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Lap tops and dedicated graphics cards


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#1 RB_Kandy

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 06:16 PM

I'm not really sure my question belongs here, but here goes:
My girlfriend is going to college soon to learn 3d animation. The college requires that the students own a computer. They give specific details on the standards of such a computer. Since my girlfriend doesn't know too much about computers, she asked me to look around for a good deal on a computer that meets or exceeds these requirements.

> Windows 7*

> RAM: minimum 2GB, but recomended 3GB or more

> graphicscard: nVidia 9800M GTX / ATI radeon 4850, or
similar with support for DX10 og shader model 4.0 or newer **

> graphicscard requirement: a modern dedicated card with
minimum 512MB memory

> Network requirement: wireless networks card

She translated this from Norwegian (she's in Norway).
Here's the thing that makes me think they're not demanding the student have a lap top; but instead a desktop PC.
First, they require Windows7 (no equivalent mentioned) thus we can rule out all Apple products from the list.

Next, they ask for a dedicated graphics card. Let me see if I got this straight: an integrated graphics card means "built into the motherboard, normally as a part of the north bridge construction" and dedicated means add-on, removable.

Assuming I have that correct, do lap tops even have the ability to plug in a graphics card?
I just find it hard to believe that people run dedicated graphics card on battery power. I mean, if a really graphically intense program is thrashing the HDD, CPU, and a high powered dedicated GPU, I can't see even the best battery running for more than an hour tops.
And I can't see the average person, or even slightly above average person dissecting their lap top to put an add on card in, or being expected to pay a professional to do it so as to not void warranty.

But the last part, the network requirement, it says wireless card. So that implies they want a mobile device (lap top).

Has anyone here gone to college for something in video game design or 3d animation or other graphically intense computer stuff? If so, did your college require you to have a lap top or a desk top?

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#2 the_patriot11

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 08:55 PM

There are a select few laptops that will run a dedicated graphics cards, but you literally pay an arm and a leg for them. In my mind if shes wanting to learn 3d animation, shes much better off with a good mid range desktop, probably custom built for her needs. If she wants a laptop for class taking notes thats one thing, but I doubt she will be happy with it for a primary computer.

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#3 RB_Kandy

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 12:01 AM

I told her she needed to call the school and ask them for clarity. Because lap tops are nice inventions for portability, but they suck as gaming rigs or anything that requires modern high end graphics cards
She already has a lap top, but it doesn't meet the school's specs, but only because we don't know if it has a pixel shader 4.0, and we know there is no dedicated graphics card.

I've Already advised her that if she is going to build a computer, and it doesn't have to be a lap top, to build a PC desktop with:
ATX form factor mobo with 4 RAM slots with support for 16 gigs, SATA3 and USB3.
Intel i7 2600K sandy bridge CPU
2x 4GB DDR3 1600
And a Radeon HD 6000 series w/ 2GB ram and crossfire ready like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150563

I figure this set up would last her about 4 years before games and programs come out that require higher performance, and if the particular graphics card gets in over it's head, buy a second one, put it in crossfire, that should bump it's performance by about 50%
So the computer would be rather powerful for a few years. Though even the most powerful computers of today will be paper weights in 8 years.

Now to find a PSU that can handle the load even years from now, and is able to handle the load of a crossfire graphics card.
This is going to take a bit of studying on my part.
People always over look the importance of a PSU, it's not all about the watts, it's about the consistency of it's amps across given rails, and how smooth the electricity is. Smooth electricity means smooth sailing for all your computer components.

#4 the_patriot11

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 10:52 AM

I would recomend a good modular PSU such as this Its a bit pricey, but if you want it to last you want to make sure you dont skimp on the PSU or the motherboard. I would recomend one from either gigabyte or ASUS for best quality, and for video cards I would recomend Saphire or ASUS for AMD chipsets. And if your girlfriend wants to save a little money she could go with an AMD setup-though youd probably want one of the top end AMD chips.

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

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#5 rotor123

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 01:31 PM

Before building a desktop she should get in touch with the school.

They may be requiring a laptop so the student can work on the L/T in class using the same software as the professor.

The software may not have a Apple OS version available.

A gaming laptop should have models with those requirements.

Wireless card, Really? Who sells a laptop without these days?

The hardware requirements are most likely tied into the software used to learn 3d animation.

Double check before doing a desktop.

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#6 ryan97145

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 04:20 PM

A desktop would be best performance wise and for cost. If you really have to get a laptop though check out sagernotebook.com They're a little expensive but thats where I got my laptop for engineering from.

#7 killerx525

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 11:42 PM

I believe Sager laptops are just a overkill and those laptops are bulky and heavy.

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#8 ryan97145

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 11:20 AM

Yeah, mines like 10 lbs. I need that power for engineering programs like autodesk etc. I guess its probably overkill for 3d graphics/animation though.




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