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Old 10-11-2012, 10:22 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Location: St. Catharines Ontario Canada
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If you're needing a laptop for Solidworks the W series is where it's at. I was actually looking at picking up a W series at some point maybe in a few years when my M14x is getting long in the tooth. With that said as towerofcards.19 pointed out you could easily build a desktop for CAD for probably less than 1/2 the cost of your laptop. Just looked at Canada Computers, I realize you're in the US so your price will probably be even less than this, but a PNY Quadro 2000 with 1GB of GDDR5 is $450 add in your other components and you could easily build a dedicated CAD box for $1000 or so. With that said when you're looking to build a desktop CAD box a great way to save money and I did this personally myself is to buy a $250-300 gaming graphics card and do a BIOS mod. That's all most CAD cards are anyways they are the gaming cards with a different BIOS and special drivers that are focused on accuracy of rendering and image quality rather than sheer all out speed. Just food for thought

With that said I know you said it NEEDS to be a laptop so the W series go for it. Only things I'd change are with CAD being intensive bump your ram to 8GB (even if you buy it later yourself) I'd also suggest if you have the option getting a second hard drive added for mass storage. keep your working models and Solidworks on the SSD and then everything you've finished or aren't working on transfer to the mass storage drive. My last laptop (Dell E6510) had a 128GB SSD and it gets eaten up fast with Windows and a few applications a secondary drive really is almost a necessity really

Hope that helped a bit in your decision making process

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