Best Laptops for Adobe After Effects (2022 Spring update)

Adobe After Effects laptop Many people consider Adobe After Effects to be one of the more complex pieces of software on the market. And that might be true, but hey, video post-production was never a kids’ game. However, with some dedication and time, you can learn how to use this application without too much trouble. While this particular software might push your laptop to its limits, After Effects can certainly provide a lot of value for users with right knowledge. The best laptops for Adobe After Effects will range from those under $1200 to those over $3000. In this post, I’ll help you determine what you should be looking for if you want the best bang for your buck when it comes to an Adobe After Effects.

If you’re looking at other video editing software, I’ve got those covered too! Article on choosing the best laptops for Cyberlink Power Director have been posted as well – feel free to check it out.

But for now – Let’s get started with finding you the best laptop for Adobe After Effects in 2021!

TL;DR
  • Continue reading for all the details you need to know when choosing a laptop for Adobe After Effects
  • Check my full comparison spreadsheet where I analyze 100 laptops in depth!

Requirements for a Adobe After Effects laptop

Major Processor

Processor

As one of the most important components of a laptop – processor – will have a big impact on performance. For Adobe After Effects, it’s no exception, so don’t skimp out on this one.

Requirements

Adobe has been making increasing use of the GPU over the last several years, but After Effects is overall much more reliant on the speed of your CPU. That being said, low class processors as Intel’s Core i3 and AMD’s Ryzen 3 should not be considered. I’d say the minimum suitable choice for this case is i5 or Ryzen 5 series, but honestly, I wouldn’t lower than Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7. The best processors for Adobe After Effects should also have a high clock speed and be equipped with Turbo Boost. These specifications will help boost your rendering performance significantly. Ideally, if you your wallet is fat enough – go with Intel’s Core i9 or AMD’s Ryzen 9.

Recommendations

If you’re not sure about your budget or would rather have a cheaper option, then consider going with Intel Core i5-1135G7 or AMD Ryzen 5 4500U. It’s a great choice if you’re on a tight budget and want a machine that will still handle intense workloads adequately. One step further, there are Intel Core i7-11800H or AMD Ryzen 7 5800H. In my opinion, both these processors offer an optimal balance between price and performance – just what you probably need for Adobe After Effects! Finally, Intel Core i9-11900H and i9-11980HK or AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX are processors I would recommend if you’re looking for a machine that’s ready for intense tasks and want it to be as future-proof as possible.

TL;DR
  • When it comes to Adobe After Effects, CPU’s single core speed is most important factor
  • Get at least Core i5-1135G7 or Ryzen 5 4500U if you’re on a tight budget
  • Core i7-11800H or AMD Ryzen 7 5800H should be enough for most of you
  • Core i9-11900H, i9-11980HK or AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX would deliver you the best performance, but also drain your wallet the most

Major Memory

Minimum (16 GB)

ram memory die

A typical laptop in 2021 has 16 GB of RAM. This is enough for casual use, but not for professionals who are working with high-end software like Adobe After Effects. With 16 GB, you can run the application but you’ll experience stuttering and hiccups. If you’re seeking for the best performance – 16 GB won’t be enough.

Recommended (32 GB)

The sweet spot seems to be 32 GB of RAM. That should be enough for running most of professional software on the market. It’s also plenty for casual use – even if you’re running bunch of tabs in your browser or if you’re playing games or streaming music.

Best (64 GB)

If you’re planning on doing lots of 3D modeling, rendering, and other high-performance tasks – I recommend 64 GB. I should mention that laptops containing 64 GB of RAM are usually expensive workstations. But if you’re a professional in video editing field – that might be just what you need.

TL;DR
  • A typical laptop in 2021 has 16 GB of RAM, which is far from perfect when it comes to software like Adobe After Effects
  • For best money/performance ratio, I recommend getting a laptop with 32 GB of RAM or more
  • If you’re a professional video editor – I recommend getting a laptop with 64 GB of RAM. Or even more if money is not a problem!

Major Graphics card

Professional vs. consumer graphics

adobe after effects

Adobe After Effects is a professional application that could take advantage from running on certified workstation graphics cards. NVIDIA’s Quadro cards are ideal for Adobe After Effects, but they’re also the most expensive option. Consumer grade GeForce cards are less expensive and can offer nearly the same performance for most users. Also, it’s worth to mention that professional GPUs are not meant for gaming, so if you plan on having some fun in your free time – Quadro is not an option.

