Laptop CPU help for 3D, CAD, Adobe (i5 Quad vs i7 Dual)


Feb 14, 2015
Hello. In my university course where I'll be using photo editing programs, Animation and Rendering (AutoCAD 3DsMax, Rhino 3D, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator etc)

I need a basic-ish laptop and I've searched through hundreds of laptops in my price range and found these two identical laptops, the only difference being that one of them is an i5-8250U (Quad Core) and the other is an i7-7500U (Dual Core).
What I'm conflicted about is that the quad-core has a much lower speed of 1.6Ghz but has a turbo of up to 3.5Ghz. AutoCAD recommends having at least 2 / 2.5Ghz. Which would be the best option for me? I have also checked an MSI laptop with an i5-7300HQ but what worries me is the poor battery life and very dim screen (Not a good idea to have a very dim screen for photo editing yet it has a 1TB harddrive which would help greatly).
Here are the links to all 3 laptops. i5-8250U i7-7500U MSI i5-7300HQ
(Both acer aspire laptops are in fact the same price and in stock, so the i5 and i7 price is the same.)
(I already have a good Desktop PC at home, it's just uni needs me to have a laptop to work in class.)


Apr 3, 2018
The software that you mention has strong requirements that are complicated to get on budget laptop.

The two Acer that you indicate have a very weak MX130 graphic card, in my opinion, for the needs that you indicate. Surely it is enough for microsoft office, web surfing and photoshop, but not for autocad.

The MSI is a gaming laptop and its GTX 1050 Ti graphics card is more powerful and will surely be enough. I do not know the theme of the battery.

Regarding the speed of the processors you have to keep in mind that low-quality laptops like Acer have a poor construction that is not consistent with the quality of their processor, which makes them very hot and never reach the theoretical speeds.

I strongly recommend that you ask your colleagues from previous courses to know more accurately the requirements and avoid making a useless purchase.


Feb 14, 2015

I understand, but it seems like you're mostly concerned about the graphics card. If the GPU is more important for these kinds of applications, would an AMD Radeon 530 4GB suffice, due to the increase in VRAM? (I found a Dell Inspiron 5570 with the same specs as the i5-8250u acer laptop, except with a different Video Card)
I heard that Acer make pretty good laptops, but maybe I'm mistaken.
I have also read that specifically gaming laptops, although doing well for gaming, aren't well optimized for other things such as AutoCAD. I should try to speak with other students from my faculty who have been through this to get a better idea on what they want from me.


Apr 29, 2011
ASUS tends to have some good budget models for about $1000.

gtx 1050ti/1060
16gb ddr4
128gb ssd
1tb hdd

ASUS FX503VM for example. Looks like a bit more expensive there.


Aug 1, 2012
i use 3g design applications alot, and it mostly depends on your workload, making a simple light bulb can be done on integrated graphics (gpu on the cpu, ex: intel hd graphics) while making a large build with much details can be taxing on a 8 core xeon and a gtx 1080 with lots of ram. So the morale of the story, obviously get the best specs for the money, cause the last thing you want, is your computer holding back your creativity. And that's not even getting started about rendering photorealistic images of your 3d models. But the best bang for you buck will be a desktop, and use a decent laptop on the go.

autocad doesn't use to much resources vs 3dsmax or inventor, since you just sketching, so all the listed gpu's and cpu's will be able to handle the job fine, also you need lots of ram regardless of app, minimal is 8gb, preferably go for an quad of better. dedicated gpu's are the best and above the gtx 1050. (

Also you might wanna check the previous gen mobile workstations (2 gen intel on up) from hp,lenovo,dell that come with some the best displays, and have upgradablity of cpu,gpu,ram,hdd, which most laptops from today don't allow.

out of those 3, the msi one is the best, and i think all the displays the same,but battery life will be the worst considering beefier specs.