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Need a laptop for 3d modelling/photoshop - any reccomendations?

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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October 4, 2009 1:50:09 PM

Hey everyone!

I'm currently in the market for a laptop that can comfortably run 3ds max, photoshop, zbrush and the like. I've already had a look around and looked into the Studio XPS 13 through dell's outlet... it all seemed pretty good until I read about the heating problems, possible discolouration problems from the vent and constant lock-ups. With that said, I'd probably still be interested (though a little cautious!) in one if you guys have had some pleasent experiences with this laptop.

That seems to be the kind of thing I'm looking for, but I'm having a hard time finding much else in my meager budget so any help would be lovely!


1_What is your budget?

£700-800 max! I'm really looking to pay a lot less if possible.

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

I'm not too fussy tbh, just not too big. 13" would be awesome, but I'm thinking it'd be an expensive, and not very varied category.

3_What screen resolution do you want?

I'm not so up on laptop screen resolutions, so I'm just gonna put down the XPS' of 1280x800... but I'm unsure on that one

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

needs to be portable

5_How much battery life do you need?

2-3 hours would be nice

6_Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?

It's not vital, I have my PC for games - I want my laptop to be a work machine!

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)

Photo editing, 3d modelling, watching movies, surfing the net. Like I said, kinda wanna keep it a work machine, but I'll probably use it for some light entertainment on train journeys etc.

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?

anything from 160GB upwards is fine by me. The speed doesn't really matter too much either

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post the links to them.

I've had a look at a few sites, but mainly I keep circling around dell.co.uk - that damn XPS looks too nice!

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?

about two years I'd imagine

11_What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?

a DVD rom would be sufficient

12_Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.

I don't really mind, though I'd like to avoid thinkpads (eugh, I hate their styling) and apple - I don't mind the company, and even owned a macbook once, but their specs and operating system don't work for me (especially for the premium price!)

13_What country do you live in?

UK

I think I should also mention, while not a HUGE deal, I do kinda have a thing for asthetics when it comes to this kinda thing. Call me vain or whatever, but I do like a nice looking machine!
October 4, 2009 6:46:59 PM



Hmmm, a very good point... thanks for your input Maziar.

I assumed that an XPS would be better than a studio XPS and therefore more expensive, but I guess not! the specs do seem quite promising and a lot closer to what I really need.

I have a question on the processors though... Is it worth upgrading from the T4200 (2.0GHz, 800MHz, 1MB cache) to the T6400 (2.0GHz,2MB,800MHz FSB)?
After upgrading one step more to a T8100 (2.10 GHz, 800 MHz FSB, 3 MB L2 cache) it becomes a massive expense that I just can't afford (and any more than that is just crazy). So basically what I'm saying is, will the base processor be enough for what i want to do or should I go for a different system entirely with cheaper higher end processors?

Finally, where would the best place to get one of these be? I suppose there's the dell outlet and a brand new one from dell with coupons, but beyond that i have no idea where I can get one cheaply.

Thanks!
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October 4, 2009 7:02:27 PM

Just so you know, in either configuration, the M1330 will struggle with 3D applications. You really need to up your budget to get something that won't have a problem modeling.

Edit: Also, I'm not entirely sure how you expect to get work done on a tiny screen like that - both in photoshop and modeling, the screen is one of the most important factors. Are you planning on using an external screen?
October 4, 2009 9:08:44 PM

Ahh damn, might have to save up for a couple more months then.

I basically want something portable that i can use to work on while I'm out and about. Although my PC is a few years old now I made sure to to pack it with as much as i could when i built it, so I'm quite well equipped when working at home - and should be for the next year or so at least.

I guess I'm in two minds about this thing... I've borrowed laptops from friends before so i could work away from home and I think they've been of a lesser spec than this. Granted, those machines weren't speedy, but with a little coaxing they got the job done.
Then again, i'm not sure if i could put up with something slow if I had to use it for a long time.

Are there no other alternatives? Like I said, I could certainly go for a larger screen, I think I've just been taken in by the portability of the XPS for now. I'm certainly open to be persuaded away!
!