Best Laptop for Revit

When you’re running a 3D modeling software like Revit, a minimum specs computer simply won’t do.

To create the best possible results, a great computer is a necessity. With an inadequate computer, you could run into compatibility errors and you may even get slow and sluggish performance in turn.

There are a lot of great laptops out there that are capable of running Revit, but ultimately you want something that is versatile enough to support you on a daily basis for a number of tasks.

It can be difficult to know what you’re looking for when you’re in the market for the best laptops for Revit - that’s where we come in.

Read on for our picks for the best laptops for Revit, in addition to a handy buyer’s guide that will help you to narrow down your decision. 

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Best Laptop for Revit - Reviews

Microsoft Surface Book 2 13.5' (Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512 GB)

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Our rating

The Surface Book 2 is an attractive laptop that can handle a lot of tasks at once quite smoothly. It’s definitely a fantastic choice for running Revit for this reason, among many others.

The Surface Book 2 is a very lightweight and portable that’s ideal for a professional who’s often on the move. The laptop features an 8th generation i7 processor and an impressive 16 GB RAM.

It has an NVIDIA GTX graphics card too, so you will be able to run Revit with little issue. It has a 13.5 display, though there is an option to purchase the laptop with a 15 inch display.

The graphics card is a little different between these two display options, with the 13.5 laptop offering 1050 GTX while the 15 inch display version offers 1060 GTX.

Interestingly, the design looks like a tablet rather than an actual laptop, and it has a very sleek design that a lot of professionals are sure to appreciate.

It’s a fantastic option for running Revit, and it’s ideal for any professional that wants a stylish and practical laptop at their fingertips.

Pros

  • High performance
  • Stylish look
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons

  • Battery life is only average

The MSI laptops are designed with gamers in mind, but they’re actually a fantastic choice for running Revit too.

The laptop offers a Ti graphics card, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti. In fact, the graphics card is an embedded Intel HD Graphics 630 card.

The laptop provides a full HD 15.6 display. It provides 8GB of RAM so it’s suitable to run Revit. When it comes to storage, the laptop offers a combined system of a 128 GB SSD and a 1TB HDD.

The laptop also has a SteelSeries keyboard which is very easy to navigate. It has a TN display that provides good sharpness and accuracy. Of course, it weighs 5 lbs which isn’t the heaviest, but it’s hardly lightweight.

For a laptop designed for gaming, it’s difficult to expect something truly lightweight. 

It’s worth mentioning a few things when it comes to this laptop. To start with, the laptop only has a battery life of around three hours when completing particularly intense graphics tasks, so you would be best suited to using this laptop when it’s plugged into a power outlet.

The laptop doesn’t necessarily look like a gaming laptop, it’s more of a hybrid between a workstation and a proper gaming laptop, so it won’t look overly decorated when you open it up for a meeting.

Pros

  • Up to date graphics card
  • Portable
  • Lots of storage space

Cons

  • Battery life leaves a lot to be desired

The Lenovo IdeaPad Y700 is a great option for if you’re on a budget but you still want a laptop that can run Revit well.

The laptop has a 17.3 inch full HD display, or you can opt for the other two options available, a mere 14 inches or a larger middle ground option with a 15.6 inch display.

The machine features 16GB of RAM which is certainly enough to run Revit. You can use the machine both indoors and outdoors too as it has such good viewing angles.

As far as storage is concerned, the machine features a 128GB SSD and an extra 1 TB HDD, so there’s a lot of space to work with.

For Revis you need an SSD or HDD that has more than 10000 RPM’s for the large and particularly complicated models, and you can actually have the recent files stored in the SSD partition and the less important files in the HDD, since the machine has both storage option.

The laptop uses a 6th generation Intel Core i7 6700HQ. It also has a decent NVIDIA Geforce GTZ 960M graphics card, which is sufficient to play some games too if that’s something that interests you.

