Best Laptop for Animation

Best Laptop for Animation

CG Director Author Alex  by Alex   ⋮   ⋮   184 comments
CGDirector is Reader-supported. When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

There are quite some things to consider when looking for the best Laptop for Animation. You will want specific Hardware of the Laptop to have certain specifications and very specific parts should be built into the Laptop for maximum speed.

The best Laptop for Animation is the culmination of optimum hardware and mobility and in fact, there aren’t all that many great Laptops for Animation out there.

Before we dive into what specific components you should be looking for in a Laptop for Animation, let’s take a look at how the task of animating on a Laptop actually uses the Hardware Components. This way we can see clearly what components we will need to optimize as much as possible, to pick the right Laptop.

If you feel like you know your way around the individual Hardware components, follow this link to skip directly to the Best Laptop for Animation Recommendations.

How does Animation utilize the Hardware?

Animation in itself is making virtual objects move in a way we define. This can be in 2D or 3D and there are lots of Programs that we use to go about the task of animation.

Some 2D animation Programs that are currently popular are After Effects, ToonBoom, Harmony, CrazyTalk Animator, Synfig Studio, FlipBook, Photoshop and many more as well as popular 3D Animation Softwares such as Cinema 4D, 3ds Max, Maya, Blender, and many others.

Now, what we do when we animate, is usually pose a rig, set Keyframes and adjust certain parts and objects, so they are placed to our satisfaction. One important thing to note here is that we usually do this not while looking at a final quality image, but a rough Preview Viewport, a Wireframe or simple Shaded View.

Best Laptop for Animation - Shaded View

Why is this important?

As there is not a lot of graphical calculations going on, we can pretty much already say the Graphics Card Hardware Component is something that won’t be quite as important in finding the Best Laptop for Animation.

But if it’s not the Graphics Card that does the heavy lifting when animating, what other Hardware Component might be the crucial part in speeding things up?

You might have already guessed, and it really is the CPU or Processor, that is the most important Hardware Component in a Laptop when using it mainly for animation.

Best Laptop for Animation - CPU

Image Source: Iaroslav Neliubov/Shutterstock.com

Although animation seems to be a very visual task, it’s the CPU that has to do all the calculations for the scene objects, rigs, simulations, hair splines, soft body dynamics and so on to be calculated, and only after these CPU calculations are finished, the Graphics Card displays the result.

In other words, the GPU is almost never the bottle neck in a 2D and 3D biased Workstation / (PC) Computer or Laptop.

You will want to make sure the CPU is as fast as possible.

That said, of course, you should still have a strong enough GPU but it does not have to be unproportionally fast compared to the other hardware components.

The best Hardware Components in an Animation-Laptop

The best CPU in a Laptop for Animation

This brings us to the CPU specifically. What makes a CPU fast, anyway? Is it the number of cores, the clock-speed, or the cache size, or maybe just the Brand of Intel or AMD?

To make it short: For animation, the most important CPU feature to look for is the clock-speed. The CPU clock speed is more important than having lots of Cores or getting a certain Brand.

If you have a low clock speed your Viewport will become very slow and you won’t be able to animate in real-time. The CPU usually has a Base Clock Speed, such as 2,2 GHz in the Intel i7 8750H and a higher in Turbo-Boost Clock that clocks the CPU up to 4,1 GHz on fewer Cores in this case if applicable.

Turbo Boost overclocks your CPU automatically if not all Cores are in use at the same time.

turboBoost

Image-Source: Intel

In animation it is often the case, that only one or two CPU Cores are being used because of how animated objects are being calculated by the software you are animating in. This means, having a high Turbo Boost clock will do lots in speeding up the Viewport snappiness while animating as will a higher base clock speed.

Recommended CPUs for the best Laptop for Animation: Intel i7 8750H or i7 8850H

Both of these CPUs are excellent for animation as they have a high Base-Clock and a great Turbo-Boost Clock. The Intel i7 8850H will give you a slightly snappier Viewport, while the i7 8750H might keep your CPU cooler and Laptop quiet overall.

RAM (Memory) for the Best Laptop for Animation

The second most important factor in getting the Best Laptop for Animation is the RAM or Memory.

