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Laptop recommendation

ptc-169947
Newbie

Laptop recommendation

Hi all,

Any recommendations for a high end laptop for running Creo?
Processor speed?
RAM: 16G or more?
Graphics card?

Thanks,
Stefan
23 REPLIES 23

Laptop recommendation

It would not be fair for me to comment since I work for HP but these are the things you need to consider.


1. CPU speed is important. I have been running some tests and the I7 Chipset is really good. (Ocus benchmark). I get better results with a laptop than an older workstation running a lesser chip set.

2. Having a good graphics card is also important. Get one that has 2Gb of memory at least.

3. RAM is really dependent on your work set. I plan on normal operating functions, outlook and such to take up at least 4 Gb of my RAM (I know a bit high but it gives some wiggle room) From there I would see what you need to bring up your assemblies and drawings. I personally would want 24GB

4. Drive is the last item to consider. I REALLY like the newer Solid State Drives (SSD). They boot fast and access data fast. While not a big portion of your daily work, it still makes you feel like you are working faster when your computer boots and loads faster.

Ronald B. Grabau
HP PDE-IT
Roseville, CA
916-785-3298
-<">mailto:->

Laptop recommendation

Thanx Ronald. Since you work for a computer company, I was wondering if
you could answer this...



I was looking to upgrade my workstation. It has a Xeon processor. When
I looked up my current Xeon chip on CPUBenchmark.net (using PassMark -
CPU Mark benchmarks) it scores a 3951. When I looked up the new
workstation's Xeon cpu it only scored a 3499. I was astonished that a
new CPU would be slower and this would imply a new system would be
slower. Could this really be true? My current system is 3 years old!
I would hope that the newer CPU on a newer motherboard would be quicker,
but how does one really tell based on this sort of test?





Do you have an opinion?



Regards

Tony


Laptop recommendation

You did not mention the clock speed of the Xeon processor. A 2.8Ghz Xeon will be slower than a 3.4Ghz, even if the 2.8 is the newer chip.

The i7 series seem to be good for CAD work, too.

Laptop recommendation

Pay attention to the number of cores. PassMark scores will scale with the number of cores but Creo performance will not.

I have found it more helpful to divide the PassMark score by the number of cores for comparison purposes.

Kevin


Laptop recommendation

You beat me to it, Kevin...

Passmark actually has a single-thread benchmark score too:

Laptop recommendation

I looked at the speed... The old Xeon is running at 2.66 GHz. The one
in the new workstation was only 1.8 GHz. It would certainly follow
that it would be slower. I guess I'm just really surprised that if I go
to a major manufacturer and order a brand new workstation to replace a 4
year old workstation, I am not guaranteed better performance. Amazing!



T


Laptop recommendation

Graphics cards (at least in the gaming market) are even worse.

It's all too easy these days to buy an 'upgrade' video card that turns out to be slower than the on-board graphics in a relatively modern machine!

Jonathan

Laptop recommendation

Computer manufacturers have switched gears from speed to # of processors. You can get nice performance boosts from increasing the # of processors EXCEPT IN CREO PARAMETRIC and some other programs.

You actually do get a bump with Creo on a few things like assembly retrieval and, well, that's about it. Of course, outlook and excel loads really fast too.



Steve Williams
Pro/E Version 15/16 (Circa 1995/1996)

Laptop recommendation

On 2013-10-09 16:31, Tony DelNegro wrote:
> I looked at the speed… The old Xeon is running at 2.66 GHz. The one
> in the new workstation was only 1.8 GHz. It would certainly follow
> that it would be slower. I guess I'm just really surprised that if I
> go to a major manufacturer and order a brand new workstation to
> replace a 4 year old workstation, I am not guaranteed better
> performance. Amazing!
>
> T
>

The hardware peeps are doing their job. They hit the speedlimit for
being able to empty the small capacitance within the cpu's and hence
went to even smaller components. The latest machines use ultra-violet
light for the manufacturing process in order to get smaller building
blocks on the silicon. You won't believe how much trouble that causes.
You need to work in vacuum, you need a special kind of lense, etc etc.
The 'easy' way out is to create more than 1 core on each CPU. The only
problem is that software makers have trouble adapting their software to
use the multiple cores.

Personally I think (but this is just a hunch) that PTC is pushing their
direct modeling software more, because that will be easier to adapt for
multiple cores. In the current parametric models, each feature has to
wait for its predecessor to finish, i.e. only 1 cpu is of any use. For
direct modelling I see some possibilities to use multiple cores at the
same time.

Best regards,
Patrick Asselman

"Guns Are One Thing But Phone Calls Are Too Dangerous To Go Unchecked"

Laptop recommendation

I always thought multi-threaded processing was a logical limitation of ProE (pardon me... Creo Parametric Two-Point-Oh). How can feature 1297 regenerate before feature 1296? Yes, other modeling functions take advantage of the extra processor cores, but (and correct me if I'm wrong) the longest wait times most often occur from simple model regeneration.

And if this is true, then the fastest individual core processor is the Holy Grail of the modeling community since everything is going slower speed multi-core/multi-threaded.

