Best Laptops for Blender [2021 Reviewed]

Best Laptops for Blender

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Introduction

Are you looking to get started on the wonderful world of content creation? Or perhaps you’re a veteran looking to up their game? Well, for many content creators, finding the right software is important. But that’s only half of the equation. Purchasing a powerful machine is equally crucial. However, not everyone wants a bulky desktop workstation that they can’t carry around with them. That’s why you want to take a look at the best laptops for blender, a powerful machine will go a long way in ensuring you get work done on the go and at home, this is why we have come up with a buying guide for you to review the top laptops for blender!

Blender is a powerful 3D content creation tool. It can handle all your needs like a champ. Whether it’s sculpting, modeling, rigging, photoshop, animation, or even rendering, the software performs with flying colors. First and third-party support for the software is excellent. With Eevee and Cycles, you can easily render your images and perform complex texture work. Moreover, Blender’s library of presets, plugins, and extra functionality is staggering. You can draw 2D art in 3D and even use studio grade visual effects simulators.

Of course, you need capable hardware to make use of all these features. For all types of content creation that doesn’t involve rendering, any midrange laptop will perform just fine. If you’re looking to delve into rendering or upscale your workflow to more heavy rendering, then a much more powerful machine becomes imperative. You need a processor that’s equipped with 4 cores and 8 threads. If possible, getting one with 8 cores and 16 threads will set you up nicely for the future. On the other hand, having a good discrete graphics solution makes all the difference when it comes to rendering. You should aim for a graphics card that has a lot of cores and video memory.

It can be difficult to navigate uncharted territory. You never want to buy a machine that’s not good bang for your buck. That’s why we’ve done the research and picked out 3 laptops for you to consider. Keeping all the requirements of Blender in mind, these machines are a great option for any user.

System Requirements for Blender

Minimum
Recommended
Optimal
Processor
64-bit dual core 2Ghz CPU with SSE2 support
64-bit quad core CPU
64-bit eight core CPU
RAM
4 GB RAM
16 GB RAM
32 GB RAM
Display
1280×768 display
Full HD display
Full HD displays
Mouse
Mouse, trackpad or pen+tablet
Three button mouse or pen+tablet
Three button mouse and pen+tablet
Graphics
Graphics card with 1 GB RAM, OpenGL 3.3
Graphics card with 4 GB RAM
Graphics card with +12 GB RAM

Supported Graphics Cards

NVIDIA: GeForce 400 and newer, Quadro Tesla GPU architecture and newer, including RTX-based cards, with NVIDIA drivers (list of all GeForce and Quadro GPUs)

AMD: GCN 1st gen and newer (list of all AMD GPUs)

Intel: Haswell and newer (list of all Intel GPUs)

macOS: version 10.13 or newer with supported hardware

Always make sure to install the latest drivers from the graphics card manufacturer website.

These requirements are for basic Blender operation, Cycles rendering using the GPU has higher requirements.

Source: Official Blender System Requirements Page

Top 3 Laptops for Blender [Reviews]

MSI CUK GF75 Thin Laptop

A lot of users, including us, have sung MSI’s praises for their GF line of laptops. These laptops bring some serious hardware to the table in a chassis that’s sleek and cool enough to handle the strain. For an intensive application like Blender, we’ve picked out the GF75 Thin as one of the best choices.

You’ll get a brilliant processor in this machine. It’s equipped with the latest 10th generation Intel Core i7-10750H 6-core 12-thread processor with 12 megabytes of cache memory and clock speeds up to a whopping 5.0 GHz. This beast of a processor is powerful enough to handle most single-core workloads without breaking a sweat. This bodes well for gaming too as the processor is a champ when it comes to gaming performance. It’s in a whole class above the competition. For multiple production cycles in your Blender project, the 12 threads on this processor is more than enough. You can expect great speeds in multi-threaded workloads. Combined with top-notch single-threaded performance and high clock speeds, the i7 10750H can run Blender smoothly without any lag. More importantly, it will allow you to perform operations much faster – saving you valuable time in the process.

For rendering work, the GF75 Thin is no slouch. The graphics card on offer is an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GDDR6. Initially making headlines as a “no compromises 1080p graphics card”, the 1660 Ti has since been used by content creators as well. The clock speed boosts up to 1770 MHz and the memory speed is at 12GBPs. There are 1536 CUDA Cores – a great number to work with. These specifications are enough to cut your rendering times significantly. This is especially true if you are upgrading from a machine without a discrete graphics card. While rendering times won’t be superfast, it’s good enough for most users and will save them a lot of time. The 1660 Ti can handle most texture maps and geometry with ease. You can also leverage NVIDIA’s specialized CUDA cores instead of using OpenGL. This can unlock extra performance depending on the situation.

