Help me decide on my next lappy!

morkus64

Diamond Member
Nov 7, 2004
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Hi all! I've got around 1500 to spend and need to be getting a new laptop sometime before the end of the summer. I've got a good idea of the specs that i'll need, but I'd like to get some opinions from you all too.

I like gaming, but my main concerns have to be CAD and digital modeling.

Oh, and before someone asks, yes it has to be a laptop. I'm not lugging a desktop to school and back every day! ;)
 

MarcVenice

Moderator Emeritus <br>
Apr 2, 2007
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There's a million of these threads every day, that's what happened, I think.

Basicaly you need 2gb of memory and the fastest cpu you can get for that money. Maya also requires a lot of HD space, so a big HD is a plus. Since you will be using it for graphical applications a good screen is a must as well. Can't really comment on the screen though, besides warning you for crystalbrite and such, in badly lit rooms you might get some nasty glare on your screen making work inpossible. I'd go with windows XP too, instead of Vista.

If you give a list of possible laptops people could probably pick 1 over another to help you decide.
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
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I talked with some friends that use maya, I use max, and they all recommended one laptop for maya.
http://www.dell.com/content/pr...?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd

Its a bit over you budget but its hard to get a laptop that will work with maya and perform well. It has everything you would need though and I have friends that are using it everyday in production work.

One thing they recommended was to get it with winxp x64 and not vista.
Vista and Maya do not mix well.
 

MarcVenice

Moderator Emeritus <br>
Apr 2, 2007
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Will that qaudro FX make a HUGE difference ? It only has 512mb of ram, thats not a whole lot, not even for XP.
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
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Yes the quadro is the reason why my friends recommend that laptop.
I didn't read the ram on that laptop, 512mb is defenitely too little for maya.
The laptops my friends use are 2GB.

The problem with maya on a laptop is mainly the display.
Maya is a heavy opengl user and the normal laptop video cards are not up to the task.
You need something with about a 7600GT+ card with atleast 256MB dedicated video memory to run maya well on a laptop.

I went through the dell site and did a notebook if I were buying one for maya/3d on the lowest budget I could.

Came out at 1787.00

PROCESSOR Intel® Core? 2 Duo T7100 (1.80GHz) 2M L2 Cache, 800Mhz Dual Core
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® XP Professional, SP2 with Media
VIDEO CARD NVIDIA Quadro FX 360M, 512MB Turbo Cache memory (256 dedicated)
LCD PANEL 15.4 IN WIDE WUXGA+ Anti-Glare LCD Panel
MEMORY 2.0GB, DDR2-667MHz SDRAM, 2 DIMMS
HARD DRIVE 80GB Hard Drive, 9.5MM, 7200RPM
OPTICAL DRIVE 8X DVD+/-RW w/Roxio Creator?/Cyberlink PDVD?
WIRELESS CARD Dell Wireless? 1390 802.11g Mini Card
FINGERPRINT READER OPTION Standard Touchpad
SYSTEM DOCUMENTATION Resource CD - Contains Diagnostics and Drivers for Windows XP
My Accessories
BATTERY OPTIONS 9 Cell Primary Battery
A/C ADAPTER 90W A/C Adapter, Energy Star Compliant
KEYBOARD Internal English Keyboard
 

MarcVenice

Moderator Emeritus <br>
Apr 2, 2007
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Yeah, I guess that's what he needs. I wonder what kind of experience he has with CAD/Maya, and hope he realizes that going with anything slower will annoy the crap out of him when he actually starts using CAD/Maya.

Perhaps you should buy a external HD as well.
 

MagnusTheBrewer

IN MEMORIAM
Jun 19, 2004
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If your main interest is CAD/Maya as you state, you are being totally foolish in spending your $1500 on a laptop. You can get much more bang for your buck by spending it on a desktop.

The Quadro or FireGL is definitely the way to go for rendering but, the trade off is that they are not very good for gaming. Time to make some hard decisions Eh?
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,240
7
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Its always going to be that you can get more in a desktop than a laptop for the same money. But he said he wanted it to be portable so......

The other thing that would really bother me about using any 3d software on a laptop is the screen size. I don't have enough screen space on a 21 inch display , I can't imagine doing long sessions on a 17inch or smaller.
 

MagnusTheBrewer

IN MEMORIAM
Jun 19, 2004
24,135
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Well, I've never heard of a CAD and or rendering class being taught at a school which didnt have computers in the classroom so, why would you have to lug the desktop to school? While computers are necessary for going to any school these days, IMHO, laptops are not needed unless you are unable to return to your desktop for homework.
 

morkus64

Diamond Member
Nov 7, 2004
3,302
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To answer the questions and comments posted:

- I have quite a bit of experience with CAD and Maya... It happens to be my job at the moment.

- It has to be a laptop... There is a computer lab, but i need to be able to use CAD in studio, where there are no computers.

 

Yanagi

Golden Member
Jun 8, 2004
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In regards to dell you should consider either the Precision M90, 17" LCD display and a bit of more "oomph" in the graphics department, the Quadro FX2500 or the FX3500 should be more than sufficient for you.

However if you are looking a a cheaper alternative there's always the Precision M65. A tad smaller screen (15.4") and a slightly slower graphics card, but it is also much more portable than the M90, which I would call TRANSportable, the thing is huge and nto recomended if you're going to move it a lot.
 

MarcVenice

Moderator Emeritus <br>
Apr 2, 2007
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Morkus, you a freelancer ? Because otherwise your boss should be supplying you with either a higher budget, or just a laptop alltogether. It kinda sucks, but for 1500$ it seems to be a little hard to get a decent dualcore processor, 2gb of memory and a qaudro fx.
 

morkus64

Diamond Member
Nov 7, 2004
3,302
1
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No, i'm on a summer internship at the moment doing CAD and 3d work. The laptop is for school. I'm about to start a Masters of Architecture program.

About the video card, i'm wondering about the quadro and directx 10. The 3500 is pixel shader 3, if i remember correctly. Would it be advantageous in the long run to get an 8700m? How do the various quadros, the 8700m and the 7950gtx compare? I wish toms hardware had mobile vga charts. Anywhere that does?
 

A5

Diamond Member
Jun 9, 2000
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The mid-range DX10 parts will be worthless by the time anything uses DX10 - don't waste your money.

7950GTX >> 8700
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,240
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Don't look for a dx10 card for 3d work.
The only major application that uses dx is 3dsmax. And it is only dx9 and opengl.
Dx10 may come to max in a couple years, but from all the talk about it with autodesk they are saying not to expect it in the next release and maybe not before they do the rumored maya/max merger.

Opengl is what all the major apps use.