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If you’re searching for the best laptop for Fusion 360, then look no further.
Fusion 360 is one of the best CAD/CAM applications out there and it takes a real laptop to run it. You need a laptop that has good hardware in it and also doesn’t cost a lot of money.
In a hurry?
Here’s our Editor’s choice:
Acer Predator Helios 300
The good news is that there are a lot of options for running Fusion 360. The problem here is that having too many options can do more harm than good which is the case here as well.
We have done a ton of research taking into account the needs and viewpoints of teachers and students who use CAD/CAM applications. This research has helped us pick a handful of brilliant laptops for Fusion 360. This also will help you avoid hours and hours of boring research. Without wasting any more time, let’s dive in.
Editor’s Choice – Acer Predator Helios 300
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is our Editor’s choice for the best laptop for Fusion 360.
This Acer laptop is a gaming device that comes with excellent specs at a price point that is affordable by the majority of people who want to use Fusion 360. The laptop stands out in an ocean of options, thanks to its performance per dollar which is significantly better than the rest of the competition.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 has a 15.6″ LED-backlit IPS display that comes with full HD resolution. Thanks to the IPS panel underneath, the contrast ratio of the display is on point giving us excellent blacks and whites and consistent grayscale performance.
The color quality of the display is fantastic which makes working on Fusion 360 a pleasant experience. The image quality is also sure which means you don’t have to zoom in to see the most intricate details.
Being a gaming laptop, the display comes with a couple of sprigs up its sleeves. We have a reference rate of 144 Hz and an overtime response time of 3 million seconds which are fantastic to give you a flute he is experience. If you are a gamer, you will love the way the screen presents its content.
Even though this is a gaming laptop, the device manages to last for about seven hours with simple use. If you primarily use the laptop for streaming videos, browsing the web, and some simple work, you can easily expect the aforementioned battery life. With Fusion 360, this number does take a nosedive. But you still get a decent battery life which is pretty good considering this is a gaming device.
The processor that powers this laptop is an Intel Core i7 processor. This is a high-performance processor from the 9th generation of Intel chips and it comes with a base frequency of 2.6 GHz and a maximum clock frequency of 4.7 GHz. The processor also has an Intel Smart cache memory of 12 MB which is quite useful.
When it comes to Fusion 360, this processor can handle it without any hiccups. You can work with the most complex of models and this Intel chip will deal it smoothly like a hot knife through a block of butter. You can be sure that this processor will not be the bottleneck when dealing with the most complex projects in Fusion 360.
The memory department on this Acer laptop comes loaded with 16 GB of DDR4 type memory. This memory is pretty handy when it comes to dealing with complex Fusion 360 projects. It also allows you to multitask your heart out without compromising on performance. The fact that you can upgrade this memory to 32 GB is an added advantage.
The graphics card we have on this Acer Predator model is an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 TI. This graphics card comes with a dedicated video memory of 6 GB that is of GDDR5 type.
Being an upper mid-range graphics card, this phone handles pretty much any kind of Fusion 360 projects without any problem. This is one of the reasons why we mentioned that you don’t need a super high-end graphics card to have a pleasant Fusion 360 experience.
Overall, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is an excellent laptop that comes with everything a gamer needs which definitely helps the Fusion 360 user in you. A high-performance processor, more than adequate memory, and a powerful GPU make this laptop what is the best laptops for Fusion 360.
Best Budget Laptop For Fusion 360 – MSI GF63
The MSI GF63 is our choice for the best budget laptop for Fusion 360.
MSI has produced some amazing gaming laptops in the past. This model here is probably the best laptop from the same company in terms of value. This is the most affordable laptop from the house of MSI and it gives you an excellent performance per dollar which is hard in gaming laptops.
One of the best things about this laptop is that it comes with an excellent design in place. Being a gaming laptop, you would expect a bulky device but this one defers and presents you a slim laptop that is a lot lighter in weight when compared to other giving laptops.
