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Wannabe Geek

# 208956 7-Mar-2017 07:22
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My last laptop which I received from a family member used just crashed after 5+ plus years of abuse. I am looking at purchasing a new laptop to replace it. I am a bit overwhelmed by the options and companies that offer engineering laptops. I am hoping someone can give me a recommendation based on the info provided below.




Uses: high volume engineering software use as a mechanical engineering student




Software Used: Solidworks, ANSYS simulation, Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, C++, Matlab, Autodesk applications (from time to time), iTunes




Budget: $1000-$1800




I think I narrowed down my search to a couple options but am open to other suggestions. They are the following:




HP ZBook 15 Series


Asus Zenbook Series


Lenovo P50 Series




Specific questions for recommendation (pros vs cons):




Memory? 8 or 16 GB?




Processor? i5 or i7?




SSD size? 256 or 512 GB?




If I haven’t covered all the core questions or information let me know.




Thanks in advanced for the help!

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  # 1732209 7-Mar-2017 08:10
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You want a professional laptop, then double your budget at least. You're in the low to mid range consumer price range there.

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  # 1732254 7-Mar-2017 09:01
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Perhaps ask classmates what they have done, and your tutor may have some thoughts.  More RAM allows for opening more complex images.  Faster CPU will let the software run faster, but at the cost of battery life.  256Gb SSD is probably enough unless you want to store photos/music/movies on the laptop as well.


One of the key questions to ask will be around the graphics horsepower required for your design software.  A laptop in your price range will likely just have the on-CPU graphics which are fine for basic design tasks, but may not have the horsepower for more intensive tasks like rendering.  You may be able to find one at the upper end of your budget that has a separate dedicated (discrete) graphics chip on the motherboard.  Again, this will decrease your battery life.

"4 wheels move the body.  2 wheels move the soul."

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  # 1732854 8-Mar-2017 09:29
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At that price range, another option is entry level + gaming laptops. They are more likely to have 8+ GB RAM, SSD, and i7 M/MQ/HQ processors which are much faster than the U series battery saving ones. Maybe something like this for example: HP Omen or Dell Inspiron. I am not really a fan of these from a build quality point of view, but they pack a lot of grunt for the price: Gigabyte.


To answer your questions though i7, not U series, 16GB RAM if you can get it, 256GB SSD will be OK, but obviously 512GB will be better as you won't need to worry about space. I don't know how big the projects you will be working on are though.   

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