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Finding a good engineering student laptop


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#1 jimbojohn

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 10:38 AM

Hi dear enthusiasts :lmao:

 

I have been looking on these two websites to find a suitable engineering laptop for myself.

 

http://www.dicksmith.com.au/computers-tablets/laptops-notebooks

https://www.jbhifi.com.au/computers-tablets/laptops/

 

By "suitable" I mean a system which can handle complex and iterative calculations and 3D modeling and it is not going to pass out on me :hysterical: . I would also like it to have a 15.6" screen and cost less than 800 Australian dollars. I nominated nine of the laptops I went through and I was wondering which one do you guys think to be the best deal for my application.

 

Number 1

Number 2

Number 3

Number 4

Number 5

Number 6

Number 7

Number 8

Number 9

 

I personally am tending towards a quad-core processor, but from the list the ones that have a quad-core, have either a "shared" GPU or "Intel HD Graphics" or something else. I was not sure whether these GPU options would do my bidding, particularly when it comes to modeling software. On the other hand there are a few fast Dual-core ones which really tempted me with lots of RAM on them as well as a 2GB independent GPU, but I thought those specs are good for gaming. Then, you would look at the quad-cores and the only have 4GB of RAM on them which is upgradable I think or maybe enough, but I am in doubt regarding their GPU, yet again.

Long story short, please forgive my rambling. I just thought to share my confused thoughts on this. I am really keen to know what you think.

I really appreciate any help and thoughts on this.

Also, if you are suspicious about my top nine picks and think I am missing good options, please feel free to have a look at the links that I included at the beginning. Nonetheless, I picked the ones which I thought were the best for my application.

 



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#2 synergy513

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:26 PM

i like the number 4. with the i5 and the 8gb ram and the gtx 820m.  you may want to look at the application you will be using to see if it is optimized to utilize 4 cores of the CPU or 2, different publishers aim for different configs..

 

   as for the discreet graphics, the AMD line-up has way better fp64 double precision capability than nvidia in the budget consumer group.  the best geforce double precision generation was Fermi (gtx4xx and 5xx) they were 1/8th single precision gflops. after that, the geforce DP Gflops were abysmal to speed up the single precision ...but i don't think they were in the mobility laptop configurations whereas the AMD cards are more in the range of 1/4th of the single precision gflops. the AMD Radeon 7970 is so good with double precision  that it was classed with the hybrid Nvidia titan.

 

the 820m in the number 4 laptop will work, but if you are utilizing kinetics, the 820m might leave you waiting for a while. that is where the double precision capability becomes apparent.

 

 a more detailed explanation is in this article:

 

http://devgurus.amd.com/thread/150557

 

myself, I use Catia and it uses 4 cores of CPU and the OpenGL graphics engine as most of them do. I did notice a few publishers switching to DirectX though.. (AutoDESK)


Edited by synergy513, 04 March 2015 - 02:43 PM.

Moore's Law : 4d Graph in Progress


#3 jimbojohn

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 07:04 PM

Thanks for your reply and good information :thumbup2:

I am a bit curious about your choice. May I ask what made you prefer Number 4 over Number 2 ? They both have dual cores and Number 2 to has a faster speed. What factor made you choose Number 4 over Number 2?

 

I am planning on using a software like Solidworks (which is like CAD) for 3D modelling which I believe can be configured for quad cores. Moreover, I will be using MATLAB, Multisim (for circuit simulation and analysis) and probably something like ANSYS for meshing the structures and attempting Computational Fluid Analysis and Finite Element Analysis.

Not too sure yet about the ANSYS part, but the rest I will use quite a bit. I am thinking perhaps a good dual core like Number 4 or Number 2 can take care of what I mentioned before, but did not any of the quad core laptops in the list attract your attention? Which quad core choice would you pick? I was thinking Number 3, but then the "Shared Graphics, really put me off.



#4 Kilroy

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 07:50 PM

Engineering applications tend to prefer Intel CPUs and nVidia video cards.  That is the reason for going with number 4 over number 2.



#5 YeahBleeping

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 08:14 PM

I see your hand and wish to raise you This one The 860m is a significant bandwidth boost over the 820m out of all of the ones you pointed out though yes number four is the better one.  The one I linked is more than 4x faster as far as graphics comparison goes.

 

As a side note looking at 9 different laptops seems abit much for some of the other people here that would have great input would look at that and go .. umm you want me to pick you one out of 9 ?? Next time try to break it down to 4 or 5. at the most.

