Laptop for light usage Autocad, Artcam, Catia 2012 700€

gbench

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Hi! My friend is looking for a laptop that could run Catia 2012, Artcam and Autocad. Price cap is 700€ (in Europe). By his words he is not doing heavy tasks. Right now he is using a laptop with i3-380M and HD 5650 which is quite old tech. It gets the work done, but is lagging. By that I assume that recommendations are not high. One example what he does is he creates a detail (wooden, metal) in the program and prints it out later with 3D printer (or using CNC). So would a Skylake i5 (low power) with IGP be enough for his tasks? Or would he still need a used workstation? The first machine I found is Dell Latitude E5450 (i5-5200U, 8GB, HD 5500, HD ready display). The second one is Dell Latitude M6600 (i7 2630QM 2,9ghz, 8GB, Quadro K3000M, FHD display). Well M6600 is quite old (4 years or so). Would it be more beneficial compared to Skylake with IGP? Also, M6600 is used and comes with 1 year warranty, as Skylake has a 3 year warranty. What would be the right choice?

Thanks in advance
 

geofelt

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I think a laptop with a i5, likely a i5-6300U with integrated graphics would be a good boost.
The i3-380M has a passmark rating of 2124 and a single thread rating of 970.
By comparison, the i5-6300u IS 4283/1642.

On the graphics side, the HD5650 rating is 526, and the skylake integrated 530 graphics rating is 983.

Whatever you do, plan on using a ssd. It makes all the difference in the world on everyday responsiveness.
If you are comfortable with changing parts, it is often cheaper to buy a laptop with minimal hard drive and replace it with a ssd.
 

geofelt

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I think a laptop with a i5, likely a i5-6300U with integrated graphics would be a good boost.
The i3-380M has a passmark rating of 2124 and a single thread rating of 970.
By comparison, the i5-6300u IS 4283/1642.

On the graphics side, the HD5650 rating is 526, and the skylake integrated 530 graphics rating is 983.

Whatever you do, plan on using a ssd. It makes all the difference in the world on everyday responsiveness.
If you are comfortable with changing parts, it is often cheaper to buy a laptop with minimal hard drive and replace it with a ssd.
 

gbench

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Thanks. So Skylake is roughly double the performance over 6 year old mid range home user laptop (even less what I can get for 700€). That seems quite bad price/performance ratio imo. As I understand those Skylake processors are for ultrabooks (to keep the battery running longer) and not so much for working? I guess I keep Skylake as plan B if I cant find anything better.
 

geofelt

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skylake has both desktop and mobile versions.
For mobile, the 14nm construction has vastly increased the run time on battery if that is of importance.

If you do not need portability, you will always do better with a desktop.
In that arena, skylake is about as good as it gets for gaming.

I do not know what it takes to run those apps, perhaps you can find some benchmarks which would give a more authoritative answer.
 

gbench

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I guess this laptop would be with a charger most of the time so battery is not that much important. Does Skylake have 4-core mobile processors? Something like i7 xxQM line in the past. Probably would be over the budget anyway if they exist :( I did suggest to buy desktop but my friend says he needs laptop.

I find it hard myself to come to conclusion which laptop to pick because workstations are a narrow field. It would be so much easier to find a gaming laptop :) My friend just needs a working laptop and I guess he is not much tech-savvy, nor can he describe exactly what he does with those programs. I can get him a laptop, but I want best bang for the buck, and thats the hard part.


 

geofelt

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Of course. Some I7 will be 4 cores plus hyperthreads.
Other I7 are 2 cores plus hyperthreads.
Read the specs carefully.
You asked about light usage.
The i7-6820HQ has a passmark of 8604, and a single thread rating of 1862. Probably top of the line.
 

gbench

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Was quite tired when writing my last post :) That i7-6820HQ needs a 2000€+ budget.

But got some new information from a friend. When he is doing calculations, then his cpu is usually 100% or close to it. So I guess most of the workload falls to the CPU. He also mentioned that he uses 3D models as well as 2D.

Also found a really nice thread about Autocad and Artcam (cnc) specs in general: http://picknotebook.com/blog/the-best-laptop-for-autocad/
Here it says that ultra low processors probably are able to do the work, but over time quadcores are more appropriate. Quite logical.
At the weekend I am able to see exactly what he does with his laptop and then draw conclusions.
 

geofelt

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A key question is how well threaded his apps are.
Most apps are single threaded and depend on only a single fast core for performance.
If you look at windows task manager while such an app is running, you will see activity across all threads and conclude that the app can use many cores.
Likely that is not true. What you are seeing is windows spreading the activity of one thread across all cores.
The i3-380M has two cores plus 2 hyperthreads.
If you see about 25% activity on average across all 4 threads, the app is likely single threaded and cpu limited.
Faster clock rates and better architecture is the solution.
For such an app, the passmark single thread rating would be the best metric of capability.

If you see 100% activity on all 4 threads, then a I7 with 4 cores plus hyperthreads will be the strongest option.
The total passmark rating would be a reasonable way to assess performance.

If the laptop is to be run plugged in all the time, then you can get lots more performance per dollar with a desktop.
The skylake chips for desktop are considerably stronger and cost less.
Why skylake?? Mainly because the 6th generation architecture gets more performance per clock than older generations.
 

gbench

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Hi again. At the moment I am thinking of buying this machine: http://www.andermi.ee/index.php?route=product/product&path=60_128_133&product_id=304
Processor seems fast enough. I compared it to much more expensive models (i7-4930MX) and the score difference is not that different compared to the price.
Though it comes with a one year warranty which is the risk I have to take. I am afraid i7 Skylake would not fit in the budget.

PS. How much can I trust those benchmark results? Desktop i7-6700 looks like its about only 15-20% quicker than the mobile processor which I plan to choose.
 
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