Best Laptop for Animation

Best Laptop for Animation

CG Director Author Alex  by Alex   ⋮   ⋮   226 comments
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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/

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.


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:


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.



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:


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



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.


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


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


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.


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


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


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

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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!



Hi Alex!

Thanks so much for your site. You really provide a wealth of information. I’ve recommended your site to a lot of people! Keep up the awesome work!

I’m looking to purchase a laptop for animation, but I’ll also hopefully be transitioning from CPU rendering (Vray + Arnold) to GPU rendering using Maya and Redshift. I’m currently looking at a custom build of the MSI GS65 STEALTH-420 from Xotic PC because this will be my main system and I want more HD space than the standard configuration from MSI offers (1 TB).

– Xotic PC Customization –
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 8GB GDDR6 with Max Q
Processor 9th Generation Intel® Core™ Coffee Lake i7-9750H
RAM 64GB (2x32GB) DDR4 2666MHz Dual Channel SO-DIMM Memory

But my questions are these:

1) HD space. I’m used to having 2 separate drives (on my current Sager laptop) – one for the system drive and another for data. My understanding was that a dedicated system drive would make the OS and running other programs snappier. I’m just wondering with NVMe drives if two separate drives are necessary?

2) RAM. The MSI laptop I’m spec’ing has an option to upgrade from 32 to 64GB. I’m just wondering if it’s worth it. Where is the point of diminishing returns when it comes to memory? In addition to Maya, I’ll be using it for things like After Effects, Nuke and VR (Unreal) too. So, specifically for NLE and things like particles in Maya, I’m wondering if I should just bite the bullet and shell out the extra $369 for 64GB instead of the 32GB? Upgrading it later myself will be nearly the same price and also involve dismantling the system to get at the ram – not at the top of my fun-things-to-do list.

Thanks in advance, Alex. Any words of wisdom on this are appreciated.



Hey Andy,

Thanks for dropping a comment and thank you for recommending the site to your friends – appreciate it!

The MSI GS65 STEALTH-420 with your chosen Xotic PC Customization looks great! The i7-9750H CPU of the laptop is snappy enough to deliver task responsiveness when you’re working actively inside the software while the RTX 2080 GPU packs support for CUDA core acceleration is sure to bring about better rendering speeds if you plan on using the GPU render engines.

In terms of storage space, you are correct – having a dedicated drive where you have your OS installed along with commonly used programs will make things snappier. As for having two separate NVMe drives, it’s not really a “must-have,” so to speak, but if you have the means for it, you might as well go with two separate NVMe SSDs – one for your OS and commonly used software and the other for the files you work on.

As for RAM, 16GB is the baseline at the moment, 32GB will help in some cases, and having more is not that needed but could help if you plan on working on extremely complex projects. Going for just 32GB should be enough for what you need it for but if you have plans of upgrading the RAM to 64GB later on and doesn’t really relish the idea of dismantling the laptop and more importantly, you have the budget for it, you might as well go all in and go for the 64GB option now.



Hey Alex! Thanks for your awesome articles! I’m not sure which one is nearer to my needs though…

I’m looking for a laptop for 3D heavy concept art and matte painting. I think it must be a good allrounder with a nice screen.
I use primarily Photoshop, Cinema4D/Blender and 3D Coat. I hope to improve my render speed (very frustrating right now) and being able to use Octane properly (can’t handle displacement maps with my GTX950M) and so on.
Later I wanted to set up a proper dock station at home and test some VR sketching tools. I understand, that a workstation would be better for everything, but unfortunately I have to move between places quite a lot.

Based on this and video editing article I’m leaning towards MSI GS75 (I like a bigger screen for painting)
but I’m not quite sure yet, since all reviews are leaning towards Video, Animation or gaming and are more focused on 15 inch ones and often recommend the Zepherus, or Aero as well.

Anyways, thank you for your time!


Hi Daniel,

Thanks for dropping a line and thank you for the kind words!

