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That's a strange comparison, putting an Alienware against a Mac. Alienwares are usually for gamers, who will almost never consider a Mac. Likewise, a Mac user is miles away from the Alienware demographic. Exceptions exist, but most Mac users are the sort who *don't* want to fiddle with the insides of their machines, or try to mess with their OS for giggles.
A decent laptop should be under $1,500. If you are getting an Alienware, might as well get a Mac. However, both are unnecessary luxuries.
Before forking out an extra $1000, ponder if that difference of about 2 seconds is worth it. It may be, depending on what you're doing. But the main point of a PC should always be that it's cheaper, easier to fix (with a bit of knowledge), and easier to upgrade.
So, I am definitely between the MBP and the Lenovo w520. With the Lenovo, I have these specs:
Intel Core i7-2720QM Processor (2.20GHz, 6MB L3)
Genuine Windows 7 Professional 64
15.6" HD+ (1600 x 900) LED Backlit Anti-Glare Display, Mobile Broadband Ready
NVIDIA Quadro 2000M Graphics with 2GB DDR3 Memory
8 GB PC3-10600 DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz SODIMM Memory (4 DIMM)
UltraNav with TrackPoint & touchpad plus Fingerprint reader
Internal RAID - Not Enabled
500 GB Hard Disk Drive, 7200rpm
DVD recordable multiburner
Express Card Slot & 4 in 1 Card Reader
9 cell Li-Ion Battery - 55++
Country Pack North America with Line cord & 170W AC adapter
Integrated Mobile Broadband - Upgradable
Services and software
3YR Onsite + 3YR ThinkPad Protection
Can anyone tell me if this is sufficient enough for a MArch student? Anything need to be tweaked? Overall, I am leaning towards the Lenovo because I want to have the most efficient set-up possible and from general feedback, running bootcamp or parallels can be a pain at times and take a little to get used to the setup. I like the MBP but it IS expensive. I mean, I understand that Adobe Creative Suite runs very well on the MBP but from most feedback, I understand that all of the other programs run better on PC. Can anyone verify this?
More than enough, I'd reckon, for a laptop anyway. The hard drive might be a little small unless you have a larger external you plan to keep somewhere. Keep in mind that the W-Series are quite unwieldy if you plan on moving your laptop around often. Other than that, you're getting a much better value performance-wise than a MBP (this coming from a MBP user).
Thanks for the reply nagooyen. Just a question for everyone more knowledgeable with computers and configurations - when ordering a lenovo w520, they ask you under "storage subsystem" either 1.) Internal Raid - Not Enabled, or 2.) Internal Raid - Configured by Lenovo - A Thinkpad w520 configured with "Internal RAID" Storage precludes the option of having a DVD optical drive. What does this mean? Also, what should I choose? If I accept option 2, that creates a new option, "Configuration Option". This has 1.) Primary SATA RAID 0 - (2HDDS Required), or 2.) Primary SATA RAID 1 - (2 HDDS Required). What do I do here?
Thanks in advance!
Since the W520 only has 1 hard drive bay, they remove the dvd drive and replace it with a dvd caddy that can hold an extra hard drive, so you're losing the dvd drive for the extra hard drive to enable the laptop to set up a RAID configuration, since RAID 1 and 0 require 2 identical hard drives. Basically Raid 0 provides increased performance, Raid 1 provides increased reliability; honestly I wouldn't worry about it and just buy an external hard drive.
Another thing, if you want to save some money, you could do the ram upgrade yourself, seeing as how they charge $160 to go from 4-8 gb of ram and 4 gb of ram on newegg costs about $30, and 8 gb being around $55.
RAID 0 gives you more storage space. You know when you put in a say a 300 gig hard drive but your system information tells you only have 280 gigs?
Well, what this does is "fuses" the two disks together so that the second disk doesn't need all of that "formatting." In this configuration, if one of your hard drives goes bad... all of your data is lost.
RAID 1 means that your two hard drives are mirrors of each other. This configuration automatically keeps all of your data backed up. In the event of a hard drive failure, you can almost instantly continue to use your second drive.
RAID 0 is for power users who absolutely want to milk every single penny out of hard drive storage costs.
