New Laptop for Cad / Design Software

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by hix, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. hix

    hix Newbie

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?
    1500€ ~\= 1600

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
    e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen

    3) Which country will you buying this notebook?
    Portugal (need the keyboard on PT : 'Ç') if possible, only a very good deal and assurances to buy of country.

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like: prefer sober look
    b. Dislike: mac

    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    Aiming for long duration laptop, do not think it would be wise.

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

    a) Archicad (have doubt if I really need a Quadro..as stated on software page) with built-in render C4D.
    b) Adobe suite
    c) normal 20 Firefox tab use


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

    Mostly it's on desktop (thinking about thunderbolt connectivity though there's few with it) but it will take a walk every now and then, without getting a hernia over it if possible. Still, 70% on desk probably.

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

    Not at a pro level, haven't played anything serious in a few years as the latest laptop wouldn't manage it. Wouldn't hurt to consider some basic gamming thought.

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    3 is about good, there's plugs everywhere

    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?

    As long as there's a review / YouTube and brand website should be enough.

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

    I prefer Linux, but have to work on windows. Cad software... Tryed VM's and it's just not so productive. The software doesn't behave equally.

    Screen Specifics

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

    High Res is fine. No need for 4k, have a TV for that. But good quality for design software.

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

    Probably mate is best for my purpose. I do attache to a 27" extra when on desk. Don't have many experience with screens.

    Build Quality and Design

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

    Yes. Don't mind gamming, as long as the red lights can be turned off. Do prefer a sober clean and good design. Most of all, built quality. It's to endure as long as possible.

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?

    500 ssd 1tb hdd
    Timing, Warranty and Longevity

    16) When are you buying this laptop?

    This year, first 6 months if possible. Im holding on to see when it's ok to buy and what... for new rtx and so on. Can wait ofc. I'm a bit lost with the current market, therefore this pleed for help

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

    8 years (what the current one endured) would be good

    18) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail?
    1 to 2 week I'd manage

    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?

    Never bought outside country, is a tricky question. Do prefer to have a local place to take for warranty or repairs. I think.


    Now for the rest of details.
    I'm practically a novice. I understand the components, know what I'm talking about (mostly I think), but wouldn't open a laptop all by myself - just by being afraid to kill some part of it.
    I'm an Architect / Designer. Core software is Archicad, and I'm a bit lost on whether to get a normal (recent rtx or so) graphic card, or if, for this type of work, a Quadro is really necessary. I managed so far even without dedicated cards, but without any kind of rendering.
    Already searched online, most people don't buy a professional gpu and don't complain about it. Since they don't complain I have no way to know.
    I guess also a minimum setup of 16gb ram, with a possibility to upgrade would be good also.
    So, what laptop models should I be looking for?
    Thanks in advance, even if just for reading this far

    Enviado do meu MI 5 através do Tapatalk
     
  2. rlk

    rlk Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    47
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    136
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Look at the Dell Precision 7730/7530 and Lenovo ThinkPad P72/P52. These are workstation-grade laptops and are designed for long life; you can get them with up to 5 year warranty I believe. In some countries Dell and Lenovo offer on-site warranty; I don't know whether that's the case in Portugal. All of these can go to 64GB and maybe 128GB of RAM; the 17" (7730 and P72) offer more storage bays (2x2.5 + 2xM.2 for the ThinkPad; 1x2.5 + 3xM.2 for the Dell). Both 15" models offer 1x2.5 + 2xM.2. I'm not sure if RTX cards are available for any of these. There are a lot of configuration options for each.

    I'm aware you'd prefer not to go refurb, but if you go to the Dell and Lenovo online stores you can buy factory refurb units with full warranties and save a fair bit of money (or get a higher spec'ed system). For your budget, you should expect to get a pretty good 15" system or a decent 17" new, and somewhat better for the refurb.
     
    Ionising_Radiation and hix like this.
  3. DaMafiaGamer

    DaMafiaGamer Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    227
    Messages:
    579
    Likes Received:
    623
    Trophy Points:
    106
    The HP Zbook 15 or 17 are also amazing choices, I recommend the 17 though as it has an mxm upgradable graphics slot which the dell and lenovo don't (Dell does but its DGFF which costs an arm and a leg). For 8 years a hp zbook 17 with a 8850h processor and quadro p3200 will do you justice. Want more powerful graphics, no need to replace the whole damn computer, just buy a p5200 mxm a few years down the line and plug it right into the zbook no whitelist issues either as they are plug and play.

    Personally, don't waste your time with dell's throttlebooks, check reviews they all say that dells cooling design is simply inadequate. Not sure about Lenovo, they seem quite reliable though and have the muted look that you like. The reason why the laptop overheats is because the cpu heatpipes directly lead to the gpu heatsink. The 'Y' shaped heatsink did dell no favours on the precision 7730 laptop.

    Also, the zbook has optimus, which should allow the laptop to last around 4 hours. Don't forget their 4k 'dreamcolour' display option either which offers superior adobe rgb levels to what dell and lenovo can offer...

    Overall, I think you'd be happy with either the lenovo or hp workstation, I personally wouldn't buy a dell precision after what they pulled, making a laptop slightly slimmer for it to overheat, for what? A workstation is meant to allow 24/7 constant use without any power or thermal issues and the dell CLEARLY doesn't cut it.