RAM Speed isn’t that much of a factor but the size of the memory will do wonders when working on complex scenes, long animations, multiple characters, high resolution meshes and images and the ability to keep preview Playblasts in your memory for comparison and checking the current animation state, if you don’t have Real-time playback.

You will want to go with 8GB as an absolute minimum and target 16GB for a much better experience.

32GB will help in some cases, having more usually isn’t necessary but might help with an extremely complex scene, large textures, or animation simulations and dynamics that are not keyframe-driven but will need to be cached.

The thing about RAM is, that it doesn’t seem to improve Speed all that much unless you have too little.

If you don’t have enough, the System will start swapping active working Files to Disc and at this point, the overall Speed will crawl to a halt.

You definitely want to avoid having too little RAM.

My recommendation for RAM (Memory) in your best Laptop for Animation:

16GB of DDR4 RAM

If optimization is something you crave, you can slightly improve overall RAM Speed by carefully choosing RAM with higher Clock Speeds and lower CL Latency as a general rule.

Best Graphics Card (GPU) for Animation in a Laptop

As discussed above, although not as important a factor as the CPU, the Graphics card is responsible for displaying to your monitors or any attached display device.

It will also help in displaying textures and any other Shaders and Graphical Effects such as SSAO (Screen Space Ambient Occlusion), Realtime Shadows, Anti-Aliasing, Anisotropic Filtering, for an experience that is closer to an actual (final) rendered image.

The Maya Viewport 2.0, for example, makes heavy use of such effects and likes strong GPUs.

Although these type of effects can be computationally intensive, the GPU is specialized for this and can usually handle them quite well, meaning in most cases it won’t be the Framerate Bottleneck when updating the Viewport.

The CPU though usually is.

So having a fairly strong GPU will definitely help, but only to a certain point.

As soon as the CPU becomes the bottleneck, the GPU will not do anything for the performance or Viewport snappiness and Refresh rate.

My base recommendation for a great GPU for Animation in a Laptop:

NVIDIA GTX 1060

Now I have said quite often that the GPU is not an important factor in animation.

This changes entirely if you plan on final rendering your scenes on the GPU instead of the CPU.

GPU Render Engines have become quite popular recently such as Octane, Redshift, Vray-RT or FurryBall.

These Render Engines utilize the Graphics Card instead of the CPU to render out your scenes and can be quite a bit faster than using the CPU.

Furryball

Image-Source: furryball.aaa-studio.eu

If this is the case and you plan on using GPU Render Engines, then you should invest more in a better GPU. My recommendation then would be to get a GPU such as the Nvidia RTX 2070.

Beware though, that having extremely strong GPUs in a Laptop will almost definitely make the Laptop more Bulky, Heavy, Larger and draw more Power, it will also make the Laptop very noisy when GPU Rendering.

You might want to consider external GPUs for Rendering on a Laptop. Or try to use an extra Computer or Rendernode that you can offload any Rendering-intensive tasks to.

Storage Devices, HDD/ SSD for the Best Laptop for Animation

There has been quite an update in terms of storage hardware over the past few years, and almost all laptops now have Solid State Drives (SSDs) built in.

In the past, these storage devices used to be Hard Disc Drives (HDDs) that were very slow and bottle-necked many aspects of a running system.

SSDs are much faster at reading and writing to the storage System and you can now boot the operating system faster, start your programs faster and load / save your scene updates in a fraction of the time it used to take.

SSDs also are much more secure, they don’t age as fast as HDDs and they are almost completely shock resistant.

Having an SSD in a laptop is an absolute must. My recommendation here would to look for:

500GB+ SATA SSD

For those of you who want even greater speed in Saving & Loading and general storage related workloads, the new PCIe M.2 NVMe SSDs are the way to go.

These SSDs are about twice as expensive, but you get 5-6 times the speed in several use cases, especially the sequential read and write performance of PCIe M.2 NVMe SSDs will be a lot faster compared to conventional SATA SSDs.

Take a look at this comparison of HDD vs SSD (SATA) vs PCIe NVMe SSD Write and Read Speeds:

Best Laptop for Animation - SSD vs NVMe

Image-Source: atpinc.com

HDD

The conventional Hard Drive still has a purpose though.

As HDDs are a lot cheaper per Gigabyte, you can use them as long term storage, archiving, backup systems or storage systems for files you don’t need to access very often, that are too big for your built-in SSD, or that don’t require that great a speed.

