Best Laptop for Animation

CG Director Author Alex  by Alex   ⋮   ⋮   315 comments
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Best Laptop for Animation

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.

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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!

315
Comments

Mike

Hi Alex,

Would you still recommend the MSI first choice in this post for today’s date? Based on this post I found a local retailer selling a display model for a few hundred cheaper but in very good condition.

I use cinema 4d, after effects, video editing with Davinci or premiere and photoshop.

Hey Mike,

Thanks for dropping a line!

To answer your question, the MSI GS65 Stealth THIN-050 is still highly recommended but if you can find the Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED WA-7US5130SP, it’s even better than the GS65 Stealth and is slightly cheaper than the MSI laptop.

Before we get into the specs of the Aero 15, me tell you that I don’t really recommend the purchase of display units even if they are cheaper. Display units tend to be powered on for long periods of time and these tend to degrade the battery life of the laptop. If you’re going to be using this laptop for work, you don’t want the laptop’s battery to be dying on you sooner that it should, right?

As for the specs of the Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED WA-7US5130SP, you can see them below:

CPU Intel Core i7-9750H 2.60GHz 6-Core Processor
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB
Memory(RAM) 16GB DDR4-2666
SSD 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe Solid State Drive
HDD –
Weight 3.9 kg (~8.58pounds)
Display 15.6″, 3840×2160

By the way, the Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED WA-7US5130SP is currently available for $1,876.73. This makes the Aero 15 hard to beat in terms of price to performance ratio.

Cheers,
Alex

Mike

Great thank you so much for the informed response! I will look at the AERO 15! 🙂

hamish

Hi Alex

I’ve begun working for an agency and now have budget to bring in my own kit (within reason).

I use blender, 3ds max, sketchup, vray and unreal engine 4. what do you recommend? I’ve been eyeing up the 9th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-9750H 6 Core (2.6GHz/4.5GHz)
NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2070 with Max-Q Design (8GB GDDR6 VRAM) version of the razer as it looks sleek in front of clients and has some kick. Do you have any other recommendations?

Cheers!
Hamish

Hi Hamish,

Thanks for asking!

If I may ask, which specific version of the Razer are you referring to? Also, how much RAM does it have? If it has at least 16GB of RAM, I’d say it’s good enough to handle the software you use.

Could you give me the full specs of that Razer version as well as its price? That way, I’ll have a better picture of what’s underneath its hood, so to speak, and at the same time be able to check if there are other better options at its price point.

Cheers,
Alex

hamish

Hi Alex

Thanks for responding!

Razer Blade 15 – Advanced Model
9th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-9750H 6 Core (2.6GHz/4.5GHz)
NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2070 with Max-Q Design (8GB GDDR6 VRAM)
15.6″ Full HD 240Hz
256GB SSD (NVMe)
16GB Dual-Channel (8GB x 2) DDR4 2667MHz

currently at £2,099.99

The company want to offer me a full spec macbook pro 16″ at £2,500. I just want to make sure what I’m getting will do the job.

Ta!
Hamish

HI Hamish,

£2,099.99 for the Razer Blade 15 – Advanced Model is around US$2,745 at the moment. With this amount of money, you can actually get your hands on the more powerful GIGABYTE AERO 15 Classic-YA-F75AMP. The specs of the laptop are below:

CPU Intel Core i7-9750H 2.60GHz 6-Core Processor
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 8GB
Memory(RAM) 32GB DDR4-2666
SSD 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe Solid State Drive
HDD –
Weight ~4.49 pounds
Display 15.6″, 1920×1080

Not only is the GIGABYTE AERO 15 Classic-YA-F75AMP more powerful than the Razer Blade 15 – Advanced Model, it is also slightly cheaper at just US$2,699. You may get the same i7-9750H CPU as the Razer Blade 15 – Advanced Model but the GIGABYTE AERO 15 Classic-YA-F75AMP comes with 32GB of RAM which is twice the size of what’s in the Razer laptop. The Aero 15 also comes with 1TB of NVME SSD storage compared to the 256GB of the Razer but more importantly, the Gigabyte laptop has a higher tiered RTX 2080 GPU under the hood. All things considered, the GIGABYTE AERO 15 Classic-YA-F75AMP is just the better buy compared to the Razer Blade 15 – Advanced Model.

