Author Topic: Buying a laptop  (Read 1102 times)

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Offline sigh

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Buying a laptop
« on: 20:05, 29 May 15 »
Hi there,

I'm having to upgrade my T60p into something faster in order to run 3d animation programs.

I have been looking at these 3 machines:

Thinkpad W550
MSI WS60
Dell M3800

All three of these are light and I only need it to create the animations, so I will not be modelling, texturing or rendering on them.

I like the look of the thinkpad but I'm unsure if it's fast enough to run the latest version of max/maya smoothly. I like that it runs cool and also has a nice battery life which is good as I do quite a bit of travelling.

I've borrowed a friends machine - MSI GE620 DX and this runs max with no problems, so the latest Dell and MSI would be fine running the software.

Annoyingly - I cant find any hardware minimum requirements to run the software programs.

The other option are custom building a Clevo laptop, but I'm not sure how much I would save on cost and how heavy it would be to carry as I would like it to be under 5lbs if possible.

My budget would be £1000 - £1500 (maybe a little more depending).

Any advice?

Offline alex76gr

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Re: Buying a laptop
« Reply #1 on: 01:24, 30 May 15 »
You should concentrate on the fastest CPU and the most RAM your money can buy.

Of the 3 models you mentioned, Dell IMHO has the best CPU (Core I7 4712HQ, 2.3GHz, 4 cores, 6MB L3 cache).
Thinkpad has a nice CPU but it has only 2 cores and 4MB L3 cache although it's frequency is higher at 2.6GHz.
MSI is quite cryptic as far as it concerns the model of the CPU the use so i can't have an opinion.
Also i can't tell how much memory is pre-installed on these laptops. You should ask.

Your friends laptop has an I7 2630QM CPU with 6MB L3 cache, 2GHz and 4 cores.
i believe that both the above CPUs are better than your friend's so you won't have problem running your software on them.
I still believe that i got my myopia from the green GT-65 monitor, but i can't prove it! :)

Offline sigh

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Re: Buying a laptop
« Reply #2 on: 17:53, 30 May 15 »
Thanks for the reply.


My friends machine that I am using gets incredibly hot that it it almost dangerous to touch. The fans are constantly on so it makes the laptop rather noisy too.
This is obviously because of it being a quad core machine, which is why I was looking at the lower core thinkpad as over heating issues and battery life might be a little stressful on the motherboard. I was looking on the thinkpad forums and one of the members has both a w550 and the dell, but the dell had to get sent back due to a fault on the motherboard, which he puts down to over heating as the fans are located at the bottom of the machine. I dont want to end up being stuck in a country where it maybe difficult to get my machine repaired if such a fault were to occur.


Do you think that the Thinkpad would be able to handle 3DSMax reasonable well[size=0px]?  [/size]

What about the Clevo option[size=0px][/size][size=0px]?[/size]

EDIT. The laptop I am using is danish as I am currently in Greenland. We tried changing the language but I am having to copy and paste various symbols, so please excuse the extra information that surrounds certain sentences.
« Last Edit: 17:58, 30 May 15 by sigh »

Offline alex76gr

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Re: Buying a laptop
« Reply #3 on: 21:54, 30 May 15 »
If temperatures is an issue then you should go with the Thinkpad.
The TDP of the 5600U cpu is only 15W which i think it will make it work much cooler.
Your friend's cpu TDP is at 45W.

I don't think you will have any problem running 3DS Max.
Check out the system requirements for either 3DS Max 2016 or 2015 and you will see that you are covered with your choices.
Be sure to invest in RAM. At least 8GB.
System requirements:
System requirements for Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2015 | 3ds
System requirements for Autodesk 3ds Max 2016 | 3ds Max | Autodesk Knowledge
I still believe that i got my myopia from the green GT-65 monitor, but i can't prove it! :)

Offline sigh

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Re: Buying a laptop
« Reply #4 on: 15:14, 31 May 15 »
Thank you for the replies. I managed to find a recommended list of laptops on the autodesk site.[/color]http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/syscert?siteID=123112&id=18844534&results=1&stype=system&product_group=6&release=2016&os=131072&manuf=all&opt=1If you scroll down, you can see that the W540 and W541 is listed but not the W550.It is a shame as I actually liked the reviews of how cool they run and the battery life.

