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new notebook for mechanical engineering study

Question asked by Kid Jansen on Jun 17, 2010
Latest reply on Jun 25, 2010 by Kid Jansen



I'm looking for a new notebook for my mechanical engineering study


I have the following requirements for the notebook:


  • Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional (prefer the latter)
  • Intel Core i7 processor
  • Solidworks certified graphics (i.e. Nvidia Quadro FX / Ati  Firepro series)
  • DisplayPort (must be able to handle the Dell U2711 display >  2560x1440 pixels resolution)
  • 4GB RAM or more
  • 15,4-16" display
  • 1600x900 resolution or greater (full HD / WUXGA prefered)
  • 250GB 7200rpm harddisk or better (faster, larger)


Especially the third and fourth item limit my options incredibly, the only notebooks I could find that suit my needs are the HP Elitebook 8540w, the Dell Precision M4500 and the Lenovo Thinkpad W510.


My budget is about €2000, important point here is that I want to buy it at a Dutch (web)store, so prices are for the Netherlands. For most resellers here US price in $ = Dutch price in € applies, with Apple and Dell we're even worse off.


One alternative for buying such an expensive notebook, is buying a cheaper notebook, which doesn't have Solidworks certified graphics for start and that also can be worse on the other subjects. And buying a desktop workstation next to it, that does at least meet the above mentioned requirements, but preferably better.


I already use Solidworks 2009 and Matlab 2009b on my almost 4 year old notebook ASUS A6JC-Q088H (Intel Core Duo T2300E, 2GB PC-5300 DDR2 RAM, Nvidia Geforce Go 7300), so any new €600 notebook can at least run it better.


So if it's possible to make a desktop workstation for €1600 (without display) that is better than the before mention configuration requirements, I actually prefer that.


I'm going to buy the Dell U2711 display either way, either as secondary display for the notebook or as main display for the desktop workstation.


In a topic a made a while ago, I was told that a Nvidia Quadro FX 580 is already enough to render the Solidworks viewport is you're using reasonably small assemblies. So in case of the desktop workstation combined with the cheap laptop, the focus for the desktop workstation can be on the CPU and RAM, which is also nice for programs like Matlab and Maple.


My question is, what is the best way to go here?