Cheers,
Alex

Millie

Hi Alex,
Happy new year.
I am learning graphic design (using Adobe illustrator,photoshop,indesign) and will begin learning 3D modeling and video editing this year. I am looking for a laptop that can support all these tasks. I would also like to have one that can last me a couple of year. Therefore a “future-proof” option would be nice, if possible. My budget is around $1,500.
Could you please give me some recommendations?
I appreciate very much for your help!
Cheers,
Millie

Hi Millie,

Thanks for asking!

For your budget of $1,500, your best option is the MSI GF63 Thin Gamer Notebook. Below are its specs:

CPU Intel Core i7-9750H 2.60GHz 6-Core Processor
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB
Memory(RAM) 32GB DDR4-2666
SSD 2TB NVMe Solid State Drive
HDD 2TB 5400rpm Hard Disk Drive
Weight 1.8 kg (~3.96pounds)
Display 15.6″, 1920×1080

The MSI GF63 Thin Gamer Notebook is currently available at around $1,479.99 and at this price point, this MSI laptop just gives you a lot of bang for your buck, so to speak. It has an i7-9750H CPU complemented by a whopping 32GB of RAM so you can expect your workflow to be fast and smooth. In addition to that, it has 2 storage options – one 2TB NVMe SSD for your OS and commonly used programs and a 2TB HDD for your other files. For its price, the MSI GF63 Thin Gamer Notebook can’t be beat.

Cheers,
Alex

Millie

Hi Alex,
Thank you very much for your advice!
again with the complication of foreign markets, I could not find the MSI GF63 Thin Gamer Notebook as you suggested in Germany, where i am at atm.

But based on the specs, I found the following laptops:

(1) hp OMEN 15-dh0002ng (https://store.hp.com/GermanyStore/Merch/Product.aspx?id=7DX93EA&opt=ABD&sel=NTB)

CPU Intel Core i7-9750H 2,6 GHz 6-Core
GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, 6 GB **
Memory 16 GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM (2 x 8 GB) **
512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD **
1 TB, 7200 U/min, SATA **
Display 15.6″ Full HD

(2) Acer Nitro 5 AN515-54 (https://de-store.acer.com/nitro-5-gaming-notebook-an515-54-schwarz-16)

CPU Intel Core i7-9750H 2,6 GHz 6-Core
GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, 6GB **
Memory 16 GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM (2 x 8 GB) **
1 TB SSD **
Display 15.6″ Full HD

(3) Acer Predator Triton 300 Gaming-Notebook PT315-51 (https://de-store.acer.com/predator-triton-300-gaming-notebook-pt315-51-schwarz-1)

CPU Intel Core i7-9750H 2,6 GHz 6-Core
GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, 4 GB **
Memory 16 GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM (2 x 8 GB) **
1 TB SSD **
Display 15.6″ Full HD

– All 3 laptops have a smaller memory (16 GB). Do you know if any of the laptop above could allow me to upgrade the memory to 32 GB by myself. Do you think that is a good idea?
Also, do you think that is doable for someone who has no experience on that before?

– Hard drive and GPU differences. Is one better than the other for a long term perspective?

Cost: Laptop (1) and (2) are at the same price. Laptop (3) is around 300 EUR cheaper,

Could you please give me some advice on the laptops above or on other laptops if you have in mind?

Again, i sincerely appreciate your time and help!

Cheers,
Millie

Hey Millie,

The three laptops you listed are all good options but in terms of increasing the RAM of any of these laptops, I don’t think it’s a good idea that you upgrade the memory to 32GB by yourself because opening up any of these laptops may void their warranty.

Now, the HP OMEN 15-dh0002ng has a variant available with 32GB of RAM but it is more expensive at 2.599,00 € because it comes with a more powerful RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU, so that’s out of the question unless you want to spend that much money.

On the other hand, both the Acer Nitro 5 AN515-54 and the Acer Predator Triton 300 Gaming-Notebook PT315-51 can support up to 32GB of RAM but my suggestion here is for you to check with Acer Support prior to purchasing any of these if they can upgrade the RAM to 32GB. This means we’re only considering the Nitro 5 and the Predator for that matter.

However, I am more inclined to suggest that you go for the Nitro 5, if you have the means, for its slightly more powerful GPU and just have Acer increase the RAM to 32GB if possible to make the laptop more powerful and more future-proof.

