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#1 Mike Feinstein

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 11:19 AM

I'm in need of a new laptop. I'm partial to Dell mainly because that's all I've ever owned...and never had a problem...except for the slow rendering, but that's because they've always had integrated video. I've read lots of topics on this, and the old forum, about getting a dedicated video card. The consensus of opinion seems to be NVIDIA something or other. I'm looking at a Dell Alienware which they bill as a gaming computer. Comes with a NVIDIA┬« GeForce┬« GTX 965M with 2GB GDDR5. My thinking on the gaming system is it's designed for the intense gaming applications which stress the system. 

 

In case you're interested, here's the link: http://www.dell.com/...alienware-15-r2

 

Does anyone use an Alienware? If so, opinions please...

 

Thanks,

Mike


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#2 Sam Morgan

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 11:50 AM

I can't give you input on that type of laptop...but here's a question.  Will this be your primary machine or are you working from a desktop and just need portable?  I used to be strictly a laptop guy and always bought high end ones with huge screens.  Two years ago I switched to a desktop and got a Microsoft surface to take with me to clients and when I travel.  I now have the Surface 3 and do more designing on it than my desktop.  I spend more time working from the couch with a movie on than I do in my office.  The new surface book would be another good option although its pretty spendy.   My surface 3 does everything my desktop will do EXCEPT....don't ever try to use rendered mode!!!  Textured mode works great, you can rotate and it refreshes just as well as any other machine.  When I do additions, I measure and draw the as builts right one site rather than sketching on paper and recreating at home.   I can't say enough good about the surface....but if this is for a primary machine, you'd probably want something a little more powerful.

 

 

Sam



#3 Mike Feinstein

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 05:43 PM

It will be my primary drawing machine. Like you Sam, I spend a lot of time on my couch with TV on. I also do a lot of field work with it and use it in client meetings...clients LOVE it. 


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#4 Sam Morgan

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 06:30 PM

If its going to be your primary machine, definitely get a high end laptop.  Thats what I did for year.  When I started doing a lot more rendering work/animations, I had to go to a high end desktop.  The tablet started as just something that I could use when I travel and meet with clients, now I use it more often than the desktop.  I've got renderings going on the desktop that will take several days to complete....been watching movies all day with the kids today on the couch while I work!



#5 Mike Feinstein

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 09:28 AM

WOW! Days for a render? I could never deal with that...unless I was going to present it as a piece of art...framed...with wine and cheese...maybe some caviar...

 

I need to present a good quality render fairly quickly while clients are watching. Most likely in texture mode. I'd save render mode for print.

 

Thanks Sam


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#6 Sam Morgan

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 10:41 AM

If you are just thinking of textured mode then just about any computer will work.  The ones I have that take days are animations that I use to make videos of a full home once the design is done.  I do that for every new home I design for marketing purposes.  

 

Sample

 



#7 Keith Almond

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 12:17 PM

Nice rendering Sam.

 

The exterior view don't imply that this has a walkout basement, but the Basement Family room has large windows ....


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#8 Steve Haarmann

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 12:59 PM

If you are trying to make the laptop a primary machine then a high end unit like Alienware is essential.

 

Also look at the Asus ROG line (ROG stands for Republic of Gaming).

You can find a lot of them at Newegg.com

If you are not going to do a lot of rendered 3d then you really do not need the top of the line.

 

I work on mid range desktop with 2 monitors in the office.

I use Dropbox to keep all our machines in sync.

 

When traveling I use the Asus ROG which has a 17" screen.

I really think the 15.6" screen is better for portability.



#9 Jim Crook

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 02:37 PM

I can't give you input on that type of laptop...but here's a question.  Will this be your primary machine or are you working from a desktop and just need portable?  I used to be strictly a laptop guy and always bought high end ones with huge screens.  Two years ago I switched to a desktop and got a Microsoft surface to take with me to clients and when I travel.  I now have the Surface 3 and do more designing on it than my desktop.  I spend more time working from the couch with a movie on than I do in my office.  The new surface book would be another good option although its pretty spendy.   My surface 3 does everything my desktop will do EXCEPT....don't ever try to use rendered mode!!!  Textured mode works great, you can rotate and it refreshes just as well as any other machine.  When I do additions, I measure and draw the as builts right one site rather than sketching on paper and recreating at home.   I can't say enough good about the surface....but if this is for a primary machine, you'd probably want something a little more powerful.

 

 

Sam

Sam, I'm curious as to how you find the time comparison while onsite when measuring for additions or as-builts between sketching on paper and inputting directly to your Surface ?

 

Appreciate your insight !

JimC



#10 Sam Morgan

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 03:02 PM

I might spent a little longer at a house doing the as built...90 minutes vs 60 for instance.  But...I can immediately put together a proposal and I NEVER have had to go back because I forgot or missing something.  I can see immediately if something doesn't look quite right.  I bought a tripod stand for the tablet that has a retractable mouse pad so its pretty easy to go room by room and take measurements and draw while I'm there.  



#11 Mike Feinstein

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 06:32 AM

I see why you're renders take so long Sam. Nicely done! You seem to be streamlined in your work flow, balancing onsite work with couch work with movies with the kids. I think I'm a little envious.

 

While the majority of my work involves rendering in textured mode, I do need the ability to do a high quality render...maybe 25% of the time. If it helps sell one job then it pays for the added cost...which really isn't that much anyway in the grand scheme of things. Alienware it is...I think


Mike

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#12 Jim Crook

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 08:09 AM

I might spent a little longer at a house doing the as built...90 minutes vs 60 for instance.  But...I can immediately put together a proposal and I NEVER have had to go back because I forgot or missing something.  I can see immediately if something doesn't look quite right.  I bought a tripod stand for the tablet that has a retractable mouse pad so its pretty easy to go room by room and take measurements and draw while I'm there.  

Sam, thanks for your info on the Surface.   I had a quick look at the tablet stands but am not seeing one with a retractable mouse pad.  

Are you able to share which brand of tablet stand you bought that  has a retractable mouse pad built in ?

 

Thanks !

JimC



#13 Thomas Davis

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 09:50 AM

I use an ASUS ROG as my only computer and it works fantastic! I have a model G751J that I purchased from Best Buy.

Fast render times and very stable laptop.

 

Last week I knocked over my coffee cup (1/4 left in it) and it went all over the keyboard. In a matter of seconds, I dabbed the liquid with napkins (had some by me), shut down the unit, unplugged the unit, and turned it upside down to "drain" the keyboard. I blew the keys out with my breath as I continued to hold it upside down. I fired it up and it has been working great! No issues due to the spill.

 

This is my first ASUS ROG laptop and needless to say, I am a HUGE FAN of ASUS ROG laptops!







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