Your choice of the MSI GS75 9SE-278 Stealth based on the link you provided is really good! This laptop comes with a snappy i7-9750H CPU that will give you task responsiveness when you’re working actively inside the software. However, if you want to improve your render speeds and are willing to stretch your budget a bit, you may want to go for the MSI GS75 9SF-277 Stealth (

The MSI GS75 9SF-277 Stealth costs around €450 more than the MSI GS75 9SE-278 Stealth and you get the same i7-9750H CPU RAM and 17.3-inch display but the MSI GS75 9SF-277 Stealth comes with twice the RAM. More importantly, you also get an RTX 2070 GPU which brings the best price to performance ratio among GPUs at the moment. In addition to that, the RTX 2070 GPU also supports CUDA core acceleration which will help a lot if you plan on using the GPU render engines.

Also, you may want to check the site’s PC Builder Tool at for other laptop recommendations based on your budget (you may need to do a little currency conversion here as the tool’s default currency is set to US$) and use case scenario.



Hey Alex,

thanks for your article it’s very informative and helpful to search for the right hardware 🙂
I need a new notebook (because mobility) and considering that I want to do basically the whole process of film making, starting from video editing to the whole 3d pipeline (mod to render) and comp in nuke, also after effects stuff and color grading (davinci) until final rendering, I’ve came down to 2 products which looked quite interesting and where I’m not sure yet which one to choose.


– i7-9750H
– GeForce RTX™ 2070
– 32 GB RAM


– i9-9880H
– GeForce RTX™ 2070
– 16 GB RAM
– 512 GB SSD, 1 TB SSHD

The price is pretty similar, I thought to buy the second one (cheaper) and expand it with a second 16GB RAM card but to be honest I’m a complete noob when it comes down to something like this, so basically I’m relying on your advice 😀

Also I’m sorry that the links are in german, but I hope you can help me out

P.S. if these choices are complete crap for whatever reason, please don’t hesitate to tell me 😀

Best regards,

Another Alex

Hi Another Alex 😉 ,

Thanks for dropping a line and thank you for the kind words!

Your two choices are really excellent and that makes it tough to choose just one among these two! Looking at the specs of both laptops, the first laptop, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX502GW-AZ054R has twice the RAM and twice the SSD storage space of the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR III G531GW-AZ150T. However, the second laptop comes with CPU with a higher core count and slightly faster clock speed plus it also packs a 1TB SSHD aside from its 512GB NVMe SSD.

In that case, I am more inclined to suggest that you go for the second laptop, the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR III G531GW-AZ150T. The slightly faster clock speeds of its i9-9880H CPU will definitely help in terms of task responsiveness when you’re working actively inside the software while it’s higher core count will surely benefit your rendering times.

I agree – you can always expand the RAM of the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR III G531GW-AZ150T with another 16GB in the future. This laptop has 2 RAM slots but it would be best to check what its stock RAM configuration is prior to purchase (1 x 16GB or 2 x 8GB) to see if you have an available slot for RAM expansion.

Also, you may want to look at the site’s PC Builder Tool at for other recommendations based on your budget and use case scenario.



Thank you very much for your help!! As soon as I’m ready to look for a workstation, I’ll be back 😀

Best regards


Hi Alex,

Thank you very much for the detailed and amazing article!
I love it a lot ( when i say “a lot, that means “A LOT”)….. 😀

I am currently in the process to buy a new laptop (ditching my almost 10 years old laptop)
However I am totally not sure with the options I have currently.
I am sorry that the website is in German. ;(

my 1st option is:
MSI GL63 8SE-071
15,6″ Full HD,
Core i7-8750H,
RTX 2060 6GB,
Although it has a decent graphic card and cpu core, but after reading your article I find that 8Gb of RAM is a drawback. 🙁

my 2nd:
15,6″ FHD,
Intel i7-8750H,
GeForce RTX 2060,
16GB DDR4,
512GB SSD,
Then i try to search for another laptop with almost the same spec, but with 16 GB ram.
However, this time, I am just not sure about the brand. thats the first time i heard Medion.

my 3rd.
Asus ROG Strix G531GU-AL061T
15,6″ FHD 120Hz
Intel Core i7-9750H
GeForce GTX 1660Ti
This laptop looks quite decent, But it has older graphic card 1660 Ti.., which To be honest I am not sure if it is faster than RTX 2060.

my 4th:
Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-54-72B7) Gaming
15,6″ Full HD IPS,
GTX 1660Ti,
512GB SSD + 1000GB HDD
The same like my 3rd option but only with an extra 1000 Gb HDD.