Offline alex76gr

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Re: Buying a laptop
« Reply #5 on: 17:34, 31 May 15 »
You are welcome.

I think that the main reason W540 and W541 are recommended by autodesk, is because because both of them are using the K1100M and K2100M which are mid-range GPUs against the K620M (used by W550) which is the weakest GPU of the Quadro series.
I still believe that i got my myopia from the green GT-65 monitor, but i can't prove it! :)

Offline sigh

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Re: Buying a laptop
« Reply #6 on: 05:19, 03 June 15 »
I've been doing more research.


I'm now looking at the Asus G501JW as it seems it may be quiet and not over heat too much.
Or - I may just try and borrow another laptop from somewhere again that can work with Max2016, and buy a proper laptop the next time I go away traveling again. :)


I also was directed to this:


http://www.intel.com/newsroom/kits/computex/2015/pdfs/Computex2015-5th_Gen_Intel_Core-Xeon_FactSheet.pdf


They are quad core broadwells.


and also...


Intel's 6th-gen "Skylake" Core processors on track for 2015 | Digital Trends
Intel's 6th-gen "Skylake" Core processors on track for 2015 | Digital Trends

Offline alex76gr

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Re: Buying a laptop
« Reply #7 on: 11:46, 03 June 15 »
This model looks very good.
Its CPU and GPU is killing!
My only concern is the 1 DIMM socket for the RAM.
I would prefer 2 sockets but still it's a very good laptop.
I still believe that i got my myopia from the green GT-65 monitor, but i can't prove it! :)

Offline sigh

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Re: Buying a laptop
« Reply #8 on: 13:08, 05 August 15 »
Well - after some nasty ebay incidents with one of them still in the midst of being cleared so I can get my money back, I managed to find the laptop that suited my needs, which is a Samsung Series 7 Chronos i7 3635QM with AMD 8870m gpu. I picked it up last week and installed an SSD drive which was a complete and utter nightmare. It's not like a Thinkpad where it is upgrade friendly - you have to pretty much peel of the base to access the drive. The screws were also ridiculously tight and it ended up blunting my precision screwdriver, which in turn had me heading to my local Costcutters (a small convenience store in the UK) at night to borrow another screwdriver. Ironically, I'm going to have to reopen this damn thing as I dont think I tightened the screws enough on the harddrive caddy and I fear, that they may loosen at anytime.

This laptop appeared in the market 2 years ago and the screen is lovely. It's the matte display version (the touch screen versions are more common and they are glossy), fantastic in lit environments making it usable anywhere and the battery life is quite good, but I'm sure that the 2 years of use by the previous owner for editing has worn it down a bit. I roughly get 4 - 6 hours when doing 2d artwork and listening to music. It's 91w battery so it should be something 8-9 hours really with the screen dimmed, but I dont think that's going to be a reality anymore.

I haven't tried any games on it as I'm a console gamer. Another thing to note are the 4wJBL speakers - they are really impressive! They aren't tinny and they actually has some bass to the sound. The newer Lenovo Y50 sports a better version of JBL speakers which is truly mind blowing for a laptop if any of you peeps have heard the sound from that laptop, but this Samsung truly does not disappoint in the sound department.

Weight wise, this laptop is around 5.2 lbs, where my Thinkpad T60p is around 6.2 lbs. The Thinkpad has a fan issue and no longer boots so I will have to fix that one soon.

One unfortunate thing is that Samsung pulled their laptops out of the European and Canadian market. This means that support and repairs are going to be an absolute pain, but the laptop is very sturdy with no flex in the solidly built palm rest.

Now - if only Norton would leave me alone, everything would be perfect.....