Looking For a CAD Laptop with a Tight Budget

thatIDguy

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Jun 9, 2014
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Hello everyone,

I am currently looking for a new laptop for AutoCAD 3D Rendering purposes. I have a tight budget of 700$. I do realize that it's low, that really is the limit though. I need it as a temporary laptop while I'm in college, and I will eventually replace it when I start working. I am not really a techie and have little knowledge (although I am trying to learn) in computers specs, etc, thus I am in need of help. I have been searching for days but I still haven't had any luck. Although I have browsed through the catalogs of different computer shops and have narrowed it down to a few options, but I am still very much unsure about them.

Neo Elan LD2JL - http://www.pccorner.com.ph/products.do?action=showproductdetail&categoryid=64&productid=5912
(From the reviews that I have read about the laptops this brand/manufacturer, half of the opinions say that there are overheating issues, but others say otherwise.)

From what I've read, i5-3230 > i5-4200U, and 2GB GeForce GT 635M > 2GB GeForce GT 720M
any thoughts?
Lenovo G480 - http://pcx.com.ph/laptop/lenovo/lenovo-g480-59363693-i5-dos-brown.html
Lenovo G400s - http://pcx.com.ph/laptop/lenovo/lenovo-g400s-59374848-i5-win8.html


1. Are any of these laptops good as temporary machines for CAD?
2. If yes, which among these 3 would be the best to get?
3. If no, do you have any recommendations on what I should buy?
4. Any other advice/recommendations you can give me before I buy a laptop?


I am not so sure with the Lenovo ones when it comes to the keys, track pad, resolution, etc.
The review for the LD2JW says "The display is average due to its 1366 x 768 resolution which we also see in 11.6-inch laptops."
Here's a link to the review: http://www.pinoytechblog.com/archives/neo-elan-ld2jw-notebook-review
(The only difference between LD2JL and LD2JW is the OS)

*Aesthetics isn't an issue as long as it is not a girly color. lol


Thank you very much. Any help would be much appreciated. :)
 

thatIDguy

Estimable
Jun 9, 2014
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4,560
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I'd prefer a desktop but I will be on the go. I'm a student so I have to bring it to school to continue there.

So I followed what you said and I found this:
http://www.pccorner.com.ph/products.do?action=showproductdetail&typeid=23&categoryid=88&productid=6491


Would this be better than the Neo Elan LD2JL? It's a bit above the budget though, but if the difference would be great in terms of performance then I'll consider it.


From what I've seen and know, it's a bit harder to find laptops with 8xxM here in the Philippines that is within the said budget. I'll try to look for more laptops soon in some PC Center here that is said to be selling at cheaper prices. In the case that I am unable to find one, any other suggestions?



Again, thank you very much. :)
 

Alpha3031

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Nov 27, 2013
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All right, looks like you can't get Maxwell (8xxM). Look for ((n)=NVidia (a)=AMD/ATI) r7 m265(a), 740M(n) 825M(n), 560M, 460M, 7750M (a), 8770M (a) and Iris Pro 5200 (not 5100).

Also relax your CPU requirement a bit and try and find one with amd (more cores should benefit too)
 

thatIDguy

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Jun 9, 2014
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I compared the GPUs you listed vs the 2GB GeForce GT 640M. The GT640M scored higher than all except for the 740M and 825M. (GPUBOSS.com and notebookcheck.net)

I haven't found any laptops with 740M yet that is available here and falls within the budget. The ones with 825M are even harder to find. Most of the laptops that still makes the budget range are i5-4200U with 720M. According to the scores, 640M > 720M.

Would an i5-4200U w/ 740M or 825M be better than an i7-3610QM w/ 640M?

I am much more unfamiliar with AMD and from catalogs/prices I've seen, the ones with the AMD have lower clockspeeds. The majority of laptops here are using Intel. Should I still look into AMD?



Again, thank you very much for your time and patience.
 

Alpha3031

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Nov 27, 2013
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Look into the AMDs. They are usually cheaper and perform better at low price range. I would choose a better GPU and a worse CPU rather then the other way around. So yes, the 4200U is good enough (and also use less power).
 

thatIDguy

Estimable
Jun 9, 2014
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Hello again,

So I've been looking for more laptops and I haven't seen much of AMDs. Most of them have low CPU speeds. Although they are much cheaper, none of the clerks/sales reps recommend them for AutoCAD. I thought that they were just saying those to sell the intel based laptops more, but they really said that it would be a waste. Buying AMD desktops would be good here but not laptops. You won't really get your money's worth. Still looking for ones with 740M/750M/825M/840M.

Any thoughts?

Again, thank you very much. :)
 

Alpha3031

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Can you give the SKU number of those AMDs? If the are worse than requirements the take the first one or one with better graphics. What programs are you going to use?
 

thatIDguy

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Jun 9, 2014
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I don't know/have the SKUs but here are the specs I listed/copied.


Asus K55N-DS81
AMD Quad-Core A8-4500M 1.9GHz
4GB DDR3
500GB 5400RPM
15.6" in (1366x768)
AMD Radeon HD 7640G card
W8

LENOVO S405
AMD A8-4555M APU
2GB DDR3
500 GB
14" (1366x768) LED
Radeon™ HD 7600G
$511 (I'm guessing I could buy upgrades with the money if this one's good?)