Basically, anything that is not directly involved in your day-to-day workflow when actively working inside your software.

I usually have external HDDs that I switch on in the evening after a day’s work and backup anything I worked on to the external HDDs, so nothing can get lost.

Expandability

The best Laptop for Animation should have the ability to be upgraded and expanded within its hardware components.

As a great Laptop should be able to last you for a couple of years, the innermost hardware components usually aren’t quite up to speed anymore after a few years, as adevelopment of new technology is extremely fast.

In Laptops, there are many components you can swap out on your own and upgrade, or have a repair shop replace.

For example, you can now buy a Laptop that has only 256GB of SSD Storage built in, and after a year you might realize that you would need more room for all the new projects and clients that you are working on and a larger SSD would come in handy.

You can now easily upgrade to a larger and maybe even faster SSD, as the technology has progressed.

Get a 500GB or even 1TB SSD that will keep you settled for longer until it is time to get an entirely new Laptop for Animation or maybe other types of related fields that you have grown into.

The same applies to RAM. You can usually get a laptop that has some RAM slots still unused at purchase date, and add more later on if you find your memory to be full all the time.

The CPU and GPU, unfortunately, aren’t that easy to upgrade on your own, as these are usually hidden beneath parts of cooling solutions, and you would have to talk to the manufacturer or a repair shop to have these upgraded.

Apple MacBook (Pro) for Animation?

I know of many that would like to just get a MacBook Pro. They look nice and it seems everyone in the Design Industry has a Mac or MacBook, right?

Best Laptop for Animation - Mac vs Laptop

Image-Source: apple.com

Since this is a topic that is usually heavily fought over with very personal opinions, I’ll just list some facts here and let you decide for yourself:

  • Cost: The Laptop(s) I recommend down below are 50% cheaper than the exact same parts in a MacBook Pro
  • Graphics Card: The recommended Laptop(s) have (for this use case) superior Graphics Cards from Nvidia (CUDA based), that you can also GPU Render on in much more 3D Softwares (Apple only offers AMD Radeon GPUs with OpenCL)
  • Industry usage: Any serious 3D Studio I have worked and freelanced at so far, uses Windows-based PCs and not Macs. There are some that only had Macs in their Infrastructure, but those were advertising agencies that always outsourced any serious 3D or Animation work.
  • Expandability: Laptops can usually be upgraded easier
  • Repair cost: Laptops can usually be repaired cheaper
  • Connectors / Adapters: A Laptop has all of the usual Connectors already built in. MacBooks usually need additional expensive Adapters for anything external.

Now, please do comment down below, if you have had a different experience. This is what I myself have experienced so far, but I would love to hear from you!

Using the Laptop

Input Devices

An absolute must to be productive on a Laptop is a good input device such as a mouse or a tablet & pen.

I have never seen anyone on a Touch-pad come even close to the speed of someone using a mouse or tablet & pen.

I know that using additional Input devices can be quite impractical at times, especially if you are in confined spaces such as on the train or the airplane.

Whenever possible though, especially at home, at work or at School where you have a fairly large desk, use an input device that will greatly speed up your work.

Some Laptops have Touchscreens, that can also be quite fast if you are used to using the Touchscreen as an input device. You might want to try this out in a shop and see if it suits you. Also, a mouse is not expensive, you can always get one later-on.

Best Laptop for Animation - Mouse

Image-Source: razer.com

Laptop Screen

As Laptop screens are usually much smaller than external screens that you can buy, you should make sure the resolution of the laptop screen is high enough for you to fit all of your software pallets and windows on the single screen that you need.

A Full HD Resolution (1920×1080) usually is a good minimum to buy, but there are Laptops with even higher resolutions such as 4K, that you can fit much more on.

Beware though that with High-Resolution Screens the pixels are much smaller and as the screen doesn’t get bigger, individual elements and Window/Menu Texts will get smaller and might strain your eyes if the Software you are using does not support Text Scaling.

Best to get an extra external monitor for a Multi-Screen setup or even just use your external monitor in a single screen setup if it is much larger.

I would recommend a 15″ Screen size as the minimum on a Laptop for Animation.

IPS or TN Panel?

For those working on projects that need higher Color accuracy, better Contrast, and an overall better Screen, I would recommend an IPS over a TN Panel.

