Whether you’re someone new to 3d modeling and look to expand your knowledge within the area, or someone who’s dedicated your career to the field of 3d modeling and rendering, you won’t be surprised to hear that having the right equipment is a very important factor if you want to work effectively. Having the right equipment won’t just make your life easier, but will also affect your ability to deliver top quality results and maximize the learning curve. Due to the complexity of 3d modeling, not all computers & laptops are a good fit, meaning that it’s wise to do your research before deciding to invest. In this guide we will review the best laptops for 3d rendering and modeling.
Factors To Consider When Looking For Good Laptops For 3D Modeling
There are several things to consider when choosing the right laptop for your 3d modeling needs:
- CPU (Processor) – CPU is essentially the processing power of a computer, making it one of the most important factors when it comes to selection for a computer in general, and is even more important for something like 3d rendering which requires more processing power. However, note that not all the rendering programs are using CPU so it’s worth checking the requirements of your 3d software before investing in this. The 3 most popular brands for processors are Intel, Apple (M1 Chips) and AMD, and whilst these have similar performance levels to each other, it’s highly recommended to get your hands on a laptop which has the latest generation processors, as these are much superior to their predecessors.
- GPU (Graphic Card) – The graphic processing unit is a piece of hardware that takes care of anything to do with graphics for your 3d work, which unsurprisingly makes this one of the most important things to take for when selecting a laptop for 3d rendering, meaning that having a high powered GPU makes a huge difference when it comes to speed in terms of viewports but also some rendering softwares are using GPU for rendering and for theses the graphic cards is crucial. Looking for the latest generations and biggest sizes are things to look out for when choosing laptops with a graphics card for 3d modeling.
- RAM (Memory) – Whilst a hard disk handles the long term memory of a computer, RAM takes care of short term memory, holding all of the data of a computer that needs to be accessed quickly, which is a essential when it comes to 3d rendering as higher amount is able to handle bigger models. That means is extremely important when you think about working with large-scaled projects (or with just high amount of polygons). Getting a laptop with a high amount of RAM is important, and anything less than 16GB is risky. If your budget is limited, then you might be able to get away with 16GB but try to prioritize getting something with 32 GB or even more.
- Display – This is something that comes down to personal preference but can be an important factor when it comes to comfort of work. If you think that display is important, it’s worth going to a PC store where you can test out a few different laptops to see which works best for you. The important parameter is the resolution rather than a size as this parameters determines of how many pixels the display shows and how much of the model you can see. Full HS size is absolute minimum for comfortable work and 4K is ideal. If you want to learn more about render resolution then please read out guide.
- Cooling System – 3d modeling & rendering requires a lot of computing power, and unsurprisingly heats your computer up a lot when performing these tasks, and even more so when you’re having to multitask. Whilst all laptops are somewhat vulnerable to overheating, there are some that cope better than others, so it’s worth doing your research on cooling systems or even having an external system keep your computer’s temperature optimal.
- Hard Disk (Storage) – 3D model files sizes can be massive, meaning that storage is an important factor. You should be looking at a storage space of at least 1TB but the more the better. SSD is always a better choice than HDD as it allows faster access to the data and more comfortable work.
Best Laptops for 3D Rendering & Modeling
1. Asus Zenbook Pro Duo
Winning awards, this laptop is fantastic for anyone in the field of modeling or 3d modeling and offers excellent performance for even the most complex 3d modeling tasks.
- Great CPU & GPU
- 32GB of Ram
- Great Display & Touch Screen Ability (even comes with a stylus/pen)
- Double Fan Cooling System
- Storage – 1TB SSD
- Battery Life leaves more to be desired.
2. Macbook Pro 16 M1 Max
When it comes to laptops, it’s hard to look past Apple, whether all you need a laptop for is to send emails and create basic documents or to perform much more complex tasks that require a high computing power. There’s no surprise then that Apple’s MacBook pro is a great fit as a 3d modeling laptop. However, some modeling and rendering programs are not compatible with Apple’s products so it’s worth double checking it before.
- Great CPU – Apple M1 Max Chip
- 32GB of Ram
- Great Display – Liquid Retina XDR Display
- 15 Hour Battery Life
- No Overheating
- 1TB SSD of Storage
- Price – Starts at around $3,000
- Can be incompatible with some software so worth doing your research
3. Acer ConceptD 7
When it comes to value for money, the Acer Concept D7 is a great option if you’re looking for the best laptop for 3d rendering, and is easily one of our top choices:
- 32GB of Ram
- ITB SSD of Storage
- Great Value for Money
- Great Display
- Considered aesthetically ugly where compared to some of the other options on this list
- No Core i9 CPU Option
4. Asus TUF Dash F15
Another solid option for those needing a laptop for 3d modeling and rendering, the Asus TUS Dash F15 is a fantastic machine:
- Big Hard Disk – 512 GB
- 15.6 Inches of Display
- Good Battery Life
- Only 16GB of Ram
- No Webcam or Biometric Features
Choosing a right laptop is an individual thing and there’s no one answer which one will suit best your needs. Before investing in a new laptop it is worth it to check specific requirements of the software you use, for example some programs use CPU for rendering whilst the others GPU so it will give an idea of where the priority should be. Also, it will depend on what kind of project you work – smaller projects will require less memory and storage whilst these laptop components will be crucial for bigger projects. However, 3d modeling programs always have high demands and investing in high quality elements will always be beneficial. Explore in-depth insights into the world of architectural 3d modeling by clicking here.
Contact NoTriangle Studio, a leading 3D company specialized in cutting-edge 3D architectural visualization, today if you’re ready to start your 3D rendering project.
Author – Rodolpho Reis, our Chief Creative Officer, joined our company in 2017 and has been instrumental in the growth of our teams and artistic skills at the studio. As a specialist in understanding clients’ needs and representing them in 3D, he brings a unique perspective to our projects.