12 Best Laptops for CFD Simulations in 2024 (Top Picks)

best laptops for cfd simulations

If you are looking to buy the best mobile workstation laptop for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations, this guide will help you make the right choice.

We’ve recommended mobile workstations that will help accelerate your designs with faster, more accurate CFD results. You can run CFD software like, ASPEN PLUS, ANSYS Fluent, Autodesk CFD, OpenFOAM, SIMULIA XFlow, and PyFR on the laptops we’ve recommended without problems.

Our picks of the best laptops for CFD simulations have powerful CPUs, graphics cards, ample RAM and storage (HDD + SSD). Our recommendations can handle meshing, pre- and post- processing, with aplomb.

Now, let’s look at the best mobile workstations for CFD simulations in detail.

Best Laptops for CFD Simulations at a Glance

No. Item  
1 Lenovo ThinkPad P15 (Editors’ Choice) Check Price on Amazon
2 MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) Check Price on Amazon
3 HP ZBook Studio G7 Check Price on Amazon
4 Dell XPS 15 (2022) Check Price on Amazon
5 Dell XPS 13 (2022) Check Price on Amazon
6 Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (9th Gen) Check Price on Amazon
7 Dell Precision 5540 Check Price on Amazon
8 MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) Check Price on Amazon
9 Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 3 Check Price on Amazon
10 Razer Blade 15 Studio Check Price on Amazon
11 Asus ProArt StudioBook Pro X Check Price on Amazon
12 Lenovo ThinkPad P73 Check Price on Amazon

 

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Recommended Laptop Hardware for CFD Simulations

Here are suitable laptop hardware configurations for running computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations smoothly.

RAM: 32GB of RAM
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 or higher
CPU: Intel Core i7 or better
Hard Disk Space: Fast internal SSD, ample HDD + SSD combo (for instance, 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD)
Display: At least 14” full HD screen (1920 x 1080 pixels)

 

1. Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 1 (Editors’ Choice)

best laptops for cfd simulations

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You would not be laughed out of town for suggesting Lenovo ThinkPad workstations have been among the best laptops for simulations, 2D drafting, 3D modelling and rendering in recent times.

The Lenovo ThinkPad P15 easily wins our Editors’ Choice award for the best laptop for CFD simulations given its solid internals and excellent rendering capabilities.

Its 4K display delivers a stunning picture quality with its great contrast ratio and 60Hz refresh rate.

The ThinkPad P15’s credentials are further established with Intel Core i7-10875H processor and Nvidia Quadro T2000 GPU. There is a variant which pairs Intel Core i9 processor with 16GB Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q GPU.

In terms of physical size and weight, the P15 measures 0.96 by 14.78 by 9.93 (HWD) and weighs 6.05 pounds. This implies that it is quite heavy.

There’s a sufficient array of ports and connections on this mobile workstation. The left edge holds HDMI and USB 3.2 Type-A ports, a SmartCard slot, and an audio jack. Another USB-A 3.2 port is on the right, along with an SD card slot and a Kensington lock slot.  The back holds three USB-C ports (two with Thunderbolt 3 capability), an Ethernet port and an AC adapter connector.

It enjoys a backlit keyboard with full-size keys that provide sufficient travel. The touchpad is equally as good.

The P15 isn’t a perfect laptop. It emits heat under duress, and the fans get loud during intense use.

Those complaints aside, using the ThinkPad P15 is a pure joy. If you have the expendable income, we’d say go for it.

We recommend the ThinkPad P15 to anyone looking to buy an outstanding laptop for CFD simulations.

PROS                                                  

  • Beautiful 4K display
  • Outstanding performance
  • Durable build
  • Excellent keyboard
  • Lots of ports

CONS

  • Heavy
  • Loud fans
  • Expensive

Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 1 Key Specifications

Display: 15.6-inch FHD, 1920 x 1080 pixels
CPU: Intel Core i7-10875H
GPU: Nvidia Quadro T2000
OS: Windows 10 Pro
RAM: 32GB
Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
Size: 14.78 x 9.93 x 0.96 inches (375.4 x 252.2 x 24.4 mm)
Weight: 6.05 pounds (2.74 kg)
Battery: 94Wh

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2. MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021)

best laptops for cfd simulations

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Apple’s 2021 MacBook Pro (14-inch) with M1 Pro chip plants its flag at the summit of workstation laptops. The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) hits a lot of the marks you’d want for premium mobile workstation.

