laptop has 100% sRGB and/or DCI-P3.
Is a Gaming Laptop Suitable for Blender?
Absolutely. Blender is a resource-intensive app, and having a gaming laptop with a powerful CPU/GPU combo and with enough RAM will make your 3D modeling workflow much smoother.
Since polygonal modeling and animation can get demanding, to avoid overheating issues, make sure your laptop has a nice set of cooling fans.
Finally, I’d recommend choosing a laptop that features a numpad. It’s not an absolute must, but it’s super-practical for switching between viewpoints in Blender and other 3D modeling software.
What Laptop Specs Do I Need for 3D Modeling?
There is no one-size-fits-all laptop for 3D modeling. So let’s look at some of the things you should know before buying one.
It all starts with you: what 3D modeling tasks are you going to do?
Besides modeling, 3D apps can perform various other tasks: rendering, sculpting, animation, and others.
All these tasks use the hardware differently. For example, modeling requires more CPU, rendering and animation are GPU-intensive, but for sculpting, the RAM is crucial.
Of course, you can get a laptop that has all the best components, but it will probably be overkill and cost a lot more.
Additionally, make sure to think about color accuracy, battery life, and portability.
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
The next step is selecting the right software.
There are plenty of 3D applications available for both beginners and pros, some free and some paid. In most cases, these apps have similar system requirements, but it’s best to check their sites, for sys requirements just to be sure.
If you are just learning 3D modeling, you may be tempted to go for the minimum requirements. I’d caution you against it unless you are planning to replace your machine in a few short years. You will probably need to if you are serious about 3D work.
Still, that doesn’t mean that you need over-the-top laptop specs for 3D modeling.
I’d suggest going with the system requirements below to futureproof your laptop.
|CPU||Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5||Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7|
|Display||15.6-inch Full HD IPS (1920 x 1080)||17.3-inch Full HD IPS (1920 x 1080)|
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 or higher|
The CPU is the most important component in your laptop, no matter what you use it for. 3D modeling requires a lot of processing power. For simpler tasks, you can get by with some of the i5 chips from Intel or the Ryzen 5 processors from AMD.
But I’d recommend getting some of the newer Ryzen 7 or Intel Core i7 processors.
Most 3D work can be done with as little as 8GB RAM, but I’d go for at least a 16GB RAM laptop. Professionals will most likely need 32GB or more, especially for 3D sculpting.
Having a high-end graphics card is super important, especially for rendering and animation. You can usually switch to CPU-based rendering and animation, but the workflow is much smoother with a powerful GPU.
For the best 3D modeling experience, check out some of the latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 cards.
As for storage, the software itself won’t take much space, but the designs you create will. The safest, budget-friendly option is to get at least 512GB SSD storage. Sometimes this won’t be enough, but the good news is that storage is mostly upgradable. Do check, however.
Displays, Keyboards and Trackpads
A high-quality display will go a long way in optimizing your 3D experience. Most laptops come with a full HD display which is great for whatever you do. But if you’re going for a gaming laptop, make sure the display has good color accuracy.
What about keyboards, trackpads, and other features? It all comes down to your personal preference. It’s safe to say that gaming laptops, in most cases, have pretty comfortable keyboards with cool RGB backlighting and nice key travel.
As for trackpads, I personally rarely use them, but it’s not something to stress about too much — just make sure it’s spacious and responsive. And if you’re someone like me, you’ll get a mouse anyway.
Create Stunning 3D Worlds
By now, you should have a clearer picture of what makes a good laptop for 3D modeling.
If you are into engineering or architecture, check out our list of best laptops for CAD.
Maybe you prefer Blender over all the other tools. If that is the case, our list of recommended Blender laptops has everything you need to know.
After going through this article, I guess you won’t be too surprised that many gaming laptops are among the recommendations.
And now over to you. What laptop for 3D modeling would you pick? Let us know in the comment section below.
What are the Benefits and Drawbacks of a Gaming Laptop for 3D Modeling?
- High-end hardware
- Powerful cooling system
- Game on the Side
- Short battery life