5 Best Laptops for ANSYS, SolidWorks and AutoCAD etc. under $1000

Choosing a laptop for school and office work might be simple, but when it comes to specific tasks like computer aided design (CAD) or 3D modelling and animation etc, a lot of other factors come into play. Softwares used for 3D modelling or CAD analysis need high processing power from CPU and GPU. With that in mind, this article lists are 5 best laptops for ANSYS and various other CAD applications with price below $1000.

Specs to Consider for CAD applications

Every CAD software lists their minimum system requirements which should be considered before buying a laptop. However, you should choose the laptop depending upon what kind of CAD work you do, for example 2D Drafting in AutoCAD, 3D modelling in Blender, 3DS Max, AutoDeskMaya, or Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) on ANSYS etc.

Still Following things matter:

  1. PROCESSOR: AMD as of now might have shortened the gap in processing power in comparison to Intel, but Intel still is the king. So, whatever laptop you buy, you should one with Intel Processor. This is the key feature that needs to be checked if picking the best laptop for ANSYS and other simulation softwares. For visual designing softwares, GPU is more important.
  2. GRAPHICS CARD: Any laptop for CAD or 3D modelling work must have NVidia or AMD GPU. On-board builtin Intel Cards do not work. In my experience AMD or NVidia GPU with 1 GB dedicated memory is better than an Intel on-board card with 3 GB dedicated memory.
  3. RAM: RAM is generally overlooked for CAD. But still it matters a lot. Usually for normal CAD work 8GB RAM is good. However, if you are really into 3D animation or complicated ANSYS simulations, then 16 GB is needed for smooth working.

Apart from these SSD hard-drive also speeds up the things but its not compulsory.

BEST LAPTOPS FOR CAD APPLICATIONS

1. HP ZBook G5 Mobile Workstation

Price: $849.00

Processor: 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8300H Processor @ 2.30GHz (4 Cores, 8M Cache, up to 4.00 GHz)

Memory: 16GB DDR4 2666 MHz SDRAM

Storage: 256GB Solid State Drive + 16GB 3D Xpoint (Optane)

Display: 15.6″ IPS LED backlight 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) Widescreen anti-glare Display

Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro P1000 4 GB GDDR5 SDRAM

Dimensions (WxDxH): 14.8 in x 10.4 in x 1 in

Weight: 5.73 lbs

Note: Used by me and it is the best laptop for ANSYS in my experience.

2. Microsoft Surface Book 2

Price: $925.00

Processor: 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7300U with up to 3.50GHz Max Turbo

Memory: 8GB RAM

Storage: 256GB Solid State Drive + 16GB 3D Xpoint (Optane)

Display: 13.5 Inch TouchScreen PixelSense Display (3000 x 2000 Resolution)

Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 integrated GPU

Dimensions (WxDxH): 12.3 x 51 x 9.14 in

Weight: 3.38 lbs

3. Dell Precision M3520 Mobile Workstation Laptop

Price: $599.00

Processor: Intel Core 7th Generation i5-7440HQ Processor (Quad Core, up to 3.80 GHz, 6M Cache, 45W)

Memory: 16GB, DDR4-2400MHz SDRAM, Non-ECC

Storage: 512GB M.2 SATA Class 20 Solid State Drive

Display: 15.6 inch FHD (1920×1080) Wide View Anti-Glare LED-backlit IPS

Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro M620 2GB GDDR5

Dimensions (WxDxH): 4 x 17 x 21 in

Weight: 6.35 lbs

Note: NVIDIA Quadro M620 GPU makes this one, the best laptop for AutoCAD and 3D modelling jobs.

4. Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC

Price: $959.00

Processor: 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H 6-Core Processor (Up to 4.1GHz)

Memory: 16GB DDR4 2666MHz DRAM Memory

Storage: 512GB M.2 SATA Class 20 Solid State Drive

Display: 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-backlit IPS display (144Hz Refresh Rate, 300nit Brightness & 72% NTSC )

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Overclockable Graphics with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM

Dimensions (WxDxH): 10.47 x 15.35 x 1.05 inches

Weight: 5.51 pounds

Note: This laptop is the jack of all trades. 8th Gen Core i7 Processor makes it one of the best laptop for Ansys, while NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB VRAM makes it also one of the best laptops for AutoCAD and SolidWorks.

Although it’s price is highest in this list, but it is the best laptop of this list and that high price is justified in specs.

5. Lenovo ThinkPad P50

Price: $899.00

Processor: Intel Quad Core I7-6700HQ up to 3.5 GHz

Memory: 16 GB RAM

Storage: 1 TB HDD

Display:15.6′

Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro M1000M 2GB

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you have to choose between a workstation or gaming laptop, go for workstations because of their certified GPUs. However, for students gaming laptops will also do the trick.

Key things to look are:

  • Best laptop for ANSYS and simulation softwares would be the one with high processing power. So, CPU is important there.
  • Best laptop for AutoCAD, drafting and 3D modelling etc would be the one with best GPU. So graphics card is important there.
  • If a laptop has both these at high levels, then that is the magnum opus for both jobs.

Thats it for best laptops for CAD applications.