Should I buy a Laptop or a Desktop?

Laptop vs Desktop

3D modelling and rendering software is ever advancing. This is constantly providing new levels of complexity and control for 3D designers and artists. Having a computer system powerful enough to keep up with your workflow is vital. And yet often, not as simple as it sounds to achieve.

Should I buy a Laptop or a Desktop?

'a system powerful enough for your workflow is vital'

I discussed this in detail in Part I. I found myself struggling with this last year, here is the short story of my quest for the perfect machine!

I entered the world of 3D modelling at school, playing around with Rhino 3 during lunch breaks and free lessons, making spaceships and designing treehouses.

Now as a self-employed creative my work has been constantly adapting and changing over the years. 

From graduating as a product designer focused on sustainable, wearable tech, to becoming a CAD software educator and freelance 3D specialist. I have found my digital toolset constantly growing and diversifying. My aged laptop sadly has not had much of a change, apart from the odd software update and hard drive swap. So, with the howling whines of my laptop at my fingers I set out in search of a new machine.

Software is always evolving

'I have found my digital toolset constantly growing'

Now, as a devotee of Youtube tech channels and lover of “ultimate workstation” builds, the hardest part of choosing a new machine was definitely setting and maintaining realistic goals and ambitions for my new computer system.

Having only had laptops as my personal machines and with a dedicated studio at home I found myself looking at the option of buying a desktop. For my own systems I have always had laptops for the much desired need of portability and budget.

Which is better a laptop or a desktop?

My current Laptop build:

The monster Clevo P170SM, built by Very PC with:

Intel i7-4810MQ



£1,324.80 (£1589.76 with VAT)

At around 4.5kg of weight it’s barely portable and extremely noisy when working hard

These were compromises that I was willing to take to maximise my £1500 budget for power, performance and upgradeability. 

My Current desktop workstation build:

Ryzen 1700x  O.C @3.75Ghz

16Gb Ram

Graphics: GTX 1060 6Gb

Asus Prime B350 Mother Board

Be Quiet! Pure rock CPU cooler

NZXT S340 case

Now (2018) the power of laptops is starting to rival that of a standard desktop workstation, but something in this range will cost you a lot. The best amount of power for your money will always come in the form of a desktop. You need to weigh up whether your need for portability trumps your need for a more powerful system. If you have a dedicated workspace of studio this is no problem. If you travel for work or work from a shared office this can become a more important issue.

finish here:

Thanks for reading, if you found blog post this useful:

download the full article with parts 1-4 for more information on choosing the right system, researching tech and CPU vs GPU.

Or browse our resources page for more helpful information.

Workstation Resources


Ben HurstComment