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Need a Laptop for Learning

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#1
I have been searching some local sites for a laptop, but as I never owned one I dont know what I want. I will use the laptop for learning HTML,CSS,PHP, Java script and C, C#. For that purpose I know that any laptop will work, but I occasionally would like to get back into 3D modeling in 3ds max, solidworks. That is where I get confused to what I should get. Do I need 8 or 16GB or ram and what gpu (1050, 1050ti, 1060, Rx 550, Rx 580 or maybe 950m).
This is the site I will buy from : https://www.emmi.rs/konfigurator/pr...oryId=127&sortBy=Price1|ASC&limit=-1&offset=0
I will appreciate your suggestions.
 
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#2
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#3
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#4
For programming:
Sensible resolution for the screen size (e.g. 14-15" @ 1080p) and a good keyboard.
Edit: and of course a matte screen.
Any adequate CPU will work fine (i5-i7). If you plan on doing some 3D graphics, you might use a more powerful GPU. Otherwise Intel IGP will do the job (for some 3D as well).

For 3D rendering:
Graphic cards (especially with CUDA) can sometimes help, but it's never sure and often not that huge in performance gain. You'd have to check the particular software if it utilizes a GPU and how much it can help.
Full GPGPU rendering is problematic because of memory limit. Many cards will have 4GB GDDR and that could not be enough. There are mobile GPUs with 8GB GDDR, but the price won't be nice... And you can't really replace a mobile GPU afterwards.
On the other hand, laptops with 8GB RAM are quite cheap today. 16GB becomes more and more common. 32GB is expensive but possible.

My recomendation would be: get a notebook with Thunderbolt 3 and consider an eGPU for rendering in the future - assuming you'll ever need it.
eGPU cases are not cheap, but a typical ultrabook + eGPU should still be cheaper (and surely much lighter for coding outside) than a gaming-grade laptop (or worse: workstation-grade).
eGPUs are a thing already. It's time to start thinking about them as viable options. :)
 
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newtekie1

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#5
Honestly, for what you are planning with the 3D work, I'd make sure to get a real quad-core CPU.

I think the sweet spot will probably be an i5 quad core, so something like the i5-7300HQ or i5-8250u or i5-8350u paired with either a GTX1050 or GTX1050Ti. Also, for the programming side I'd get at least a 15" screen and definitely get a 1080p resolution. If you go smaller than 15" with 1080p then the text gets too hard to read for long periods of time, especially if you are trying to find that one comma you put in the wrong spot. So you'll inevitably end up increase the scaling to make everything bigger, and that then defeats the purpose of the 1080p screen. If you go with a lower resolution, like 1366x768(careful this is often advertised as HD to fool you into thinking it is 1080p), then the screen real estate is too little and it becomes hard to work on with large documents/programs.

You should be able to find a laptop that fits the suggestions I made for around $800 USD, cheaper if you get a good deal. For example this laptop fits the bill for $780: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=1TS-001A-005J6

The only negative is the 8GB of memory, but I think that should actually be enough for you to start out with. Plus the laptop has an open RAM slot in it so you can bump the RAM up to 16GB later on if you find yourself running out of system memory. It also has an M.2 SSD with a 2.5" SATA bay open, so you can easily add either a 2.5" Cheap HDD or SSD for more storage later.
 
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#6
i think if money saving is something you would like to go with, but you still need the HP of a beefy GPU, but dont want to pay for a Laptop with these things , just like notB mentioned above, you could use an external GPU, and it could be a reasonably viable solution. If you have a decent desktop GPU, it would be equivalent to a higher end laptop one, and with the proper case for the Egpu, it shouldnt be too much of a hassle. I found the following for pretty cheap considering the other options. if you have a GPU, and extra PSU(actually it has a psu 450w), this might be a reasonable solution, for $170. im not 100% that it works with all laptops tho...


https://www.amazon.com/Alienware-9R...s&ie=UTF8&qid=1515862737&sr=1-8&keywords=eGPU

I don't know ,could be just too much of a hassle kind of defeating the purpose of a laptop.
 
