Those who work in industries such as mechanics, construction, architecture, and design will need a laptop with an extensive configuration to download software such as Autocad, Solidworks, Photoshop, Corel, Ai. So how to choose for ourselves the best AutoCAD workstation or best cad workstation that can meet this need?
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Not an expensive laptop or PC will ensure an excellent response to your work. To choose the right product to serve the job’s needs with high efficiency, choose a computer or workstation for technical workers also needs different criteria. However, this is not as difficult as you might imagine. The following article will give you some essential information.
- Top 5 Best AutoCAD Workstations 2021 Reviews
- #1 Best AutoCAD Workstation Desktop: Lenovo ThinkCentre M720Q 10T7 Tiny Workstation
- #2 Best AutoCAD Workstation Laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad P71Mobile Workstation Laptop
- #3 Best Cad Workstation Desktop For The Money: Dell Precision Tower 3620 Workstation Desktop
- #4 Best AutoCad Workstation Laptop For The Money: Acer Aspire 5 A515-54G-53H6 Workstation Laptop
- #5 Best Cad Workstation Desktop For Architects: HP Z2 Mini G4 Workstation Desktop
- Factors to Consider When Choosing The Best Autocad Workstation
- Desktop vs. Laptop Workstations
- Final Words
Top 5 Best AutoCAD Workstations 2021 Reviews
#1 Best AutoCAD Workstation Desktop: Lenovo ThinkCentre M720Q 10T7 Tiny Workstation
The Lenovo ThinkCentre M720Q 10T7 workstation’s first attractive feature is that it is the flagship model with a reasonable price. Those who are tight on a budget can even buy it.
The Intel Core i5-8400T is the hardware’s core of this model. It is in charge of managing and controlling many high-volume CAD programs at ease. Besides, the UHD Graphics 630 serves as the GPU system, helping to develop the product’s performance. These two features also highlight that you can run various apps smoother and faster.
In terms of RAM and storage, it comes with 1 TB HDD and 512 GB SSD. This is such a huge storage capacity, enabling you to store a massive sort of data. Furthermore, this workstation uses Serial ATA and SSD storage interface, offering you more RAM capacity, which is better for all users.
- Great security system
- Good chassis
- Various ports
- The internal expansion is not very much
This Thinkcentre desktop is genuinely an excellent AutoCAD workstation for both professionals and amateurs. It allows you to do all the jobs involved in 3D and AutoCAD modeling with great success.
#2 Best AutoCAD Workstation Laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad P71Mobile Workstation Laptop
Firstly, this ThinkPad is full of ports, including Mini DisplayPort, a 4-in-1 card reader, an optical drive bay, a smart card, an ExpressCard slot, and three USB 3.0 Type-A ports. On the workstation laptop’s back, there are also an array of ports.
Its performance is also impressive, thanks to the 32GB-RAM and the Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6 CPU. With this significant horsepower, you can deal with immensely demanding software programs such as Adobe tools or AutoDesk design tool. It is also suitable for all sorts of uses as it is equipped with the Nvidia Quadro P5000 GPU and the 16GB-VRAM.
- Solid battery life
- Fantastic performance
- Comfortable keyboard
- More expensive than others at the high-end line
Overall, the Lenovo ThinkPad P71 is a powerful workstation with fantastic VR performance. It seems to be the optimal method for AutoCAD as well as architecture applications.
#3 Best Cad Workstation Desktop For The Money: Dell Precision Tower 3620 Workstation Desktop
When coming to performance, it underlines the unlocked Intel Core i7-6700K running at 4GHz speed, providing you with better stability. The mid-range graphics card used in this model is the Quadro M4000. Do not look down on this card as it is the most powerful single-slot card from NVIDIA.
In other words, this model can support a wide range of mid-range 3D cards and professional 2D cards. Moreover, to keep this device at the highest security level for users, the manufacturer designs it with self-encrypting drives, Security Tools, Dell Data Protection, and the Dell Control Vault.
- Attractively priced
- Powerful graphics card
- A massive amount of memory
- Not as expandable as others in the same line
The Dell Precision Tower 3620 workstation desktop has numerous features and components along with two available options of Intel Core i7 and i5. Also, it is considered one of the most affordable desktop workstations for CAD.
