Best pc loptop for structural engineer
Current time: 04-26-2018, 12:55 AM
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Author: mantas1985
Last Post: freequo
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Best pc loptop for structural engineer

Please tell me what kind of loptop i shoud buy for structural engineering? (for FEM calculations, 3D design of construction). Which operating system is beter 32 or 64 bit?


I am doing the same things on Pentium IV, 2.6GHz RAM: 2GB and NVidia GeForce 5200 128MB. This desktop is more then 4 years old and still is powerful for FEM and building 3D models. I am not speaking for video rendering and gaming.
So, nowadays the computers are so powerful and it is enough to buy at least dual core and more RAM.
The main point is how much do you want to spend. As much you spend a better performances you will get. I think for 500 to 600 euros you can get a very nice ACER laptop.

[-] The following 2 users say Thank You to igor1234 for this post:
  • deadlord, mantas1985
Dear Mantas1985,
Note that the processor of the new PC(as you are buying a new Pc it should be)has to be good
Because it can save you time running models.

Dell Precision M6500 is maybe the most powerful.

The OS depends on what software you are using. Most of the top-priced commercial software producers are keeping up the pace with Microsoft, so you will get their latest products for the latest M$ Windows versions.
i recommend what 'am using, ASUS M50SV (3yrs old)
core 2duo, 4gb ram, 300gb hdd, nvidia geforce 9500M, 14"WXGA
best of all it has a "built-in numeric key pad" a must for engineers
Engineering is the professional art of applying science to the optimum conversion of natural resources to the benefit of man
I'm using a Dell Precision M4300 laptop with 3 years. Core 2 duo T7700, 3Gb of RAM and 320 HDD WesternDigital Caviar Black. The graphics are Quadro FX360M. In WinXP works perfect, but for Win7 the graphics card is not very good. The quality of the laptop is nice, good refrigeration, low noise, robustness ...
Nvidia Quadro and ATi FireGL are optimized for best performance in OpenGL. This is a graphics library mostly used by the solid modeling/rendering computer applications (Inventor, 3Dmax, ProEngineer, Abaqus, FEMAP etc.). Windows itself can't take any benefit from this video adapter to increase the speed of its own interface graphics (dialogs, title bars, menu fading etc.). Most of the popular games, and lots of the graphics applications are using Microsoft's own graphics library, called DirectX. For DirectX the best performance you can get from the so-called "gaming video cards": GeForce, Radeon. The problem is these are cut-down not to be able to perform properly in solid modeling applications, just to force the users to buy the expensive ones (Quadro, FireGL).

So if you want video adapter for games - go for Radeon/GeForce. If you will do more modeling in an OpenGL application - go for FireGL/Quadro.

Just to mention: if your video-adapter doesn't support something your application needs - this will make the central processor to substitute the video-chip. That means the same work to be done for more time and more heat, as the CPU is not doing the thing in the optimal way. So I would recommend if you have enough money to buy a Quadro/FireGL video.

You can buy a notebook with integrated Intel video only if you don't need to do 3D OpenGL fast. In this case all the work will be done by the CPU. Also note that there is a huge difference between Intel's integrated videos and ATI's integrated one. The last one is times faster and unloads the CPU much more.

Actually the main difference between the "workstation" and "business" laptop is the video-chip. The rest of the hardware is mostly the same, but the "business" laptop usually has in integrated Intel's video, which is done so to lower the price (cost of the video chip = 0) and to lower the power consumption, especially for the power-hungry Core 2 Duo CPU.

The second big (but more visual) difference is the screen: size and resolution. You can see 1920x1200 resolution - that's twice more pixels than the standard 1280x800! It means that you see twice more on the screen - that's a big deal (and big price). But if you have eyes problems (you have glasses) - consider that you might not be able to see the small pixels, i.e. small text, buttons, menus, etc.

In Europe you'll need a thousand Euro for a good CPU/Graphics/Screen laptop. If you lower the price, than some component is getting cheap - firstly this is the screen. The cheap ones will do the same thing for you about 80% of the time, and you'll swear and shout in the rest 20%. It is just a matter of your mind - how you will accept these 20% - you will be wise enough to adapt yourself, or you'll get easy full and frustrated.

Don't buy second-hand notebook with Geforce Go chip, combined with Core 2 Duo CPU - except the laptop weights more than 3 kg. This is because of the overheating for which the cooling system can't cope, because Intel is giving the average thermal power of their CPU - not the maximum one, and the GeforceGO is quite hot too, and the manufacturer of the notebook usually designs the cooling system with only one heatpipe, considering that both Video+CPU will never work on full load together, but the reality is different. So you will end with burnt videochip, because it is not so melt-resisting as the CPU, and the repair is so costly, that you will prefer to buy new laptop.
[-] The following 3 users say Thank You to ynopum for this post:
  • mantas1985, versiondemo, Dell_Brett
Ynopum I'm agreed with your screen resolution coments. My laptop has a 15,4 WUXGA (1920x1200) and performs very well, but after 2 years aprox., I bought a 24" monitor because the visual effort with the laptop screen is high.
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to versiondemo for this post:
  • Dell_Brett
(10-03-2010, 01:45 PM)versiondemo Wrote: Ynopum I'm agreed with your screen resolution coments. My laptop has a 15,4 WUXGA (1920x1200) and performs very well, but after 2 years aprox., I bought a 24" monitor because the visual effort with the laptop screen is high.

i think u should buy ASUS A42JK. this notebook is very powerfull, U can imagine this specification Processor Core i5, Memory RAM 2GB, and this is very special in this laptop "VGA ATI 1GB, wow i think this laptop can do anything civil's software. I recommended it
That laptop is ok, but if I want to buy a new laptop, then would rather buy a laptop with at least i7 and 4GB RAM. For structural engineering or something elese.
Best regards

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