High intensity computing laptop / desktop replacement

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by zmolesk, May 24, 2020.

  1. zmolesk

    zmolesk Newbie

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    Hi All,

    I know that this is not really a laptop job but I run finite element models all day on a server and I'd like to be able to run short (24-48 hrs) computations on my laptop as well, due to the nature of my work and living space I can't really get a desktop. I essentially need a workhorse, good continuous single core performance with 6+ cores and 64/32 gig RAM with no real need for a good GPU or battery life even.

    I'd also ideally like an Intel CPU since the Intel MKL libraries don't work as well on AMD (and also larger cache size on Intel by the looks of it). I've looked at Sager / Clevo options at Obsidian-PC , PC Specialist and a couple of other places, but they leave me feeling like I'll pay extra for a GPU that will just add thermal load and not much else.

    From what I've seen, thermal throttling is the biggest hurdle here, Obsidian PC seem to have the best service in terms of thermal management but they don't have any laptops with low power GPU high power CPU combos. Huge chassis etc. doesn't really bother me. Does anyone have any idea what would be suitable here?


    1) What is your budget?

    2200 GBP

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?

    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen OR
    e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen
    3) Which country will you buying this notebook?

    United KIngdom

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?

    N/A
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?

    I'd actually prefer refurb if it comes to it. Less waste.

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?

    High intensity computing (CPU Based)

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?

    It will mostly be on a desk, but I expect the notebook to travel quite a lot.

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?)

    No, apart from occasional low-intensity retro games etc.

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?

    2-3 would be plenty.

    10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?

    Online preferred

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.

    Win / Linux, probably both

    Screen Specifics

    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer? (See further below for explanations.)

    N/A

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (See further below for explanations.)

    N/A

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?

    No

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?

    1-2 TB

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity


    16) When are you buying this laptop?

    Next month latest

    17) How long do you expect to use this laptop?

    3-5 years

    18) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail?

    Not long, but I have 2 other laptops to fall back on.

    19) Would you be willing to pay significantly extra for on-site warranty, or would it be acceptable to you to have to ship the laptop to the vendor for repair with perhaps a week or more outage?

    Off-site is fine
     
  2. Nauzhror

    Nauzhror Notebook Consultant

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    There are really well priced EVOC branded laptops being sold by HIDEvolution that have desktop Ryzen cpus in them. They do all have high end GPU's as well which doesn't seem like something you require, but that shouldn't really be a downside aside from making it cost more to manufacture.

    They start at $1,499, and come with a Ryzen 3600 and RTX 2070. You can pay more to have it come with a Ryzen 3700X, 3900, or 3950X as well.

    I get that you don't need a RTX 2070, but it's pretty hard to find any laptop with cpus hat powerful at that price even if they don't have a high-end GPU so still figured I'd mention the existence of these laptops.
     
  3. Maru

    Maru Notebook Consultant

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    Precision 7750? Build-your-own can be configured with W-10855M and without GPU, but even a lower i7-10850H configuration still over your budget, even before VAT.

    Quartz Canyon? (NUC9VXQNX) with Xeon E-2286M (Coffee lake, slower RAM) and without discrete GPU, has no screen or battery, but is small and in budget (looked at SimplyNUC.co.uk).
     
  4. Ed. Yang

    Ed. Yang Notebook Evangelist

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    Several review vids already show some benchmarks that AMD Ryzen is tad few duration slow than Intel in terms of Microsoft Office works, like Excel. However that does mean AMD is not effective on handling some tasks. TS is possible, borrow a set of laptop with either 3000series or 4000series CPU to assess on the CPU capability, then decide if AMD is still not suitable for u...
     
  5. Sentential

    Sentential Notebook Evangelist

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    What you're describing is a workstation and is similar to what I needed (mine is more focused on compute). Your best bet would be to buy a used workstation with a Xeon and build an eGPU. (Precision,Zbook,Thinkpad). Bought a Matte Dreamcolor 4k, Xeon, ECC, Quadro P1000, On-site 3 year warranty, Zbook Studio 15 G5 for $1350 on ebay and a Razer Core X for $250. That gives me an 8th gen 6 core Xeon and the flexibility to pick my own GPU ($150 Vega56). Even with these prices being in USD that's well under your budget and shouldn't be hard to replicate with a bit of patience.

    Other than being forced to use Insider Preview Fast Ring to fix Error 12 this setup is absolutely perfect and has the combination you're looking for.
     
  6. Maru

    Maru Notebook Consultant

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    There are a few refurbished instances of last year's model (such as a Precision 7740 with Xeon E-2276 six-core & UHD integrated GPU) on ebay.co.uk. The Zbooks I saw had the 2-year old E-2176. I haven't looked for long stress tests of these models; I didn't find a NotebookCheck.net review.

    (The original poster specifically said the the "finite element models" need high "single-core" performance, run continuously for "24-48 hrs", and cannot use a GPU.
    I don't know what software the OP is running, but
    many FEM software do not use a GPU
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_finite_element_software_packages#Feature_comparison
    For example, COMSOL.
    https://www.comsol.com/support/knowledgebase/866#GPUs
    https://www.comsol.com/forum/thread/250801/gpu-support )
     
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