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Very basic laptop for artist

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komalr
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#1

Posted 21 April 2012 - 08:18 PM

I want to buy a laptop as I go around for work. I need a fairly basic and cheap laptop for an artist. I use programs like Photoshop cs5, Maya 2012, Unity etc. I want it to have 15 inch screen can be more or less. I don't want it to be bulky because i'll have to carry it around. I don't want to play games on it. Maybe, i'll install GTA(not IV+) but if it doesn't work, I have a 360.I want the price to be around $500 can be more or i'll love you if it's less. I'm living in India rite now.

I'd be really thankful if anyone could help me find my true laptop.. ^^

Crokey
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#2

Posted 21 April 2012 - 10:12 PM

To satisfy the requirements of at least Maya, you'll need one that can at least Windows 7 Pro (or Win XP Pro), after doing a quick search on Amazon.co.uk using the requirements of Maya 12 as a basis (as Unity and Photoshop CS5 have lower specs), I have some bad news.

You'll have to spend about $600+ to get one that will do that, the cheapest I found was this one, which is about GBP 394.95 ($636.916 USD) or after conversion ₹33,170.59 INR your local currency.

The best thing to do is just to find a list of sites that will ship to India and if they are any good they will have a seach function that allows you to narrow down your search. I used Amazon in that example as the search function allows you to narrow it down a little.

Search Example

I used the following sources to find the specs:

Maya Specs
Unity Specs
Photoshop CS5 Specs

Slamman
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#3

Posted 22 April 2012 - 01:16 AM Edited by Slamman, 22 April 2012 - 01:30 AM.

Truly depends a lot on if you want dedicated graphics, NEW, or an Ultra book may be of interest, though Ultrabooks are not price aligned to the Netbooks of earlier gen.

I would recommend perhaps a Dell Precision M65, the M60 I have is the first generation Centrino, single core, but does allow for nVidia an ATI graphics, up to 128 dedicated v-Ram
The reason I'd recommend it is based on it's VERY low cost, allowing you a WUXGA 15.4 inch display, and it does play older GTA games I can personally attest
The M65 jumps up to Core Duo, but they are a bit bigger, if you want 15 inch though, the M60 offers it in a nice slim package with module bay!

M65 is more like their XPS series, not a bad machine on a budget

http://my-pc.us/?p=154

http://my-pc.us/?p=325
The D800 Latitude, Inspiron 8500, 8600, and this one are all basically the same, it appears
My specs actually match aside from a lower clocked CPU, but still Centrino Mobile. 1.5Ghz, which I plan to upgrade
I got mine on eBay for under $50 USD! That's a killer deal with working components, it came with RAM and display, and Wifi card


Stinky12
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#4

Posted 22 April 2012 - 03:21 AM

You will need a workstation class GPU if you want to run Maya.

Slamman
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#5

Posted 22 April 2012 - 03:58 AM

Precision Dells are originally thought of as Workstation Notebooks, but primarily with CAD in mind, as you move up to multi core though, it won't be as light on demanding tasks

CPUs aren't classed as such, that I am aware of, but he's suggesting look at Workstation hardware stats to find comparable series in a portable, perhaps?
Also to note that the Asus and Acers are quality machines as well, I'd buy Acer again, but they do lack support like many complain about, not too many companies stand behind their products in the required manner

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#6

Posted 22 April 2012 - 01:24 PM

QUOTE (Stinky12 @ Sunday, Apr 22 2012, 03:21)
You will need a workstation class GPU if you want to run Maya.

This isn't true. You can run Maya with an Intel HD 3000 integrated chip (unique to the Sandy Bridge line of CPUs). Efficient rendering will of course require a dedicated GPU, but building on your laptop and rendering on a separate machine is the most cost-effective way to do that (instead of blowing $2k on a laptop that is nowhere the best GPU for the task).

komalr
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#7

Posted 22 April 2012 - 05:44 PM

@ Gareth Croke : I can run maya 2010. I dnt need 2012 or 2013 and I think maya 2010 runs on windows xp? and wow, 600+! is too much for me. Ya, I looked at the laptops. They kinda look boxy. if you what I mean? They just dnt look like the one I wanna have. I want laptop like this.
http://gadgets.boing...book-pro-i1.jpg
Though I think a laptop like this might not be powerful but I can do with a close resemblance to this.

@Slamman : I dnt think i want a dedicated graphics. I'm not hardcore gamer. And its the same with Dell Precision M65, It's too boxy. Maybe i'll buy it if I cant find a the kind of laptop I want. and it does soubnd like a good laptop. I have it bookmarked.