RAID 1 is for people who are either bad at backing up hard drives or people who work with sensitive information that can't be lost (bankers, researchers, accountants et cetera).
If you don't mind not having an optical drive, I'd highly recommend RAID 1 to prevent you from losing everything in case of an accident or hard drive failure.
I second the previous comment. Save the money from upgrading the RAM and put it into a better screen (FHD 1920x1080) instead - better quality and more screen real estate.
Hey, I am new to this forum stuff. I hope I can get a reply very soon as I am in quite a rush to get a new laptop before I start uni again.
I am going into 2nd yr BA Arch and need a laptop which is going to last me for about 3 years.
I am hoping to get something with an i7 processor and 8gb RAM.
Will this be alright for my needs?
I am planning on spending around £500-899 (preferably the cheaper the better).
If there are any ideas or recommendations it would be great!
i just read this whole thread, and i am still unsure on what computer to get..laptop or a desktop? mac or a pc? uh..
PEOPLE! PLEASE STOP CONSIDERING A MACBOOK FOR YOUR ARCHITECTURAL NEEDS!!!
I AM GOING TO PUT THIS IN ALL CAPS AND BOLD BECAUSE I AM SERIOUS. FROM NOW, PEOPLE SHOULD ASK QUESTIONS LIKE:
SHOULD I GET A DESKTOP OR LAPTOP? IS THIS DELL, LENOVO, HP, ETC. GOOD?
NOW I KNOW THERE'S GOING TO BE HATERS OUT THERE, BUT BEFORE YOU APPLE FANBOYS/GIRLS START YELLING OUT, "BLASPHEMY" OR WHATEVER, LET ME EXPLAIN.
FIRST, I AM NOT AN APPLE HATER. IN FACT, I THINK MACBOOKS ARE A FINE CHOICE FOR GENERAL TO DESIGN MEDIA, ART, GRAPHIC BASED NEEDS. BUT FOR ARCHITECTURAL NEEDS, IT IS NOT.
HERE ARE THE REASONS WHY:
1. MOST IMPORANT ONE- IT IS EXPENSIVE. I DON'T CARE HOW RICH YOU ARE. IF YOU HAVE A DECENT BRAIN AND SOME COMMON SENSE, THEN YOU SHOULD REALIZE THAT YOU WILL BE USING WINDOWS ALMOST 90% OF YOUR TIME EVEN IF YOU OWNED A MAC.
2. THE COST OF A LOW END MACBOOK PRO (13") CAN GET YOU A REALLY, REALLY, REALLY GOOD DESKTOP THAT CAN OUT RENDER AND OUT PERFORM ANY MACBOOK PROS AND LAPTOP (DUH, RIGHT?)
BUT!!!!!! FOR THE SAME COST OR EVEN LOWER, YOU CAN GET A BETTER LAPTOP WITH THE MONEY YOU ARE PAYING FOR A MACBOOK PRO. ALTHOUGH THE MACBOOK PRO 17" IS PROBABLY THE BEST TO GET, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT $2000+ FOR IT!
YOU CAN BUILD AN 8 TO 12 CORE DESKTOP WITH THAT MONEY. IF YOU GUYS DON'T KNOW WHAT 8-12 CORE CAN DO, THEN THE MOST SIMPLEST WAY TO PUT IT IS "HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO RENDER THIS BADASS IMAGE IN 15 MINUTES OR LESS?"
AND STILL MAKE2D IN RHINO OF A COMPLEX DRAWING SIMULTANEOUSLY?????
YES, YOU CAN DO THIS WITHOUT A HITCH, A LAG, A FREEZE.
2. FOR NEWBIES COMING FROM AN NON ARCHITECTURAL BACKGROUND - 3/4 OF THE SOFTWARE YOU WILL BE USING IS WINDOWS BASED. I DON'T GIVE A STEVE JOB'S ASS IF RHINO IS COMING OUT FOR MAC.
SAVE THE MONEY AND THE TIME. IF YOU'RE GOING TO BOOT CAMP OR PARALLEL TO WINDOWS MOST OF THE TIME, WHY EVEN BOTHER.
