Laptops forum

Question

Specific College Laptop

by Gandalf_the_Architect / May 5, 2016 7:30 PM PDT

Hey all, I'm new to this site so sorry in advance if I do anything wrong.

I'm currently a senior in high school, and next year I'll be attending Syracuse University for Architecture. The major requires a pretty demanding laptop for apps like Photoshop AutoCAD Rhino and Revit, and recommends specs like quad-core i7's, 16gb RAM and discrete Nvidia class 1 or 2 graphic chipsets.

I know what all of this means and generally how powerful those items are, but I'm not extremely knowledgeable about anything past that point. For example I don't really know how the gHz rating a processor gets will affect my productivity.

In addition to architecture work, I plan to do some gaming whenever I have time, and I'd like my laptop to be able to handle games like The Witcher 3 on decent settings, which I know is one of the more difficult games to run especially on a laptop.

Lastly, and this might be the most difficult part, I do really consider aesthetic and portability as well as functionality when it comes to things like this, and as a result I've been leaning towards the Microsoft Surface Book due to its great look and usefulness in regards to producing architectural work. However I have looked online and seen some YouTube videos that highlight its very medium field abilities playing games (Skyrim plays like warm butter, MGSV plays like butter you left in the fridge, Witcher 3 plays like butter left in the arctic for three years). So not good enough for me in the gaming respect, but in every other way pretty appealing.

If anyone knows a great laptop that can do all these things, and hopefully looks nice on my desk, please let me know. I have quite a bit of money to throw at this, but I'm not trying to build my own because I really lack the expertise.

Thanks!!!

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All Answers

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Here is the Dell Alienware 17
by orlbuckeye / May 6, 2016 6:33 AM PDT
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maybe workstation laptops?
by Eve0621 / May 6, 2016 8:25 AM PDT
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Answer
For students, almost never a 17 inch model.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 6, 2016 8:43 AM PDT
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Both worlds
by Willy / May 6, 2016 8:46 AM PDT

You want a college and then add you want gaming laptop too, geeez that is demanding, so get over it. I suggest you find the baddest gaming system with the most cores and capable ram that is ALREADY installed, NOT a later addition in order to be warranty covered. Pay the dang bill and hope for the best. The gaming needs should and can very well fit the needs of video design, etc.. because video is the key ingredient here plus the system ram. You better have cooling like a laptop pad that helps as well. Better laptops are Asus and MSI which in turn may supply the OEM market with similar wares, like Voodoo, Alienware, Cyberware, etc.. so check the specs. Also, check reviews for any numerous mentions of problems cropping up like failures or short lived uptime, etc..

tada ------Willy Happy

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You are not in Surfacebook land here!
by Zouch / May 7, 2016 3:48 AM PDT

First off, I would suggest you ask your college if they have a preferred system - they will know what is capable of the course work.

That said, Photoshop and particularly AutoCAD can be pretty challenging for many systems. I would imagine (but don't know) that Architectural design would have much the same video requirements as the more advanced games, so as Willy suggests, the gaming market might be the place to start.

I think you need to put "form over function" on the back burner, most of these gamers are not pretty! You might want to look at Asus Republic of Gaming range, possibly the Asus N series, a sort of halfway house between business machine and gamer, pretty much anything from MSI that meets your spec, possibly Lenovo Y series (NOT Yoga!), a Dell XPS at your spec. The downside to all these is that they don't come cheap!

If you insist on pretty, maybe a top end Macbook Pro would do the college job, not sure about the games, though and Macbooks aren't cheap either.

Depending what your course entails, your college will advise, I would think anything smaller than 15" wouldn't be up to it and anything bigger would be a real hassle to lug around.

Good luck but please do ask your college for advice.

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laptop with gaming spec or just take a workstation
by spruce11 / May 12, 2016 4:59 PM PDT

It seems to me that Surface Book would not match your requirement even it has really good looking and portable indeed.
If you're doing those graphics designs, you'd probably need GTX970M+ and i7-gen 6 for the best use. And these spec are actually in gaming category, so you can look at MSI, Alienware, ROG, etc.
If you don't think these laptops can satisfy you, workstation could secure your desired functions. Dell and MSI are what I would recommend.

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How about this?
by ANIHUANG / May 12, 2016 6:36 PM PDT

I was doing the civil engineering on my first job. I also did the Revit, Auto Cad and 3D Max. I was using the Acer before, but what I want to said is I got a terrible experience. It always freezed and moved so slow... What I recommend you is you need a latest CPU with good level GPU.

Currently, I m using the MSI gaming laptop to do my office work (though I'm not the civil engineer anymore), the performance on it is good and till now, I did not meet the overheating issue. Maybe the MSI laptop could be a choice for you!

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go for workstation laptop
by Eve0621 / May 12, 2016 9:18 PM PDT

From my point of view, you may take workstation laptop into your consideration, there are many great brand such as, MSI, Dell and HP. Just go Amazon and check it. Some of them are portable and thin.

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