Lenovo W530 for 3d Modelling / Rendering??


Dec 19, 2013
I've seen a few posts on this and learned a bunch of stuff, however I'm not convinced with what I've seen in stores. I'm looking to buy a new laptop for school (architecture) and use it mainly for autocad, 3ds Max, Maya, Photoshop, Illustrator. I am hoping to spend no more than $1400 (US). Based on what I've read I def need an i7 core processor, although I have no idea what the differences are between each processor of the i7 family. Also, if this (http://www.cgchannel.com/2013/11/group-test-amd-and-nvi...) is right, AMD firepro performs better for max and maya, and that suits my needs. I just have not found any laptops equipped with this card. What Id also like from the laptop is some flexibility. If it comes with 16gb ram, id like for to be upgradable to 32 gb.

I found Lenovo's Thinkpad W530 which seems to be built to work. Its an ugly laptop, but I need workhorse, not a toy, so aesthetics aren't an issue. For 1,300 its built as follows:
-Intel Core i7-3630QM Processor (6M Cache, up to 3.40 GHz)
-Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit)
-NVIDIA Quadro K1000M Graphics with 2GB DDR3 Memory
-8 GB DDR3 - 1600MHz (2 DIMM) ---- can be upgraded to 32gb
-15.6" HD+ (1600 x 900) LED Backlit AntiGlare Display, (will upgrading to 1920 x 1080 make a difference?)
-May include an internal RAID storage subsystem (dunno what this is tho)
-500GB Hard Disk Drive, 7200rpm (I'm happy with 500gb)

For an extra 250 I can get Nvidia's Quadro K2000M instead.Would it be worth it, or should I instead invest that cash into ram or a better processor? Or maybe there is a better laptop out there?

Any recommendations?

It should be fine for you needs. Whether a better graphics card or CPU benefits you depends on the programs you are using which is something you need to research. Since you are using multiple programs you will likely find that some will benefit more from a better CPU while others would benefit from a more powerful GPU. Of course there are some programs that benefit from both a better CPU and GPU.

HP's Elitebooks are an alternative, however, they are also more expensive starting at about $2,000. Lenovo will be replacing the ThinkPad W530 with the W540 soon; I thought it was actually supposed to released by now.

I would start with 16GB of RAM and make sure to take the 2 DIMM (2 x 8GB sticks) option not the 4 DIMM (4 x 4GB) option, that way you have 2 free slots to install another 16GB of RAM for a total of 32GB. If it is not enough RAM then add more; doing so is also a little cheaper than buying the RAM from Lenovo; you will probably save about $40 - $60.

I would get the 1920x1080 resolution screen because the higher resolution screen means you need to scroll around less especially if you are working on large projects. For example, say you are designing a large stadium on a 1600x900 resolution screen you will scroll around more if you are zoomed in looking at details. To see the entire stadium on the screen you would need to zoom out more compared to a 1920x1080 resolution screen so that the entire stadium can be viewed on the screen.