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View Full Version : Best current laptop for lightwave?



jamesthiago
01-25-2006, 11:16 AM
Just wondering if anyone could recommend a laptop pc or mac that would run lightwave reasonably well. I won't be making gargantuan scenes but would like it to be compriable to my amd64 3500+, 2GB ram, & old 128MB asus (6600xt?) video card.

The other trick is finding a good laptop that does not leave me penniless.

Your help is appreciated.

Silkrooster
01-25-2006, 11:16 PM
CPU speed+amount of RAM+size of hard drive=optimum computer. Just try to keep those numbers as large as you can while staying in your budget. One more thing, keep in mind about open GL 2.0 if you plan up getting ver. 9 of lightwave.
Silk

AbnRanger
01-25-2006, 11:35 PM
This one may be your cup of tea....price/performance-wise, I haven't seen any that touch it. A Gateway AMD 64M 4000-1GB-100GB HD-ATIX600 video card:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1741024&CatId=1900

JCG
01-26-2006, 10:00 AM
Alienware does offer laptops with a real Athlon 64, not the Athlon-m, and it can ship with 2 gigs of ram so it might compare more directly to your desktop but, since they only seem to come with 17" screens and Geforce 6800 or above, they are like $1000 more than that Gateway...

Kurtis
01-26-2006, 10:05 AM
I have a Toshiba Satellite M65 S9092 that I picked up at Best Buy. I've been extremely pleased with the performance, and it gives me some upgrade room if I decide I need it. It may not be the "best current laptop", but it's been a good stable system with plenty of power, and it's not a budget-buster.

It's fairly new, and it doesn't look like Toshiba has added it to their site yet, but here's a link to the info from Best Buy's site.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7335289&type=product&id=1122652836448

Just to be clear, this is not an endoresement by NewTek, just comments on a system I own personally.

lots
01-26-2006, 01:21 PM
I'd been looking at the Toshiba Tecra M3 recently. Its small, light, and comes with a Geforce 6600 go. Sounds great if you're on the go..

Speedmonk42
01-26-2006, 03:23 PM
Laptop purchase **** is no fun. They are all basicly the same and come from the same ODM's with different names slapped on them.

That said, with respect to LW consider the following.

Go for a WUXGA screen, or at LEAST a WSXGA screen.

For the former you could go for the alienware or the dell XPS. You can get the XPS with a 7800 NVIDIA which will probably best serve LW9 for future consideration.

for the latter WSXGA the best choice is the alienware with the 6600.

lots
01-26-2006, 03:57 PM
Indeed, for the most part laptops are made by a few ODMs such as Clevo, Compal, Quanta, Uniwill, and Asus

Big Jay
01-26-2006, 05:13 PM
Kurtis, Have you ever sent your laptop in for repair? I have a toshiba M200 and it took them weeks and when I got it back it wasn't working. I went to a local place to fix their fix. They also messed up but after the first time I checked everything to make sure it all worked, it didn't but since I was there the guy was nice enough to fix it right then and there.

Just wanted to know your experience. A co-worker has a IBM laptopand he gets great service with it. They get it back to him in a few days and with an extended warrentee he has even asked them to replace the covers (the shell) and IBM did it no questions asked.

Just thought I would bring up service since that is also important. I've dropped my laptops and my daughter pushed one off the table once. But what sent my M200 to the shop was heat. Doing some heavy modeling in it cooked the video card so make sure you have lots of ventilation when working in 3D

TomT
01-26-2006, 05:41 PM
I like the Apple PowerBook 17"; I using it for straight forwards modeling and some scene blocking. I can't imagine running LW on a small screen. I need the room to have some panels open and fPrime handy.

Riplakish
01-26-2006, 06:32 PM
I have an HP (zv series, I believe). AMD64, gig of RAM, 80GB hard disk, firewire, USB 2.0, Nvidia video. All upgradable, if needed. Got mine < $1200 a bit over a year ago.Plays Doom 3 just ducky :)

Exception
01-27-2006, 08:58 AM
I had been looking for a laptop to de serious lightwave work on. My requirements were as follows:

- 17" WUXGA glossy screen
- fast Nvidia videocard (as ATi is not so good with ligthwave)
- As fast as possible cpu
- 7200 drive, preferably SATA
- Numerical keyboard, as I use it a LOT in modeler
- weight is not so important
- somewhat affordable

After searching I have found the uberlaptop. Don;t get me wrong this is more a moveable desktop, but look at those specs...

