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Hardware Thread, Which Laptop? in Technical; Aye seems that does beat i7 by a bit. Not sure what pricing difference is like on them, personally would ...
  1. #16

    Steve21's Avatar
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    Aye seems that does beat i7 by a bit.

    Not sure what pricing difference is like on them, personally would go with whichever has the better graphics. Did a lot of 3d design at uni and was always my graphics that let me down IMHO

    Unless you'll be wanting hours of rendering etc doubt the diff in the two CPUs will matter

    Steve

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    SYSMAN_MK's Avatar
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    Go with the XPS 17 with an i5 2540M have the XPS 15 with that CPU. Something to bare in mind is the graphic option will dictate which mobo the machine ships with. IIRC the 3GB version allow for upto 4 DIMMS. Also has 2 HDDs bays so you could get a small SDD as a boot drive to increase performance.

  3. #18

    SYSMAN_MK's Avatar
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    Well after a quick look at Dells site you could get a Sandy Bridge i7 based system for just over your £700 budget. £750.14 would get you

    • Intel® Core™ i7-2630QM
    • Windows®7 Home Premium (64 BIT)
    • Memory 6GB (1x2GB, 1x4GB) 1333MHz DDR3 Dual Channel SDRAM
    • Video Card 3GB NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 555M Graphics Card
    • Hard Drive 1TB (7,200rpm) Serial ATA Dual HDD - (2x500GB)
    • Optical Devices DVD+/-RW (DVD, CD read and write)
    • Wireless Networking Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 1000 (EUR)
    • Service Standard Service - 1 year
    • Primary Battery 9-cell 90Whr Lithium Ion battery
    • LCD 17.3"(44 cm) HD+ WLED True-Life (1600x900) with 2.0 Mega Pixel Integrated Camera

    The Dell Online Store: Build Your System

    Use this code at checkout for 15% off CGJ1CJ721GVXFC

  4. #19

    witch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SYSMAN_MK View Post
    Well after a quick look at Dells site you could get a Sandy Bridge i7 based system for just over your £700 budget. £750.14 would get you

    • Intel® Core™ i7-2630QM
    • Windows®7 Home Premium (64 BIT)
    • Memory 6GB (1x2GB, 1x4GB) 1333MHz DDR3 Dual Channel SDRAM
    • Video Card 3GB NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 555M Graphics Card
    • Hard Drive 1TB (7,200rpm) Serial ATA Dual HDD - (2x500GB)
    • Optical Devices DVD+/-RW (DVD, CD read and write)
    • Wireless Networking Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 1000 (EUR)
    • Service Standard Service - 1 year
    • Primary Battery 9-cell 90Whr Lithium Ion battery
    • LCD 17.3"(44 cm) HD+ WLED True-Life (1600x900) with 2.0 Mega Pixel Integrated Camera

    The Dell Online Store: Build Your System

    Use this code at checkout for 15% off CGJ1CJ721GVXFC
    That's quite a long way over the budget - even with the 15% off but thanks
    She will be doing lots of rendering, I think. This is true product design where you are actuallly designing real things, and the idea is to produce a working object

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    I'd go for i7. i7 > i5

  6. #21

    SYSMAN_MK's Avatar
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    Just to muddy the waters even more, you might want to consider a FHD Screen is design is going to be it's main use.

  7. #22

    witch's Avatar
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    AAARRRRGHHHHHHHHHHHHH Thanks Armando3 but if you read the whole thread you would see that was where this all started - is i7 really better than i5?
    The problem is budget. With three offspring at Uni next year and no maintenance loan even paying accomodation costs never mind food etc, we are on a tight budget. She is allowed a better laptop than her brothers as the course requires it (last year bought one for the son - i5 - £450) but too much better and they will not be happy!

  8. #23


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    Quote Originally Posted by SYSMAN_MK View Post
    Just to muddy the waters even more, you might want to consider a FHD Screen is design is going to be it's main use.
    Must say I agree. Whats the point in a low resolution 17 inch monitor? IMO anything over 14inch has to be 1080p or better.

    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    That's quite a long way over the budget - even with the 15% off but thanks
    She will be doing lots of rendering, I think. This is true product design where you are actuallly designing real things, and the idea is to produce a working object
    Unfortunately I think if you want a decent graphics card in a laptop you will be looking at a lot more than you are budgeting, especially since you require a 17 inch monitor - could she not use an external monitor when needed and get a 15inch laptop?

