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Guest ID2010

Mobile Workstation

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Guest ID2010

Ok, so i'm looking to buy a new laptop that is capable of running 3DS Max and Solidworks along with Photoshop etc.

 

From my research, this seems to be a pretty decent laptop:

 

 

http://configure.euro.dell.com/dellstore/c...M4503&s=bsd

 

But my question is, do I upgrade the RAM from 4 to 8Gb or upgrade the processor??

 

what will benefit the CAD more?

 

Cheers!

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FYI make sure you get the 64 bit OS or you'll be wasting any additional ram.

 

I would suggest if your budget is constrained to upgrade the CPU since it's not something you can upgrade yourself. If you decide down the line you need another 4 gigs of ram you can always throw it in for much less than Dell charges then.

 

Look at your actual memory usage today by launching the task manager. It will show you how much memory all of your apps are using. Most people don't work on enough data to need more than 4 gigs, and if you do it will be pretty easy to tell. (IE on my machine when working on large assemblies Pro E, Alias, and Showcase will eat up about 6 gigs of ram not including the OS, Outlook, etc)

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Guest Buff

Unless your constrained by budget I'd recoment the Precision M6500

 

CPU speed is as Cyberdeamon a better investment as in MCAD systems CPU can be more of a bottle neck than RAM and GPU. MCAD is a single thread app

 

for 3DS, PS et.al you would benifit from more cores.

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Guest ID2010

Thanks for the replies guys, I really appreciate it!

 

How easy is it to upgrade RAM and stuff at a later date? I've always been a desktop user but now that I'm on the move it needs to be a laptop. I've heard a lot about people saying solid state HD are the best way to go and to be honest I never fill my computers more than about 100Gb is this worth considering at all? My budget really caps at £2000... so i dont think I can afford a decent setup of the 6500M

 

And finally, are Dell the only people who do laptops with a focus on CAD etc? most companies i've found focus on gaming laptops modelled around the Geforce range of cards which are great for gaming but Quadro seems to perform better for CAD.

 

I don't feel like I'm getting to shop around!

 

My actual memory usage at the moment is horrendous! I've got a Athlon X2 4600+, 2 Gb RAM and Geforce 8600GT and the computer lags terribly when modelling (even with 3DS) and I literally can't render out some of my more complex models.

 

Anyhow cheers for your input!

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Guest Buff

MCAD has relitivley small data sets and the read/write rate of SSD's wont help much. For 3ds I'm not sure but with all the polygons I guess the datasets can be large for an arcitectural model (40-50MB typ?) so would help a tad more.

 

OS an apps would load quicker with an SSD.

 

for the extra money you'd spend on the SSD you would see more performance from your budget by going for the faster CPU.

 

GPU on the M6500 is 1GBDDR3 across the range. Dunno about the other models. the 768GB Nvidia will be OK mostly.

 

Alternative to Dell! Try googling Workstation Specialists (in Derby I think)

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Guest ID2010

Thanks Buff, thats really helpful! There's so much conflicting info out there it's good to hear informed responses from fellow designers rather than abstract stats and figures.

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Dell and HP are probably the 2 biggest players in the mobile workstation game, but frankly I am not thrilled with my older HP mobile. I think Dell seems to put together better machines in general.

 

The SSD would help, but they're still very pricey so probably out of your range.

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Guest Buff
Dell and HP are probably the 2 biggest players in the mobile workstation game, but frankly I am not thrilled with my older HP mobile. I think Dell seems to put together better machines in general.

 

The SSD would help, but they're still very pricey so probably out of your range.

 

 

All the Hp machines I've owned have been less reliable than I'd hoped.

 

My Omnibook fell apart after 13 month... literally. I hap to tape it together with duct tape. The hinges where made from MAZAK die casting which isn't great with fatigue.

 

It completely gave up after 18 month as the heatpipe apparently was undersized for the CPU

 

Dell has prooved more reliable

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Yeah the keyboard on my HP isn't completely planar, so I've had to remove it, bend it out of shape and then put double stick tape on the back so it will actually stay flush.

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Guest ID2010

Whoa! Think i'll stick with a Dell then!!! Cheers guys, much appreciated!

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Personally I wouldn't worry about CAD cards. I run Max, SW and PS fine on a GeForce card, so do many others. There are tonnes of threads on using gaming cards for CAD - it's more dependent on the driver. Make sure you've got good RAM or the ability to expand and 64-bit if you have heavy scenes. You pay a high premium for a workstation because the customer would pay more than a gamer would.

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Guest Buff
Personally I wouldn't worry about CAD cards. I run Max, SW and PS fine on a GeForce card, so do many others. There are tonnes of threads on using gaming cards for CAD - it's more dependent on the driver. Make sure you've got good RAM or the ability to expand and 64-bit if you have heavy scenes. You pay a high premium for a workstation because the customer would pay more than a gamer would.

 

 

True but for rendering. Whilst most render OK the workstation cards are configured to specifically work with ray tracing and CAD oriented shaders. There is usually good info on workstation GPU on Develop3D

 

Perhaps a more important reason some VAR's won't help you out with problems if your machine isn't on the vendor approval list, which makes your maintenance a rather expensive if you ever needed their help.

 

In one office I worked in the senior designer had a top spec workstation with a 512MB Quadro FX GPU and a fistfull of RAM

 

another guy in the same office was running with half the RAM and a 32MB on board GPU... his machine was quicker. Because he had the faster CPU.

 

Not all CAD/CAID software have the same needs. Speak to Workstation Specialist about your particular needs and they will set you up with a machine thats configured to your needs and budget. The guy's name is Mike IIRC

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Hi all, I am looking for a mobile workstation myself and have been looking at the new HP 8740 Elitebook, any thoughts on that?

 

should i point myself towards a dell? The price for the dell machines is higher but when looking for a mobile workstation it has to be a good selection as they are expensive!

 

so dell or hp?

 

also will the nvidia 2800 card work with realview on solidworks? I use solidworks and photoworks pretty much all the time.

 

its a shame solidworks wont work with quad core processor isnt it! looks like i will be looking at the i7 dual core.

 

Mark.

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The 8740 is pretty close to what I run. It's not a bad machine, but like I said I'm usually more impressed by the build quality of the Dell hardware.

 

The Quadro cards will work with Real View.

 

And the i7 processor isn't a dual core, it's a Quad Core with hyperthreading (8x logical cores)

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True but for rendering. Whilst most render OK the workstation cards are configured to specifically work with ray tracing and CAD oriented shaders. There is usually good info on workstation GPU on Develop3D

 

Perhaps a more important reason some VAR's won't help you out with problems if your machine isn't on the vendor approval list, which makes your maintenance a rather expensive if you ever needed their help.

 

I've had no problem with my GPU. I did a lot of research on it a while back. If you're a company, then most wouldn't mind paying the extra for any support and the reassurance of compatibility. But for a student, hobbyist etc (not sure what the OP is), the need for paying a premium for a CAD card for the software he stated, is unnecessary. Just research forums and user experience to find out which are compatible.

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