SAVE PURCHASING WINDOWS FOR BOOT CAMP. SAVE PURCHASING BOOT CAMP/PARALLEL.
LETS FACE IT. YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO SWITCH BACK AND FORTH. JUST THINK OF THE INCONVENIENCE TO DO IT.
3. BUT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, THE VIRUSES!!!!!! - I HAVE BEEN USING A WINDOWS BASED MACHINE MY ENTIRE LIFE. NEVER HAD ANY VIRUSES/SPYWARES. YES, I KNOW - WINDOWS IS EASILY INFECTED, BUT WITH RIGHT SOFTWARE YOU CAN EASILY DEFEND YOURSELF. AND YES, I DO DO NAUGHTY STUFF. NOT GOING TO LIE.
HERE ARE SOME RECOMMENDATIONS:
3. MICROSOFT SECURITY ESSENTIALS.
ARE SOME STARTERS. AND PEOPLE EASILY FORGET TO DO UPDATES FOR THEIR MACHINES. THEY FORGET TO UPDATE JAVA, INTERNET EXPLORER, FIREFOX, ETC. THAT PEOPLE DON'T THINK IT CAN BE EASILY HACKED, BUT WITHOUT PROPER UPDATES, THE CHANCES OF GETTING INFECTED IS HIGHER. THAT GOES FOR MACS AS WELL.
4. HERE ARE SOME DESKTOP CPU BUILDS THAT ARE GREAT FOR BUDGET MINDED PEOPLE-
INTEL I7 QUAD CORE (DON'T GO ANY LOWER!!!!! ALL ARCHITECTURAL STUDENTS SHOULD FORGET ABOUT THE i3 OR i5. DUAL CORE IS GOOD FOR GENERAL USE, BUT FOR US, WE NEED SPECIAL NEEDS. HAVING THOSE 4 CORES COMES IN HANDY AND WILL SAVE YOU.
STUDENTS NEED TIME TO SLEEP. QUAD CORE OR HIGHER = MORE SLEEPING TIME. DONT WAIT FOR THE RENDERS. BELIEVE ME, I'VE BEEN THERE. MULTITASKING IS GREAT!!!
FOR CHEAP BUT STILL GOOD
AMD HEXACORE!!!!! FOR UNDER $200 YOU CAN STILL GET i7 PERFORMANCE. GOOD BUDGET BUILD FOR SURE!!!
I ALSO THINK PEOPLE SHOULD CONSIDER GETTING A DESKTOP OVER A LAPTOP FOR A LOT OF REASONS TOO. CONSIDER A CUSTOM BUILT ONE AS WELL.
2. YOU CAN DUAL MONITOR BETTER. (HAVE YOU GUYS WORKED ON TWO SCREENS BEFORE? NO? WELL SAVE THAT MACBOOK MONEY AND INVEST IN TWO MONITORS BECAUSE BABY YOU'LL GET YOUR BEAUTY SLEEP LIKE THERE' S NO TOMORROW.
4. FASTER (AND THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID)
IF YOU GUYS POST YOUR BUDGET, I CAN DEFINITELY GIVE YOU SOME RECOMMENDATIONS. IVE BUILT ALL MY CLASSMATE'S PC AND NO COMPLAIN SO FAR. THEY STILL COME TO ME WHEN THEY WANT TO DO UPGRADES.
ALSO PEOPLE, CONSIDER THESE WEBSITES TO HUNT DOWN THOSE COMPUTER PARTS
ALSO, BLACK FRIDAY. OH EEMMM GEEEEEEE. BLACK FRIDAY IS THE ONLY DAY WHEN NERDS DOMINATE SHOPPING. GOOD FOR FINDING GOOD COMPUTER PARTS FOR CHEAP. OR RELATIVELY CHEAP.
Now batman, not everyone has the same set of priorities when it comes to computer purchasing. I won't deny anything you've stated. It's all true, and given a student's budget, I'd be inclined to recommend a PC to anyone who's willing to learn (or knows how) to properly use and look after it. Unfortunately I haven't met as many as I would like who fit that description.
