7 Best Laptops for AutoCAD in 2023

Unleash Your Design Potential: Unveiling the Top Laptops for AutoCAD Excellence

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AutoCAD is used by mechanical engineers, product designers, or construction planners. This may be one of the oldest tools for computer-aided designs, but its power is unmatched for 3D modeling, 2D, or even basic drawing, drafting, annotations, lighting, and edge-shaping.

Still, you may be wondering if your new laptop will have what it takes to draw out the maximum from the latest AutoCAD.

In this article, we’ll go over the specs you want to look out for and give you our top picks of laptops for AutoCAD.

Excited to dive into the tech and specs for the top-of-the-line CAD software? We are too.

Minimum & Recommended System Requirements

The minimum and recommended system requirements proposed by Autodesk might be a bit different than ours. That’s because our experts have listed these specs based on our standard testing criteria and real-life workloads. Moreover, considering our recommended specs sheets is also a good idea if you are looking for a good Fusion 360 laptop or a laptop for SolidWorks

Minimum Recommended
CPU12th Gen. Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 513 Gen. Intel Core i7 or higher
Storage512GB SSD1TB SSD
Display14-inch IPS FHD (1920 x 1080)15.6-inch IPS FHD (1920 x 1080) or better
GPU4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 16508GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40-series

Top 7 AutoCAD Laptops

Without further ado, here are our top picks for CAD-tastic creations.

1. Best Overall for AutoCAD: Sager 2023 NP8875D

Sager 2023 NP8875D

  • CPU: 2.2 Ghz Intel Core i9-13900HX
  • RAM: 32GB DDR5
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Display: 17.3-inch QHD (2560 x 1440)
  • GPU: 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060
  • Battery: Up to 5 hours

If you haven’t heard of Sager, I can’t blame you — but you really should. It’s a Clevo laptop for AutoCAD that comes with amazing specs, great display — and a reasonable price.

Clevo didn’t joke with Sager: a 13th Gen. i9, RTX 4060 graphics card and 32GB of RAM are as enviable as they are powerful. This is a laptop for AutoCAD professionals, since it easily tackled — and dominated — the hardest tasks I put it through.

And get this — for all hardcore AutoCAD users, the RAM on Sager models can be upgraded to a whopping 128GB.

The fun doesn’t stop there — Sager is sporting a gorgeous, color-accurate, 17.3” QHD display. I thought it’s such a good display for interior designers, seeing that it’s large, precise, and shows the tiniest details in well-calibrated colors.

Additionally, there’s also plenty of storage for projects, files and assets. If you need more, you can upgrade it to 2TB.

Like most powerful gaming and productivity laptops, Sager did get hot in my tests with demanding rendering and large assemblies, so I’d get a cooling pad.

Plus, it’s not the most portable laptop — 6.17 lbs can quickly become a drag if you’re carrying it every day, but this is a 17” laptop, after all.

However, for this price, Sager offers crazy good value for money. It’s an AutoCAD laptop that fits any design and architectural use you can think of. 

  • What We Like
  • Latest CPU and GPU
  • Amazing display
  • Sturdy and sleek
  • Upgradable RAM and storage
  • Comfy keyboard
  • Great value for money
  • What We Don’t Like
  • Gets hot
  • On the heavier side

2. Great Mid-Range Option: MSI Thin

MSI Thin

  • CPU: 2GHz Intel Core i7-12650H
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 6GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050
  • Battery: Up to 7 hours

Maybe you’re a young or mid-level AutoCAD professional looking for a mid-range laptop. MSI Thin is a great choice for this scenario — with awesome graphics, great portability, and sturdy build.

Like most gaming laptops, Thin GF63 packs powerful specs: a 12th Gen. i7, the newest RTX 4050, and 16GB RAM. When I ran AutoCAD, the combo proved fast, lag-free and easy to work with. If you also use Photoshop (most interior designers do), you’ll be happy to know it performs great on Thin.

The RAM might be a bit of a bottleneck as you move up the tasks ladder, since 16GB probably won’t work with larger assemblies and super-complex projects. However, luckily, you can upgrade it, and I recommend it; it’s a quick fix that actually works.

As for visuals, I got pretty good images on the display. It’s a 15.6” panel with a high refresh rate, and the colors are vivid and crisp. For the best results, and especially if you need high color accuracy, I’d use an external monitor though.

The size of the display works wonders for the overall portability. I got around 7 hours of juice with MSI, which is awesome for office work. Factoring in the mere 4 lbs of weight and sturdy build, Thin is one of the most portable laptops on this list — and beyond.

Granted, Thin GF63 isn’t the fanciest machine, design-wise, but it is a powerful laptop for AutoCAD, with a lot of value and more than reasonable price.

