Which Laptop/Workstation for CAD CAE?

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

I am a product designing student. I usually works with SolidEdge, Solidworks, Rhino-grasshopper and Keyshot. I am planning to buy a new 15" laptop/workstation. I have a few on my mind. My budget is around 2000€ as I am going to use it atleast for the next 5-6 years. I would like to know your recommendations based upon your expertise and point of view. I want it to last long and have good build quality. I am not mentioning RAM or SSD because they can be upgraded easily. Thanks in advance.

1. Lenovo ThinkPad P50. With i7 or Xeon 1505 and Nvidia Quadro M2000M

2. MSI ws60 i7 nvidia k2200

3. Accer predator 15' nvidia gtx 970M

 

I am also interested in knowing your system configuration!

I am more of a designer, than an engineer, but still I run fair amount of simulations to assess my ideas. I generally do more simulations of individual parts, than of assemblies. Generally structural tests. Rigt now, as such no analysis, but I use grasshopper with Rhino, I am running an i5 on my macbook with Win8 and it take 15 to 20 minutes to project nurbs or handel complex designs.

 

I don't work with large assemblies as I am still a student.

 

With Keyshot, I generally do exploded animations of assemblies, HQ renders for clients, thankfully I don't need to do a lot of them maybe few a week. I am also planning to hook an Egpu later with thunderbolt 3, but that's another story.

 

I study and live in another country, and I have to move always between FABLAB, University, My accommodation and my country. That's why I need to have a WS. Or else there is no comparision for a Desktop.

 

I hope this have served sufficient information. Thanks again for your interest!

(P.S. I am an ammature into CAD - CAE, please bare with me )

17 REPLIES

Re: Which Laptop/Workstation for CAD CAE?

Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

If you want it to run CAD, stick with the workstation graphics (Quadro or FirePro).  The consumer/game cards may cause graphics issues, and no one will attempt to fix them because neither the CAD vendor or the Graphics vendor support those cards for running CAD on them.  Of the machines you mentioned, the Lenovo Thinkpad would be my choice.  Although we haven't used them for a few years, the Thinkpads were the longest lasting laptops I have seen in a business class.  We are currently using the HP Zbook 15 G3 mobile workstation and it works very well with Solid Edge.


Thanks,
Ken

Production: ST9 MP10
Testing: ST10 MP1

Re: Which Laptop/Workstation for CAD CAE?

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello Gurundey,

First of all, thank you very much for your opinion.

 

I did a quick look on the hp zbook 15 G3, and it looks preey sleek on the speck sheet. I would like to know which quadro card do you have in your WS?

 

I am most probably buying the Lenovo p50 (I am going for Quadro M2000M 4GB).

 

Thank you!

Re: Which Laptop/Workstation for CAD CAE?

Phenom
Phenom

The big question is: How much CAE are you going to be doing? And what type of analysis? From a CAD persective how large are your assemblies (how many unique components? You also mention Keyshot rendering. What are you expectation using a laptop to render?

 

I think if you answer these questions we can start to really assess if a laptop is a good platform choice for you.

 

As mentioned earlier, if you are doing CAD and rendering you will need a graphics card designed and supported for those applications. You may find yourself looking more in the range of $2500-3200 for hardware- especially mobile hardware.

 

Check out any of the Boxx workstations: http://www.boxx.com/products/mobile-workstations

 

Re: Which Laptop/Workstation for CAD CAE?

Honored Contributor
Honored Contributor

Boxx is the way to go for SE.

 

SE wants clock speed. Whatever you can do to get the clock speed to 4.5+.....do it.

Also for me, I would not use less than a K4200 vid card.

I would not reccomend less than 24 gigs ram.

After that it's seektimes for the hard drive. I use Raid-0 SSD's that have 3.5 ms access time.

 

Combine thoses issues together, a laptop is not a good option. Desktop is better in terms of bang/buck. Laptops cost 50% to 100% more for the same power.

Re: Which Laptop/Workstation for CAD CAE?

Phenom
Phenom
Don't forget this is a student! Do you remember the Ramen noodle days of college?
Although, I will say that professional tools should be running on professional hardware to get the best ROI and in some cases the best resale value.

Re: Which Laptop/Workstation for CAD CAE?

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

I would like to thank you for the reply Ryan!

How much CAE are you going to be doing? : I am more of a designer, than an engineer, but still I run fair amount of simulations to assess my ideas. I generally do more simulations of individual parts, than of assemblies. Generally structural tests.

And what type of analysis? :- Rigt now, as such no analysis, but I use grasshopper with Rhino, I am running an i5 on my macbook with Win8 and it take 15 to 20 minutes to project nurbs or handel complex designs.

 From a CAD persective how large are your assemblies (how many unique components?) : I don't work with large assemblies as I am still a student.

You also mention Keyshot rendering. - I generally do exploded animations of assemblies, HQ renders for clients, thankfully I don't need to do a lot of them maybe few a week. I am also planning to hook an Egpu later with thunderbolt 3, but that's another story.

 

What are you expectation using a laptop to render : I study and live in another country, and I have to move always between FABLAB, University, My accommodation and my country. That's why I need to have a WS. Or else there is no comparision for a Desktop.

 

I hope this have served sufficient information. Thanks again for your interest!

(P.S. I am an ammature into CAD - CAE, please bare with me Smiley Very Happy )

Re: Which Laptop/Workstation for CAD CAE?

Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

We are running the Quadro M2000M in the Zbook.


Thanks,
Ken

Production: ST9 MP10
Testing: ST10 MP1

Re: Which Laptop/Workstation for CAD CAE?

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Go for a....Robot Happy ThinkPad P50 Quadro M2000M 

MfG -
Viv

Re: Which Laptop/Workstation for CAD CAE?

Legend
Legend

I've been using Dell Precision 7510 mobile workstation for three months now and I'm very satisfied with it. Build quality is very solid as you would expect from a laptop at this price range. I use Solid Edge with pretty small assemblies (typically 100-500 parts), run light structural simulations and do quite a bit of rendering with Keyshot and my Dell absolutely rocks, especially compared to my old tower. Dell Precision models are a bit cheaper than Boxx workstations, for example.

 

My configuration is:

i7-6820HQ

NVidia Quadro M2000M

16 GB RAM

512 + 256 GB SSD

 

If you want extra portability with 15" screen, you would want to check the Precision 5510 model too. Unfortunately I have no experience on that model.

 

http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/precision-laptops