Storage and memory are places where the GF75 Thin doesn’t compromise. You’ll get 64 gigabytes of fast DDR4 266MHz RAM, speedy 1TB NVMe SSD, and even 2TB of HDD storage. The RAM capacity is massive and enough for any application that you can throw at it. Twenty chrome tabs, hardware virtualization, several concurrent Blender projects – the RAM can handle all these programs and their assets with speed and efficiency. You’re also well set up for the future as you do not really need to upgrade the RAM capacity down the line. Similarly, the 1TB NVMe SSD will ensure exporting your render or moving large video files will be smooth and breezy. The HDD storage is great for storing media, game setup files, and even large applications that you don’t use often.

The 1660 Ti is put to good use as the GF75 Thin sports a vibrant 17.3-inch FHD IPS display with a 3ms response time. It has great viewing angles and color vibrancy. The IPS panel that MSI used is capable of great color reproduction. However, out of the box calibration has room to be better. With a few tweaks, you can get the desired output. For gaming and animation, you can expect smooth performance thanks to the display’s high refresh rate and low response times. The great thing about the display is its narrow bezels across all four sides – giving it an 88% screen-to-body ratio. The Precision Touchpad is great to use and highly responsive. The backlit keyboard allows convenient operation in the dark – even though you only have the red color.

Wireless features are fairly standard while the port selection is excellent. You get 1 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port, 3 USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, 1 HDMI port, 1 Microphone In, and 1 Headphone Out. These are enough to hook up any external drives, readers, or devices that you might have. The wireless solution is an 802.11 AX Wireless with Bluetooth 5.1. Paired with a 720p Webcam, the setup is good enough for most zoom calls and conferences. The GF75 Thin comes with Windows 10 Home pre-installed. 

MSI has taken great care in making this laptop portable. One of its great strengths is that it packs powerful hardware and a large screen in a footprint that doesn’t exceed a 15-inch laptop by much. With dimensions of 15.63 x 10.24 x 0.90 inches and a weight of 4.85 pounds, the GF75 Thin is far more portable than most competitors with similar performance. The design itself is very sophisticated and good-looking. MSI hasn’t gone overboard with flashy gamer accents, instead choosing to use matte black finishes, sharp corners, and dark grey accents. You don’t have to worry about thermal throttling as the cooling solution is enough to keep your components from getting toasty during heavy workloads. Under most circumstances, the machine runs cool and quiet. The 3-Cell, 51 Wh Lithium-Ion Polymer battery, however, provides average battery life. You can expect around 3-4 hours of mixed to heavy use.

If you’re looking for a great combination of powerful hardware in a portable and cool chassis, then the GF75 Thin will impress you.

PROS
CONS
Powerful 10th gen i7 processor
Battery life could be better
Massive RAM and storage capacity
 
Big and bright display
 
Runs cool under load
 

ASUS TUF VR Ready Gaming Laptop

Asus has been a mainstay in the laptop market and their TUF line of products continue to amaze. Featuring some of the most powerful hardware you can expect at this price range, the ASUS TUF VR Ready Gaming Laptop is our pick.

At the heart of this machine is the latest AMD Ryzen 7 4800H processor with 8 cores, 16 threads, clock speeds up to 4.2 GHz, and 8 megabytes of cache memory. Ryzen products reign supreme in the desktop market, and it’s great to see it dominating in the laptop scene as well. The 4800H has the best multi-threaded performance across all processors that are available at this range. Its single-core performance is no joke either. It regularly trades blows with even i9 processors. The 4800H is a beast when it comes to productivity workloads and it enjoys up to a 50% increase in performance compared to Intel competition. That means you can perform all of your Blender functions at breakneck speeds without any lag. If you’re looking for the maximum performance for Blender, the 4800H is the way to go.

Paired with the processor is a powerful graphics card. You’re getting an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card with 6 gigabytes of GDDR6 memory at 14 GBPs, boost clocks up to 1680 MHz, and 1920 CUDA cores. That is enough horsepower to render most mid-level content with ease. There’s hardware level ray tracing to accelerate raytraced lighting and shadows in applications. Tensor cores and deep learning AI are also great features. That’s why it’s been the most popular graphics card for content creators looking to use hardware acceleration for faster rendering. You can expect top-notch performance in Eevee and Blender Internal. If you’re looking to work with Cycles, the RTX 2060 delivers great performance and punches way above its weight class. This is because of NVIDIA’s Turing architecture and its improvements. While the RTX 2070 is similar to the GTX 1080 in rasterized games, it performs closer to the flagship 1080 Ti in Bender. Similarly, the RTX 2060 can match the GTX 1080 in Blender. That is amazing performance at this range.

