The best laptops for 3D modelling might not be immediately obvious. Although PC hardware isn’t particularly complicated, it’s easy to overlook how the mountain of acronyms, code words and limitless combinations of different products could be seriously daunting for designers who aren’t technical experts. Prospective buyers have to dedicate time into researching whether or not a computer that catches their eye is any good with the software they use, and not every laptop is great at 3D.
Until now, the design industry has lacked a single simple branding, intended to let buyers know that a laptop has a specification that guarantees great performance in creative software. That’s why Nvidia has stepped in with RTX Studio, a labelling and set of base specifications that guarantees great performance and an all-round experience when it comes to animation, graphic design, video and photo editing software.
Nvidia has set the performance bar quite high. An RTX Studio laptop has to have a minimum of an Intel Core i7, 16GB of system memory, and a 512GB SSD. Minimum graphics requirements are a GeForce RTX 2060, Quadro RTX 3000 or higher, or a Titan RTX. It covers the display resolution as well, which can be no less than 1080p or 4K. With that in mind, here are what we think are the best laptops for 3D modelling right now.
Then there's the latest from Apple, whose 2021 Macbook Pro 14-inch model has a lot to offer, packing a punch not just for the 3D software but for the supporting applications from the likes of Adobe, making a new mac an increasingly exciting option.
The best laptops for 3D modelling available now
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.
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.
The specs of this six-core Intel Core i7-9750H with a GeFore RTX 2080 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 AMOLED display show. There's also plenty of ports to be getting on with – an ethernet port plus three USB-A 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.
Read our full Gigabyte Aero 15x review.
The Razer Blade Advanced 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.
Read our full Razer Blade Advanced Model review.