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Post 1 of 5

New Laptop

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01-13-2011 07:47 AM

Alright looking through the boards there doesn't seem to be a good concensus on whether one should go with a higher end gaming or a workstation class laptop.  Though it does seem to lean towards gaming for cost vs benifit. 


With that in mind, I will be using AutoCAD MEP, Navisworks and eventually Revit MEP.  I am doing a fair amount of 3D work, including some of fair size, but not really any renderings.  I was initially looking at workstation laptops as that is what I have right now (Dell M6400, Core2 Duo, 2.8Ghz, 8Gig ram, QuadroFX 2700M).  But after some reading I am also looking at gaming rigs as well.  So right now I am looking for some opions/advice for my situation.  Here is an example of ones I am looking at, both are Dell, but I am not locked in with them.


Precision M6500 - $3600

Win 7 64

Intel i7-840QM, 1.86Ghz

1Gb Quadro FX 2800M

8 Gigs Ram

320Gig 7200rpm Drive


XPS 17 - $2800

Win 7 64

Intel i7-840QM, 1.86Ghz

3gb GeForce GT 445M

16Gb Ram

640Gb 7200rpm Drive


One question would be will the Geforce card be acceptable for what I am doing?  It does not show up in the card list yet.  Also when I am in the office I am using dual external monitors through a docking station for the precision.  does anyone have experience with the usb docks and connecting to two monitors, 1 through the dock and 1 though the external connection on the laptop?


Thank you all in advance for your thoughts and comments.


Matt V.


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Post 2 of 5

Re: New Laptop

01-13-2011 10:42 AM in reply to: mvosters

The only advantage to Quadro cards is 3d accuracy. Speed poorer than equally priced gamer's cards. USB based expansion docks are poor since they simply don't have the bandwidth for video. If Dell doesn't have a dedicated, non-usb based expansion dock I would look at HP which does have them. As to whether that leaves the video port on the laptop operational while adding a second port is a question I can't answer. You may want to look at Matrox which has multi-monitor external box solutions for single video port systems. Yes Matrox is still out there but they no longer compete in the consumer videocard industry. Instead they specialize in video production components and oddball items like the box I mentioned.

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Post 3 of 5

Re: New Laptop

01-13-2011 10:54 AM in reply to: mvosters

Check out these:




I think you'll find they are the best bang for the buck.  Anything with less than a 17" screen is not good for cad work.  These are a bit heavy, but are doable.  Mine has an I5 chip, and 4gig of ram, but it runs C3d just fine.



Homebuilt box: I5-2500k, MSI P67A-GD65, 12gig DDR3 1600 ram, ASUS ENGTX460 Video card, WD Velociraptor WD4500HLHX HD, Win 7 64 pro.
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Post 4 of 5

Re: New Laptop

01-13-2011 03:33 PM in reply to: mvosters

Check your existing Navisworks set-up - you will see its settings are OpenGL based (especially for the stereo option, if you are so inclined) which means a Quadro card.  Its difficult to get a direct comparison to a gaming card, so you might get equivalent performance, its hard to tell.  I don't think you will have many problems using docking station for dual monitors, just make sure you have a workspace set up for single monitor otherwise you may find palettes stranded off-screen when you unplug.


Something else to consider about the dock is license borrowing.  If you borrow while docked or have your network card set to power down when not connected the license manager may not consider the computer to be "the same" and not use the borrowed license.

If you are going to fly by the seat of your pants, expect friction burns.
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Post 5 of 5

Re: New Laptop

08-01-2012 12:48 PM in reply to: namssurt

Hi I'm Adrian Navarro, I want to get a new Laptop where I'll use Autocad & Revit, I'm a student  and for my budget the Sony vaio SVE1711C5E is a good opcion, I think but I not sure, the specs are:


  • 43.8 cm (17.3") display (up to 1920x1080)
  • Intel® CoreTM i5-2450M, 2.5GHz
  • Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium
  • 500 GB Serial ATA (5400 rpm)
  • 4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3-SDRAM
  • DVD disc drive
  • 43.8cm LCD 1600x900 + webcam
  • AMD Radeon(TM) HD 7650M 2GB
  • 754.00 €

Thank you for your time 

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