The best laptops for 3D modelling in 2022

Best laptops for 3D modelling
(Image credit: Unsplash / Joshua Woroniecki)

Finding one of the best laptops for 3D modelling and rendering can seem like an uphill struggle. For a machine that can cope with the demands of high-end 3D software, you're going to need a powerful CPU and GPU, plus plenty of fast memory and a lot of storage, and that can mean a lot of time combing through laptop specs to ensure that they're up to scratch in every regard.

That process has at least become a little easier of late, thanks to Nvidia introducing RTX Studio, a platform designed to showcase laptops that meet the right criteria for serious creative work, meaning that they deliver great performance for anyone working with 3D, animation, graphic design, video and photo editing software.

For a laptop to meet the RTX Studio performance bar, it needs to have, at the bare minimum, an Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD, plus GeForce RTX 2060, Quadro RTX 3000 or Titan RTX GPU, with a display resolution of at least 1080P. So that RTX Studio badge is an easy sign to look for that a laptop's going to be up 3D work; and of course another option is to look for gaming laptops, as the demands of running AAA video games can be on a par with those of 3D content creation.

Both these options mean, however, that you're looking at a Windows laptop; if you prefer to create on Apple hardware, things are a little easier, as the MacBook Pro line packs plenty of power, as you'll see when you get to the first laptop in our list; you may also be able to pick up a bargain the MacBook Black Friday deals.

With that in mind, here is our round up of the best laptops for 3D modelling right now based on expert knowledge and personal reviews where we look at specs like display and storage. For other creative options, see our best laptops for graphic design, best laptops for animation, and the best monitors to go with them.

The best laptops for 3D modelling available now

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A product shot of the Apple MacBook Pro 12-inch (2021)

(Image credit: Apple)
The best MacBook Pro for 3D modelling

Specifications

CPU: M1 MAX
Graphics: M1 MAX GPU
RAM: Up to 64GB
Screen: 3,024 x 1,964

Reasons to buy

+
Great performance
+
Stunning screen
+
Excellent battery life
+
Excellent connectivity

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the biggest screen

For 3D artists working on a mac there has never been a better time. The new 14-inch Macbook Pro 14-inch is a formidable machine, with lots of scope to spec suitable levels of RAM and storage for your projects. The M1 GPU is more than up to the task for rendered viewports, complex animations and high resolution texture sets. Whether your are running Maya, Cinema 4D, Houdini, Blender or any other mac-compatible software the 14-inch 2021 MacBook Pro should be high up on your shortlist.

Acer ConceptD 7

(Image credit: Acer)
The best value laptop for 3D modelling with impressive specs.

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
RAM: 32GB
Screen: 15-inch 4K colour accurate display
Storage: 1 TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Good value
+
Impressive specs
+
Great display

Reasons to avoid

-
A bit ugly 

The Acer Concept D7 has some impressive specs: an Intel Core i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q with 32GB of memory and 1TB PCIe SSD. Its colour coverage is fantastic, as has 100% Adobe RGB, something that makes a big difference when you're creating 3D work. It's also speedy, and has 2,944 shaders, 46 ray tracing cores and 368 Tensor Cores. Overall, it's a solid machine that works well for 3D work, and is good value for the specs you get. Some may find it a tad on the ugly side, though.

Read our full Acer ConceptD 7 review.

A product shot of the Asus TUF F15 gaming laptop on a white background

(Image credit: Asus)
A powerful laptop for 3D modelling with impressive specs

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i9-12900H (14-core)
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe, Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti 8GB
RAM: 16GB
Screen: 15.6-inch, 2,560 x 1,440, 240Hz, IPS LCD
Storage: 1 TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
High screen refresh rate
+
Very powerful
+
Efficient cooling technology

Reasons to avoid

-
Simplistic design

The ASUS TUF Gaming F15 laptop uses Asus' latest laptop tech to make a truly powerful machine. It features Intel's latest 12th Gen CPU with Nvidia RTX 30 Series Graphics. The 15.6-inch screen has an impressive refresh rate of 165Hz and full coverage of the DCI-P3 gamut, making it a great choice for creatives in the 3D world. The processors can swiftly handle whatever is thrown at them and switching between demanding apps in easy. This is certainly a high-performing laptop and with its fast performance it's a great choice for 3D modelling.

Product shot of an MSI GE76 Raider laptop

(Image credit: MSI)

04. MSI GE76 Raider

A heavyweight laptop for 3D modelling with great looks

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-12700H (14-core)
Graphics: Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti 8GB - RTX 3080 16GB
RAM: 16-32GB
Screen: 17.3-inch UHD
Storage: 1TB-2TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive CPU and GPU performance
+
Gorgeous 17-inch display
+
RGB light bar

Reasons to avoid

-
Big and heavy

The MSI GE76 Raider is a seriously heavyweight gaming laptop, with specs that make it an ideal choice for 3D modelling. It features a gorgeous 17-inch display that'll show off your creations to their very best advantage, and enough CPU and GPU power to deliver near-desktop performance in a reasonably thin form factor.

As a gaming laptop, it naturally has an RGB backlit keyboard, along with an RGB light bar along its front edge, a feature that you'll either love or turn off at the first opportunity. And when we described this laptop as a heavyweight, we meant it quite literally; depending on the configuration it can weigh up to 3kg, which makes it more of a machine for living on your desk than taking out and about with you.

A product shot of the Razer Blade 15 gaming laptop on a white background

(Image credit: Razer)
This silent laptop has a sleek design

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H (six cores)
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
RAM: 32GB
Screen: 15.6-inch 4K OLED touch-sensitive 100% DCI-P3 colour-accurate display
Storage: 1TB

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent storage
+
Good-looking design
+
Powerful

Reasons to avoid

-
Considerably more expensive option

The Razer Blade 15 Model feels squarely aimed at creatives. The design is stark, minimal and pretty good-looking, and the internal specs aren't to be scoffed at either. The touch-sensitive screen is another selling point, it's colour accurate with 100% DCI-P3 coverage. The range of configurations is a little confusing, so make sure you double check exactly what you're looking for before you buy. The Razer Blade is superior to the other models in that it was silent while we were doing our 3D tests, it was also 10 per cent faster than the laptops above. Overall, it looks great, and sounds great, but it is more expensive than other similar laptops with the same amount of storage.

A product shot of the Gigabyte AERO creator laptop on a white background

(Image credit: Gigabyte)

06. Gigabyte Aero Creator

A solid laptop for 3D work

Specifications

CPU: Intel i7-11800H
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
RAM: 16GB
Screen: 15.6-inch 4K HDR OLED 100% DCI-P3 colour-accurate display
Storage: 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Decent specs
+
Impressive colours
+
Excellent storage

Reasons to avoid

-
In and out of stock 

The specs of this Intel Core i7-11800H with a GeFore RTX 3080 graphics card make it highly capable of high-end 3D modelling, as well as gaming. This laptop stands out because of the bright images its advanced 4K HDR OLED display show. There's also plenty of ports to be getting on with – it has three USB-3 and USB-C ports, as well as an SD card reader. Again, this laptop isn't the prettiest, and some will find it on the brash side, but overall, it's a decent option for 3D modelling, although it can get noisy. 

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A veteran from the days of the 8-bit ZX Spectrum, Orestis is always interested in the fastest, slickest way to make computers do new and exciting things.
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