    Personally I think a good compromise would be this; (using sysmans 15% coupon)

    Base 2nd generation Intel® Core™ i5-2540M processor 2.60 GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 3.30 GHz
    Microsoft Operating System English Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium (64 BIT)
    Memory 3072MB (1x2GB, 1x1GB) 1333MHz DDR3 Dual Channel
    Keyboard Internal UK/Irish Qwerty Keyboard
    Video Card 1GB NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 550M Graphics Card
    Hard Drive 500GB (7,200rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive
    Optical Devices DVD+/-RW (DVD, CD read and write)
    Wireless Networking Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 1000 (EUR)
    Cables UK 250V Power Cord
    Shipping Documents English Documentation
    Gedis Bundle Reference N05X7M02
    Service Standard Service - 1 year of Collect & Return 10 day coverage included with your PC
    Extended Service 1 year of coverage included with your PC
    Integrated Mobile Broadband Mobile Broadband Not Included
    Order Information XPS L702x Order - UK
    Primary Battery 6-cell 56Whr Lithium Ion battery
    Carrying Cases No Carrying Case
    Dell System Media Kit XPS L702x Resource DVD
    Color Choice Silver Anodized Aluminum Cover
    Accidental Damage Support No Accidental Damage Protection
    Online Backup DataSafe Online Backup 2GB - 1 year licence
    TV Tuner and Remote Control TvTuner Not Included
    LCD 17.3"(44 cm) HD+ WLED True-Life (1600x900) with 2.0 Mega Pixel Integrated Camera
    DataSafe Datasafe Local 2.3 Basic
    Microsoft Application Software Microsoft® Office Starter: reduced-functionality Word & Excel w/ads. No PowerPoint or Outlook
    Protect your new PC McAfee® SecurityCenter 15 Month Subscription
    Power Supply 130W AC Adaptor
    Operating System Recovery Options OS Windows® Recovery Media Not included
    £682.13 delivered. Maybe up the ram mind.

    Graphics card is decent for a laptop. The CPU I've speced is pretty god damn good tbf
    Last edited by j17sparky; 21st July 2011 at 08:28 PM.

  9. #24
    AlfaTech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    Looking at a Dell XPS 17 with an i7 740QM
    I have an XPS 15 with a similarly powered processor. Its a Core i5 560M - dual core, hyper-threaded to quad, running from 2.66 (to 3.2 GHz with turbo boost). Which is comparable to the i7 720QM in terms of performance, and it's plenty powerful enough. Especially combined with a dedicated NVidia GeForce 420M 1GB so it plays all the latest games satisfactorily and simply roasts PhotoShop.

    Check out the comparison of the 740QM to other processors here:
    Intel Core i7 740QM Notebook Processor - Notebookcheck.net Tech
    (Look down at 'Surrounding CPUs')
    Last edited by AlfaTech; 21st July 2011 at 09:34 PM.

  10. Thanks to AlfaTech from:

    witch (22nd July 2011)

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    well you know i7 cpus are under clocked to save power but it could be ramped up with turbo boost for high perfornmance

  12. #26

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    Thanks all. Advice from uni is that it really has to be a 2GB graphics card. I know a desktop would be preferable but not really possible as she will need it in the holidays and carrying a desktop back home could be a bit problematic!

  13. #27

    SYSMAN_MK's Avatar
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    What software is she going to be using

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    witch's Avatar
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    Solidworks pro and some bespoke software especially created for the Uni, apparently.

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    honestly if you need a system with 2gbs video memory and at least 4gbs of ram it is gonna be hard to keep it under 600£

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    Go latest generation (the sandybridge) as it is way more power efficient, can use turbo boost on all cores, more eficient instruction set etc. the irony is that it is not all about closk speed (AMD's message from years back).

    Go with either the 4 real core i5 or an i7 of the latest range. Both have decent horsepower and more cores is better. Rendering software is usually multithreaded and even if it is not then there are way more things than a single app running all the time (services etc.). Even without multithreading unless the app is affinity locked the instructions can be split over multiple CPUs up to the top speed of one core to spread the heat load.

    The HD screen is also a good idea unless you are also thinking of an external moniter as this current trend of OPDs (Old People Dispalys) with giant pixels is really stupid when coupled with massive CPU power. It's like a 9L v16 on bike wheels. An external screen for use at the dorm/accomodation is a good plan anyway as two screens are better. If she has a fatscreen TV of her own she may be able to use that.

    From the looks of the solidworks GPU drivers page Graphics Card Drivers | SolidWorks it looks like it may prefer/use workstation grade GPUs like the Quadro or FirePro cards which will also make it more expencive.

    For cost dropping the big things are cores and CPU generation along with the GPU. The other things can be easily upgraded or mitigated later incrementally if required.

  17. Thanks to SYNACK from:

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