Best Laptop for Autodesk 3DS MAX 2022

Autodesk 3DS MAX 2022 While Autodesk 3ds Max is used mainly for modeling, it is also widely used in game development and motion graphics, two fields in which I’m currently working. In the last two years, I’ve been designing several projects that required extensive modeling and animation. I had to learn several programs like Maya and Cinema 4D along the way, but none of them allowed me to explore 3D space to its fullest extent as Autodesk 3ds Max did.

Any good professional artist will tell you that it takes more than a laptop to become great at 3ds Max; there’s an enormous amount of effort involved, and talent is a must. However, with the right laptop and enough motivation – anyone can get on their way to create content for great video games or top-notch feature films.

So let’s jump right into it – here are my recommendations on what makes a great laptop for Autodesk 3ds Max 2022.

TL;DR
  • Autodesk 3ds Max is used mainly for modeling and rendering, but it’s also widely used in game development and motion graphics
  • With the right laptop and enough motivation – anyone can get on their way to create content for great video games or top-notch feature films.
  • Check my complete spreadsheet of 100 laptops compared in depth!

Requirements for a Autodesk 3DS MAX 2022 laptop

Major Graphics card

Workstation vs. consumer graphics

3ds max 3d

As the title says, the question is what kind of graphics to choose for Autodesk 3DS MAX 2022. As a 3D designer, you have two options: a certified professional card or a non-certified consumer card. I’ll try to briefly compare these two options.

The most stable chips are reserved for Nvidia’s Quadro and AMD’s Pro lines. In theory, professional software like 3DS Max will be more stable on these cards, but usually it’s highly unlikely to notice that in practice. You also get custom drivers that are specifically tweaked and tested to work with all the features Autodek 3DS Max (and other professional applications) can offer. But these cards are more expensive – especially high-end cards. Also, it is worth to mention that selection of laptops containing this kind of GPUs is very limited, at least compared to consumer-grade laptops.

That being said, a consumer card might be more sufficient and will let you play games on the side. You can get a laptop with an entry-level GPU (let’s say GTX 1660 Ti) for around $1000 or go for a laptop with middle-range GPU (something like RTX 3060) for around $1500. If you’re working on bigger projects and need more powerfull graphics processor – there is RTX 3070 or RTX 3080. Prices of laptops containing these cards will noramally start at around $2000. A consumer card might be sufficient if you’re playing new games on the side, but then again, you can just buy a dedicated gaming laptop instead of compromising on your design performance.

GPU Rendering

As I mentioned before, some rendering engines use or can be set to use GPU. The most popular one is called Arnold. It can utilize either CPU or GPU, but it will get the job done much faster when set to use the power of GPU. Another great example is Nvidia’s Iray, but as you can say from the manufacturer – only Nvidia GPUs are supported.

So what’s the best option? If you’re not playing games – get an entry-level professional card ($1000). If you’re doing this full-time or part-time and can afford it – go for a high-end professional card ($3000+). Otherwise – buy the mid-range professional card ($2000+) and invest more in other important components such as RAM.

TL;DR
  • GPU rendering is much faster than CPU rendering
  • Get either GTX 1660 Ti or RTX 3060 (or something in between) if your budget is tight
  • I’d say the sweet spot for multipurpose laptop is high-end consumer grade GPUs like RTX 3070 or RTX 3080
  • Look for Nvidia Quadro or AMD Pro series only if your wallet is fat and you plan to use the laptop professionaly (as these GPUs are not suitable for gaming)

Major Processor

Processor

A CPU is the backbone of a computer and plays a key role in everything we do. If it’s powerful enough, you can expect excellent performance. However, in the case of rendering engines that are CPU-based, a powerful modern processor is a must. All in all, as a rule of thumb I can say that CPU rendering is more precise and the GPU rendering is faster.

CPU Rendering

Some rendering engines will utilize explicitly CPU, some – explicitly GPU, and some will let you choose between two. For example, Scanline and Autodesk Ray Tracer rendering engines only use CPU. They both also take advantage of multithreading, that means the more cores your CPU have – the faster you get your job done. Naturally, as CPU utilizes main computer RAM (in contrast of GPU, which almost always have dedicated VRAM), it’s recommended to get a laptop with more RAM .

Requirements

For Autodesk 3DS MAX 2022 I recommend choosing a processor from Intel Core i5-1135G7 to i9-11900H. This is because Intel processors have been used by Autodesk for a long time and offer a solid performance for an affordable price. [In contrast, lower-end AMD models may sometimes not offer that great compability for the price as they usually have lower single-core speed](a benchmark of amd vs intel). That may not be true for higher end AMD Ryzen models like the Ryzen 9 series. If your budget is big enough and you’re choosing a laptop at that higher price range – Intel’s i9 and AMD’s Ryzen 9 are both great choices.