    EDIT: Turns out the lenovo has ABYSMAL cooling on the processor side (one heatpipe on the cpu, what was the engineer smoking lol), go for the zbook, it costs more but you get perfection for the price and futureproofing aswell as on site support and ample warranty.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
    hix likes this.
  4. BlameTheEx

    BlameTheEx Notebook Guru

    Reputations:
    10
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    26
    Bought a used Zbook 17 original. Was gobsmacked at the shear quality of construction when I upgraded it to SSD. Nice standard 1080p screen too.
    Plus the specification looks just designed for CAD. Very upgradeable. Even that version handled 32GB ram and has 2 SATA bays.

    I would imagine that a more recent version would suit you well. At least as long as you don't try to lift it. Both laptop and power supply are extra heavy

    Oh. Upgrading to SSD should scare nobody. There are videos and you have to remove a total of 8 screws. Done without access to the motherboard.

    Noticed you specified 500gb SSD and 1tb HD. I was planning the same but finally decided that the reliability and ease of use of a single 2tb SSD justified a slightly higher budget. Difficult to buy a bad SSD these days although if it can be done it will be the one provided ready installed in a new laptop.

    A really top end Lenovo should be good but I have had bad experience with a perhaps not so expensive one (Y50-70). Check ALL the specifications to ensure they haven't cut corners and worry about them whitelisting upgrades.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019 at 8:13 AM
    hix likes this.
  5. hix

    hix Newbie

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Thank you for your inputs.
    The hp Zbook 17 is trually a beast, but also completely out of my budget. Hope it's ok to share prices on the image below.

    I've read also about Lenovo laptops having thermal issues, don't know about the latest models, but z730 I think had lots of complaints.

    I was leaning towards the ThinkPads models, but already have a disclaimer on that also.
    I'll probably wait another month to get more certain on what to buy.. think right now is best to wait a bit. Also, starting to realize it might be better to buy of country.
    High end laptops / mobile workstations are really expensive in Portugal. It's a pain. [​IMG]

    Enviado do meu MI 5 através do Tapatalk
     
  6. rlk

    rlk Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    47
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    136
    Trophy Points:
    56
    I would agree about one big drive rather than two small ones; it makes later upgrading easier.

    The one big thing that's whitelisted on Thinkpads is the GPU. If that's of concern -- if you think you will later want to upgrade that -- then you should look at one of the other workstations. The usual customer-replaceable units (memory and storage) are not; you can put anything generic in. Don't confuse the low end Lenovos with the Thinkpads, particularly the P-series ones. I found I liked the construction of the P70 better than the Dell 7530/7730.

    Between the Precision 7xxx, the Thinkpad P7/5x, and the Zbook, I doubt you'd really go wrong unless there's a specific feature you're looking for (in my case, the two 2.5" storage bays on the Thinkpad P70 vs. the Dell, even though all of my previous laptops had been Dell).
     
  7. rlk

    rlk Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    47
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    136
    Trophy Points:
    56
    There are reports here of the P52 having cooling problems, but that's a smaller machine than the P72. I've run at least the CPU in my P70 hard without throttling (it's a Xeon E3-1505Mv5, which is 2.8~3.7 Ghz; under heavy load it runs mostly at 3.1~3.2 Gz).
     
  8. BlameTheEx

    BlameTheEx Notebook Guru

    Reputations:
    10
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    26
    A new Zbook 17 might well be outside your budget.

    I got the earliest model in used but excellent condition with 32GB ram and the original 750GB hard disk. Total spend including transport, turning the 750GB into an external backup drive and replacing it with a crucial 2TB MX500..... was about £535. I can see no reason why it will not outlast and outperform anything new even close to that price.


    With your budget I recon you could do much the same with a newer model and perhaps even top it to 64GB.

    Have to say that while it is limited to 32GB and only really suitable for SATA SSD's, there is nothing wrong with the performance of the original G1.


    Edit: This is more approaching your budget:

    https://exdemohut.com/laptops/hp-zb...xnYOrfE_ZYTOGUrHhPK9LDqZWH-ovONkaAoGuEALw_wcB

    Just a quick check. I am sure that with a little patience a far better deal than that will turn up.

    The G3 is the first of the series to allow for 64GB ram, which might well be a useful upgrade for CAD. But is it worth more than twice what I paid for a fully upgraded but ageing G1?

    My vote would be no. The logic being that a computer budget is an ongoing expense that is best measured by the year. Half the price means half the time before it can be relegated to backup for the next laptop that new experience has shown you is the one you really needed. But then my budget is a lot tighter than yours.

    @rlk It wasn't the GPU whitelist I was worried about. It's the Modem. They are cheap to replace but sometimes you have to because they often prove to be poor designs. Even if a Lenovo offers one with, say, bluetooth 5, can you be sure in 5 years time it will be the one with bug free drivers?

    Not convinced that upgrading a GPU is all that smart for anybody other than a performance fanatic. What makes GPU performance such a moving target is the ever increasing speed of the memory path. In a laptop the GPU memory is fixed so upgrades are going to be limited.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019 at 1:42 PM
  9. rlk

    rlk Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    47
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    136
    Trophy Points:
    56
  10. BlameTheEx

    BlameTheEx Notebook Guru

    Reputations:
    10
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    26
    @rlk Er, not proof. You didn't check a couple of posts down where the guy said:

    I bought it on eBay and it claimed to have a Lenovo FRU, but I'm unsure of whether or not the card itself was just a generic one.
     
Loading...

Share This Page