This is not necessary for everyone. Say you are modeling, or animating in your viewport a lot, but don’t color grade or composite all that much, a TN Panel is usually sufficient. If you rely on more accurate color display though, go the IPS route.

Mobility

Now, the reason you are looking for the Best Laptop for Animation and not a Computer or Workstation probably is also for mobility reasons.

You want to be able to take this with you, maybe work while traveling, or you have a docking station at work and home and you just take your laptop with you wherever you are currently working.

Maybe a Computer setup is just too big and you would like to start with something leaner that doesn’t require a dedicated area with cables running everywhere.

If you are a Student, then having a Laptop might be required by many Schools and you will take your Laptop from Class to Class and back home every day.

Obviously, a Computer or Workstation will be better for Animation in almost every aspect because it has more room for faster parts a better power supply and larger cooling solutions.

But it certainly falls far behind in one important aspect: Mobility.

You want to be mobile and you probably don’t want to carry a huge 10KG Laptop with you that will give you back pain after a days use.

Trust me, there certainly are Laptops that don’t really deserve this name anymore, as you won’t want them to be resting on top of your lap.

They are loud, extremely hot, heavy and very large and look more like a heavy briefcase than anything else.

What we are looking for is the Best Laptop for Animation that is also somewhat lightweight, yet still has a large enough screen, doesn’t produce too much noise and has a battery that lets us animate for some hours before we have to plug it into a power supply.

I have put together some recommendations of Laptops that will fit your needs in different price ranges below four you to take a look at, but as we are almost through this article lets see what else is important in a great Laptop for animation:

What else is important in a Laptop for Animation

If you are planning on using the Laptop with external devices, which I would recommend to enhance your speed and workflow, you should make sure it has all the required connectors.

If you have a docking station for your Laptop, the docking station will usually take care of most of the connectors as not all of the connectors will be present on your Laptop directly for space reasons. If you don’t have a docking station, you will want to make sure your Laptop has some of the following connectors already built in:

For external monitors you will want a HDMI and or Display Port Connector. Some of the older monitors also just support DVI or VGA Plugs though these connectors, because they are so big, usually aren’t found on modern laptops anymore. But you can always get an adapter.

Best Laptop for Animation - Connectors

Image-Source: CNET

If you are using a Local Area Network at your workplace or at home you will want an RJ45 LAN port for attaching a LAN cable that offers much higher speeds than a wireless connection can provide.

For external USB devices such as external HDDs for backup and storage, Input Devices such as Mouse, Tablet or Headsets, you will want enough USB ports that are fast enough such as USB 3.0.

So here they are:

Recommendations: The best Laptop for Animation

If you plan on using Cinema 4D, After Effects and other graphically less demanding Software more extensively, then the following Laptop recommendation is for you:

First Choice: MSI

Best Laptop for Animation - MSI

Image-Source: theverge.com

Considering all aspects in this article such as, Size, Weight, Mobility, and especially Performance & Price your best Laptop for Animation that I can recommend is the MSI GS65 Stealth THIN-050 15.6″ Laptop. Some Features include:

  • Ultra Thin
  • CPU: i7-8750H (6 cores)
  • Graphics Card: GTX 1060 with 6 GB VRAM
  • RAM: 16GB RAM
  • SSD: 512G NVMe SSD
  • Win 10 Pro
  • 15,6″ IPS Screen with a FullHD Resolution

Check the current Price here.

Some notes on this Laptop:

It says “Gaming Laptop” in the Title, which can be somewhat misleading. The reason why Laptops or Computers have the Word “Gaming” anywhere on the product page, usually is because the Graphics Card is fairly strong and the manufacturers think these Laptops will only be gamed on.

Well, they are excellent for animation as well, so don’t let that distract you!

This Laptop weighs under 2KG and is extremely portable and slim. You can configure this MSI Laptop to the next higher Tier GPU, RAM Size, and SSD Size if you want, though I don’t think it really is necessary.

 

Second overall Choice: Gigabyte

If it’s Maya (with its Viewport 2.0) and other graphically more demanding Software you use most, you will want to lean towards a better GPU such as the 1070 as you will find in the following Laptop:

Best Laptop for Animation - Gigabyte

Image-Source: techspot.com

A close second choice within the same Price range and Hardware Components is the GIGABYTE Aero 15X v8-BK4 15″ Ultra Slim Laptop. The Features are:

  • CPU: i7-8750H
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 1070 with 8GB of VRAM
  • RAM: 16GB RAM
  • SSD: 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Win 10 Home
  • 15,6″ IPS Screen with a FullHD Resolution

Check the current Price here.