In defense of macbooks, they are unmatched in terms of size-weight-performance ratio as far as I'm aware (I haven't been shopping in a while so I could be wrong). This could be important if mobility is an issue (probably why people buy laptops). I also find that macbooks tend to have very well-written drivers for Windows than some of their PC brethren since they have a much smaller pool of hardware to accommodate (you never think about these til something goes wrong and you can't figure out why).
For me personally, it's a software thing. I enjoy using CS5 with OS X's multitouch-based expose, for which I'm still trying to find a Windows equivalent (any suggestions?). It boosted my productivity in compiling deliverables more than any hardware advantage could when I bought my macbook pro. Sometimes you can manually draw faster and cleaner than make2d.
I would like to see how this CS5 multi-touch expose work. I am intrigued when you said it makes "MAKE2d" faster as most of my time now is consumed by MAKE2d and then cleaning the lines later.
OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, THE LINES!!!!!
but im curious if you get one of those WACOM attachment it will do the same thing....
I will say that it is true that the size-weight you mentioned of macbooks are unmatched. BUT the end of the day, I am not concern about mobility. You figure you are in the studio most of the time (which is why I say desktop > laptop). I am concerned about computing power. time is money. and i love sleeping.
Will this be alright for my needs?
this is plenty for your needs. quad core is the best way to go. 8gb of ram is good, but you can go 6gb if you are on a budget. but I will not settle for 4gb anymore.
I think you misunderstood, it's not that make2d is faster, but that I can draw objects faster myself than make2d sometimes and without the need for cleaning up (especially with doubly curved objects that produce the messiest lines out of rhino). I'm not sure if a Wacom tablet would make anything faster, given it's only as precise as your hand.
The way multi-touch expose helps is when I'm working with lots of files at once in different programs. Switching between windows is much faster for me with touch gestures than the previews in Windows's new task bar.
As for the mobility thing, yes I am in studio quite often, but I do have other classes and obligations that require a computer outside of studio. Also as a fellow "tech guy" in studio, it's nice to be away from all the people and their questions every once in a while and still be able to work without interruption (big headphones don't work as deterrents, I've tried).
as a techguy -
laptop - mini pc.
Trying to build a desktop machine for architectural work (mainly something that can work well with Rhino and general rendering).
Following main specs:
i7 2600K CPU
128GB SSD HD
Video Card: PNY VCQ4000-PB Quadro 4000 2GB
Here comes my question, is this video card the most advanced in terms of price/quality/performance? Does anyone recommend a comparable card better than this one?
Thanks in advance for your replies
I understand that this is a very outdated post...
but i really need help in choosing the right laptop..
I am going to fly abroad to further my Part II in architecture in UK.
I have been using desktop for all my project works ever since my first laptop burned out during my first year final project under heavy 3dsmax render.
However, as an international student, it would not be practical for me to get a desktop (like how to get rid of it when im going back..), but to resort to the best laptop i could find.
I multitask alot. 3dsmax, sketchup, rhino, revit, photoshop CAD...etc
The IT guys I have seek advises have been recommendingASUS Multimedia Series N56VZ-S4079V.
The specs are as below:
Kindly advise me on this because I am a total noob in this ..
and yes, like batman said,
As an architecture student, I wish for a bombastic render quality, render speed as fast as it could, dont die when i multitask, and gimme alot of beauty sleeeep!
Thank you in advance. m(_ _)m
That's a good one, I'd also suggest, if you got the money, to look for laptops with SSD drive, they run very fast and are ideal for rendering.
SSDs help with rendering?!?!?! :facepalm:
I recently purchased a $400 laptop on sale (Samsung Series 3 NP305E5A-A03US 15.6-Inch Laptop) to do some CADwork on the road, it has a quad core processor and I ended up doing some 3D renderings with it. Surprised at overall performance too. Just goes to show, you don't need to spend alot of money for simple tasks.
SSD totally helps with rendering. you have to start up the computer to get to the program that does the rendering, and if your OS is installed on an ssd it will start faster. this is especially true for a laptop, where the hard drive might get knocked around a bit more than a desktop. an ssd should be able to take a bit more knocking around.
i think pro series graphics cards are a good thing, so quadro (or firepro) would, IMHO, be a good choice.
