9 Replies Latest reply on Apr 29, 2013 1:19 PM by John Burrill

    Is this laptop good?

    Jeremy Isenburg

      I have been working with Solidworks a while now, but always run into issues performance wise on my current laptop. it crashes, and is very slow.

       

      That being said, I have found this one laptop from Dell that seems to be well made and should perform nicely. The laptop I found is this: http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=fncwx35s&model_id=xps-15-l521x&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19. if that doesn't work, here is a screenshot of the specs: http://prntscr.com/12mhpt. The price is $1,699.

       

      I have no knowledge about computer builds, and what I have read on the forum does not make much sense.

       

      I need this laptop for many more things along with solidworks. So if I can run solidworks, the web, and word documents, etc, (wich mine doesn't do well now) it would be great.

        • Re: Is this laptop good?
          Alin Vargatu

          From Dell look only for "Precision" laptops.

            • Re: Is this laptop good?
              Jeremy Isenburg

              From what I have seen, those laptops are very bulky, and high performance. I need a laptop that is easier to take around everywhere with me and do multiple things aside from Solidworks, but still run Solidworks at a fair rate. Right now it crashes often, I just need it to perform nicely, but it is not necisary for it to perform top of the line. Would I get it performing rather nice with the model I show in my first post? As in I use up 100% CPU and Memory like I do now.

            • Re: Is this laptop good?
              Kelvin Lamport

              It's a pretty safe bet the laptop listed at http://prntscr.com/12mhpt will run everything well ... except SolidWorks or any other program that needs OpenGL. The GT 640M may run SW near perfectly, or it may prevent SW from being opened. The only way to know for sure is to try ... but $1699 is a tad expensive for a test.

              • Re: Is this laptop good?
                Jeremy Isenburg

                Here are the specs of my current computer:

                http://prntscr.com/12onuh

                http://prntscr.com/12oo17

                 

                What I mainly do in solidworks is big parts with many bodies. The body count gets around 2-4 hundred bodies sometimes, and then it just can't run at a decent speed anymore. Sometimes it freezes for a good 10 minutes as well. The features I use are mainly face movements, fillets, body moves, shells, holes, chamfers, and just a number of different features, but I use many many of them.

                 

                The GT 640M seems better than what I currently have and it runs solidworks. Also, through my research it seems that it is supported by openGL.

                  • Re: Is this laptop good?
                    John Burrill

                    Jeremy is this for a student/educational edition or the full commercial version of SolidWorks?

                      • Re: Is this laptop good?
                        Jeremy Isenburg

                        Student for now.

                          • Re: Is this laptop good?
                            John Burrill

                            OK, I understand.  Welcome to the world of design engineering.

                            For starters, the laptop you spec'd would be fine except for the video card and the OS.  You need the Professional version of Windows 8 or 7 and you need an nVidia Quadro or ATI FireGL card.  GeForce and Radeon cards are designed for providing 3D hardware acceleration to a single window with lots of textures and few polygons.  That makes them great for games and for DirectX support.  Now for compatibility purposes, they'll put into the card a simplified OpenGL mini-driver that will show off particle effects and give you high frame rates, but this doesn't make a gaming card a workstation card.  For this reason, SolidWorks only tests and certifies cards with full openGL driver implmentations.

                            If you want full featured hardware acceleration in SolidWorks-including realview, selection and highlighting, you need one of the cards listed here

                            http://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/videocardtesting.html

                            they're grouped by computer manufacturer and model.

                            Now, you might still get a decent experience out of the laptop you spec'd and be able to get by without real-view or multiple-window acceleration, but if you're spending close to $2K for a machine, it's probably got to last you a few years and you're models are probably going to get bigger and more complex, so having enough to get by for today probably isn't a good long-term strategy.

                            I'm assuming that the fact that you can finance through Dell is one of the things drawing you to their website.  Unfortunately, Dell doesn't offer consumer financing on it's Precision workstation laptops and they've mainly set up their campus presence around the consumer laptops.  So if you talk to one of their campus reps, you'll probably get a nice lady with a thick binder who's never heard of CAD.  What you might be able to do is get a loan for your laptop through your school's financial aid department.