The machine sports a 15.6-inch IPS Full HD 60 Hz Display that is vibrant and beautiful to look at it. Color accuracy and viewing angles are the strengths here, as is the case with most good quality IPS panels. Asus has calibrated the display very well so you can expect good performance out of the box. This is a perfectly serviceable display for those looking to engage in color critical work. However, those looking to game at high refresh rates will be bummed out by the 60 Hz rating on the display. It’s not as smooth as screens that have a higher refresh rate. However, it’s a worthy tradeoff for the image quality and if you’re not an E-sports gamer.

Storage and memory on this laptop are impressive, if not mind-blowing. There are 32 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM coupled with a 1TB SSD and a 1TB HDD. The RAM capacity is more than enough for all your Blender needs. Textures and assets have ample space to stay in memory and can be retrieved very fast. However, you may need to upgrade in the future as you upscale the size and number of your projects. While the SSD is not the fastest around, it is good enough for fast exporting and copying of large files. A strong suit for the ASUS TUF VR Ready is its keyboard. It is RGB backlit and has satisfying keys that anyone would love to type on. It’s perfect for late night coding sessions. The trackpad is average but gets the job done.

Connectivity features and port selection is nothing to write home about. You have your standard selection out of the box. There’s a single USB 3.1/USB 3.2 Gen 2 port that supports Display Port, a USB 2.0 Type-A port, 2 USB Type-A (USB 3.1 / USB 3.2 Gen 1) ports, an RJ45 Ethernet LAN port, an HDMI 4K Output, and a Headphone jack. The wireless solution features Dual-Band Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and Bluetooth 5.1. As noted in our review of the GF75, this selection is good enough for most users. Asus goes ahead of the pack by making this machine VR Ready. That means it will work seamlessly with the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality Ultra – while having the hardware necessary to achieve great performance.

The laptop comes with Windows 10 out of the box. A relative weak point for the ASUS TUF VR Ready laptop is its portability. Coming in at 5.07 pounds with dimensions of 14.2 x 10.1 x 1 inches, this machine is definitely on the bulkier side. It might be difficult to carry around for some users but most customer reviews say that it’s manageable. On top of that, the cooling solution that ASUS has implemented is not the best. The device may run warm under stress tests and heavy-duty use. The design itself is quite good with a uniform grey color scheme. If you’re looking for outstanding battery life, this laptop might disappoint. The 48 Whr battery is good for around 3 hours of mixed to heavy use.  

If you’re looking for top of the line CPU performance and a powerful graphics card in this price range, look no further than the ASUS TUF VR Ready Gaming Laptop.

PROS
CONS
Class-leading CPU performance
Device may be bulky for some users
Powerful RTX graphics card
Battery life is average
Gorgeous display
 
Great keyboard
 

Lenovo ThinkPad P53s Laptop

If you ask for a portable workstation recommendation, chances are you’ll hear about Lenovo’s ThinkPad series. Massively popular with a loyal fanbase, these laptops are reliable and powerful for most users out there. That’s why we’ve picked out the ThinkPad P53s for you.

Powering this machine is an 8th generation Intel i7-8565U processor with 4 cores, 8 threads, clock speeds up to 4.6 GHz, and 8 megabytes of cache memory. While it’s not the most powerful processor on this buying guide, it’s good enough for most Blender operations. It has great single-core performance that can help you breeze past single-threaded workloads. Multi-threaded performance leaves a lot to be desire but most users haven’t felt a significant hit to their workflow. For portable machines, this is a great processor with ample performance for all your needs.

The P52s features a 15.6-inch FHD IPS Display that’s gorgeous to look at. While the bezels are larger compared to other options, it’s not noticeable enough to interrupt the viewing experience. Color accuracy and vibrancy is great with dynamic viewing angles and contrast. Out of the box calibration is well done and you are good to go with color critical work. The display also handles motion very well which makes animation and video editing a joy on this device. Lenovo is known for their high-quality keyboards and the P52s doesn’t disappoint. The keys have a good tactile feel to them and the overall design leaves plenty of arm rest. The trackpad is similarly satisfying to use. On top of these, you also get a fingerprint reader for added security. You can biometrically authenticate and quickly unlock your machine with the fingerprint reader.

