I'm finally committed to the dark side (approx. £800-850/$1200 laptop build)


Dec 13, 2011
Toms Hardware saved me when I built my first machine (desktop) as a wee pup 7 years ago, so here I am again looking for a second opinion. I have succumbed to the practicality of having a laptop for work as I desperately need a punchy portable system.

Price range; up to £1000 / $1400 but ideally a little lower.

Applications/usage; real-time monitoring of DAQs (LabView/Matlab), compiling code, and some basic 3d modelling/rendering (autocad). I'm sure I'll end up installing some games too if I find the time... :ange:

I need it to last at least 3 years without too much hassle. I'm not 'that' concerned with battery life as I will spend most of my hours at a desk/lab, although that may be my ignorance as a pro-desktop guy with next to no history with laptops. The system will be running on Windows 10.

I've come up with a few suitable options in the price margin, just curious to see if anyone has input on improvements without hiking prices.

1st Build - PCSpecialist; £839.00 inc. VAT

Display/Model; Cosmos Series: 17.3" Matte Full HD IPS LED Widescreen (1920x1080)
CPU; Intel® Core™ i7 Quad Core Processor 7700HQ
RAM; 8GB Corsair 2400MHz SODIMM DDR4 (1 x 8GB)
Graphics; NVIDIA® GeForce® MX150 - 2.0GB DDR5 Video RAM - DirectX® 12
1st drive; 256GB SAMSUNG PM961 M.2, PCIe NVMe
Battery; Cosmos VI Series 6 Cell Lithium Ion
Resolution; 1920x1080

2nd Build - Amazon; £739.97 inc. VAT

Display/Model; ASUS S510UQ-BQ204T VivoBook Slim 15.6-inch Nano Edge Screen
CPU; Intel Core i7-7500U
RAM; 8GB DDR4 (2400 MHz) (1x8GB)
Graphics; Nvidia GTX940MX 2GB
1st drive; 256GB SSD
Battery; 1 Lithium Polymer
Resolution; 1920x1080

3rd Build - PC World; £899.00 inc. VAT

Display/Model; DELL Inspiron 15 7570 15.6"
CPU; Intel® Core™ i7-8500U
RAM; 8 GB DDR4 (2400 MHz) (1x8GB)
Graphics; NVIDIA GeForce 940MX 4 GB GDDR5
1st drive; 256 GB SSD
2nd drive; 1 TB HDD, 5400 rpm
Battery; 3-cell Lithium-ion
Resolution; 1920x1080

I've read a bit regarding the MX150 vs. GTX940 and that it is essentially it's successor, and although entry level I'm hoping it should be sufficient for some simple autocad work and light gaming? I'm more concerned with having an appropriate CPU, especially with the I7 HQ as I know it's soldered to the motherboard and difficult in upgrading/replacing without a new mobo!

Any suggestions to ease my decision would be welcome,

Thanks! :wahoo:



Those look like fairly good examples, however, I'd seriously consider looking at units that COME with 16GB of memory installed.

Adding additional memory has gotten to be a real crapshoot, with memory manufacturers changing the memory chips that come on them, how many chips, double vs single sided, etc., even on models bearing the exact same part number, from production run to production run. So getting added memory modules, even when they are identical part numbers, to work with currently installed memory later can be a more involved process than many would prefer. To be sure this is not an every case scenario, but it is often enough, especially on desktop systems, but also with laptop SODIMMs, that it should be seriously taken into consideration. Just get a model with enough memory now.

To that extent, 8GB is probably not enough considering the desire to game, the CAD applications and the increasingly optimized application codes that can and do not only use more than 8GB but in some cases, require it.

16GB should honestly be the expected minimum standard when building a system these days if you do not want to have resource issues.

You can certainly get by with 8GB but you will likely find, either immediately, or within the life of the unit, that you are leaving some performance and possibly even experiencing problems, with only 8GB.

If you are doing any kind of intensive CAD or 3D modeling, you will also certainly want to at least consider a unit with better, specific types of workstation graphics or at least a higher end discreet graphics gaming card. Those units are capable enough for basic gaming and graphics, but will not be very capable with higher end applications or demanding games.


10t0ti or 1060 3gb minimum mate or youll honestly be sorry for any kind of 3d design or gaming.

Buy right the first time with a laptop.
The m & mx series gpus are awful, they're also hard soldered so non upgradeable.


Dec 13, 2011
I'd always intended to go for 16GB as I know it'd be required, but was trying to limit total costing for approval (getting this through funding) with the intention of purchasing another 8GB and installing it myself. You have convinced me otherwise, I'm going with 2x8GB from the start.

Also going for the GTX 1050 Ti, figured I'd be safer spending a little extra from my own pocket. I've configured the 1st build and thrown in 16gb with the 1050, pretty much the same spec as that Inspiron 7000.

Appreciate the swift responses, thanks a lot!


That should do the job. Obviously, for CAD and 3D modeling, even some graphics applications that don't use 3D but make extensive use of high resolution layers, the mobile 1050ti might not be entirely up to the task if speed is a big priority, but compared to what you might have gone with it should be quite a bit more functional in those tasks.

Also, it IS a laptop, and you can only honestly ask so much from a mobile device. People who buy high end models with big graphics cards and then try using them in the same manner that you would a high end desktop for gaming or intensive workloads, tend to burn them out fairly quickly because there is only so much cooling that they can or do stuff into them. Usually, it is not sufficient for a high end card and something ends up giving out much sooner than expected. I think that's a nice balance you have there and should do well enough so long as you do not have unrealistic expectations.
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