The cooling system in place is also pretty handy and prevents the laptop from getting heated too much. This is very important when you have to work on software like Fusion 360 which can keep the laptop up when working on complex projects.
The battery life of this laptop is also quite good. With simple use, you should be able to get around 6 to 7 hours of battery life which is pretty good considering that this is a serious giving machine. When doing something heavy, you can expect the battery life to go down but that is very normal and should be expected.
The processor that powers this MSI laptop is an Intel Core i5 processor. This is a high-performance chip from the ninth generation of Intel processors and it does a pretty good job and it comes to handling Fusion 360.
The processor comes with a base clock speed of 2.4 GHz and can be clock to a maximum of 4.1 GHz with the help of turbo boost. The Intel Smart cache memory of 8 MB should come in handy whenever needed. The laptop can handle other heavy applications as well, thanks to this Intel i5 chip.
The memory department on this laptop comes with 8GB of DDR4 RAM. heThis this is the minimum amount of memory we recommend when it comes to running Fusion 360. The Laptop performs well with the RAM onboard. Even when dealing with complex projects, you don’t get that much of a lag which is nice. You can upgrade the memory to suit your needs as the laptop allows it.
The graphics card we have onboard is an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max Q graphics card. This is an upper mainstream graphics card that comes with a dedicated RAM of 4 GB. The graphics card does a pretty good job when it comes to handling Fusion 360. You can run even complex projects with this GPU and you won’t be disappointed.
The display on this laptop is a 15.6 inch LED-backlit IPS display that comes with 1080p resolution. This resolution services play well resulting in excellent quality pictures that are accurate in terms of color representation. The viewing angles are excellent making this display a good choice for both Fusion 360 and media consumption.
Overall, the MSI GF63 is an excellent gaming laptop that comes at a super affordable price. The laptop gives you pretty good performance when it comes to Fusion 360 and handles even some complex projects giving you an excellent return on investment.
Best Mac For Fusion 360 – MacBook Pro 16
If you are looking for a MacBook to run Fusion 360, then the best choice would be the MacBook Pro 16.
This is the flagship laptop from Apple and it comes with an amazing array of specs and an even more premium price tag. If you don’t have the budget for this Apple laptop, you can always go for its younger brother, the MacBook Pro 13.
The MacBook Pro 16 comes with an excellent design that helps in delivering amazing performance without compromising on looks. This is one of the slimmest laptops she will find in this size category. The laptop also weighs just around 4 lbs which is very good for a laptop this big.
The MacBook Pro 16 is also a battery life champion. With light use, the laptop can easily last for about 10 to 11 hours which is crazy good for a high-performance laptop. Even when working on Fusion 360, the laptop can still manage to last for about 5 to 6 hours which is impressive.
The display is one of the best selling features of the MacBook Pro 16. We have a 16-inch display that comes with retina resolution. The picture quality of the display is second to none and the contrast ratio is just off the charts. This is one of the best laptop displays you will find on the market, period. The pixel density of the display is also quite good giving you sharp images and text.
The processor that powers this MacBook Pro 16 is an Intel Core i7 chip. This is a high-performance processor and it comes with a maximum clock speed of 4.6 GHz which is a lot of power for software like Fusion 360. The performance of Fusion 360 is excellent and you can run even the most complex of projects without any issues whatsoever.
The memory department on this laptop comes with 16GB of high-speed memory that is of DDR4 type. This memory handles multitasking and allows you to increase your productivity to the next level. Fusion 360 runs well Put any issues even when you’re dealing with a lot of elements on the screen.
The graphics card that handles Fusion 360 and other graphically demanding applications is an AMD Radeon 5300M Pro. This is a high-end graphics card and it does well when it comes to handling Fusion 360 and the rendering of the models, however, complex it is. There are no complaints when it comes to handling graphically demanding applications. If you are a fan of the Apple ecosystem, this laptop will leave a big smile on your face.