Cheers,
Alex

Addy

Hi, I’m a digital artist and animation student and I just got the Acer Predator Helios 300. It’s got a 9th gen i7 processor and is no doubt a good gaming laptop, but I would love an opinion on how good it is for digital art/animation? So far I’ve booted it up and noticed the colour accuracy seems very off compared to my HP Pavilion.

Thanks!

Hey Addy,

Thanks for asking!

The gauge on how good a laptop is (in this case, the Acer Predator Helios 300) in terms of digital art/animation is rather subjective. Is it good because it delivers task responsiveness when you’re working actively inside the software? Is it good because it has a capable GPU that helps with GPU rendering? Is it good because it has very good colour accuracy? Is it good because it has a great price to performance ratio? These are some of the questions you might want to ask.

Also, you only mentioned the CPU of your Acer Predator Helios 300. Could you let me know what its other components are? That way, I can gauge how your laptop will perform for your animation tasks.

Cheers,
Alex

giulia

Hello
I’m giulia
I’m a graphic designer but now I want to learn compositing video.
I’m looking for a laptop for take my first steps whit after affects in particular with Mocha ( rotoscoping, tracking).
I want to spending around 2000-2300 $
Thanks you a lot

Hi Giulia,

Thanks for asking!

I know you said your budget is around $2,300 but I have something a little over your budget but definitely worth the extra money you will spend. It’s the MSI GS75 Stealth-248 Gaming Laptop and it costs around $2,302.48. Below are its specs:

CPU Intel Core i7-9750H 2.60GHz 6-Core Processor
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q 8GB
Memory(RAM) 32GB DDR4-2666
SSD 512GB NVMe Solid State Drive
HDD –
Weight 2.2 kg (~4.84pounds)
Display 17.3″, 1920×1080

The MSI GS75 Stealth-248 may be a gaming laptop but it’s more than capable enough for your needs. It has an i7-9750H CPU working with a whopping 32GB of RAM and this combination will make your workflow faster and smoother. It also has an RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU which will be helpful in case you want to do GPU rendering. More importantly, it has a 17.3-inch display and that extra screen real estate could help fit all of your software pallets and windows.

Cheers,
Alex

giulia

Thanks you so much alex!
But i live in Italy and i can’t find this laptop on amazon 🙁
Is this the laptop you were talking about?
https://www.amazon.com/MSI-GS75-Stealth-248-i7-9750H-Thunderbolt/dp/B07QC4H2MM
I think i have to waiting for this 🙁
thanks you a lot

Hey Giulia,

Yes, that’s the exact same laptop I was talking about! Sorry to hear it isn’t available on Amazon Italy but hopefully it does become available later on. By the way, have you tried looking for that particular laptop in electronics shops in your area? Who knows, you might get lucky, you know?

Cheers,
Alex

Nelvin

Hi Alex, Thanks for all the in-depth information. I have been an architecture student for almost a year and I am planning to buy a new laptop for my studies. I am looking to buy a nice looking laptop, 15″, strong enough to run 3D applications, and most important is light-weight, i am thinking for 2.2kgs at max and <2kgs if possible. I am thinking to spend around $2500 but i'll do if there are better choices for a little more bucks.
After several days of research, I found some laptops that suits my needs. Here are the list of the laptops that I found:
1. Zephyrus M GU502GU or SGX502 (GTX 1660Ti)
2. Lenovo Legion Y740 (RTX 2060)
3. MSI Prestige 15 (I like this one because its only 1.6kg, has i7 gen10, but it only has GTX 1650 Max-Q, wdyt?)
4. MSI WS65 ( QUADRO RTX3000, 32gb ram)

I an planning to use the laptop for the entire studies so i need the best possible in my budget range. Also I have tried your laptop finder and got the gigabyte 15. But the laptop is so rare in my country so i am thinking for bigger brands such as asus, acer, lenovo, dell, msi, and razer.

What do you think of my choices? and please do recommend the best i can get.

I would really appreciate your help!,
Thank you so much

Cheers,
Nelvin

Hey Nelvin,

Thanks for asking!

You’re right – for your budget of $2,500, the absolute best laptop with the best price to performance ratio you can get is the Gigabyte AERO 15-X9-9RT5 as suggested by the site’s PC Builder Tool. However, if this particular model is hard to come by in your country, my suggestion is for you to look for a different brand of laptop that has similar or close to similar specs and price to the Gigabyte AERO 15-X9-9RT5.

