4 Replies Latest reply on Apr 8, 2014 11:33 AM by Ashish Sharma

    Any advice in shopping for an SW-capable laptop or tower?

    Brad Hakeman

      My 4 year old workstation:


      HP Compaq 6000 Pro Microtower

      Intel Core2 Quad Q9400 @ 2.66GHz

      12GB (11.9) Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 531 MHZ

      HP 3048h (XU1 Processor) mobo

      ATI FirePro V5800 (FireGL)

      500GB Seagate ST350418AS ATA (SATA)


      I'm itching for a new computer, as this one is starting to show its age.  In January, most of our engineers who have laptops were upgraded to HP 8560W's I believe.  Two of those are being used with SolidWorks, and it looks like they don't have any performance issues.  I was given one of their hand-me-down laptops (HP 6930P) that I use to access my workstation remotely.


      I occasionally do some photo renderings for Marketing, and am told that I will probably be running some flow simulations when the time comes.  So my question is, is it worth it to get a SW-ready laptop, or get the 'perfect' tower and use the laptop as needed for remote access? 


      One of the biggest pros I have for the laptop is that if anything were to happen to the laptop while in transit, it wouldn't mean losing my SW machine.  The con being that I need to have a strong enough wifi signal (not a problem at home) to run our VNC client and run Remote Desktop.


      I have been looking a lot at Xi Computers, trying to see what is available and what I really "need". 


      Any thoughts on what to look for?



        • Re: Any advice in shopping for an SW-capable laptop or tower?
          Jerry Steiger



          Personally, I would go for a good tower before a laptop. You can always get higher performance in a tower; faster processors, more RAM, better graphics. Laptops are also more expensive for similar speed and more fragile. I would only go for a laptop if mobility is really important for my job.


          Check out the Administration forum for the best information on the best hardware, either laptop or desktop. Xi seems to be making some nice systems now.


          Jerry S.

          • Re: Any advice in shopping for an SW-capable laptop or tower?
            Jason Hogue



            I previously had a tower but needed a laptop due to the amount of travelling to site and working from home that I do.  While I completely agree that if you are looking for performance you cannot go past a tower/desktop system, the laptop that I ended up with is fantastic and will open and run modells that our current (and older) desktops balk at.  Here are my specs for your info:

            - Dell Precision M6700

            - Intel Core i7-3920XM @ 2.9GHz

            - 32Gb Ram

            - NVIDIA Quadro K3000M Graphics

            - Dual SDD, 256GB setup as RAID 0

            - Windows 7, 64 Bit


            It is a heavy machine, not something you want to lug around for hours at a time, but again, the performance is great.



            • Re: Any advice in shopping for an SW-capable laptop or tower?
              Brad Hakeman

              Still running the old Core2 Quad tower, and using the laptop with remote desktop to access the tower for solidworks.  Our engineers are running HP ZBooks but I'm told there still isn't money in the budget for a workstation...

                • Re: Any advice in shopping for an SW-capable laptop or tower?
                  Ashish Sharma

                  Hi Brad,


                  Well as Jerry is saying a tower would be a better choice for Solidworks. Also you should set you budget first and then choose a good configuration for the tower.


                  I've a entry level workstation which I assembled myself last year with following configuratiosn:


                  1. Processor - Intel core i7-3770K @ 3.5 GHz
                  2. RAM - 16 GB Corsair Vengence
                  3. GPU - Nvidia Quadro 600 (entry level card)
                  4. SSD - 128 GB
                  5. HDD - 1TB


                  and Solidworks runs very good on this machine. It was around $1500 at that time.