Actually, the laptop has two different graphics card - the aforementioned NVIDIA dedicated graphics card for the more graphics intensive programs and also an Intel HD 530 inbuilt graphics card for other more general uses.

The laptop also has really good sound, featuring ultra loud JBL speakers that will allow you to listen to music on high if you plan on using the laptop for personal use too.

It is somewhat disappointing as far as battery is concerned, as it is only able to run Revit for around 1.5 to 2 hours on maximum battery life. If you’re just using it for generic tasks then it doubles, but this is still a let down. 

Pros

  • Good speakers
  • Good budget option
  • Decent performance

Cons

  • A little bulky

The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a higher end laptop that does a good job of running Revit. As far as performance is concerned this laptop is certainly an overachiever.

The laptop offers a 15.6 inch full HD display just to start with, and the IPS display means that you will be able to view the screen even from strange angles, which is just what you need if you’re giving a presentation to a crowd.

The laptop has an Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor with 16GB RAM. This can even be upgraded to 32 GB if you want to! It has a GTX 1060 graphics card with 6GB of VRAM, and a massive 256GB of SSD storage. 

The laptop is definitely far better than a lot of other laptops as far as Hz is concerned too, offering a fantastic 144 Hz. The laptop has an interesting look and a durable build, but it’s not the most portable laptop out there.

This is a very bulky laptop. In addition, the battery life is around 5 hours when you’re not gaming, so you’re definitely going to need to keep this one plugged in while you’re working. Otherwise, this is a highly versatile laptop that will be more than sufficient for running Revit. 

Pros

  • Provides good value for money as far as GPU is concerned
  • Ability to upgrade RAM
  • High performance

Cons

  • Bulky

If you’re looking for an affordable laptop that is able to run Revit, the Acer Aspire E15 E5-575 is a good choice for you.

It may not be the best choice if you’re a professional looking to run huge projects, but for small scale projects or for an architectural student it’s ideal. 

The laptop features an 8th generation dual core processor with a clock speed of 3.4GHz. The RAM is capped at 6GB, which again should be enough for smaller projects.

It’s also possible to upgrade the RAM if you need to. It’s possible to add an SSD to your purchase of this laptop to make it into a 256GB + 1 TB HDD combo. The laptop has a decent full HD display with a matte finish. 

The laptop is very durable so it’s ideal for carrying to and from college workshops if you’re still studying, and it’s ideal for those still learning who don’t need quite as much power to run large projects.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Full HD display
  • 1TB HDD

Cons

  • Not suitable for professionals running large projects

Best Laptop for Revit - Buyers Guide

Complexity of Model

If you are just an architectural student then you may not be dealing with anything more complicated than a simple architectural model, and you can run that quite smoothly with an inexpensive laptop.

However, if you are a professional that’s working on a large collaborate project in a company then you may end up having models that can be reduced to 1 frame per second, even if you have the most expensive machine on the market. 

With that being said, the system requirements are going to vastly vary depending on your model’s complexity or the amount of links that it has.

Revit System Requirements

CPU

This is without a doubt the most important element behind Revit. This even matters more than your graphic card and RAM. There are a bunch of functions in Revit that take advantage of multi core CPU’s, including the following:

Drafting/Modeling

Ideally you should think about getting a laptop that has the highest frequency and then think about the number of cores that it has.

The maximum that you can get for non-workstation laptops at the moment is 4.2Ghz from Intel Core i7 processors. 

You don’t really need this much though, and as long as it’s in the range of around 3Ghz that will be enough.

If you are going to be dealing with huge sized projects then the best you can get is an Intel Core i7 HK that is able to go even further than 4.2Ghz, and these processors generally come with four cores.

On the other hand, if you’re just studying you will be able to work well with any Intel Core i5 or a CPU that’s above 3Ghz.

Rendering

Rendering relies on multi-cores in pretty much any software on the market.

If you’re a student then you should look for an Intel Core i5 8th gen processor or a Core i7 7th gen HQ processor.

