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Best PC laptop to run Autocad

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Jan 30, 2012, 3:22pm   #1
cakegirl's Avatar
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cakegirl
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I've had MacBooks for 7 years now, but need to get a PC to run Autocad for design school.
I want something very light and portable, and not too expensive. I will only be using it for Autocad. I will probably get a mouse and inexpensive moniter to make working at home easier as well.

These are the requirements to run the program:
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 1.8 GB free disk space for installation
  • 1,280 x 1,024 true color video display adapter 128 MB or greater, Microsoft® Direct3D®-capable workstation-class graphics card
  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer® 7.0 or later
Any suggestions?
Jan 30, 2012, 3:48pm   #2
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Elliespurse
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^Hi, it sounds like it's the 3D cad Autodesk Inventor? The older 2D drawing Autocad LT could run on a small computer. Dell has some solutions http://www.dell.com/us/highered/p/precision-m4600/fs but you could perhaps look at some lower priced too?
Jan 30, 2012, 4:09pm   #3
cakegirl's Avatar
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cakegirl
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It is just the basic free student download which appears to be the 3D version. I will only be working in 2D at the beginning.
http://students.autodesk.com/?nd=download_center

I've heard horror stories about Autocad for MAC. Has anyone used it?
I've am looking at Dell but would love to find a cheap alternative.
Jan 30, 2012, 4:26pm   #4
Charles's Avatar
Charles
Sucks at budgeting
If you're going to use 3D, then make sure you get as much RAM as you can and get the best video card. Side note, RAM is super easy to install, so it might be cheaper to get a PC with 2gb, then buy a stick of 4gb and install yourself. Verify how much RAM your PC will support.
Something in this group would be the minimum:
http://www.dell.com/us/soho/p/vostro...~0~9641698&p=1
Jan 30, 2012, 5:59pm   #5
cakegirl's Avatar
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cakegirl
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Thanks!
Any opinions on the Toshiba Portege Ultrabook? I am hoping for something thin and light since I will be hauling it around.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Toshiba+...&skuId=3868228
Jan 30, 2012, 9:21pm   #6
Charles's Avatar
Charles
Sucks at budgeting
The issue you're going to have with ultrabooks is they need to save space by using a smaller battery and integrated components (ie a graphics chip will be on the motherboard instead of a dedicated card like in the laptops I linked), so that means either a slower CPU to save battery, or a better CPU with crappy battery life (this case is the former) and not very good graphics.
Honestly, with Autocad, you're going to have to choose between solid performance and a heavier laptop or marginal performance in a light laptop.
Jan 31, 2012, 4:17pm   #7
cakegirl's Avatar
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cakegirl
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Thanks so much, that is helpful and so much more clear and concise than the info i get when I look online!
Originally Posted by Charles
The issue you're going to have with ultrabooks is they need to save space by using a smaller battery and integrated components (ie a graphics chip will be on the motherboard instead of a dedicated card like in the laptops I linked), so that means either a slower CPU to save battery, or a better CPU with crappy battery life (this case is the former) and not very good graphics.
Honestly, with Autocad, you're going to have to choose between solid performance and a heavier laptop or marginal performance in a light laptop.
Feb 1, 2012, 2:34am   #8
oxyoxy136's Avatar
oxyoxy136
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My heavy, old Toshiba Satellite runs AutoCAD pretty well, as well as Revit and ArcGIS.
Feb 21, 2012, 10:32pm   #9
M
Miss Kris
Account Deactivated
I know my brother got an Alienware computer for autocad and his other engineering programs
Feb 25, 2012, 12:02am   #10
AngelaMM's Avatar
AngelaMM
Member
For widely available non-mac computers Lenovos are quality. The ThinkStations are best but for a laptop the ThinkPad ones are quite capable of handling heavy programs. If I had to buy a windows computer for some reason it would be a Lenovo (great specs).

By the way I would highly recommend you go above the minimum specs (they are really a bare minimum).

Cheaper but still powerful (500): http://shop.lenovo.com/us/laptops/th...ge-series/e420

This ones a powerhouse: http://shop.lenovo.com/us/laptops/thinkpad/w-series
Mar 25, 2012, 8:19am   #11
s
sh4d0w
Member
For AutoCAD use, just make sure you invest in a laptop with a very descent hardware specification such as:

Intel Core i7
4GB minimum RAM

Most importantly, something that has a workstation graphics class in it such as nVidia Quadro or ATI FireGL. Although GeForce or Radeon would work and its fine for games but Quadro will run circles on gaming graphic cards as far as 3D rendering and AutoCAD is concerned.
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