Best laptop for MArch/MLA students??


Hey, I'm about to begin grad school for a dual masters, which means a substantial upgrade from my old old laptop.  

I'm looking at getting the new Dell XPS 9575 2 in 1 (4-core processor), but can't decide if the tablet feature would be useful... thoughts?  The other option is the HP Spectre x360..

Or should I wait for the Dell XPS 9570, which promises to have a significant more powerful 6-core processor?  

In your experience, how important are the multi-core processors?  I've read that the rendering/cad programs only run on single threads at time, so is it really a big deal?  And what about memory?

shout out to all the computer nerds out there!  

Mar 28, 18 6:21 pm

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Non Sequitur
Asus rogue or a custom tower. Google search skills for previous identical posts helps too.
Mar 28, 18 7:44 pm

asus rog or msi for laptops.

Mar 28, 18 8:40 pm

Get a Asus or MSI if you love shitty customer service and can speak Hindi to communicate with "Kevin" and "Jane" on their support line.

Get Asus ROG if you love fast and the furious and want a tacky as fuck laptop.

Get a XPS if you want a laptop that looks nice but is weak as shit

Mar 29, 18 4:50 am
Non Sequitur

I’m surprised you did not recommend 3 MacBook pros glued together.


Glue? Macbook Pros? Are you fucking stupid? That makes no sense. Why the fuck would I recommend that? Everybody knows that Macbooks get as hot as burning jet fuel the minute you run anything besides a text editor. Although not capable of melting steel beams it will assuredly melt glue. #ILLUMINATI


So Trog, you essentially have no useful suggestions, as usual. On top of it, you sound like a bigtoed POS.


Can highly recommend the Dell XPS range ...have always used them, and have never had a problem with performance or maintenance.

Not sure about multi-core processors, but if you're planning to run multiple programmes at once then memory quickly becomes important ...particularly if rendering large architectural scenes

A few Dell recommendations here with some info about whats important  

Mar 29, 18 5:00 am
Get a dell if you want a bsod the night before finals. Lenovo takes the cake for prebuilt PC laptops. Asus is good too- if you going with their gaming line. Macs aren’t what they used to be since the nvidia neutering, but the pro is still better than most pcs.

If you want to save money build a tower and get a 2gb+ dedicated graphics card plus 16gb+ memory. If something breaks you can cheaply swap it out yourself. Same for upgrades down the road. If you *must* have portability, build the tower and keep it at home, get a cheap chrome book or used dell and vpn in from studio; or vice versa.

The tablet seems like a gimmic, and is one more thing likely to break. Any decent school is going to have a projector, large tv or plotter for you to present.
Mar 29, 18 9:08 am

Get a workstation laptop or desktop if you're serious about rendering. Google it. Yes they are ugly. But it will run all your school/work programs very well if you are serious about wanting a WORK laptop.


Somebody looking at tablet XPSs and Spectres strikes me as an Apple fanboy that doesn't want to get made fun of for being an Apple fanboy so you found PCs that are just like Apples (Look purty but are EXPENSIVE AND WEAK).

Mar 29, 18 6:27 pm

Yo mannnn! A bunch of haters out there, huh? Probably just some washed up, hack architects, with nothing better to do, I suppose... solid forum.

ANYWAY... thanks for the actual advice archinine & Archisoup.

Did I mention anything about price in my original question? NO. I'm facing tens of thousands of $$ in student debt, what the hell is an extra thousand for a top of the line portable computer?? Nothing. 

I hear this business about Lenovo workstations and the gaming laptops, but really I'm failing to see how they're better... They're definitely heavier and tremendously ugly.  The new xps 9575 has the new 8th gen quad core intel cpu, with 8M cache @ 4.1ghz (just as good as top of the line lenovos and gamers), 16gb DDR4, dedicated Radeon graphics with 4gb memory, 512gb solid state, and a 4K ultra HD screen with 100% adobe RGB...  That is definitely not weak. What am I missing here?  I can't imagine I need a trillion GBs of storage, and some overclocked GPU.... or do I??? I mean I'm not downloading and playing all 25 versions of COD here... I'm running autocad and some rendering programs. 

I like the tablet feature, not for presentations, but for the possibility that I can sketch directly on the computer... it does seem a little gimmicky, I agree, which is why I'm asking... but is that not useful?  

Does anyone else have some insightful opinions on any of this, or would you all just like to continue making fart jokes all day?  

Mar 29, 18 9:42 pm
Non Sequitur

You sure sound like a bright one. Enjoy paying back your expensive general arts degree when you’re still in your 40s.

( o Y o )

1) Laptops command premium prices over desktops.
2) Laptops have limited lifespans compared to desktops.
3) Build-your-own desktops provide the most bang for the buck.
4) Desktops are far more upgradable.
5) Sounds like you're more interested in gaming.
6) If you've already made up your mind there is no point in posting the question here.

