To start off, I would definitely rather build a new desktop workstation, but the mobility of a desktop compared to a Laptop is a no brainer. Especially when doing presentations or developing design with a group of people using a projector, much easier to bring the laptop to the boardroom to do these tasks then try and squeeze everyone around my desk. Main software used is Inventor Product Design Suite 2013 and Adobe CS 6 among other various CAD packages. I don't want to build a workstation for a specific package of software. I want an animal that will run most programs with some umph!!!
I have researched many sites and have found, undoubtedly that Dell, HP, Lenovo etc...have great products but for a smaller company, there prices are much too high to get a great workstation that will last 3-5 years.
I have reviewed and found a custom laptop company called Sager, which has tons of great reviews and offer really great prices and customizations. And even a local reseller here in Canada(I am in Northern Ontario Canada). They currently have a promotion that offers 2% cash back off total price and Free Ground Shipping.
Now for the technical part, I want something powerful and that will last. In order off website:
Model - DP9570
Display - 17.3" matte finish
GPU - Nvidia GeForce GTX 680M GPU with 4GB GDDR5 Video Memory OR Dual Nvidia GeForce GTX 670MX GPU
with 3GB GDDR5 Video Memory - I know that CAD users prefer the Quadro series card but after much
research and deliberation, for my needs the GeForce cards are more than capable of our CAD requirements.
Just not sure whether the dual GPU is better than the upgraded single GPU. I do use dual monitors daily and
run multiple instances of CAD software and various programs
CPU - 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-3930K Processor ( 12MB L3 Cache, 3.20GHz / 3.80GHz in Turbo Mode, 6
Thermal Compound - IC Diamond Thermal Compound - CPU + GPU - not sure if necessary but only $36
OS - Windows® 7 Professional 64-Bit Edition
Memory - 32GB Quad Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz - pretty sure it is overkill, it is $90 to get 16gb and $200
to get 32gb, seems worthwhile to just get the 32 and not have top worry about performance upgrades.
Primary Hard Drive - 240GB Intel 520 Series SATA3 Solid State Disk Drive - this will be able to hold all off software
and some current project files, will get a second drive for backups and extra date files.
Secondary Hard Drive - 750GB 7200rpm SATA2 Secondary Hard Disk Drive
Microsoft Office - Office 2010 home and business
Display - $0.00
GPU - $412.00 (or $309.00 or dual GPU )
Thermal Compound - $36.05
Windows 7 Pro x64 - $144.20
Memory (32Gb) - $ 200.85 ( or $82.40 for 16GB)
1st HDD - $221.45
2nd HDD - $82.40
Burner - $97.85
Office 2010 - $204.97
Sub-Total - $3736.84
Tax - $485.79
2% Cash Back - $74.74
Shipping - $0.00
Total - $4147.89
This seems like a huge price, and very unreasonable, but it is a monster of a laptop and in my eyes, shouldn't need to be upgraded for years...Also I have been on competitor sites and tried building something similar but quit after the price got above $5000!! (on Dell site)
I am looking for any comments, good or bad, any experience with Sager products? or laptops in general..
Sager has been the off-brand PC since the 80s (many retail store house brands were nothing more than rebadged Sagers), there was nothing magical about them except for low cost. They used to suffer from many problems for the longest time (ill fitting surfaces, cheap nasty keys on keyboards, screen edges coming apart, pieces/components simply falling off, untested peripherals on a rig etc.).
They may have overcome these limitations (Dell suffered from the same problems back then too). Good luck, let us know how they hold up a year after your purchase.
Good to know, the shell has been known to deteriorate...The only reason I chose Sager is because it is the only supplier in Canada (that I could find) that made custom laptops. I put together a laptop on the dell site and it got pretty ridiculous and ended up cost more and sacrificed half the RAM and CPU power. Other than Dell, I don't know any other custom build sites. Would like to stay inside Canada to save on shipping as most companies offer free shipping once you spend a certain amount. If ordering internationally, there is usually some sort of duty/extra taxes applied.
As far the specs go, I have read that Inventor does not support dual GPU, but if multiple instances are open, Inventor will use a separate CPU core and draw from the second GPU?? Do you know anything or can confirm this?
Also the RAM is pretty crazy but in a sense it is cheap, would you drop down to 16gb or 24gb? and try and save $50-$100 or just load it up and not worry about it?
I like the 2nd gen i7 3930K simply because Inventor uses a single core and the clock speed and cache is high (3.2GHz and 12MB 6 cores) could even drop back to the i7 3820 (with 3.6GHz and 10Mb cache 4 cores)
The dual GPU GTX 670MX is $309 and the single GTX 680M is actually $100 more at $412...So i am very curious as to what people have experienced with the dual SLI set-up??
I don't use Inventor and I don't use a laptop in full production, so I will defer to others to jump in and answer your questions.
IMHO, you can't go wrong with higher processor clock speeds or with "too much" RAM: I would never configure a new system with less than 16Gig these days.
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