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AutoCAD on a laptop

Verikon

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#1
A client of mine is looking to get a new laptop. He does quite a bit of CAD on it, and wants to spend around $1000.

We looked at a few models on Dell's website, and we came out with a 1.8GHz C2D, 512MB or DDR2 (I'm just going to order 2GB of RAM from NewEgg for him), and an 8600GT GPU. My question is, will that GPU give any acceleration/performance benefits for him? I've looked up on the CAD support sites and they say that most gaming cards are "supported, but not recommended". Would the money be better spent getting a fast CPU and a faster HDD?

I have no experience with CAD, and only assume that a decent GeForce GPU would help. Does anyone have any advice? What should I be looking for - obviously a FireGL or a Quadro would be best, but I can't find a laptop with one for under $1200 - to maximize performance?

Any advice would help.
 
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#2
A client of mine is looking to get a new laptop. He does quite a bit of CAD on it, and wants to spend around $1000.

We looked at a few models on Dell's website, and we came out with a 1.8GHz C2D, 512MB or DDR2 (I'm just going to order 2GB of RAM from NewEgg for him), and an 8600GT GPU. My question is, will that GPU give any acceleration/performance benefits for him? I've looked up on the CAD support sites and they say that most gaming cards are "supported, but not recommended". Would the money be better spent getting a fast CPU and a faster HDD?

I have no experience with CAD, and only assume that a decent GeForce GPU would help. Does anyone have any advice? What should I be looking for - obviously a FireGL or a Quadro would be best, but I can't find a laptop with one for under $1200 - to maximize performance?

Any advice would help.
For CAD- the essentials are lots of RAM and a fast CPU. However I've always found they work well with good GPU's. For example with the CAD work I do on my laptop it's faster than on my mate's which lacks the X600 gfx. Howver if he can afford the slightly faster CPU stretch to it- it's worth it. This is coming from someone who always likes the best value parts, not the brand names with hefty premium so please belive me on this.
 

Verikon

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#3
His options are 1.6GHz, 2MB L2 C2Duo, with the 8600M GT. Or a 2.0GHz 4MB L2 C2Duo if he drops the 8600GT and gets a 8400M GS. Which will be the better build?

Also, with 2GB of RAM, will having a 7200RPM drive help with CAD? I don't know how often the HDD is paged when you're uhh... CADing.
 
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#4
His options are 1.6GHz, 2MB L2 C2Duo, with the 8600M GT. Or a 2.0GHz 4MB L2 C2Duo if he drops the 8600GT and gets a 8400M GS. Which will be the better build?

Also, with 2GB of RAM, will having a 7200RPM drive help with CAD? I don't know how often the HDD is paged when you're uhh... CADing.
I've got a 4100rpm HDD in my laptop so to be honest I don't think the difference is enough to qorry about in CAD as long as you have the 2GB of RAM. Get the 2.0Ghz Core 2 with 2GB of RAM, any other options probably aren't too much of a worry.
 

d44ve

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#5
yeah, go with the second option... the faster clock speed and twice as much cache will help out
 

Namslas90

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#6
yeah, go with the second option... the faster clock speed and twice as much cache will help out
One of the biggest probs with CAD and laptops is the Viewable area; 13.5 diag is realy too small for any large land maps or detailed engineering schematics. For large areas in cad a medium gaming GPU will be fine (surveying/landscaping)the X1600pro works great for an upgrade I did for a surveyor customer of mine. For detailed Schematics(engineering) go for a Fire GL if you can, the older ones may be slow but they will show the details much better.

:toast:
 

Verikon

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#7
It's a 15" screen, and eventually he will be getting an external for his office.

All right, the consensus seems to be to go with the 2.0GHz, and the 8400 GS. I'll give him a shout later tonight.

Thanks.
 

TXcharger

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#8
look at asus laptops on the egg, they are pretty good and you can probably spend your money better there

also HP laptops are pretty good and lowpriced
 

Namslas90

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#9
look at asus laptops on the egg, they are pretty good and you can probably spend your money better there

also HP laptops are pretty good and lowpriced
Also check Amazon and Tiger Direct for Referbs(cheaper and still come with full waranty).

:toast:
 
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#10
One of the biggest probs with CAD and laptops is the Viewable area; 13.5 diag is realy too small for any large land maps or detailed engineering schematics. For large areas in cad a medium gaming GPU will be fine (surveying/landscaping)the X1600pro works great for an upgrade I did for a surveyor customer of mine. For detailed Schematics(engineering) go for a Fire GL if you can, the older ones may be slow but they will show the details much better.

:toast:
Yes, get the biggest, best LCD you can. (High res preferably).

CAD will see a little benefit from GPU aswell these days unless he's using a really really old version.

You should be able to get a quadro in an M series dell. Go with a quadro/fire GL, the driver additions are quite nice.
 
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#11
Or see if you could mod ATi cards to FireGl equals. I do this regularly with my X600- although it's a hassle.