@Stinky12 : The kind of work I do with Maya are like these.. http://www.polycount...ead.php?t=41232 So I wont need a workclas gpu, I think.

and thanks for your Help, I really apprecaite it.. ^^

Slamman
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#8

Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:41 AM Edited by Slamman, 23 April 2012 - 02:49 AM.

The M65 is about the same Dual Core chipset as my Acer Aspire 4710, rather hard to find model, but looking into Acer, you can find a 15 inch, even 15.6 or 15.4 prior. The chipset is 945GM thereabouts, supporting Core2 and Duo CPUs

The ACER may or may not support MXM II or other MXM graphics cards, this allows better gaming, as I plan to get one myself to run GTA IV on, it's better to have that, but it's optional I believe, if your mobo has the slot for the card, the Dells all use the daughterboard graphics, so it WILL need a vid card (M60 and D800/8500/8600 all share the same designed mobo), regardless. The other neat thing is laptop's Docking Station/Port Replicator, one variety allows PCI slots (x3), this will work for the Dell even if it lacks the daughter board, A VERY nice system since I used it to test a less then complete Dell, and it worked great! Also to keep in mind, I'm giving this system a good review because I've owned a few of them myself, and using XP Pro. The older Dell system, single core, do bog down on some heavy tasks, but just balance that with a high speed HDD, the modules allow adoption of SATA drives, that's how I run my Windows 8 on the M60! The other aspect is how thin those are for a 15 inch display.

The PCI is not a great gaming solution, but as I pointed out in my own upgrades for PC desktops, the nVidia 8400GS is available for PCI and it will give the best upgrade path for an older system I think.

For the better cosmetics, the Acer 4710 is my best laptop, and here's what it looks like, hoping the Chinese text is not an issue, you get a good view with specs, it was $600 new, back in 2007

http://www.3qit.com/...q/2/21308.shtml

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#9

Posted 23 April 2012 - 07:35 AM Edited by PrometheusX, 23 April 2012 - 07:47 AM.

The only one that's good and close to the design you want is this one:

HP Pavilion DM1-4050US

user posted image

It has an i3-2357, HD 3000, and 4GB RAM.

Slamman
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#10

Posted 23 April 2012 - 08:04 AM Edited by Slamman, 23 April 2012 - 08:24 AM.

i3 is still rather pricey. For $650 I saw a Dell on QVC earlier this evening, if you're looking for $200 to $300 usd, prices more akin to Netbooks, a used laptop is not a bad idea.

I had picked mine up from a local pawn shop as well as eBay, one I pawned again but it a good business laptop, HP/Compaq 6710b IIRC, there are a few around that gen that support various option differences, most 17 inch laptops might support video card expansion due to their size, as well as space for two HDDs!

Model numbers don't stick in the head too well, but here's an 06 report on some that do support MXM, if you think about getting one you can use for gaming, MXM has to be thought of in terms of the best MXM card that will adapt to it, the max price now on just about all of them is $200 for the II series, some of those ASUS graphic cards can be out of line with an affordable option, as I was looking into this before
http://forum.noteboo...9440-mxm-2.html
It helps if you know of a model available to you and ask about how it might do for our input

Note another in Acer's Gemstone Series, BMW helped them design these casings! COOL factor
http://faq.programme...spire_5920.html

The size screen you want, MXM hopefully already on one you can find, the top vRam is 512 or perhaps 1GB in the best of the best, but this one shows still some room for upgrading, in fact, higher bus speed, but lower clocked CPU, it means you can still find one that has more power and still will mate with that notebook

(The article is actually wrong with the port layouts, a few are there but on reverse side, AC in the right side rear, like mine, modem on one side, Ethernet on the other, I can't really see the Firewire, but it should have a card reader on the right)

komalr
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#11

Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:24 AM

So i'm down to ..

Acer 4710
Dell Precision M65
HP Pavilion DM1-4050US
Acer Aspire 5920

Money is tight kinda because of me selling my desktop to get a laptop and I dont know how much will I get for it. Hope we have a good pawn shop here with one of these laptops.

I don't understand this MXM? Is it a external graphics card or something?

Finn 7 five 11
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#12

Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:28 AM

QUOTE (komalr @ Tuesday, Apr 24 2012, 15:24)
So i'm down to ..

Acer 4710
Dell Precision M65
HP Pavilion DM1-4050US
Acer Aspire 5920

Money is tight kinda because of me selling my desktop to get a laptop and I dont know how much will I get for it. Hope we have a good pawn shop here with one of these laptops.

I don't understand this MXM? Is it a external graphics card or something?

Do not get the m65, if it was $600 in 07 it will be a hunk of junk now.

Stinky12
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#13

Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:30 AM

MXM is a module for discrete mobile graphics. Some laptops will feature a MXM module so users can get a better mobile GPU and switch out the original one if needed.
The problem is, there are a few types of MXM slots, each type may not be compatible with each other like type 2 MXM module will not work with a Type 1 MXM slot.
Another is thing is, they are extremely hard to find.

