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Hewlett packard laptops CAD

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March 8, 2011 9:15:59 PM

Hello CAD users,

I am novice with CAD software such as AutoCAD and SolidWorks. I am looking for a new laptop or PC system with CAD 3D capability. So I've been reviewing some forum discussions about laptops and desktop PC's, but I wish to obtain recent observtions and success stories. The preference is to use a Laptop for the mobility reasons, but I do know of any laptops that support 3D CAD capability, especially for complex drawings/documents.

Solidworks suggests and has verified several NVIDIA Quadro FX & non- FX, ATI FirePro, and ATI FireGL video cards. These cards, from my knowledge, are for desktop configuration only. But there information seems a bit out dated.

I have also spoken with an AutoCAD reseller who mentioned no in depth technical information of the subject. He said that he has seen laptops with 6 GB ram operate perfectly fine with AutoCAD, but I feel sceptical about his knowledge.

I you have any recent knowledge of laptop or desktop models that support CAD 3D, please let me know. Responses will be acknowledge with information that I find via discussion with laptop and PC manufacture reps. Thanks for your help.

a b U Graphics card
March 9, 2011 2:27:33 AM

The HP dv6t's and dv7t's Quad Editions on discount right now will perform cadwork very well. Save $300 on those HPs with coupon code: NB6798

No one in my office has workstation graphics cards (many discrete though, which are comparable to good laptop graphics) and they do AutoCAD quite well. Keep in mind we're Structural and Civil Engineering, not Architecture, so the 3D is limited.

What is your price range? I recommend the 17" dv7t for CAD. Also, the 15.6" screen is lower resolution.

I'd say the important thing is a Second Generation i7 processor (i7-2xxxQM) and 8GB of RAM. These laptops come with 6GB (4GB + 2GB sticks) of memory so you should buy a 4GB stick of the same speed from Newegg.com or wherever's cheapest and replace the 2GB stick.

Don't be fooled by their "upgrade" to a 750GB HDD. The 640GB drive is 7200rpm, which means its faster.

Also, it's probably worth your while to get the upgrade to the 9-cell battery or even get the extra battery too. These are the cheapest laptop battery prices I've seen and they always die on you in a couple years.

I'm not sure how much it's worth, but it also comes with a Blu-Ray reader for free (extra $100 or so on the 15.6").

EDIT: It appears the coupon code does not work. Do not fear! HP has new coupons every week or so, keep an eye on slickdeals.net.
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March 9, 2011 4:23:48 PM

Thanks dalauder:) .

I will review HP products to see prices. Your processor selection seems a bit advanced for me. Solidworks and AutoCAD recommendations are still suggesting Pentium 4's, a bit outdated. Obviously i5 or i7 core processors make more sense, but why do you suggest i7-2xxxQM. I will goggle and wiki this processor to answer the question myself, but your knowledge and expertise will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again. Looking forward to your response.

dalauder said:
The HP dv6t's and dv7t's Quad Editions on discount right now will perform cadwork very well. Save $300 on those HPs with coupon code: NB6798

No one in my office has workstation graphics cards (many discrete though, which are comparable to good laptop graphics) and they do AutoCAD quite well. Keep in mind we're Structural and Civil Engineering, not Architecture, so the 3D is limited.

What is your price range? I recommend the 17" dv7t for CAD. Also, the 15.6" screen is lower resolution.

I'd say the important thing is a Second Generation i7 processor (i7-2xxxQM) and 8GB of RAM. These laptops come with 6GB (4GB + 2GB sticks) of memory so you should buy a 4GB stick of the same speed from Newegg.com or wherever's cheapest and replace the 2GB stick.

Don't be fooled by their "upgrade" to a 750GB HDD. The 640GB drive is 7200rpm, which means its faster.

Also, it's probably worth your while to get the upgrade to the 9-cell battery or even get the extra battery too. These are the cheapest laptop battery prices I've seen and they always die on you in a couple years.

I'm not sure how much it's worth, but it also comes with a Blu-Ray reader for free (extra $100 or so on the 15.6").

EDIT: It appears the coupon code does not work. Do not fear! HP has new coupons every week or so, keep an eye on slickdeals.net.

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a b U Graphics card
March 9, 2011 8:34:09 PM

I suggest those processors for two reasons:

1) To get a decent laptop with a video card that will allow you to do 3D CAD work, you'll have to spend $800. With the coupon, the 15.6" is $805. Most of the last month and a half, there has been a coupon that allows you to get the 17" for $900.
2) Not only are these processors substantially more powerful, they run cooler and conserve power better.

I cannot recommend a first generation i5/i7 CPU (4xxM,5xxM/7xxM) when a second generation is the same price on a couple of websites. I chose the 2nd generation i7 over the i5 because the i5 is not offered on HP's website. Although offered on the Sager website, the price difference is only $30--which compels you to pay for the upgrade.

If you aren't interested in heavy business class CAD work and just want something to play around with, first generation i5 laptops can be found for $600--but they are anemic by comparison. The 2nd generation laptops will be more powerful than pretty much any desktop you encounter that isn't rocking these new CPUs.
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