As for your four choices, it’s tough to make a recommendation as you shared limited information about each laptop. I suggest that you include the full specs of each laptop and include the price as well so we can compare and see how the price to performance ratio of each laptop stands.

Cheers,
Alex

Nelvin

Hey Alex,

Thanks for your reply!

Right now i’m more interested on the MSI Prestige 15 and MSI GS65/WS65.

MSI Prestige 15 ($1431)
Processor Onboard : Intel® Core™ i7-10710U Processor (12M Cache, up to 4.7 GHz)
RAM : 16 GB DDR4
GPU : GeForce® GTX 1650, 4GB GDDR5
Ukuran Layar : 15,6″ FHD (1920*1080), IPS-Level Thin Bezel, close to 100%sRGB
Hard Disk : 512 GB NVMe PCIe SSD

MSI WS65 ($2577) /GS65(the one that u recommend)
Processor Onboard : Intel® Core™ i7-9750H Processor (12M Cache, up to 4.50 GHz)
Memori Standar : 32 GB DDR4 2666MHZ
Tipe Grafis : Nvidia® Quadro® RTX 3000 with 6GB GDDR6
Ukuran Layar : 15.6″ FHD (1920*1080), IPS-Level 60Hz 72%NTSC Thin Bezel, close to 100%sRGB
Hard Disk : 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD

I’m leaning towards the prestige 15 but the gpu is only gtx1650 max q, do you think it is enough? or is it better to get better gpu for a little heavier? As for the programs, I use archicad, sketchup, autocad, rhinos, and maybe maya.

I would really appreciate your help
Thanks!

Cheers,
Nelvin

Hey Nelvin,

The MSI Prestige 15 is actually a good choice. In fact, its GTX 1650 GPU should be enough for your use case UNLESS you plan on using the GPU rendering engines. If such is the case, it would be best to get something with a more powerful GPU such as an RTX 2070 for that matter. Also, while the 16GB of RAM on the Prestige 15 is the baseline at the moment, if you work on large projects and very complex scenes, you may need to upgrade the RAM to at least 32GB.

If MSI laptops are easily available in your country, you might want to take a look at the MSI P65 Creator-1084 which is currently available at around $1,797.45. It has a slightly older (by 1 generation, that is) i7-9750H CPU, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, a 4K UHD 15.6-inch display and an RTX 2060 GPU. If I were to choose between the Prestige 15 and this laptop provided that money is no object, I will definitely go with the MSI P65 Creator-1084!

Cheers,
Alex

Norman

Bro, Honestly you’re a God sent, quick question tho, what do you think about ROG Zephyrus S GX502 XB76 vs The MSI 2080 one that you suggested down below.

Spent 3 days now finding the “one”

Yes highly appreciated your passion!

Hex

Hey Norman,

Thanks for asking!

Sorry I got a little confused because what you said about MSI 2080 is closer to a graphics card which could be an MSI-branded version of the RTX 2080. However, if you are referring to the MSI P65 Creator-1084 I was talking to further down below and comparing it to the Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX502 XB76, it’s a tough choice.

Both laptops are actually excellent choices with their respective specs sheet almost similar with one another with the exception of the graphics card and RAM. The Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX502 XB76 is more expensive by about $300 because it has an RTX 2070 GPU compared to the RTX 2060 of the $1,799.00-priced MSI P65 Creator-1084. The discrepancy in price is justified here because of the slightly more powerful GPU.

However, the MSI P65 Creator-1084 more than makes up for this by having twice the RAM of the Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX502 XB76 (32GB vs 16GB). In addition to that, the P65 Creator also boasts of a 4K UHD display whereas the ROG Zephyrus S only has a Full HD display.

But all in all, both laptops are great machines. Whether you go for the MSI P65 Creator-1084 or select the Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX502 XB76, your choice will surely perform well for what you need it for.

Cheers,
Alex

Edmond

Hi Alex, Thanks for the all the in-depth information. I have been a motion graphics designer for 2 decades and recently been thinking about getting a laptop for both gaming (mainly WoW) and Cinema4D & After Effects work. Above three are my 3 main apps.

I had looked at your first choice of MSI G65 series, however, I am heavily leaning toward UHD IPS screen (screen resolution is real estate is quite high priority for me).

