AnsweredAssumed Answered

Green light for new workstations

Question asked by Patrick Couture on Jul 16, 2012
Latest reply on Aug 6, 2012 by Patrick Couture



I finally got the green light on new workstations and I hope I can get some clarifications on what to choose!


Here some background info: We need two new workstations, my colleague is the senior mechanical engineer and he is in charge of projects, he does a fair bit of SW but in total it may be 50 to 60% of his time. He needs to be mobile because he often have to work on site and from home. For my part I am a mechanical designer and I do 95% of my time on SW, I sometimes needs to work from home and occasionnaly I bring my PC on the shop floor to measure and model existing machines. We currently work on two Lenovo W500 that gave us good service but are now screaming to be relieved of their duties. I'd rather keep working on a mobile workstation for all the freedom it gives me but if the compromise is worth it I may look at a desktop as an option.


I work on assemblies from very simple to mainly 1000 to 4000 parts and occasionnaly on some 10 000 parts layout. My parts are fairly simple, and I don't use any FEA or Rendering applications on a regular basis.


I always work on my local drive and I synchronise my files at least once a week.


My bosses expect to get a good mobile workstation for under 2000$ Canadian but I may be able to convince them to go up to 2500$


Here are my questions:


1. What is the best configuration available for me? I'm able to spec the new Lenovo W530 as such:


     Processor: i7-3520m

     Win 7 pro 64

     15.6" HD+ (1600 x 900)

     Graphics: Nvidia Quadro K2000m

     Memory: 8 GB PC3-12800 DDR3 (2 dimm)

     Hard drive: 320 GB Hdd, 7200 rpm

     Battery: 9 Cell Li-Ion


Total of 1 949.00$


1a. Is it better to have a dual core processor at higher clock speed than a quad core at lower speed or the turbo boost even things up? I can get the i7-3720qm for 35$ more so either ones are ok.


1b. The higher resolution screen (1920 x 1080) is 200$ more so I think I'm better at spending on the greater GPU K2000m instead of K1000m, 250$ difference? I don't care much since I use an external 24" monitor at the office.


1c. The ram is the easiest part to upgrade in the future so I think I'm better to start with 8Gb and when I will need more I will probably be able to justify the upgrade.


1d. I would really like to include a solid state drive but it's quite pricey. Do you think the performance gain would be beneficial? I would think that a SSD only for the programs would not be enough since the gain would be only on opening of the softwares, but if I can get around 240 Gb or more then I would be able to have my programs and my current files on the SSD for which I would think it would be beneficial since I open and save a lot of sw files during one day.


2. I've followed Charles post about building my own desktop but I don't know enough about computers to do it myself. I may be able to find help to do it and I know I can get a more powerful desktop than a laptop for the same money but can you give me a better idea of the performance gain? I know it's a very tricky question but I really need to be sure it's worth it for the loss of the flexibility that I would have with a mobile workstation.


3. The Dell precision line has not been upgraded with Ivy-Bridge so I would stay away from those right now and I'm not so found of HP. So I have Lenovos that are well appreciated by my colleague and I must say I have a good experience so far with my W500. Other than that my colleague previously owned a Eurocom laptop and really like it. Does anyone have other experience to share with Eurocom?


4. On the Eurocom site I can spec the Racer 2.0 or Neptune 2.0 with mostly the same spec than the W530 except that it's the Quadro 3000m that I would be able to get in my price range. Am I better to buy the old Quadro 3000m or the new Quadro K2000m? Will they give me the same performance? Which one is better?


I'm sorry for the long post but I would like to make the most informed decision possible.


Thanks in advance for your valuable time