Which of these do you suggest (of course you can also throw in your suggestion) is the best?
I am planning to use this laptop to do Rendering, modelling, and editing in Blender.
If possible It will be better I can keep the budget under € 1400 ( around $ 1500).

Thank you very much in advance.
You rock, Alex!!! ^_^

Hey Raymond,

Thank you for the kind words!

All the laptops you mentioned have their own benefits and drawbacks. For example, both the MSI GL63 8SE-071 and MEDION ERAZER X15803 Gaming come with RTX 2060 GPUs but they both have a slightly slower i7-8750H CPU compared to the i7-9750H CPU of the Asus ROG Strix G531GU-AL061T and Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-54-72B7) Gaming. The Asus and Acer options do come with the slightly faster i7-9750H CPU but only have a GTX 1660 Ti for their graphics card. The RTX 2060 GPU is still the better graphics card but the 1660 Ti is no pushover either.

If the MEDION ERAZER X15803 Gaming is something as mainstream as the other cards in your list, I would have readily suggested that you go for it. However, like you, this is the first time I heard about that brand. With your budget of around $1500, I suggest that you go instead for the ASUS ROG Strix Scar II GL504GV-DS74 which can be had for around $1499.95. Below are its specs:

CPU Intel Core i7-8750H 2.20GHz 6-Core Processor
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB
Memory(RAM) 16GB DDR4-2666
SSD 512GB M.2 PCIe Solid State Drive
Weight 2.4 kg (~5.28pounds)
Display 15.6″, 1920×1080

The ASUS ROG Strix Scar II GL504GV-DS74 pretty much has the same specs as the Medion but is easily more recognizable, so to speak.

Lastly, you might want to check the site’s PC Builder Tool and see laptop recommendations based on your budget and use case scenario. You can find it here:



Hi Alex.,

Thank you very much for your time and response.
Nowadays its super hard to get a website where the moderator is super active.!
I appreciate your work! 🙂

By the way, the ASUS ROG Strix Scar II GL504GV-DS74 looks super decent! I really like it.
However in Germany I cannot get a hold of that laptop with €1400 ($ 1500) as far as my research goes, the current price tag is €1700. (I hate Germany when it comes to import-Export 🙁 )

Therefore I dig deeper with it and found 2 more options:

HP Omen 15-dh0140ng – (€ 1.425,08 )
15,6″ Full HD IPS,
256 GB SSD & 1.000 GB HDD
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060, 6GB GDDR6 VRAM
This one looks decent. However I really held back due to the lack of review.

LEGION Y540-15IRH – (€1.439,00)
15.6″ Full-HD IPS matt
Intel® Core i7-9750H HexaCore
256 GB SSD & 1.000 GB HDD
NVIDIA GeForce® RTX 2060 mit 6GB,
Almost the same price and specification.
However, according to review the battery doesnt last really long ( around 1 and half hour ) which really defeat the purpose of having a mobile workstation.

Can you please enlightened me once more.
Of course feel free to recommend again ^_^

Hi Raymond,

It’s tough to choose between the HP Omen 15-dh0140ng and the LEGION Y540-15IRH because these two laptops practically have the same specs. Reviews of both laptops would have been helpful but the lack of reviews for the HP Omen 15-dh0140ng puts it a bit of a disadvantage. However, the supposed 1.5-hour battery life LEGION Y540-15IRH is also somewhat of a deal breaker assuming that this is true. In this case, I would be remiss if I make a suggestion now. The best thing to do at the moment is wait a bit until a couple of reviews about the HP Omen 15-dh0140ng come out before coming up with a decision. While money invested in a laptop that will serve as your bread and butter is always money well spent, you don’t want to spend money on a laptop that you will regret buying later on.