Does anyone know if other CAD programs such as Solidworks or Catia are limited in this way?

-Ter

Laptop recommendation

I haven't come across many processor-intensive applications that properly multi-thread - I'd be interested to know of ones which do. Are there even many games which fully utilise more than a couple of cores?

Mechanica will use all the available cores for a percentage of some analysis types, and I'm guessing that various other specialised analysis codes probably do. I gather that image processing can produce multiple threads, though I don't know whether that's on a single image, or many.

I know enough about programming to appreciate that it's difficult, but I think programmers are going to have to get creative. For instance, using PESC's model tree structure, perhaps the software could first identify independent 'branches' and then regenerate each one in a separate thread...

It would also be nice if each window ran in a separate thread so that if one is busy imported a 150 MB Parasolid file (just for example!), you can continue working on another model with the same licence... but that's a different argument. 😉

Jonathan

Laptop recommendation

Image processing does use multiple cores. In the past you could see that it broke the image up into squares and filled them in as each one finished processing.

I haven't done any hi-quality rendering in ages so I don't know if that's still true.

David Haigh

Laptop recommendation

Unigraphics, I mean NX, is also limited and has very few functions that use multi-processors. Drafting regeneration is one area where NX does on the modeling side. On the manufacturing side, they do take advantage of multiple processors when calculating a tool path. The FEA routines are also multiprocessor threaded since the code is based on Nastran. There is some work being done with the Parasolid kernel which will benefit NX as well as SolidEdge and SolidWorks.

I would take a faster single core machine for CAD over a slower multicore one any day. Even a box with 2 single core processors will yield better performance than a single quadcore chip.

Laptop recommendation

This has been an interesting thread, and I have come up with a few observations and comments.

Lets start with programs that use multi cores and beyond. CFD when it was Blue Ridge Numerics had a purchasable option (distributed computing I thing) which used multi computers in an array to solve faster plus when on a single computer it would use all cores equally. I would like to see data on how fast it was if you were to use their distributed computing option. From what I remember it was very expensive, but if you could steal one or two cores from every computer on your companies network how cool would that be. It should be nearly a linier scale speed increase for every CPU added to the array solving the problem.

No why PTC has not pushed harder into multi threading I do not know. This is something they should prioritize in my eyes. But honestly is it really needed? For long computations I say yes, but for everyday design not really.

Over the last 25 years of using the software on faster and faster hardware I do not feel that there is the 5-10X or more speed improvements that the hardware has made. Speed improvement is very subjection able in the design arena. If we have seen speed increased, we are wasting that gain in additional spinning or somthing (surfing...shhhh). Here is my validation of that. Sometime way back in 1993 ish, I was doing a proe vs CDRS vs Alias 3D modeling design benchmark. During our first day I was trucking along modeling like mad and had more than 4 hours of work complete and of course did not save once, when Pro/E crashed. I thought I was doomed but a quick edit to the trail file and after a 20 min run watching every thing I just did for 4 hours I was back in business. I saved right away and only lost 20 min. So todays computers are faster but it would still take the 4 hours to do the actual work, and the trail file would run in maybe 5 minutes or less now, but where is the real speed gains 4 hours to do the work is still 4 hours no matter how fast the computer.

So more cores, faster processors, more ram, blah blah blah it doesn't matter. What you should most consider is reliability because your job depends on it. Having a super fast multi core processor will not make you design faster it will only make switching programs and some other things feel better. Having a computer that runs everyday all day for 5 or more years at a time is a better solution.

I have recently been experimenting with speed based upon the 3D printer explosion. Preparing an STL file for build on a home 3D printer takes a fair amount of time. From 5 - 60 minutes on my dual core laptop. Same files on my 8 core desktop range from 1-15 min. This is substantial improvement and the only thing my desktop has over my laptop is more cores so yes it seems the slicing software that turns STL files into gcode is either taking advantage of the extra cores or the additional 2 Gig of ram my desktop has. My point being is choose the machine to fit your software's purposes. Fast in one area does not mean fast in another.

Ron

Laptop recommendation

Today i did a structural analysis using 32 cores on 4 'nodes' connected
by glassfibre (using Abaqus FEA software). It scales almost linearly
with the number of cores, as long as your network is quick enough. At
the same time a colleague of mine was doing a CFD calculation using 120
cores on 15 nodes... for CFD calculations you can never have too much
CPU power.

It may be too much too ask for all software designers to rearrange
their software completely. Hopefully some smart kid will come and create
a tool that will compile software to use multiple cores automatically.
Which is probably even more difficult to do, but since there is a huge
market for it and high demand, who knows?

