Decent CAD laptops under $1000

My team is looking to buy a new laptop for CAD use. We would like it to run Solidworks as fast as possible, preferably with a discrete GPU and at least 8GB of RAM. Our budget is $1000 for one laptop, but I would really like to get something less than that so we could potentially raise the budget a little and buy 2. Suggestions?

I’m currently using a Dell Inspirion 15 7000 series and I’m really liking how Solidworks is running on it. I would highly recommend it. It came with 250GB SSD and 8gb RAM but I upgraded to 500GB SSD and 16GB RAM. I bought it off Amazon

Find the highest performing ThinkPad in your price range. Dell xps’ are also not bad. My t430 I got used for $400 runs solidworks comfortably. Look for one with an ssd and a good cpu. Solidworks has Cuda acceleration also so look for a nvidia gpu. Though I don’t think it’s going to make too much of a difference with a lower end mgpu. I get the better performance on my 8350(780) desktop then my 6300(Quadro k4000) desktop although neither then have any issues at all.

Ram matters also make sure to not cut corners. 8gb plus although I’d recommend installing 16gb.

I would try to find a used ThinkPad for under 800 and install an ssd and more ram into it. Probably your best bet. This kind of stuff is a hobby of mine so if you need any help pm me.

Bought a lenovo w540 for $800 on ebay and have been very happy with it.

The w541 and w550 are similar models. All three have quadros.

Many offerings with discrete graphics on sale from Lenovo right now:


Y50 touch:

Y50 4K UHD:


And this one from Acer (probably the best all-around value, spec-wise at the moment)

Note, I have no first-hand experience with any of these.

EDIT: Here’s one more, from Asus. Compared to the ones above, this one has an SSD.

I use an Alienware 17 R3 for cad. One small glitch with Solidworks is that the icons are extremely minuscule. This doesn’t happen with composer or electrical, though.

What I’m trying to say is, be mindful when considering the resolution of the display. I’ve looked into how to fix the problem but haven’t tried any of the ways I’ve found, so I don’t know if they work.

Thanks for the links ! I should do more shopping with advice from CD ::safety::

I figured out the solution to the scaling problem, so if you buy an UHD screen, read this thread.

Unless absolutely necessary I would recommend getting a dedicated work station for cad. Having a laptop that can do it is nice, however after a couple hundred parts are on your model, things tend to slow down a bit. Unless you already have a desktop for the team and are trying for the mobility of a laptop and then are able to transfer your files over to the other machine. If that’s the case best of luck and ignore the rest of my post!