Revit For Architects

Which Laptop Should You Use?

Architectural design has experienced a massive transformation, especially with the onset of the digital age. The industry has embraced the potential of architectural 3D rendering software movement. Revit For Architectural Design is an example of this.

Revit building design software empowers architects to bring ideas from concept to construction. Its Building Information Modeling (BIM) is all the rage and Autodesk designed Revit specifically for this need. You can use it in every phase of your projects to capture and communicate concepts and precise design intent.

But, like with other software programs for architects, Revit works better on some laptops than others. Here are things you should consider when purchasing a laptop to use with Revit.

What To Look For In A Laptop When Using Revit

There are two things to first consider if you want to buy the best laptop for Revit without paying more than you should, and to ensure it will run flawlessly:

  1. What kind of user are you? A student, intern, part-timer or a Pro using Revit on the go?
  2. What size are your project/model requirements? – Less than 50MB? Close to 1GB?

In case you didn’t know, if you are a student you’ll only be dealing with small and simple projects (>50MB), so you can get away with a less expensive laptop.

If you are a professional with years in the industry, you’ll probably deal with models far more complex and detailed (50-700MB). So, the laptop you select must provide this capability.

How To Prioritize Hardware Specifications

Prioritize in this order:

1. RAM

Revit is a “RAM hog.” It requires a minimum of 8GB of RAM for student use and a minimum of 16GB for professional architectural projects.

2. CPU

Look for a Quad Core with the highest clock-frequency that you can afford (i5 or i7).  Unlike past versions, Revit’s current version runs best on multi-core CPUs – and not just for rendering. Plus, it’s still “frequency bound.”

  • Student or small model requirements: Intel Core i5, Core i7 HQ
  • Pro and complex model requirements: Core i7 HQ and Intel HK i7 for drafting or Intel Xeon for rendering

3. Storage

You’ll need a laptop with 256GB or even better, a laptop with both an SSD (Solid State Drive) and an HDD (Hard Disk Drive) — (Listen to me now and because you’ll believe me later!).

4. Display Quality

Don’t worry about brightness, contrast ratios, NanoEdge displays and other nonsense. Just get a display with 1080p Resolution.

You’re going to be staring at Revit for many hours at a time, right? So, be kind to your eyeballs and opt for a Matte Display.

5. GPU

Discreet GPU: I’m not moving this one high on the list because the difference between a discrete GPU and a cheap integrated GPU isn’t important for small-sized projects.

Student or small project requirements: Intel HD, GTX 940M, MX150
Pro or large project requirements: GTX 960M, 1050M, 1060 – (This last one is pushing it.)

Forget Quadros/FirePros or any workstation card unless you are running other CAD Programs such as SolidWorks, Civil 3D, CATIA, 3DS Max, etc.

That’s it! We hope this helps! If you need more advice on laptop requirements for Revit or any other architectural software, contact us at eSOZO.





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