7 Best Workstations for CAD and Rendering (In 2020) – Mobile Picks

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Finding the best workstations for CAD and rendering is really a difficult task. Don’t worry we are here for you. If you are among those professionalists whose job revolves around working with CAD then this article is truly meant for you.

All the mechanical engineers, construction planners, or product designers should generously be thanking the pioneer of CAD for launching such a wonderful designing software.

The stress is placed mainly on these professionalists because they are the ones who create impressive and intricate prototypes of your megaprojects with the help of CAD.

What we get is the end product, what designers go through is modeling, drafting, 2D drawings, lighting annotations, edge-shaping, and the list goes on. All these processes are dependent on CAD.

To experiment with your CAD skills, you need to have the best and the most professional CAD workstation. It is mandatory to own a highly reputable cad laptop. Without an upgraded gadget, it’s obvious that even the most recognized software like CAD can’t sync with the machine.

Just take a deep breath and don’t brew your mind with unnecessary baggage of workstations for CAD. Because we have compiled the best laptop for CAD so that you can concentrate more on your projects rather than worrying to maintain your outmoded laptops.

Why Buy a Good Workstation for CAD?

Just question yourself and you’ll get the answer right away. Who doesn’t want to excel in professional life? This might seem off track but the point is of course we all want to succeed.

Professional, well-working, and updated gadgets are one of the major parts of the success journey of your professional life. Likewise, it’s important to own a good workstation if you are working on CAD.

Prefer to get an upgraded CAD workstation. It’s highly recommended because they are low-maintenance and hassle-free as a result you can remarkably excel even in your toughest projects.

Specifically, for CAD users a professional laptop has to be factory-fresh. As the CAD workstations not only have to create 2D and 3D formats, models, and drawings for products and software applications

In fact, CAD and CAD workstations have to meet the most laborious tasks including Mental Ray rendering, prototyping, wireframing, 2D regeneration, 3D navigation, and even storing the object in databases.

When CAD is offering it all then the experts hardly struggle with other software.

Keeping, in view of all these factors, a professional cad cam workstation is super important.

Minimum System Requirements for CAD

It is suggested by techno-geeks to be very meticulous while looking for the software requirements for AutoCad laptops.

It’s better not to miss even the tiniest details if you really want the best workstation for CAD.

Even for choosing a budget-friendly laptop for AutoCAD, you should not ignore the specifications of the CPU, especially the clock speed and the number of cores it is offering you.

Next in line is the specifications of RAM, which you have to strictly consider after looking for the CPU. RAM is essential to provide ample space to CAD, allowing it to run in a cohesive manner.

After the CPU, and RAM GPU is the next feature to look for. In this regard, a GPU with sizable VRAM is essential.

Give it a detailed reading below to exactly know the minimum system requirements for CAD.

1.RAM

CAD consumes a significant space in RAM. Hence, a minimum of 3GB RAM is a must for allocating it to the CAD software. However, for sky-high performance CAD workstations need at least 4GB RAM and a 64-bit operating system.

2.SSD

SSD is strictly suggested for storage. The CAD integrated laptops need SSD to speed up and sync the reading and writing speeds of processes going on. It dramatically boosts the overall performance of your laptop.

You can wisely pick the SSD based on your requirements and budget, however, do make sure it is at least 512GB as CAD files are huge in size.

3.GPU specifically Quadro

GPU is required for large-scale 3D, Photorealistic, and Mental Ray Rendering.

To perform all these activities a VRAM is a must for storing multiple textures during the stage of drawing and drafting. Apart from that, an SSD storage is enough to provide you a vibrant and sizable display.

INTEL XEON vs Core Series for CAD?

Both Core-based and Xeon-based laptops work wonders – you really can’t go wrong. However, there are some critical differences to keep in mind.

In regards to the CPUs, the core series offers higher frequencies and they are much faster and responsive especially the Core i7 and Core i9 series. On the contrary, Xenon models are capable of offering much higher maximum core counts.

Error Correcting Code (ECC) memory is another point of differentiating Xeon workstation CPUs from their Core workstation counterparts. ECC memory makes Xeon chips highly valuable in workstations as they are used for mission-critical calculations.

Also, Xeon workstations are equipped with server-style availability that might give them a leg-up on Core models for certain tasks.

Let’s see which system fits into your requirements:

Xeon workstations are valuable for you if you run CAD applications, deal with sensitive data, or work in an environment where system crashes can have a massive impact on a business. Such users can not withstand shut-downs and data corruption errors. In this case, Xeon is reliable and gives you peace of mind as it supports ECC. Worth your additional cost!

Intel Core workstations are ideal for you if you have a tight budget and still want a speedy, less-maintenance, responsive, and compute-intensive laptop. They are equally good for sensitive workloads and data analysis. Unlike Xeon, the core systems include integrated graphics options.

