Workstation - portable-latop or fixed-desktop - architectural rendering/CAD/photoshop


Hey everyone,

I want to get your opinion and advice on my dilemma when buying a new workstation. A dilemma I think many people are struggling with..

Right now I found the two, very different options I think are the best ones (listed below). I will primarily be using the computer for home-office purpose, but i'm not sure how much time I actually will be sitting in front of it, according to my situation?

My situation. I'm an urban designer looking for a job, and whenever I find a job I'll be working in the office most of the time using their computers. I want to be able to do 'homework' making 3D modelling in rhino, 3ds max, vray, revit as well as video / image editing in photoshop, after effects.

I therefore want to ask you guys if you think the Thinkpad will give me a satisfying result compared to the Desktop (and of course the prize)? And if you have any pros / cons that will convince me about the one option over the other, please bring them to the discussion ! I really tried to convince myself, but perhaps your experiences / opinions could help me. :)

Laptop option.

ThinkPad W530 Laptop (in danish)

price: 14.483 DKK ~ 1942 EUR (incl. 16 Gb Ram bought external)

  • Intel Core i7-3630QM Processor (6M Cache, up to 3.40 GHz)
  • 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) LED Backlit Anti-Glare Display, Mobile Broadband Ready with color calibration sensor
  • NVIDIA Quadro K1000M Graphics with 2GB DDR3 Memory
  • 16 GB DDR3 - 1600MHz (1 DIMM) (Corsair Vengeance 2 x 8 GB)
  • 500GB HDD, 7200rpm
  • 9 Cell Li-Ion TWL 70++
  • Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 AGN
  • Windows 8 64 ( I don't need this, but I can't get it without)
  • 1 Mini DisplayPort with audio, 1 VGA port, 2 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0 (1 always-on), 1 3.5mm combo mic/headphone jack

Desktop option

Vision DTP-450 Workstation (danish website)

price: 12742 incl. Dell monitor. ~ 1708 EUR

  • Intel® Core™ i7-4820K 4x3.70GHz (Turbo 3.90GHz) 10MB cache
  • Gigabyte X79-UD3 motherboard (UEFI Dualbios)
    (Ultra Durable 3, USB3.0, SATA3, Smart6)
  • Dell UltraSharp U2412M (Sort)
  • Kingston 16GB DDR3-1600 RAM (QuadChannel)
  • Samsung 840 250GB SSD (Solid State Disk)
  • 1TB Seagate Barracuda (SATA3, 7200rpm, 6GB/s)
  • nVidia Quadro K2000 2GB PCI-E Professionelt (graphic card)
  • Seasonic 750W 80+ Silver certified (PSU)
  • Chassis Vision Silent Chassis with extra cooling and noise reduction
  • 7 x USB 2.0 Porte
    2 x USB 3.0 Porte
    1 x RJ-45 LAN 100/1000 Gigabit Jack
    1 x eSATA 6Gb/s porte
    4 x SATA2 3GB/s Connectors
    6 x SATA3 6GB/s Connectors
    1 x DVI
    1 x Displayport

My own thoughts about the dilemma.

  • Is flexibility and less performance more important than a fixed desktop computer with higher performance?
  • Is the IBM worth the money or is it possible to find another laptop with the similar specs?

Thank you,


Oct 16, 13 9:48 am

Might also look at the newest HP elitebook or the last Dell Precision series. Those laptops are mostly the standard issued laptops in the laptop programmes of the dutch technical universities ( TUDelft, TU/eindhoven and UTwente)

Oct 16, 13 2:40 pm

Yeah, thanks. I'v already been looking at those laptops, and especially the dell precisionsare interesting, but also quiet expensive. (same specs)

But thank you for the reply.

Oct 16, 13 3:33 pm

It looks like you are considering a high end laptop vs a high end desk top. Have you thought at all about a high end desk top, and remote accessing it with a low end laptop or tablet?

For me, when I am sitting down to do some visual work I want to be in front of the biggest monitor (or two) possible.  I would never want to be hunched over squinting at a laptop screen as my only option.  Additionally, I want to travel with as small and portable a devise as possible.  Considering the growing options for cloud computing and document storage I think this option should be in the mix. 

Oct 16, 13 3:38 pm

Hey Katscan

Thank you for reply,

Yeah your right. Maybe it's not a question of either a laptop or a desktop. I am just afraid that I will regret not having the possible to bring the power with me (or at least as much as possible) ..when buying a desktop. That's why I think the laptop could be a compromise. A bit heavier than the ultrabooks, but very powerful in comparison. And I can always buy an external monitor at home..

..But maybe your right, the best solution is to buy high-end desktop at home (that can be upgraded) and bring light weight on the go. Its very difficult to imagine how I'm going to use my computer - I can't define my lifestyle :O. I just know for sure, that I will be working with a lot of 3D modelling and post processing / rendering!

But thank you for your input. Its really great and inspiring to get to know how your 'lifestyle' and method is working out.

Oct 17, 13 2:52 am

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