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chopin
Bronze

SEEKING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BEST LAPTOP CONFIGURATION FOR CAD... computer assisted design

Greetings,
 
I am buying my son a laptop for college.   He will be studying architecture and doing CAD.   He also lilkes the latest games.   Is there anyone out there who has a recommendation on Dell laptop configuation for these things?   We have been looking at the E1705 in particular, and are unsure of its capabilities.   
 
Any input from someone with experience in CAD or high-end gaming would be greatly appreciated.
 
Thanks in advance!
 
Chopin
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18 Replies
tigerwolf7
Diamond

Re: SEEKING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BEST LAPTOP CONFIGURATION FOR CAD... computer assisted design

For CAD I would double check the requirements of the programs he's going to need to run. There's probably a chance they'd need "pro" versions of the GPU. Not sure how viable that would be in a laptop.

Assuming they work fine with normal "consumer" GPUs, the e1705 configured with a Geforce 7900GS is a GREAT deal for both CAD type work and games. Cheapest thing on the market with a good GPU.
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Re: SEEKING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BEST LAPTOP CONFIGURATION FOR CAD... computer assisted design


chopin wrote:
Greetings,
I am buying my son a laptop for college. He will be studying architecture and doing CAD. He also lilkes the latest games. Is there anyone out there who has a recommendation on Dell laptop configuation for these things? We have been looking at the E1705 in particular, and are unsure of its capabilities.
Any input from someone with experience in CAD or high-end gaming would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
Chopin




For real professional CAD work, I strongly reccommend going for something with an Nvidia Quadro. (i.e. look into the Dell Precision series such as the M90)

That said, the chances your son will actually be running CAD applications on his personal machine are slim to none and he would be running such applications in a lab. Typical pro-grade CAD software costs more per seat than it would cost you to buy an E1705 AND an M90 with all available options.

Edit: To summarize, the chances he'll actually need the Quadro are slim, so he's better off with the E1705 with an Nvidia 7900GS.

Message Edited by Entropy42 on 06-09-200601:43 PM

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tonebalone
Platinum

Re: SEEKING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BEST LAPTOP CONFIGURATION FOR CAD... computer assisted design

I agree with Entropy42.  I work at a University supporting computer users.  Autocad is on all our lab machines.  On occasion, someone will ask me to put Autocad on his laptop.  I point them to vendors who can provide academic single seat licenses, which run about $750 for the LE version , and in the thousands for a full version.  Your kid will appreciate a gaming machine, trust me.
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sblive
Gold

Re: SEEKING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BEST LAPTOP CONFIGURATION FOR CAD... computer assisted design

I am currently learning and using autoCad and I'm finding that a lot of commands are best suited by typing on a keyboard rather than using the mouse to point and click. A desktop would really be best for this, or better yet, use the computers in the labs as they are usually much more reliable and are usually pretty darn fast.
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chopin
Bronze

Re: SEEKING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BEST LAPTOP CONFIGURATION FOR CAD... computer assisted design

Thanks Tigerwolf.   Any recommendations on speed of the processor?  1.66, 1.83, 2.0, etc.?

Chopin

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chopin
Bronze

Re: SEEKING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BEST LAPTOP CONFIGURATION FOR CAD... computer assisted design

Thanks to all who wrote:   tigerwolf7, Entropy42, tonebalone and sblive... Very helpful input.

I can see that the reality is a laptop isn't the right place to expect to do CAD.   So, I'll try and build a good gamer with the best video capabilities and hope it is useful.   I don't know anything about architecture and hopefully after a few years my son will, and he will know what he needs in computer hardware and software.

Again, is there any recommendation on processor speed?   My inclination is to go with at least 2.0 Ghz dual core, and 2 gigs of RAM, along with the video card you mentioned.  

Finally, is the E1705 the way to go, or one of the new (expensive) XPS laptops?

Thanks again to everyone.   I really appreciate it.

Chopin

Message Edited by chopin on 06-10-200612:42 PM

Message Edited by chopin on 06-10-200612:43 PM

Message Edited by chopin on 06-10-200612:44 PM

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tonebalone
Platinum

Re: SEEKING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BEST LAPTOP CONFIGURATION FOR CAD... computer assisted design

The XPS line has one major advantage:  U.S.-based customer support.  Configure both the E1705 and the XPS and see if they're close.  Be sure to get the maximum warranty and add Complete Care coverage.  And you might want to check your homeowner's coverage to see if it will be covered against theft, etc. while your son is in the dorm.
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parkerti
Gold

Re: SEEKING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BEST LAPTOP CONFIGURATION FOR CAD... Computer assisted design

I'm going to be realistic here (for me anyway). Let's assume you go XPS, or even 1705. Both are big, heavy, and here's what will happen. They will sit on your son's desk, running 24x7, for instant messaging, MP3 downloading, music playing, maybe some videos depending on what kind of TV DVD setup you provided him with, LOTS of surfing, some gaming unless he has XBox or something similar (or his roommate)and some word processing for the occaisional paper. Everything else will be done in labs or the library (which will have hundreds of available machines and are quiet). My son just graduated with a Bach. Science in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Mathematics. That was what I observed over his four years - both in the dorm the first year and various houses with roommates the next three years. So I would reccommend an inexpensive 1505 with a 256 video card and a big hard drive. If you look for the $750.00 coupons and work with it, you can get the price down to $1250 with a service contract. Best of luck to you and your son!

Message Edited by parkerti on 06-11-200610:06 AM

Message Edited by parkerti on 06-11-200610:08 AM

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chopin
Bronze

Re: SEEKING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BEST LAPTOP CONFIGURATION FOR CAD... computer assisted design

tonebalone,

thanks for that.   It does make sense to go with XPS support.

I'll run a price check, as you suggested.   I suspect they'll be pretty close, and end up going with the XPS.   Definitely will get maximum warranty coverage.

chopin

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