Minimum graphics (under $1200)

For the minimum cost of less than $1200, I recommend getting a consumer-grade GeForce card – preferably GTX 1660 Ti or RTX 3050 Ti. But you might need to sacrifice features like real-time ray tracing and photorealistic rendering in order to get good performance.

Recommended graphics ($1200 – $2000)

If you want to stay under $2000, get a GeForce card with either RTX 3060 or RTX 3070 chip. There are laptops with RTX 3080 for little bit under $2000, but it will most definetly cheap out on other specs. For anyone who doesn’t have over $2000 to spend on a laptop, I recommend getting a laptop with consumer grade GPU as professional grade GPUs usually don’t show up in laptops in this price range.

Recommended graphics ($2000+)

At this point, we can start looking at professional grade graphics cards. If you’re a professional and this is strictly going to be your work laptop, go with Quadro RTX 4000. Otherwise, RTX 3080 should cover both of your professional and gaming needs.

TL;DR
  • Professional GPUs are more reliable, but you won’t be able to game on them (if you ever feel like).
  • I’d say GTX 1660 Ti or RTX 3050 Ti is the bare minimum
  • RTX 3060 or RTX 3070 is the sweet spot for most of you. These GPUs are multi-purpose and have decent money/performance ratio
  • If you’re a professional and need nothing less than the best – go with RTX 3080. Or Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 if you don’t care about gaming and have a wide budget.

Optional requirements for a Adobe After Effects laptop

18 Best Laptops for Adobe After Effects

Acer Swift X SFX14-41G-R1S6

1
N/A
Price
$920
Ryzen 7 5800U | RTX 3050 Ti | 16 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD | 14″ IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Competent processor (Ryzen 7 5800U)
  • Excellent graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)
Alternatives
$1,190
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-45-R21A
Pros
  • Up to the mark processor (Ryzen 5 5600H)
  • Superb graphics card (RTX 3060)
Cons
  • Average memory amount (16GB)
  • Heavy (4.8 lbs)

MSI Sword

2
N/A
Price
$1150
i7-11800H | RTX 3050 Ti | 16 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD | 15.6″ 144Hz IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Superb processor (i7-11800H)
  • Terrific graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)
Cons
  • Bulky (4.6 lbs)

Lenovo Legion 5

3
N/A
Price
$1230
Ryzen 7 5800H | RTX 3050 Ti | 16 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD | 15.6″ 165Hz IPS FreeSync; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Great processor (Ryzen 7 5800H)
  • Good graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)
Cons
  • Ordinary memory amount (16GB)

MSI GF65 Thin

4
N/A
Price
$1460
i7-10750H | RTX 3060 | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 15.6″ 144Hz IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Terrific graphics card (RTX 3060)
  • Sufficient display (15.6 144Hz IPS)
Cons
  • So-so processor (i7-10750H)

Sager NP7880P

5
N/A
Price
$1480
i7-12700H | RTX 3060 | 16 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 17.3″ 144Hz Matte; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Splendid processor (i7-11800H)
  • Splendid graphics card (RTX 3060)
Cons
  • So-so memory amount (16GB)
  • Bulky (5.5 lbs)

Acer Predator Helios 300

6
N/A
Price
$1600
i7-11800H | RTX 3060 | 24 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 15.6″ 144Hz IPS G-Sync; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Up to the mark graphics card (RTX 3060)
  • High refresh rate display (144Hz)
Cons
  • Run-of-the-mill memory amount (16GB)
  • Heavy (5.1 lbs)

Lenovo Legion 5

7
N/A
Price
$1650
Ryzen 7 5800H | RTX 3050 Ti | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 15.6″ 165Hz IPS G-Sync FreeSync; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Splendid processor (Ryzen 7 5800H)
  • Splendid display (15.6 165Hz IPS G-Sync FreeSync)
Cons
  • Substandard graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)

Acer Nitro 5 I

8
N/A
Price
$1700
i7-11800H | RTX 3050 Ti | 32 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD; 1000 GB HDD | 17.3″ 144Hz IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Superb processor (i7-11800H)
  • Decent memory amount (32GB)
Cons
  • Middle-of-the-road graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)

