An engineering computer must be fast, efficient, and versatile.
Many times I have come across that question: What is the best computer or laptop for Engineers and/or Architects in 2020? The reason why I decided to write this, trying to explain the subject in detail. The answer really is: it depends on the use and the programs to load.
If you are a mechanical, civil, or aeronautical engineer you need to worry about the specifications. On the other hand, 2D engineers can settle for almost any modern laptop. In this article, we prepare a list of the best laptops for engineers that you can find in the market, ideal for any user and budget.
There are two main factors that can help us decide which will be the best laptop or pc, for our specific case:
1 What is your budget?
2.- What do you need it for?
We generally have a limit and we want the cheapest option. But, when we make that decision we soon realize that it is not the best computer. We must understand that, at least, as far as computers are concerned, there is usually an almost linear relationship between price/capabilities (there are particular cases where not), that is, the more expensive the computer is generally because it has better benefits, although we do not always require these benefits.
This point is essential since there are different user profiles, for example:
1.- Someone who, due to the nature of their work, requires them to develop extensive projects in Revit or Autocad
2.- Someone whose nature of their work only requires consulting plans and / or reports.
Therefore, the recommendation is to always take into account what the real need is because that is where many times because we want to save money, we acquire a team with fewer capacities but the only thing it will do is frustrate us.
What we have to do is: opt for the option with the most capacity that fits our budget.
Sometimes, if our budget is very limited, it is preferable to see how to increase it. If we get a laptop that does not meet our needs, the only thing that will happen is that we will end up frustrated because we will not be able to use it properly.
We will see each one in detail.
Steps to choose the best computer or laptop for Engineers and Architects.
1.- Define your budget.
As we discussed from the beginning, it is extremely important to know what our budget is in order to optimize our purchase.
2.- Choose if you require laptop or pc.
They have certain differences in summary the laptops are more expensive but they are portable. The best in this segment are the PCs because they will give you more value for your money, however, if due to your situation you need to travel a lot, you will necessarily have to opt for a laptop.
3.-Choose the processor.
There are 2 main brands of processors: Intel and AMD. Intel generally performs better for work situations, the minimum you require is an i3, hence depending on your budget, you can buy: an i5, i7, i9, or Xeon. each one better than the last.
This is the most important point, in your price range, choose the best you can afford. There are very few applications in Engineering or Architecture that require something more than an i7 so I would recommend it as a limit to keep the budget.
4.-Choose the Ram memory.
This point is simple, the more the better, although like the previous point there are very few engineering applications that require more than 24 GB of ram. at least I would recommend 8GB
5.-Choose the video card.
Many people have the false idea that it is necessary to have a dedicated graphics card, because this is a very important component for Engineers or Architects, when it is not so important, in cases where you have a large budget it is okay to acquire it but for example to laptops below $ 20,000 MXN, it is not recommended to purchase one with a dedicated video card, because they will sacrifice a processor to reduce the price.
Most engineering and architecture software benefits more from the processor even when renders are required. If your budget is large, you can purchase a computer with a Quadro graphics card, it will serve you in cases where your 3D models are very large.
6.-Choose the storage.
Currently the most advanced in this segment are the intel Optane, although at the moment they are very expensive and not recommended unless you have a high budget. SSDs are good and reasonably priced, try to find one of the largest possible size according to your budget, there are generally options that combine with HDD to optimize the budget, since the latter are cheap. If your job requires handling large files, a combination of an SSD and an HDD is best.
7.-Choose the screen size.
This issue is quite subjective, generally most of us prefer larger screens. But it is totally subjective.
8.-Choose the brand
If at this point you still have several options that fit your conditions, choose your preferred brand. It is worth mentioning that there are several software that do not have support for Apple.
These were the 8 steps to find the best computer for engineers or architects, below we show you a series of options according to the budget and type of user.
It is common for computers that are optimized for gaming to be chosen thinking that it will be the best option for an Architect or Engineer’s laptop. They are not a bad choice however they give priority to the video card and storage capacity, 2 things that are not so important in laptops for Architects or Engineers.