Verdict:

In short, Intel Xeon workstations are better. They are compatible with heavily multithreaded software applications like CAD. Xeon processors even support error checking and correcting memory, making them more stable and less prone to data corruption due to memory errors.

Best Workstations for CAD/Rendering

best workstations for cad

CAD software is increasingly in demand these days due to the changing industrial trends of the design industry. Therefore, the tasks are becoming more complex, intricate, and resource-intensive consuming a lot of processing power and memory.

Depending upon the type of CAD software and the type of work you do with the hardware and software, everything needs to be integrated, customized, and optimized to get the best performance from your investment.

The following article discusses the essential features needed for CAD laptops, the best workstations for rendering, and provides you a quick buying guide so that you don’t make a wrong choice.

The products below are carefully selected keeping in view the essential features required for CAD, and the reviews of users are also considered along.

1. Lenovo ThinkPad P53s (Best Workstation for CAD)

This miraculous laptop ThinkPad P53s features a 15-inch IPS Full HD panel, giving you or 100% Adobe RGB coverage.

As a mobile workstation, it dumps the features of a low-voltage CPU. The laptop features an energy-efficient professional graphics card – the Quadro P520.

It has a tough and robust exterior thanks to the plastic and glass-fiber used to build it. The materials used are the main reason for its lightweight of only 3.75lbs.

Having a thickness of 19mm the laptop is aesthetically designed.

ThinkPad P53s is an affordable and feature-rich laptop. It has robust hardware equipped with an Nvidia Quadro graphic card.

Although the laptop offers low-maintenance features still, PD3s should improve its display. The screen displays poor quality colors, the brightness is disappointing and the laptop consumes a lot of power, according to the users. So, no doubt it is one of the best workstations for CAD and rendering.

Pros

  • Features Quadro RTX 5000 graphics
  • Sky-high memory
  • Famous ThinkPad keyboard
  • Specialized and upgraded hardware
  • ISV certified
  • Includes ample ports
  • Multiple display options
  • Features 4K OLED touch
  • Lightweight
  • Robust design
  • Wide I/O connectivity options
  • Longer battery life
  • Features Thunderbolt support and LTE connectivity
  • Sufficient cooling and quiet performance
  • Doesn’t need PWM to adjust brightness levels

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Low-quality webcam
  • The battery is not removable
  • Users have complained that the battery shorts under load
  • High power consumption

2.Lenovo ThinkPad P71

P71 by Lenovo features a Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, a 512 GB NVMe-SSD as well as Nvidia’s Quadro P3000 GPU.

The laptop is appreciated due to its sturdy chassis, excellent input devices, and a good cooling system, enabling you to enjoy an efficient performance.

It is equipped with Quadro P3000 GPU that is faster and efficient. The laptop has quieter fans that do not hamper your tranquil work environment, allowing you to enjoy every second of your work, even under load.

The GPU generation is the highlight of the ThinkPad P71. Thanks to the good cooling solution, the very good display, and great input devices, you get one within your limited budget.

However, there are some shortcomings to the laptop. The webcam, and speakers, need an upgrade.

Overall, Lenovo ThinkPad P71 offers you a pleasing performance with its high-end specs and big display. You’ll fall in love with its added memory, storage, and NVIDIA Quadro P5000. The only downside is that it’s a massive laptop.

Pros

  • Considerable performance
  • Robust 4K panel
  • Decent battery runtime
  • Excellent input devices
  • Easy to upgrade laptop
  • Color correcting options are there
  • Graphics are unmatchable

Cons

  • Poor speakers
  • Heavyweight laptop
  • Awkward Fn and Ctrl key positions
  • Minor coil whine
  • Poor webcam
  • SSD could be much faster
  • Not always an available model

3.Dell G7 Laptop 2020 Model

Dell is a striking brand for manufacturing top-notch laptops for AutoCAD and other CAD software.

For manufacturing quality laptops Dell is a renowned brand. It is equally good for integrating Auto CAD and other CAD software.

For speedy and quick boosting this model of Dell consists of hybrid storage of 1TB SATA hard disk and 512 GB SSD. Moreover, discrete NVIDIA Ge Force GTX 1060 with 6GB GDDR5 video memory are the features instilled in the graphic processing unit.

The laptop which is powered by Intel Core 17(8th gen) and 16GB RAM is preferred for professionals and as well as for the learners of CAD software users.

Numpad is another distinctive feature of this laptop, which is inclusive of offset trackpad.

Battery timings are very poor which as a result makes the user reluctant to purchase Dell laptops. It only lasts for 4 hours.

The G7 15 is a decent and serviceable machine with an ergonomic design and a comfortable keyboard. The battery life, that’s the one area where Dell disappoints its users. It literally survives only for an hour.

