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Decision made on new CAD Laptop...I think (Spoiler: HP)


Hey All,

So following on from this thread: Thinking of not doing Dell again for biz machine (CAD/3D)

I’m going to bite the bullet and get this:

The reasons for this:

  • Within the next 6 months, I’m going to be working from home, so it certainly won’t be a computer I use at home!
  • I really wanted 6-core, but see about, my future tower will have more than enough cores (for rendering and poss video related things)
  • The price is much better compared with Dell. Following on from that, Dell have a base model with 4GB of RAM?!? eh? HP are supplying at no extra cost, an NVME 1TB HDD.
  • The support may not be as good as Dell, but I’ll just see how I get on - and because it’s mine, it will be taken care of.
  • The graphics card is pretty good, though I’m going with AMD this time around (I did want a machine with either a P620 or P2000).

So there we go, any comments welcome before I press the checkout button tomorrow! I have to do this as my GF has yet again asked to use my laptop. I bought home a very old emergency laptop (Dell 9400, dual core, no HT’ing…old), but she said it was too slow. I had to agree with her, at least I tried to recycle!




I was in architectural viz for a long time (not doing it anymore though) and the last time I checked, quadro didn’t have advantage over GTX and not even the big companies are using quadros anymore. Viewport performance was much better at the same price point on GTX. I don’t know about AMD much as everyone I know switched to nvidia due to requirement for CUDA, and since everyone is moving toward GPU rendering, I would not consider AMD, but your needs might be different. Most stuff I do today is either on RTX laptop, or I use an ultralight laptop and just remote-desktop into my work machine which is usually more than enough once it is time for rendering

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All very fair points.

I’ve used my current laptop as a on-site machine for 4 years now (often no internet connection), doing CAD and a little 3D (but no rendering). It has an AMD GPU and does more than well enough for me (perhaps you were using larger models and involved in larger projects?). I normally work on building sites, where dust and vibration are a real problem.

I have been tempted to get a gaming laptop, but if it failed because of overuse some how, the buck stops with me. I don’t get paid or I lose work, I have no issue with paying a little more to ensure I have the right gear, or the same for less performance. The last workstation laptop I had, had a problem and I had an engineer sitting next to me the very next morning and he dealt with it there and then. You just don’t get that with home use machines and I don’t have time to diagnose the problem or nip down to a local computer shop.

Your comment about GPU rendering though, so is it cost effective to just throw a load of GPU’s at a machine and not worry too much about cores? Honest question as I’ve got to build a PC within the next year for rendering and I was going the Threadripper route (Probably using V-Ray).




Most gaming laptops just look ridiculous so I would not appear on a site using those, and as you said these are less durable. I have not checked that one in detail, but I know HP Spectre is made of aluminium and is pretty durable.
Threadripper is the CPU I’d go with for CAD and 3D, but definitely nVidia GPU for rendering. The main reason I left the field was I got burned out waiting for renders, but back then we were using vray with CPU rendering, even though we used workstations with 48-56 logical cores. Now vray has GPU engine and it is a huge time saver, but look also at Octane and Redshift. There is a huge cost saving. At the same price you get 4x the performance compared to CPU, and if you want to double the performance, you just add another GPU, if your PSU is specd for it at the time of purchase.

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That was another concern as well.

I didn’t know that the HP was made of ali’, that’s good to know.

-------- COULD BE A SEPARATE THREAD --------
That’s very interesting info about CPU vs GPU rendering…umm, this might become another thread! So are there any cost comparisons around? I did look into it a little and it seems that you could get a 4-6 core machine and a wizzy GPU like an RTX2070 and may be that would be as quick as a threadripper with a cheap ‘just for display’ GPU? Something that conflicts, and I’m more than happy to be corrected, but it seems that to fit more GPU’s and get their best performance, you need more PCI lanes. Those extra PCI lanes only seem to come with high core count CPU’s, so doesn’t that end up with having to get a high core machine either way?

I wonder if the best approach might be get a modest threadripper (2950X or similar) and then if more performance is needed later, get a good GPU and set V-Ray to use both? I wonder if many other programmes have the ability to use both GPU & CPU?..though I have no idea what other programmes I might use in the future!

Do you think that more cores gives more flexibility for usage, perhaps GPU power is only good for certain programmes?

Thanks for your input though @milos , very much appreciated! :+1:








Some blender file render and just ranking laptop times would be interesting resource to have

Last I attempted to save the image with metadata failed but I suspect you have to now toggle it on before hitting render

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You write a review, I give you badge.



You need enough lanes, but to use GPU for rendering 4x was enough (I think the info was from Redshift, so I am not sure if it applies to all rendering engines. At work I ordered bunch of 2950x with 1300W PSU so I know these will support future expansion to 3 GPUs. Vray uses hybrid rendering, but Octane and Redshift are GPU only and still a bit faster, so I don’t know how much the CPU contributes in Vray. So if you are going with CPU rendering only then you can have just video output from motherboard and no dedicated GPU (like all CPU render farm nodes), and the other way around, you can have any CPU with enough lanes and multiple GPUs for rendering. The last time I checked (May), 2070 had the best performance per dollar for GPU rendering

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No problem, I’ll try to do that. I might demo some times and you can check to see if it’s of use :+1:



Ooooh, badges are pretty :grinning::+1:

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That does make sense, thank you for taking the time to explain :+1:

With the future threadripper, I’m hoping to use it as a fall back workstation, I might even try to VM it, not sure yet - it’s all about time these days, gotta earn that money and pay the bills before I can play!

Going back to the original post, I thought I’d go to Dell’s website and kit out one of their machines to the spec of the HP - it was around 40% more in cost.

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