Architecture graphics card confusion

Hi there,
I have to build a laptop for architecture school. I am having trouble finding all I need. School has specific requirements:
Intel Core Duo 2.53 ghz or better
4gb memory (min)
500gb hard drive (min.)
1gb Nvidia Quadpro FX graphics card..the faster the better

I've been looking at Alienware's M15 and M17. From what I've seen one comes with a Nvidia Geo and the other an ATi Crossfire. I am not sure if the school insist on the Quadpro or if we just need that as a min standard. I also don't understand what is better than a Quadpro or how ATi Crossfire compares. I've been reading around about it, but it's been confusing me.

I need to run programs like Autocad, Revit, 3ds max, adobe suit...
Please help!
Thanks so much!
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More about architecture graphics card confusion
  1. I'm sure your architecture school is looking for a workstation card, which while the cards in alien ware computers are quite powerful they can't make the calculations, or at least not nearly as well as a workstation gpu, So really an alienware is out of the picture unless it offers that option

    So you could look for a quadpro FX, or ati's firepro I believe in the workstation arena nvidia is usually much stronger, but nvidia hasn't come out with it's gf100 based cards yet so i'd say they're about even atm
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