Low budget: 700 USD As a tip I can tell you that it is very helpful to buy on cyber days, or black Friday since many stores have offers on these dates. And you can find a good computer at a great price. From personal experience, I can tell you that I was able to access a computer for this price, with the minimum characteristics mentioned above, and it has the ability to load the programs that I use which are: Autocad, Archicad, Revit, and Unreal Engine 4 without a problem. The slightly cheaper brands can be Lenovo, Acer, Dell, Toshiba.
Intermediate budget: between 750 and 1000 USD If you have a little more money then surely you can access a better computer for a slightly higher price. In this budget, you can even afford to choose the model that is more to your liking. With this price, you can access a model of the Dell, Asus, and HP brands.
High Budget: More than 1000 USD. At this point it is obvious that money is not a problem for you, so you can choose a pc with the best features, and the model that you like the most. You can take the opportunity to invest in a great video card so that your readers can come out much faster. For such a budget you can even get a super-equipped gaming laptop.
Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Yoga (13.3 ”, Intel) 10th Gen Intel® Core ™ i5-10210U (6M Cache, 1.60 GHz, Cores: 4, Threads: 8) / Windows 10 Pro 64 (Spanish) / 256GB SSD (Solid State Drive) , M.2, 2280, PCIe NVMe, TLC, OPAL
- 2-in-1 highly flexible
- Ideal for those traveling on business
- Thin, light and powerful
- Easy to use whether in laptop, tablet, lectern or tent mode
- 13.3 ”screen with options up to 4K and great battery life
- Some ports / slots may be optional
Lenovo ThinkPad X390 (13.3 ″, Intel) Intel Core i5-8265U Processor (1.60GHz 6MB) / Windows 10 Pro 64 / 256GB
- 13.3 “business notebook with the size of a 12”
- More than 17 hours of battery life
- Enhanced security features like PrivacyGuard with PrivacyAlert and ThinkShutter
- Optional Intel® Optane memory for increased performance
Lenovo ThinkPad T15g (15.6 ″, Intel) Intel Core i7-10850H vPro Processor (2.70GHz 12MB) / Windows 10 Pro 64 / 1TB SSD, M.2 2280, PCIe Gen3x4 NVMe, OPAL2.0, TLC
- Powerful 15.6 ”laptop for professionals and creatives on the go
- Processing up to 10th Gen Intel® Core ™ i9 or Xeon®
- Professional NVIDIA GeForce RTX ™ Graphics
- Lots of memory and storage options
- Thermal innovation to keep your PC at the right temperature
- Connectivity anywhere with WiFi 6 and optional WWAN
- Multiple display options for an unmatched viewing experience
- Designed for entertainment, game development, VR / AR, and graphics-intensive environments
Acer Nitro Gaming Laptop 15.6 Full HD LED Intel i5-9300H 8GB 512GB SSD NVIDIA GTX 1650 4GB Win 10
Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop 144Hz 15.6 ″ FHD IPS, RTX 2060, Core i7-9750H 6-Core up to 4.50GHz, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, Killer Ethernet, Backlit KB, USB-C, AN515, Myrtix HDMI 2.0 Cable, Win 10
- Bundle includes Acer Nitro 5 AN515 Gaming Laptop (144Hz 15.6-inch FHD IPS / Intel Core i7-9750H / NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060), Myrtix HDMI 2.0 Cable – Extend to Dual Monitor 4K Display.
- 15.6 ″ Full HD IPS LED-backlit display | 144-hertz refresh rate | NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Graphics with 6GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM | 6-core Intel Core i7-9750H processor (up to 4.5 GHz)
- Integrated HD Webcam (1280 x 720) with Super High Dynamic Range (SHDR) Support and Microphones | LAN: 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port. Wireless: Intel Wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX200 802.11ax | Backlit keyboard | Acer CoolBoost technology with dual fans and dual exhaust ports
- Renew your games and enjoy stunning sounds like Waves MaxxAudio and Acer TrueHarmony. Get smart bass, dialogue, and volume enhancements with Waves MaxxAudio, and deeper, richer sounds with Acer TrueHarmony
- Commands are just a touch away with the dedicated NitroSense key, while the WASD and arrow keys are highlighted for easy location. Enjoy the tactile feel of the keys with a 1.6mm travel distance.