Choosing a processor should be done with one thing in mind – power! A CPU that has sufficient cores to take on 3DS MAX will provide optimal performance. In contrast, CPUs with fewer cores may struggle with complex scenes or ones that use deferred rendering. For this reason, many professionals use Intel Core i7-10XX0H CPUs because they’re fast enough for both CAD and 3DS MAX 2022 renderers while still being reasonably priced.

Recommendations

Here are my recommendations: if you’re tight on budget, then get an Intel Core i5-1135G7; for a mid-range laptop – go with Intel Core i7-11800H; and for the best laptop – select an Intel Core i9-11900H or AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS.

TL;DR
  • CPU rendering is more precise than GPU rendering (but slower)
  • Autodesk 3DS MAX 2022 CPU rendering engines take advantage of multithreading, so you should look for a laptop with more cores
  • Get Intel i5 series as the bare minimum choice (i3 series will just not be enough)
  • Intel i7 is the sweet spot for must users
  • Go with Intel i9 or AMD Ryzen 9 series if you can afford that

Major Memory

Minimum (16 GB)

Memory ram laptop

Even if you’re on a very tight budget, I cannot recommend any lower than that. 16 GB is enough to run Autodesk 3DS MAX, but if it should be considered as the bare minimum. If you do more complex scenes you should definitely think about 32 GB.

Recommended (32 GB)

If you’re looking for a laptop that can take most of the challenges, look for no less than 32 GB. That is definitely the sweet spot for any beginner Autodesk 3DS Max user as it won’t break the bank and will be able to run many tasks (as my mentioned CPU rendering) without breaking a sweat.

Best (64 GB or 128 GB)

If you’re looking for maximum performance and reliability in the long term, then 64 GB is your answer. 64 GB laptops will come with an increase in price – $2500 – $5000 in 2021 – but if you’re willing to shell out the extra cash for the increased RAM capacity, then this is an investment that will last years. I recommend considering this option if your workload includes CAD design or any type of intensive rendering work. CPU rendering will also take advantage of more RAM. Lastly, if you have that kind of money and you come across a good deal for a laptop containing 128 GB RAM – there is no reason to stop, but I must say it’s tough to find those on the market.

TL;DR

16 GB is enough for most people, but not all. Look for 32 GB if you do more complex scenes or render large files. 64 GB or 128 GB is recommended if you do heavy CAD design or rendering work.

Optional requirements for a Autodesk 3DS MAX 2022 laptop

19 Best Laptops for Autodesk 3DS MAX 2022

Asus TUF

1
N/A
Price
$1050
i5-11260H | RTX 3050 Ti | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 17.3″ 144Hz; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Adequate processor (i5-11260H)
  • Great memory amount (32GB)
Cons
  • Mediocre graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)

ASUS VivoBook Pro 14 M3401QC-EB74

2
Laptop with insane price and performance ratio
Price
$1200
Ryzen 7 5800H | RTX 3050 | 16 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 14″ OLED; 2880×1800
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Very good processor (Ryzen 7 5800H)
  • Very good graphics card (RTX 3050)
Cons
  • Average memory amount (16GB)

ASUS TUF Dash

3
Autodesk 3DS MAX 2022 laptop under $2000
Price
$1290
i7-11370H | RTX 3050 Ti | 40 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 15.6″ 144Hz IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Fair memory amount (40GB)
  • Featherweight (4.4 lbs)
Cons
  • Underwhelming graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)

Asus ROG Strix G17

4
Plenty of features for the money
Price
$1390
Ryzen 7 4800H | RTX 3060 | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 17.3″ 144Hz IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Awesome processor (Ryzen 7 4800H)
  • Sufficient graphics card (RTX 3060)
Alternatives
$1,150
MSI Sword
Pros
  • Very good processor (i7-11800H)
  • Very good graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)
Cons
  • Not the best memory amount (16GB)
  • Bulky (4.6 lbs)

GIGABYTE AORUS 15P XD

5
N/A
Price
$1400
i7-11800H | RTX 3070 | 16 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 15.6″ 240Hz IPS-level; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Very good processor (i7-11800H)
  • Excellent graphics card (RTX 3070)

GIGABYTE AORUS 15P XD

6
Great value
Price
$1450
i7-11800H | RTX 3070 | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 15.6″ 240Hz IPS-level; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Excellent processor (i7-11800H)
  • First-class graphics card (RTX 3070)