Some notes on this Laptop:

This Gigabyte Laptop again has the “Gaming” branding in its Title, but will be excellent for animation as well. It even has a higher Tier Graphics Card, the Nvidia 1070 GTX with 8 GB of VRAM. It weighs just slightly over 2KG.

Two more great choices with similar Hardware are the Asus GX531GS (Zephyrus S) and the Razer Blade 15.

More Laptop Recommendations

If you want to get the best Laptop within your budget you should definitely have a look at the Web-Based PC & Laptop-Builder Tool that I’ve created.

Select the main purpose that you’ll use the Laptop for and adjust your budget to see the perfect Laptop Recommendation that will fit within your budget.

If you are planning on doing Video Editing on your Laptop too, check out this Article on finding the best Laptops for Video Editing.

CGDirector PC & Laptop-Builder Tool

PC-Builder Facebook Title Image

What Laptop are you thinking of buying?

Alex from CGDirector - post author

Hi, I'm Alex, a Freelance 3D Generalist, Motion Designer and Compositor.

I've built a multitude of Computers, Workstations and Renderfarms and love to optimize them as much as possible.

Feel free to comment and ask for suggestions on your PC-Build or 3D-related Problem, I'll do my best to help out!

184
Comments

Manar

Hi Alex , thanks for your article that you described ,i am a freelance photographer and video editing and i will start my Animation college soon .. i want to know which laptop would be suitable for me other than your recommendations
Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model [2019] or Dell xps 15 7590 ?

Manar

also i forgot to mention that i am looking for a laptop that has (Full size SD card ) 🙂 ..

Joe

Hey there,
I’ll be working in blender, c4d, rhino, and photoshop for the most part. I really just want an affordable laptop that won’t break in me. I just want it to perform in the previously mentioned programs at a high level, I don’t need all the extra bells and whistles. I’ve been looking at the following:
Lenovo ThinkPad P52
Platform: Windows 10
Processor Name: Intel Core i7-8850H
Processor Speed: 2.6 GHz
RAM (as Tested): 16 GB
Storage Type: HDD, SSD
Storage Capacity (as Tested): 1.5 TB
Additional Storage: SD
Screen Type: Widescreen
Screen Size: 15.6 inches
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Graphics Card: Nvidia Quadro P3200 Max-Q

I think I’d maybe consider going with 1080×1920 instead of 4K as well as cutting back on some of that storage. Lemme know what you think please. Thanks a ton!

Joe

After a bit more looking I found another p52 which was friendlier to the ole budget
Processor:
8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-8850H (2.60GHz, up to 4.30GHz with Turbo Boost Technology, 9MB Cache)
Operating System:
Windows 10 Pro 64
Display Type:
15.6” FHD (1920 x 1080, 300nits) IPS anti-glare, 72% color gamut
Memory:
16GB DDR4 2400MHz
Hard Drive:
512GB Solid State Drive PCIe-NVMe OPAL2.0 M.
AC Adapter:
170W AC Adapter (2pin) – USB Type C
Graphics:
NVIDIA Quadro P2000 4GB

Cut out the 4K screen which I was fine with. Major loss of storage but I have external drives so I’m not to worried. The only thing I was unsure about was the downgrade at graphics card, but you said the processor was more important so I thought it’d be ok.

Steve

My daughter is going to school for animation and I was having trouble on what spec’s she need for her laptop the article was such a big help that I just had to say you for taking the time to write this article bravo to you and Thank You Alex!

Shafiq Bin Samad

Hi Alex, I love your article that you described. But I have some confusion in Mind and hope you will clear my confusion,
This shafiq i’m a 3D visualizer i’m working mostly in 3Ds Max, Sketchup, VRay AutoCAD , Lumion Photoshop..etc
I saw one this
But i probably need some advice to know which one could be the best.

