CAD Laptop Advice

runtimDLL

Active Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Messages
85
Hi Guys!

yes this is my second post in about a yr!

Im in a dilemma a the moment. im a desktop fundi, but now i need a laptop. ive always despised them laptops an now im gonna have to eat my pride. the thing is, i know close to nothing about laptops when in comes to price vs performance and things like that:

Im an Architecture Student in my final year next year, so my uses will be:

2D CAD
3D CAD and Modeling
Intensive Rendering

The programs I use are:

The Adobe Suite
AutoCAD
ArchiCAD
Google Sketchup (amaaaaazing!)
Vray
Artlantis
and a little 3D Studio Max

I need a laptop that would suit these needs.
What kinda specs are we looking at? At what price?

I have a gaming PC at home, but even that takes forever to render, i understand that workstation graphics (quadro, firepro) cost a fortune.....which is why im here asking your advice...sssiiiggghhh...

someone...show me the light...
 

Drake2007

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
4,408
Start with the benchmark of your gaming PC, what are the specs on it? i.e vga, cpu, ram. Obviously any laptop you consider will need to be better than it.
 

Chevron

Serial breaker of phones
Joined
Oct 2, 2007
Messages
25,900
Hi Guys!

yes this is my second post in about a yr!

Im in a dilemma a the moment. im a desktop fundi, but now i need a laptop. ive always despised them laptops an now im gonna have to eat my pride. the thing is, i know close to nothing about laptops when in comes to price vs performance and things like that:

Im an Architecture Student in my final year next year, so my uses will be:

2D CAD
3D CAD and Modeling
Intensive Rendering

The programs I use are:

The Adobe Suite
AutoCAD
ArchiCAD
Google Sketchup (amaaaaazing!)
Vray
Artlantis
and a little 3D Studio Max

I need a laptop that would suit these needs.
What kinda specs are we looking at? At what price?

I have a gaming PC at home, but even that takes forever to render, i understand that workstation graphics (quadro, firepro) cost a fortune.....which is why im here asking your advice...sssiiiggghhh...

someone...show me the light...

Here's a laptop with a quad core and a quadro GFX card. Should be perfect for your needs:

http://www.laptopdirect.co.za/laptop_specifications.php?laptop=38407
 

kilobits

Executive Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
7,181
Good advice here.

Start with the benchmark of your gaming PC, what are the specs on it? i.e vga, cpu, ram. Obviously any laptop you consider will need to be better than it.

Alas... these notebooks do not come cheap. I know there was some talk around these forums about a 10K Asus gaming notebook that may suffice... I will do a quick search for links.

Here are links to that thread and a link to the laptop mentioned...

I have seen an HP Elitebook 8740w in action - it is certified for 3D CAD etc. and it was really really impressive, but waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay overpriced. There is a more affordable 15" Elitebook workstation... I will look for prices links.

It all hinges on your budget really.

EDIT: PS. You will need to check your CAD apps for minimum screen resolution requirements and then start from there... CAD / 3D render apps can be a bugger to use on laptops with screens that are smaller than their interfaces require. It is OK if you are using external screens, but that kinda defeats the laptop thing in a sense.
 
Last edited:

Captian Morgan

Active Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2010
Messages
61
As I work for one of those CAD software companies, the issued me with a HP elitebook 8530w it's got a Quadro FFX770 in works like a bomb for rendering
 

kilobits

Executive Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
7,181
Indeed. I have seen them in action doing 3D stuff and they really are impressive. You also get sturdy build-quality and good battery life too. I would not think twice about an Elitebook 8540w or 8740w if I could afford one... !

As I work for one of those CAD software companies, the issued me with a HP elitebook 8530w it's got a Quadro FFX770 in works like a bomb for rendering
 

Drake2007

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
4,408
You're looking at software even AutoCAD LT 2011 sells around the R7k mark so get used to paying for decent hardware and software in your profession. Watch out for cheap laptops that will be obsolete in 2 years time.

You're looking at around this price range.
Price +- R29,000
Lenovo W701, Intel Core i7-720QM (Quad core 1.60GHz 6MB L3 45W), 2GB DDR3, 500GB / 7200rpm, DVD±RW DL, NVIDIA Quadro® FX 2800M (1GB DDR3) - 96 Cores, 17"WXGA+, N10E-GLM (1GB) Enhanced Discrete, Eth Gigabit Intel 6300 AGN (3x3), Modem, Bluetooth, Camera, FPR, 9 cell, Express Card + Compact Flash, Windows 7 Pro 64, 3 Years Carry In Warranty

Price +-R46,500
Lenovo W701ds, Intel Core i7-820QM (Quad core 1.73GHz 8MB L3 45W), 2x2 GB DDR3, 500GB / 7200rpm, DVD±RW DL, NVIDIA Quadro® FX 3800M (1GB DDR3) - 128 Cores, 17"WUXGA & 10.6"WXGA, N10E-GLM3 (1GB) Enhanced Discrete, Eth Gigabit Intel 6300 AGN (3x3), Modem, Bluetooth, Camera, FPR, 9 cell, Express Card + Compact Flash, Windows 7 Pro 64, 3 Years Carry In Warranty
 

kilobits

Executive Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
7,181
Weeeell... if the budget is around the R30K mark... I would grab...