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • Good port selection w/ Thunderbolt 3
  • Attractive design
  • Strategically priced
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Small keycaps make for a cramped keyboard
  • Slow SD card reader
  • Lower than average color accuracy
  • Shallow keyboard

4. Dell Precision 5540

Dell 5540 has focused on its hardware without changing its physical features. The features of Dell 5540 have given tough times to Dell XPS 15 with GeForce GTX 1650.

The Dell Precision 5540 is a good choice for you if you want a laptop with mid-range performance and a high-resolution display. The chassis is solid and the battery life is good.

It is not meant for professionals because the CPU does not perform efficiently.

Although the Nvidia Quadro T2000 is installed in the laptop despite the performance is 15% slower at the end than the initial performance. Sadly, saying, this laptop comes with a pathetic battery life which demands you to charge the laptop after every 2 hours.

While the Dell Precision 5540 operates silently. According to the users, the fans start to spin even if an internet browser opens. However, these intervals are short and add to the distraction. The fan’s noise is constant, steady, and spoils the nicest ambiance.

The speakers offer a fairly wide soundstage and moderate maximum volume level. However, they lack bass. At higher volume levels, the speakers start clipping, which is unpleasant to listen to. They are suitable only for quiet environments.

Dell Precision 5540 is a worth-buying capable workstation.

Pros

  • Features a more powerful Max-Q model of the Quadro T2000
  • High-quality chassis
  • Good maintenance options
  • Equipped with vivid 4K OLED display

Cons

  • CPU performance could be better
  • Meager port selection

5. HP Zbook 15V G5

The HP ZBook 15 G5-2ZC66EA delivers efficient performance with industry-leading security that is particularly designed to work with heavy workloads.

ZBook is ideal for rendering, engineering, and simulation workflows on a portable device. At 5.7 lbs and 14.8 x 10.4 x 1.0 inches, ZBook 15 is comparatively bigger than other workstations.

Although it comes with an average design and fairly acceptable looks and appearance however ZBook can withstand your most challenging projects. Despite its robustness, it owns a comfortable keyboard and a pair of premium Bang and Olufsen speakers.

The keyboard of ZBook makes it easy for you to clean it. A generous thanks to the drain hole at the bottom of the keyboard for draining the liquid and dust for easy cleanup.

Another highlight of ZBook the collaboration of HP with WWAN LTE and an HP World-Facing Microphone. This feature has made it easy for many of the users to conduct virtual meetings effectively and efficiently.

As for hardware specifications, it is equipped with an Intel Core i7-8850H vPro processor with 32 GB of RAM. Users of the ZBook can get mesmerizing performance even with the heaviest multi-application workloads.

This machine is truly a beast that can tear the performance benchmarks. Having a comfortable keyboard and a pair of speakers so spellbinding you’ll feel like you’re at a concert.

You cannot even ignore the lackluster display, especially since it’s what you’ll be working on all day, whether it be video editing or 3D modeling. If privacy isn’t your priority, you can opt for a configuration without the SureView display.

Overall, the ZBook 15 is a CAD mobile workstation capable of withstanding the heaviest processes and programs.

Pros

  • Hexa-core horsepower
  • Offers multiple screen choices including 1080p with privacy filter and 4K DreamColor
  • Feature-rich keyboard
  • Toolless access for upgrades
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Excellent audio

Cons

  • Big and heavyweight laptop
  • The privacy screen is too dark

6. HP Spectre x360

The HP Spectre x360 has taken the performance to a whole new level in 2020. With its updated addition in its product line, new features are introduced while also bringing back all the features you already know and love.

With its killer and an impressive brand-new processor, the Intel Core i7-1065G7 is an absolute powerhouse of a chip. Featuring the flashy new Iris Plus integrated graphics and a RAM has doubled the worth of x360.

It comes with a stunning design as it is thin, light, and decent in appearance.

With its aesthetic design and cutting-edge technology, the HP Spectre x360 amazes you with ample features that make it worth buying.

If you come to know that this laptop offers you a continuous battery timing of more than 13 hours would you still ignore it? I won’t. And still, if you will, then probably you are losing a gem piece laptop.

It is truly meant to support you through the more demanding tasks. However, in 2020, this laptop is more than that. It’s something new, something worth breathtaking.

Pros

  • Stunning design
  • Killer performance
  • Built-in security features are useful
  • Stunning, ultraportable design
  • Epic battery life
  • Bright, vivid display with thinner bezels
  • Fast overall performance
  • Comfortable keyboard

Cons

  • New components mean battery life takes a hit
  • Can run hot at times
  • Lots of bloatware
  • Shrill speakers at max volume
  • Runs a bit warm

7. MSI WP65 Workstation Laptop

MSI is an attractive and aesthetically designed laptop as compared to the aesthetics of bogus entry-level Dell laptops.

This model is equipped with a 15.6-inch, 3840 x 2160 display with a high comfortable and clickable keypad.

