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Yet another architecture laptop help thread but wherever I go there will always be confusing answers. And I just finished my first year of architecture, I'm pumped for second year, and computer work is pretty big next year so I need the most reliable laptop (do they even exist). I'm currently searching for a laptop with these specs:
And for personal needs:
And programs I'm sure I would need to run:
Most people usually opt for Dell or Macbook Pro but whenever I search for Dell's people always say it's the best "everyday" laptop and I know how tough rendering can be so I need something that can handle it. A lot of people are also getting Macbook Pro's, but I have a distaste for the Apple company - it's more of a personal dignity and avoiding the brand thing, unless you HIGHLY recommend Macbook's, I'd like to hear lots of reasons why.
The budget is preferably under $1400. I'm not sure how expensive laptops are nowadays but I'm sure a laptop costing around $1300 is very reasonable.
I've searched and the one's that have caught my eye are Dell Inspiron 15, Sony Vaio S Series and Samsung's. Any suggestions? I'm also trying to stay away from Toshiba - it's a great brand for everyday use, but not a brand I would want to trust with important work - unless I am wrong then feel free to make suggestions.
You are on the right track with processing speed, 2.0ghz or better is a solid one to begin with. But if you intend to be multitasking, which of course you will be, you will definitely need to up the RAM to a minimum of 4gb. But keep in mind that by today's standards, that's very low. 8gb RAM would be an ideal minimum.
Also, the specs you provided WRT proc. speed, memory, and graphic card are all what you'd find in today's entry level netbooks, which obviously don't do any heavy-lifting.
Obviously with PCs there's lots of price options. Macs obviously fall in the upper range, but they also perform very well. Just make sure you know what's inside what you're buying.
Hope this helps!
You are on the right track with processing speed, 2.0ghz or better is a solid one to begin with.
Processer speed isn't comparable across different models of chip - saying "2ghz or 4ghz" doesn't actually tell you the speed of the processor if one is a different model than the other. In general I would tell you an intel i5 or i7 is appropriate, preferably 3rd gen. any of those would be up to the task.
What about HP?
i'm also on the market for a new laptop. I recall some post on here where a guy would update recommended laptop specs every once in a while, but I haven't found it again. i'm about to go abroad on a work assignment for a year, and it's time to upgrade my 2004 dell inspiron 8600(that served me VERY well thrugh grad school and beyond). I don't have a lot of time to ponder the situation and am thinking of buying the dell New XPS 15 tomorrow to get the $200 savings. it has the following specs:
3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-3632QM processor
Windows 8, 64-bit, English
Silver Anodized Aluminum and 15.6" FHD 1080p Truelife WLED Display and Skype-Certified HD Webcam
8GB3 DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz
750GB 7200 HDD with 32GB mSATA
Slot Load Blu-ray Disc BD-Combo (Reads BD and Writes to DVD/CD)
NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 640M with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM
Good :: 1 Year
What do people think about this?
I bought an non-big brand laptop last summer from a custom build website. If you look up the brand Sager, you should find some info.
I got a 15" screen, 8gb ram ,intel 2630qm i7, 500gb hdd, blu-ray player and and 555M 2GB nvidia graphics for around $1150.
So if price or branding is an issue, check out these other guys. My Sager has rendered fast and beautifully, and its easy to upgrade.
I just got a lenovo Y580 from costco for about $900:
•3rd generation Intel® Core™ i7-3630QM processor 2.3GHz
•6MB L3 cache
•8GB DDR3 – 1600MHz
•1TB HDD storage + 16GB SSD cache
•NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX660M discrete graphics with 2GB video memory
•Backlit AccuType keyboard
lenovo is well known for being one of the best if not the most reliable laptop brands. The backlit keyboard is really nice. the SSD hard drive increases boot up speed and frequently used programs.
there seems to be a trend toward the Mac Book Pro - How is it with Revit on Bootcamp?
shuellmi, I'm guessing you need to be a costco member to purchase that? sounds like a great deal!
I built my own machine recently. Asus Sabertooth Motherboard, Intell i7 3960x Hex Core processor(3.8Ghz overclocked), 32 GB of RAM, Corsaire Liquid Cooling, (2) 500 GB Western Digital Hard Drives, (1) 120 Gb western digital OS drive, an NVIDIA Ge-Force 680x (2gb virtual memory) graphics card with SLI capability, a Sony CD drive, and Windows 7 ultimate with Kaspersky anti virus. Price tag: +-$2,700. I have every design program available that arch firms use. I don't play games, only do work. I built this machine myself with let's from NewEgg and eBay. Imagine how much something like this would cost if you were to buy it from a computer manufacturer like dell or hp... And those are name brands... Falcon Northwest does custom machines and a pc like this can cost up to $15,000... If you are serious about rendering and graphics... Don't get a laptop... Parts become obsolete much faster and there isnt that much variety. I would also advise against Macs... Look at why I built for the same price as a Mac.... You also don't have to worry about running things through boot camp....
Thanks all for the replies! Very happy I remembered the link to this forum. I was very worried I had lost it. I will take everyone's contributions to consideration. Very grateful for you all.
I didn't read through all of the posts but having finished my undergrad last year I found the specs provided by the UT School of Architecture to be very good and the computer I purchased my 2nd year is in it's 5th year of work and still running strong.
With that said I can assure you that a dual core processor will not take you very far now-a-days, esp. since you mentioned rendering. If you are thinking about investing more than $1000 I suggest going all the way and getting something that will last your entire undergrad/grad career. (You didn't specify which you are pursing)
I personally favor Windows over Apple but that's a personal thing. I have however noticed that Macs tend to corrupt CAD files if not properly cared for. If you are using Vectorworks or MicroStation you should be fine but I would be careful if you go the Mac route and chose to work with AutoCad.
Now getting to specs:
I would def. go for the quad core processor because as new software is released it becomes more processor intensive. Along with the processor you need RAM to compliment it of which I would recommend at least 8GB - the more the merrier when it comes to RAM.
Video cards are a bit tricky because you are now dealing with dedicated memory vs shared and not all cards are tested and certified by Autodesk which gives you error messages but I tend to go for NVidia cards.
If you don't feel like reading through all of this here is a link to the School's hardware acquisition page. It lists recommendations and provides a link to Dell's hardware page.
I'm not sure if you'll be able to purchase without being enrolled at the school but it's good to see what they recommend.
I recently purchased a new fully loaded Dell Latitude for my brother. Total price was $1921 and the specs are below.
Dell Latitude E6520
Intel Core i7-2760QM, 2.40GHz, 6MB Cache, Dell Latitude E6X20
8.0GB, DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM, 2 DIMM, Dell Latitude
nVidia NVS 4200M 512MB DDR3 Discrete Graphics, Dell Latitude E6520
500GB Hard Drive, 7200RPM, Dell Latitude E
15.6in FHD+(1920x1080) Anti-Glare LED-backlit with Premium Panel Guarantee
Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit, No Media, Latitude, English
Dell Wireless 375 Bluetooth Module,
Integrated webcam with single digital microphone
Diagnosis 3 Year Extended
Basic Hardware Service: Next Business Day Onsite Service
Dell Limited Hardware Warranty Plus Service Extended Year(s)
Accidental Damage Service, 4 Year