Lenovo ThinkPad T490 (14 ”, Intel) Intel Core i5-8265U Processor (1.60GHz 6MB) / Windows 10 Pro 64 / 256GB PCIe SSD
- With a starting weight of just 1.46 kg, it’s perfect for portability
- The new slim bezel design
- Variety of display options, from touch to Dolby Vision®
- Longer battery life and optional global LTE-A connectivity
- The laptop of choice for professionals who know what they want
Lenovo ThinkPad L13 (13.3 ″, Intel) Intel Core i5-10210U Processor (1.60GHz 6MB) / Windows 10 Pro 64 / 256GB SSD M.2 PCIe NVMe
- Up to 10th Generation Intel® Core ™ i7 Processors
- Up to 1TB PCIe SSD storage and 13.3 ”display
- DDR4 memory and optional super-fast WiFi 6 connection
- Work and get around smoothly thanks to the battery and safety features
- The fingerprint reader is optional; screen, camera, some ports, and color may vary
Lenovo Legion 5 (17.3 ″, AMD) AMD Ryzen 7 4800H Processor (2.90GHz 4MB) / Windows 10 Home Single Language 64 / 1TB 5400 + 128GB SSD, PCIe-NVMe, TLC
- 17.3 “gaming laptop
- Revolutionary Processing with AMD Ryzen ™ 4000 Series
- Exceptional NVIDIA® GeForce Graphics
- Improved cooling and blazing fast update rates
- Display up to FHD, 300 nits, and Dolby Vision
Lenovo IdeaPad S340 (15.6 ”, AMD) AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Processor (2.60GHz 1MB) / Windows 10 Home Single Language 64 / 2TB 5400 rpm
If you are looking for the great processing power that AMD offers in a 15.6 ”laptop, the IdeaPad S340 is a perfect choice. Thin and light so you can transport it easily. The thin edges allow you to get the most out of the screen. Smart design details, like the privacy shutter that lets you control the webcam, give you an even better experience. Display and some ports may vary; the backlit keyboard is optional.
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s (13.3 ”, Intel) 8th Gen Intel® Core ™ i5-8265U (6M Cache, 1.6 GHz) / Windows 10 Pro 64 (Spanish) / 256GB SSD M.2 PCIe NVMe
- Thin and light, with a metallic finish on an aluminum chassis
- Intel processing, solid state drive
- 13.3 ”infinite borderless FHD display with Dolby Vision ™ and Harman speakers with Dolby Audio ™
- Modern standby mode, power button fingerprint reader and keyboard backlight are optional
This computer is the one that we recently acquired to work on the blog of all projects:
Acer Aspire 5 Slim – 15.6 Inch IPS Full HD display, AMD Ryzen 5 3500U, Vega 8 Graphics, 8GB DDR4, 256 GB SSD, Backlit keyboard, Windows 10 Home, A515-43-R5RE, Silver
ASUS ProArt StudioBook 17 Mobile Workstation Laptop, 17 ″ 16:10 NanoEdge Bezel, Intel Core i7-9750H, 32GB DDR4, 512GB + 512GB RAID-0 SSD, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, Windows 10 Pro, H700GV-XS76, Star Gray
- 17.0-inch WUXGA 16:10 (1920 x 1200) Matte NanoEdge panel; 97% DCI-P3 wide color gamut; Pantone validated color accuracy; Delta E <1.5, 8-bit color depth
- Intel Core i7-9750H Processor (12M Cache, up to 4.5 GHz) with Windows 10 Professional.
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 with 6GB GDDR6 VRAM – RTX Studio Ready
- Ultra-fast storage and memory with 512GB + 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD (RAID 0) and 32GB DDR4 memory (upgradeable up to 64GB).
- Extensive connectivity with HDMI 2.0, USB-C Thunderbolt 3, SD card reader, USB 3.1 Gen 2 (USB transfer speed may vary. More information on Asus website).
- Gig + Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) latest dual-band Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 5.0 standard.
- MIL-STD 810G military grade durability, includes a 180 degree hinge for collaborative work
- 12mm Z height and only 5.27 lbs for comfortable portability.
- USB 3.0 to RJ45 cable included.