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Need Laptop Advice

Need Laptop Advice

Need Laptop Advice

(OP)
I'm looking to purchase a laptop that will run SolidWorks well, but also do a good job with games and audio editing.  I've narrowed it down to two laptops, and would appreciate any input you might have.

Laptop A - Acer TravelMate 8104 $2200
2.0M
1GB RAM
128 MB ATI x700 PCI-E
unsure of HD speed

Laptop B - IBM T42P $1900
2.0M
1GB RAM
128 MB ATI FireGL T2 AGP 4X
7200 RPM HD

I also think that the Acer has a higher front side bus rating, due to the fact its a newer chipset than the IBM.  

Has anyone had any luck running SW on an ATI X700 Mobile chipset?

Thanks.

RE: Need Laptop Advice

I have an IBMT42P very close to what you have listed above, as far as SolidWorks goes it is great, no problems at all, the ATI FireGL T2 is really an awesome card when working with SW. I am not a gamer so I cant speak to that.

RE: Need Laptop Advice

(OP)
the dell looks hot... but compareably configured its a whopping $3500!  way way out of my price range.  

my coworker had the t41 an that was a slick little machine, and as far as acer goes, i have an aspire and absolutely love it.  it runs solidworks, but too glitchy (dimensions appear/disappear at random).  everything else it runs amazingly.

any other ideas?

RE: Need Laptop Advice

Quote:

my coworker had the t41 an that was a slick little machine, and as far as acer goes, i have an aspire and absolutely love it.  it runs solidworks, but too glitchy (dimensions appear/disappear at random).  everything else it runs amazingly.

If you don't laptop with an approved video card, then you are going to see many glitchy things as well as slow downs, crashing, instability, etc... So that's up to you on how important/expensive your time is for you to live with the glitchy, crashy issues or get a laptop that you will not complain about.

Try looking on ebay. An AE here got his M60 for around $2000.

There is new lower end CAD laptop by Dell. I believe it's the M20. Check it out.

Regards,

Scott Baugh, CSWP
3DVision Technologies

www.3dvisiontech.com
www.scottjbaugh.com
FAQ731-376
FAQ559-716 - SW Fora Users

RE: Need Laptop Advice

Scott is absolutely right.  It doesn't take too many hours of lost productivity due to crashes, freezes, etc. to make up for the extra cost of the PC, and then some.

RE: Need Laptop Advice

Has anyone used or considered the Alienware MJ-12M 7700 laptop?  It comes in P4 flavors up to 3.8GHx.

It has some really awsome specs including either a ATI Mobility RADEON X800 with 256MB DDR3 or NVIDIA GeForce 6800GO with 256MB DDR3 or NVIDIA Quadro FX Go 1400 with 256MB DDR3 video card options.  Tha last card being a very good option.

 

RE: Need Laptop Advice

I have just ordered an Alienware Area51-7700. better spec than the dell m70 and with a 17 inch screen (www.alienware.com)

RE: Need Laptop Advice

Does the Area51-7700 get the Quadro card?

RE: Need Laptop Advice

The grafix card is the quadro fx1400 pci express. Its the new card being fitted to dells flagship m70. If you go on the akienware web site go to the workstation section because if you go to laptops you get the gaming grafix cards

RE: Need Laptop Advice

twit just remembered somthing else

BOXX and EUROCOMM

both of the above companies supply the same machine. I have been told that they are all made by the same company and just badged for each company

RE: Need Laptop Advice

The MJ-12M 7700 is the onlyLaptop there that I can find that has the Quadro Option

NVIDIA Quadro FX Go 1400 with 256MB DDR3 - which is the same card as the M70 gets. - Compared that to the SW graphics card and testing.

1) The standard M70 without any customization is $2,377.
The Alienware MJ-12M 7700 without any customization is $2,627

2) Dell gives a broader band of different CPU's Unlike Alienware

3) They both give the same amount of RAM (256) which should be upgraded to at least 1 gig. - 1GB, 533MHz, DDR2 SDRAM (2 DIMMS)

4) Alienware gives you the choice of different cards (which those are not supported by SW). Dell does not give you the choice of Video cards it maintains the Quadro card.

5) Alienware comes with a 40 Gig HDD as does Dell.

With these choices here are the costs for each system

Alienware: $2,774

Dell's M70: $2,776


Where is the benefit other then personal Preference and some different options?

The basic laptops from each has the Dell as the least Expensive, but as you customize it the cost grows and the Dell seems to cost you more depending on the options you choose. But to get a system the will work effectively, it comes down to choise or personal preference.

My personal Preference is a Dell. I have 2 of them and both most reliable.

Regards,

Scott Baugh, CSWP
3DVision Technologies

www.3dvisiontech.com
www.scottjbaugh.com
FAQ731-376
FAQ559-716 - SW Fora Users

RE: Need Laptop Advice

I found the monitors for each system:

Dell 15.4" UltraSharpTM  Wide Aspect (choice of WUXGA, WSXGA+ or WXGA)

The Alienware MJ-12m 7700 17" widescreen

If you looking for a new Mobile workstation, I suggest you check out either of these 2 systems, both have the pros and cons, it's up to you to decide what you like.

Regards,

Scott Baugh, CSWP
3DVision Technologies

www.3dvisiontech.com
www.scottjbaugh.com
FAQ731-376
FAQ559-716 - SW Fora Users

RE: Need Laptop Advice

Don't get me wrong I'm slating the dell, i almost bought one.