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#14

Posted 24 April 2012 - 07:46 AM Edited by Slamman, 24 April 2012 - 07:54 AM.

QUOTE (finn4life @ Tuesday, Apr 24 2012, 04:28)
QUOTE (komalr @ Tuesday, Apr 24 2012, 15:24)
So i'm down to ..

Acer 4710
Dell Precision M65
HP Pavilion DM1-4050US
Acer Aspire 5920

Money is tight kinda because of me selling my desktop to get a laptop and I dont know how much will I get for it. Hope we have a good pawn shop here with one of these laptops.

I don't understand this MXM? Is it a external graphics card or something?

Do not get the m65, if it was $600 in 07 it will be a hunk of junk now.

The M65 is Dell's Precision based on the same chipset, or one higher then the 945, as I stated, it came out in the Core Duo era, but it DOES SUPPORT C2D, and for a laptop, dual core will do you just fine for some time, The Acer Aspire 4710 I use cost $600 new, but it was a damn good deal then, and found for $200 now, perhaps, still a great deal, better with MXM of course.

MXM is the standard PCI Express ported graphics card, it comes in several size variants and memory configs, the problem is it's the most expensive accessory to buy, if you need one! If you can get a laptop with the card already there, you're likely to save some cash on the deal!

The M65 gives you the larger screen, so it's a matter of larger screen associated costs, the design, if that's important, feature set, and expandability.

What Stinky says is rather confusing, from my research, a card that will fit the MXM slot of the laptop you have will or should work, so if the card is smaller in a larger platform, it will still work, if it's bigger, it physically won't fit.
The ones I listed are basically Type II so it's ATI and nVidia in that range.

I can see how getting a big 15 to 17 inch laptop with a slim case can be a challenge, since thin laptops are often the modern vogue and they cost, example being Macbook Air and Ultrabooks

If there's any doubt, notice this review:
http://www.notebookr...asp?newsID=3148

The 945GM I have can upgrade from it's current Yonah to the Merom T7600 that is worth getting, since it's the best 667 bus CPU made for this chipset. Alone it's typically 100 to 200 for that as well.

komalr
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#15

Posted 24 April 2012 - 12:34 PM

Wow, M65 is from O7!

This MXM stuffs is pretty confusing. And its hard to get this kind of stuffs here. So, I should get it? Its on my list cause it can run my applications ie Maya. And can't a portable graphics card(intended for work) do the same thing? If I buy a notebook. It wont be a problem, right ?

Edit: Just saw the price for Hp tx1000. Never mind... >.<

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#16

Posted 25 April 2012 - 12:48 PM Edited by Slamman, 25 April 2012 - 12:51 PM.

I believe that Dell uses some other proprietary graphics, the D800 for example, there are three specific memory levels, but more variety in ATI and nVidia, I was suggesting having the support on-board means you CAN game with that same laptop if you so chose.
It will cost you about the same if you can score it in one go, without an upgrade, but that's where you might have to wait for the deal, rather then get one ASAP

M65 is probably no later then 2008 because the 945 chipset was upgraded as are all Intel chipsets, over a year is a long time to keep using the same, but luckily the Core2 is still in widespread use and I'm also still using them.... some might say, no surprise there! haha

The Precision series are all supposed to be Workstation laptops for 3D work, so they should cut the mustard ... I'm likely to try an M65 myself, if I don't leap frog to another one. I was using the HP/Compaq 6710b, but that has no special graphics, all it does is have an extra graphics add on card inside the case, you can't attach one externally except via a Docking station, Port Replicator made for additional PCI cards, sadly, no AGP/PCI Express for those

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#17

Posted 25 April 2012 - 04:46 PM

You can get yourself a external GPU, but for that you have to connect to a regular monitor, which defeats the purpose of mobility.

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#18

Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:50 PM Edited by Slamman, 25 April 2012 - 06:39 PM.