  • What We Like
  • Great internals
  • Large and fast display
  • Upgradable RAM
  • Strong battery life
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Affordable
  • What We Don’t Like
  • Somewhat outdated design
  • Mediocre color accuracy

3. Best for Students: Acer Nitro 5

Acer Nitro 5

  • CPU: 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5-12500H
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050
  • Battery: Up to 6 hours

Acer Nitro 5 is one of the evergreen budget laptops for AutoCAD, gaming, and studies in general. Besides being affordable, it’s also powerful, sturdy, and relatively portable.

Nitro is equipped with a 12th Gen. i5 and a dedicated GPU. The H-processor optimizes graphics performance, so I was able to do a lot with my version of AutoCAD — definitely more than a typical curriculum.

Add to that a 15.6” display that works wonderfully with the GPU, and you’ve got a nice station for your coursework.

I tend to get very particular about design and build quality. Nitro 5, although not as fancy-looking as ASUS TUF or HP Victus, feels much sturdier. It’s also very functional, with one of the comfier keyboards on the market.

At 5.5 lbs and around 6 hours of battery life, Nitro is the mid-road of portability. There are certainly lighter laptops that will last longer — and be more expensive — but among gaming laptops, Nitro is still very good.

The main concern is the RAM, since in my tests, the 8GB did limit the speed and output with more demanding tasks. So your best bet is to upgrade it asap.

Overall, if you don’t mind the weight and are willing to upgrade the RAM at some point, Acer Nitro 5 is a practical, valuable laptop for AutoCAD that can easily last throughout college years.

Watch our Acer Nitro 5 Review

This YouTube review was created by the Not Just Laptops team. The specs may slightly differ from the laptop in the article.

  • What We Like
  • Great specs for the price
  • Affordable
  • Large and fast display
  • Good battery life
  • Comfy keyboard
  • Sturdy and sleek
  • What We Don’t Like
  • 8GB RAM
  • Somewhat heavy

4. Portable Powerhouse: Asus ROG Zephyrus 14

Asus ROG Zephyrus

  • CPU: 3.3GHz AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS
  • RAM: 16GB DDR5
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Display: 14-inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600)
  • GPU: 8GB ‎AMD Radeon RX 6800
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours

So you want power AND portability? Among AutoCAD laptops, ROG Zephyrus is one of the rare devices that excels at both, along with gorgeous display and sleek design.

I admit, Zephyrus is one of the few white laptops that I like. The very thin profile and elevated hinge look very professional and clean. Plus, the whole thing weighs only 3.64 lbs which is great when you’re commuting or going to campus.

Based on my findings, Zephyrus easily lasts 9-10 hours, which is enough for extensive work at the office.

This is that much more impressive when you take into account the internals. One of the latest Ryzen 9 and Radeon GPU are among the AMD’s best, so I had no issues with AutoCAD. Renders went super fast, with no lag in sight.

The portability and power require some compromise, so a 14” display might not be large enough for your projects. However, you should know that this panel is amazing — it’s a WQXGA display that is very color-accurate and gorgeous to look at. It’s just a great tool for designers and architects.

Of course, like most thin, powerful and portable laptops, ROG Zephyrus tends to get a little hot. I didn’t find the heat unbearable, but I would get a cooling pad.

Overall, if you want one of the best picks for AutoCAD, ROG Zephyrus is the way to go. Provided you don’t mind somewhat smaller screen, it’s one of the most functional performance laptops on the list.

  • What We Like
  • Amazing performance
  • Gorgeous, high-quality display
  • Very lightweight
  • Long battery life
  • Professional-looking and clean
  • Ample storage
  • What We Don’t Like
  • Smaller screen
  • Gets hot

5. Top of the Line 18″ Laptop: ASUS ROG Strix Scar 18

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 18

  • CPU: 2.2GHz Intel Core i9-13980HX
  • RAM: 32GB DDR5
  • Storage: 2TB SSD
  • Display: 18-inch QHD (2560×1600)
  • GPU: 16GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours

If budget is not the issue, and you want the best of the best AutoCAD laptops money can buy, then check out ASUS’ another flagship, Strix Scar 18.

Let’s start with the internals: the 13th Gen. i9 HX-processor and an RTX 4090 are THE BEST combo at the moment, period. Strix flew through AutoCAD like it was nothing, leaving most other laptops in the dust.

To say I’m impressed with an 18” display on Strix would be an understatement. I won’t bother you with the “usual and expected”: hi-res, high refresh rate, amazing color accuracy. However, I will say that the Nebula display on this machine is next level: with 1200:1 contrast ratio, the colors are gorgeous, deep, and very pleasant to look at.

