Laptop for 3D modeling

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Animeonmymind, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. Animeonmymind macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2009
    Hey all,

    I'm having a rough time deciding on a laptop that I need for school, mostly for 3D modeling, Photoshop CS4, ...

    I've been thinking about buying a macbook 17" but my teachers say that it's not a good idea and that i'm better off buying aHP EliteBook 8730w. They say I'm going to have problems with 3Ds Max. :(

    At the moment I'm using a replacement laptop so I can work in class but sooner or later i'm going to have to buy one.
    What do you guys advise? Buy the HP, buy a macbook pro? Or maybe wait till the new models are going to be released? :confused:

    Also, is there anyone that has experience with 3Ds Max and Bootcamp?

    Thanks :D
  2. Lone Deranger macrumors 68000

    Lone Deranger

    Apr 23, 2006
    Tokyo, Japan
    Your teachers are either very poorly informed or simply full of Bllsht. 3DS Max is fully supported to run under bootcamp.
    Feel free to rub it in your teachers' faces by pointing them to this Autodesk link and then laugh at them. ;)
    I use a 17" uMBP for Maya and Zbrush and PS CS3 under OSX and SoftImage under Windows/Bootcamp/Fusion. Never have problem with any of the software.
  3. ShocK x10 macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2009
    unfortunately, your teachers ma be right.. but it depends what you can afford... the elite book with the quadro or w/e its called, thats a fast card and 3d modelling feeds from your gpu (and cpu it wud seem ^^) so max out both lappys to ur budget, then choose whichever is more powerful.

    Unless youre not doing LOADS of 3D modeling, in which case the MBP wud b great :p:apple::apple:
  4. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    I have 3ds Max 2010 64-bit installed and works great on Boot Camp.
  5. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    The confusion here is likely due to the issue of qualified and supported hardware. Consumer cards such as the Radeon and GeForce lines Apple use are not supported or qualified for use with the software. As noted in the link above Autodesk say they support bootcamp. The only qualified Apple systems for 3DS Max 2010 are and old iMac and Mac Pro. This means that they do support at least two consumer cards (2600XT and 8800GT), but only in Macs. Any graphics card made in the last 3 years should run the software to a useable state. Confusing yes?

    You will be using a different set of unoptimized drivers and so there are things that may not work as expected, bugs may be present, you may not get the same (viewport) performance depending on what you are doing. Plenty of people, including professionals, use consumer cards for the raw power and seem to get on fine. So basically if you really want OSX get the Mac. If you want no hassle with 3DS Max get a proper mobile workstation.
  6. xhambonex macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2008
    I don't think you'll have issues with bootcamp. I run Alias 2010, SolidWorks, renderings programs, and all with bootcamp (though I have all the Autodesk programs I use for OS X now on top of the Windows versions).

    My entire school lab is run under bootcamp and they run 3ds Max, Maya, all the Autodesk 3d modelers. Along wtih some other programs just fine.

    It depends on what you want. I had the same choice a couple years ago and I went with a mac just because I like the OS better. However, shopping around I know that you can usually build a Windows Laptop with equal or better specs as the MBPs for less money. But its all up to you.
  7. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Jun 3, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    Some things about 3D modelling.

    1) It relies solely on CPU speed. You want the fastest GHz you can find.

    2) If you run the 3D viewport as a render preview it will use the graphics card (the only place the graphics card is used in the modelling process). This is what Quadros are designed for, but if you can't afford one of those go for a graphics card with as much memor as you can find.

    3) You want as many pixels as you can possibly get.

    4) Rendering uses as many CPU cores as you can throw at it. The Graphics card does nothing.

    5) The 3D modelling and rendering industry uses Windows.

    Therefore, with regards to 1) both have a max of 3.06GHz. With 2) the HP has a Quadro as an option which is perfect. With 3) both seem to be about equal. 4) gets interesting, because if you're willing to sacrifice some modelling speed, you could actually use the HP as a rendering machine. And of course 5) supports getting the HP.

    While we may prefer using macs, those of us involved in 3D modelling and such pretty much spend our lives on windows. The only reason I have a Mac Pro for this purpose is that my sisters chipped in the extra money so they could use their OS X apps on it. If not for that, I would've made a windows box of some sort.

    So in summary, the HP is a better option.

    - Michael
  8. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    Well said Michael. I'm a Mac fan. I've always owned them and have never owned a PC as a primary machine. I type this on a quad Mac Pro. Now that I've said all that, for 3d, the kingdom is in the PC world and mainly under Linux. You can do a lot on a Mac, but it's just not optimized for most of the software like it is on the dark side. However, a student can get by on any machine, but to keep headaches to a minimum, you should go with what your instructor recommends. This will keep you in harmony with the rest of the class and you'll get more support from your instructor.
  9. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    Which OS are you using?

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