Autodesk Maya is  a key software for animators and modelers worldwide. Autodesk Maya enables you to perform 3D animation, character modeling, visual effects that are widely used in the film making, the television and videogame industry, as well. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in one these fields, or you’re already a professional, you’re probably here because you’re wondering which laptop to get for running Maya. Thanks to their ease of use and versatility, a laptop wan be a trustworthy companion through your journey – either for your learning or your everyday work. Here, we’ll be sharing reviews for five of the best laptops for Autodesk Maya.

What to look for when looking for a laptop for Maya?

As per the statement of the software house, the minimum hardware system requirements for Autodesk Maya can seem quite intriguing, especially when it comes to the graphics card.

CPU 64-bit Intel® or AMD® multi-core processor with SSE4.2 instruction set
Graphics Hardware Refer to the following pages for a detailed list of recommended systems and graphics cards:

Maya Certified Hardware

RAM 8 GB of RAM (16 GB or more recommended)
Disk Space 4 GB of free disk space for install
Pointing Device Three-button mouse

 

Truth is, the official system requirements don’t actually give a clear answer what to consider when looking for a laptop for Autodesk Maya. Sure, there is a list of certified hardware that you can choose from, but they usually only list workstations and professional grade laptops that are out of budget for most users. Depending on how you’re intending to use Maya, and what types of projects you’re willing to work on, most gaming laptops will perform just fine, and if you’re not doing any complex projects, even some  budget laptops can do well enough.

Here are some of things to consider when choosing a laptop for Maya:

Processor: In any case, we wouldn’t recommend getting a laptop with a processor lower than an 8th generation Intel Core i5. 3D Animation Software such as Maya, Cinema 4D, or 3ds Max, that involve animating virtual objects that appear in a three-dimensional space.  This type of workload mainly utilizes the processor, rather than the graphics card. So getting a powerful processor is key when buying a laptop for 3D animation. It should be noted that most of the time Maya will only be using a single CPU core for tasks such as creating, modifying, and animating 3D models. This is actually the case with most 3D animation software. And while that makes a high frequency CPU, regardless of the core count, an ideal choice for these tasks; it doesn’t mean that you should avoid getting a multicore processor.

RAM: We recommend a minimum of 8 GB of RAM for Maya. However, the amount of RAM you’ll need depends on your particular projects. For complex scenes or high resolution rendering, you may need up to 32GB of RAM. Luckily, in most laptops the RAM can be upgraded, so make sure to check if your next laptop has easy access to the RAM slots.

Graphics Card: As any 3D animation software, Autodesk Maya can be quite demanding on the graphic side of the hardware. Even if most of the workload is done by the processor, when creating, editing, and animating models in Maya, the amount of FPS your model will be displayed  at depends on the video card. For a smoother experience, you’re going to need a powerful dedicated graphics card. Also, if you’re planning to use any GPU rendering engines, it makes sense to invest in a powerful graphics card. if you’re not doing to work on any complex projects, even a laptop with an Nvidia Geforce MX150 can do the job. Nvidia’s gaming cards such as the GTX 1060 or 1070 also perform very well in Maya, and they are considerably cheaper than the professional certified Quadro series.

Storage: Storage helps the user to attain a good and smooth flow in work. It is good to opt for Solid State Drives (SSD) instead of the conventional Hard Disk Drives (HDD) as SSDs are faster and better than HDDs. SSD helps to reduce the time needed to boot the system, load programs, etc. You must have a laptop with inbuilt SSD. We recommend you to choose PCIe M.2 NVMe SSDs. It is a bit costly but will prove its worth as it can increase the speed of your work.

Other factors: When choosing a laptop for mainly running Autodesk Maya, you can go from a tight budget as 500$, way up to 2000$ for the most high-end performing machines. The final choice is going to depend on your actual needs. Of course, the higher you invest, the better Autodesk Maya will run smoothly on your device. Another spec that you might consider is the quality of the display. As you’ll going to work on 3D animation and visual effects, a Full HD display with a high refresh rate is recommended for the smoothest, lag-less experience.

So, without further ado, here are some of the best laptops for Maya.

Best Laptops for Maya:

Acer Aspire E15  E5-576G-5762

The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576G-5762 is a great all-purpose laptop and if you’re looking for a cheap budget laptop for Maya, then just go and get one. The Aspire E15 is equipped with an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM, a 256 GB SSD and a dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics card.

The Aspire E 15 offers a consistent performance and stays very responsive thanks to the included SSD, and the fast RAM. If you see the need for more raw power, you can easily upgrade the RAM up to 32 GB. You can also add a second hard drive for additional storage space.

The Aspire E15 also offers a great battery life: while Acer claims it can last 12 hours, you can expect an average of 8 hours in real world use, which is excellent at this price range!”