Acer Nitro 5

9
N/A
Price
$1800
i7-11800H | RTX 3050 Ti | 64 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 17.3″ 144Hz IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Solid processor (i7-11800H)
  • Excellent memory amount (64GB)
Cons
  • Unexceptional graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)
  • Bulky (4.8 lbs)

Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen

10
N/A
Price
$2600
i9-10885H | Quadro T2000 | 32 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Good memory amount (32GB)
  • Featherweight (3.7 lbs)

Lenovo Thinkpad P1 GEN

11
N/A
Price
$2600
i7-10850H | Quadro T2000 | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 15.6″ OLED HDR Touch; 3840×2160
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Excellent display (15.6 OLED HDR Touch)
  • Adequate memory amount (32GB)

Lenovo Thinkpad P17 Intel

12
N/A
Price
$2900
i9-10885H | Quadro RTX 3000 | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 17.3″ IPS HDR; 3840×2160
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Up to scratch memory amount (32GB)
  • Sizable 1TB SSD

Lenovo Thinkpad P17

13
N/A
Price
$2900
i9-10885H | Quadro RTX 3000 | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 17.3″ IPS HDR; 3840×2160
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Adequate memory amount (32GB)
  • Spacious 1TB SSD
Cons
  • Bulky (7.7 lbs)

MSI GS76 Stealth 11UH-029

14
Good price-to-performance ratio
Price
$3160
i7-11800H | RTX 3080 | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 17.3″ 300Hz IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Excellent graphics card (RTX 3080)
  • Lightweight (5.4 lbs)
Cons
  • Average processor (i7-11800H)
  • Ordinary memory amount (32GB)

Eluktronics MECH-15

15
Adobe After Effects laptop under $4000
Price
$3200
i7-11800H | RTX 3080 | 64 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 15.6″ 165Hz IPS; 2560×1440
Pros and cons
Pros
  • First-class graphics card (RTX 3080)
  • Sufficient display (15.6 165Hz IPS)
Cons
  • So-so processor (i7-11800H)

Eluktronics Prometheus XVII

16
N/A
Price
$3600
i7-11800H | RTX 3080 | 64 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 17.3″ 165Hz IPS Touch; 2560×1440
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Up to the mark display (17.3 165Hz IPS Touch)
  • Solid memory amount (64GB)
Cons
  • Substandard processor (i7-11800H)

Lenovo-2021

17
N/A
Price
$4450
i7-10875H | Quadro RTX 4000 | 128 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS HDR; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Solid memory amount (128GB)
  • Spacious 1TB SSD
Cons
  • Ordinary processor (i7-10875H)
  • Unexceptional graphics card (Quadro RTX 4000)
Alternatives
$4,000
Lenovo-2021
Pros
  • Competent memory amount (64GB)
  • Mighty 1TB SSD
Cons
  • Underwhelming processor (i7-10875H)
  • Mediocre graphics card (Quadro RTX 4000)

Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen

18
Adobe After Effects laptop under $6000
Price
$4590
i9-10885H | Quadro RTX 4000 | 64 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS HDR; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Competent memory amount (64GB)
  • Hefty 1TB SSD
Cons
  • So-so processor (i9-10885H)
  • Substandard graphics card (Quadro RTX 4000)

Comparison spreadsheet

I’ve taken the time to create a spreadsheet with all the information you need in order to find the best laptop for Adobe After Effects. Check it right here!

Table of Best Laptops for Adobe After Effects

LaptopPrice (approx)
Acer Swift X SFX14-41G-R1S6$920
MSI Sword$1150
Lenovo Legion 5$1230
MSI GF65 Thin$1460
Sager NP7880P$1480
Acer Predator Helios 300$1600
Lenovo Legion 5$1650
Acer Nitro 5 I$1700
Acer Nitro 5$1800
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen$2600
Lenovo Thinkpad P1 GEN$2600
Lenovo Thinkpad P17 Intel$2900
Lenovo Thinkpad P17$2900
MSI GS76 Stealth 11UH-029$3160
Eluktronics MECH-15$3200
Eluktronics Prometheus XVII$3600
Lenovo-2021$4450
Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen$4590
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Ethan

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