Best mobile workstation for Autocad2012 and SketchUp?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION Best mobile workstation for Autocad2012 and SketchUp?

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    I am in the market for a mobile workstation for autocad and sketchup.  Autodesk will not suggest a brand and will only offer advice on minimum requirements. I will be traveling and working in satellite offices for the next year and need a laptop that will replace my desktop. Any thoughts?


    Any laptop outfitted with a Quadro card would be good, I would think, but I have my eye out for the Dell Precision 4500 laptop. I don’t know how it compares to the other mobile workstations, but Techradar reviewed it well.


    I’m counting on my 15″ Macbook Pro to run Autocad 2012 and Sketchup 8. It serves me well even though mine is still the core 2 duo macbook pro.


    I wouldn’t count on it too much, My 15″ macbook pro bogs down severely with SketchUp and I would assume the productivity would be low while using 2012. What graphic card do you use?



    Mine is macbook pro mid 2009 version, with 2 graphic card NVidia GeForce 9400M and 9600M GT attached with energy saver preferences set to higher performance. Well sometimes I also experienced sketchup quit unexpectedly or not responding but it occurs when I open more than 2-3 big skp files (approx. >60megs) while also running Autocad 2012 or Photoshop at the same time.

    Frank Varro

    I’d go PC over Mac (I know at least last years CAD for Mac was apparently fairly badly disabled in some features), and I’m a PC, not a Mac in general…

    For good PC laptops, brand wise look at Toshiba, HP, and Alienware. 

    HP just announced that they have decided NOT to be idiots and sell off the only profitable part of their company, which is good news for people who like Laptops that run well, look decent, aren’t made with cheap parts, and aren’t to pricey.

    Toshiba’s tend to be fairly well built, can take a bit of a normal use beating, but are a bit more pricey for it, and don’t offer the selection that HP does.

    Alienware builds some sick machines, but ones that are likely overkill for what you want.  However, if you think you might branch into more 3D than just SketchUp, or might be a Photoshop power-user, then it might be worth the extra coin.

    There are plenty of other decent brands: higher-end Gateways are good, but their entry level stuff isn’t the best; Dells have tons of selection, but for the money, get HP, its a better machine for not much more cash; Acer is an up-and-comer that seems to be getting a lot of good press, but I’m not super familiar with them.

    If you look around and come up with a few models/brands you are looking at, post it, and you might get a better response as well (so we know what kind of stats and $$$ you are looking at)


    Ijust bought a 4 year old used Dell Precision M4300. So far it has been excellent, fingers crossed. The last laptop I owned was a refurbished Dell Inspiron 8600 that lasted from about 2004-2010 before it basically melted down. My girlfriends 2000 dollar HP ‘gaming laptop’ lasted all of 18 months.


    Dell gets a bad rep for some reason, but I have found that they’re not the prettiest but built like tanks, reliable, and relatively affordable. I would also consider myself a ‘power’ graphics user.


    I paid about $500 shipped for my current machine. Point is, the latest, greatest, and flashiest isn’t always necessary. …Knocking on wood..

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