Portable and Powerful Laptop for Engineering Student

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by rmazur12, May 19, 2015.

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  1. Delta_V

    Delta_V Notebook Consultant

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    1) The build quality on their latest generation has been quite good. Previously, Sager/Clevo sort of had a reputation for lower build quality compared to MSI, Alienware, etc. in exchange for a lower price. But their latest models have had better build quality while still retaining the price advantage. As for customer service, it is recommended to avoid dealing with Sager directly, since theirs isn't the best. But if you go through a reputable reseller such as XoticPC, you shouldn't have anything to worry about.

    2) The NP8651 does not have a touchscreen option. For AutoCAD, the mid-tier GeForce cards like the 960M or 965M might work, but the 970M is much more powerful without being that much more expensive, so it usually represents the best bang for your buck.
     
  2. Galm

    Galm "Stand By, We're Analyzing The Situation!"

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    The sager is a decent option, its a bit fatter but just under what you requested. I had an 880m, and it did not overheat, however, I did upgrade the the 980m and its wayyyy better. 970m is great too. Go XoticPc, I got my MSI from there and they are amazing, they helped me out so much, even moved me from a 4700mq to a 4710mq for free (but that was lucky timing). Gigabyte is the thinniest option of anything anyone has said, so if you value thin do that, otherwise the clevo/sager is a great option. To be honest avoid dell and MSI. I only like MSI's fatter options like the GT60s and GT70s.
     
  3. Galm

    Galm "Stand By, We're Analyzing The Situation!"

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    Huh I found a listing for a gigabyte with a 4810MQ, is that wrong? I did think they were mostly hq.
     
  4. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    Yeah the Quadro is probably overkill for what you are doing. Even the HD4600 (IGP only) would be enough for those apps. Another one to consider is the HP Omen 15. It is similar to the Precision but has a Geforce GPU instead. If you live near a Micro Center retail store, you can take a look at one in person before purchasing. This model is pretty expensive at MSRP, but HP usually runs coupons to help get the price down to earth.
     
  5. rmazur12

    rmazur12 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Galm17, thanks for your response. I have had good experiences with Dell in the past. Why do you recommend to avoid MSI? I was considering the MSI GS60 Ghost Pro-044 with 16 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD + 1 Tb 7200 RPM, GTX 970M 3 GB, and an i7-4710HQ for $1600.00. Any comments/ personal review on this model would be much appreciated.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00O8X31DS?psc=1
     
  6. rmazur12

    rmazur12 Notebook Enthusiast

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    win32asmguy, I checked out the Omen and it is very nice. The build quality looks phenomenal. I think that I will definitely go with the 970M to run possible engineering programs that are more demanding in my junior or senior year and to have the power to run games if I so desire. Do you know of any machines that have nvidia gtx 900 series graphics (preferably 970M) and a touch screen which is vital for windows 8 in my opinion. Thanks.
     
  7. Regnad Kcin

    Regnad Kcin Notebook Evangelist

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    OP,
    It sounds like you will be an engineering undergrad in perhaps Mech E. Really, you aren't going to need a power house computer for your class work. Unless you plan on gaming I would suggest not spending too much (save $1k for a new computer when you are a jr) and go with something that is light, has a high resolution screen and good battery life. That's really all you need. I know people who are doing CAD and a good bit of Matlab on 4 year old Apple's with Intel GPUs. It's just that most of what you do in school is light weight work for a real workstation laptop. If the prof's really expect you to do big number crunching they will provide you with the computer.

    A high resolution screen is always nice for doing spreadsheets if your eyes are good. Light and good battery life are self explanatory. I also would suggest getting a protective sleeve for the computer. Light duty consumer laptops can last for 4 years of college but only if you treat them kindly. If you are going to throw the system around you are better off getting a business class machine (Latitude 7000 series or Thinkpad X/T/W). Finally, I usually tell students to just get a cheap computer the first time and save the money for later. You really don't need power your first two years. Getting a second computer means you have a spare just in case. That spare can always be a media computer in your room. In two years $1k buys a better system than $2k today (in general). You will also really have a better idea of what you want/need at that time vs now.
     
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  8. Galm

    Galm "Stand By, We're Analyzing The Situation!"

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    Because MSI is usually around 100 dollars more. That's actually a great price, but you could probably get a Sager for less. They also sometimes have heating issues. I've had to repaste my friends GT70 like 3 times because he insisted the temps were too high. MX-4 kinda sucked on them btw.

    Anyway that's a decent price, but again its an HQ not an MQ processor, but otherwise pretty good specs. Just personally, I would be very wary of temps on that thing. My GT60 has been pretty good but I used good thermal paste, and paid extra for a copper cooling upgrade which added a much larger heatsink. Hopefully, it would be totally fine, but I would read a ton of reviews first.

    Lastly, Dell as a brand is fine but that's a quadro card. You seem pretty sure that you wanted to be able to game, but a quadro would perform that quite poorly. It would be like a 740m or something tops, while a 970m should be good for cad and gaming.
     
  9. Galm

    Galm "Stand By, We're Analyzing The Situation!"

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    Yikes idk if you have used cad but I would not want to try it on a macs integrated graphics. At the same time he could spend less, like 1000 for a notebook with a 960m or 965m. Also OP I agree with your call for the 970m, the 970m is significantly more powerful than a 960m and 965m. While a 980m crushes it its so much more the 970m is more of a sweet point for price. That said, if you wanna play like star citizen or something crazy go 980m its a beast :). Otherwise 970m is a very good sweet spot.
     
  10. Galm

    Galm "Stand By, We're Analyzing The Situation!"

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    For people saying cad doesnt use that much gpu power, that totally depends on the complexity of the project. An integrated card can do a basic project, but I've seen far more powerful cards maxed out for harder projects. At my uni all the cad machines have either quadro cards or sli set ups if they are multipurpose for gaming as well. I would say at the least go for like a 960m, they come in laptops around 1000. Plus those can game.
     
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