Autocad System Requirements for Mac and Windows Systems

A personal favorite of architects, designers, and engineers alike, AutoCAD is a tool that helps individuals curate and create designs, drafts, and drawings – both 2D and 3D. The software has undergone an upgrade recently. Let’s take a look at what has changed in the latest version of AutoCAD. 

AutoCAD 2021 System Requirements

Now that we know what to look forward to in the 2021 version of AutoCAD, let’s take a look at its system requirements.

For Windows

Operating System

As we all know, the system requirements for AutoCAD 2020 was Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit only), 8.1 (64-bit only), or 7 SP1 (64-bit only). 

It mostly remains unchanged when it comes to the operating system requirements of AutoCAD 2021 as well, with 64-bit Microsoft® Windows® 8.1, and Windows 10. However, we find that Windows 7 SP1 has been taken out of the list.

Processor

When it comes to the processor, the minimum requirement to run AutoCAD 2020 was 2.5 GHz, with 3+ GHz recommended that exactly what the best AutoCAD laptops we reviewed come with. 

We find that not much has changed in the latest version. While the recommended requirement remains 3+ GHz, the minimum requirement has from 2.5 GHz to anything between 2.5 and 2.9 GHz.

Memory

The system requirements of Autocad 2021 suggests that a minimum of 8 GB is needed for the functioning of the software, which is the same as the 2019 version requirements. However, 16 GB is the recommended amount of Memory. 

This means that while the software requires a minimum of 8 GB of memory to run, it does not promise smooth functioning.  If there is a lack of memory, the system tends to become slow, which might hinder the running of the software.

Display

The AutoCAD 2021 system requirements state that 1920 x 1080 resolution with True Color is the required display resolution for the software. However, if you are looking at High Resolution & 4K Displays, resolutions up to 3840 x 2160 are ideal. 

This is especially important since AutoCAD is a design software used by architects and artists alike. Therefore, for sharp and clear images, make sure that your system meets the suggested display requirements.

Disk Space

If your system does not have at least 20% of free space in its hard drive, it is most likely that the system will crash. 

Not only that, you will not be able to run any software without encountering frequent freezes. Therefore, make sure that your system meets the required disk space of 7GB (6GB in the 2020 version) before trying to work on AutoCAD. 

For Macbook

Operating System: 

  • The following versions are supported by AutoCAD 2021:
  • Apple® macOS® Big Sur v11 (requires Update 2021.1)
  • Apple® macOS® Catalina v10.15
  • Apple macOS Mojave v10.14
  • Apple macOS High Sierra v10.13

Model

While Apple Mac Pro® 4.1, MacBook Pro® 5.1, iMac® 8.1, Mac mini® 3.1, MacBook Air®, and MacBook® 5.1 will do the job, it is recommended that you use Apple Mac® models supporting Metal Graphics Engine or Apple Macbook models with M series chip which are supported under Rosetta 2 mode for a hassle-free, smooth experience.

CPU

While Intel Core i7 or higher is recommended, you can use anything that does not fall below a 64-bit Intel CPU. 

If you do not wish to compromise on the speed and response time of the software, make sure that your Macbook meets these system requirements.

Memory

While the system requirements for a Windows laptop suggested a minimum of 8GB RAM for the software to run, a Macbook requires considerably less memory. 

While AutoCAD 2021 will function with 4GB RAM, you require at least 8GB or higher for an ideal experience.

Display

A minimum of 1280 x 800 display is required, while if you are working on something intricate and would like to invest in a high-resolution screen, the recommended display requirements for AutoCAD 2021 is 2880 x 1800 with Retina Display.

Disk Space

While its Windows counterpart required a 7GB disk space, a MacBook only requires 4GB to run Autocad 2021 on it. However, if you wish to elevate your experience, a disk space of 8GB is advised. 

Additional Requirements 

For large datasets, point clouds, and 3D modeling that are generally considered to be ‘data-heavy’, the system requirements are slightly different. 