Its screen is a nice, beautiful, 14-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with 120Hz refresh rate.

The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) is powered by Apple’s powerful M1 Pro chip. You can also upgrade to the one with M1 Max chip. Graphics performance is top-notch, too. The laptop is also no slouch in the gaming department. The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) handles tasks (simulations, gaming, video editing and rendering) like a champ without any sign of slowdown.

As for battery life, we are equally impressed. In fact battery life is stellar. The MacBook Pro 14 with M1 Pro chip can last 17 hours on a charge.

Just keep in mind that the MacBook Pro 14 isn’t cheap.

How about the ports? It’s a good selection, and should allow you to hook up your favorite peripherals without the need of an adapter. The MacBook Pro 14-inch sports one HDMI port, three Thunderbolt 4 ports, a MagSafe 3 port for charging, and an SDXC card slot.

The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) won’t be for everyone, but if you’re looking for a portable top-end workstation laptop that can offer the best experience, you may have found a new contender for your next laptop.

Overall, this is one of the best laptops money can buy. The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) has a lot of power and puts in a competent performance when it comes to getting things done on the higher end. Highly recommended.

PROS

  • Superfast processing speed
  • Outstanding display
  • Excellent battery life
  • Ample storage
  • Lots of ports
  • Portable

CONS

  • Pricey

MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) Key Specifications

Display: 14-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
CPU: Apple M1 Pro 8-core – M1 Max 10-core
GPU: Integrated 14-core – 32-core GPU
RAM: 16GB – 64GB
Storage: 512TB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, or 8TB
Size: 12.31 x 8.71 x 0.61 inches (312.6 x 221.2 x 15.5 mm)
Weight: 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg)
OS: macOS
Battery: 70Wh

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3. HP ZBook Studio G7

best laptops for cfd simulations

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It’s impossible to argue that the HP ZBook Studio G7 isn’t one of the best mobile workstations in the world: it’s hugely powerful under the hood, and outwardly classy, with a 4K DreamColor display.

The HP ZBook Studio G7 pairs a tenth-generation Intel Core i7 processor with 16GB of RAM. Armed with an Nvidia Quadro T2000 GPU, the Studio G7 is an excellent proposition for simulations. There’s a 32GB RAM variant.

Elsewhere, the Studio G7 offers 512GB PCIe SSD of storage. Need more storage? Then your best bet is the model with Nvidia Quadro RTX 3000 GPU which packs 1TB NVMe SSD for storage.

The HP ZBook Studio G7 is light enough to hold, has a small footprint (at least smaller than the previous ZBook) and, dare we say, thin.

Battery life also is stellar.  HP packed in an impressive 83 watt-hours of battery capacity into the ZBook Studio G7’s chassis. This battery beast will give you a full work day, during general use, that is.

Overall, the HP ZBook Studio G7 has a lot of power and puts in a competent performance when it comes to extensive simulations, 2D drafting, 3D modeling, and rendering on the higher end.

PROS                                                  

  • Fast processors
  • Cool design
  • Perfect pick for gaming, 3D modelling and video editing
  • Solid battery life
  • Excellent audio
  • Very good keyboard

CONS

  • Noisy fan
  • Gets hot

HP ZBook Studio G7 Key Specifications

Display: 15.6-inch Full HD, 1920 x 1080 pixels
CPU: Intel Core i7-10750H
GPU: Nvidia Quadro T2000
OS: Windows 10 Pro
RAM: 16GB-32GB
Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
Size: 13.9 x 12.5 x 9.2 inches (353.1 x 317.5 x 233.7 mm)
Weight: 3.96 pounds (1.80 kg)
Battery: 83Wh

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4. Dell XPS 15 (2022)

best laptop for cfd simulations

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The Dell XPS 15 (2022) is a 15-inch laptop that strikes the perfect balance between portability and screen size, making it an excellent choice for people who find 13-inch laptops too small and 16 or 17-inch laptops too cumbersome. The laptop retains the classic XPS look, complete with brushed aluminum, carbon fiber palm rests, and a slim design. The laptop is incredibly lightweight and easy to carry around, making it an excellent option for people who travel frequently.

