Each year we review the best laptops on the market for architects with a lens on how well they perform in relation to architecture softwares. As architects, or budding architects, we know that your laptop is the most important tool in your toolbox, and a powerful laptop can change your entire workflow.
On the contrary, a weak and outdated laptop will cause frequent crashes and frustrations, which can be devastating when working on important or time sensitive projects.
Since the digital landscape is constantly changing, and tech in laptops is rapidly becoming outdated, we’ve updated our list from 2022 to include some new contenders. Here’s our list of top choices for the best laptop to run Lumion. You can click the name of each laptop to jump to our detailed review lower down the page.
|1.||Acer Predator||32 GB||12th Gen i-9||RTX 3080 Ti||5.29 lb||$$||Buy Now|
|2.||MSI Creator||32 GB||11th Gen i-7||RTX 3070||5.40 lb||$||Buy Now|
|3.||Lenovo Legion 7||64 GB||12th Gen i-7||RTX 3070 Ti||5.60 lb||$$$||Buy Now|
|4.||ASUS Zephyrus||32 GB||11th Gen i-9||RTX 3080||5.73 lb||$$$||Buy Now|
|5.||Alienware M15 R6||32 GB||11th Gen i-7||RTX 3070||5.93 lb||$||Buy Now|
|6.||MSI Raider||64 GB||10th Gen i-7||RTX 2070||5.70 lb||$$||Buy Now|
How We Rated Each Laptop
When looking at each laptop’s specs and determining which ones held the best value we looked at 5 important considerations. We reviewed the RAM, CPU, graphics card, weight, and of course the price. Each weight is calculated a bit differently, and an individual users preference heavily comes into play with this decision making process as well. We encourage you to review the specs independently to better understand which mean the most to you.
As a rule of thumb, we believe the graphics card carries the most weight, as they are hardest to replace/upgrade and provide the largest improvement for your system when rendering with Lumion.
Lumion System Requirements
Lumion provides their system requirements to anyone interested in reviewing the specs, which you can see here. Their base requirements are for more strained laptops, and we strongly urge you to purchase the highest quality laptop you can so that you can perform real rendering and not immediately be limited by your hardware.
The base requirements for Lumion are as follows:
|Graphics Card||GD3 mark of 7000 or higher|
|Graphics Card Memory||4 GB or higher|
|Operating System||Windows 10 or higher|
|RAM||16 GB or higher|
The base requirements will be acceptable for rendering less intricate designs. For real performance, Lumion suggests the following specs:
|Graphics Card||GD3 mark of 14,000 or higher|
|Graphics Card Memory||8 GB or higher|
|Operating System||Windows 10 or higher|
|RAM||32 GB or higher|
All of the laptops included in our list fulfill these requirements.
Additional Considerations When Purchasing A Laptop For Lumion
When choosing a laptop with a specific purpose, you can really hone in and get the best value based on your own requirements. Some considerations to consider when purchasing a laptop to run Lumion would be the amount of time you will have the laptop running off battery, if you need a lot of USB drives to connect to separate monitors, printers, or other hardware, or if you will be running additional programs that may have different requirements. For example, AutoCad only requires 8GB of RAM and prefers 16GB. In this case, the Lumion specs are greater, so there’s no issue, but you should be wary of additional software requirements for other programs.
If you need help finding the best laptops for Revit, AutoCAD, or Sketchup, you can review our guides here:
Another important consideration is the laptop’s power supply. Laptops with outlets in the back may be more functional at a desk, so it is dependent on your standard workspace what option you prefer. You may also want to consider the support communities for such laptops. As with most technology, the bigger the support community, the easier time you will have diagnosing and solving common issues.
Now, let’s jump into our top picks for a laptop that can run Lumion.
1. Acer Predator Triton SE
Our top choice for a Lumion-specific laptop has to be the Acer Predator. This is a monster of a laptop with a lot to offer, most importantly a top of the line GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics card and a 12th gen i-9 Processor. While we consider the RAM to be acceptable, more is always better, and if you can splurge on more, we recommend it.
Acer Predator Triton SE Pros
The best part about this laptop is that it has some of the latest hardware specs out of all the laptops on our list, and still comes in under $3,000. Ensuring you have upgraded system requirements will allow you to breathe easily and not worry that you need to upgrade your laptop in the next few years due to performance issues.
Acer Predator Triton SE Cons
The worst part about this laptop is that it’s made by Acer. Sure, that’s probably the reason for the discount price tag compared to the specs, but it also means that there’s less support for issues. This computer is also well known for getting really hot, which is pretty common for laptops running these types of specs, but be prepared to manually adjust your fan speeds and include a laptop stand in your set-up to help with breathability.
Acer Predator Triton SE Specs
|CPU||12th Gen i-9|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 3080 Ti|
2. MSI Creator
MSI, one of the best known high-end laptop manufacturers has branched out of the gaming world with this one and created a creator-friendly laptop that’s ready to render any design you can come up with in Lumion.