Sager NP7880P

7
N/A
Price
$1480
i7-12700H | RTX 3060 | 16 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 17.3″ 144Hz Matte; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Very good processor (i7-11800H)
  • Up to the mark memory amount (32GB)
Alternatives
$1,520
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
Pros
  • Excellent processor (Ryzen 9 5900HS)
  • Up to scratch graphics card (RTX 3060)

Acer Predator Helios 300

8
Laptop with insane price and performance ratio
Price
$1540
i7-11800H | RTX 3060 | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 15.6″ 144Hz IPS G-Sync; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Very good processor (i7-11800H)
  • Awesome graphics card (RTX 3060)
Cons
  • Not the best memory amount (32GB)

ASUS ROG Zephyrus

9
N/A
Price
$1740
Ryzen 9 5900HS | RTX 3080 | 16 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 15.6″ 165Hz; 2560×1440
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Solid processor (Ryzen 9 5900HS)
  • Superb graphics card (RTX 3070)
Cons
  • Middle-of-the-road memory amount (16GB)

MSI GP66 Leopard

10
Great value
Price
$2030
i7-11800H | RTX 3080 | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 15.6″ 144Hz; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Very good graphics card (RTX 3080)
  • Mighty 1TB SSD
Cons
  • Mediocre processor (i7-11800H)
  • Underwhelming memory amount (32GB)

ASUS ROG Zephyrus

11
N/A
Price
$2230
Ryzen 9 5900HS | RTX 3070 | 40 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 15.6″ 165Hz IPS-level G-Sync; 2560×1440
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Splendid CPU (Ryzen 9 5900HS)
  • Awesome GPU (RTX 3070)

Eluktronics MECH-15

12
N/A
Price
$2250
i7-12700H | RTX 3060 | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 15.6″ 240Hz IPS; 2560×1440
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Terrific processor (Ryzen 9 5900HX)
  • Very good graphics card (RTX 3080)

Acer Nitro 5

13
Great value
Price
$2300
Ryzen 7 5800H | RTX 3080 | 64 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD; 2000 GB HDD | 17.3″ 360Hz IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Solid graphics card (RTX 3080)
  • Splendid memory amount (64GB)
Cons
  • Unexceptional processor (Ryzen 7 5800H)

ASUS ROG Strix Scar

14
Forget about shortage of storage
Price
$2600
Ryzen 9 5900HX | RTX 3080 | 64 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 15.6″ 300Hz IPS G-Sync; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Great processor (Ryzen 9 5900HX)
  • Splendid graphics card (RTX 3080)

Lenovo Thinkpad P1 Gen

15
N/A
Price
$2600
i9-10885H | Quadro T2000 | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS HDR; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Professional grade GPU (Quadro T2000)
  • Competent memory amount (32GB)

Lenovo Thinkpad P17

16
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
  • Awesome CPU (i9-10885H)
  • Professional grade GPU (Quadro RTX 3000)

Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen

17
N/A
Price
$3650
i9-11950H | RTX 3080 | 64 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 16″ IPS HDR; 3840×2400
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Splendid processor (i9-11950H)
  • Very good graphics card (RTX 3080)

Lenovo-2021

18
N/A
Price
$4150
i7-10875H | Quadro RTX 4000 | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS HDR; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Professional grade GPU (Quadro RTX 4000)
  • Decent memory amount (32GB)

Lenovo-2021

19
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
  • Terrific memory amount (128GB)
  • Professional grade GPU (Quadro RTX 4000)

Comparison spreadsheet

If you’re looking for the best laptops for Autodesk 3DS MAX 2022, here’s the link to my spreadsheet. It has all the necessary information, so feel free to take a look!

Table of Best Laptops for Autodesk 3DS MAX 2022

LaptopPrice (approx)
Asus TUF$1050
ASUS VivoBook Pro 14 M3401QC-EB74$1200
ASUS TUF Dash$1290
Asus ROG Strix G17$1390
GIGABYTE AORUS 15P XD$1400
GIGABYTE AORUS 15P XD$1450
Sager NP7880P$1480
Acer Predator Helios 300$1540
ASUS ROG Zephyrus$1740
MSI GP66 Leopard$2030
ASUS ROG Zephyrus$2230
Eluktronics MECH-15$2250
Acer Nitro 5$2300
ASUS ROG Strix Scar$2600
Lenovo Thinkpad P1 Gen$2600
Lenovo Thinkpad P17$2900
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen$3650
Lenovo-2021$4150
Lenovo-2021$4450
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Ethan

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