#4 Best AutoCad Workstation Laptop For The Money: Acer Aspire 5 A515-54G-53H6 Workstation Laptop
This laptop is powered by the 10th generation Intel Core i5. This latest generation does such excellent work when performing all tasks and providing improved battery backup. Additionally, it allows you to execute multi tasks thanks to the massive amount of room from the 8GB RAM.
Understanding the needs of those who excel at designing, the manufacturer adds a vivid and large Full HD display. So, it can give users a powerful graphics performance. The visuals presented from this workstation is also beautiful with balanced colors thanks to the Acer Color Intelligence tech and the BlueLightShield.
- Good value for money
- Slim and light
- A variety of ports to connect
- The sound system might not be as good as expected.
The Acer Aspire A515-54G-53H6 is equipped with the latest technology and at an affordable cost. Therefore, it is suitable for students, professionals, office users, and bloggers looking for a 15.6-inch laptop with a Windows 10 on a limited budget.
#5 Best Cad Workstation Desktop For Architects: HP Z2 Mini G4 Workstation Desktop
This HP model’s most notable feature is that it is armed with the 6-core Intel Xeon E-2176G, 1 TB HDD, 256GB SSD, and the NVIDIA Quadro P1000. All of these features help to stream 4K videos or switch between over 20 open tabs smoothly.
Some machine tests also reveal that this model gives out an awe-inspiring result and category-leading performance. The speed of transferring files is also immensely fast. Briefly, if you purchase this HP Z2 Mini G4, you will have a rare beast in your hand with a generous warranty.
- Small footprint
- Great value for money
- Compact and functional design
- The external power brick is large
Although it looks tiny, the HP Z2 Mini G4 is the most potent PC that you may know. With the compact chassis, you can bring it anywhere you want.
Factors to Consider When Choosing The Best Autocad Workstation
CPU For Cad Software
You should use the Intel Xeon series of processors and the Nvidia Quadro or AMD Radeon Pro series of GPUs (formerly Fire Pro) as they are specially designed for good CAD rendering, 3D modeling, and rendering laptops.
They are not regular CPUs and GPUs, and they are not even used in standard laptops. These are multi-core hyper-threaded CPUs and GPUs available only on workstation laptops. They are optimized for running heavy applications.
Make sure you buy a laptop with a quad-core or Hexa-core CPU as the dual-core is considered very weak for handling CAD applications. You can find all the model numbers for the quad-core i5 and i7 processors and compare their details to find the right one.
CPU Cores and Threads
When choosing to buy a durable laptop, you need to pay attention to the configuration. You must understand that you need to select a machine with a strong configuration. High-quality configuration can quickly run the software you are using, such as CAD, Photoshop, 3D drawing, editing.
Minimum requirements are Core i5 or higher. The best is Core i7. Do not try to save costs but choose Core i3 because installing this software will create a large capacity. Therefore, the line of laptop graphic design – engineering needs to have a robust configuration, specifically CPU from Core i5 or higher, and the best is Core i7.
Xeon Vs. other CPUs
INTEL CORE I7 is designed for desktops (running 8-12 hours/day), while INTEL XEON is intended for workstations, servers. The mainboard running INTEL I7 supports only 1 CPU chip. CORE I7 has the advantage of having a healthy one core (from 3.2Ghz -> 4.2Ghz for one core), and the multiplier and thread count is limited to only six cores 12 threads.
So CORE I7 is only really suitable for essential old generation single-core applications like PHOTOSHOP CS6, AUTOCAD 2008. For INTEL XEON, the number of threads is very high (maximum 36 cores 72 lines for one chip. CPU).
The motherboards that support INTEL XEON can mount 2 to 4 CPU chips running in parallel. Therefore, INTEL XEON will be very suitable for new generation multi-core software and applications that require high configuration such as 3DS MAX, SKETCHUP, V-RAY, AUTOCAD 2018.
Besides, INTEL XEON is also used for workstations, servers 24/24, so the plowing is very strong. You can use it for large projects that require constant and frequent machine work.
Graphics Card for CAD Software
For Windows laptops, you need to equip discrete cards from NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, or higher as well. Depending on your work, if you are working on 3D design or modeling a lot, choose higher cards like GTX 1050.
Most of the people who do graphic designers, interior designers often choose the Macbook line more because it is integrated with Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 (or discrete AMD Pro 450).
