Laptops are great devices when you often need to sit with clients and go through a Revit model, or even when you are still studying and need a laptop for college. But running Revit on a laptop comes with challenges. Revit requires a lot of processing power, and that is something that is hard to get with laptops.
If we look at the Revit requirements, then we will see that Revit benefits most from a high clock speed. This is because the core tasks of Revit are single-threaded, so it won’t benefit much from multiple cores. The problem is that high CPU clock speeds come with a lot of heat, and laptops are not good at disposing of that heat.
So when we are looking for the best BIM laptop for Revit, we will focus mainly on the base CPU clock speed. Also, a large battery and good quality display are important. Laptops are normally not used for rendering, so we won’t focus on the graphics card.
Best BIM Laptop for Revit
When you are looking for a laptop for Revit it’s a good idea to take a look at gaming laptops. These laptops are designed to run high-end games, so they come with proper cooling, a good CPU, and high-quality screens.
1 – Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
One of the best BIM laptops is the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro. This Lenovo is a high-end gaming laptop which we not only see in the specifications, but also in the build quality of the laptop. The lid and bottom of the Lenovo are made from aluminum, making it a sturdy laptop which is great when you need to take it with you.
Even though it’s a gaming laptop, the design is simple, with straight and flat lines. Of course, when you open it, the RGB backlit keyboard, and the illuminated logo will give away that it’s a gaming laptop.
What makes it a great BIM laptop for Revit are the specifications. For Revit, we need a high CPU base clock speed, enough RAM, and a fast (and large) SSD drive. The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro checks most of these.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Specifications
- Intel Core i7 – 11800H (slightly better than the Ryzen 7 – 5800H)
- 32GB RAM
- 1TB NVMe Western Digital SSD
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
- QHD IPS display (2560x1440px)
The graphic card is a bit overrated when you are only going to model in Revit. But when you want to make a quick render, then the extra GPU power is really welcome. Also good to know is that it comes with a free M.2 slot, so if 1TB is not enough for you, then you add an additional SSD to it.
What could be better is the battery life and the performance of the SSD. Western Digital is not the fastest NVMe SSD drive. For example, an Samsung SSD can be 2 times fasters. The Lenovo comes with a hybrid mode, where it disables Nvidia GPU and switches over to the built-in Radeon graphics card. This will make the battery last longer, but also drop the performance of your BIM laptop.
On full load, you can run for approximately 45 mins up to an hour on the battery. With hybrid, you should be able to extend it significantly.
Overall this is one the best Revit laptops that you can buy for under $2000.
2 – MSI Pulse GL66
If you want to stay below the $1500 for a new Revit laptop, then the MSI PLuse GL66 with a Core i7 – 12700H processor is a great option to consider. This mid-range gaming laptop is a good all-rounder, with a great CPU. The i7-12700H has a great single-threat performance which will really speed up your modeling work in Revit.
MSI Pulse GL66 Specification
- Intel Core i7 – 12700H
- 16GB RAM
- 512GB NVMe SSD
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070
- Full HD IPS display (1920×1080)
The RTX 3070 graphics card is just like the Lenovo a bit overrated for Revit. But again, if you need to make a quick render it’s nice to have. And if you like the play games in your spare time then this GPU won’t let your down.
The MSI Pulse GL66 only comes with 16GB RAM, which is in my opinion really the minimum of what you need for Revit. The MSI can handle up to 64GB RAM, so you can always replace the two current modules with bigger ones. (all slots are taken, so you will have to buy two new RAM modules).
The lower price of the MSI reflects back in the screen resolution, SSD size, and built quality. The full HD resolution is in most cases fine, but for Revit, I like to have a QHD resolution. Also, the fans can be a bit noisy compared to Lenovo.
Overall it’s a great mid-range laptop for Revit. It has enough processing power, allows you to upgrade the RAM, and it’s a good price.
3 – Razer Blade 15
If you are looking for a high-end professional-looking Revit laptop then you should definitely take a look at the Razer Blade 15 line laptops. Razer is a gaming brand, but the Blade 15 line looks professional and has great build quality.
Razer Blade 15 Specifications
- Intel Core i7 -12800H
- 16GB RAM
- 1TB NVMe SSD
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070
- QHD IPS display (2560x1440px)
When we look at the specifications of the Razer, then your first thought might be that it doesn’t outperform the other two laptops that I mentioned. But Razer has done a great job when it comes to cooling, resulting in maintaining a higher clock speed for a longer period of time.
Also the built-in NVMe SSD from either Lite-On or Samsung show amazing performance result (read 6800 MB/s and write 4800 MB/s), which really benefits when you are opening your models in Revit.
16GB of Memory is the bare minimum, but just like the MSI, the Razer Blade 15 supports up to 64GB of RAM. There are also models available with 32GB RAM, but they also come with a more expensive graphics card which we don’t need for Revit. It’s better to buy the 16GB RAM model and upgrade it yourself.
An alternative for the Razer would be the Lenovo Legion 7 line. These notebooks are a bit cheaper than the Razer blade, also look really nice, have good built quality, and are available with a Ryzen 9 CPU.
Other Options for BIM Laptops
Gaming laptops are a great option for Revit when we look at the best value for money. But in some professional environments, you simply can’t show up with a gaming laptop. In these cases, you will need to take a look at the more corporate-orientated branches or at the true Bim mobile workstations.
The HP Zbooks or Dell XPS line are both great performance notebook lines that you can use with Revit. They are a bit more expensive than gaming laptops but are of course more excepted in a professional work environment.
For example, the HP ZBook Studio G8 is a great option to take a look at. It comes with an i7-11850H, 32GB RAM, 1TB NVMe SSD, and a Geforce RTX 3070. The price however will be around $3500, depending on the exact configuration.
There are also brands that offer purpose-built (mobile) workstations for engineering, design architecture, etc. You can expect great performance from those devices, only they are even more expensive than the ZBooks from HP. But if you are looking for the best laptops for Revit, then make sure you check out Boxx and Bimbox.
Keep in mind that you will get the most performance out of a normal workstation compared to a BIM laptop. Workstations can cool the CPU much better, allowing for higher clock speeds compared to laptops. It’s better to have a good workstation for your daily work and use the laptop only for meetings.
Make sure that you have at least 32GB of RAM on your laptop. Windows 10 and 11 already consume up to 8GB these days, so 16GB isn’t really much anymore.
I hope this article helped you with choosing your BIM laptop for Revit. If you have any questions, just drop a comment below.