Hi Alex,

I just want to give you an update.
In the end, I bought the Lenovo Legion Y540 (from the same link i gave before)
Cant say much but I really like it until now.. ^^
Thank you very much for your input…!
You are the Mann…!! 🙂


Hi Alex, thank you so much for the amazing article! So helpful.

I’m relatively new to c4D and was using my old MacBook pro 17 (i5) which was pretty slow. This has recently broken and I’m looking to get a new machine that will perform better for rendering, video and photo editing.

I’ve received some money to replace the faulty laptop and came across a laptop which was returned within 30 days and in perfect condition – also comes with a 2 year warranty

ASUS ROG Zephyru M GM501GS 15.6″ 144Hz Intel i7 -8750H, 16GB RAM
256GB PCI-E SSD + 1TB SSHD, Nvidia GTX 1070
8GB MAX-P Graphics, Windows 10

which I can get for £1059 ($1324) – (figured this is a really good deal but not sure about the hybrid storage? does the 256 GB SSD slow things down?)

or would u recommend going for the msi gs65/ razer 15- although it would be a stretch at the moment..

any help at all would be much appreciated!



Hey Johanna,

Thanks for dropping a line!

I don’t usually recommend buying a used laptop especially if you’re going to use it for work but if the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M GM501GS is in perfect condition and comes with a 2-year warranty, I would say it’s a steal if you can get it for £1059.

No worries on the laptop’s hybrid storage though and you can be assured that the 256 GB SSD will NOT slow things down. Even the slowest SSD will be faster than a traditional hard-disk drive. By the way, the 1TB solid state hybrid drive (SSHD) typically has speeds of up to 5x faster than your typical hard drive so this is a nice to have feature on the Zephyrus M.

If budget will not be an issue, I will definitely recommend the MSI GS65 or the Razer 15. However, if you want to save some money, I suggest that you go for the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M GM501GS. You won’t go wrong with it!


Hari Krishnan

Hi Alex, I am Hari Krishnan from India. First of all Thank you for explaining in detail on the various aspects to consider and also for your recommendation. I am looking for a laptop which could handle 3D rendering for personal use ( Vue creator), photo, video editing and later more into advanced 3D animation like Maya/3DS Max. So basically I am looking for a thin and light laptop with a good display and performance which should have longevity.
MSI Gaming GS65 Stealth 9SE-636IN 2019 16-inch Laptop (9th Gen i7-9750H/16GB/512 GB SSD/Windows 10, Home, 64Bit/6 Graphics), Black

New Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, Retina 4K Display, 2.6GHz 6-core 9th-Generation Intel Core i7 Processor, 256GB) – Silver

Dell XPS 15 7590 with I7 9750H, GTX 1650 4GB, 16GB DDR4, OLED. Dell is the cheapest option among these which would be available by end of October. From the reviews, I took an instant liking to the OLED screen. Read some reviews that it may not get the optimal hardware performance due to thermal throttling using an old chassis. Is this upgradeable?

Also I came across MSI P65 Creator. although not available in India as of now has same specs as GS65 Stealth. I know it has got a better screen, but is there any other difference compared to GS65.

Aero and Gigabyte is very expensive in India as I think it is shipped internationally.

Could you please recommend a similar configuration in HP or Lenovo.

Will be very grateful for your recommendations. Thank you

Hey Hari,

Thanks for dropping a line!

Macbooks are nice to have if you have the budget for it but I don’t usually recommend going for a Macbook Pro because you tend to spend more on these laptops and yet not get your money’s worth in terms of specs.

Among the laptops you mentioned, I am more inclined to suggest that you for the MSI Gaming GS65 Stealth 9SE-636IN. You may spend a little bit more on this laptop but in exchange, you get a better graphics card with its RTX 2060 GPU. The Dell XPS 15 7590 may be cheaper but it only comes with a GTX 1650 GPU and that’s no match for the RTX 2060 GPU of the MSI Gaming GS65 Stealth. The MSI P65 Creator on the other hand may have the better display among your choices but its i7-8750H CPU is slightly slower than the i7-9750H found in the MSI Gaming GS65 Stealth and Dell XPS 15 7590. Plus, the MSI P65 Creator costs a lot more because of its better display.