Mar 29, 18 10:28 pm
You need a good GPU and 16gb memory or more and you’ll be fine assuming the machine has a somewhat decent CPU. Do not get a workstation expecting it to do the work if it doesn’t have a proper GPU.. that will be a total waste of your money. GPU and memory will allow you to 3D model smoothly.
Mar 29, 18 10:35 pm
Btw.. don’t purchase memory already installed on your machine. It costs 3x as much that way. Just buy memory (8gb sticks) from amazon and plug it in. It’s that easy.
Mar 29, 18 10:37 pm
Now that you’ve described the intended use of the tablet surface it sounds even more gimmicky. While I’ve been a huge advocate for technology and design, from automation to visualization, there is no gui that can rival the original graphical user interface that is a pen/pencil/marker and paper. Don’t put yourself in a position of potentially handicapping your ability to draw by hand over some desire to use a gadget. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked out design problems and communicated various thoughts with a simple rough sketch on whatever random scrap of paper was lying about. The ability to do that easily comes from decades of practice and doing so without a cumbersome computer to interface with eg having to press various buttons to control color pen size pressure etc. those parameters are part of muscle memory in a way that the computer cannot mimic nor learn. Further there is an element of style in a hand sketch that cannot be replicated via computer. The computer sketches always look like computer sketches yet lack the crispness of a 3D model for example. Just learn to draw. If you want to present that digitally, scan it into a jpg. It will always look 1000x better than a computer simulated version and you’ll be practicing a skill you’ll use for life, unreliant on whatever fad gadgets are popular now or in the future.
Mar 30, 18 1:32 pm

love my MSI.  

Mar 30, 18 4:14 pm

Don't waste your time, this guy is an idiot. The thing he mentions most... 4K screen, 2-in-1 tablet, touch/pen screen... they're all gimmicks that do nothing but slow a computer down.

I bet he doesn't even know what a xeon or quadro is. Explains why he just glazes over workstations.

Guess what kid, things that are powerful get hot, the smaller and more compact things get the hotter they get. If you were serious about getting a WORK station you'd get a WORKSTATION. But like I said earlier, you're not.

Have fun with whatever mickey mouse computer you pick up. Don't cry to us when it takes you 5 hours to render one frame of whatever ugly project you're doing.

Mar 30, 18 7:22 pm

who hurt you?



Featured Comment

Have you considered BOXX?

Mar 30, 18 8:52 pm

Mar 30, 18 10:36 pm

As for VPN choose the app with precision and attention. Here's a good site with reviews read review

Apr 24, 18 3:27 am

Next gen macbook pro with rumoured 6core chip (12 hyperthreaded) is a pretty good arch machine if you ask me. Likely early june announcement.

A mac will most likely last years longer than any pc based thing you buy. That's my experience after having numerous pc based things shit themselves after a year or two... Current macbook pro going strong after 6 years.

Bootcamp for revit/3dsmax if you need it. Otherwise, your arch programs will run fine on a mac.

Apr 24, 18 3:48 am

you want a desktop.  virtually everyone in studio (gsd) runs on a desktop; laptops are overpriced for their hardware relative to a desktop, they are not suited for long work sessions under heavy load (you'll constantly be in a state of thermal throttling), and they often have no upgrade path.  everyone who comes into year one with just a laptop is buying a desktop around their second semester.

most programs need fast core speeds, lots of memory bandwidth, fast storage, and a decent GPU.  you can build your own or get a pre-built machine, such as:

if you find the GTX cards aren't giving you solid performance in rhino, you can sell them and get a quadro.  but both of the above provide fast single core speeds with 12 threads, a decent amount of memory (though I'd prefer 32gb), fast storage (SSD at a minimum is an absolute must) and a good GPU.  

if i were to build my own workstation today, i'd probably do it similar to this:

any way you slice it, a desktop gives to performance orders of magnitude above what a similar laptop will cost.  if you're worried about taking notes in class or if you need something to do mobile work, get a used macbook pro for ~500 bucks (would land you a machine from 2013), which is more than capable for light adobe creative suite and rhino work. 

May 4, 18 12:50 pm

Have you seen the new Dell G7 laptop? It’s a power house! Price cannot be beat e


under-powered and overpriced relative to a desktop, like all laptops. and like all laptops, will thermally throttle under full load conditions during long work sessions


Underpowered in which way? i7-8750H Processor, 16GB, 2x8GB, DDR4, 2666MHz
256GB Solid State, 1060GTX 6gb... hardly underpowered


And for $1000 bucks? You can’t build that system for that price with a desktop PC with a monitor


because it will hit the thermal envelope in about 10 minutes during a render, and you'll be operating ~30-50% under top performance for the rest of your work session. even without thermal throttling it is slower than its desktop siblings:


and you're not even telling the truth: the configuration you like is 1200, not 1,000 dollars. so for more money i can get slower hardware that cannot withstand the use cases of OP's workload. great recommendation bro


12% off right now figure it out




Bro comparing numbers like it’s a pissing contest. What you looking at acouple minute difference In render time? Look yes desktop will be ideal but if he is looking at portability G7 is the best bang for the buck right now. You can’t lug around a desktop around unfortunately.


a) not 12% off currently for the g series, "figure it out" lol

b) "numbers like it is a pissing contest" you tried to argue the G7 was as powerful as a desktop, and are retreating into nonsense when that is shown to be incorrect.  don't get angry because your framework is incorrect, nobody forced you to make a dumb-ass argument in the first place.

c) we're talking hours of difference in render times, multiplied multiple times over the semester--plus reduced speeds for other compute heavy workloads like grasshopper.  

d) therefore the best laptop is something cheap that can do in-class work, complimented by a desktop for the heavy lifting.  not an expensive laptop that OP will replace with a desktop after one semester.  which is evidenced by the fact that virtually every student who comes in with just a laptop is getting a desktop by their second semester


Take a chill pill bro. Never took the argument of laptop vs desktop.


The fact is the G7 is a lot more powerful than existing systems. Not everyone can afford a 2k system as you suggested... plus a monitor and mouse. Go shove it asshole


Existing 2-3 year old systems.


Best all around laptop with similar desktop performances is the G7 and I stand by ther. Read the title of the thread. Said laptop... not desktop!


look into the Dell G7 laptops best performance per price 

May 4, 18 9:17 pm

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