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#7
I don't know ,could be just too much of a hassle kind of defeating the purpose of a laptop.
I think it's a perfect solution. OP's situation is the actual problem that eGPU idea is trying to solve. He'd have a very light laptop for coding anywhere, but he can give it a GPU boost at home for heavy calculations (like rendering or whatever he'll write).
I mean: it's fairly unlikely that someone would run large renders while using laptop outside (since they tend to take a lot of time). A small render (test) can always be run on a CPU/IGP.
I would recommend a laptop with a GPU for work on location (when you go to a client or you spend most of your day at university) and you have no choice: you'll have to run those renders even when you don't have access to a better machine.

Otherwise, carrying around a heavy workstation laptop just to use it's GPU at home seems really pointless.
And chips like Intel's HD630 or NVIDIA MX150 are really good.
I think the sweet spot will probably be an i5 quad core, so something like the i5-7300HQ or i5-8250u or i5-8350u paired with either a GTX1050 or GTX1050Ti.
I'd go for KL Refresh, definitely. It's the same performance for a lot less power consumption. No idea how they pulled it off, but early battery life tests seem to confirm an improvement.
8650U is faster than 7700HQ (TDP 25W vs 45W). Same for 8350U vs 7300HQ.

Moreover: in single thread (which is very important for programming) they are as fast as desktop equivalents from the previous gen. i7-8650U is just as fast as a desktop 7700 (or 6700K). Fantastic stuff.
i7-7500U, the generation which started this single-thread revolution, was still at least 10% behind 6700.

Also, for the programming side I'd get at least a 15" screen and definitely get a 1080p resolution.
Exactly what I meant. The resolution has to be sensible. 1080p for 15" - perfect. 4K for 13" - just awful. 1366x768 - usable, but simply not comfortable with complex IDEs of today.

With a large resolution you're at mercy of OS scaling, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't work.
And I'm not a huge fan of things that sometimes work - mainly because they always tend not to work when you have to work. :)
Moreover, even when it works, you open a Linux VM in Virtualbox and it's almost a guaranteed mess. :)
 

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#8
I'd go for KL Refresh, definitely. It's the same performance for a lot less power consumption. No idea how they pulled it off, but early battery life tests seem to confirm an improvement.
8650U is faster than 7700HQ (TDP 25W vs 45W). Same for 8350U vs 7300HQ.

Moreover: in single thread (which is very important for programming) they are as fast as desktop equivalents from the previous gen. i7-8650U is just as fast as a desktop 7700 (or 6700K). Fantastic stuff.
i7-7500U, the generation which started this single-thread revolution, was still at least 10% behind 6700.
I agree! If it is in the budget, a Coffee Lake would be the way to go. The 8350u is 15w, the 7300HQ is 45w. But I think they achieve this with the much lower base clock(1.6ghz vs 2.5ghz). I think the reality is they are closer than that in actual use. When idle, they both will clock down to about the same clock and power use, and under load they both will probably boost to about the same clock and power use. I think Intel is just playing with the numbers to make it look a lot better than they really are. Yeah, I think Coffee Lake is a litter better, but not massive.
 
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#9
When idle, they both will clock down to about the same clock and power use, and under load they both will probably boost to about the same clock and power use. I think Intel is just playing with the numbers to make it look a lot better than they really are. Yeah, I think Coffee Lake is a litter better, but not massive.
Sure, the change can't be that huge. It's just 1 generation. But I think they got something right. It might be some optimization with power management or extremely good scaling.
It could be that HQ used 30W, not 45W (just like my i5 uses maybe 40W out of 65W TDP limit). However, I've seen the battery life with similar notebooks (screen, storage) and with similar batteries. It might be the whole platform, not just the CPU, but this new 8650U is clearly in the ultrabook territory. HQ were kind of gaming/business grade. They somehow managed to eat energy way faster than 7500U.