7" WUXGA glossy LCD
AMD A64 X2 4200+ (with other A64 X2 and FX 60 options)
nVIDIA GeForce Go 7800 GTX with 256mb of DDR3 or
1024 MB DDR1 400 (2 GB max)
80.0 GB~120 GB 5400rpm/7200rpm HD (SATA and other options)
secondary harddisk possible in raid

awesome!
downside: 12.5lbs. with Battery

These laptops are sold as alienware (expensive) Boxx (super expensive) voodoo (rediculously expensive), but you can get exactly the same laptop from the original importer called Sager. Pctorque sells it as well for a little less with more service. Be aware that almost all Alienware laptops are Sagers and can be had for a whole lot less than alienware sells them at (they are basically just an upmarket sager reseller with fancy colors).
http://www.pctorque.com/sager-9750-gaming-computers.php

Alternatively, if that is too hefty for you, I would recommend this one:
http://www.pctorque.com/sager-5720-gaming-computers.php
its only 7.5lbs, and besides the pentium M processor it is a very powerfull computer to work on (not so much to render)

17" WUXGA glossy LCD
Pentium M 2.0GHZ - 2.26GHZ
nVIDIA GeForce Go 7800 GTX with 256mb of DDR3
1024 MB DDR2 533
etc

These notebooks, and I talk from experience, are extremely well built and very reliable. the manufacturer has been making notebooks for decades. I have an asus laptop too for the light carrying, which is fine and well built but its hard to hold a candle to a sager.
By the way you will see these notebooks rebranded in all kinds of names and forms all over the place as top of the line notebooks from other manufacturers. Treat this knowledge as a little bit of insiders-knowledge : )

good luck!

JCG
01-27-2006, 11:17 AM
It depends. I checked the minimum (usable) configurations on Sager and AW and actually, AW came out $64 cheaper. I think it's because Sager forces you to buy the wireless card and 1 year warranty whereas in AW they're optional... and they also offer a lower res screen as the cheapest option (lowest is wxga instead of wsxga). On the highest specs, Sager becomes cheaper.
Voodoo prices, however, were really crazy! Over $1000 for the red paint job or what??? And they offer the least options, not even the fx-60

a3dmind
01-27-2006, 12:13 PM
Nice thing is that AW gives you the Opteron option.
AW
Opteron 175
17" WideUXGA
2GB Ram
Quadro FX Go 1400
160Gb Raid 0 (2x 80Gb 5400rpm drives)
DVD RW
Wireless internal
$3,695

Sager
Athlon 64 X2 4400+
17" WideUXGA
2GB Ram
Quadro FX Go 1400
160Gb Raid 0 (2x 80Gb 5400rpm drives)
DVD RW
Wireless internal
$3,644

Wierd: At AW Quadro Fx is a $175 cheaper option than the 7800
and at Sager it is exactly the opposite!!! Typo maybe.

I was interested in buing one of these marvels. Personally I would vote for the Alienware one and there is almost no difference in the price (other than the carrying bag that sager is giving for free)

Exception
01-27-2006, 01:52 PM
I think there is some confusion as to what I said. Sager is not the cheapest, pctorque is.


Alienware (with 7800 instead of Quadro):
AMD X2 4400+
2GB
160GB Raid (2x 80gb 5200 sata)
GeForce™ Go 7800 GTX
$3,823.00

Pctorque:
AMD X2 4400+
2GB
160GB Raid (2x 80gb 5200 sata)
Quadro FX Go
$3232.13

The quadro FX is another 165$ on the price with Pctorque so the savings shoulb be even larger.

Be aware that with AW you don't get the bluetooth module, Also the Quadro FX is not available at AW, the service is quite bad, and be careful with the warranty. Also, some resellers require you to buy an OS, pctorque doesn't. Also, their customer support is absolutely outstanding (personal experience), compared to AW and Hypersonic.

There are hundreds of other resellers. I once tried to compare them all, including price, for each country as well, as far as I could find them. The info is now outdated but check it here:
http://www.notebookforums.com/showthread.php?t=73014&highlight=clevo+shootout

Kurtis
01-27-2006, 02:14 PM
Kurtis, Have you ever sent your laptop in for repair? I have a toshiba M200 and it took them weeks and when I got it back it wasn't working. I went to a local place to fix their fix. They also messed up but after the first time I checked everything to make sure it all worked, it didn't but since I was there the guy was nice enough to fix it right then and there.

Just wanted to know your experience. A co-worker has a IBM laptopand he gets great service with it. They get it back to him in a few days and with an extended warrentee he has even asked them to replace the covers (the shell) and IBM did it no questions asked.

