Computer-Aided Design (CAD) is an exceptionally demanding task to run on your PC or laptop. To render high-quality photo-realistic graphics in 3D is a task that takes enormous amounts of processing.
Running CAD applications such as AutoCAD for 3D modeling requires a modern high spec machine. Thankfully in 2022, there will be a range of both laptops and workstation PCs that can run modeling software and excel at CAD in general.
Laptops have become much more capable of running CAD applications and offer the benefits of true portability for designers who need to be mobile with their hardware. Here are some of the key considerations to bear in mind when deciding on a PC or laptop specifically for CAD use in 2022.
Choose more cores in your CPU
One prime consideration in the choice of computer for CAD-related work is the CPU itself. A key point is the number of cores that your CPU has, with a greater number of cores providing smoother and faster CAD application usage.
This is especially important for rendering images. Modern CPUs are now available with eight cores, such as those found in an AMD Ryzen 7 PC.
For high-intensity 3D modeling, these processors are perfectly suited to the task. It is worth noting at this point that if your CAD usage only entails the design of 2D objects and graphics, a less powerful CPU is sufficient in these situations as the process is far less intensive.
However, for business applications, 3D design is becoming the industry standard. At present, some high-end CPUs offer sixteen cores, but the 8-core design has been proven effective in all modern CAD applications.
Choose more cores in your CPU. Photo by Studio Republic on Unsplash.com
Ensure the CPU is fast
As well as looking for a CPU with the largest number of cores you can budget for, another factor of significant importance is the speed of the CPU. A CPU’s speed is measured in GHz and signifies how many complete tasks the computer can perform in one second.
Ideally, the clock speed should be running as fast as possible to enable the complex calculations to be completed smoothly and quickly. As a general guide, 4 GHz is a suitable speed to run high-intensity CAD applications as this means that four billion calculations can be carried out in one second.
While some CAD users attempt to “overclock” their CPUs to squeeze out more performance by increasing the speed of the CPU, this practice should be approached with caution. Overclocking can run the risk of damaging the computer and making it more prone to crashes and freezes as well as invalidating your computer's warranty in some cases.
Laptop or Desktop?
The rapid improvements in laptop design and technology in recent years have made laptops a viable option for high-intensity CAD applications. There are a range of laptops on the market today that are powerful enough to hand 3D rendering when once a bulky desktop PC would have been the only viable option.
This choice comes down to budget and needs. It is likely that your money will go further on a larger desktop unit for CAD applications than it would for a laptop, so if a tight budget is vital, then it makes sense to opt for a desktop setup. However, if mobility is a key concern and your budget is suitable, then a laptop for CAD applications is now a reality.
If you end up deciding to go for a laptop – check out this video:
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