But once again the important bit: mobile 7th gen was close, but with 8th gen we're getting pretty much the same single thread performance we have in desktops. There's no penalty for web browsing, coding, compiling, data analysis, using interpreted languages and so on. Really important stuff - especially when you consider that suddenly a thin ultrabook with eGPU (and USB 3.1 external drives) becomes a capable desktop twin - not an impaired cousin.
 
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#10
The wide range of usages make your goal difficu;lt to satisfy ... some workstation class apps do better with Quadro and some only on Quadro ... others excel on GTX, in either case, CUDA should be on ya must have list. Most AutoDesk products have little to no multi-thread capability outside of rendering.

1. "For AutoCAD 2000 and later, releases do have some support for dual processors and hyperthreading, but no more than two cores will be utilized. On dual-core processor systems, you will see significant increases in AutoCAD application performance, particularly for graphics and file I/O operations. If you are using AutoCAD on a multi-processor system (i.e., more than two cores), you may see a slight performance improvement, but only as much as the operating system is taking advantage of the multiple processors."

2. "Although certain features in 3ds Max are multi-threaded (such as rendering), not all of the program's features can be coded to work quickly and reliably using multi-threading (dividing tasks among multiple logical processors or CPU cores.) Users who upgrade their computer systems from a single 4-core Intel CPU to dual Xeon 4-core processors (with similar clock speeds) may see a nearly 200 percent speed increase in final rendering, but they won't necessarily see concomitant speed increases in all other parts of the program -- such as their viewport display, for example. Even parts of the program that are multi-threaded will not see an absolutely linear speed increase if a user goes from a 4-core CPU to an 8-core CPU. Finally, hyper-threading simply splits up tasks among existing processor cores -- the digital equivalent of cutting a fixed-size pizza into 8 smaller slices instead of 4 large ones. Each core or additional thread requires its own memory allocation to perform well, so in some cases hyper-threading doesn't actually speed up a program's performance overall, but can actually detract from it."

3. Solidworks "One thing we want to make sure is very clear is that the majority of tasks (including creating/editing/rotating/viewing models) in Solidworks are single-threaded so there is no performance gain by having a higher core count CPU. Rendering is really the one place in Solidworks where a higher core count CPU (or multiple physical CPUs) would actually show a significant improvement in performance. For a single CPU, the efficiency is pretty much perfect with a ~100% multi core efficiency. The efficiency did drop when using multiple physical CPUs (down to about 95.5%), but that is somewhat to be expected given the overhead associated with multiple CPUs. " An 8-core Xeon will cut rendering time down to about 60-70% as compared with an i7.

4. Maya - "This is a single-threaded task within Maya. Unlike rendering, which is highly multi-threaded, the process of building up your meshes, extruding polygons and manipulating vertices only uses one CPU core. If you primarily use 3ds Max for modeling, then don’t waste money on a dual CPU Maya workstation with dozens of CPU cores – because those extra CPU cores won’t help you."

As for GFX, you can see how the varios GFX cards from a few years back handled the various programs. Do a web search on "14 Workstations Tomshardware" for a 2013 article on this topic... prolly a newer one somewhere ... I had this one bookmarked but forum won't let me paste in link.

The wide range of usages make your goal difficu;lt to satisfy ... some workstation class apps do better with Quadro and some only on Quadro ... others excel on GTX, in either case, CUDA should be on ya must have list. Most AutoDesk products have little to no multi-thread capability outside of rendering.

1. "For AutoCAD 2000 and later, releases do have some support for dual processors and hyperthreading, but no more than two cores will be utilized. On dual-core processor systems, you will see significant increases in AutoCAD application performance, particularly for graphics and file I/O operations. If you are using AutoCAD on a multi-processor system (i.e., more than two cores), you may see a slight performance improvement, but only as much as the operating system is taking advantage of the multiple processors."