A more simplified Port Replicator, and I might add, replicators do add features not found on the laptop, with an extension PCB, the motherboard or mainboard with electrical components inside the casings
There was another build your own external PCIe support, but Stinky's find looks much more refined
MXM sites are found online for more info, if the card mates to the slot provided, it should work, if you were to go from one type to another, but it's not advised unless you know for sure! haha

http://www.mxm-sig.org/

A search for more depth on the Dell video came across this, the guy had the same D800 setup I started with, a Geforce Go with 64MB video, my M60 has 128MB which is required for San Andreas first edition, it still requires lower setting to get up to speed, and not a match to the screen's characteristics, which also slows down animation

http://en.community....5.aspx#18292135

A guide for Linux on the same P-M65
http://www.linlap.co...l precision m65

The first Dell Quadro card I bought to use in the D800 was 128MB video as well, but it had lines between discernible text, unlike this problem here:
http://claytoncavaness.com/?cat=3

Just make sure to avoid a known faulty one like this, it's looking like nVidia was forced to confront this with the Class Action suit

M90 seems perhaps a better upgrade, but again, as long as you get a deal and it covers what you need, it may serve you, This auction seems to show the GPU is in fact part of the mainboard, not available to upgrade, but it also seems there might be a few variations in terms of the motherboard that would work or be available;

http://www.ebay.com/...=item4ab13b87af

MXM is adopted in a number of Acer and HP notebooks, so it's still something to be aware of in researching.

I checked for ATI associated with that Dell, and unlike the previous gen, it's seemingly only nVidia optioned, odd how that works

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#19

Posted 28 April 2012 - 04:36 AM

You mention you're in India right now, are you planning on coming to the U.S. soon? If not, then why shop with dollar prices?

What you want to be looking for is something with a i3, 4 GB of RAM, and a good manufacturer.

I would recommend something like this: Asus 15.6" laptop

That should serve you well.

That gets us where you want to go as far as hardware but what about Windows Professional? Do you work -for- someone as an artist? If not, then do you actually need to run Maya or could you just make do with Photoshop?

I'm dying at the fact that you call the Asus laptop too 'boxy' but the Dell M65 is quite literally a rectangular prism. Also, looks come before performance and quality when it comes to computers for you? mercie_blink.gif

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#20

Posted 28 April 2012 - 08:09 AM Edited by Slamman, 28 April 2012 - 04:14 PM.

If you want a brand new machine, and can afford that premium. As said before, he wants basic that can handle the tasks, and at best, handle some 3D gaming which is what MXM affords. My Acer is an inport, not even the serial matches the USA database, so it's expected you can find one across the pond

The Dells are boxy to a degree, I've come across a number of laptops that are, the Asus G73 is no lightweight spring-chicken, it's larger then that Dell I would imagine, but also costs $1000 USD.

I was suggesting that having an earlier Core2Duo machine from any number that support Intel at least, that would allow some cost saving, whether USD or not.

For a lark, I mentioned my path of laptop involvement, I started out spending $25 on two of the Toshiba Sats like this!;

I still never got to liking the non-touchpad approach that Toshiba and IBM Thinkpad fans seem to appreciate, Dell includes both in many cases

I recently bought a CF or Compact Flash to IDE pin, and I see similar shown in this video;

And I'd suggest if you find one near you, see if someone's got a YouTube video on it and you can ask about it in their comments box

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#21

Posted 29 April 2012 - 09:11 PM

QUOTE (Stinky12 @ Wednesday, Apr 25 2012, 12:46)
You can get yourself a external GPU, but for that you have to connect to a regular monitor, which defeats the purpose of mobility.

Wow... I've always thought that external GPU was impossible.

But how exactly does the fan get air to cool the GPU?

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#22

Posted 29 April 2012 - 09:14 PM

In the case of that one in the link, if you look at one of the pictures at the bottom, you'll see that the case has a mesh on the side for ventilation.

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#23

Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:31 AM

QUOTE (YankeesPwnMets @ Sunday, Apr 29 2012, 21:11)
QUOTE (Stinky12 @ Wednesday, Apr 25 2012, 12:46)
You can get yourself a external GPU, but for that you have to connect to a regular monitor, which defeats the purpose of mobility.

Wow... I've always thought that external GPU was impossible.

But how exactly does the fan get air to cool the GPU?

You can power things up externally, not impossible

komalr
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#24

Posted 02 May 2012 - 03:31 PM

I just saw a friends "HP mini" and i'm in love with it. It's like really good and small. He got it for like 160 $, second-hand. I looked if Unity runs on it and ya it does and so does maya but not so heavy stuffs. But I dont really work with huge polys. Money is tight right now with job not paying me enough so i've taken a freelance job. Hope I get enough money for it.

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#25

Posted 03 May 2012 - 02:40 AM

You're giving up on large for sake of a 15.4 or 15.6 screen and looking for something Netbook school related? I wouldn't recommend the Acer netbooks or Asus eePC, since it's too out-dated, the trend now is Ultrabooks, but even that has hit a snag, so try and get one of the last generations, the Atom at 1.6Ghz is only a step above the original Pentium4 in clock speed, which was 1.4, same as the Tualatin Celerons and P3s

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#26

Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:05 PM

I'm really into compact.... >.< I like my laptop to be small and very portable. So HP mini is bad? I'll truy and look out for atom processor. Though shouldn't it be like really expensive?




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