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CKPinson
12-05-2012, 10:39 PM
Yo, just wanted to get others' perspective on my decision I am making.
I cheaped out last time on my laptop and am giving it to my daughter and am ready to buy a semi-macked out one:

I am leaning somewhere between Dell Precision 4700 (with k1000), Dell 6700 (k3000/k4000), or alienware m14x or m17x. I am family with budget line and XPS Dells but that's the extent of my knowledge with them.

I'll be doing modest 3D work, texture painting and maybe some light movies/ light gaming on trips.

I am looking at Dells because I get a nice discount thru my employer. Thanks in advance.

tswalk
12-06-2012, 02:01 AM
well.. the Alienware is also a Dell product now :)

I've purchased a m11x and m14x for both of my sons, and they're pretty incredible machines... however, the disks failed on both in a about a year.. so consider getting a SSD with it if you do.

not so sure about the m17x, but the 14 is a hefty little bitch (as in weight)... carrying around in a backpack is not a problem, but definitely heavier than i would have imagined it to be... so i would guess the 17 would be a beast to lug around all day, but the display is larger.. so /shrug.

as for airflow,... when enabling the nvidia GPU, they do get hot, so get a lap cooler. i wouldn't consider it an option either, its' a must, even when sitting on a desk.

The XPS are nice, but just feel larger and bulky to me, haven't owned one of those, but i did own one of their consumer models a while ago (inspiron), and the damn thing was total crap (poor hinge design, bad powerblock plugin location and just not durable at all).


anyway, the Aliens will handle whatever you throw at them...

CKPinson
12-06-2012, 03:51 AM
kinda what I figured. Xps is not an option but between alienware and precision. I honestly prefer the 15 inches, I feel like the 17 will be to big, mine b4 my current was 17 and was huge and heavy, it was an hp... Granted tha was more than a fee years ago so I assume they've lightened em up. plus. I plan to carry a med intuos5 in the pack too for travel.

FYI- found out that I can get an Apple on discount too- still leaning towards pro precision Dell laptops but wanted to hear others' opinions on the subject.

cgbeige
12-06-2012, 04:41 PM
The 17" MacBook Pro 2011 with 1920x1200 screen is great I use it all the time with Maya, ZBrush, Mudbox, Nuke, etc. Refurb would be cheaper. Or you could go retina and get a slight boost from Ivy Bridge and newer GPU.

AJ1
12-06-2012, 05:02 PM
The aluminium cases on the Macs are really nice. They look great.

The older 2010 45nm ones had a heating problem when rendering with Mental Ray, but I'm sure the newer hardware runs cooler.

Apparently Apple is going to start making them in the USA now as well.

If you use it a lot over many years, the removable $50 battery in the Dell becomes an advantage. You'll have to send the Mac back to get a new battery for around $220.

-AJ

cgbeige
12-06-2012, 06:50 PM
I render all the time overnight on my 2011 17" MBP and it's never had heating problems. The fan runs audibly.

I don't think they are moving MBP production to the US. It's most likely the Mac Pro 2013 edition that is being done there since it's heavier (less shipping cost) and less in need of tiny hands for assembly.

CKPinson
12-06-2012, 07:52 PM
Good points- My main concern is that I have Windows Software (Maya etc)- I can get them through my employer at a very good rate however I will still be repurchasing them.

Several of my coworkers have them (mac retina) nowadays and have enjoyed them- I have never seen a Precision laptops before.

I do have a buddy who has an Alienware m17x but to be quiet honest I am not crazy about the look of it- just the price and hardware inside, plus the screen is nice- not retina nice but nice enough.

I was intrigued by the Precision with the 100% color gamut screen but have never seen it in person. Tried finding some good reviews on these but there aren't any informative ones.

CKPinson
12-09-2012, 04:09 AM
FYI I ordered the m6700

tswalk
12-09-2012, 04:13 AM
FYI I ordered the m6700

nice, i'ld be interested in hearing how the K3000m works!