The main differences are

the alien has a 17 inch screen
it uses a standard pentium HT processor not the mobile processor
It is expandable to 4 gig of ram from 4 slots (mem is sensible price compared to dell)
You have the option to have 2 hard drives ( i have had the 2 x 60 gig 7200rpm non raid option)

There are advantages and disadvantages to both systems. The alien uses more desktop components so is more of a desktop replacement than laptop, the increase in power has the down side of poor battery life.
The dell is based on mobile tech so it gives some on the performance to gain battery life.

It is purely a personal choice. My reasoning was that I was using the machine away from home so the big screen was a selling point and the battery life was not a problem because how many times do you do CAD on the train

As finishing note If you contact any of the vendors for the main CAD systems ie Unigraphics, solidworks etc they all use the dell M60 and I would presume they are moving to the M70

RE: Need Laptop Advice

Please add NOT to my last post

I ment to say "I'm not slating Dell"

Brain works quicker than my fingers

RE: Need Laptop Advice

HT needs to be shut off to get a performance increase in SW. With HT on you only use 50% of your total CPU.

That's true about RAM, but at 1 gig the prices are compariable.

You have option in the Dell to have a removeable HDD and a primary HDD as you do the Alienware.



The M60 was last years Laptop this year it's the M70 or M20.

The M20 has a Support ATI card. I played with it at SWWC this year. I liked and the price is good good too. Starting price is $1,927.

Regards,

Scott Baugh, CSWP
3DVision Technologies

www.3dvisiontech.com
www.scottjbaugh.com
FAQ731-376
FAQ559-716 - SW Fora Users

RE: Need Laptop Advice

scott thanks for the tip on HT I'll look into that when its delivered.

I think your US prices are a lot better than for us poor UK consumers

RE: Need Laptop Advice

(OP)
Thanks again for all the input, I'll be sure to take a look at the Alienware option, although with a P4 I can be sure it will run hot and loud (a personal peeve of mine).  Again, this laptop isn't purely for business, and what I'm finding is I almost need 2 different machines to handle all the things I'd like to be able to do.  My current laptop is great in every aspect, with the exception of SW.  I'd really like to get the Acer 8104, but don't want to take another gamble on the video card.  The others suggested are good, but much more expensive when similarly spec'd...  I'm going to keep checking eBay for a while.

RE: Need Laptop Advice

(OP)
I found another alternative over the weekend and would like some feedback if anyone has any experience.  Its the HP nw8240.
http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF05a/321957-64295-89315-321838-f1-462857.html
It looks like a better solution for me because it has a newer and certified card (the firegl mobility 5000) and is much closer to my $2000 price range.  I did find an IBM T42P that I could get for around the same price, but that model is starting to be outdated and I'm not a fan of 4:3 aspect ratio.

What do you think?

RE: Need Laptop Advice

Is the computer speed critical for SW?
I am switchig from 10 years on PowerDraw (MAC only) to SW (PC only), and being so famiiar with PCs looking for good one. Found one on E-bay:
IBM ThinkPad T40p 1.6GHz 14" 1GB DVDR/CDRW SXGA+ T42p
14000x1050 ATI FIRE GL 9000 WiFi Bluetooth Warranty    Item number: 6777536387
- everything looks fine according to SW website requirements, but not sure about speed?
Thanks,
Yuri
 

RE: Need Laptop Advice

The 64mb ATI Mobility FIRE GL 9000 graphics card is on the weak side if you are planning to use SW with assemblies of any major size, or are working with complex molded or surfaced parts.  I also think the 14" display is on the small size, and you are limited to "only" 1400x1050 max resolution.  You'll find yourself wanting something different after you buy this.

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.
Have you read FAQ731-376 to make the best use of Eng-Tips Forums?

RE: Need Laptop Advice

- thank you. Which card / system configuration would you recommend?
Yuri

RE: Need Laptop Advice

Yuri, read through this entire thread.  There is a great deal of information and suggestions in each post.  Ultimately, the the choice depends on how much you want to spend and how much you need the laptop to do.

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.
Have you read FAQ731-376 to make the best use of Eng-Tips Forums?

RE: Need Laptop Advice

Thomas, thanks again. I  re-read the entire thread (and FAQ731-376!) for a few times, as well, did try to get more info on Googles.
I have also checked Solidworks requirements for Graphic cards, etc., the problem is: they are giving info about certified cards different way than computer stores..., but  I will do more home work to learn the  subject.
As per spend/need: $2000-2500; general mechanical design of small parts and assemles with <50 parts + "Tool Box". Display: 15" min. + good service.
Yuri

RE: Need Laptop Advice

(OP)
Yuri

I got the HP nw8240, and absolutely love it.  It was obviously designed to go head to head with the IBM Thinkpad.  It (the nw8240) has a magnesium alloy casing, very comfortable touchpad and track point with rubber tops, and a great keyboard.  Spec wise, its pretty solid, with a 1.8P-M processor (2.0 option), single DIM 512MB DDR2 memory (single 1024MB option), 80GB 5400RPM HD (60GB 7200RPM option), 128MB ATI Mobility V5000, wireless, bluetooth option, etc.  

Anyway, it runs SolidWorks great, and I don't even have the upgraded model (it even supports RealView very nicely).  I recommend it highly and got it at a very good price (about $2100 shipped, from www.pcmall.com).

RE: Need Laptop Advice

- thanks a lot, it was helpfull and HP NW800 silmilar to yours is coming to me this week!
Yuri

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