The storage we have on the MacBook Pro 16 is a 512GB solid-state drive. Apple makes the fastest storages and this one is no exception. Reading and writing speeds of this solid-state drive is through the roof and you can move gigabytes of data in a snap of a finger. The solid-state drive also helps in opening applications quickly reducing the waiting time to a minimum.
Overall, the MacBook Pro 16 is a fantastic laptop from the house of Apple. Barring the price, this laptop can give you exceptional performance regardless of whether you are just a student or a professional. Without a doubt, this MacBook Pro is one of the best laptops for Fusion 360.
Best Convertible Laptop For Fusion 360 – Surface Book 2
If you are looking for a convertible laptop to run Fusion 360, then the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is the best choice for you.
Microsoft has been perfecting the surface line for a few years now and this Surface Book 2 is a result of careful engineering and consideration from consumers.
The display we have here is a 15-inch display that comes with pixel sense resolution. The pixel density of the display is fantastic and you can get some amazing images that are sharp and accurate when it comes to color representation. Running Fusion 360 on this display is an absolute pleasure and you will enjoy it
The performance of this convertible laptop is pretty good considering it is powered by an Intel Core i7 processor. This is a quad-core processor and comes with excellent performance while running Fusion 360. The processor is well complemented by the 16GB of RAM in the memory department. Together, the processor and memory offer you a cohesive Fusion 360 experience that can’t go wrong.
The graphics card in the Surface Book 2 is an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050. This GPU is an upper mid-range graphics card and comes with pretty good performance. The 4 GB of dedicated video RAM comes in handy when running Fusion 360 and enables you to handle even some complex projects without any issues.
The battery life of the Surface Book 2 deserves a special mention. With simple use, the laptop can easily last for about 12 to 15 hours which is just insane. Even when running heavy applications like Fusion 360, you can expect the laptop to last for about 5 to 8 hours which is quite good.
Overall, Microsoft Surface Book 2 is an excellent convertible laptop. It delivers exceptional performance while giving you the freedom to change the device according to your will. With decent pricing and impressive performance, the Surface Book 2 is easily one of the best convertible laptops for Fusion 360.
What To Look For In The Best Laptop For Fusion 360?
If you want to pursue your own search, then here are some tips that’ll steer you in the right direction. These tips are great for beginners and will do some good if you know what you want.
Without further ado, let’s take a look into some minimum criteria to run Fusion 360.
Generally, we recommend going for a 15.6-inch laptop. This size is perfect for Fusion 360 and gives you a good idea of what’s going on the screen. But if you don’t want to deal with a big screen, you can always go with a 13.3-inch ultrabook.
A 13.3-inch laptop will usually weigh less than 3 pounds which gives you a lot of portability. These devices are also quite slim which means you can easily come in your backpacks and take them with you wherever you go.
If portability is not a concern for you, then we recommend going with a 15.6-inch laptop. You can also go the extra mile by choosing a 17.3-inch laptop which is the biggest of them all. Be aware that it is going to add a lot of bulk making it almost difficult to take your laptop with you.
The display is one of the main components of a laptop. Choosing the right display can help you go a long way without facing any immediate hardships.
The first thing you need to look after is the size of the display. We have already discussed the size of the display in the portability section. In simple terms, if you want a portable laptop, then you will go with the smallest size which is 13.3 inches right now.
If you want a regular size laptop, then you should go with a 15.6-inch laptop. You can also go with a 17.3-inch laptop but I usually don’t recommend this as this can increase the overall weight of the laptop by a huge amount.
Next, you should deal with the resolution. Ideally, the more resolution you have the better your images are. In the case of Fusion 360, You should go for a full HD display as a bare minimum. A full HD display will give you good quality pictures that are sharp and also beautiful in terms of color and reproduction.
If you have the budget for it, you should get yourself a 2K or a 4K display. These displays come with a much higher resolution and will give you an awesome pixel density resulting in fantastic images and texts.
