3ds Max is a widely used program among game developers, TV commercial studios, and architects. And if you are planning a career in one of these fields, and wondering which laptop is best for 3ds Max, you’ve come to the right place!  Because we have selected some of the best laptops for 3ds Max available out there. But before we jump to our curated list, let’s first find out more about 3ds Max and its system requirements.

What is 3ds Max?

3ds Max is owned by Autodesk, the same company responsible for other modeling programs such as Maya and AutoCAD. When it comes to creating 3D models, animations, games and images, 3ds Max is the industry standard.  3ds Max is very popular among game developers and architects,  thanls to its speed and simplicity when performing tasks such as character modeling and animation, and  rendering photorealistic images of buildings and other objects.

However, as most 3D modeling programs, 3ds Max can be quite demanding on the processor, RAM, and the graphics card. Let’s have a look at the official system requirements for 3ds Max 2019, which you can find also here:

CPU 64-bit Intel® or AMD® multi-core processor with SSE4.2 instruction set
RAM 4 GB of RAM minimum (8 GB or more recommended)
Storage 6 GB of free disk space for install
Graphics Card Refer to 3ds Max Certified Hardware for a detailed list of recommended systems and graphics cards
Operating System Microsoft® Windows® 7 (SP1), Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 Professional operating system

 

As  you can see, there isn’t really much information, as these are the minimum required hardware and software specifications.  If you want to make sure you’ll get a laptop that’s capable of running 3ds Max properly, you should dig a little bit more. One thing sure, you’ll definitely need a Windows laptop, as Autodesk no longer offers technical support or troubleshooting help for 3ds Max installations running under virtualization, such as Boot Camp, Parallels or VMWare.

What to consider when looking for a laptop for 3ds Max?

In order to get the best performance, there are a number of things to consider when looking for a laptop for running 3ds Max smoothly, without crashes, lagging, or other problems. Here are a few recommendations:

Processor : Like many 3D modeling programs out there,  most of the  tasks in 3ds Max will only utilize a single CPU core, this goes for creating, modifying, and animating 3D models. This means that a high frequency CPU is a better choice for 3ds Max, than a CPU that has more cores and a lower frequency.  However, having more cores can be very helpful when it comes to rendering. We recommend that you get at least an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor; and if you’re planning to work on complex project, get an i7.

RAM: While the amount of RAM needed normally depends on a particular project, the minimum memory required when using 3ds Max is 4 GB RAM. The recommended memory is 8 GB and you can even go for a 16GB if you’re going to work on relatively big projects.  For complex projects or high resolution rendering, you can go for a laptop that comes with32GB of RAM.

Storage : It is recommended to use an SSD as the primary drive. Its high speeds will allow you to launch applications, load files and allows your system to boot faster than any hard drive. To install 3ds Max, you need at least 6 GB free disk space.

GPU : The graphics card is one of the main components to consider in a laptop for 3ds Max. When animating models in 3ds Max, the graphics card is responsible of how many frames per second the viewport is able to display the model at. A more powerful graphics card will provide a smoother experience. As you can see from the official system requirements,  Autodesk has a list of certified  video cards. However, the video cards included are only NVIDIA Quadro and AMD FirePro graphics family cards , found in workstation laptops.  There are a few Nvidia GeForce cards too, but they have  only  been “Tested”.  For most users, a gaming Nvidia Geforce card will provide the same performance as a Quadro, while being considerably cheaper.  However, for professional users, and productions studios, it is better to go for a professional grade video card, as they are the ones supported by Autodesk.

Display resolution: For  optimal performance, we recommend at least a 15 inch laptop with a full HD display. With a smaller display, it’s hard to see the details on the model you’re working on. A higher resolution is also not very suitable, unless you’re using a bigger external display. An IPS display is also recommended, as it offer better viewing angles and better colors.

 

So, now that you have an idea what type of laptops we’ll be looking at, let’s check some of the best laptops for 3ds Max available right now.

Best Laptops for 3ds Max:

HP Pavilion 15-cx0056wm : The best budget laptop for 3ds Max

If you’re on a budget and need an affordable laptop for 3ds Max, then the HP Pavilion 15-cx0056wm should be your go-to choice. This laptop comes with an 8th generation Core i5 8300H processor, 8GB of Ram, a 1TB hard drive, and a dedicated Nvidia GTX 1050Ti card.

The Pavilion 15-cx0056wm guarantees a solid performance when it comes to playing games,  and it is capable of running most of the popular titles at medium to high settings  with no noticeable lags. It is also a very good candidate for 3d modelling software, thanks to its 8th generation processor, and the dedicated graphics. The only you might want to add is more probably more RAM, since this laptops comes with 8GB, but there is still a free RAM slot.