MSI Creator Pros
The biggest advantage to buying MSI is the community. There’s tons of brilliant people who modify and diagnose MSI laptops that are ready to help out with common issues. This excellent support system gives safety to first time buyers, as it’s still a rather expensive laptop. The second biggest pro to this laptop is that it is the cheapest on our list.
MSI Creator Cons
While nothing is perfect, the MSI Creator comes close. We would have asked for an i-9 and a bit more RAM in a perfect world, but this is suitable for running Lumion for sure. The biggest issue we can see here is the heat aspect, it’s known to get extremely hot. Again, we recommend a laptop stand in your set-up to help provide some airflow to keep it cool.
MSI Creator Specs
|CPU||11th Gen i-7|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 3070|
3. Lenovo Legion 7
The Lenovo Legion may be our favorite pick on the list due to its incredible build quality, community, and hardware specs. The Legion is one of the best gaming laptops on the market, which means it’s going to perform amazingly with Lumion and any other architectural software you decide to run.
Lenovo Legion Pros
Where to start? The Legion packs 64 GB of RAM and runs a 12th gen i-7. It’s a monster of a computer and it’s built to last. When purchasing a Legion, you’re setting yourself up for long term success, just look at the specs that go along with this.
Lenovo Legion Cons
The biggest downside to this laptop is the specs verse the price point. Yes, you’re getting 64 GB of RAM, but the Acer Predator has a better Graphics Card and a newer processor and a cheaper price. But when you buy a Lenovo, you’re buying it for the build quality.
Lenovo Legion Specs
|CPU||12th Gen i-7|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 3070 Ti|
4. ASUS ROG Zephyrus S17
Asus’s dedicated efforts to produce a gaming line of laptops under Republic of Gaming have not gone unnoticed. The Zephyrus S17 packs quite a punch, and can compete with the Lenovo Legion on many levels, including customer support.
ASUS Zephyrus S17 Pros
The main benefit here is owning a gaming dedicated laptop from the Republic of Gaming. With a stellar support community, you can get expert guidance and tips on nearly any issue you run into. And the Zephyrus packs a big punch with an i-9 and the RTX 3080.
ASUS Zephyrus S17 Cons
The only reason we’re rating this under the Legion is due to the Legion carrying 64 GB of RAM compared to the 32 GB in the ASUS. But RAM is important, especially when you’re trying to render in Lumion, and no one likes a slow laptop. In fact, we’d take a slightly less powerful graphics card for double the RAM. Not to mention, the ASUS is actually more expensive than the Legion. In fact, it’s the most expensive laptop on this list.
ASUS Zephyrus S17 Specs
|CPU||11th Gen i-9|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 3080|
5. Alienware M15 R6
Coming in all the way at position 5 is Alienware. Another high-end gaming laptop created by Dell, Alienware has been at the forefront of gaming and technology for years. With that comes a certain expectation in their build quality that’s hard to satisfy. But Alienware has always done their best to ensure their laptops outperform their competitors.
Alienware M15 R6 Pros
What can we say about Alienware that hasn’t already been said. They are a reputable company with an amazing community of support, and they stay on the cutting edge of gaming and computers. Buying an Alienware comes with a higher price tag, but you’re purchasing the gold standard of quality with them. And in this case, the M15 is the second cheapest laptop on our list, and one of the few you can find for under $2,000.
Alienware M15 R6 Cons
With high expectations always comes some disappointments, and Alienware is no exception. When you’re purchasing an Alienware, be aware that these laptops run really hot. That’s probably nothing new if you’ve owned a gaming computer before, but it’s not perfect. Pick up a cooling pad for it if possible. This is also the heaviest laptop on our list, so backpackers beware.
Alienware M15 R6 Specs
|CPU||11th Gen i-7|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 3070|
6. MSI GE75 Raider
The second MSI on our list is the Raider. Coming in on the low end, this laptop lacks some of the more modern hardware systems, but it makes up for that in build quality, price, and RAM. As stated before, buying MSI is buying quality, and this is quality at a bargain price.
MSI GE75 Raider Pros
Outside of the low price point, you’re getting 64 GB of RAM, enough to make up for any of the other missteps of this computer. It’s going to be extremely fast, so you won’t need to complain about speeds. Its build quality and plethora of ports makes this a truly unstoppable bargain.
MSI GE75 Raider Cons
While MSI makes a good laptop, this one is a little dated. In terms of graphics cards, the RTX 2070 will put you behind the curve with modern systems. If you can sacrifice graphics quality, the RAM makes it one of the fastest laptops, especially for the price point. Outside of the poorer graphics than others on the list, the Raider has a 10th gen i-7, which is the worst on our list as well.
MSI GE75 Raider Specs
|CPU||10th Gen i-7|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2070|