If you’re a professional handling large projects then you will want to invest in an Intel Core i7 Quad Core Processor or an Intel Xeon Processor, otherwise you’re going to be waiting for a very long time for things to render, which is a real waste of time.

GPU

Choosing a GPU is a pretty big deal when you’re looking for a laptop for Revit. If you get the wrong graphics card then you’ll have to turn the hardware acceleration off, which can ruin your whole workflow because you’ll have to keep dealing with two second delays between operations.

This can have a huge impact on your productivity. Thankfully, Revit isn’t super fatiguing for your GPU.

Getting a good graphics card has some benefits, however. It will help you with viewports for example, so you can zoom, pan, orbit and rotate much easier. If your model in more complex it will be harder to get a good 3D view of it.

Your computer isn’t going to respond as well if your graphics card isn’t able to keep up and this can cause some distractions while you work. 

Unlike with other AutoDesk programs, Revit doesn’t actually use the GPU for rendering, so even if you have a stellar graphics card it’s not going to perform well in this regard unless you have a good CPU to back it up.

So, into more specifics. What graphics cards do you have to choose from? 

Integrated Graphics Card

You should probably avoid an Intel HD graphic card, unless you’re working on smaller projects.

If you’re working on a project that has a larger file size though you may run into some performance issues when you want to zoom or rotate it.

Dedicated Graphics Cards

If you’re frequently running larger file sizes you’ll want to opt for a dedicated graphics card. Unfortunately though, we don’t all have the money for a super expensive workstation graphics card.

In that case, you should consider opting for a gaming card. Not only do these graphics cards give quality graphics, but they are usually more competitively priced too.

Of course, you will need to check if the graphics card can be used with Revit as they aren’t all compatible. 

RAM

Revit definitely uses a lot of RAM. The more details that a model has the more RAM that is going to be required to run it properly.

So, if you’re a student you should be okay with 8GB, but professionals running large projects that have a decent budget should be opting for 16GB RAM.

Storage

This is a pretty important element to consider. If you aren’t able to get a dedicated GPU because you don’t have a large budget, then you will be better getting a SSD.

The storage speed is going to be a lot more beneficial to you than a GPU as far as performance is concerned. To start with, Revit actually comes along with a library of materials for diagrams, and you’re going to be making your own materials which means that the library is expanded even further.

This means you will need good storage space and good speed. SSD’s are also a lot faster than HDDs.

If you’re a student then you will be fine with 256GB SSD. A professional, on the other hand, is going to need at least 500GB SSD if they will only be using an SSD. If possible it’s better to opt for a combination laptop with 256GB SSD +1TB HDD.

Display

You don’t need to worry about things like brightness levels and contrast ratios - you just need a standard display. You should think about the display resolution though.

Thankfully a lot of laptops that have a dGPU and a decent CPU will already have the ideal display. 

With Revit, you should in an ideal world be looking for 1080p screens. Revit’s recent Autodesk layout doesn’t perform well with 768p or 900p.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use a MacBook for Autodesk Revit?

Unfortunately it is not possible to use a MacBook for AutoDesk Revit as the operating system is not compatible with the software. You can only use Windows operating systems with AutoDesk Revit. 

How much RAM should I have to run Revit?

The official website specifies that laptops that have 4GB, 8GB and 16Gb RAM are able to run Revit. GPU is another aspect that determines whether a laptop is able to run Revit.

Can you run Revit with any affordable laptops?

In essence, if your laptop has full HD and more than 4GB RAM it can run Revit. You should ideally have a processing power of more than an i3 or the AMD equivalent. As Revit is a program that requires a lot of graphics power, your laptop should also have advanced cooling.

Can you use Revit as an alternative to AutoCad?

Revit is a pretty advanced software in comparison to Autocad. Autocad is more of a general CAD and drafting software. Revit is a building information modeling software that will allow you to make advanced 3D models of buildings.

Last update on 2020-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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