So you decided to learn Autocad but you are not sure if your laptop/desktop has enough processing power to run the software smoothly: Look no further! We compiled the recommended specifications for a CAD computer to have.
These recommendations are based on our long experience using the software and going through so many different laptops and desktops.
We will keep updating this post to reflect the most current information on the topic!
Below is the official link to the recommended system specs to use Autocad efficiently:
The unofficial Autocad LT Recommendations
(Provided By Jay Cad)
For Laptop Users:
Processor: Intel - Core i7 (6th generation and above).
Memory (RAM): 8GB , 12GB , 16GB
Graphics Card: * NVIDIA cards are highly recommended. * At least 2GB of any of the following cards (1050, 1060, 1070, 1080) or the newer ones (2050, 2060, 2070 and 2080) * AMD cards are better with the pricing usually (RX460, RX470, RX480) or the newer ones (RX560, RX570, RX580). * Gaming laptops always come with Nvidia or AMD cards - personal laptops come with an Intel graphic card (not recommended).
Display Size: 15" - 17"
Storage: Just Make Sure to have SSD (Solid State Drive) storage - Do not buy a laptop with only a hard drive (HDD) - I repeat: DO NOT BUY LAPTOPS THAT ONLY HAVE HDD! SSD storage will give you an absolute experience compared to having a hard drive. You can also have a combination of both SSD and HDD in your laptop but make sure to download Autocad on your SSD for faster launching and loading. Use HDD or hard drives only for storing files. I would start with a 256 Gb SSD and a 1Tb HDD (hard drive). or just a single 512 Gb SSD. The best would be a 1Tb SSD but usually, that's pricy.
Hands down, just buy a gaming laptop and you won't go wrong. Price tag will be around $1000 and above. Below $800, you are probably not getting the right thing (unless you buy used).
For Desktop users:
Same as the laptop specifications when it comes to Processor, Memory, Storage and Graphic card.
You will a monitor of course. I recommend using 2X monitors when working on Autocad LT because usually, the workflow consist of researching and reading notes on one monitor and using Autocad on the other.
Monitor size: 23" or 27". I don't recommend getting a bigger monitor (Ex: 32") because you will have so much space to look at when you are really supposed to focused on a certain area in your drawing. Additionally, if you are getting a 32" monitor it better be a [4k] monitor.
Desktop users can find the same specs for a much cheaper price compared to laptops minus the flexibility to take it around.
Apple Mac User? We Got You Covered!
Is a desktop or a laptop better?
It really depends on your working environment, I personally freelance and mostly work & tutor outdoors so a laptop is the way to go for me.
A desktop is a better option if you are working in an office environment for a few reasons:
You will get a system with better specs for cheaper.
You can have a bigger display size, therefor using Autocad more efficiently.
Using multiple monitors boosts your productivity when using the software.