Recommend me a laptop

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by Paarish, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. Paarish

    Paarish Connor's Nublet

    Aug 26, 2009
    Married to DinohScene
    I basically need a laptop that would be suitable for a course in architecture. I have a price range £300~£500. Thanks in advance
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    A passing note- architecture means CAD/rendering* which is one of the big three things to strain a machine (the other two being video encoding and games). I am not as familiar with architecture/civil engineering type CAD as I might be though so I am not sure how you want to play it.

    *if you only want 2d/plans grade software then it is a bit easier. Just make sure you have a fair bit of ram as even then it is still not that nice on a machine.

    Chances are though your course will have capable machines so after that you are left with basic office type applications although I would suggest a screen with a fair size (this is often a dealbreaker for people) and high resolution (many laptops of recent years are pitiful in this regard) and also flank it with an extra monitor when you want. Properly made plans are essentially very high resolution images (there is a reason they are usually printed onto a3 or bigger) so scrolling around will get old fast.

    I doubt you will be doing much site work which is nice as those rugged laptops are somewhat expensive and very little damages electronics faster than building dust.
  3. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

    Apr 21, 2008
    London, UK
    I've had a lil look online, but I'm a lil bit stuck trying to find a suitable laptop for £500. I have a couple friends who are just finishing their architecture courses, but one of them uses a £1200 computer (similar to the £1400 monster I built for my brother's computer game design and animation course) with 3 monitors and the other has a couple specially built laptops that cost well over £1600 each (his parents bought one for him, and that was a tablet laptop).

    As mentioned, modelling programs like AutoCAD are one of the more intensive applications a computer can be subjected to. My brother uses 3D Studio Max for his animation, which uses modelling, texturing and animation on top of it, most of which uses pure graphics card power (if I remember, it's measured in FLOPS, and my brother's HD4870X2 went up to 2.4TeraFLOPS). Whilst you can afford to use a mid-ranged graphics card to keep to a budget, it just means that everything will be that much slower. I also doubt that you'll be able to get much done with a low-ranged graphics card, such as the ones you find in the £300-500 range laptops.

    Maybe I'm wrong and someone will find a good laptop in that range, but I believe you need a high end graphics card and plenty of RAM to work efficiently, which laptops generally can't offer until you're ready to spend over £1000 on it.
  4. Lodis

    Lodis GBAtemp Regular

    Jul 26, 2007
    United States
    With that budget, you will not get good performance and will just wish you spent more. Even a suitable mobile GPU on its own will cost around £500 let alone the actual laptop. Unless you are not planning on doing anything graphically intensive on that laptop, you are unlikely to find one within that cost range.
  5. nando

    nando GBAtemp Addict

    Jan 1, 2008
    United States
    you don't need a whole lot of power in a computer for architecture school. architectural animations are nothing short of cheesy and a waste of time. chances are if you go to a good design school you'll be expected to design up to the last minute, if you manage to make a 3d animation fully textured with plants etc, teachers are gonna think you didn't spend your time on design.

    cad applications aren't that intensive. i'm sure you'll be mostly focusing on presentation drawings and not mechanical drawings for a whole city with hardware and plumbing drawn for every toilet.

    but maybe you'll do some experimental shit, like we had to turn movies in architecture.

    anyway, you didn't say what kind of course. there are architectural courses that focus on producing cad monkeys and then there are some that avoid cad altogether. autocad wasn't even thought at my school