Besides, this line is highly appreciated for the screen’s sharpness, thin and light, luxurious design, convenience to bring the device to design for customers to choose.
Motherboard for CAD Applications
The motherboard is also known by other names such as MB, mainboard, backplane board, baseboard or main circuit board, planar board, and system board. On Apple computers, it’s called Logic board.
A motherboard is a circuit board that serves as the foundation of a computer set. It is located in the center of the chassis. Motherboard distributes power to the CPU, RAM, and all other hardware components of the computer. Most importantly, it creates a link between these components together.
RAM (Memory) for CAD Software
The amount of RAM installed on a laptop makes a significant difference in the laptop’s performance. Most CAD software vendors recommend a minimum of 8GB RAM when buying a laptop running AutoCAD.
However, that’s for basic 2D and CAD modeling that works. For 3D modeling and rendering, you need at least 16 GB of RAM. If you have to do a lot of heavy work first, you may need 32 or 64 GB of RAM.
SSD / HDD / Storage for CAD Work
As for storage, SSDs are strictly recommended in laptops for CAD because their read and write speeds significantly increase the laptop’s overall performance. You can choose the storage capacity according to your requirements and budget, but make sure that at least 512GB as the CAD files are enormous.
PC-Case for CAD Work
The case cover is the external component that shows the computer’s aesthetics, bodies, keeps new, and avoids impacts from the outside. Therefore, style and size are the first factors that need to be considered.
There are four types of computer cases commonly used by designers: Full tower, mid-tower, micro tower, box case. Depending on the motherboard you are using, you can choose the right case.
With a large mainboard, you should prioritize a large graphic computer case with spacious space and suitable stands. Also, with some small motherboards such as micro ATX or mini ITX, some mini case lines are perfect choices.
Another factor that cannot be ignored is the size of the case. A designer needs to base on the level of computer resource usage that can choose the corresponding case.
PSU for CAD
PSU is a crucial PC component, especially high-end workstation computers because they often come with graphics cards that consume a lot of energy. The PSU powers most PC components, including processor, motherboard, memory, hard disk, fans, graphics cards, and other peripherals.
Suppose you have a workstation with a dedicated graphics card. In that case, the power requirements will be more significant because the graphics card alone consumes a sizable amount of power. High-end graphics cards can consume up to 250 watts of power and need around 600 Watt or higher PSU.
Monitors or Displays for CAD
Monitors are another essential thing to test on a CAD laptop. Your laptop’s screen should be anti-glare with comfortable viewing angles and also be color-accurate. It is recommended to use IPS displays with Full HD or 4K resolution for working CAD and 3D models because they are useful in every aspect aforementioned.
Desktop vs. Laptop Workstations
Many people are often confused about choosing a desktop or laptop workstation. Each type has pros and cons. For instance, you cannot bring the desktop anywhere you want, which makes it less appealing. However, it does give you a complete workstation with nice headphones, a better keyboard, and multiple monitors.
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Meanwhile, the laptop workstations do not tie you in one spot. However, it needs a hub to connect to numerous monitors.
What is the best computer for CAD work?
Dell Inspiron i5860 seems to be the best computer to work with CAD. It offers you a brilliant CPU, the powerful Intel Core i7 8700. This feature ensures superb performance for all types of CAD work.
What kind of computer do I need for AutoCAD?
If you work with AutoCAD, you should buy a computer having Microsoft Windows 7 SP1, 8.1, or 10. Its memory should be 16GB with a 2.5 GHz processor. Plus, the disk space can be about 6.0 GB, and the display is 1920 x 1080 resolution.
What is a CAD workstation?
The CAD workstation is known as the computer technology allowing engineers, architects, and designers to create and design their documents as well as products. Using the CAD workstation, those mentioned above can make 2D or 3D diagrams and rotate them to view from different angles.
The top pick for the best AutoCAD workstation is the Lenovo ThinkCentre M720Q 10T7 Tiny Workstation. It deserves to be the best overall with superb features and a reasonable price. Regarding the top cad workstation, it would be better to opt for HP Z2 Mini G4 Workstation Desktop. It is not only functional but also flexible and lightweight.
In short, choosing a computer for CAD and AutoCAD will not be that difficult if you pay attention to a few caveats. Hopefully, you can understand some more important information and suggestions tailored to your wishes through this article.