I use the MBP Retina... Nothing better thatn working with that high-res display I would say. Every graphic looks better on it and its light and portable.
I agree with jholguin71, but they are quite expensive compared to PCs. I got an Acer V5 but when I want to showcase some of my work I use my Nexus 7.
I highly recommend that you invest on a tablet, http://www.mawista.com/blog/en/top-cheapest-tablets-for-students/ it's very helpful and there are a lot of apps for architects.
I take it with me whenever I have to present something to my potential clients. It works nicely. But also you can use it for reading literature or browsing archinect.com. :)
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You may wish to ignore all the above. Laptops are cheap and obsolete a few months after you buy them. I would email the school you are going to attend and see whether they recommend Apple or PC. If they recommend one that you aren't familar with then you may want to get it now. If not, then wait until September and get a newer one when prices are lower and newer models are out. The instructor and senior students may help you decide and set it up for you as well.
the fact of the matter is if you get a PC that has the same hardware as a Mac (you should ONLY be considering MacBook Pros 15" the others do not have a dedicated graphics card) the Mac is actually cheaper, it will last longer (average lifespan = 5+ years) you can run BOTH operating systems, the design is smoother, the trackpad is actually usable, et al re: design is superior.
People think Macs are more expensive when in actuality there just isn't a 'cheapo' version. Once you toss in a 2GB graphics card 8GB of ram and a processor that can handle Maya etc you're paying over 2K for a PC thats guaranteed to fall apart within 2 years. And you may as have bought the Mac. If you're factoring in costs of Windows, well keep in mind Macs are pretty lenient when it comes to the various versions of Windows so if you know anyone with a full copy of essentially any version of Windows you can easily circumvent that cost...there are also 'other ways' of circumventing that cost. Further by being able to swap files between Mac/PC, when (not if) you get some nasty PC virus your Mac is completely unaffected as well as the files located there. Usually you can even recover files from the PC side from OSX.
resource: 10+ years experience professional PC repairs and sales, 7+ years experience professional OSX/software training and sales; as in yes I know both sides of the coin and mac ALWAYS wins.
another note on performance, just because the numbers are the same on the PC ie GB of ram or graphics etc are higher or the same vs the Mac, you have to consider the overall system. Mac hardware performs better everytime and overtime as its a tightly overseen system where Apple has much higher standards than PC manufacturers; in addition the OS is optimized for these specific hardware which are again of higher quality than the comparable PC hardware (ie triple tested for failure RAM); since 2007 onward Macs have consistenly been rated as the best laptops to run Windows which is laugh inducing but also telling of the superior quality in hardware. Further as a student Apple offers you a much needed discount on both the original device and the extended warranty (Applecare), which you shouldn't need unless you're clumsy, in which case get it and play dumb when your motherboard crashes from dropping it...
a note on software, running Maya, AutoCAD, the WIP Rhino and CS6 on native OSX works flawlessly. Further there are built in OSX features that save me literally hours over my peers. For example:
Preview is probably one of the most useful apps on the planet not available on PC; you can drag and drop almost any image based filetype in there, multiple at once, PDF included, change the file type, edit the size color etc. Which is a HUGE time saver for little housekeeping tasks that don't actually require the muscle of say Photoshop, but add up in terms of time when sitting side by side with a PC user.
Other awesome Mac things:
built in PDF maker for any app that can using the file>print command,
native email client thats incredibly easy to set up and looks beautiful,
screen capture (which becomes HD if you have a retina display) and instead of this 'clipboard' thing it just makes a lossless PNG on your desktop,
built in imovie, iphoto, iDVD which sound silly but are wonderfully helpful for site visits qt movies uploading to vimeo/youtube etc and are extremely easy to use - again free,
ability to use iWork and since you're an arch student you essentially don't need excel therefore iWork does everything that office does and more - I know architects who've gotten Macs just to be able to use Keynote which literally blows PPT out of the water (stuff like having a pen tool usable in the word processor is really great for graphics majors like us),
built in text edit - see 0 loading time, multiple export options and quick viewing of word docs/docxs, I can't stand waiting for Word and its bulky set of features I never use to load
I could go on but basically if you're not willing to take advantage of these native OSX features then you aren't getting your money's worth with a Mac. Its insane how many of my peers in school have Macs and have 0 clue about how much faster their workflow could be if they actually used a handful of the icons on their dock. I try sometimes, but seriously its up to you how quickly you want to get things done.
