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Considering Dell Precision M3800 for Solidworks 2014

Question asked by Michael Hill on Jul 10, 2014
Latest reply on Oct 1, 2015 by Adrian Velazquez

I've been doing quite a bit of research on laptops lately because I'm in need of a new one.  I currently have an older 13" MacBook Pro I've been doing CAD work on, and it struggles pretty mightily.  I've seen rather mixed reviews about the M3800 with regards to SolidWorks, mostly negative.  Most negative comments are because of its somewhat lacking video card (K1100m). and that it will have issues with large assemblies.  I'm wondering what are considered "large assemblies".  A few hundred parts? Thousands? Tens of thousands? My situation is like this: I mentor a high school robotics team and our CAD package of choice is SolidWorks. My MBP could handle small subassemblies well (<20 parts or so), but when integrating into our full robot, it was a real challenge.  The full robot had probably about 300-400 parts total. Is this something that the M3800 could easily handle? The portability of the M3800 is particularly attractive because I have to take my laptop with me every day to the shop, and we're always changing rooms in which we are working. Sometimes we'll be in a nice office, but other times, we'll be out on the shop floor doing CAD work. I also plan to use it as a display for when we go to competitions to show off our designs, so aesthetics are a non-zero factor. Any thoughts on if the M3800 would work for me?