Choosing a suitable laptop for short/long term
Current time: 03-23-2018, 02:31 AM
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Author: Aladdins
Last Post: Aladdins
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Choosing a suitable laptop for short/long term
Hi everyone,

Well, the need for a laptop is actually essential for engineers in general, but the fact lies on choosing a suitable one concerning your needs and work.

We all know the intense software we must download, from CAD to Revit that all require specific requirements.

What I have in hand is the following specifications that was made by my friend.

- Core i7 ( 2.0 Ghz )
- 17" inch screen ( I think 15.4" will do the job, but he said working on a 17 inch screen is much better while drawing and drafting)
- 4 GB of Ram ( I do prefere 6 GB )
- 1 GB VGA - ATI
- 640 GB Hard Disk

What do you think ?

Thanks in advance,
Hi Aladdin,

The configuration is OK but I think you put a lot of thought in the CPU but not so much in the graphics card. CAD based software really don't go very well with ATI chips, you should try a quatro graphics card from NVidia or , if you have the money, try out those with CUDA GPU's. And if you want fast computing time always chose a HDD with min 7200rpm (the SSD drives are still proven to be unstable despite their speed). And lastly don't forget cooling... in laptops that very essential

Best regards
[-] The following 5 users say Thank You to abalcu for this post:
  • yssreddy, Aladdins, Dell_Brett, rendel_©, tremonti
Hi Aladdin

Your answer depends on what programs you are going to run on it, and whether or not you are a student or a working engineer. From your post, I assume that you're a working engineer who works with AutoCAD and the Revit family in practice.

Your specifications seem fine, but as noted above you should absolutely invest in a better graphics card if you want high quality renders of your models that really look the part. I also strongly suggest investing in an external monitor that is at least 21", instead of opting for a larger laptop screen; programs such as Revit are so much less sufferable to use on a larger screen especially when you are working with multiple windows. Also as above invest in an NVidia card.

Just wanted to add my experience with FEA too. I have a celeron "dual core" Intel processor and an integrated GFX card in my laptop, 4GB of RAM that's about 3 years old. For 'cleaner' general structural analysis FEA programs (Oasys GSA and LUSAS) the performance is fine and there is no noticeable slowdown. For multi-physics programs such as Ansys it would be ideal to have better specs, as it really can drag sometimes. My experience with Revit on this laptop is "ok" at best, no crashing, but a little lag when updating (say 3s?). Renders look awful though.

Hope this helps.


For general structural analysis programs your specifications are fine, particularly if you're undertaking

RE My experience with performance with LUSAS and Oasys GSA is based on linear static analyses and time stepping analyses e.g. consolidation. When conducting my thesis I certainly wished I had a much better computer as I had to do extensive geometrically nonlinear analyses which really do take ages.

[-] The following 2 users say Thank You to peterwcox for this post:
  • Aladdins, tremonti
Thank you peterwcox ..

Actually, I'm still a student but I'll start taking Revit structure this summer.

Do you have any experience using Mac ! I hear that it's complicated,as a first time user!

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