Just thought I would bring up service since that is also important. I've dropped my laptops and my daughter pushed one off the table once. But what sent my M200 to the shop was heat. Doing some heavy modeling in it cooked the video card so make sure you have lots of ventilation when working in 3D

Can't say I have any experience with Toshiba repairs. My parents bought two older model Satellites a few years ago with no problems, and I've only had this one a few months. Sorry to hear you had problems, but unfortunately, it's probably like most other things though. Sometimes you come off lucky, sometimes you don't, it just seems like more of a crapshoot with computers because you become much more dependent on them than you do on most other things.

Computers, including this one, are about the only thing where I'll bite on the repair-or-replace warranty from Best Buy, just to be safe.

a3dmind
01-28-2006, 09:36 AM
Exception:

Alienware has the quadro FX Go 1400
Go to Products/Notebooks/MJ-12 series/MJ-12® m7700a
There you can build an opteron and Quadro based laptop

Alienware
Athlon 64 X2 4400+
17" WUXGA
Quadro 1400
2Gb RAM
2x 80HDD
with WIN XP Pro
$3,587

PCTorgue
Athlon 64 X2 4400+
17" WUXGA
Quadro 1400
2Gb RAM
2x 80HDD
WIN XP Pro
$3,520

These systems are exactly the same, only $67 difference

dablan
01-28-2006, 12:56 PM
I can't recommend Sagers - I had one. The screen was unbelievable, and the sucker was fast as ****. However, it was A LOT of money. It was VERY heavy. And it had to go in twice for repairs - once the screen went out. Then the audio. Did I mention how heavy it was?

Last spring I got a 17" Powerbook with 2Gigs of RAM. I love it. Granted, the display isn't as good, but it's light, and doesn't crash and does everything I need it to. I've done numerous jobs on it.

Now, the areas that powerbook is lacking will seemed to be fixed next month with the new Macbook Pro. 67% brighter display, 256MB video card - and an intel processor. Seems like this might be a great choice for us 3D'ers.

I'll let you know what I find out when I get my hands on one.

Exception
01-28-2006, 04:00 PM
dablan: Well, if you buy a heavy notebook, you're going to get a heavy notebook. There's no reason to say that they are bad because you didn't buy the right tool for the job : ) The D900K is a moveable workstation, noone claims it is light or even easily portable. Sager does make a lot of other notebooks, and there are light ones too.
I had a toshiba notebook that died on me 3 times, but I don't think toshiba makes bad notebooks. I just had bad luck.

The macbooks certainly look very good. But never forget that the Pentium M that is in there, dual core or not, is very slow in terms of floating point, and therefore not very suitable for rendering. But if you're not interested in rendering, just working, then it certainly is a good choice.

a3dmind: thanks for informing me about the quadro in the AW. However if I assemble that exact system on the pctorque website, I get a price that is way lower than yours. I think you might be accidentally choosing the 0 dead pixel guarantee with it, which is unfair, since AW's dead pixel policy is worse than that of Pctorque, and there isn't even an option to guarantee 0 dead pixels.
The PCtorque is $3,383.25
I attached a screenshot for you to see.

In addition to that, AW doesn't have a lifetime technical support, there seems to be no bluetooth in the AW, there's no free carrying bag, and their service is not so good as pctorques.

TomT
01-28-2006, 05:52 PM
Last spring I got a 17" Powerbook with 2Gigs of RAM. I love it. Granted, the display isn't as good, but it's light, and doesn't crash and does everything I need it to. I've done numerous jobs on it.



I'm holding out for when Apple gets a 17" version out. ;) I've had a great experience with my 17" Powerbook G4--love it.

a3dmind
01-29-2006, 09:34 AM
Exception:
I accidentally put a second drive on the list $80 worth and did not add the bluetooth module therefore the difference.

:)

Exception
01-29-2006, 08:55 PM
So there goes...
The little plastic alien on the cover of an AW will cost you pretty much a secondary dvd writer : )

mjcowley
03-04-2006, 09:00 AM
Exception:

I am in the market for a laptop, and have been looking at the Sagers. I primarily will be using the laptop for Lightwave, but also want to do texturing in Adobe photoshop CS2 and some production work with Adobe After Effects 7.0 and Premiere Pro 2. I noticed on Adobe's site that their minimum requirement is a Intel P4.

Does anyone know if AMD processors run Adobe products? If they do, I am leaning towards the AMD (rather than Intel) because benchmarking in Lightwave seems to be better from what I have read.

Any thoughts?

lesford
03-04-2006, 10:10 AM
I'm running all the Adobe apps on a dual Opteron. Adobe doesn't care about the processor, just the horsepower.