MSI GT63 9SG-043 Titan 15,6 4K UHD Gaming Notebook i9-9880H RTX 2080

MODELL GT63 9SG-043 Titan
MANUFACTURER PART # 0016L5-043
PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ i9-9880H Processor
Windows 10 Pro
Multi-Language
39,6 cm (15,6″), Anti-Glare
4K-UHD (3.840 x 2.160 Pixel)
Wide-View (IPS-Klasse), True Color
NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2080 mit G-SYNC™
Graphics Graphics8 GB GDDR6 VRAM
Intel® HM370
32 GB DDR4-2666 (2x 16 GB Dual-Channel)
4x SO-DIMM für bis zu 128 GB
(SSD) 512 GB (M.2 PCIe 3.0 NVMe)
(HDD) 1 TB (2,5“ SATA III 7.200rpm)
1x M.2 PCIe/SATA, 1x 2,5″ SATA
2,30GHz

Christopher

Hello, Im interested in animation and want to start turning my ideas that i have into animated series. Im not tech savvy but i was wondering if you could recommend any desktops, laptops and drawing tablets thats a good start. In terms of price im not looking for something too expensive but not cheap because im new to it, i just need something thats good for Toonboom Harmony, photoshop, and adobe flash animation. could you help me out? ill just be doing 2d animation.

oh and what computer gear and software’s do you recommend for Japanese style animation?

Alex

Hi Alex,

I’m a freelance 2d/3d animator (essentially maya and animate but also blender, max and tvpaint) working on series and featured. I load heavy scenes and need a good fps on the viewport.
I spend a lot of time on your website which is totally awesome to understand what really is a computer.

But in my country, we don’t have the same laptop’s configuration to buy than the choices of your website. So i made a selection based on your website information, but i probably need some advice to know which one could be the best.

GIGABYTE – Aero 15 Classic YA 7FR5410P – Noir
15,6” Full HD 240 Hz – Intel Core i7-9750H (2,6 GHz / 4,5 GHz Turbo – Hexa-Core – Cache 12 Mo) – SSD 1 To – RAM 32 Go – NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 8 Go Max-Q – Windows 10 Pro
3 329€99

MSI – P75 Creator 9SF-464FR – Argent
17,3” Full HD – Intel Core i9-9880H (2,3 GHz / 4,8 GHz Turbo – Octo-Core – Cache 16 Mo) – SSD 1 To – RAM 32 Go – NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q 8 Go – Windows 10 Pro
3 319€99

RAZER – Blade Pro 17 UHD 4K – 17,3 pouces – Noir
Pc portable Gamer – Intel Core i7 6700 HQ (2,6 GHz / 3,5 GHz Turbo – Quad-Core – Cache 6 Mo) – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 – SSD 1000 Go – RAM 32 Go – Windows 10
3 288€99

Many thanks for all of your work, it clearly help me so much.

Alex

alex

I made a mistake, the RAZER is a destocking product. i’m afraid not to have a correct product.

alex

but there is a RAZER BLADE 17
INTEL Core i7-9750H (2,6 GHz / 4.5 GHz Turbo – Hexa-Core – cahe 12 Mo) – SSD 512GB (NVMe) can go to 2To – RAM 16 Go can go to 64 Go – NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q 8 Go – Windows 10
3 049,99 €

Alex

And the Asus ROG Strix Scar III
17.3” Full HD (1920 x 1080) 144 Hz – Intel Core
i9-9880H Octo Core 2.3 GHz – 32 Go DDR4 – SSD 1 To – Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 – 2.85 Kg – Windows 10
3149,90 euros

Thanks a lot.

venkou

hi can you help me,, i looking for 3d modellinng laptop,,iam confused to choose between MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE (i7-8750H, GTX 1060.) or MSI Workstation WE63 8SI (Intel Core i7-8750Hq,: NVIDIA Quadro P1000 4GB),, which one is better?

Belle

Hey Alex,

I am Belle, I am a beginner to the rendering and 2D animation. I am planning to do all the work in the laptop.

My mainly work will be Maya, 3d animation, Photoshop, Autocad, and After Effects. Mainly for some heavy works.

Looking for mid-budget laptop that is at least $2500 (well, I know that Gigabyte is cost more than that)

Thank you for the informative information, I am actually on a tight budget and hope to buy the laptop that is not too expensive but durable in a long term.