 

Just my 2cents.

 

Oh and WELCOME TO BC!!


Edited by YeahBleeping, 04 March 2015 - 08:15 PM.


#6 synergy513

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 11:39 PM

the #4 has the quad-core i5 in it, that is one sweet 4-core cpu. then it gets better... the clock speed of the i5 has been spec'd down to 1.7 ghz, which is wonderful in a laptop...considerably less heat . the 820m has 2gb of gddr3..another attractive feature, it is maxwell generation though, which is good..and bad.  briefly stated, maxwells run nice and cool and do not utilize very much energy, but the double precision is crippled beyond reproach. it will still function for the most part, but if it comes down to any given intense processing, it very well may slow down to a frustrating crawl. the bright side is most of your rendering processing will be done with the i5 cpu, not the 820m gpu. the gpu is mostly engaged when there is motion, like spinning, panning and zooming.  the 820m has the OpenGL support, which will be engaged using Soldworks.

 

i would definitely advise to stay away from the amd APU series like in option #1, while it may be attractive for some applications, 3D CAD is not one of them.


Moore's Law : 4d Graph in Progress


#7 jimbojohn

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 12:15 AM

OMG!!! You guys are great!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

 

Also, YeahBleeping has a good point. I apologize for making you choose between 9 laptops (Just between us... I had a hard time reducing it to 9. It was torture I tells ya!! :lol:). Nonetheless, I truly appreciate your input.

 

the #4 has the quad-core i5 in it, that is one sweet 4-core cpu. then it gets better... the clock speed of the i5 has been spec'd down to 1.7 ghz, which is wonderful in a laptop...considerably less heat . the 820m has 2gb of gddr3..another attractive feature, it is maxwell generation though, which is good..and bad.  briefly stated, maxwells run nice and cool and do not utilize very much energy, but the double precision is crippled beyond reproach. it will still function for the most part, but if it comes down to any given intense processing, it very well may slow down to a frustrating crawl. the bright side is most of your rendering processing will be done with the i5 cpu, not the 820m gpu. the gpu is mostly engaged when there is motion, like spinning, panning and zooming.  the 820m has the OpenGL support, which will be engaged using Soldworks.

 

i would definitely advise to stay away from the amd APU series like in option #1, while it may be attractive for some applications, 3D CAD is not one of them.

I was looking at this page and I thought #4 is a Dual core, not a Quad-core. In the table on that page in front of the number of cores it says 2. So how can I know which one it is?

 

#8 synergy513

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 12:22 AM

i thought i5 is 4 core and i3 is hyperthreaded dual core, but that is straight from the intel site, i will check...wow, maybe some mobility i5 are more like i3..2 cores and 4 threads....clever marketing, if not deceptive.

 

i3 is great for laptops, even less heat, which after browsing topics here for a few years, laptops and excess cpu heat make a common disaster.

 

i see that cpu is rated at 15 watts TDP, who would have thunk it. anyway, it really is a cool running cpu from the specs i see.and it has headroom to go up to 2.7ghz in OEM fashion, another plus...you are running out of excuses to pull the trigger on that model.


Edited by synergy513, 05 March 2015 - 12:32 AM.

Moore's Law : 4d Graph in Progress


#9 jimbojohn

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 01:03 AM

i thought i5 is 4 core and i3 is hyperthreaded dual core, but that is straight from the intel site, i will check...wow, maybe some mobility i5 are more like i3..2 cores and 4 threads....clever marketing, if not deceptive.

 

i3 is great for laptops, even less heat, which after browsing topics here for a few years, laptops and excess cpu heat make a common disaster.

 

i see that cpu is rated at 15 watts TDP, who would have thunk it. anyway, it really is a cool running cpu from the specs i see.and it has headroom to go up to 2.7ghz in OEM fashion, another plus...you are running out of excuses to pull the trigger on that model.

Totally!! I think I am convinced to go with #4.

Cheers!!



#10 jimbojohn

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 02:33 AM

Just out of curiousity guys, do you think #4 is compatible with SSDs'? Is there a rule of thumb for figuring this out?



#11 Kilroy

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 06:44 AM

If it has a SATA hard drive it is SSD compatible.



#12 jimbojohn

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 09:20 PM

If it has a SATA hard drive it is SSD compatible.

Thanks!! :cherry:






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