As someone who's had a PC crap out on me during undergrad finals literally a week after the warranty was up, I can't justify ever going back to PC land when my '08 MBPro still works and my retina blows my mind on a daily basis; best money I've ever spent and I ate ramen all semester to make it happen. I never wait for things to load and I had to TRY to make Maya crash (4000+ blend shapes plus animations plus four blocks of a site model with materials etc and it crashed maybe twice, but I was being a real jerk to it...heh heh)
10+ years professional PC repair and your PCs only last 2 years? either you're sabotaging your customer's equipment so they have to come back, or your not very good at your PC repair job. only PC i've ever had go bad in under 2 years was when by brother tossed me a can of air and it broke the laptop screen. that's really not the manufacturer's fault. i've fixed hard drives and recovered data booting from knoppix too. don't need mac os for that. don't need to resort to "other ways" to get it either.
and i don't need 10+ years of professional experience to keep a computer running.
http://usa.asus.com/Notebooks/ <-- there you go. not a mac. no reason to have 2 operating systems if you're only going to use one. and if you're concerned about viruses, go ahead and download microsoft security essentials. it's free, so you don't have to bother with "other ways."
$700 motherboard replacement for $700 PC laptop; I babied that thing. HP's suck.
and no one said you need experience repairing to keep one running I only mentioned that so you'd know I have a perspective on both sides and I'm not an Apple Fanboy but have actually looked at both perspectives. Try reading my post about workflow before you get all personal and tell me about using Windows all the time when I don't use Windows at all.
but hey everyone has their opinions maybe answer the kid's question instead of getting all personal and attacking me over nothing.
there's your problem. i don't know if newer HPs suck, but they have made some bad decisions and some bad hardware. HP has a newer line with very nice hardware (and expensive) but I don't know if they would last 2 years.
that asus link should provide a decent laptop that won't break in 2 years unless you do something stupid like throw a can of air at it. i posted my previous post before your long post showed up, so i was not responding to that. i don't know anything about imovie,dvd,or photo, but there should be windows software, available for free, to do the rest of the stuff you mention. PCs aren't bad because you once had a bad experience, and i see no reason from your posts above why a mac would be better. unless there isn't a pc equivalent for imovie; i haven't had any pressing need to edit video in the past few years.
i don't care if people reading this get a mac. they're fine computers for what they do. i just don't think your post saying apple is always better is accurate, or that they would beat out a pc in a price v. performance competition.. if you're not an apple fanboi, what do you think an apple fanboi is?
True - the Mac Book pro is the "3 series" of laptops no doubts there - But I just recently bought an HP Spectre(Mac Book Pro wanna be) and run Revit 2013 on - no problems - will it last 2 years?
here is a list I found, it deals primarily with CG machines, but it should work for Architectural computing requirements.
Andrew Lynn's List
As far as machines go--I have a bootcamped MacPro and Macbook pro at home--they both run faster on the Windows side than the OSX side. At work I have some people running bootcamped macs, but we're in the process of switching to Boxx.
Go with Mac Book Pro - I wish I did
i think is the best laptop for Designed for business professionals, student this Dell Vostro 2520 laptop is decked with sturdy 15.6 inches display screen that offers you fine details and stunning visual experience. Powered by 2nd generation Intel Pentium Dual Core processor, coupled with Ubuntu operating system, Vostro 2520 from Dell offers you a galactic performance every time you use this device. Icing on the cake, you can discover an amazing multimedia experience with built-in Intel HD graphics and accelerated audio! At the top notch, to meet your storage requirements, this laptop is blessed with 2 GB system memory and 320 GB of hard drive capacity where you can amass number of files easily!
dual core processor.
no wonder it runs ubuntu, it would hardly be able to run Windows 8...
(i can't tell if you are being sarcastic or if you are some sort of advertising bot)