Les

cresshead
03-05-2006, 06:08 AM
i bought a cheapish laptop last week...an acer aspire 5022wlmi
lightwave seems to be fine on it...so does max 8 service pack 2

it's only around £699 and has amd turion64 chip and widescreen, 1 gig ram and 128mb pci express ati x700 video..and 100gig HD

works fine !:thumbsup:

Red_Oddity
03-06-2006, 02:23 AM
We use a Fijutsu/Siemens, very solid machine (i believe it's the Amilo M3438G)
17" widescreen
Pentium M 2.0Ghz
Geforce 6800 go (with 256MB video memory)
2GB 533MHz memory
160 GB Hardisk RAID (2x80GB HD, really cool)
DVD -+RW-+R
Very slick design (but a bit on the heavy side, somewhere between 4 and 4.5 kilograms)

With extra battery it was about 2100 euros.

beverins
03-06-2006, 03:24 PM
I just bought a Toshiba Tecra M4, I will post here to let y'all know how I get on with it - should arrive soon. :-)

Meaty
03-06-2006, 03:48 PM
I have a Sager, I love it. I got mine from www.Powernotebooks.com.

Here is their pricing on the Rig from above:
Athlon 64 X2 4400+
17" WUXGA
Quadro 1400
2Gb RAM
2x 80HDD
WIN XP Pro

Regular Price: $3345
Cash Discounted Price: $3261

A couple of notes about powernotebooks.com:
-their reviews are PRISTINE (www.resellerratings.com)
-your laptop won't come with all sorts of crap installed on it, it is all on a seperate disk that you can install if you want it
-you can even get it without an OS if you already have one you can use, that of course, will save you about $125 bucks

mjcowley
04-20-2006, 04:03 PM
Dell just announced the new Precision M90 laptop as well as a new XPS M1710 a few weeks ago. Both systems have an option for 4 Gig of 667 MHz ram and a 512 MB Nvidia 7900gtx graphics card.

I just recently purchased a Dell e1705 and here are are list of my complaints:

1. The graphics card (ATI Radeon Mobility x1400)
2. No pcmcia slot (uses expresscard slot instead)
3. All of the garbage software that Dell puts on the machine.

The garbage software I dealt with easily by simply uninstalling everything I didn't want when I got the machine (took about an hour to sort through and do this).

As far as the graphic card goes....I tried to get the Nvidia Mobility 7800 with my e1705, but Dell stopped production of that card in this system indefinitely.

As far as the PCMCIA slot--I need one for the P2 card which is used with the Panasonic AG-HVX200 HD camcorder I am thinking about purchasing. Dell does provide an expresscard interface (which is supposively the wave of the future), but it does not provide for current PCMCIA cards.

Anyway, with Lightwave 9 beta I have run into some crashing issues with certain features. I have the latest graphic card drivers, so I'm not sure if I should attribute this with my graphics card, or the beta. I have seen others with similar crashing issues with the Nvidia-based cards, so I suspect that Newtek still has a lot of bugs to iron out before Lightwave 9's release.

As far as overall performance, I haven't had any issues. Lightwave 9 (excluding the bugs) runs great, as well as Vue 5, and the Adobe Production Studio Premium which just released. The monitor on this is computer stunning. I opted for the 17" widescreen WUXGA+ with truelife, and it is amazing! My friends and family are just awed by the quality of this monitor. At home I attached this computer to a second Viewsonic monitor via the DVI out connector so that I can place my lightwave tools on one monitor, and model and edit scenes on the other. Likewise the dual monitor support is excellent with the new Adobe Studio!

Here are the specs of my system:

Dell Inspiron e1705
Intel Pentium M 2.16 core duo processor with 2 MB cache
2 GB 667 MHz ram
100 GB 7200 RPM hard drive
Windows XP Pro 32
2 batteries (9 cell and 6 cell).
6 USB 2.0 ports
1 IEEE 1394 port
DVI and SVideo out (Dual monitor support)
3 year warranty

As far as price, I paid $3310 out the door (next day shipping) and I received a $100 mail-in-rebate. Since the announcement of the M90 and XPS 1710, the price on this machine has gone down a few hundred.

Cobalt
04-20-2006, 05:39 PM
I've been using the Toshiba Tecra since December and have been very pleased. If you like digital painting and doing freehand texture work for Lightwave, you'll really like the Tablet PC capability. If you don't digital paint, its not worth the extra bucks. The default Nvidia graphics card is really good and responds well in Modeler.

Speedmonk42
04-21-2006, 07:10 AM
What do people think of the two new Dell workstation/laptops.

The M90 and the M65.

http://www1.ca.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/precn_m90?c=ca&cs=CABSDT1&l=en&s=bsd

They have the Quadro graphics cards in them, though people say those are the same as the regular chipsets with a differnt name.