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Best laptop for Autocad?

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#1
So I don't have a ton of experience with laptops, since I use my desktop for almost everything.

My friend is going into college in the fall and she will use autocad a lot. I'm helping her pick out a laptop that will run autocad well, but still trying to keep the weight and price down while keeping the battery life up. Don't know how realistic that goal is, but we shall see :)

Budget is $1000 at most btw, $850 would be ideal.

So my first question would be: is autocad more CPU or more GPU dependent? Obviously if she can get away w/ onboard video, money can be saved by going that route. Gaming would not be a priority (not officially anyways), since her parents are paying.

Next, if CPU dependent, would a quad core better or a higher clocked dual core be better? And if GPU dependent, what is a good mobile GPU for it? I'm not familiar with mobile GPUs at all, and keep in mind portability and battery time are also in consideration here.

Finally, does anyone have any recommendations as to a laptop or a line of laptops? I was thinking about finding a Thinkpad w/ a discrete graphics since I know they are great laptops, but given the budget that may not be possible.
 

FreedomEclipse

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#2
I dont think you need a lotta horsepower for autocad you might need a bit if your rendering 3d images or doing a lot of 3d animation. so id go for a balanced midrange laptop - for graphics, id definitely go fo a dedicated GPU instead of the shitty Intel GMA crap. look for something above a 4650 for ATi (though the 4650 might not be enough). however if ATi is an issue then anything above an Nvidia GT 330M heres a chart to help you decide http://www.notebookcheck.net/Comparison-of-Laptop-Graphics-Cards.130.0.html which GPU to look for. - I could be wrong though so dont quote me on it.

for Processors - equally a lot of choice to be had theres the old Core 2 range then the newer i3/5/7 range. Id suggest a top range i3 if money is an issue - avoid the lowend models they are sluggish as hell. my dad has one in a sony vaio n it took all night just to do a few windows updates - i think he has the i3 430M. a low to mid range i5 would be a better choice if the i3 can be avoided.

have you thought about the size of the laptop?? I think it would be wise to ask her. size plays pretty big factor in the amount of horsepower you can pack inside it. a 16"+ might be good size & resolution for CAD & be able to house more powerful components but at the same time she might not like to carry it due to the weight of it etc etc. its something to consider.
 
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#3
Well FreedomEclipse nailed it on the head with what is needed. As an owner of a Thinkpad,
I'd say that is the better way to go, and get a workstation card if the budget allows.
My specs for my lappy are in my system specs (of course) and it runs AutoCAD fine.

Seems like the nVidia workstation ThinkPad's are out of budget. You could take the AMD way
and I'm sure it would work just as well.
 

FordGT90Concept

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#4
Going from the recommendation on the other thread, this is the system I would recommend:
ASUS G Series G51JX-A1 NoteBook Intel Core i7 720Q...

Don't know how Asus is as a laptop manufacturer (e.g. bloat and recovery disks) though.

It doesn't have the biggest screen but it has 6 GiB of RAM, a GTS 360M, and 720QM. It would be better to find one with a higher clocked dual core instead of a low clocked quad core. Again, the emphasis is on memory and graphics.


Maybe this one (5850 and dual-core):
HP ENVY 17-1010NR NoteBook Intel Core i5 450M(2.40...
 
Last edited:
Joined
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Processor Intel Core i7 920
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Cooling Corsair H50 with 2x Scythe GT AP-14
Memory 3x 2gb G.Skill 1600Mhz C9 DDR3
Video Card(s) MSI Twin Frozr II GTX 465 GE & EVGA GTS 450 SC
Storage 2x 1Tb Samsung Sprinpoint F3 7200rpm
Display(s) Dell U3011, Dell 2408WFP, Samsung 2693HM
Case Lian Li V1020R
Audio Device(s) Creative X-Fi Titanium
Power Supply Seasonic X-750
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#5
Thanks for the recommendations guys, but those options are probably out of reach. Her max price is about $1000.
 
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Joined
Apr 9, 2010
Messages
773
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99
Location
Atlanta/Marietta, GA
System Name Norbert
Processor Intel Core i7 920
Motherboard Gigabyte X58A-UD5
Cooling Corsair H50 with 2x Scythe GT AP-14
Memory 3x 2gb G.Skill 1600Mhz C9 DDR3
Video Card(s) MSI Twin Frozr II GTX 465 GE & EVGA GTS 450 SC
Storage 2x 1Tb Samsung Sprinpoint F3 7200rpm
Display(s) Dell U3011, Dell 2408WFP, Samsung 2693HM
Case Lian Li V1020R
Audio Device(s) Creative X-Fi Titanium
Power Supply Seasonic X-750
Software Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
#8
Joined
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System Name HTPC||Lenovo IBM ThinkPad
Processor AMD Phenom II x4 965 stock 3.4GHz||Intel C2D T9300 @ 2.5GHz
Motherboard Zotac 890GX-ITX WiFi||Lenovo 8918CTO
Cooling Stock 3x 120's||Stock stuff
Memory 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 6-6-6-15||3GB DDR2
Video Card(s) Asus 3870x2||nVidia Quadro NVS 140M
Storage 1TB Seagate Barracuda, 1x 2TB WD EARX ||Hitachi 160GB 7200RPM
Display(s) Samsung T260HD||
Case SilverStone Grandia GD05||
Audio Device(s) on-board||on-board
Power Supply Cooler Master 450W||6-cell
Software Windows 7 Pro x64||Windows 7 Pro x64/Linux Mint x64
#9

FreedomEclipse

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#10
not quite sure....it will probably be alright - but the 5470 only has a 64bit memory bus might might hurt a little. but then again its not a machine for gaming
 
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#11