What Laptop Specs do I Need for Architecture? (Answered)

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People who work in architecture have to use their laptops a lot, and it is important that they have the right specs.

Choosing the best laptop for architecture is an important decision. There are many things to consider, such as what programs you need to run, how portable you want your device to be, and how much power it needs.

This blog post will walk you through the process of making this decision by discussing these topics in detail.

In this article, we will speak about what laptop specifications are needed for architects.

Brief Answer: What Laptop Specs do I Need for Architecture?

Brief Answer: What Laptop Specs do I Need for Architecture?

There are many different software programs that architects use on a regular basis.

The most popular program, Autodesk Revit, is very demanding in terms of hardware requirements.

In order to run this program smoothly, you will need a laptop with at least an Intel Core I processor and 16GB of RAM.

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a new laptop, you can try to find one that is refurbished.

A great option for this is the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition. This laptop has an Intel Core I processor and comes with 16GB of RAM pre-installed.

It is also important to consider how portable you want your device to be.
If you are someone that travels a lot to different locations, then it is best for you to invest in something that has great battery life.

The Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch with Touch Bar will give you about eight hours of use before needing to be charged again. This laptop also comes preinstalled with 16GB of RAM and an Intel Core I processor.

If you are someone who only travels occasionally, then a less expensive option like the ASUS VivoBook S13 may be more suitable for you.

This laptop has an Intel Core I-8250U Processor and comes with a total of 12GB of RAM (which can be upgraded to 16GB).

Now that we have discussed the skeleton part of the topic at hand, let’s take a look at the specs an architecture student would need from a laptop while categorizing them into two major categories. i.e hardware and software specs.

Architecture Software Specs

Architecture Software Specs

The software that an architecture student would need to run on their laptop is Autodesk Revit, AutoCAD, and SketchUp.

Each of these programs has different hardware requirements in order to run them smoothly.

  1. AutoCAD: In order to use AutoCAD, you will need a laptop with at least a Core i series processor, an SSD hard drive for faster performance and a powerful graphics card. It’s also recommended to have at least 16GB of RAM.
  2. Revit: In order to run Revit smoothly on your laptop you’ll need a Core i Series Processor or AMD Ryzen 5000/ 7000 series processor as well as an SSD hard drive. You’ll also need a graphics card with at least 4096MB of dedicated memory, and it is recommended to have 16GB or more of RAM.
  3. SketchUp: To run SketchUp on your laptop you will need a Core i series processor or AMD Ryzen 5000/ 7000 series processor as well as an SSD hard drive. You should also have at least 16GB of RAM.

It is important to keep in mind that these are just the minimum requirements in order to run the software smoothly.

If you want a better experience when using any of these programs, it is recommended to have even more powerful hardware.

Related Topic: How Much RAM do I Need for Architecture?

For example, if you’re looking to purchase a laptop specifically for Revit usage, then you’ll want to make sure that it has a dedicated graphics card with at least 12GB of memory.

Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what specs you need in order to run some of the most popular architecture software out there.

Keep in mind that your needs may vary depending on what type of work you plan on doing and which program(s) you will be using. As always, do your research and ask around to see what others are using so you can make the best decision for your needs.

Architecture Hardware Specs

Architecture Hardware Specs

The hardware that an architecture student would need to run on their laptop is a Core i Series Processor, an SSD hard drive for faster performance and a powerful graphics card. It’s also recommended to have at least 16GB of RAM.

Each of these components will contribute to maximizing your experience with the software by allowing you to run it efficiently without lagging or crashing.

One example of how important having all three (and more) pieces working together can be found in AutoCAD;

This program uses multiple cores extensively when calculating operations, so if you only have one core available per task then your workflow may be very slow. This is why purchasing a laptop with either two processors instead of one (i .e., dual-core), or one processor with multiple cores (i.e., quad-core) is so important for this program and others like it.

It’s also worth noting that AutoCAD uses a lot of video memory, which means if you’re using an integrated graphics card then your performance will be much lower than what would be possible with a dedicated graphics card.

This is why having at least 256MB or more dedicated memory (VRAM) can make such a big difference in the quality of your work as well as how often the software crashes on you while running large models/projects.

The same concept applies to Revit; however, unlike AutoCAD Revit does not use multiple processors and instead focuses primarily on multi-threading (the ability of a system to execute multiple threads simultaneously).

This makes it even more important for students using Revit on their laptops to make sure that they have high core-count processors (i.e., six cores or more), as well as the dedicated memory needed in order to run large projects seamlessly without locking up or crashing.

SketchUp, unlike AutoCAD and Revit, is not dependent upon multi-threading so having just one fast processor instead of two slower ones can be enough power you need when working with this program.

However, SketchUp does require at least 16GB of RAM if you want an efficient experience while running models/projects. This is because SketchUp uses your computer’s random access memory (RAM) as a temporary scratchpad when running large models/projects.

This is why having at least 16GB of RAM can be very important if you’re using SketchUp on your laptop, as well as it being even more beneficial to have an SSD hard drive in order to load and save files quickly without taking up too much space on the computer’s primary storage device (i .e., HDD).

Our Conclusion on What Laptop Specs do I Need for Architecture?

If you’re looking for a laptop that will be able to handle the workload of being an architecture student, then we have some pointers.

First and foremost is RAM- this should not be less than 8GB. In addition, it’s ideal if your computer has at least two processors so that tasks can be completed in parallel while still leaving room for multitasking.

It may also help to get a more expensive machine with better graphics cards because CAD programs are graphically intensive and require high performance from your hardware.

There are many other factors that go into choosing the right laptop specs for architects but these basics should give you a good head start on what to look out for when shopping around.

If you need any help or additional guidance figuring out what architecture hardware specs are right for you then feel free to ask us here.

We’ll do our best to answer all questions related directly or indirectly to this topic. Just leave us a comment below with your specific question(s) and we will respond back ASAP!

References from:

  1. University of Missouri
  2. School of Architecture & Urban planning
  3. Chief architect

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