While browsing the MSI site and I came across this: MSI P65 Creator-1084 15.6″ 4K UHD Display, Ultra-Thin and Light, RTX Studio Laptop, Intel Core i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2060, 32GB DDR4, 1TB Teton Glacier SSD, Win10PRO, VR Ready. Which seems to fit the bill. I am wondering what’s your take on this configuration.

My current computer is an 7 years old iMac 27″ with an i7 3770, I looked up the Cinebench score on both single core and multicore comparison to i79750H, simply put, anything I get today will be an upgrade, Haha.

My budget is under 2K if possible.

Cheers,
Edmond

Hi Edmond,

Thanks for dropping a line!

The MSI P65 Creator-1084 is actually an excellent choice for what you need it for. Its i7-9750H CPU working together with the whopping 32GB of RAM will ensure that your workflow is always smooth and fast. It’s RTX 2060 GPU on the other hand will surely be able to handle your gaming sessions really well. At its price of $1,848.20, the MSI P65 Creator-1084 just can’t be beat so I say go for it!

Cheers,
Alex

Charlotte

Hey Alex,

First of all, thank you for being so kind to answer all of our questions!
I am looking to buy a 2-in-1 laptop and I was wondering if you could help me out a bit.
I’ll mostly be using it for digital drawing and making animations (I’m a student)
I will be using programs like photoship, after effects, illustrator and such, as well as some video editing.
I am aware that 2 in 1 laptops may not be ideal for all of this but portability is very important to me.
I have been looking at these laptops:

HP x360
Lenovo yoga c930
Dell 5530

At the moment my preference goes out to the dell, as it comes with a Wacom pen, this would be best for my art.
Would these specs suffice for all of my needs in your opinion?:

Intel® Core™ i7-8706G processor
Radeon™ Pro WX Vega M GL (8 MB cache, to 4,10 GHz)
16,0 GB, DDR4, – 2400 MHz
1920 x 1080 screen resolution
M.2 512 GB PCIe NVMe 40 SSD

Or is there anything else I need to think of?
Would you recommend another laptop?

I would really appreciate your help,
Thank you so much

Hey Charlotte,

Thanks for dropping a line!

Your three options are all great choices when it comes to 2-in1 laptops but if a Wacom pen is a must-have for you, then going for the Dell 5530 might make the most sense.

And besides, the specs of the 5530 are good enough for what you need the laptop for. The 17-8706G CPU of the 5530 is complemented by its 16GB of RAM so you can expect the laptop to perform nicely. Plus, it comes with an NVMe SSD which is the fastest type of SSD at the moment so you can expect a faster and smoother work flow with this. You may need to invest in additional external storage though as 512GB nowadays can easily be filled up before you know it. But all in all, the Dell 5530 with its Wacom pen is your best bet for your use case scenario.

Cheers,
Alex

Rio

Hey Alex!

i found this article is really helped me out to find the whole specs explaination for animation student, my name is Rio and as a first year of graphic design student, is this laptop good enough for price and performance ? i wonder MSI GF63 for budget and performance but the panel on their screen made me confused because the colour accuracy of it self, and i also take a look for another version of MSI laptop like prestige/modern, so for this recomendation laptop down below which one is the best with performance for animation design and rendering ? should i worrying about 50% of srgb screen on msi gf63 ?
,
MSI GF63 : https://www.pemmz.com/msi-gf63-9rcx-622id-i7-9750h-gtx1050ti-4gb.html#tab-product-view2

MSI MODERN : https://www.pemmz.com/msi-modern-14-a10rb-672id-i5-10210u-mx250-2gb.html#tab-product-view2

Thank You!.

Hi Rio,

Thanks for asking!

The MSI GF63 9RCX – 622ID and the MSI Modern 14 A10RB – 672ID are both excellent choices for a budget laptop but for performance alone, I think it would be best if you go for the MSI GF63 9RCX – 622ID. The GF63 has a more powerful i7-9750H CPU compared to the i5-10210U CPU of the MSI Modern in addition to featuring a higher-tiered GTX 1050 Ti CPU compared to the MX250 of the MSI Modern.

True, the MSI GF63 9RCX – 622ID may only have around 50% sRGB coverage but this is one of the drawbacks of going for a budget laptop. Certain corners have to be cut in order to lower the price and this is the case with the GF63. You need not worry too much about the 50% sRGB coverage though unless you will be using the laptop professionally.

Cheers,
Alex