For HP or Lenovo recommendations, what’s your budget like? Let me know so I can give you recommendations based on how much you’re willing to spend.



Hi, Alex,

Thank you for a great work and for sharing your passion and knowledge with us. Was digging through the website, articles and amazon comparing, and trying to chose the perfect solution for my need.
Finally I came out with few variants which quality/price seems acceptable for me. But can’t do the final decision.

Most of my work are done with InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. Occasionally use Adobe Premiere and Aftereffect. But recently moving towards animation, mostly drawn, although also planning on doing modelling and rendering alongside with video editing. At the same time I am going to buy a new Wacom graphic tablet and scanner, so these things gonna cut bit the total budget I am ready to spend for a laptop.

Here are the ones I found attractive with an affordable price (I am planning on buying a new one, There are some supper nice offers for used laptops, but not sure if I can relate on the quality. Maybe you any thought on it?):
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S Ultra Slim Gaming PC Laptop, 15.6” 144Hz IPS Type, Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, GeForce GTX 1070, 16GB DDR4, 512GB PCIe SSD, Military-Grade Metal Chassis, Win 10 Home – GX531GS-AH76
Gigabyte AERO 15-W9-RT4P 15″ Thin Bezel FHD LG 144Hz IPS, Intel i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, 2666MHz 16GB RAM, M.2 PCIe 512GB SSD, RGB Keyboard, Win10 Pro, 94Wh Metal Chassis Slim Gaming Laptop
Razer Blade 15: World’s Smallest 15.6″ Gaming Laptop – 60Hz Full HD Thin Bezel – 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H 6 Core – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q – 16GB RAM – 256GB SSD + 2TB HDD – Windows 10
MSI GE63 Raider RGB-609 15.6″ Gaming Laptop, 144Hz Display, Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX2060, 16GB, 256GB NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD
MSI GE63 Raider RGB-010 15.6″ 120Hz 3ms Performance Gaming Laptop GTX 1070 8G i7-8750H (6 Cores) 16GB 256GB SSD + 1TB Per Key RGB KB, VR Ready, Metal Chassis, Windows 10 64 bit

So the Maximum I can spend is 1800$ (including shipping). But I am thinking if it is possible to cut some price and have more budget for another devices I mentioned above. And here variants for 1500-1600$ comes front.
Also was considering if I really need RTX, and some of the models seems more attractive because of numpad and SD card reader.

Will be very grateful for recommendations regarding mentioned laptops or any other thoughts what build will be perfect for me counting on price/quality.

Thank you!


Just wanted to add, that in my work color accuracy is very important, so not the last thing I am looking for is a laptop with a good screen. I am moving from place to place very often, so can’t get an external display.

Hey Ilya,

Thanks for asking!

I don’t usually recommend buying a used laptop no matter how nice the offer is. Personally speaking, if the laptop you will be buying will be used for work, spending money on it is an investment and will always be money well spent.

As for the laptops you mentioned, I am inclined to suggest that MSI GE63 Raider RGB-609. Among the laptops in your list, the MSI GE63 Raider RGB-609 is the only one with an i7-9750H CPU while the others only have an i7-8750H CPU. Also, the MSI GE63 Raider RGB-609 comes with an RTX 2060 graphics card which features CUDA core acceleration that could help if you plan on using the GPU render engines. In terms of color accuracy, the display of the MSI GE63 Raider RGB-609 with its 100% sRGB coverage ticks this box. It also comes with a numpad which is nice to have in case you’d be needing it.

You may also want to check the site’s PC Builder Tool at for laptop recommendations based on your budget and use case scenario.



Hey, Alex!