2. "Although certain features in 3ds Max are multi-threaded (such as rendering), not all of the program's features can be coded to work quickly and reliably using multi-threading (dividing tasks among multiple logical processors or CPU cores.) Users who upgrade their computer systems from a single 4-core Intel CPU to dual Xeon 4-core processors (with similar clock speeds) may see a nearly 200 percent speed increase in final rendering, but they won't necessarily see concomitant speed increases in all other parts of the program -- such as their viewport display, for example. Even parts of the program that are multi-threaded will not see an absolutely linear speed increase if a user goes from a 4-core CPU to an 8-core CPU. Finally, hyper-threading simply splits up tasks among existing processor cores -- the digital equivalent of cutting a fixed-size pizza into 8 smaller slices instead of 4 large ones. Each core or additional thread requires its own memory allocation to perform well, so in some cases hyper-threading doesn't actually speed up a program's performance overall, but can actually detract from it."

3. Solidworks "One thing we want to make sure is very clear is that the majority of tasks (including creating/editing/rotating/viewing models) in Solidworks are single-threaded so there is no performance gain by having a higher core count CPU. Rendering is really the one place in Solidworks where a higher core count CPU (or multiple physical CPUs) would actually show a significant improvement in performance. For a single CPU, the efficiency is pretty much perfect with a ~100% multi core efficiency. The efficiency did drop when using multiple physical CPUs (down to about 95.5%), but that is somewhat to be expected given the overhead associated with multiple CPUs. " An 8-core Xeon will cut rendering time down to about 60-70% as compared with an i7.

4. Maya - "This is a single-threaded task within Maya. Unlike rendering, which is highly multi-threaded, the process of building up your meshes, extruding polygons and manipulating vertices only uses one CPU core. If you primarily use 3ds Max for modeling, then don’t waste money on a dual CPU Maya workstation with dozens of CPU cores – because those extra CPU cores won’t help you."

As for GFX, you can see how the varios GFX cards from a few years back handled the various programs. Do a web search on "14 Workstations Tomshardware" for a 2013 article on this topic... prolly a newer one somewhere ... I had this one bookmarked but forum won't let me paste in link. I opened my engineering consulting office in the early and we have been building CAD workstations since that time for our own use and others, we use GTX cards exclusively as our usage is limited to 2d and 3d AutoCAD. Most others that we work with who do rendering have a dedicated quadro workstation for this task. Solidworks hasn't and as of now AFAIK isn't supported on GTX cards. For the other apps, rendering is usually better on Quadro ... 2D / 3 D design on GTX,

As for what / where to buy, we have all our laptops for field engineers custom build to our component list by Clevo distributors. We use LPC Digital but I notice that with current generation models, they don't have a Quadro option. If other distributors have followed suit, and you need the Quadro, then I'd recommend MSI as they are the only laptop vendor that actually builds laptops as opposed to any brand you'd recognize; they all buy from OEMs.

https://www.msi.com/Workstations/

And yes no less than 16 GB ... 32 GB if rendering.
 
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#12
I have been searching some local sites for a laptop, but as I never owned one I dont know what I want. I will use the laptop for learning HTML,CSS,PHP, Java script and C, C#. For that purpose I know that any laptop will work, but I occasionally would like to get back into 3D modeling in 3ds max, solidworks. That is where I get confused to what I should get. Do I need 8 or 16GB or ram and what gpu (1050, 1050ti, 1060, Rx 550, Rx 580 or maybe 950m).
This is the site I will buy from : https://www.emmi.rs/konfigurator/pr...oryId=127&sortBy=Price1|ASC&limit=-1&offset=0
I will appreciate your suggestions.
Just make sure you pick up something with an i7 for improved rendering and general use so that it doesn't crap out when you do heavy multitasking. As far as GPU goes a 1050 is enough , whatever software you'll use that has support for GPU acceleration will see huge diminishing returns if you go beyond a mid range GPU. RAM , you can expand that anytime.
 
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#13

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#15
It's interesting to see the date on the last post on this topic. I wanted a laptop for a few years now and finally decided to pull the trigger. I got the HP Pavilion 17-ab310nm. It has an i7-7700HQ / 16GB ram / 1TB HDD + 256GB SSD / GTX 1050 Ti 4GB.
 
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