CKPinson
12-09-2012, 01:19 PM
Take that back LOL- went with the 3000. To get double discount-

DuttyFoot
12-16-2012, 07:01 PM
FYI I ordered the m6700

good decision, i bought the m6600 earlier this year with the quadro 3000m and it performs really well. here is a review of the m6700 for anyone else who might be interested

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6512/dell-precision-m6700-notebook-review-the-enterprise-split

CKPinson
12-17-2012, 08:18 PM
OK WELL- snafu- between the Dell Rep and my ordering desk they couldn't seem to get on the same page so after issues getting the price right and the hardware right I made a compromise and took the m6600- for some reason they weren't giving us our GOV rate for the newer one. My purchase agent says it pretty typical of them to be screwy with there prices- doesn't matter because it's way below what I was originally thinking.

Quote Details
Item Number Quantity Item Description Unit Price Extended Price 225-0379




1 Dell Mobile Precision M6600 $1,471.50 $1,471.50 317-9246




1 Intel Core i7-2860M Quad Core 2.50GHz 8MB, Dell Mobile Precision M4600/M6600 317-6489




1 2.0GB, DDR3-1333 SDRAM, 1 DIMM, Dell Mobile Precision 331-1249




1 Internal Backlit English Keyboard, Dell Mobile Precision 331-2809




1 Tech Setup Guide, English, Dell Mobile Precision 331-2169




1 Documentation (English/French), Dell Latitude E-Family/Mobile Precision 320-1919




1 NVIDIA Quadro 3000M with 2GB GDDR5, Dell Mobile Precision M6600 342-2364




1 320GB Hard Drive, 7200RPM, Dell Mobile Precision 331-1279




1 No Fingerprint Reader and No Contactless Smartcard Reader, Dell Mobile Precision M6600 320-1925




1 17.3" UltraSharp FHD(1920x1080) Wide View Anti-Glare LED-backlit with Premium Panel Guarantee 318-0364




1 Full HD+ LCD Cover, Dell Mobile Precision M6600 421-8099




1 Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit, No Media, Mobile Precision, English 330-6322




1 Windows 7 Label, Latitude, Vostro and Mobile Precision Notebooks 330-4127




1 210W/240W switchable Slim 3-Pin, AC Adapter Dell Precision M6400 330-1838




1 6-Foot, 3-Pin Power Cord,Mobile Precision, US 421-4370




1 Cyberlink Power DVD 9.5,No Media, Dell OptiPlex, Latitude and Precision Workstation 421-4539




1 Roxio Creator Starter,No Media,Dell OptiPlex, Latitude and Precision Workstation 318-0352




1 Slot Load DVD+/-RW Drive, Dell Mobile Precision 331-1263




1 Slot Load Bezel, Dell Mobile Precision 318-0362




1 No Camera, with single digital microphone, HD/Full HD, Dell Mobile Precision M6600 430-4017




1 Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300, Dell Mobile Precision 331-1866




1 Intel vPro Technology Advanced Management Features, Dell Mobile Precision M6600 342-2435




1 All Hard Drives Non-RAID, Dell Mobile Precision 312-1174




1 9-cell (97Wh) Primary Battery, Dell Mobile Precision 331-2973




1 No Energy Star Enabled, Dell Mobile Precision M4600/M6600 410-0564




1 Adobe Reader X Factory Installation, Multi-Language 939-3512




1 Basic Hardware Service: Next Business Day Onsite Service After Remote Diagnosis 2 Year Extended 953-4850




1 Basic Hardware Service: Next Business Day Onsite Service After Remote Diagnosis Initial Year 935-4628




1 Dell Limited Hardware Warranty Plus Service Extended Year(s) 929-9417




1 Dell Limited Hardware Warranty Plus Service Initial Year 331-1639 1 Intel Core i7 vPro Processor A5750525 1 Your Dell Advantage benefits have been applied and $1 discounted from your primary order. $1.00 $1.00 Subtotal: $1,472.50 Shipping & Handling: $0.00 Tax: $0.00 Environmental Disposal Fee: (http://forums.cgsociety.org/) $0.00 Total Price w/Discounts: $1,472.50

CKPinson
12-17-2012, 08:20 PM
Bummer bout the m6700 but whatever I don't care. Won't be here now until Jan 10th or something since they screwed the process up so much. LOL

DuttyFoot
12-20-2012, 03:08 PM
Your specs look close to what i ordered except for the memory. I ugraded my memory right after i got my system. Not sure why they make changing the mem so hard. On my m90 it was just removing a panel on the bottom of the laptop. For m6600 i had to pull the outer bezel off and remove the keyboard.