Under the hood, the Dell XPS 15 (2022) is powered by Intel Alder Lake processors and faster RAM, making it an excellent performer for everyday tasks. It features an Intel Core i7-12700H CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Mobile graphics, providing excellent results during everyday use.

Battery life on the Dell XPS 15 is impressive, with the laptop easily lasting a full workday on a single charge.

The Dell XPS 15 (2022) is an attractive and comfortable laptop to use, with a larger screen and keyboard, making it a great option for professionals who spend long hours working on their laptops. Overall, the Dell XPS 15 (2022) is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a powerful and portable 15-inch laptop for CFD simulations.

PROS

  • Outstanding performance
  • Excellent design
  • Good keyboard
  • Impressive 3.5K OLED display

CONS

  • Webcam could be improved

Dell XPS 15 OLED (2022) Key Specifications

Display: 15.6-inch 3.5K display, 3456 x 2160 pixels
CPU: 12th Gen Intel Core i5 – i7
GPU: Intel UHD Graphics – NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
RAM: 8GB – 64GB DDR5
Storage:  256GB – 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe

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5. Dell XPS 13 (2022)

best laptop for cfd

 

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The Dell XPS 13 (2022) laptop is a high-end laptop that comes with a 13.4-inch display with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels. It’s powered by Intel’s 12th Gen Core i7 processors, with up to 32GB of RAM and up to 1TB of NVMe storage. The laptop has a sleek, premium design and is constructed with a mix of aluminum, carbon fiber, and glass.

In fact, the Dell XPS 13 has always been one of the best Windows laptops around, and the 2022 model improves on that reputation. It’s thinner and lighter than before, while still delivering a superb display, keyboard, and decent battery life. It comes in two attractive new colors, Umber and Sky, that add a touch of sophistication to your office or workspace.

The XPS 13’s keyboard remains one of the best on any laptop, and its display is still one of the best around. The battery life is excellent, lasting eight and a half hours.

The webcam and speakers are both dependable, though the latter can muddy sound at higher volumes. However, some features from last year’s model have been removed, and it faces stiff competition from the MacBook Air M2.

All in all, the Dell XPS 13 is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a superb and super-portable Windows notebook for CFD simulations.

PROS

  • Enhanced processing speed
  • Cool design
  • Good pricing

CONS

  • Limited number of ports

Dell XPS 13 (2022) Key Specifications

Display: 13.4-inch InfinityEdge display
CPU:  Up to 12th Generation Intel Core i7-1250U
GPU: Up to Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: Up to 32GB LPDDR5 RAM
Storage: Up to 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe

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6. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (9th Gen)

best laptop for cfd simulations

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The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 is the latest update to one of the most sought-after business laptops available today, and it proves why it is a highly desirable machine. If you are in need of exceptional performance on-the-go in a sleek and portable package, regardless of cost, the X1 Carbon is the ideal choice.

Lenovo has refined the design of the X1 Carbon Gen 9 even further, building upon the phenomenal features of its predecessors. The latest model is equipped with 11th-gen Intel processors and Intel Evo-certification, ensuring exceptional performance, battery life, startup time, and security features that are associated with Evo-certification.

Despite the upgrades, the X1 Carbon Gen 9 retains all the impressive features that have made the X1 Carbon line so popular. The carbon fiber chassis remains lightweight and slim, and the keyboard is outstanding. It also boasts top-notch security features, top-firing speakers, and enough ports to make many of the best Ultrabooks with their limited USB Type-C ports look inadequate.

Given its impressive specs, the X1 Carbon Gen 9 remains one of the best laptops for CFD simulations.

PROS

  • Enhanced processing speed
  • Slim and lightweight
  • Excellent 14-inch display
  • Outstanding battery life
  • Impressive keyboard

CONS

  • Webcam won’t win awards

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (9th Gen) Key Specifications

Display: 14-inch, 1920 x 1200-pixel
CPU: 11th Gen Intel Core i5/Core i7
GPU: Iris Xe
RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB
Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB SSD
Size: 12.4 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches
Weight: 2.5 pounds

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Notable Mentions

Here are other good laptops for CFD simulations deserving of note.

