What’s best Hardware/Computer for a landscape architect?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums TECHNOLOGY What’s best Hardware/Computer for a landscape architect?

Viewing 13 posts - 16 through 28 (of 28 total)
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    Lee Attinger

    FYI, Macs run AutoCad, 3ds Max, etc. extremely well using Bootcamp. In fact, Windows Vista ran smoother on my Macbook pro in bootcamp than it did on my desktop PC. Thankfully I don’t have to use Vista anymore but all this talk about problems running windows programs with Macs is nonsense. Running parallels is a different story but i’m not getting into that.

    Cemal Onur ALPAY

    Lots of people ask about what I’ll use with pc or mac. I am planing to use photoshop, autocad, 3ds max, sketch up, GIS and some of web designing softwares. I know that PC is able to be modificated. But I don’t have an office to work. So that I need a computer which is portable to be able work everywhere. Also I don’t have to work harder outdoor, so that I can buy a perfect PC for hard works(rendering, photoshop…), and I can buy a chaper netbook for office softwares and outdoor works(usually CAD). Or I’ll buy only MAC to be able use indoor and outdoor 🙂

    Frank Varro

    You could also buy a PC laptop; look at Asus, Gateway, HP or Alienware. For about as much as you would drop on a macbook pro you can get a KILLER mobile gaming rig (AKA graphics powerhouse!)

    At Best Buy you can spend $2499 for a 17″ Macbook Pro with Intel® Core™2 Duo mobile processor 2.8GHz; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM; DL DVD±RW/CD-RW drive; 500GB hard drive;

    Or you can spend $2,299 for a 17″ Alienware with Intel® Core™2 Quad processor Q9000; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM; DL DVD±RW/CD-RW drive; 500GB hard drive AND a 1 Gig NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M Graphics card. Look like a no-brainer to me… but I’m a PC.

    Jason T. Radice

    Of course, you can do even better than this online. Newegg, ZipZoomFly, Buy.com, Amazon, Tiger Direct, CompuCenter. Even Dell or HP directly, they often have killer sales. I got my HP Pavilion at Office Depot, the good sales are in August for back to school. I got a custom built loaded laptop for little more than a base model at Best Buy. Check Staples and Office Max, too.

    Also, check Wal-Mart or any wholesale club…these are Best Buy’s biggest competitor.


    I think the OP is in Turkey so most of those places probably don’t apply, but the principle is the same…ie. look online.

    Leo Gonzales

    Core i7 desktop! I think the rest of the posts pretty much cover the others.

    Also, invest in a good sized (and quality) monitor. That extra inch is always helpful when rendering site plans. And to help lessen the burden on your PC as it grows older, don’t upgrade your software unless you really need to.

    Hope this helps.

    Tim Zhang
    Cemal Onur ALPAY

    Thank you for all suggestions.. I have decided to buy a desktop and read all your suggestions about desktops systems. I really don’t want to pay lots money for yesterday’s technology! I have already got a samsung lcd monitor 21”. Now I have some more questions.

    What is better for graphics design systems?
    1. Amd or intel chips?
    2. Nvidia or ATI graphics cards?

    Frank Varro

    I would go Intel simply for the fact that they have the i7 chips. As far as ATI vs. InVidia, I haven’t researched that lately. I would head over to a site that does benchmarking for gaming and see how the different processors and graphics cards stack up. It always is better to look model by model than brand by brand in general, as there are always crazy outliers on the good and bad sides.

    I have never been to this site before now, and therefor have no idea how reliable they are, but they have up to date benchmarking results for a TON of high end and mid-range graphics cards. The one issue I see right away is that they use test data from users, so a lot might depend on the setup being used, and if things were being overclocked. But it should be a good place to start. If I see any other good looking sites I’ll let you know.

    Frank Varro

    Ok, This story just popped up today. Its for gaming CPUs, but same general stuff applies for graphic needs. http://gizmodo.com/5513561/the-fastest-gaming-processors-for-any-budget

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    You have to match your equipment to your business plan. Part of that plan should consider gross sales, existing skill sets, investment in education and/or human resources, overhead, deliverables in keeping with the market you are working within,…. This is going to be different for everyone and every situation.

    Also, you can’t treat it as a one time investment. You will have to update your hardware and software no matter how potent you buy it today. File formats change every few years and, although your capabilities may not need to grow, your compatibility (ability to use files by others) will need to be maintained.

    I have a part time LA office on top of working in a CE office. I use Acad Lt on an off the shelf laptop (with a large desk top monitor on my desk). I know from experience that I have to replace every three years. I also have learned that my most efficient (sales/time/expense) output is a b&w line drawing to make money. I’ve learned that you need to run a business for profit and that you have to get the return on your investments or they are just an expense. If I spent $500-$1,000 more on a computer or $1,500 more on software, it will not impact my sales and gross revenue, but will only hit my bottom line both in those initial expenses (repeated every three years or so) and in time spent to learn new software and/or time to use the additional bells and whistles that the software offers as the benefit to using it. …. that is one extreme. You could not begin to compete using this equipment if you are working a different market.

    Steve Mercer

    I am not so sure LandFx is relevant anymore. And Autocad? .If ever there was an expensive country club to pay dues to, they would be at the top of my list. Their Upgrade policy’s amount to what some would consider piracy! Find a flavor of Intellicad. You will need the Pro version of SketchUP… SketchUP Pro ves. 8. This will allow your to import DXF files into SketchUP. The free version does not support import and export of DXF files. You will find that a lot of 3D graphics programs and rendering engines use the Open GL language. The ATI FirePro™ V9800 supports the latest version of Open GL and is top dawg on the PC graphics card market. They are not cheap but the more complex your models the longer the rendering process takes If your time is valuable the purchase price is well worth the investment.


    Steve Mercer

    I like Macs I really do as a matter of fact I made a good living selling Macs back in the day when Steve Jobs first ran Apple. I am sure that the programs run just fine using Mac’s PC emulator. The problem is that your are running an OS inside another OS. And the overhead cost you pay for that is performance degredation. The larger the 3d model or the more detailed the rendering the more the performace degredation will become apparent. You need to be running Windows 7 64bit and your computer needs its memory maxed out and since most of the 3D programs use the Open GL graphics Language for ultimate performace that means running on a High end graphics card that supports Open GL 4.0. The ATI FireGL™ 3D Graphics Accelerator is the king of the hill right now.


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