I am deeply confused because of all the conflicting information about the requirements. I will use my computer for simple remodeling projects but want it to work smoothly.Some people say that you can run these programs on a gaming computer but Autodesk does not support them. I do not have the budget to buy a work station and have spent hours trying to find a laptop 17" screen which would allow me to run these programs. My budget is between $ 800.- - $ 1200.- Also, I am not very comfortable with computer jargon. I wish someone could just tell me what to buy. All these different graphic cards
names offered are very confusing. I will use this computer for school projects and remodeling jobs which usually consist of construction documents for a kitchen remodel, cabinet elevations and some 3D sketches on sketch-up
and Photoshop uses. I would appreciate any help from someone with experience on this issue. Thanks in advance.
I work for an engineering firm. We use several different AutoCAD programs including AutoCAD, Microstation, and Maya. If you are building a workstation dedicated to CAD design, you are going to want to stick with a professional graphics card. Gaming cards do not have certified drivers to work with the major CAD applications.
It sounds like what you are doing is mainly simple 2D drawings, not much 3D rendering. If this is the case, go with a low end professional card. With your budget, I would go with the AMD Firepro V4900. That is what we use in our lower end workstations. The next step up from that would be the V5800 or W5000, but I don't think your budget will allow for that. Professional graphics are no doubt more expensive for the hardware you get.
In that price range, you will not find a laptop with professional graphics.
If you are partial to NVIDIA, go with something from the Quadro lineup, however, they do not have anything comparable to the V4900(In price or performance).
Be sure to pair it with at least 8GB of RAM and at least an i5 processor.