When selecting the display, you can also go for modern ones that have minimum bezels around them. While this is not a functional requirement, it does help in making your laptop look more modern. Most manufacturers these days reduce the size of the bezels To reduce the overall footprint of the laptop. If you can get one laptop that follows this design cue, then you should be good.
You also have the option to choose between a matte or a glossy display. The former reduces the reflections to a minimum but can affect the colors to minor levels. Glossy displays can be a problem as they reflect a lot of light. But they are the ones with the most accurate color representation which makes him a great choice for graphic designers and other people who love colors.
The maximum brightness of your laptop is also an important factor. The device should come with a maximum brightness of at least 300 nits so that you will be able to use my laptop even under the bright sun. Most flagship laptops will have their maximum brightness in and around the 500 nits range.
You can also go for a touchscreen if that’s your preference. Personally, we did not have a better experience when using the touchscreen.
Fusion 360 may not be as demanding as other CAD/CAM applications, but you need a certain level of processing power to have a smooth user experience.
Ideally, we would recommend going with an Intel or an AMD processor that has a minimum of four cores. You can also go with a hexacore or an octa-core processor if you have the budget for it. If you’re going to be dealing with simple models, a quadcore processor will be more than sufficient. If you want to work on more complex models that involve a lot of meshes, then a hexa core or an octa-core processor will surely come in handy.
The clock speed of the processor is also important. We recommend getting a processor that has a minimum base clock speed of at least 1.8 GHz. This clock speed can help you to work on simple and medium models without having to overclock to a higher speed. This means you will get more performance without creating a lot of heat which in turn increases the life of your laptop.
The laptop should also be able to use functionality like turbo boost to go to much higher clock speeds when there is a need for it. This is why we recommend selecting processors that have a maximum clock speed of at least 4.0 GHz.
You should avoid, at any cost, dual-core processors. These are entry-level processors and they will not fair well when it comes to handling Fusion 360. You can also add the Intel Core i3 processor to the list as we would prefer either an Intel Core i5 or an Intel Core i7 processor to get the job done.
Next comes the brand problem. People usually have a dilemma about whether to go with an Intel processor or an AMD processor. Both processors produce excellent results with the right configuration. If you want more value for your money, then we would recommend going for an AMD processor. This might even end up saving you a few bucks.
If you want to play safe and don’t want to produce a lot of heat, then you need to go with an Intel processor. Be informed that you can get the same level of performance as an Intel processor from a cheaper AMD processor. This means you can spend the same amount of money on an AMD processor to get superior performance when compared to an Intel chip.
How much memory is enough for Fusion 360?
The minimum requirements for running Fusion 360 is just 4 GB of RAM.
We do not recommend getting a laptop with just 4 GB of RAM. You should at least have 8 GB of RAM to have a smooth Fusion 360 experience. This is the case if you are on a tight budget or cannot afford more than the said RAM.
Eight gigs of RAM allow you to handle simple Fusion 360 projects and some medium-sized models without any issues. If you want to work on complex projects, then go for a laptop that has 16 GB of RAM. You can work on complex projects with just 8 GB of RAM, but the overall experience will be a lot better if you leave some safety room in the memory department.
The storage on your laptop is no longer about the amount of space you have. You cannot settle from a mechanical hard drive that gives you a lot of space for a little money. Modern laptops have switched over to solid-state drives that are much faster.
To put things into perspective, mechanical hard drives are very slow and can drag you down when it comes to performance. The solid-state drives, on the other hand, are quite fast and can do things quickly without making you wait longer.
The problem with solid-state drives is that they are a lot more expensive than traditional hard drives. To get the same amount of traditional hard drive storage, you may have to spend 3 to 4 times of Money which is a lot.
To combat the cost problem, we always recommend our readers to go with a storage that is just enough. If you are starting, you can always start with a 256 GB solid-state drive. You can upgrade that drive later when you have more money or when you need it. If you’re on a tight budget, you can also go for 128 GB option to get much better performance.
