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Old 08-22-2014, 10:44 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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Default Re: What Laptop Would You Recommend?

Whee, this is my forte.

The market for gaming laptops is pretty much restricted to specific components (CPU, GPU) from AMD, intel and NVidia. Nvidia specializes in GPUs (gpaphics) whilst intel specializes in CPU (brains). AMD does a bit of both but does it cheaper. RAM is also important but has little difference between companies in my experience (my machine is FAR from top of the line). RAM is typically associated as being the short term memory of a computer - the more of it, the more stuff you can do at once. Hard Drives are the storage component, the more there is, the more games you can store. SSDs are like a hard drive but much more expensive, but also much faster. The majority of top of the line machines run an intel CPU with Nvidia graphics, and about 16-32Gb RAM. However, this is expensive.

My machine has an AMD processor (quad core, 3.5 MHz) and AMD graphics (8k series, 2GB dedicated). Its fitted with a 1TB hard-drive and 16 GB RAM (this is soooo excessive, i never use more than 8 and normally only about 6, but I got the upgrade from 8GB to 16GB for free.). I got it at a discount for $1000 NZ, so about $US800. It runs games very well (not that I play much outside of DotA, which is very easy to run) and can play most titles on high settings at 40+ frames per second. Its an HP.

A quick look at the blender website tells me that the recommended settings are this:
Recommended hardware

  • 64-bit quad core CPU
  • 8 GB RAM
  • Full HD display with 24 bit color
  • Three button mouse
  • OpenGL-compatible graphics card with 1 GB RAM
Most of these are fairly standard in mid range laptops. I recommend making sure that any laptop you buy has at least the above specifications. A lot of HP envies come with these specs and would cost you about US$700. (This is an estimate, dont hold me to this D: )
Optimal (production-grade) hardware

  • 64-bit eight core CPU
  • 16 GB RAM
  • Two full HD displays with 24 bit color
  • Three button mouse and graphics tablet
  • Dual OpenGL-compatible graphics cards, quality brand with 3 GB RAM
Im not sure if you want to have these requirements. It would certainly be beneficial to get a desktop if you want these sorts of specs because it would be cheaper. (In particualer, the dual monitors.) In addition, 8-core CPUs and 3GB dedicated dual graphics are almost unheard of in laptops and would cost upwards of $US2500 to get (im no expert, again this is an estimate).

As for brand, Ive had HP laptops all my life and find them robust and reliable. The HP Envy series in particular (the one I curently have) would fit most of the recommended specs for Blender. If you want to splash out a bit, get an Intel I7 processor with 2GB nvidia graphics (US$800ish), if your on the money conscious side (like me), get AMD with AMD (US$650ish). Different models of HP envys come with combinations of AMD, intel and nvidia to suit what you want.

If you really want the Optimal settings, I recommend an Alienware machine. These are pretty much the highest grade laptops around (in NZ at least) and would get you the required specs. The double graphics card would set you aside a lot though, i estimate this build to be about US$2500 in a laptop. If your OK with a desktop, Alienware is still good if you want these optimal specs and will save you some money, as the components dont have to be crammed into a small space. US$2000 at a guess.

On the other hand, if you want these optimal specs, building your own desktop would save you up to $800. I would build my own, but im not confident enough in my skills to do so. If you were to do this, based on the Blender optimal requirmements, i suggest an 8 core intel I7 CPU, 2x Nvidia ti series graphics card (GPU), 16-24GB ram and a 1TB hard drive. Having a 128GB SSD running along side this would up the price a bit but run blender and the computer in general considerably faster. If you were to build your own PC, make sure you consult an expert about building desktops; I have a friend who lost a lot of money from having incompatible parts.
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