Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

I Need a Reasonable Laptop for CAD / BIM

Tags:
  • CAD
  • Laptops
Last response: in Laptop General Discussion
Share
September 19, 2007 12:48:06 PM

I've searched the topic here and didn't find much. I've been on the forum of the ArchiCAD 11.0, the CAD software (Graphisoft), and reading up on the subject but just get more and more confused. Usually when someone starts a thread there about notebooks it gets into a hissing match between PowerMacs v. PCs (ArchiCad/Graphisoft supports both). They say that processor speed and RAM (2 GB minimum is recommended by the company) to an extent is utmost importance. Graphics cards, they say, should be a minimum of 128 but most say 256? Supposedly you need the more for OpenGL in 3D applications (whatever that means)? (please see first link below)

I intend to start traveling more and need a desktop replacement laptop. Ultra-portability is not really the issue as I'm thinking I'll primarily lug this in a suitcase around in airports and plug it in at hotels; so, I was thinking a 17" w/ the highest resolution I could get since it is a replacement for my desktop (I've been on a 20" monitor). I do need multiple monitor support and was wondering how you achieve this... I did get some results in those searches. Most of the design folks that use the laptops are pluggin them into high resolution 20"-30 inch widescreens while at home. I also will run some modeling programs but I don't know those yet (maybe Lightworks, Cinema4D, etc.) but that's definitely "down-the-line" a ways. I'm a 2D AutoCad person trying to step into the 3D modeling world. Please forgive me with the links, these are the most expert techs I know of, but remember, they are architects not IT specialists.

http://www.archicadwiki.com/What_kind_of_machine_should...

http://archicad-talk.graphisoft.com/viewforum.php?f=7&s...

http://archicad-talk.graphisoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=186...


Do any of you have experience with solid CAD / Building Information Modeling (BIM) systems? I've heard stick to gaming systems for best results but most of the top users are on higher end business systems??
My price range is $1500 - $2250. After the sticker shock of some of hi-end game models (at the websites of several manufacturers like Sager / Hypersonic / Alienware; I also looked at Dell / HP for business models +) I'm wondering if I shouldn't just find a used or refurbished P4 with incredible processor speed? Am I nuts?

I would love a custom built machine but with kids and all else in my world I can't afford it. So I was hoping someone could point me in a good direction.

Please help me if you can.
Let me "thank you" in advance!

More about : reasonable laptop cad bim

a b D Laptop
September 19, 2007 3:41:11 PM

houseman said:
I'm wondering if I shouldn't just find a used or refurbished P4 with incredible processor speed? Am I nuts?

I would love a custom built machine but with kids and all else in my world I can't afford it. So I was hoping someone could point me in a good direction.

Please help me if you can.
Let me "thank you" in advance!


Uhhhhhh, do you mean a refurb machine with a Pentium 4? If that's what you mean, the words P4 and "incredible processing power" don't belong any where near each other. The current Core2Duos in laptops will OWN a P4. Most people stick with gaming setups because the Quadro cards (in business systems) are the gaming cards with revised drivers.

Have you looked at either of these from Dell:
http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us&cs=04&kc=6W300&l=en&oc=bwcwggz&s=bsd
http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us&cs=04&kc=6W300&l=en&oc=bwcwezz&s=bsd

If you want a laptop for cheaper, take a look at the Dell Outlet store. They are preowned systems but for the most part look new. http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnlineSales/topics/global.aspx/arb/online/en/InventorySearch?c=us&cs=28&l=en&s=dfb
September 19, 2007 7:10:23 PM

Quote:
Uhhhhhh, do you mean a refurb machine with a Pentium 4? If that's what you mean, the words P4 and "incredible processing power" don't belong any where near each other. The current Core2Duos in laptops will OWN a P4. Most people stick with gaming setups because the Quadro cards (in business systems) are the gaming cards with revised drivers.


Yes I apologize, that is what I meant to say.
I threw out there the reference to the P4 because I recently saw how the processing speeds for the used (old) Dell xps machines, and others, running P4's were often in the range of 3.0 - 3.6 GHz... and being that the program I intend to work is cpu intensive that it might be best. I see you are not a fan.
I'll take a look at the other Dells, Thanks.
Related resources
a b D Laptop
September 19, 2007 7:51:44 PM

Yeah, the Pentium 4 was a single core CPU that ate energy at incredible rates and gave little performance in return. Just about any dual core in a laptop will be able to give you better performance (in both applications and battery life). Also don't let the ghz thing fool you any more. Intel CPU performance is no longer dependent on clock speed.
September 19, 2007 8:32:18 PM

Thanks for your help, lostandWandering.

So would a 1.8 GHz to 2.0 dual core machine give better performance than a 3.0 GHz single core or Hyper Threaded (HT) processor with less system RAM, say 1 GB for the 3ghz versus 2 to 4 RAM for the 2.0 ghz, when applied to my use which is CAD?

That's what this article seems to suggest: http://www.archicadwiki.com/What_kind_of_machine_should...

I like the M90 but when I add internet wireless capabilities to extra RAM I'm at the outer limits of my budget.
a b D Laptop
September 19, 2007 8:46:37 PM

Yes, a dual core machine (at 2.0) with more RAM will perform better than a single core machine (at 3.0).

The M6300 actually comes out about 100 less than the M90 when similarly configured. I didn't realize they didn't have wireless when I linked them. My bad.
!