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. TomJGX

    TomJGX I HATE BGA!

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    I wouldn't recommend MSI.. Purely due to the fact that the GS60 has horrible battery life (2-2.5hrs web surfing) and it's a nightmare to open and add more RAM/SSd's etc if you ever want to do it.. Repasting the CPU+GPU down the road will be a nightmare.. No such problems with the Clevo.. it takes like 10-15 mins tops... I would suggest the NP8651 again.. And if you spend 1600, you can get the 8652 with a 980M!
     
  2. Regnad Kcin

    Regnad Kcin Notebook Evangelist

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    I've been going CAD work for many years. I've had a Precision M20, M4400 and now M3800. I've used some high end Precision desktop workstations. I've also been working with university students for a number of years. I'm quite familiar with the sort of model complexity they typically see/produce. I know someone who is designing a small medical robot (prototype). His cad work is on an older MacBook Pro (probably a 1st or second gen i7) under windows with an Intel GPU. He uses Solidworks. Don't get me wrong, I prefer my Precision workstations but I also know that most undergrads don't need much in the way of computing power.

    Anyway, especially when you are dealing with your first two years of school a high power computer just isn't needed and for the most part will offer very little class work benefit. Thus, unless someone wants to game, I don't suggest spending much on a first computer.
     
  3. Galm

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

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    I think that's most likely, but not always the case. Maybe they are just above and beyond but I currently know sophmores who needed to upgrade their hardware due to the complexity of their project, that being said it was extracurricular, and yes your probably right 95% of the time that an igpu would be enough. Depends on what his plans are. If he wants it to last a long time, a gpu isn't a bad idea.
     
  4. Galm

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

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    That's actually so cheap I would worry about build quality, that's like 400 less than almost every other 980m notebook I've seen yet it has the same cpu and gpu. Worrisome...
     
  5. rmazur12

    rmazur12 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Galm17, thanks for the advice. My friend has recommended the Asus ZenBook Pro UX501 with i7-4720HQ, GTX 960M 2 GB VRAM, 16 gb DDR3, and 512 gb SSD PcIE x4 SSD. He mentioned that the screen is not the best but I am willing to make a compromise. I actually am not looking to game at all and I think the 960M is a good fit for my intended use. Do you think 2 Gb VRAM is enough? Also, is the MQ processor a desktop CPU with full wattage? Thanks.
     
  6. rmazur12

    rmazur12 Notebook Enthusiast

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    TomJGX, I am a novice with computers. I will most likely not be taking it apart to upgrade RAM and SSD or re-paste unless it is completely necessary. I also have ruled out Sager 8651/8652 simply due to the fact that the laptop will not be able to be serviced at my university and that I am concerned about build quality even after reading reviews. Thank you for all of your recommendations and help. I am now between the following:

    Asus ZenBook Pro UX501JW-DS71T
    -intel i7-4720HQ
    -16 Gb RAM DDR3
    - GTX 960M 2 Gb VRAM
    - 512 Gb PCIe x4 SSD
    - 15.6" 4K UHD Touch screen (heard it has gotten bad reviews)

    HP Zbook 14 G2 L3Z53UT
    - Intel core i7-5500U Dual-core (2.4 Ghz)
    - 16 Gb RAM DDR3
    - AMD FirePro M4150 1 Gb GDDR5
    -256 Gb SSD PCIe
    - 14" touch screen

    HP Omen 15
    - Intel core i7-4720HQ
    - 8 GB RAM DDR3
    -15.6" Full HD IPS Touch Screen
    - 256 Gb SSD
    -GTX 960M 4 GB VRAM

    Any suggestions on these or similar machines would be great. I am not looking to game. Thanks.
     
  7. Th4tRedhe4d

    Th4tRedhe4d Notebook Evangelist

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    HP Omen quality is excellent, no complaints about it. You should really read reviews and the thread on the UX501, there are lots of complaints about the screen and keyboard/chassis flex.
     
  8. Regnad Kcin

    Regnad Kcin Notebook Evangelist

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    To some extent I agree with you. My M4400 is still a better CAD machine than anything with an Intel GPU save for perhaps the newest, fastest versions Intel cam out with with the Gen 4 i chips. The M4400 was a Core 2 Duo generation system and mine had the Core 2 Extreme chip and 8 GB of ram. However, it was also over $2k when new and in two years I could have picked up something just as powerful for about half the cost. Heck, I could have bought that same system as a Dell refurb for a bit over $1k. So if I didn't need that power for two years then I would have been better off getting a cheaper computer and waiting to buy the power system for when I needed the power. I've been working with grad students for a while now. It's interesting how many who are doing interesting CAD and robotics work don't bother with a new computer even when the lab is willing to pay. Often they wait as long as possible reasoning that they would rather get the good system next year since their first gen i7 is still powerful enough. I'm currently working on a 1200 part assembly. The M3800 handles it nicely but really my M4400 handles the thing quite nicely as well. It helps that the M4400 is "just" a 1920x1200 screen vs 3.2k. It certainly saves the GPU some effort. So yes, certainly some might need more power. I avoid needing more power in my designs because I'm able to avoid complex shapes (and I don't model screw threads). I've done other products where that wasn't an option. Still, compared to the systems I used to run ProE-18 or Solidworks 97, just about any current system is very powerful.

    If someone wants to do gaming, spend away. If they don't actually know what they are going to be asked to do in school, take a wait and see approach. It will likely save a lot of money.

    Also, depending on the software to be used, a Quadro, even one like the K1100 might be a big step up over what should be a faster Geforce card but it does depend on the specific application
     
  9. TomJGX

    TomJGX I HATE BGA!

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    I would recommend the Omen... The Zbook screen is not known for being good... The UX501 has a lot of issues and very aggressive CPU+GPU throttling... The Omen has none of these issues but I would get it with 16GB RAM... 8GB isn't enough and RAM is soldered and not upgradeable in it..
     
  10. Galm

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

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    MQ and HQ are both not full desktop processors, but to put it simply, an MQ is better than HQ for a number of reasons especially thermal throttling. That laptop seems like a good fit! I would also guess that 2gb of vram is more than enough.
     
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