While the RAM requirements remain the same at 8GB, the disk space requirement is reduced to 6GB from the earlier 7GB. 

Please note that this requirement of 6GB is without including installation requirements. As far as the display card is concerned, anything with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 or greater will work. 

Specialized Toolset

While the above mentioned system requirements stand true for both Windows and Macbooks, some specialised tool sets may have some additional requirements. 

  • AutoCAD Map 3D requires both disk space and RAM of 16GB.
  • AutoCAD Electrical requires a disk space of 12GB.
  • AutoCAD Architecture requires a disk space of 12GB.
  • AutoCAD MEP requires a disk space of 10GB.
  • AutoCAD Plant 3D   
  • AutoCAD Mechanical requires a disk space of 7GB.
  • AutoCAD Raster Design requires a disk space of 1GB.

About AutoCAD 2021

The Design

The design has been tweaked to make it even more user-friendly. AutoCAD 2021 comes with the option of a new dark theme that is said to increase both visibility and productivity. The color of the interface has been changed to blue to reduce strain on the user’s eyes. While these are the two main design changes, we also noticed minor tweaks such as sharper icons and higher contrast.

Installation Time

While the previous version of the software took a considerable amount of time to load, the latest AutoCAD 2021 comes with an installation time drop of almost 50%, adding to the convenience factor. The overall response time has also improved, with the user being able to save a file in less than half a second. Another important factor is that you can access any file on any computer with the new cloud storage facility. 

New Tools

The AutoCAD 2021 version introduces us to a couple of new tools. First off, the Blocks Palette tool from AutoCAD 2020 has been retained. This tool is used to insert blocks quickly and with ease from any ribbon gallery. 

The Purge Redesign tool has been improved upon, which helps us manage and clean up unnecessary drawings and designs with ease. 

The DWG Compare has also undergone a revamp. Users no longer need to leave their windows to compare revisions. The Quick Measure is a newly introduced tool that helps  display measurements at the tap of a button. 

FAQs

What are the system requirements of AutoCAD 2021?

In short, the system requirements of AutoCAD 2021 are:

  • Operating System: 64-bit Microsoft® Windows® 8.1 and Windows 10
  • Processor:  2.5–2.9 GHz processor (3+ GHz recommended)
  • Memory: 8 GB (16GB recommended)
  • Disk space: 7.0 GB.
  • Display: 1920 x 1080 resolution with True Color.

How much RAM is required to run AutoCAD 2021?

While a minimum of 8GBRAM is required to run AutoCAD 2021, it is recommended that you need 16GB RAM for an optimal experience.

Do I need a graphics card to run AutoCAD?

No, you do not need a graphics card to run AutoCAD since it is CPU intensive and not GPU intensive.

Is Core i5 good for AutoCAD?

Yes,  AutoCAD will work well on Core i5.

What is the recommended display for AutoCAD 2021?

1920 x 1080 resolution with True Color is the recommended display for AutoCAD 2021.

Which are the operating systems supported by AutoCAD 2021 for a macbook?

The operating systems supported by AutoCAD 2021 for a macbook are:

  • Apple® macOS® Big Sur v11 (requires Update 2021.1)
  • Apple® macOS® Catalina v10.15
  • Apple macOS Mojave v10.14
  • Apple macOS High Sierra v10.13

Does the AutoCAD 2021 version introduce us to new tools?

Yes, the AutoCAD 2021 version introduces us to a couple of new tools such as the Quick Measure. Similarly, old tools like the Blocks Palette, the Purge Redesign, and DWG Compareold have undergone a revamp. 

Written By James Avery

The lead editor for the laptop team at GetSuperBook, Avery has been an integral part since the beginning. With 5 years of experience at one of the biggest IT firms, his experience, MBA in IT, and love for tech make him the ideal person to help you guys make better buying decisions.

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