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I am looking for a laptop that would be very high-end graphic wise, and that can be used for rendering and 3D modeling. There are a LOT of high-end laptop reviews out there, but most are gaming-oriented, and although there are a lot of common requirements between gaming and 3D modeling/rendering, it is not exactly the same.

Software used:

  • 3ds Max (Vray + real time)
  • Mari
  • Autocad
  • Rhino 3D
  • Solidworks
  • Adobe suit (mainly Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects)

Requirements:

  • Solid heavy-duty build (especially hinges) – no plastics, I travel a lot
  • CD bay (not really a must but a huge plus)
  • 2+ HD bays (see CD bay above)
  • No bigger than 15" (actually my yardstick is a keyboard with no numpad...)
  • HDMI and normal 16-pin RGB (VGA) outputs
  • High res (1920x1080 and above)

My last laptop was a semi-custom-made HP 8530P (11,500 euros!), which unbelievably is still working with current versions of all above listed software (and it is 7 years old.. At that time it was the only model with 1920x1080 screen. And again, we are talking 7 years!). I had upgraded it a lot over the years (2 SSD, RAM), but still – it is impressive.

Right now I am looking into the Alienware 15 or 13 (a bit bulky), Origin 15s Pro, HP Z series or EliteBook, or Aorus 14. All of them without CD bay, but I am really open to suggestions.

Last fact: since it is for professional work, budget is not an issue. My last laptop mentioned above paid for itself in 3 weeks!

  • I think the Lenovo P50 would be a really good fit for you. And if you can accept 17" the P70 would be even better, although I think both don't have VGA any longer... However it looks like neither is available (yet). – SEJPM Oct 6 '15 at 21:20
  • As for the specs they both should pass "mil-tests" which may imply they are pretty robust, the P70 has an optical drive bay (the p50 doesn't), they are both highly certified for all kinds of software, they run Quadro M5000M GPUs along with Intel Xeon E3v5 Ms have 3/4 drive bays, HDMI 1.4 and Thunderbolt 3 (1x / 2x). And the usual "fun" stuff like smartcard readers, fingerprint sensors etc. – SEJPM Oct 6 '15 at 21:28
  • VGA is essentially dead. Any specific reason you need it? DVI on the monitor side might, just might be an option (you can convert HDMI or dp to it I believe) and any monitor that uses VGA is probably a little terrible. – Journeyman Geek Oct 11 '15 at 13:22
  • @JourneymanGeek The reason is that MANY ( my guess 90% ) of the conferences rooms around the world still have the projectors connected with VGA to the tables . Same in confrence halls, universities , lecture halls etc . There are also HDMI-VGA converters , but that is always another fail point . – Obmerk Kronen Oct 11 '15 at 16:48
4

We use the HP Z Books at work for Solidworks/Ansys, they perform surprisingly well, we compared them to existing HP Z800 desktops and they were as fast/faster in tests relevant to our work (solve times, rendering, etc).

You're limited to 32GB Ram and 2 512GB SSD's + Blueray/DVD, but depending on your requirements that may be sufficient.

They weight around 3kg so not the most portable, cost is around £2500.

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  • thanks , that is a great reference. In fact I was looking into the Z series because of my former HP - which really worked faster than same-period desktops, and in fact , it is still faster than current day consumer laptops on some tasks ( it is a desktop CPU after all ) – Obmerk Kronen Oct 7 '15 at 15:08
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This looks really great, but remember, it is huge. It's like a mini supercomputer!

http://www.eurocom.com/ec/configure%281,224,0%29ec

I'm not sure what the outside is made of, but I don't think it will break. It has a 12 core Xeon and Dual GTX 980M which is probably one of the most powerful laptops you can find on the market. The only problem is that it is 17 inches.

So perhaps the Origin EON15-X, which has a desktop CPU (6700k) and a GTX 980M would be good. It is 15 inches and is probably close to the most powerful you can get at 15inches, as far as I know, anyway. I just can't see using a U series low power CPU for professional work such as this (other answer!) If you really need thin, consider the Razerblade 14 or Origin EVO15-S.

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  • 3
    Hi John, on Hardware Recommendations answers are required to include detailed commentary on why a product is being recommended. Please see this post for more information. – Adam Oct 7 '15 at 1:00
  • @Adam Are you like serial downvoting every post I've made here? And yes, I fixed it. – Rubydesic Oct 7 '15 at 1:04
  • Not at all. That downvote didn't come from me. I just came here to let you know of the guidelines I linked to. – Adam Oct 7 '15 at 1:06
  • @Adam OK, sorry. Thx for letting me know. – Rubydesic Oct 7 '15 at 1:07
  • @JohnLee - thanks for the reference ( +1 ) . This computer does look powerful, but it really lacks in portability . Any computer that have a numpad ( or full-keyboard ) would qualify as too large . Thanks again though for the eurocom reference , which honestly I did not know before ..I also did not see any dual GPU laptop before. Do you know any others ? – Obmerk Kronen Oct 7 '15 at 3:22

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