Architects and architecture students are advised to consider purchasing laptops with the necessary specs and features to run software associated with the architecture perfectly. Architecture is a discipline that requires professionals and students to use complex software to do their work. Before, going any further lets go through our list of laptops first:
Best Laptops for Architecture Students and Architects UK 2017
|1. Dell XPS 15 – 15inch||
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050M with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM
Intel i7-7700HQ | 512 GB SSD | 16 GB RAM | 4K UHD Display
|2. Lenovo P51- 15inch||
NIVIDIA Quadro M2200M with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM
Intel i7-7820HQ | 512 GB SSD | 16 GB RAM | FHD Display
|3. Microsoft Surface Book- 13.5 inch||
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M with 2 GB GDDR5 VRAM
Intel i7-6660U | 512 GB SSD | 16 GB RAM | 3000 x 2000 resolution
|4. MSI GP62 7RD- 15 inch||
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050M with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM
Intel i5-7300HQ | Hybrid drive | 8 GB RAM | FHD Display
|5. ASUS ZenBook pro- 15 inch||
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050M with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM
Intel i7-7700HQ | 512 GB SSD | 8 GB RAM | FHD Display
In order to avoid wasting time waiting for programs to load, you are advised to invest in recommended laptops for architecture. So, what are the recommended specifications for architecture laptops? After performing several testing on various architecture software like ArchCAD, Revit, Vectorworks, Sketchup, Photoshop, and Adobe creative suite, we were able to highlight the following features as the must have requirements for architecture students and professional architects.
How to find an ideal laptop for architectural works?
This is the foremost spec you should take into consideration while buying a decent laptop for architectural needs. Architecture works involves running graphic intensive software like 3DsMax, Rhino, ArchCAD, Vectorworks.
These software not only need a dedicated graphics card but also a GPU that is equally powerful too to fast calculate the mathematical calculation demanded by rigorous modeling and rendering. Hence, we recommend choosing a laptop with a CAD friendly graphics card.
There are specifically two CAD friendly GPU offered by the top two brands. NVIDIA ‘s Quadro and AMD FirePRO graphics card are the best in the market. A laptop that harbors one of these graphics cards are relatively expensive. If you don’t have the budget for it, the next best choice will be the gaming GPU. The GTX line from NVIDIA is best known for their impressive performance.
To run modeling and rendering, architecture work need powerful CPU. Just to keep thing simple, the Intel i5 or above with a dedicated GPU will be more than enough for smooth operation of your workflow.
Architecture software like Vectorworks can take a significant chuck of your RAM and its not that you will be running only one software. Furthermore, some of the architecture job demands complex workloads like large assemblies which might bottleneck your RAM up to 8 GB. Hence, to be on the safe side and be able to play with high-resolution workloads, we recommend getting a laptop with at least 16GB.
When it comes to storage, bigger is always better. With the introduction of Solid State Drive, mechanical Hard Disk Drive has been in a verse of being absolute. All the perks offered by SSD are hard to ignore. Today, SSD has been relatively cheaper than what they used to cost a year before. But still if you are looking for 1TB of SSD, it is still going to cost your hands and legs. Therefore, to keep the laptop budget friendly, we recommend the Hybrid drive.
Size and Resolution
If portability wasn’t the considering factor, the added real estate offered by the large screen would be the way to go. However, you can’t completely ignore one and focus on the other spec. The 15 inch laptop would best derives the optimum size to portability ratio.
Who doesn’t want crisp clarity resolution especially when the industry is heading toward 4K contents. 4K UHD resolution is good to have under the hood for your entertainment purpose, but for architecture work FHD resolution will be fine. If you are serious about your work; paying more for top notch GPU by cutting cost on display resolution will be your best bet.
Look for a laptop that can connect with a wide array of computer peripherals. So, what are the ports that you really need? Well, it all depends on what type of components you are trying to run with it. For instance, if you are looking for multiple monitor setup, we recommend a laptop with thunderbolt 3. It is going to cost you more, but data transfer up to 40Gbps, display up to 4 monitors including 4K, and also charging up to 100W all via a single piece of wire is something that we always wish for.
In terms of a basic standard, look for a laptop with USB 3.0 ports, HDMI port, and DisplayPort.
Now, lets go through the detail review of each of the five laptops. After going through intensive choosing and testing process, we concluded following five to be the best laptops for architecture students and architects.
1. Dell XPS 15 15.6 inch 4K UHD: Best laptop for architecture students UK 2017
If you are architecture students who is looking for portable yet powerful laptop for your architecture work, then look no further than Dell XPS 15. Powered by 7th Gen of Intel Core i7-7700HQ clocked at 2800 MHz, this beast is designed to perform.
The 4GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GTX 1050 graphics make this notebook attractive for any architecture students. This GPU is powerful enough to handle any complex workload thrown by your architectural work.
Even with the NVIDIA GTX 1050, this laptop is only 0.66 inches thick and weigh around 2kg. There is no doubt that this is one of the best powerful laptops with high level of mobility. When you add 12 hours of battery life to it, you will get a perfect laptop that can go through your long day at university without having to search for charging ports all the time.