If they do pull it off, we can go to real-time modeling. No more
waiting for regenerations on that big casting model, but seeing changes
happen real-time 🙂

Best regards,
Patrick Asselman

Laptop recommendation

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Users,
Well, my old desktop workstation finally bit the dust, so I need a new system. I'm looking for laptop workstation recommendations that are good Wildfire/CREO performers (as well as SW). I'm self employed and don't have a huge budget to work from, so top-of-the-line is probably out of my range. I'm looking for a 64 bit, 17" laptop workstation. Please give your recommendations for Mfr., model, processor, especially STABLE graphics cards. Also ideas of things/brands to avoid would be helpful as well.
Thanks!
Jeff
--Jeff Sampson -

Laptop recommendation

We have a few Dell M6800 workstations with 2.8 Ghz i7 processors (mine has an i7-4900MQ, not sure if they all do), 16GB of memory, a 230 GB SSD and Nvidia K3100M graphics. I’m running Nvidia driver 340.66 which has been pretty good. I’ve also got twin Dell U2414H monitors and it handles all 3 screens just fine, except for an annoying screen flicker whenever I start up any CAD application.

Not cheap, but rock solid and pretty fast running WF4 through Creo 2 as well as SW 2013 and up.

--
--
Doug Schaefer | Experienced Mechanical Design Engineer
LinkedIn

Laptop recommendation

Jeff,

Being the hardware geek that I am, I have done a lot of research on many
different models... so my top 3 would be Dell, Sager, and Lenovo.
However, 90% of the time if my customer is looking for a mobile
workstation, we go with Dell. It's hard to beat their professional
"Precision" model of workstation.

I personally have a "roadrunner" machine that I use when on-site for client
reviews or concepting purposes. Its not my daily user, but once a week or
so it gets a pretty good workout. Here is the specs:

Dell Precision M6600 17"
Win7 Pro - 64-bit
i7-2760QM @2.4Ghz
Quadro 3000M (1920 X 1080)
16GB RAM 256GB SSD
9Cell Battery
Purchased in April of 2012

I still get positive comments from clients about the M6600 performance
compared to their in-house machines. This machine is Rock Solid and I'm
completely happy with it for how I need to use it. The only complaint I
would have is the battery doesn't last as long as it used to... (after
about 1.5Hrs I need to plug it in.) Then again, it is almost 3 years
old...

Good Luck
Bernie

Bernie Gruman
Owner / Designer / Builder
www.GrumanCreations.com


On Mon, Feb 9, 2015 at 9:59 AM, Jeff Sampson <->
wrote:

>
> Users,
>
> Well, my old desktop workstation finally bit the dust, so I need a new
> system. I'm looking for laptop workstation recommendations that are good
> Wildfire/CREO performers (as well as SW). I'm self employed and don't have
> a huge budget to work from, so top-of-the-line is probably out of my
> range. I'm looking for a 64 bit, 17" laptop workstation. Please give your
> recommendations for Mfr., model, processor, especially STABLE graphics
> cards. Also ideas of things/brands to avoid would be helpful as well.
>
> Thanks!
>
> Jeff
>
> --
> Jeff Sampson Engineering
> -
>

Laptop recommendation

Jeff - I second what Bernie said. I have nearly the same machine and it has served me very well for the last three years. My 3 yr. on site warranty just expired - I will probably replace it on the next several months.



I have had good experiences with the Dell refurb (Outlet) store. I recommend budgeting for and getting the on site coverage - I have used it several times over the years and was glad to have spent the $200 extra for it.



I also echo Doug's preference of an SSD for the main drive. It is not only fast, but seems to keep its speed over the life of a Windows install for longer than a spinner drive. And the 17" Dell Precisions have an extra bay - so I have a 750 Gb spinner in there for a redundant working backup and other data...



Mmm... new computer... You got me thinking now.



-Nate


Laptop recommendation

I too, have a similarly configured Dell M6500 with 24 gigs of memory, 2 SSD's, Win7 Ultimate.

This has been a flawless workstation - no problems whatsoever - with literally tons of hours.

I'm getting ready to trade in, and the new one will definitely be a Dell.



Only complaint - it's a Brick - as in - a heavy brick.



Anthony R. Benitez
Senior Mechanical Designer - Supervisor
Applied Research Laboratories - The University of Texas at Austin


This email and/or attachments contains export controlled material under applicable laws of the United States. This material should only be handled by US persons (a person that is a permanent legal resident of the The United States or a protected individual) and should not be shared with any non-US person.


Laptop recommendation

Yeah - and the 12.3 amp power supply weighs almost as much as the machine!


Laptop recommendation

Hi Jeff – hope things are going well with you…

The Dell Outlet store is the best way to purchase a system. Over the past several years I’ve purchased a number of laptops for myself and friends, all listed as either “refurbished” or “dented/scratched”. Literally every system was in mint condition and I have had no problems apart from normal use.

But there’s an even better way to get a discount. Monitor this site -

Laptop recommendation

Daniel



Trade in for me means as soon as it's out that I'm buying a new laptop, junior personnel are lined up at my door for the old one.



Sorry, wish I could help. Should have been more specific.



A

Anthony R. Benitez
Senior Mechanical Designer - Supervisor
Applied Research Laboratories - The University of Texas at Austin


This email and/or attachments contains export controlled material under applicable laws of the United States. This material should only be handled by US persons (a person that is a permanent legal resident of the The United States or a protected individual) and should not be shared with any non-US person.


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