Thanks for your recommendations! I reviewed a bit the list, and came out with next three models at last:
MSI Gaming Notebook GS65-9SE-475JP
CPU:Core i7-9750H
OS:Windows 10 Home 64bit
Memory: 16GB
SSD: 512GB(M.2 NVMe)
LCD panel: 15.6 inch, Full HD (1,920 x 1,080), Non-glare, Narrow picture frame design, refresh rate 240Hz
Video output terminal: Thunderbolt 3 (Type-C) x 1, HDMI x 1, Mini DisplayPort x 1
All Intel Inside
15.6″inch 4K 有機ELパネル採用X-Rite Pantone純正認証液晶ディスプレイ
Intel Core I7 9750H
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6G
Samsung DDR4 2666 8GB*2
Windows 10
All Intel Inside
15.6″ AUO 狭額縁 UHD IPSノングレアX-Rite Pantone純正認証液晶ディスプレイ
インテル Core i7-8750H
Samsung DDR4 2666 16GB*2
1TB インテルSSD
Windows 10 Pro

As I understood, 9th generation of i7 is much better than 8th. So here I have MSI GS65 and AERO 15 OLED WA-7JP5130JH with i7-9750 and both with RTX 2060. The major difference is in LCD and OLED display, which color accuracy is better, right?

But also I found the third option, AERO 15-X9-UHD. It has older i7-8750H, but at the same time it comes with RTX 2070 GDDR6 8GB, 32GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD. And this looks super attractive.

I read some articles about the differences of i7-8750/i7-9750 and RTX2060/RTX-2070 but still can’t figure out if better graphic card and more RAM can even CPU difference, or I’d better stick to CPU first and only after compare GPU and RAM?


Hi Ilya,

Based on their individual specs sheet, the AERO 15-X9-UHD would have been my choice. However, you did mention in a previous comment that colour accuracy is very important in the type of work you do. With that in mind, I suggest that you go for the AERO 15 OLED WA-7JP5130JH. The laptop’s OLED display will surely outperform other LCD panels and with an extensive color gamut, the picture quality of an OLED display is now at levels not seen before.

In addition to its OLED display, the AERO 15 OLED WA-7JP5130JH comes with a slightly faster i7-9750H CPU. If you do a lot of active work inside the software, you will definitely benefit from the higher clock speeds of the i7-9750H. As for its GPU, it may only have an RTX 2060 graphics card but this particular GPU is more than capable enough for your use case scenario.



Thank you once more,

So the thing is, that OLED display is much better than LCD display, right? Because I had no experience working with OLED so far, and I can’t really imagine the difference.
For example, I found next two builds.
Aero 15 Classic XA
FHD | RTX 2070 | i7-9750H | 8G*2 |512G PCIe SSD

Aero 15 OLED WA
15.6″ UHD OLED | RTX 2060 | i7-9750H | 8G*2 | 512G

But the price difference is 340$. The advantage of the first one is a stronger GPU with an equal CPU. Second one beats with it’s OLED display.
Is the difference really so crucial, that can cost 340 bucks more even with a 2060 GPU model?

Sorry for asking too many questions, trying to make a thoughtful decision.


I’ve read, that OLED has a glossy display surface, which pretty reflective even in a shadow. And some are complaining about a bad PWM.

Upd. While I was texting that, the price for Classic XA jumped up to 2420$. So I guess that was a good deal, which I missed


Well, after all I got a Lightning deal for an Aero 15 OLED WA with RTX 2070, i7-9750H, 16gb, 500gb SSD for 2500$. Would like to believe that it was a good deal for these money 🙂
But still would like to hear your opinion on the situation I described above.

Hi Ilya,

Congratulations on your purchase of the Aero 15 OLED WA! I’m sure your new laptop will serve its purpose well!

As for your concerns about the OLED display of your laptop, OLED displays tend to be reflective but not so in a dark environment. In fact, OLED displays perform best when used in a dark room. And unless you plan on working under direct sunlight, I don’t think you’d have issues with reflections. And besides, whatever type of display you work with under direct sunlight will always have reflections.

As for your question about bad PWM, there is no conclusive evidence on this. While there may be complaints from some OLED display users about bad PWM and flicker that lead to visual fatigue and headaches, some LCD/LED display users also have the same complaints. The best you can do to mitigate this is to minimize flicker effects by not using your laptop in very dark environments or not sitting too closely to the display. PWM flicker can also be minimized by operating the display at its maximum brightness levels. You may also want to check the display settings of your laptop and set it at its highest available refresh rate if that option is available.



Hello Alex,

First of all thanks for you article it is really impressive and well described. I understand now a lot of things that happens when rendering.