And the battery life is incredible for a machine of this caliber: I got 9-10 hours of juice, which is perfect for long hours of work.

Sure enough, the beast is heavy, but who can blame it? This laptop weighs almost 7 lbs, but I mean — it’s an 18” laptop.

One thing I’d consider is the design. I love the sturdy build, relatively thin profile, but I would imagine that this laptop is for hardcore AutoCAD professionals. If you want a clean-looking laptop, the RGB lights and gamer vibe might not be the best fit.

Still, I mean — ROG Strix Scar 18 is one of the star AutoCAD laptops, right up there in constellation with the best laptops overall, like MacBook Pros and MSI Titan.

  • What We Like
  • Premium specs
  • Amazing 18” Nebula display
  • Sleek and sturdy
  • Long battery life
  • Fast DDR5 RAM
  • Lots of storage
  • What We Don’t Like
  • Pricey
  • Heavy

6. Best Workstation: Lenovo ThinkPad P16

Lenovo ThinkPad P16

  • CPU: 2.3GHz Intel Core i9-12900HX
  • RAM: 64GB DDR5
  • Storage: 2TB SSD
  • Display: 16-inch WUXGA (1920×1200)
  • GPU: 8GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX A2000
  • Battery: Up to 7 hours

Workstations are serious laptops for AutoCAD — especially when you work on large and complex projects, or in rough environments. If that’s your case, Lenovo ThinkPad P16 is one of the best workstations you can get.

We often forget that Lenovo is far from budget-laptops-only brand: their workstations are sturdy, military-grade machines, and P16 is no different. It’s a strong laptop that can withstand harsh conditions of construction and engineering sites.

Under the hood, you’ll find a high-performance processor and an RTX A2000. If you’re unfamiliar with this GPU, don’t fret: it’s an NVIDIA’s professional-visualization graphics card for workstations and desktops, meant for photorealistic ray-tracing.

In short, I thought the pairing did impressively in AutoCAD. With whopping 64GB of DDR5 RAM, ThinkPad P16 played with rendering in a similar fashion to Strix Scar 18. It’s super fast, precise, with instantaneous actions.

Add to that a 16” WUXGA hi-res display, and working on this thing is pure pleasure. I loved the contrast and resolution, although the screen could be a little brighter.

With P16, I got around 7 hours of work, which is pretty good for a workstation. The machine is slightly lighter than Strix Scar, at 6.5 lbs, but for some, this might be a bit heavy.

If you want a professional, robust and powerful laptop for AutoCAD, P16 more than justifies the cost.

  • What We Like
  • Powerful performance
  • Dedicated GPU for visualization tasks
  • Lots of DDR5 RAM
  • Lots of storage
  • Military-grade chassis
  • Great keyboard and trackpad
  • What We Don’t Like
  • On the heavier side
  • Screen could be brighter

7. Cheapest Option: HP Victus 15

HP Victus 15

  • CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-12450H
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 512GB SDD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • Battery: Up to 5 hours

Not everyone needs a top-of-the-line, military-grade laptop for AutoCAD. If you’re a student or a young professional, HP Victus might be one of the better options.

This very affordable laptop still packs good specs: a 12th Gen. i5 and GTX 1650 can perform a lot of tasks in AutoCAD, especially with 16GB RAM. Sure enough, in my tests, the rendering did take a little longer, but overall, I was satisfied with the results.

Victus is a gorgeous laptop — it’s compact, professional and sleek. Next to Lenovo Legion, Victus has one of the cleaner designs I’ve seen.

I also love the super-spacious trackpad and one of the better keyboards on this list. In fact, you get a full-size numpad as well — relatively rare in laptops at this price, and super useful for 3D modeling software viewpoints.

And the machine is pretty portable, at 5 lbs of weight and with 5-6 hours of battery. Granted, the battery can’t match that of ROG Zephyrus, but it will still serve you well.

If you work in tough environments, you should know that there is a bit of screen wobble. Like most budget laptops, Victus is a little flimsy — office work won’t trigger the wobble, but bumps and accidents on construction sites might damage it.

Overall, for the price, Victus is a clean, compact laptop that is great for light-to-mid AutoCAD work.

  • What We Like
  • Affordable
  • Clean and compact design
  • Large, high-quality panel
  • Good overall performance
  • 16GB RAM
  • Relatively portable
  • What We Don’t Like
  • Low-tier GPU
  • Some screen wobble

Buying Guide for AutoCAD Laptops

Choosing a laptop for AutoCAD is not as simple as you might think. There are several vital considerations to keep in mind that will help you select the best option for your needs and preferences:

1. Get a Laptop With a Powerful CPU

CPUs with multiple cores and higher clock speeds are crucial for a smooth workflow with complex designs and calculations in AutoCAD. 