HP WD941EA 8740W - ISV Certified, with Built-in 2.0mp Webcam + Dual Array Mic + Fingerprint Biometrics Sensor + Security Smart Card Reader, Support Docking Station, Support Upgradable Module Bay - Core I7-720QM - Quad-Core+ Hyper-threading (8-threads), 1.6GHz up to 2.8GHz Turbo-boost (with VT+ VT-d+ TXT+ AES, 45nm, 2.5GT/sec DMi, 21GB/sec Memory Bandwidth ; 6MB L2 Cache), 8GB (4+4) DDR3-1333, Intel QM57 Chipset, nVidia Quadro FX 2800M VGA (96 CUDA Cores with 128bit 1GB DDR3, 64GB/sec), 17" LCD (1920x1200 WUXGA+), D-Sub + Displayport, 500GB 7200RPM SATA HDD, Blu-Ray Rom + Super-multi DVD+/-RW DL Light-scribe Combo Drive, 6-in-1 Card Reader, IEEE1394 + eSATA + USB3.0, Bluetooth, WiFi + Gigabit LAN + 56k Modem + Firewire, Express Card, Integrated Numeric Keypad - with Windows 7 Professional 64bit + Office 2007 Ready (Professional with 60 Day Free Trial) - 3 Years Warranty

R31,597.00 from Wootware

LOL... hey OP, what is your budget and what are your current desktop specs ??
 

MightyQuin

Not amused...
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Messages
28,316
Hi Guys!

yes this is my second post in about a yr!

Im in a dilemma a the moment. im a desktop fundi, but now i need a laptop. ive always despised them laptops an now im gonna have to eat my pride. the thing is, i know close to nothing about laptops when in comes to price vs performance and things like that:

Im an Architecture Student in my final year next year, so my uses will be:

2D CAD
3D CAD and Modeling
Intensive Rendering

The programs I use are:

The Adobe Suite
AutoCAD
ArchiCAD
Google Sketchup (amaaaaazing!)
Vray
Artlantis
and a little 3D Studio Max

I need a laptop that would suit these needs.
What kinda specs are we looking at? At what price?

I have a gaming PC at home, but even that takes forever to render, i understand that workstation graphics (quadro, firepro) cost a fortune.....which is why im here asking your advice...sssiiiggghhh...

someone...show me the light...

Read your OP and the rest...just wondering now...where are you? Are we talking to ourselves here? Don't do a OP and dissappear...its rude.
 

czc

Honorary Master
Joined
Dec 2, 2008
Messages
12,011
Are most CAD programs not dependent on CPU and RAM?
 

Pada

Executive Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2009
Messages
8,187
Are most CAD programs not dependent on CPU and RAM?
Yes they are, which is why you want to offload it to the GPU!

Those Quadro graphics cards are VERY expensive, but if you're doing CAD for your profession, then it is worth it.
Like don't think that you'll get the same (or even half of the) rendering framerate with a Nvidia GTX 580, that you'll get from a R10k worth Quadro card!
 

Pada

Executive Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2009
Messages
8,187
You might find this an interesting read: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Graphic-Cards-for-Professional-Users-Quadro-FireGL.21333.0.html

@runtimDLL:
Do you want a laptop that you can do CAD type of work on, or just for travel and demo purposes?
It might even be cheaper to upgrade your desktop (to a Core i7 950 + Quadro FX4800 -> ~R25k) and to get a decent consumer laptop for like R10k, where the laptop is capable of running all your CAD apps, but not intended for rendering.

I'm not in the CAD line of work, so please don't take my suggestions as the only/best ones...
All I know is that you can get similar spec'd high end desktops for MUCH cheaper than laptops.
 
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runtimDLL

Active Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Messages
85
Start with the benchmark of your gaming PC, what are the specs on it? i.e vga, cpu, ram. Obviously any laptop you consider will need to be better than it.


Seems my signature is incomplete:

P35 Asus P5K Deluxe WiFi MoBo
ATI HD4850 512mb
E8500 Core 2 Duo 3.16 GHz running @ 3.9GHz
2 x 1gb DDR2 1066mHz axeram
 

Drake2007

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
4,408
I have as much fluff disabled on this forum as possible, sigs is one of them.
 

runtimDLL

Active Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Messages
85
lol ok you've got to understand that at this point in time im a student, not earning. so naturaly, these prices made me faint lol, i have considered the desktop upgrade, but this year, (dont laugh) i found myself carting a 24inch and one heavy ass tower from home to campus and back EVERY night... myt as well set up camp there lol.

@stevenv : the 2d CAD runs perfectly well, it just gets a bit frustrating when 3d models get detailed, sketchup files can be in excess of 75mb sometimes, and thats what causes the renders to take forever. lets not talk about the lag!

i did previously have 4gigs of ram, but that was two different types of ram, and the supposedly better ram always bombed out after a couple of weeks. they could never work together.
 

runtimDLL

Active Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Messages
85
Good advice here.



Alas... these notebooks do not come cheap. I know there was some talk around these forums about a 10K Asus gaming notebook that may suffice... I will do a quick search for links.

Here are links to that thread and a link to the laptop mentioned...

I have seen an HP Elitebook 8740w in action - it is certified for 3D CAD etc. and it was really really impressive, but waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay overpriced. There is a more affordable 15" Elitebook workstation... I will look for prices links.

It all hinges on your budget really.

EDIT: PS. You will need to check your CAD apps for minimum screen resolution requirements and then start from there... CAD / 3D render apps can be a bugger to use on laptops with screens that are smaller than their interfaces require. It is OK if you are using external screens, but that kinda defeats the laptop thing in a sense.


PC Zone has an i7 for same price as that laptop mentioned. Think its called Lenovo Y 560

its an i7 740 QM 1.73ghz
4gig DDR3
1gig ATI Madison XT M2 (how good is this?)
15.6" HD LED

Kinda Like this one, since workstation graphics are waaaaaaayyyyyy outa my pricerange


I think Pada is making sense here, upgrade desktop to an i7 and get a decent consumer laptop

This one at PC Zone prices itself at R9499
 
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