The build quality is also quite good considering the price and the specs of the laptop. And to be fairly honest, the design of this Pavilion 15 is better than most of the higher end gaming machines out there, with their flashy red trims and aggressive lines. The Pavillion 15 is a good choice if you’re looking for a laptop you can carry to the office, without everyone knowing it’s a gaming laptop.

Processor Intel Core i5-8300H Processor
RAM 8GB
Storage 1TB, HDD
Graphics Dedicated, NVIDIA GeForce 1050Ti
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080, IPS
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB Type C  port

3- USB 3.1 port

1 – HDMI port,

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1,

Battery up to 7 hours battery life

 

MSI GV62 8RD-276

At a relatively higher price tag, the MSI GV62 8RD-276 is another great choice, if you’re looking for a gaming laptop that you can also use for 3ds Max. The MSI GV62 8RD-276 comes with a 7 generation Intel Core i7-8750H, 16GB of RAM, a 128GB Nvme SSD and a 1TB HDD, and a dedicated Nvidia GTX 1050Ti graphics card.

The MSI GV62 8RD-276 also offers plenty of ports, and comes in a sleek black aluminum chassis. The design was also quite successful, with the red trims around the grills and air vents of the laptop, which adds a nice touch without being over the top.

Processor Intel Core i7-8750H Processor
RAM 16GB
Storage 128GB NVMe + 1TB HDD
Graphics Dedicated, NVIDIA GeForce 1050Ti
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080, IPS
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB 3.1  port Type C

2- USB 3.1 port

1- USB 2.0 port

1 – HDMI port, Mini Display Port

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1,

Battery up to 7 hours battery life

Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-78VL

The new Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-78VL is a very popular choice among gamers and users looking for a powerful laptop that can handle heavy tasks such as video editing and of course 3D modelling software such as 3ds Max.

The Helios 300 comes with the new 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H , 16GB of RAM, a 256GB solid state drive, and features the latest NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti graphics card.  It also features a gorgeous 15,6 inch Full HD IPS display, that produces sharp and accurate colors. The screen also has a 144Hz refresh rate, which is a great addition for a gaming laptop.

The build quality is also very good, and the laptop is relatively portable, as far as gaming laptops go, with a weight of 5.07Lbs. However,  the typical aggressive gaming design might not be to everyone’s style, and also with a battery life of 6 hours at best, the Helios 300 isn’t the best choice if you’re long for a laptop that you can carry around to work or school. But that’s clearly something it was never designed for!

Processor Intel Core i7-9750H Processor
RAM 16GB
Storage 256GB, SSD
Graphics Dedicated, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080, IPS
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB Type C  port

3- USB 3.1 port

1 – HDMI port, Mini Display Port

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery up to 6 hours battery life

 

MSI WE73 8SJ-078

At similar price range, we have the MSI WE73 8SJ-078 workstation laptop. The MSI WE73 8SJ-078 is a 17,3 inch Mobile workstation laptop designed for those looking for a professional grade machine. It comes with an 8th generation Intel core i7-8750H processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. The MSI WE73 also features an NVIDIA Quadro P2000, which is certified By Autodesk for 3ds Max, and offers a performance similar to a GTX 1060.

The MSI WE73 8SJ-078 also come with a 17,3 inch display; at Full HD resolution. The display is also IPS and covers 94% NTSC. It also comes with a good number of ports, including a USB type C. Battery life is however very limited, which is understandable considering this is a workstation.

Processor Intel Core i7-8750H Processor
RAM 16GB
Storage 256GB, SSD
Graphics Dedicated, NVIDIA Quadro P2000
Screen 17,3 inch, 1920X1080, IPS
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB Type C  port

3- USB 3.1 port

1 – HDMI port, Mini Display Port

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery up to 3 hours battery life

 

Dell XPS 9570 -7996SLV-PUS

The Dell XPS 9570 is a great choice, if you’re looking for a laptop to run 3ds Max but want something more portable. The XPS 9570 comes with an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8750H Processor, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a dedicated Nvidia GTX 1050Ti graphics card.

The XPS 9570 is not only capable of running 3ds Max with no issues, but you can also play some of your favorite games. This laptop also features a 15,6 inch Full HD display, which is one of the best in its category, with 100% sRGB and a brightness that can go up to 400 nits.

The XPS 9570 also offers a good number of ports for its size, and the build quality feels very solid and durable. Battery life is also very good, and you can even get up to 10 hours from a full charge.

Processor Intel Core i7-8750H Processor
RAM 16GB
Storage 512GB, SSD
Graphics Dedicated, NVIDIA GeForce 1050Ti
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080, IPS
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB 3.1  port Type C

2- USB 3.1 port

1 – HDMI port,

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1,

Battery up to 10 hours battery life

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