I recently had my laptop stolen (mid 2010) MacBook Pro and I am looking to replace it. I bought it before I started learning solidworks and it performed pretty decently. Anyway, insurance gave me about $800 to replace it and I can't afford to get a proper mobile workstation (I have a decent workstation at home, where I do most of my work, just looking for something to make changes on the fly with.)I am not building complex assemblies as I am in custom furniture design and building and my machine at home can cover all of my rendering needs.
So my budget is $800 tops and after many hours of battling the Dell site, have narrowed it down to 3 choices. They all have i5's for processors and I am willing to upgrade the RAM on my own to 8gb. As of now the main deciding factor is the video card.
NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 525M 1GB - http://www.dell.com/ca/business/p/xps-l502x/pd?oc=nb_xps15_f2_e&model_id=xps-l502x
AMD Radeon™ HD 6490M - http://www.dell.com/ca/business/p/vostro-3350/pd?oc=nb_v3350_b2_e&model_id=vostro-3350
AMD Radeon™ HD 6630M - http://www.dell.com/ca/business/p/vostro-3550/pd?oc=nb_v3550_ft042&model_id=vostro-3550
The MacBook Pro I was running SW 2011 on before had a "NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory" - http://support.apple.com/kb/SP583, the performance was ok, but slow at times.
Any help is appreciated, if I'm totally off the mark please tell me. Any other suggestions would also be amazing, not stuck on Dell but have had good experiences with them so they were my go to.