7. Dell Precision 5540

best laptops for cfd simulations

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PROS                                                  

  • Fast processors
  • Slim design
  • Impressive performance
  • Excellent 4K display

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Average battery life

Dell Precision 5540 Key Specifications

Display: 15.6-inch 4K Ultra HD, 3840 x 2160 pixels
CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H
GPU: NVIDIA Quadro T1000
OS: Windows 10 Pro
RAM: 32GB
Storage: 1TB SSD
Size: 14 x 9.25 x 0.44 inches (355.6 x 235 x 11.2 mm)
Weight: 3.90 pounds (1.77 kg)

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8. MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) 

best laptops for cfd simulations

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PROS

  • Excellent performance
  • Impressive display
  • Incredible battery life
  • Plenty of ports

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Large

MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) Key Specifications

Display: 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
CPU: Apple M1 Pro 10-core – M1 Max 10-core
GPU: Integrated 16-core – 32-core GPU
RAM: Up to 64GB
Storage: Up to 8TB
Size: 14.01 x 9.77 x 0.66 inches (355.7 x 248.1 x 16.8 mm)
Weight: 4.7 pounds (2.1 kg)
OS: macOS
Battery: 100Wh

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9. Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 3

best laptops for cfd simulations

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PROS                                                  

  • Excellent display
  • Super fast
  • Robust design
  • Lots of RAM and storage

CONS

  • Pricey

Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 3 Key Specifications

Display: 15.6-inch FHD, 1920 x 1080 pixels
CPU: Intel Core i9-10885H
GPU: Nvidia Quadro T2000
OS: Windows 10 Pro
RAM: 32GB
Storage: 1TB PCIe SSD
Size: 20.16 x 12.91 x 3.07 inches (512 x 327.9 x 78 mm)
Weight: 3.97 pounds (1.8 kg)

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10. Razer Blade 15 Studio

best laptops for cfd simulations

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PROS                                                  

  • Impressive display
  • Very powerful
  • First-rate design
  • Excellent battery life

CONS

  • Pricey

Razer Blade 15 Studio Key Specifications

Display: 15.6-inch OLED Touch
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10875H
GPU: NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000
OS: Windows 10 Pro
RAM: 32GB
Storage: 1TB SSD
Size: 13.98 x 9.25 x 0.70 inches (355 x 235 x 17.8 mm)
Weight: 4.85 pounds (2.2kg)
Battery: 80Wh

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11. Asus ProArt StudioBook Pro X

best laptops for cfd simulations

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PROS                                                  

  • Good display
  • Excellent for video editing
  • Great performance
  • Thin design
  • Light

CONS

  • Keyboard could be better
  • Just one thunderbolt 3 port

Asus ProArt StudioBook Pro X Key Specifications

Display: 17-inch FHD
CPU: Intel Xeon E-2276M
GPU: Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000
OS: Windows 10 Pro
RAM: 64GB
Storage: 4TB PCIe SSD
Size: 15 x 10.4 x 1.3 inches (381 x 264.2 x 33 mm)
Weight: 5.5 pounds (2.49 kg)

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12. Lenovo ThinkPad P73

best laptop for cfd simulation

 

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PROS                                                  

  • Great HD display
  • Good design
  • Stellar performance
  • Excellent build quality
  • Ideal for creatives
  • Excellent keyboard and touchpad
  • Good battery life

CONS

  • Noisy fan

Lenovo ThinkPad P73 Key Specifications

Display: 17.3-inch Full HD, 1920 x 1080 pixels
CPU:Intel i7-9750H
GPU: ‎NVIDIA Quadro P620
OS: Windows 10 Home
RAM: 32GB
Storage: 1TB
Size: ‎11.1 x 16.4 x 1.02 inches

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No. Item  
1 Lenovo ThinkPad P15 (Editors’ Choice) Check Price on Amazon
2 MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) Check Price on Amazon
3 HP ZBook Studio G7 Check Price on Amazon
4 Dell XPS 15 (2022) Check Price on Amazon
5 Dell XPS 13 (2022) Check Price on Amazon
6 Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (9th Gen) Check Price on Amazon
7 Dell Precision 5540 Check Price on Amazon
8 MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) Check Price on Amazon
9 Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 3 Check Price on Amazon
10 Razer Blade 15 Studio Check Price on Amazon
11 Asus ProArt StudioBook Pro X Check Price on Amazon
12 Lenovo ThinkPad P73 Check Price on Amazon

 

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Bottom Line

The laptops we’ve reviewed are perfect for running computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations smoothly. They are adequate meshing, pre- and post- processing. Our picks will provide the best bang for your buck and are highly recommended.