Is a laptop or PC better for architecture students 2023

Architecture students rely heavily on their projects and coursework, for schooling days they need a computer to design projects, and submitting the assignments on time is key.

The biggest question Architecture students are often faced with is the decision of whether to use a laptop or a PC for their coursework and projects, both sets of setups have their positives and drawbacks.

The decision largely depends on your preference and ultimately things also dependent on the projects you have to handle, In this blog, we will find out Is a laptop or PC better for architecture students.

Also, we are going to cover different aspects of hardware requirements for architecture, however, also note that you have to consider laptops and PC for long terms use as at the initial stage you work on small files but as years progress requirements keep changing.

So while choosing a specific model you should definitely consider performance, while you also need to keep a good combination between portability and your cost and budget, so now let’s find the answer to what is best for architecture students’ PC or laptops.

Also Read: Best laptops for architect students

Is a laptop or PC better for architecture students

Is a laptop or PC better for architecture students

Generally, both PC and laptops are compatible with architecture work, and both of them have their sets of advantages and disadvantages, you can prioritize according to your needs as the inner hardware combination makes your work easier.

Pcs are for those who do not want to compromise on performance, as desktops tend to have more powerful hardware and storage capacity, most importantly you get easier access in case you want to upgrade each piece of hardware.

Additionally Pcs are cheaper than laptops, however here the notable part is that desktops are harder to carry outdoors as Pcs are not portable as laptops.

This can be beneficial for architecture students who need to run demanding software and work on large projects yet not convenient for students who need to take their assignments and projects with them.

Laptops, on the other hand, are more portable making them a convenient alternative for carrying to classes, and at the location of your site, which can be beneficial for students who are constantly on the go.

Moreover, even though laptops are available with powerful components that can easily handle architecture software, Still, when you compare them with a desktop, the laptop may not be able to handle the demanding software that architecture students often use.

And when it comes to cost, you may have to spend more on a laptop, also you get limited opportunities in hardware upgradability, basically only ram and storage capacity is upgradeable.

Now then what you should consider, as discussed earlier the decision between a laptop or PC for architecture students comes down to the individual’s specific needs and preferences yet It’s also worth noting that many architecture students opt for using both a laptop and a desktop PC to balance the pros and cons of both devices.

So now that we have discussed laptops vs PC for architecture students, it’s also important to understand system requirements for architecture students.

Also Read: Best laptop for blender 

System requirements for architecture

Architecture students and professionals typically use a variety of software for designing, modeling, and rendering architectural projects.

In the beginning, software used by students is typically AutoCAD, SketchUp, and adobe creative suite, and later in the year, you have to handle more demanding software like blender, Maya, Revit, unity, or Cinema 4D.

These software programs can be resource-intensive and may require specific hardware and software configurations.

Overall your work involves a lot of processing power where you need multi-core CPU performance that also has good speed, plenty of ram support, and a lot of storage capacity to save all your projects, moreover you can not ignore the significance of graphics cards.

As GPU is essential while rendering your project files, additionally for 3D modeling you also need proper support from the dedicated graphics card, in this process architecture software uses video cards power.

  • Processor: Intel i7 or AMD Ryzen 7, (Multicores and high speed are needed for running applications smoothly.)
  • 10th gen CPU is fine but try to go with the latest generations.
  • Ram memory: 16GB DDR4 (Upgradable slot up to 32GB for a laptop)
  • Graphics card: At least a dedicated 4GB of VRAM is needed, however ideal choice is Nvidia RTX 3060 or Nvidia Quadro.
  • Hard drive: SSD is a must for fast data access
  • Storage capacity: 500GB or higher.
  • Display size: 15” to 17” with FHD resolution and anti-glare coating.
  • Operating system: Windows 10 or 11, MacOS (have discussed below which is better)
  • The software uses Autodesk AutoCAD, Revit, 3ds Max, SketchUp, Rhino, V-Ray, Lumion, etc.

Note that the above requirements can vary depending on the software and the complexity of the project, also requirements changes as over a period of time applications updates to a newer version.

So the best advice is to either check with your college or recommended to check the official website of the software you are planning to work with.

Also Read: Best laptop for game development 

Mac or Windows for Architecture students

While deciding on computers for architecture students, you also require to determine the operating system and it’s quite tough, as macs are usually known for their sleek design, ease of use, and built-in software such as iWork and Garageband.

Basically, both Windows and Macs are compatible with Architecture applications, still, I would prefer windows as they are preferable for almost all the software and less expensive than a mac, also with a mac, you don’t have many options with a dedicated GPU which is as important as the processor for Architecture projects.

Is 8 GB RAM enough for architecture?

Typically, 8GB is what minimum requirement for architecture, as Architecture students and professional runs a variety of resource-intensive software.

This work involves a lot of designing, modeling, and rendering architectural projects, however, 8GB is decent for 1st year of your college days.

As later in your learning you start to handle more demanding applications so prefer to pick 16GB, in fact, if you are a professional you can consider 32GB with the latest technology.

Overall ram supports operating on each software and more ram memory means you are able to work on multiple files, and tabs easily which increases the efficiency of your work.

Also Read: Best laptop for SolidWorks 

Do architects need graphics cards?

Yes, the dedicated graphics card is a must for your daily work, as rendering and visualization applications use more GPU power than CPU, so GPU increases the efficiency of the rendering process, allowing architects to create more detailed and realistic renderings of their projects.

Furthermore, having a dedicated graphics card with a high amount of VRAM can also be helpful for architects who are using software that require a lot of memory such as Autodesk Revit, AutoCAD, 3ds Max, Rhino, and SketchUp.


Is Nvidia or AMD GPU better for architecture?

When it comes to brand preference, both Nvidia and AMD provide good performance, however, Nvidia doing great when it comes to dedicated GPU as most of the 3D software relies on Cuda core and Nvidia GPUs have a better-performing ratio.


So here we have discussed, Is a laptop or PC better for architecture students, overall both are workable but when it comes to laptops they are portable which is a big factor for students who have to carry a laptop for college, but PC can benefit you more with its performance and cheaper compare to laptops.

Moreover when it comes to configuration CPU and GPU are both crucial for your daily work, additionally, ram support up to 16GB is something you must have in your computer, and even though file sizes are smaller when compare to professional architects’ work yet you must have minimum 500GB storage space in your set up.

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