Laptop for fiancee (low budget CAD/Photoshop)

pjkeyzer

n00b
Joined
Aug 29, 2008
Messages
7
Hello,

My fiancee and I are graduating in a few weeks, and the laptops we leased from school need to be turned in. My fiancee has no other computer, so she needs to buy her own. It will be used for Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketchup, MS Office, and general internet use. If she can get licenses for AutoCad and Revit, she'll be using those also.

Budget is maybe $500~600. I know it's very low for what she needs, but she's coming from a Lenovo T60 (Core Duo T2300 1.66MHz, 2GB DDR2 RAM, 80GB 5400rpm HD, and an Intel GMA950, running Windows XP). Her current laptop has a 15.4in screen at 1680x1050, and she wants to stay close to that. She pretty much likes everything about her current laptop except that some of the projects she renders in Revit take 6+ hours to render, and she can't really run anything else on the computer (browser/chat) if she is using Photoshop or Illustrator or any other large programs.

Any ideas for a budget friendly laptop that could handle Adobe CS4 and some CAD work?

-Pete
 

pgaster

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
May 17, 2008
Messages
1,408
Not that I'm any expert, but I would check the Hot Deals forum and the Dell Outlet. Look for something with an Intel Core i5 cpu. The cpu will be the most important thing for her. Those new cpus come with better integrated graphic than in the past and would probably work just fine for her.

AutoCAD moved to DirectX recently vs. OpenGL in the past. For decent OpenGL performance you needed a Quadro or FireGL card, but since the switch just about anything will be OK there. And like I said, I think the CPU is most important for her. Rendering is a cpu intensive task, not graphically intensive.
 

pgaster

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
May 17, 2008
Messages
1,408
Here is one from the Dell Outlet that isn't too bad. Not sure if she wants something as large as 17" though:

Inspiron 17 - 1764
(System Identifier: Z2TBZDCE)

Inspiron 17 - 1764 Laptop
Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium
System Price : $669.00

Operating System
Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium
Memory
4 GB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz (2 DIMMs)
Hard Disk Drive
250 GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
Video
Intel HD Graphics
System Color
Obsidian Black
Certified Refurbished
Certified Refurbished
Hardware Upgrade
125V Power Cord
65W AC Adapter
Bezel
Processor
Processor: Intel Core i5-430M Processor (2.26GHz, 4Threads, turbo boost up to 2.53Ghz,3M cache)
Software Upgrade
Windows Live
Microsoft Works 9.0
64BIT Operating System DVD
Web Camera
Integrated 1.3M Pixel Webcam
Laptop Screen
17.3 inch HD+ WLED
Base
Inspiron 17 - 1764 Laptop
Media Bay
8X DVD +/- RW w/dbl layer write capability
 

Vengance_01

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 23, 2001
Messages
6,775
I would say a used T61. Then checkout notebook forums foer a used T9800 or T9600. These Core 2 run at 2.66 and 2.8X speeds. This should cut render times down while not breaking the bank.
 
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