Processor Intel Core i5-8250U Processor
RAM 8GB
Storage 256GB, SSD
Graphics Dedicated, NVIDIA GeForce MX 150
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080, IPS
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB Type C  port

2- USB 3.0 port

1- USB 2.0 port

1 – HDMI port,

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1, DVD/RW

Battery up to 15 hours battery life

Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-78VL

Going for a higher budget, the new Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-78VL is not only an aggressive-looking gaming laptop, but it packs loads of power under the hood. The new Predator Helios 300  features the new i7-9750H processor, 16 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD. The new i7-9750H processor performs significantly better than last generation’s , and scores 13702 on average CPU Mark.  This laptop is also  also equipped with Nvidia latest GTX 1660Ti graphics card.

The Predator Helios 300 is designed to be a powerful gaming laptop, but thanks to its high specs you can use it to run Autodesk Maya and other 3D animation software, that are demanding on the graphics card. It is also one of the best laptops for Cinema 4D.

On top of that, the Predator Helios 300 is equipped with a USB Type-C port and a consistent cooling system, to avoid overheating.

Processor Intel Core i7-9750H Processor
RAM 16GB
Storage 256GB, SSD
Graphics Dedicated, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti with 6GB of GDDR5
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920 x 1080 IPS, 144hz
Connectivity and Ports 1- USB 3.1 port Type C

3- USB 3.1 port

1 – HDMI Port , Ethernet, Mini Display Port

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery Up to 6 hours battery life

Asus VivoBook Pro N705FD-ES76

At a similar price range, we have the Asus VivoBook Pro N705FD-ES76, a thin and portable 17.3” Full HD laptop. It’s definitely an option to consider if you wish for that wider view. The VivoBook Pro 17 features an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor, coupled with 16 GB of RAM. It offers a hybrid solution comprised of a 256 GB SSD, for the smoothest booting performance, and 1 TB of HDD for the additional storage space. The VivoBook Pro 17 is equipped with a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card, with 4 GB of RAM.

The VivoBook Pro 17 includes a USB Type-C port, a fingerprint reader for fast login and secure online payments and a backlit keyboard with a separate numeric keypad. Despite the wide display, it’s designed to be thin and lightweight, offering a good amount of battery life on top of that.

Processor Intel Core i7-8565U Processor
RAM 16GB
Storage 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD
Graphics Dedicated, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Twith 4GB of GDDR5
Screen 17,3 inch, 1920 x 1080 IPS
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB 3.1 (Type C) port1 – USB 3.1 ports

1 – USB 2.0 port

1 – HDMI port, RJ45

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.0

Battery Up to 7 hours battery life

MSI P65 Creator 8RF-450US 

Next, the MSI P65 Creator 8RF-450US is an ultra-thin 15.6” Full HD laptop, with an anti-glare display with a refresh rate of 144Hz. That’s perfect for the occasional outdoor use! The P65 Creator features an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor, 32 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD. It comes with the Windows 10 Professional operating system. The P65 Creator is equipped with a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX1070 graphics card, with 8 GB of RAM.

Even though it comes for a price, you’ll have trouble finding another laptop with the same raw power as the P65 Creator. The processing power coupled with a remarkable amount of RAM will take your Autodesk Maya experience to an all new level.

The P65 Creator includes a fingerprint reader and a Thunderbolt 3 port. It offers up to 8 hours of battery life on average use.

Processor Intel Core i7-8750H Processor
RAM 16GB
Storage 512GB Nvme SSD
Graphics Dedicated, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080, IPS
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB 3.1 Type C  port

3- USB 3.0 ports

1 – HDMI port,Mini Display Port

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery up to 8 hours battery life

GIGABYTE AERO 15-X9-9RT5

Our final recommended choice is the GIGABYTE AERO 15-X9-9RT5, a powerful machine with a 15.6”, thin bezel designed display with a refresh rate of 144Hz. The AERO 15 has a beautifully crafted, all metal chassis that is very slim, despite its high-end specs. It features an 8th generation Intel Core i9 processor, 16 GB of RAM and a 1 TB SSD. It’s also equipped with a dedicated Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070, with 8 GB of RAM.

The AERO 15’s display is certified by X-Rite Pantone for color calibration. It’s the ultimate solution for those who pursue a career in 3D animation and visual effects. On top of the raw power, the AERO 15 is powered by the Microsoft Azure AI, that is designed to dynamically change the settings of the machine for the optimal gaming experience and shortest processing time.

Processor Intel Core i9-8950HK Processor
RAM 32GB
Storage 1TB PCie SSD
Graphics Dedicated, NVIDIA RTX 2070
Screen 15,6 inch, 3840×2160 , IPS
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB 3.1 Type C  port

3- USB 3.0 ports

1 – HDMI port,Mini Display Port

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery up to 9 hours battery life

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