My options are MSI and Gigabyte with the specs below:

MSI
MSI P65 Creator 8RE (9S7-16Q312-059)
Processor Onboard Intel® Core™ i7-8750H Processor (2.20 GHz. up to 4.10 GHz. 9M Cache)
512 GB SSD
16GB DDR4
Nvidia GeForce GTX1060 6GB
Screen 15.6 Inch
1920 x 1080

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RF-219ID
Intel Coffee Lake 8th Hexa Core i7 8750H 2.2GHz up to 4.1GHz (9MB Cache), 12 Threads
Intel HM370 Express Chipset
16GB RAM DDR4 (Max. 32GB)
512GB NVMe SSD (1x SSD Slot Available)
Intel UHD Graphics 630 & nVidia GeForce GTX1070 8GB DDR5

Gigabyte

GIGABYTE AERO 15X V8

– Intel Coffee Lake 8th Hexa Core i7 8750H 2.2GHz up to 4.1GHz (9MB Cache), 12 Threads
– Mobile Intel” HM370 Express Chipset
– 16GB RAM DDR4 (8GB x 2 Dual Channel, Max. 32GB)
– 512GB NVMe SSD R: 1769/ W: 1133 (1 Slot SSD M.2 2280 Available)
– Intel UHD Grapchis 630 & nVidia GeForce GTX1070 8GB DDR5 256bit Max-Q
– Windows 10 Home 64bit
– 15.6″IPS FHD 144Hz Refresh Rate with X-Rite Pantone Color Calibration Certified (Less Bezel Design 14″ barebone)

GIGABYTE AERO 15-Y9

– Intel Coffee Lake 8th Hexa Core i9 8950HK 2.9GHz up to 4.8GHz (12MB Cache), 12 Threads
– Mobile Intel” HM370 Express Chipset
– 32GB RAM DDR4 (16×2)
– 2TB NVMe SSD
– Intel UHD Grapchis 630 & nVidia GeForce RTX2080 8GB GDDR6 (Support Nvidia Optimus Technology)
– Windows 10 Profesional 64bit
– 15.6″ IPS Thin Bezzel AUO UHD Adobe RGB 100% 4K (3840×2160) with X-Rite Pantone Color Calibration Certified (Less Bezel Design 14″ barebone) 60hz Refresh Rate

However, I am open for any other suggestions,

Thanks Alex!

Jean

Hello Alex,

My name is Jean, I am a professional 2D animator and I am currently looking for a new laptop. I mainly work on Toon Boom Harmony, still a little Flash (animate) and After Effects.

Harmony evolving fast our pc is getting closer and closer to 3D config.

In short I read your article, which is also very informative, thank you for that and I still have a question. What do you think of the new Intel i7-9750H processors? Are they really interesting compared to version i7-8750H?

Finally what do you think of this model: https://www.ldlc.com/fiche/PB00274741.html
Would you have another model to advise me about my use?

Cordially.

PS: Sorry for my english a little rough

Pieter Cornelius

Yo Alex, I have been looking at some laptops for mainly 3ds Max and Vray, I will also be using it for video editing in After Effects. I am stuck between these 2:

Display: 15.6″ Fhd, IPS-Level 120Hz 3ms 94%NTSC, 100%sRGB 1920×1080 16: 9
Processor: Core i7-9750h 2.6 – 4.5GHz
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX2060 6G GDDR6
Memory: 16GB (8G*2) DDR4 2666MHz, 2 Sockets; Max Memory 64GB
Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD

Display: 17.3″ FHD (1920×1080), 144Hz 3ms, IPS-Level 1920×1080 16:9
Processor: Core i7-9750H 2.6 – 4.5GHz
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1660Ti 6G GDDR6
Memory: 16GB (8G*2) DDR4 2666MHz, 2 Sockets; Max Memory 64GB
Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD

Both MSI on the same price, one with a rtx 2060 and the other a gtx 1660ti and a bigger 17″ screen.

The Gtx has a higher clock rate, would this make a noticeable difference in my model/screen space while working and which one would you recommend if you get both at the same price?

Thanks in advance.

Harsh Shah

IMO go for the 15.6″, because I am 99.9% sure that the 17″ is specifically for gaming and has a less color accurate and lower contrast screen to increase refresh rate. The 17″ is between 92%-94% sRGB coverage. You haven’t given the model numbers so I am not a 100%, but I have looked over many laptop specs from msi and am 99% sure.