The keys of the backlit keyboard are shallow, which is a bit inconvenient for a 15-inch laptop. You also get a chance to enjoy an Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q GPU with 16GB of VRAM embedded in the laptop.

The high-quality graphic card along with the Intel ninth-generation i7 processor of 12MB cache and 32Gb RAM allows you to draw high precision drawings. Isn’t it great to get performance under budget?

The MSI WS65 offers you impressive battery life. The laptop is capable of surfing the web over Wi-Fi at 150 bits of brightness, which lasts for 6 hours and 57 minutes.

With its 15.6″ anti-glare screen you can work for the longest hours even more than your capability if sitting in front of the screen.

On the darker side, sadly speaking it does not offer you a top-notch webcam. You might fail to impress your sweetheart while video calling through this laptop.

Keeping aside the drawbacks and considering its specifications you can not resist this laptop, which is skilfully manufactured to satisfy the needs of designers, CAD users, and architects.

Pros

  • Cooler Boost turbo fan mode improves temperatures tremendously
  • separate mic and headphone jacks
  • attractive design for a workstation
  • 2 2280 + 2.5-inch SATA III bays
  • no pulse-width modulation
  • full-size Directional keys
  • Thunderbolt 3
  • Narrow bezels

Cons

  • Do not feature fingerprint reader, SD card reader, or Smart Card, reader
  • No Intel Xeon, ECC RAM, or full sRGB panel options
  • Servicing requires breaking a ‘factory seal’ sticker
  • Chassis and hinges could be more rigid
  • Speakers could be louder
  • Weak 120 W AC adapter
  • The fan is always active.

FAQ’s (5 questions)

Your brain must be bubbling from a hell of a lot of questions regarding the best CAD workstations.

Questions are a must to know the details of technical gadgets so that you don’t invest your money in the wrong product.

We chalked out the following questions for you so that you can get a clear idea and valid reasons for your product selection.

What is CAD Workstation?

A laptop/workstation for AutoCAD is an advanced machine, equipped with a powerful Error-Correcting Code (ECC) compatible processor.

These laptops have better graphics processing support, ample storage mostly SSD, and a significant amount of RAM for handling multiple processes and complex tasks with ease.

How much RAM is needed for AutoCAD performances?

AutoCAD features a diverse toolset possessing Map 3D, Plant 3D, electrical, and architectural enhancements.

Generally, 8GB is a bare minimum that is sufficient to run a single process with minimal multitasking. However, 8GB RAM is insufficient if you are a professional, 16GB is a sweet spot that might even go up to the killer storage of 32GB.

What is the role of GPU in AutoCAD?

An integrated GPU, associated with most high-end processors is powerful enough to run 2D renders and modeling with ease. However, when 3D modeling, mesh modeling, photorealistic rendering, and mental ray rendering are concerned, it is advisable to get a Ray-tracing supported GPU.

Which CPU works the best when for advanced AutoCAD users?

Although the latest Intel i7 processors from the 9th and 10th generation are extremely competent.

In terms of power and performance, the i9-10900K is one of the best chipsets in the market courtesy of a higher base clock speed of 3.7GHz and a massive turbo clock boosted speed of up to 5.30GHz.

Is the MacBook Pro good for CAD?

First of all, it’s better to run AutoCAD for Windows than the Mac version. However, MacBook Pro is considerable only for basic 2D drawing.

For 3D drawings, you need more RAM, higher CPU speed, and a dedicated GPU. The bigger the screen the better, for displaying the design details and interface.

Buying Guide

CAD software is increasingly in demand these days due to the changing industrial trends of the design industry. Therefore, the tasks are becoming more complex, intricate, and resource-intensive consuming a lot of processing power and memory.

Depending upon the type of CAD software and the type of work you do with the hardware and software, everything needs to be integrated, customized, and optimized to get the best performance from your investment.

Whether you’re an engineer or a product designer working with intricate 3D models and complex CAD assemblies with (AutoCAD, Autodesk, Autodesk Inventor, Catia, ArchiCAD, Solidworks, UGS Solidedge, UGS NX, PTC Pro Engineer, and other software), our above mentioned best laptop for AutoCAD are reliable enough to give you blazing performance.

However, for your quick assistance we recommend you not to ignore the following features while buying the best laptop for cad:

  • Intel Core i7 Quad-Core 64bit CPUs
  • Support for Large capacity High-Speed DDR3 Memory
  • NVIDIA Quadro Professional 3D Graphics
  • Up to 4.5TB of Data Storage
  • Powerful Mobile Workstation Architecture
  • 15 & 17inch Laptop LED/LCD Display
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Certified

Now you are an expert in choosing the best workstations for CAD and CAM. We firmly expect you not to waste your money, time, efforts, and energy in making unprofessional choices.

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