What kind of laptop is best for Architecture Students?

What are the requirements for architecture students? What specifications are recommended and necessary in a laptop for an architectural course?

Photo from Pixabay

Laptop Requirements for Architecture Students


Architecture students should not settle for anything less than a fourth generation Intel i7 processor. Intel is already testing out a fifth generation series of i5 and i7 processors, so anything lower than the fourth generation will be a waste of money for your 5-year course.

Recommended minimum processor speed is 1.8 GHz. 

Hard Disk

Because of the sheer volume of software and files architecture students will be handling, the more the better. At least 512GB should be your target. It should also be noted that if money is not an issue, you should get an SSD drive as the primary hard drive. SSD drives are faster than traditional magnetic hard disk drives and probability for loss of data is also null.

Hybrid drives that come with a part hard disk and a part SSD drive are also recommended in a laptop.

Screen Size

Since architecture students have to work constantly with designs and graphics, a larger screen is recommended. However, too large may be of a portability issue. That is why, the best-recommended sizes are 15 to 17.3 inches. Any more and it will be heavy, any less and it will be too difficult to focus on the work.

Also important: Screen resolution should not be less than 1360 x 768 pixels. Good laptops come with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, which is the true HD resolution. If the budget permits, 4k screens are better – but not a requirement for architect laptops. The better quality display is a necessity when working with graphics.


8 GB is minimum and if you want to be on the safe side, go for 16GB. However, anything more than 16 GB is just a complete waste of money. 16GB handles more than everything. It is graphics card you should be investing on. 

Dedicated Graphics 

All major architecture and design universities like Virginia Tech School of Art + Design and NC State University recommend a minimum of 1GB of a dedicated graphics adapter. Architecture and design are graphics-intense, modeling and CAD based courses that require serious graphics power. Trusted graphics providers are NVIDIA with variants like GeForce 750M and QuadroK2100M.

Operating System

Mac OS (10+) or Windows 7/8.

So, what laptops meet these requirements? 

Laptops for Architecture Students


 1. Asus N550JX-FHD 15.6-inches


Photo from Amazon

Typing is as easy as breathing with its glossy and shiny keyboard on this Asus N550JX. Apart from all the powerful specifications, the best part is that it’s covered by industry’s most comprehensive warranty, including accidental drops, damages and comes with a confident 30-day flawless display guarantee!

There is an option to choose either the HDD space of 1TB with 8GB of RAM or 256GB of SSD with 16GB of RAM. My preference between these two is the SSD version because it not only comes with extra RAM, but it is also fast and reliable memory space. The minimum requirement of a graphics card for architects is 1GB, but this laptop provides 2GB of dedicated GPU unit – NVIDIA GTX950M.

2. Dell XPS XPS15

On Windows side, the XPS15 seems to be the winner. It has an impressive 1024 GB hard disk coupled with a 32GB of SSD drive. The SSD drive can be used to install Windows and essential daily applications like AutoCAD. The rest of 1TB drive can be used to store files, saved drafts or even movies and music.

Photo from Amazon

There is also a full 512GB SSD model that comes with a crisp 3k display resolution of 3200 X 1800. RAM is on the grand 16GB side and it weighs just 4 pounds. It also has s graphics card from NVIDIA whose capacity is 2GB (GeForce GT750M).

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