Suggestions for a High End Workstation for CAD


Dec 15, 2013
I'm in the process of buying a new laptop, and I am a wanting to make sure the laptop I pick will suit my needs as well as last me for a long time.

I am needing a workstation for 2D/3D CAD and graphic design. The main reason I've decided I need a laptop over a desktop is the fact I am a Theatrical Designer, meaning I need a portable computer I can take into the spaces I work in and work on my designs. I need to be able to travel and still work on my designs.

The "Too Long, Didn't Read" of my post is I am looking for a powerful desktop replacement workstation for programs that require upper tier hardware. I want to be able to upgrade it over time. I want my purchase to last. What are my options? What advice/suggestions do you have?

1. What is your budget?
$1000 to $4000

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

3. What screen resolution do you want?
1920x1080 or above, for design

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Desktop Replacement

5. How much battery life do you need?
I don't really have an opinion on this. I can work with any battery life. Longer is always better, but it's not much of a factor.

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
I'd like to be able to play games on the laptop (I'm a huge nerd when I have the time). However, I've never been a PC gamer. However, with the new generation of consoles being expensive and not exactly enticing, I was considering switching to PC anyways...

The gaming is more of a perk of having a powerful laptop...and not something I'm focusing on.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
I need to use the laptop for:
CAD (Computer-Assisted Drafting), both 2D/3D. The program I use is VectorWorks. It is similar to AutoCAD and other drafting programs. It is for technical drawings in both 2D as well as creating 3D models and rendering them out.
I'd be using it for the Adobe Creative Suite as well. I do mainly photo editing, layouts, and artwork (Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign). I have also needed to do some video editing as well...having the ability to would be nice.
I will be using some programs specific to my profession, but those are less demanding. Mainly drafting aids and virtual lighting consoles through networking.

The 2D/3D CAD and the design software is the main focus.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
A minimum of 1TB of storage. I'd like the option to upgrade from that as well. More storage is always a plus.
I'm told a hybrid drive or SSD is preferable for CAD/graphics. My research on hard drives is minimal...
Basically, I'd either like a Hybrid Drive or a HDD with a secondary SSD.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
I have done some shopping around and have narrowed it down to a company called Eurocom
I am looking at their Panther 4.0 and their P370EM Scorpius. Both are formidable machines that have a lot of the options I want.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
As long as humanly possible. Basically, I'm willing to pay for something that will last me, which is why my budget is high...I don't want to have to replace this one until I absolutely have to.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Well, I'd like an optical drive that can read/write DVDs at least.
I'd like a BluRay player for personal reasons, but that's lesser.
How widespread is the use of BR disks for end user storage and transfer of data? Is that a thing? If not, I don't *need* a BR player.

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
I'll be honest, up until a few months ago, I knew very little about computers. I don't have any brands I'm for or against. If they have what I need, I'd be interested in it.

However, my research suggested the NVIDIA Quadro line of GPUs as the best choice for me. I am looking for a GPU for CAD mentor is happy with his AMD Firepro, but VectorWorks suggested NVIDIA...

13. What country do you live in?
The United States.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
As I said I am looking for a laptop with a long life. The thing I was attracted to with the Panther was the MXM 3.0 GPUs, so I can continue to upgrade my machine over time. The more upgradability the better. But I know that is rare and I don't know what options are out there...

Meir Dhillon

Dec 25, 2013
i wonder why no one is answering this kinda question... im going through same deal.... ive seen there are a bunch of thread with sme question but sadly no much answers...
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