If you are on a budget and cannot compromise on storage space as well, then we recommend going for a hybrid solution. A hybrid storage device is one where you get both a mechanical hard drive as well as a solid-state drive. An example would be a 128 GB solid-state drive working in tandem with a 1 TB hard drive. This way, you get the speed and performance from the SSD portion while the hard drive handles all your storage needs.
You can run Fusion 360 without a dedicated graphics card. If you have the latest integrated graphics card on your laptop, then running Fusion 360 is totally possible. However, you will be restricted when it comes to rendering and working on models with a lot of complex features.
With a dedicated graphics card, you will not have these issues. You can work on any model regardless of the complexity. In most cases, you won’t even need the best graphics cards to help you to create the models. Most upper mid-range graphics cards like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 or 1660 TI will be enough to handle your needs.
Some people might say that you need workstation graphics cards to get the best out of Fusion 360 which is clearly not the case. You will do fine with a consumer-grade graphics card as long as you pick the right ones.
People usually take too much care in selecting the hardware of their laptops but overlook their input devices. Having a good keyboard and a touchpad on your laptop is as important as any other component of the device. With an unusable keyboard or touchpad, your laptop is of no use to you.
Make sure that the keyboard on your laptop comes with a good layout. You should be able to type faster without compromising accuracy. The keys must have a decent travel which is important for those who type a lot. Backlighting on the keyboard is also a necessity as it gives you the ability to work in places where there is not a lot of light.
The touchpad on your laptop should be a Windows precision trackpad. The surface of the touch panel should be smooth and it should take your responses without missing anything. The trackpad on the MacBooks is a good benchmark as they have perfected the art of making trackpads.
Make sure your laptop comes with enough connectivity options that won’t require the use of any adapters.
The laptop should have enough ports that you will use every day for data transfer and external connectivity. The presence of a USB type C port is appreciated as you can Futureproof your laptop with this port. If you have plans to connect your laptop to a bigger external display, then make sure your device comes with an HDMI port or a DisplayPort.
The laptop should also have the latest WiFi6 or at least the previous version so that you can connect to the internet and get really good speeds without the help of any wires. And Bluetooth 5.2 or 4.2 should be available on the laptop for seamless external connectivity.
Having a device that you can upgrade later is beneficial in so many ways. If you are on a budget, then you can get the minimum specs on the device. This will allow you to work on Fusion 360 without having to spend a lot of money. When the need comes and when you have the budget for it, you can upgrade the laptop to suit your needs.
With a laptop that doesn’t allow you to upgrade, like the MacBooks, you are stuck with whatever you get. This means you have to opt for the right configuration at the time of purchase. This may not be friendly to your pocket as you may have to sell more money for things you may or may not need then.
As far as the operating system is concerned, Fusion 360 is available on both Windows operating systems and macOS.
There is no need to switch operating systems or learn any new ones to run Fusion 360 which is nice. The only problem you will have is when Linux is your operating system of choice.
Like we have mentioned in every other buying guide, you can only buy what your budget allows.
Try to pick a laptop that maximizes is the use of Fusion 360 within your budget. If you are a student or if you are just learning, then make sure you focus on the right specs so that your experience is flawless. For example, in the beginning, you won’t need a lot of memory or the fanciest graphics card.
If you get a laptop that enables you to upgrade later, then you can upgrade any specs you want to suit your needs at that stage.
Having said that, if you don’t have a problem with budgeting, then you can go out and get the best laptop that is for your needs. This is especially true if you are a professional as you will be needing the best laptop for Fusion 360.
That’s curtains for this post.
Fusion 360 is an amazing tool for making models and renders but with the wrong laptop, you can suffer like a fish out of water.
We hope that we were able to steer you in the right direction. If you still have any doubts or queries, be sure to get in touch with us, and will get back to you as soon as possible.