I have a couple of questions and I tried to find if anyone else had write about this, so I read all the comments but i couldn’t find anything like this, so here are my questions, hope you can help me and thank you for your time.

I have an iMac i5 (late 2011) and all my work was just in Photoshop and Illustrator, but right now Im working with some C4D, Rhino 3D and Poser 3D and yes… now it’s getting old and slow. I’ve been working with Mac for 12 years now, and I’m still thinking about the new Macbook Pro 2019. I need the portability ( a LAPTOP) but I know Mac is no the best hardware (NVIDIA) in the market. but as I’ve read in the article maybe a Macbook Pro with good Ram and good Processor and medium GPU will be ok? I dont’ do a lot of rendering, I make 3D models in CINEMA and POSER and modify them in Rhino, i dont make “Animation” … What do you think? should I stay with Mac?

MacBook Pro 15 ”
2.3GHz 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor up to 4.8
16GB 2400 MHz DDR4
Radeon Pro Vega 20 – 4GB

If I change to windows, I have this 2 laptops in my mind, but it comes to me the doubt, I thought that Workstations were better than Gamer Laptopsor for big apps like 3d rendering and I’m going to spend a big amount of money (around 3,000 USD) I need something also for the future (5-7 years?) …
that’s why I choose this.

MSI WS75 9TK-498
17.3″ Thin Bezel Full HD IPS-Level 60Hz 72% NTSC (100% sRGB) Display 1920 x 1080 (16:9)
Intel 9th Gen Core i9-9880H Processor 2.3 GHz – 4.8 GHz
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 (6GB) GDDR5 Graphics Card (VR Ready)
32GB DDR4 2666MHz

ProArt StudioBook Pro 17 (W700G3T)
Intel® Core™ i7-9750H processor
2.6GHz hexa-core with Turbo Boost (up to 4.5GHz) and 12MB cache
NVIDIA® Quadro® RTX 3000 Max-Q 6GB GDDR6 VRAM
RAM and HD i dont have the info, tha laptop it’s brand new.

Please let me know what you think.


Hi Jacobo,

Thanks for dropping a comment and thank you for the kind words!

Staying with Mac is a personal preference and more importantly, if you have the budget for it. However, the laptops I usually recommend are much cheaper but has the same or in some cases better specs than a Macbook Pro.

As for the Windows laptops you mentioned, both are excellent choices. Both come with an NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 graphics card and this is a big plus. Many CAD application manufacturers offer good support if your hardware matches the hardware requirements and recommendations of the applications so a Quadro GPU basically beings stability and professional support to the table.

However, I am more inclined to suggest the MSI WS75 9TK-498 because its i9-9880H CPU is slightly more powerful than the i7-9750H CPU of the ASUS ProArt StudioBook Pro 17 (W700G3T). Whether you work actively inside the software or render a lot, the i9-9880H CPU of the MSI WS75 9TK-498 ticks all the boxes in terms of high clock speed and high core count so you can’t go wrong if you go for the MSI laptop.



Thanks for your answer and time Alex, very appreciated.
Cheers from violent mexico

Phil Udeka

Hey. I’m Phil. Love the post! I’m looking for a new pc to handle my octane rendering because my old one got stolen. I’ve take interest in this particular one ( ). Can you comment on it please

Hey Phil,

Sorry to hear about what happened to your laptop.

I took a quick look at the HP Pavilion 15 Gaming in the link you provided and I would say this is a good laptop to handle Octane Rendering. The Pavilion 15 comes with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card which has CUDA cores that will allow you to use the graphics card for GPU rendering, though of course there are much higher tier and more expensive laptop gpus that would perform even better (e.g. RTX 2070, 2080)

If I may ask, how much is your budget?

Also, you might want to check out the site’s PC Builder Tool at for the best laptop recommendations at different price points.



hello! , I’ve ordered DELL XPS 15 laptop with – core i7-8750H Intel
15.6 “NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1050 TI (4GB)
(UHD) 3840×2160

I bought this laptop instead of Razer blade 15 Advanced because it is not available for me, I’m just wondering if this is good enough for a student going to computer animation and vfx also, i am a freelance media design and photographer .