The best laptop for GPU rendering – The top 6 best laptops to use your GPU for design


by user

February 19, 2020

Choosing a new workstation is a big decision, but when it comes to graphic intensive processing, it’s a choice that’s all the more difficult to make. At the end of the day, a desktop is always better for rendering and modeling; but if you’re specifically looking for a laptop to make your work come to life, there are a few important factors you should consider.

  • Price
  • CPU
  • RAM and storage capability
  • Weight
  • GPU

Keep reading to find out which laptops made our list and which are best suited for your processing needs!

A Note about GPU vs. CPU

When producing VFX or 3D animation, you might assume the graphics card is the most important component, but actually the CPU and its processing power are, simply due to the amount of calculations that go into this kind of work. Shader effects, volumetric lighting, rigging and keyframe rendering are just a few of the processes that are necessary to make a final animation.

Where the CPU struggles, however, the GPU picks up the slack. When the CPU can’t do the job alone, the GPU helps calculate all of the processes to help display the final result — the render.

Today’s Best Laptops for Rendering

So which laptops are the best choices for rendering in 2020? Below are our top six picks, featuring two top-of-the-line graphics cards by NVIDIA: GTX 1080 and RTX 2080.

(Note: All prices below are accurate as of the date of publication.)

Laptop Price CPU RAM Storage Weight GPU
Acer Predator Triton 700 $1,732 Intel Core i7-7700HQ 32GB DDR4 RAM 512GB SS hard drive 5.7 lbs. GTX 1080
HP Omen X $2,499 Intel i7-7820HK 16GB DDR4 RAM 256GB SSD + secondary 1TB hard drive 10.3 lbs. GTX 1080
ASUS ROG G703 17.3″ $2,649 Intel i9-8950HK 32GB DDR4 RAM Dual 256GB SSD drive set + 2TB hybrid SS hard drive 10.7 lbs. GTX 1080
HP Omen $1,381 Intel i7-9750H 16GB DDR4 RAM 256GB SSD + secondary 1TB hard drive 5.34 lbs. RTX 2080
MSI GT76 TITAN DT $3,649 Intel i9-9900K 64GB DDR4 RAM Dual 1TB NVME SS hard drives + secondary 2TB hard drive 9.2 lbs. RTX 2080
ASUS ROG G703GX $3,300 Intel i9-9980HK 32GB DD4 RAM Dual 512GB NVME SSD hard drives 10.2 lbs. RTX 2080

NVIDIA GTX 1080 Graphics Card Laptops

The NVIDIA GTX 1080 is one of the most affordable yet powerful GPUs on the consumer market right now. Here are our top three laptops featuring this high-performance graphics card.

Acer Predator Triton 700

Why You Should Consider: Budget price

Price: $1,732

Weight: 5.7 lbs.

Specs:

  • Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU
  • 120Hz/IPS/G-Sync
  • 1920×1080 Screen
  • 32GB DDR4 RAM

For starters, the Predator Triton is an affordable machine that can hold its own. It comes with an Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU and 32GB of DDR4 memory with a 512GB SS hard drive. In fact, it’s the cheapest price you’ll find for a GTX 1080 laptop. Its main weakness is its display size, which is limited to 120Hz 1080P definition, but is presented on a 15.6″ inch screen. It’s not top of the line, but at an affordable price, it’s an impressive offering that can definitely get the job done.

HP Omen X

Why You Should Consider: Great value

Price: $2,499

Weight: 10.3 lbs.

Specs:

  • Intel i7-7820HK CPU
  • 120Hz/IPS/G-Sync
  • 1920×1080 Screen
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM

The HP Omen X offers great value considering the amount of processing power it has. Under the hood, it carries a much more powerful Intel Core i7-7820HK CPU, 16GB of DDR4 memory, a 256GB SSD as well as a secondary 1TB hard drive. It also has a larger display than the Predator with a 17.3″ inch screen, 1080P IPS definition and G-Sync Technology. While the price tag is higher than the Acer Predator, it offers a smoother experience and will be able to perform processor-heavy tasks and store much more data.

