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I need to spec a laptop to run VW.

Maybe 1/4 of my time so performance is big but not the only factor.

More regular drafting than rendering.

Most work is small files but then comes a big one with lots of references...

Windows, but not looking forward to 8.

Jim: rumors of a big jump in VW speed are around. Are we talking V2015? Any advance suggestions? (yes I'm looking at the KB articles)

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Modern (released since 2012) graphics cards designed for gaming will work the best. There are a number of cards that are marketed as "Workstation" cards but these are generally just more expensive versions of the gaming cards.

Any modern graphics cards that come with 2GB of dedicated memory should at least be within the realm of working well in Vectorworks. While I cannot specify the version that will require/take advantage of superior graphics hardware, it will be sooner rather than later.

Windows laptops are a little harder to spec properly, as often manufacturers will just stick an integrated Intel card in it, which have not been performing better that what I would call "acceptably" in our tests here. Even the Intel Iris graphics are weak in comparison to even the basic Nvidia GeForce or AMD Radeon series cards.

However, in tech support we recently got the laptops listed in my description (Lenovo Y510p) and their GeForce 750M cards work very well.

If you have a few laptops that you are looking at, you can post or email in the specs and we can have a look.

As for Windows 8... well... It works, I do not like the UI changes but I have adapted to them. Windows 7 will still be viable for at least another handful of years, the choice of OS (if you are given one when buying the laptop) is up to personal preference really. Performance-wise there is not a huge difference as far as Vectorworks is concerned.

Edited by JimW
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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee
xi computer will custom make a laptop for you. I secretly think they are old dell/alienware cases, but the point being that you get a laptop that has the hardware you want, and the real software (not windows oem bloated os).

Avoiding the standard Dell/HP/Lenovo/large scale manufacturer bloat entirely or removing it afterwards are both highly recommended. They can make your life surprisingly miserable. I wipe the hard drive of any new PC I get and install Windows fresh if possible to avoid these problems.

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I just bought an HP Envy 15" TouchSmart for my son/family PC and I'm very impressed with it especially considering the price. Sounds like it may be similar spec to Jonathans. I had not realised that the i7 was a higher spec i7 MQ than the slower U or M versions found in many laptops acording to a review I read.

Relieved to see though that my 3 year old MBP still gets significantly higher frame rate in Minecraft although its not a scientific comparison.

With that, its worth noting that the HP power energy mode setting is significantly faster than the windows power save energy mode, the former is very keen to kick in the i7 turbo boost. Makes quite a racket and heat though so i turned HP mode off. Not tried the HP mode that detects it resting on your lap and runs cooler to prevent skin burns...

The only negative is that bluetooth is intermittent from new, so its all packed up ready for a replacement.

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xi computer will custom make a laptop for you. I secretly think they are old dell/alienware cases...

Depending on the model, they're either Clevo or MSI cases.

I went a similar route of a custom machine (with, probably, a similar parade of options), but ended up going with a Mythlogic Pollux system based on a Clevo case. Not the lightest thing in the world, but I've been pretty happy, so far. No choking on any rednerngs, yet.

i7 4800MQ

NVidia GeForce GTX 780M



Windows 7 Pro 64

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I appreciate the input.

I've been a Dell fan for a while, more from service and support than from hardware. My current system is a M4500 w/Nvidia Quadro FX 1800M. I've had some weirdness but has been workable. Apparently it's a few notches slower than VW recommended. Some screen draws can get pretty slow.

Any of these systems run in the $2000 neighborhood?.

I'm looking at the Dell M4800 as it seems the current version of what I have, but is an i5 w/AMD FirePro M5100 w/2GB GDDR5.

For $500 more I get an M6700, i7 w/Nvidia K3000M

or something like that...

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The only negative is that bluetooth is intermittent from new, so its all packed up ready for a replacement.
Just incase anyone stumbles on this, the bluetooth problem is an odd one where USB bluetooth 4.0 device goes into unrecognised USB device once a bluetooth mouse is connected then machine is rebooted. Oddly, it remains unrecognised even after disc is reimaged back to factory install - removing the mains and battery seem to be the only remedy.

However, after a second machine had exactly the same problem, a contact at HP investigated further and tracked it down to the Intel Bluetooth 4.0 driver as shipped being the problem. Unfortunately the HP and Windows driver update programs both fails to detect a suitable replacement however the HP website does contain an update that when manually installed will restore functionality.

Most odd that a onboard device can be knocked out and failure persists through a factory reset reimaging.

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