Need Laptop for 3D Rendering Running Rhino3D

Good afternoon all,

I'm seeking help in picking out a laptop for 3D modeling and rendering, specifically Rhino3D. I've been trying to do research on what would be my best option, but I find myself getting confused with it. I've haven't used a Windows machine in quite sometime, I mainly do work in Adobe CS on Mac, but I'm having to get into working with Rhino3D and it does not have a Mac client other than a beta version. I believe a multiple core processor and a video card that supports OpenGL are both important factors but as I mentioned above I'm getting quite confused with specs. I was looking at both a Dell Precision M6600 and an Alienware M17x, I've also heard a couple good things about MSI, but its the first I've ever heard of that company. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

1. What is your budget?

Don't have a set budget yet, but probably no more than $3000.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?


3. What screen resolution do you want?

I would think 1080?

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

Desktop replacement.

5. How much battery life do you need?

I imagine I would always have it plugged into the wall at either the office or home.

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)?

Possibly, it will mainly be a work related computer, but I might put Skyrim or something on it.

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

My main concern is running the 3D modeling and rendering software. I will still use my Macbook Pro for Adobe programs.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?

Not exactly sure, I would think 500-750GB would be sufficient. Are SSD worth the extra money?

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

Any suggestions on where to buy would be appreciated.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?

I've had my Macbook Pro for about 4 years now, so I would like to have at least the same life for this laptop.

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

At least a DVD writer for backups.

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.

Looking for suggestions on this.

13. What country do you live in?


14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

Thanks for the help!
4 answers Last reply
More about need laptop rendering running rhino3d
  1. Apparently nobody wants to tell you you're probably wasting your time especially on your budget. I don't know what Rhino is but I can tell you it takes a pretty powerful desktop to run 3D modeling software (I use Solidworks) well. Many people believe that a laptop can do anything a desktop can do. If that were true there would no longer be any desktops. I suggest you have a look at system requirements on your software vendor's webpage.
  2. I compared the system requirements for solid works and rhino, solid works looks like it requires quite a bit more than rhino.

    Rhino has listed

    Pentium, Celeron or higher processor
    200 mb disk space
    512mb ram, 1 gb or more recommended
    OpenGL graphic card recommended

    Runs on

    Windows 2000
    Windows XP
    Windows Vista (says it has issues with vista not sure what though)
    Windows 7

    It looked like solid works minimum is like 2 gb ram, so I think it's a much more sophisticated program. I don't know if that info might help at all if anyone might have more insight into this?
    It has an i7 quad core, GTX 660M, 17" 1080p screen and 750GB HDD. There is also a 15" model with the same specs for $50 less.
  4. Although Rhino will run OK on their listed minimum requirements, it will only run easily in "Wireframe Mode when dealing with larger datasets. If your going to use the more hardware intensive modes like "Rendered Shadows" you will need the most powerful system you can afford. Rhino's viewports work best with high end GPUs so that is one of the most important choices you need to make. Also, since Rhino uses OpenGL, you should avoid GeForce graphics and go for the Quadro. Any of the AMD graphic GPUs will be fine. I'm running Rhino on my desktop so you would get the best laptop advice by asking your question on the Rhino3D newsgroup. There are several users running Rhino on laptops.
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