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Hardware specific issues - computers, graphics cards, mice/input devices, system benchmarks, protection key issues, etc.

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#260672
I am looking at buying a new laptop and good ARCHICAD performance is important to me. Besides AC use, it will be used for some basic Photoshop and Chrome / internet browsing.Has to be a Windows machine, not a MAC.

Looking at GRAPHISOFT's recommended graphic cards for v20, it seems to suggest that anything short of NVIDIA Quadro or AMD FirePro is not recommended?

http://helpcenter.graphisoft.com/techno ... _FPS_ratio

Most my projects are single house, small commercial or small developments. Most will be around the 100,000-150,000 polygon count. This seems to fall well within the Small Projects category under the GS testing results.

What is everyone's opinion on this Graphics Card matter? Any laptop with a professional graphics card will set me back $3000-4000 (Australian dollars). I would like to think that I get away a decent $1500-2000 laptop that will last 5-8 years. Note that I already have a desktop at my office for everyday drafting. Laptop is intended for working from home when needed.

Any opinions or suggestions appreciated. Thanks.
#260677
I read the results and I don't reach the same conclusion. I think the NVIDIA GeForce cards are pretty much holding their own. I don't think I've EVER owned a "professional" graphics card, and I have never had any issues. (I mostly do small projects, like you.) But you definitely don't want a laptop that just has an onboard graphics card. 5-8 years may be a little optimistic, though.
#260687
The reason they recommend the pro cards is that those drivers are tried and tested (and certified to work) with ArchiCAD. That's not to say the others won't work.

As said by Richard, definitely get something with a dedicated GPU.

That said, you'll be hard pressed to find any of the 'workstation' type laptops that even feature the entry point mobile quadro's, I would say, at that pricepoint. Though a bit below that $3000 should be possible. I find www.notebookcheck.net to be of great help in finding a machine at a certain pricepoint that delivers on your expectations.

This might be a good starting point: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Top-10-Wor ... 537.0.html

I share Richard's opinion that 5-8 years of going with one machine will not be working out well. Especially since you aren't going to be going in full with a top notch machine.
#260698
You definitely need a dedicated graphics card with at least 4Gb of RAM.
Also needed is a decent quad core processor (i7), 16Gb RAM and a 512Gb SSD. Don't skimp on the display either as it is this you'll be looking at whenever your on the road, min screen resolution 1920x1080.

One I found that appears quite reasonable is: http://m.dell.com/mt/www.dell.com/au/p/?un_jtt_v_d=1
but is above $A2500.

If you really want 5+ years out of any computer you'll need to spend some serious $ now, probably over $A6500, for a substandard performance in 3 years. A computer can be written off via tax system in Australia every three years, so 'free' computer every 3 years.
#260721
Scott I don't know if I totally agree with the necessity of 4GB of video ram. I have been running AC on my MacBook Pro which is a late 2011 model with 1 GB of ram on a dedicated video card and for the most part it works very well. Obviously it would be nice to have more now that it is available but at the time this was the max.

I agree with you that you get the best you can and that way you can usually get 5+ years out of it. Mine is coming up on that next month. I am now waiting to see what the new MacBook Pro is going to look like.

Cheers,
#260743
I find that 4 years is reasonable for a higher end machine. If you are willing to try MAC, they seem to hold value (at least in NL). I've been able to trade in my 4 year old high end iMACs for about 40% of the new value (I guess they're collectible or something), I've heard the same about the high-end MACbook PRO here. This eases the purchase of the next one a bit.

SSD I can recommend as well, if you can afford it. RAM upgrades tend to get cheaper over the years, but 16 GB is about the minimum you want if you plan to do rendering with Cinerender. You can most likely upgrade it to 32GB or more a bit later, when RAM prices drop a bit (they tend to do, in my experience), which makes the computer viable a bit longer.

I do also have a 'craptop' that I take with me on travels, it was very cheap (about AUS$700 I think), had only 4GB RAM. I found Windows 8 basically unusable and had to upgrade it to 8GB (the max it could take) to even work with it. That makes me feel that 16 GB really is the minimum if you want to run any serious program on it.

And yes, get an 1920x1080 or close to that screen to fit ArchiCAD in there properly, unless you are running it to seconddary screen most of the time.
#260746
Thanks for everyone's replies. This is my secondary computer so while some may think 5-8 years isn't realistic, I have had my pavilion dv7 for similar period and it's only now becoming unusable.

I ended up getting a bit of a bargain on a brand new, discontinued Venom Blackbook 15 within my price range. No professional card but pretty high specs. Hope it serves me well.
#260747
jakubc7 wrote:Thanks for everyone's replies. This is my secondary computer so while some may think 5-8 years isn't realistic, I have had my pavilion dv7 for similar period and it's only now becoming unusable.

I ended up getting a bit of a bargain on a brand new, discontinued Venom Blackbook 15 within my price range. No professional card but pretty high specs. Hope it serves me well.
Glad you found something you like :)
#260748
Gerald Hoffman wrote:Scott I don't know if I totally agree with the necessity of 4GB of video ram. I have been running AC on my MacBook Pro which is a late 2011 model with 1 GB of ram on a dedicated video card and for the most part ......

Gerald,
I agree regarding vram if you're not driving large models with lots of textures and complicated shadows in 3D window which is where vram becomes important.
To me, in ARCHICAD, it feels that my 3 year old MacBook Pro performs as well as my new PC laptop with much improved specs, in fact when running on battery the mac eclipses the new PC in both performance and battery life, Mac OS appears to deal with energy management, especially with graphics switching, much better than windows 10. I can get through most of the day using ARCHICAD on my Mac, but only get a few hours on my PC.

Scott