Powering the display is an NVIDIA Quadro P520 graphics card. NVIDIA’s Quadro line is more focused to deliver great performance on certain applications related to productivity, content creation, and data analysis. While gaming performance is lackluster, you can still play less graphically demanding games like Overwatch. Rendering with this graphics card won’t be a one stop solution. It will struggle with heavy rendering workloads and may not be ideal for complex texture work. However, it’s good enough for entry level use. If you’re looking to boost your rendering performance, then you can look into rendering farms. 

On aspect where the P52s falls behind the pack is in RAM and storage capacity. You’ll get 16 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM and 512 gigabytes of PCIe SSD storage on this machine. The RAM capacity is enough to allow Blender to run smoothly – even during larger projects. However, you will need to upgrade the capacity down the line as applications and projects become more and more demanding. Similarly, the SSD storage may get used up soon and you have to upgrade to increase your storage capacity. That being said, Lenovo put one of the faster SSDs on this machine and it shows in quicker boot and application load times. A relative strength of the P52s is its battery life. With a 3-Cell 57 Whr Battery, a good estimate would be around 5-6 hours of mixed to heavy use. This is excellent battery life for a device that’s as portable as the P52s.

There is a myriad of ports available on the P52s. You’ll get two USB 3.1 ports, one HDMI port, one Thunderbolt Port, one Type-C USB port, a Micro SD Reader, and a 3.5mm Combo Jack. This is enough for any user out there looking to hook up their devices to the laptop. The inclusion of the Thunderbolt port and the SD card reader opens up new doors. Lenovo goes a step further and includes a portable USB 3.0 data hub for even more convenience. Wireless features include 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5. 0, and an Ethernet LAN (RJ-45) port. All this is paired with a 720p Webcam.

Another standout feature of the P52s is its portability. Weighing just 3.9 pounds with dimensions of 9.76 x 14.4 x 0.75 inches, the P52s can be easily carried in a backpack for operation on the go. The overall design language is very minimalistic – which might appeal to a lot of users. Cooling performance is great and you can expect the machine to run cool under most scenarios. Lastly, the P52s comes with Windows 10 Pro pre-installed.

The P52s offers stellar performance in its form factor and combines it with great battery life. If you’re looking for a great entry way into the world of content creation, the P52s is an excellent purchase.

PROS
CONS
Beautiful Display out of the box
Rendering performance may be lacking for some users.
Very portable
 
Excellent battery life
 
Fast SSD
 

Final Words

We’ve looked at three different devices that you could buy for Blender. Each of them has enough hardware to run Blender with most, if not all, of its functions enabled smoothly without any lag. They are all great picks no matter the use case. But the best choice for you will depend on what you value more.

If you’re looking for a mid-range machine to dip your toes into Blender, then the P53s is the obvious choice. It is a reliable laptop with excellent battery life, quality of life features, and enough processing power to handle all of your Blender needs. It has a fingerprint reader if you care about biometric security. The design will appeal to most users and the display is quite amazing to use. You’ll get timely customer support and repairs should things go wrong. However, rendering performance is significantly lower compared to the competition. You also need to upgrade the RAM and storage capacity if you want to upscale your projects.

On the other hand, if having a decent amount of rendering performance without having to upgrade RAM and storage capacity is important to you, then consider buying the MSI GF75 Thin. It offers some of the best numbers and scores in benchmarks for laptops in its range. That’s some serious performance in a relatively small form factor. It has a powerful 10th generation i7 processor and a very capable NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card. You can expect superb performance in single-threaded Blender workloads as well as rendering times being cut in half if you’re upgrading from a machine without a discrete graphics card. For many, this level of performance is more than enough for even the most intensive Blender projects. However, the battery life on the laptop could be much better.

Lastly, if you care about having the maximum performance with no compromises, then the Asus TUF VR Ready Gaming Laptop is the best choice. With its Ryzen 7 4800H processor, this laptop crushes the competition when it comes to productivity performance. Both single-core and multi-core performance is top of the line. You can expect all of your Blender projects to run smoothly and finish processing much faster. This will save you valuable time that you can use elsewhere. The RTX 2060 graphics card is also a beast when it comes to rendering performance. You can easily use it to perform high level texture work, geometry, tessellation, and even raytracing. However, the device can be quite bulky for some people and its battery life is not the best.

 Considering all these factors, our vote goes out to the Asus TUF VR Ready Gaming Laptop. It has the best performance out of any laptop in its range and comes with ample storage and RAM capacity. It’s great out of the box and it’s going to age very well as you keep using it. No matter how intensive your workflow and rendering pipelines, this laptop can handle everything you can throw at it like a champ. It is highly recommended!