Laptop for Drafting/3D Work?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sikkinixx, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. sikkinixx macrumors 68020

    sikkinixx

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    #1
    A friend of mine from work is starting trade school for drafting and design. I'm not 100% sure about what she will be doing but she says she needs a decent laptop to use and since she knows nothing about computers she asked me.

    She said she will use stuff like Auto CAD and all that jazz so I figure she needs something pretty hefty? :confused:

    Anyone use drafting/design programs? Any recommendations on brands?
     
  2. jamesybsu macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    #2
    If she is going to be using AutoCAD, she will need Windows XP or something, as they do not make a mac version. However, you could run it with the new MBP's in Windows using one of the programs to boot up in Windows. However, as far as specs, AutoCAD is a fairly simple 2D program that will work just fine and be above specs for anything like that. If she will be doing 3D work in either AutoCAD or another program, the new SR MBP's will work perfect, and even the older models will run those programs just fine. If she wants more information about mac CAD programs, I suggest this site --> www.architosh.com , its a whole community designed about CAD work for mac computers. Hope this helps!
     
  3. sikkinixx thread starter macrumors 68020

    sikkinixx

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    #3
    Thanks :)

    Dunno if she will wanna go the Mac route so I am looking at other laptop brands. Too many options, buying a Mac is a hell of a lot easier.
     
  4. jamesybsu macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    #4
    haha I wont argue with you there - Mac's are better, but I am sure I am biased. I don't think she will complain about a mac, plus she'll have the sexiest computer there ;)
     
  5. skd macrumors 6502

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    Aug 27, 2006
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    carmel, ca
    #5
    mac computers

    I'm a architect.....I used PC's for 20 years. I made the switch to mac about 1-1/2 years ago.......to me it's a no brainer - buy a MBP and get an external monitor. When I have to I use acad thru bootcamp.....it's faster than any PC I've ever had. But, her goal should to a designer - and in the design field over 50% use mac. In fact, I have most of my drafting done by companies from India......They're are very good and cost my a lot less. Ask her this question - Do you want to be a drafter or a designer? I've switch my whole office to mac computers and I'm able to produce 50% more work. Because there is no down time. Apple makes better computers!!!!!
     
  6. dongmin macrumors 68000

    dongmin

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    Jan 3, 2002
    #6
    To be totally honest, I wouldn't recommend her getting a Mac. Because to do any kind of 3D (e.g. 3ds Max and Viz), you need a decent graphics card. And for that you have to shell out $2000 for a MBP. For someone who's just getting into computers, that's a steep initial investment.

    Don't get me wrong: I think the $2000 is worth it in the long run for a power user. But I'd question whether she'll get that much milege out of it. A big reason to get a Mac is to run OS X, but she'll spend more time in Windows to run AutoCAD, 3ds Max, etc. Parallels, VMWare, and Boot Camp are all pretty good solutions, but I'd argue that those options require some level of computer literacy to make it all work. If she's just getting into computers, it's an unnecessary level of added complexity.

    Tell her to get a $1000 ThinkPad T60/T61. They're solid machines and they'll run AutoCAD well.

    BTW, I'm an architect who uses both a Mac and PC for work.
     
  7. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    Sep 14, 2006
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    England
    #7
    I'd also reccomend a Thinkpad (preferably a T61) if she is going to go the PC route. They are heavily discounted at the moment, but have long ship times (3-4weeks I believe), though perhaps that isn't an issue for her.

    Make sure she avoids the x3100 and goes for at least the Quadro NVS 140M, it's a pretty decent DX10 based GPU that should aid her in the software she'll be using. Many people are however waiting for the T61p, which is a wide screen version, but also has an Nvidia Quadro 570M, which is a powerful GPU for mobile workstations and may benefit her more than any other component in the long run. Sadly a release date is still unknown, probably because Lenovo are having trouble keeping up with demand for Santa Rosa based notebooks.
     
  8. toaster_oven macrumors regular

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    #8
    a large screen is very important for CAD work.

    -to
     

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