system requirements for autocad
system requirements for 3ds-max
looks like AutoCad s mostly CPU dependent and probably supports 2 threads
is he going to be using any 3d rendering programs? then the dedicated gpu might help
do you know if he wants portability?
will he be taking the notebook to classes?
do you think he'll be playing games or watching movies or anything?
all of those options have dedicated gpus
the nvidia options might be better due to better gpu switching drivers (improves battery life)
he'll probably want a high resolution screen, for 17" or 15.6" that'd be 1920x1080
all of those options you listed have 1600x900 which isn't too bad though
if he wants something portable i'd go with a 13.3-14" though