So look for a device featuring some of the latest generations of Intel Core i7 or i9 processors. If you can’t afford those, don’t settle for anything less than an Intel Core i5 or an AMD Ryzen 5. 

2. Get Enough RAM and Storage

AutoCAD and other CAD applications eat RAM for breakfast, especially if you’re working on large and complex models. That’s why we recommend getting at least 16GB RAM, even for users who are just starting out with the software. 

Yet, for professionals, opting for 32GB or more is ideal.

As for storage, CAD projects tend to stack up pretty fast. So it’s a good idea to pick something with enough space (at least 512GB SSD).

3. Choose a Dedicated GPU

While Computer-Aided-Design is primarily a CPU-based operation, having a dedicated GPU is beneficial for certain features like 3D rendering and Real-Time Visualization.

In the past, the most favored GPUs among AutoCAD users were the workstation-grade NVIDIA Quadro and AMD Radeon Pro series. But nowadays, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 series are the best for professional work and gaming too.

4. Pick a High-Quality Display

You’ll need a high-quality and color-accurate display if you want your designs to appear as intended. 

As for the size, I always say it should be more of a personal preference. What I mean by this is if you care about portability, selecting a smaller (14-inch) display is worth considering. On the other hand, a larger 17-inch display provides more workspace, resulting in clearer and more detailed visual output

In terms of resolution, an FHD is enough no matter what size you pick. Of course, displays with higher resolution bring a better visual experience, but they also cost more and drain the battery quicker.

5. Consider Portability and Battery Life

Whether you’re a student or a professional, you’ll probably need to leave your desk every now and then and see your creations in real life. So considering portability and battery life might be necessary.

Although most powerful laptops weigh anywhere from 4 to 8 lbs, there are still some that are both super-capable and lightweight — MacBooks come to mind first, but also the likes of LG Grams, ASUS ROG lineup, and Dell XPS. 

The battery life depends on the screen size, internals, and the cooling system. If you work at an office, you shouldn’t go below 7-8 hours of juice, which is considered pretty standard for productivity laptops.

6. Look For a Properly Cooled Laptop

Finally, power-hungry components tend to generate a lot of heat, especially with extensive AutoCAD sessions. So look for a laptop with an efficient cooling mechanism to avoid overheating and performance issues.

This can be tricky, because most laptop brands praise their cooling system, but in reality, the machines can easily overheat. Your best bet is to go through the reviews and use the cooling pad for demanding tasks like AutoCAD.

FAQs about AutoCAD Laptops

Is AutoCAD a CPU- or GPU-intensive process?

Just like any other popular 3D modeling software, AutoCAD relies primarily on the CPU. Therefore investing in a powerful processor is crucial for your laptop to perform smoothly.

That being said, we recommend going for the latest generation of Intel Core i7 processors or, if your budget allows, an i9 processor.

How much RAM is needed for optimal AutoCAD performance?

Truth be told, even 8GB is sufficient to run a single process with minimal multitasking. However, if you are a top-level professional, 16GB is a bare minimum that might even go up to 32GB when working on large and complex models.

What is the role of GPU in AutoCAD?

The GPU helps take the load off the laptop’s CPU with some functionalities, resulting in smoother overall performance. Some of those include 3D rendering and Real-Time Visualization.
Currently, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40-series GPUs offer the best possible graphics performance for anything you do. But, as you would imagine, they are also the most expensive.

Which CPU works best when it comes to advanced AutoCAD usage?

Although the latest Intel i7 processors hailing from the 13th generation are extremely competent, in terms of power and performance, the 13th Gen Intel Core i9 is currently the best you can get your hands on. Though it’s important to note that laptops featuring the latest Gen CPUs come with a pretty high price tag.

What is CAD Workstation?

CAD workstations are specialized machines designed for optimized performance with CAD applications. These devices come with workstation-grade CPUs and GPUs, providing better processing support. There’s also a significant amount of RAM for handling multiple processes and tasks.


AutoCAD is one interactive and functional tool that caters to real-estate developers, production managers, architects, and other professionals, who need to draw, draft, and design2D and 3D models. 

However, not every computer can handle the high resource demand of AutoCAD.

Depending on your needs and budget, the best laptop for AutoCAD will be the one that comes the closest to the tasks you perform, for the price you envisioned.

If you’re still not sure which one to pick, here is a quick overview: 

Which one are you getting and is there anything else you would have liked mentioned? Let us know in the comments below!

If you’re interested in more general 3D work, you might want to check out our best picks for 3D modeling. Or perhaps you’d like to check out our favorite CAD laptops that work well with most CAD applications.  


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