Toshiba Satellite L40D
AMD Quad Core A8-5545M (1.7GHz, up to 2.7GHz, 4MB) APU with Radeon HD 8510G
4096MB DDR3 1333MHz SDRAM
AMD Radeon™ HD 8500 Series Graphics
500GB (SATA)
W8
14.0" WXGA HD Clear SuperView LED Backlight TFT display (16:9)
$636


Toshiba S40DT-AS100 Silver 14-inch Multi-touch Display
AMD Dual Core A6-5345M APU with Radeon HD 8410G (2.2GHz, up to 2.8GHz, 1MB)
500GB (SATA)
$681

Acer V5-452G
AMD A-Series Quad-core processor A8-5557M (4MB L2 cache, up to 3.1 GHz, DDR3 1600 MHz, 35 W)
4GB DDRIII
500 GB 2.5 inch 5400 RPM
14-inch HD 1366x768
AMD Radeon HD 8750M with 2 GB
$679

Asus X-series X550DP
AMD® APU A8-5550M Processor
4GB DDR3L SDRAM, 750GB HDD 5400RPM
AMD Radeon® HD 8550G + Radeon® HD 8670M Dual Graphics with 2GB DDR3 VRAM
15.6" 16:9 HD (1366x768) display
$680


I'll be using AutoCAD, 3DS Max, interiCAD, Sketchup, Photoshop



Again, thank you again for all your help.

 

Alpha3031

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The second last (Acer V5-452G) looks the most promising. It apparently performs at around 740M levels and you should be able to enable the integrated graphics of the APU for crossfire.

BTW, You are very welcome. I personally really like this community and I hope once you learn things you'll go on to contribute too
 

thatIDguy

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Jun 9, 2014
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Okay, so new updates/thoughts.

I saw the Acer V5-452G on another site of a store, it's much cheaper at $600. Would it be better if I take that and get an SSD or more ram? I do have a few more questions though, so I read about the crossfire thing you mentioned. I am very much new to this, would it help in 3D rendering? Also I have no clue if crossfire would be utilized by autocad.




I Went through more catalogs/listings. I found this one. Would this be better than that?

Lenovo IdeaPad Z500
i5-3230M 2.6GHz Ivy Bridge
4GB DDR3 RAM (I will have to confirm though if this can be upgraded to 8GB. I read somewhere that it had "no upgrade options", but the one they had had 8GB.)
1TB HDD
nVidia GeForce GT740M
Windows 8 SL
$704

I've also read through different guides and forums, and from what I understand, basic AutoCAD (without 3D rendering) relies more on the CPU, so the higher clockspeed is better. It also doesn't really utilize the multiple cores. However, when it comes to 3D stuff, the multiple cores would then kick in and be utilized. So which would be better, the i5-3230M (Lenovo IdeaPad Z500) or the i7-3610M (Neo Elan LD2JL)?

The Z500 has GT 740m, and the i7 has GT 640m. Thus, the Z500 has the better GPU, but the LD2JL has the better CPU for 3D. I'm still confused as to which is better.



If the the Z500 and LD2JL are considerable, I have a few thoughts I'd like to ask if you have comments or thoughts. If not, ignore these.

1. I was about to consider the screen size of the two, but they are both 15.6" (1366 x 768 resolution) Z500 is touch but I won't really be using that. I actually find touchscreen silly for laptops except those flex-yoga-stuff-whatever.

2. If the LD2JL is @ 8GB Ram, their price is the same as the Z500 at 4GB Ram. At 4GB, the LD2JL, actually cheaper by a few bucks. I'd definitely get the 8GB one. I stated this just so if RAM comes into play as a deciding/contributing factor.

3. The Z500 Battery isn't removable, but they do have a battery protection system. Is that something to consider?

4. The LD2JL has a smaller HDD but I thought, regardless of which I get, I'll get an SSD in the long run when I have the money.

5. I believe that the LD2JL's body is the same as the Sager NP3260/Clevo W250ES. Is that something to consider too?

6. LD2JL doesn't have an OS yet.

I'm sorry if I'm being stubborn, I'm still trying to learn these things. Thank you for your help and patience!
 

Alpha3031

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As I said, I enjoy helping.
Basically Crossfire utilises both the dGPU and iGPU of the computer to render frames. You may see micro-stuttering with this setup though.
The screen size is more than adaquate, especially since the resolution is not quite high
At least 8GB of RAM is recomended, especially if you multitask, beyond that look at other stats
OS might not matter. Linux is a collective of free, open source, OSes and your programs may be able to run on wine.
I'm still leaning towards the acer, but the lenovo is fairly good too.
 

thatIDguy

Estimable
Jun 9, 2014
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Yeah it seems like a 15.6 inch one would be better. Someone also pointed out that the numeric keypad on the Lenovo/Neo would be nice to have since I'll be inputting a lot of numbers in CAD. Seems like the Acer's out now. Sorry about that.

So I'm inclined to the Lenovo, but they're out of stock. I asked them to tell me if they'll be able to get another one. If not then the Neo it is. If not, then idk. We'll see. I do hope I'll be able to get the Lenovo Z500.

Of course if nothing else is available I'll have to wait and hopefully the budget will go higher so I'll just get one with higher. *crosses fingers*


Thank you for all your help!
 

kly91

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Feb 9, 2011
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Hi,

So did you get the ACER V5 452G? i am planning to get one of this and i was hoping you could give me an insight on its performance and down sides if you have bought it already. BTW I'm form the Phil. too. :) Thanks in advance.
 
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