ASUS ROG G703 17.3″

Why You Should Consider: High performance

Price: $2,649

Weight: 10.7 lbs.

Specs:

  • Intel i9-8950HK CPU
  • 144Hz/IPS/G-Sync
  • 1920×1080 Screen
  • 32GB DDR4 RAM

Hands down, the ASUS ROG G703 is the best on this list featuring the NVIDIA GTX 1080 graphics card. The specs on this workstation outclass both the Acer Predator and the HP Omen X in processing power and display performance. It has a 17.3″ inch screen with 1080P IPS definition like the Omen, but with a 144Hz refresh rate. That’s where the similarities end. For storage, it commands a dual 256GB SSD drive set as well as a 2TB hybrid SS hard drive. That’s a lot of storage space!

Inside is an improved Intel Core i9-8950HK processor and 32GB of DDR4 RAM — it’s indeed a powerful machine. However, with this amount of power comes a heavy price tag. Speaking of “heavy,” it’s also the heaviest option on this list weighing in at 10.7 pounds, making portability questionable.

If you have the money and want the best possible workstation that will perform beyond expectations, this is the machine you’ve been waiting for.

NVIDIA RTX 2080 Graphics Card Laptops

NVIDIA’s RTX 2080 is the apex of GPUs. Versatile and powerful, it stands alone in performance and speed and offers much more processing power.

HP Omen

Why You Should Consider: Budget price

Price: $1,381

Weight: 5.34 lbs.

Specs:

  • Intel i7-9750H CPU
  • 144Hz/IPS Panel
  • 1920×1080 Screen
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM

The HP Omen is a great choice if you want a good machine with impressive features but you’re on a budget. While you save money, you also sacrifice specs like storage space and G-Sync Technology.

It comes equipped with an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, 16GB of DDR4 memory, a single 256GB SSD with a secondary 1TB hard drive. It also has a 144Hz 1080P 17.3″ display, which is quite exceptional given its price.

MSI GT76 TITAN DT

Why You Should Consider: High performance

Price: $3,649

Weight: 9.2 lbs.

Specs:

  • Intel i9-9900K CPU
  • 240Hz/IPS
  • 1920×1080 Screen
  • 64GB DDR4 RAM

The MSI GT76 TITAN DT is on the other end of the spectrum compared to the HP Omen. This behemoth is not your average laptop. Though not the heaviest machine on our list, it’s a massive, desktop-replacing workhorse meant for the most dedicated and serious of users as it boasts some amazing specs and a hefty price tag.

It commands an Intel Core i9-9900HK processor, dual 1TB NVME SS hard drives and a secondary 2TB hard drive, as well as a 1080P 17.3″ inch display with a 240Hz refresh rate. It definitely has the best CPU and a massive amount of memory and storage.

The TITAN’s weight and lack of portability is its main flaw, but if you can overlook that and its higher price, this is the most powerful system that money can buy.

ASUS ROG G703GX

Why You Should Consider: Best value

Price: $3,300

Weight: 10.2 lbs.

Specs:

  • Intel i9-9980HK CPU
  • 144Hz/IPS/G-Sync
  • 1920×1080 Screen
  • 32GB DD4 RAM

Once again, the ASUS ROG series comes out on top with this all-purpose workstation. The ASUS series is the best overall, especially when price is a factor. Falling just short of the TITAN’s processor, the G703GX helms an Intel Core i9-9980HK along with 32GB of DDR4 memory, as well as dual 512GB NVME SSD hard drives. The screen is a 17.3″ inch 1080P 144Hz display and comes with G-Sync Technology, a spec that the TITAN lacks.

Compared with other entries on our list, this machine is a more all-around, comprehensive laptop, providing everything you need for graphic intensive processing.

Other Considerations When Buying a Laptop for Rendering

Don’t forget that personal GPU rendering comes down to software as well as hardware, and it doesn’t always take the world’s best workstation to make your work come to life as efficiently as possible. All the laptops above can give you the processing power and graphic fidelity you’re potentially looking for.

We hope our list helps you decide which machine is best for your needs and budget. Happy rendering!