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I am looking to buy a laptop for 3D designing, surface modelling, and finite element analysis. I will be using softwares like Unigraphics, Rhino 3D, ANSYS, etc.

Requirements:

Processor: Intel Skylake i5 dual core or better

RAM: 8GB min. 16 GB preferable.

Memory: HDD: 1TB or better or SSD: 256GB or better

Battery Life: At least 6 hours on designing usage.

OS: Any*

Screen Size isn't a constraint. All the basic functionalities of a modern laptop (wifi, usb, Bluetooth, etc.) are obvious.

As for cost, the cheaper the better. I do not wish to compromise on quality though.

*I do not mind using BootCamp on a MacBook if the MacBook fits the above criteria.

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    If the system lands in the gaming laptop or workstation laptop category, will that be ok? – NZKshatriya Nov 4 '16 at 18:10
  • Do you have an absolute price limit? e.g. less than $1000 – 0-60FPS Nov 5 '16 at 18:28
  • Under $2000, since you have asked – jaydm26 Nov 5 '16 at 21:04
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    In case you are still looking (or someone else stumbles across this question): It may be worth considering to get a laptop with a beasty CPU (such as a 6700HQ) and pair that with an external desktop GPU or to directly get one of those new laptops that feature Nvidia Pascal desktop GPUs. – SEJPM Jun 4 '17 at 18:24
  • 6 hour battery life is a big ask if you have some serious GPU load on a discrete graphics card. – Bennett Yeo Jun 4 '17 at 23:56
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At the level of components you want I would recommend a gaming laptop. Being built with high performance components meant for gaming, it turns out that like games; 3D modeling can also leverage the same high performance GPUs and CPUs available for gaming laptops that complex 3D games do. As an added plus, gaming laptops typically ship with anti-ghosting linear switch keys that make for a great typing experience.

I would recommend the MSI GL62M 7REX-1067 ($1,100) at Newegg

MSI GL62M 7REX-1067

Key features on the laptop include a powerful GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4 GB GDDR5 and an Intel Core i7-7700HQ. These components are much more than adequate at driving the latest 3D modeling software. It also comes with a full 16GB of DDR4 RAM which have faster RAM clock speeds than the usual DDR3 for faster application loading speed as well as a glorious 512 GB M.2 SATA SSD with sequential read and write speeds in the 2 GB/s range. This laptop ships with MSI's signature linear switch laptop keyboard.

This laptop is overkill for your purposes but at a price tag of $1,100 makes this laptop perfect for you and will hold you over for a very long time.


Additional notes:

I would like to mention that you're unlikely to find laptops that feature 6 hour battery life (even among power saving laptops) without compromising on the performance of the laptop. Intel, for example, purposely has it's U series processors which offer power savings at the trade off of cost.

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I would recommend the Acer VN7-592G-77LB

GeForce GTX 960M 4 GB
Intel Core i7 6700HQ (2.60 GHz)
16 GB Memory 1 TB HDD 256 GB SSD
15.6" IPS FHD 1920 x 1080
15.35" x 10.35" x 0.90" 5.07 lbs.
Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
LED-backlit IPS display

Cannot find any stats on battery life however.

Another option would be:

Lenovo IdeaPad Y700 80NV00Q9US

GeForce GTX 960M 4 GB Quad Core Intel Core i7 6700HQ (2.60 GHz)

16 GB DDR4 Memory 1 TB HDD 256 GB PCIE SSD

15.6" Full HD 1920 x 1080

External DVD+-R/RW

Again, no information on battery life found.

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  • Note that while the CPUs of these systems are very well indeed for a laptop, the GPUs are quite weak. – SEJPM Jun 4 '17 at 18:22

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