Need new laptop as portable workstation

jmollen

Estimable
Oct 7, 2015
2
0
4,510
0
Hi! I'm a VFX/Motion Graphics designer (mostly after effects, some 3D) who is in need of a lighter portable work laptop ~15inches that I can bring on location. I've been researching as much as I can but I can't figure out which one is the best buy for the price and most suited for my needs. I've narrowed it down to these 4 but please feel free to suggest any other machines that you think are better.



1. Razer Blade 14. $1899 (Full HD, New Kaby Lake i7 7700HQ, GTX 1060 [6GB], 16GB RAM, 256 GB SSD)

https://www.razerzone.com/store/razer-blade

Positives: My favorite design by FAR, it is the lightest and most portable, great CPU.

Negatives: Paying more for brand name, rumored to have some motherboard problems(?) & excessively loud fans. Not a very good support (some of these can be solved by buying from the Microsoft Store, but still don't want to have to deal with getting unlucky with it, returning and fixing problems. Also has soldered on RAM (not able to upgrade to 32GB from the 16GB) so not so futureproof maybe?*.

2. MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO-034. $1500 (Full HD, Skylake i7-6700HQ, GTX 1060 [6GB], 16GB RAM (up-gradable to 32, 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD)

http://www.xoticpc.com/msi-gs63vr-stealth-pro-034.html

Positives: Cheaper, second favorite look & design, good cooling, up-gradable RAM. Better waranty/support.

Negatives: A bit bulkier than the Razer Blade, CPU not as good.

3. Asus GL502 $1600. (Full HD, Skylake i7-6700HQ, GTX 1060 [6GB], 16GB RAM (up-gradable to 32, 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD)

https://www.amazon.com/15-6-inch-G-SYNC-2-6GHz-GL502VM-GeForce/dp/B01K1INYD0/ref=sr_1_2?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1487119951&sr=1-2&keywords=asus%2Bgl502&th=1

Positives: OK design, also a bit bulkier than the Razer. Has G-Sync (no idea what it is but people seem to really want it). Not the best CPU, upgradable ram but only to 24.

Negatives: Least favorite design, not the best temperatures it seems, only upgrades to 24 ram instead of 32.

4. New DELL Xps 15. $1750 (Full HD, new Kaby Lake, i7-7700HQ, GTX 1050 [4GB], 16GB RAM (upgradable to 32), 512GB SSD)

http://www.dell.com/us/p/xps-15-9560-laptop/pd?oc=cax15w10p7s1608&model_id=xps-15-9560-laptop&l=en&s=bsd

Positives: Don't like the design on the outside much, the inside is much nicer with black hardly any bevels on the outside of the screen. Great CPU, up gradable RAM, 512GB SSD as opposed to the 250GB on the other ones (space won't be a huge issue but nonetheless its awesome).

Negatives: GPU not as good, GTX 1050 [4GB] vs 1060 [6GB] on the others. Again, no idea how much GPU vs RAM after effects/3D/motion graphics uses so its hard for me to understand exactly the difference between these and what they would do for my work.



*Not being able to upgrade the Razer Blade to more RAM is the one thing that bothers me the most. Does anyone know how much RAM is important to motion graphics/after effects work? I'm scared that 16GB won't be enough, especially since I can never upgrade it for this machine.

If you didn't notice already I'm not super hardware savvy, but I really need this soon so I was hoping some of you could give me your opinions, or even better, personal experiences with these laptops. THANK YOU SO MUCH! :)







 

GreyCatz

Admirable
Are you planning on a new career as a round-the-clock gamer? With the exception of the Dell XPS 15, these machines are all-out gaming rigs. If you have the cash, close your eyes and throw a dart - they will all meet your professional requirements, including the XPS.

But your opening lines (and the title) point squarely at a workstation, e.g. Dell Precision 15 5000 or Lenovo ThinkPad P50. Adobe After Effects (2017) recommends nVidia Quadro GPUs (P3000 up to M5500) for GPU-accelerated ray-traced 3D rendering, and I would imagine that a Xeon E1500-series CPU would be much better suited to your line of work.

Quadro GPUs are specifically designed for CAD applications and comparable graphical processes that require great stability under sustained load. Gaming cards typically operate in 'burst-mode' and rely on dips to cool down for best results. So the question remains: Are you sure you need a gaming rig?
 

jmollen

Estimable
Oct 7, 2015
2
0
4,510
0
MERGED QUESTION
Question from jmollen : "Looking for portable workstation"

Hi!

I'm a VFX/Motion Graphics designer (mostly in after effects, some 3D) who is in need of a lighter portable work laptop ~15inches that I can bring on location. I've been researching as much as I can but I can't figure out which one is the best buy for the price and most suited for my needs. I've narrowed it down to these 2 but please feel free to suggest any other machines that you think are better.


1. Razer Blade 14. $1899 (Full HD, New Kaby Lake i7 7700HQ, GTX 1060 [6GB], 16GB RAM, 256 GB SSD)

https://www.razerzone.com/store/razer-blade

Positives: My favorite design by FAR, it is the lightest and most portable, great CPU.

Negatives: Paying more for brand name, rumored to have some motherboard problems(?) & excessively loud fans. Not a very good support (some of these can be solved by buying from the Microsoft Store, but still don't want to have to deal with getting unlucky with it, returning and fixing problems. Also has soldered on RAM (not able to upgrade to 32GB from the 16GB) so not so futureproof maybe?*.

2. MSI GS63VR STEALTH PRO-034. $1500 (Full HD, Skylake i7-6700HQ, GTX 1060 [6GB], 16GB RAM (up-gradable to 32, 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD)

http://www.xoticpc.com/msi-gs63vr-stealth-pro-034.html

Positives: Cheaper, second favorite look & design, OK cooling, up-gradable RAM. Better waranty/support.

Negatives: A bit bulkier than the Razer Blade, CPU not as good. Also some reviewers complain about the screen not being the best quality (contrast issues?), don't know if this applies to older versions. Is also available in 4k res for around $2000 with a 512 SSD.


*Not being able to upgrade the Razer Blade to more RAM is the one thing that bothers me the most. Does anyone know how much RAM is important to motion graphics/after effects work? I'm scared that 16GB won't be enough, especially since I can never upgrade it for this machine.

If you didn't notice already I'm not super hardware savvy, but I really need this soon so I was hoping some of you could give me your opinions, or even better, personal experiences with these laptops. THANK YOU SO MUCH! :)
 
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