Its 16GB of RAM comes handy when you are multitasking with large assemblies and your entertainment gear running in the background. The 512 GB of SSD isn’t much, but like we said the perks offered by fast SSD is what you will be admiring.
With its 15-inch IPS screen displaying 4K UHD resolutions, take your computing experience to a whole new level. With the thunderbolt 3 port and its mighty GPU, you can easily run up to 2 monitors running 4K display.
2. Lenovo Thinkpad P51 Intel® 2900: Best laptop for professional architects UK 2017
Designed for high level of productivity, this mobile workstation laptop covers all the bells and whistle demanded by any professional architectural work. It is armed with Kabylake Intel quad core i7 7820HQ 2.9GHz (8MB L3 cache) processor. It might not sound much but is more than enough for running any software at ultra high speed.
With the 4GB of NVIDIA Quadro M2200, it can pretty much run any AutoCAD software at blazing fast speed. Further, it is ISV certified for graphic intensive application.
Its 16GB of DDR4 memory, armed you to perform multitasking without any lagging what so ever. With 512 GB M.2 SSD, it has unprecedented read and write speed up to 3000 Mbps.
Its 15-inch IPS screen, displaying FHD resolution offered just the right amount of PPI to get the work done. Weighing about 2.67 kg, this is the PC to have on the run.
When it comes to connectivity, its 4 x USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI 1.4, a Mini DP 1.2, SD card reader and a thunderbolt 3 covers almost any external component you could possibly think of.
3. Microsoft Surface Book: Best 2 in 1 convertible laptop for architecture students
We know that the market is flooded with many convertible laptops. But if you look for the one with powerful GPU, we bet there is only a handful of them. And from that if you have to select the one, which can actually get some professional graded work done, then Microsoft surface book might be your best bet.
Powered by Intel i7-6660U 2.4GHz processor, it will run any architecture software with ease and comfort. Its 2GB of DDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M GPU is geared to handle professional software like SolidWorks 3D CAD, AutoCAD Revit and Adobe Premiere Pro.
You can easily detach it to use as a tablet. Its surface pen comes handy for students while attending lectures. Accurate enough for easy note taking and precise drawing, it sure is perfect substitute of your notebooks. Further, you can also separately charge your tablet, which is a plus.
Microsoft packs this laptop with 13.5 inch screen that can display 3000 x 2000 pixels. You can expect this notebook to be somewhere between WQHD and UHD resolution. It is fortified with that needed 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD storage.
With 16 hours of battery life and weighing around 1.58kg, this Ultrabook is really light and great for long day use.
Finally, it offers 2 X USB 3.0 ports, SD card reader and mini display port for your connectivity needs. We don’t understand why Microsoft didn’t arm this laptop with thunderbolt 3 port. It would have been a deal breaker as its GPU and CPU is perfectly capable of rendering the multiple 4K display. But for the most part, it still meets the criteria demanded by architecture students.
4. MSI GP62 7RD: Best budget laptop for architecture students UK 2017
Shopping on a tight budget for a powerful laptop can really be irritating and tedious. It’s even harder when you are unfamiliar with the specification. So, don’t ruin your day and take a look at this budget friendly powerful laptop by MSI.
For the most part it has everything that any architecture will need to complete his or her assignment. Such as its Kabylake Core i5-7300HQ processor, 1TB HDD, 128 SSD, FHD IPS panel display, and USB ports meet the architecture students’ laptop requirements.
Also, the most notable features which any students will love is its powerful gaming GTX 1050 GPU. It is really hard to find these specifications under £ 800. However, MSI has systematically cheap out on certain things that are not so bad but ok about this laptop.
It has only 8GB of RAM, 4 hours of battery life and is carved on a cheap plastic. However, the good part is you can always upgrade its RAM and still ended up having the best value laptop. For the battery life, it certainly can’t be improved much, but from the viewpoint of architecture students who also happens to be a mid level gamers, it sure has acceptable battery life.
5. ASUS ZenBook pro: Best gaming Ultrabook for architecture students UK 2017
Asus ZenBook Pro is considered to be one of the Best Laptops for Architecture Students and Architects. The laptop is equipped with powerful 2800 MHz Core i7 Intel processor and 4GB GeForce GTX 1050 graphics. It also has 8 GB RAM, 512GB SSD and works on Windows 10
The 512 SSD is sufficient for dealing with architectural software like 3DS Max, Rhino, Revit, ArchCAD and many more. Asus ZenBook Pro weighs 1.8 kg, this means it’s ideal for architecture students and architects who have to be constantly on the move displaying their projects while seeking clients.
Another reason why architecture students and architects should consider buying this laptop is because of its extreme performance. The dual cooling system is efficient and guarantees users less heat and more power.
Interestingly, there are many laptops that meet the specs and features mentioned above, but not all of them are recommended for architecture students and architects. With the above laptops, nothing can possibly go wrong. They are efficient and works well with architecture software like ArchCAD, Revit, Vectorworks, Sketchup, Photoshop and Adobe creative suite. Good luck and thank you for considering us!