CKPinson
12-20-2012, 07:11 PM
Yeah, i noticed that in a thread i was researching about upgrades- Am currently browsing Newegg etc for RAM- GEIL has som RAM for 20% off at Newegg (32GB for $111)

You think 32GB running at 1333mhz or 16GB at 1600mhz? I figured the more the merrier? Especially for large res PS painting etc.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

Other upgrade I am going to make will be the SSD from either Intel or Samsung. Already have a few 750GB 7200 HDDs.

Dude- I had to order this dam thing 4 times LMAO- first 2 my purchase agent screwed up and the 3rd Dell charged me the price of the higher chip so I called them back and told them to keep the price but give me the better chip so they did!!! :)

Large Enterprise rate, No tax and no shipping so I am a happy camper. Hence the reason I ordered this way. The m6700 wouldn't have been worth the price difference for my needs.

DuttyFoot
01-03-2013, 03:20 AM
You think 32GB running at 1333mhz or 16GB at 1600mhz? I figured the more the merrier? Especially for large res PS painting etc.

i bought my memory separately and went with the 16gb at 1600mhz because it was the more affordable option at the time.

CKPinson
01-03-2013, 03:56 PM
following my tracking- will be delivered tomorrow!!! Excited LOL! Was shopping Newegg for Ram and SSD. Ram is dirt cheap now so either will work just not sure if A. 32GB is overkill and if it's bad to max system RAM B. what will performance differences really amount to? If I work in large PSD files which will be more important. I'm leaning towards 32 but even in my desktop I have it maxed out to 24GB (highest it supports) but have honestly been having issues that are either of the ram or image variety, just haven't had time to really troubleshoot.

tswalk
01-03-2013, 05:35 PM
following my tracking- will be delivered tomorrow!!! Excited LOL! Was shopping Newegg for Ram and SSD. Ram is dirt cheap now so either will work just not sure if A. 32GB is overkill and if it's bad to max system RAM B. what will performance differences really amount to? If I work in large PSD files which will be more important. I'm leaning towards 32 but even in my desktop I have it maxed out to 24GB (highest it supports) but have honestly been having issues that are either of the ram or image variety, just haven't had time to really troubleshoot.

i'ld max it out... your right, it's so cheap right now, you can't really go wrong there.

DuttyFoot
01-03-2013, 08:36 PM
when you get your laptop make sure everything works. i am getting the mobo in mine replaced tomorrow because the optimus feature is missing from the bios.

tswalk
01-03-2013, 09:38 PM
when you get your laptop make sure everything works. i am getting the mobo in mine replaced tomorrow because the optimus feature is missing from the bios.

what the... how in the heck did that get past QC!

CKPinson
01-03-2013, 11:54 PM
As in the auto switch between gpu and cpu isn't working? I'll prob disable it so I don't use the cpu most of the time but will need it some on trips- thanks- I do check thru this stuff. I work pretty closely with the Dell Techs that come thru my work so I'm sure I could get a hook up if need be although I'd prefer to have everything working fine.

QC is checking the quality of a few items in a lot. Things get thru-

Well have a large Dell contract- Last Lot we had (120 workstations and many laptops) prob 1/4 were defective in some way (bad CD/DVD drive, Bad GPU, Bad RAM or HDD etc).

We also get Macs just not as many but we have gotten defective mac gear too- less often but also much less equipment.

At any rate- looking forward to it- glad i went with the 17incher!

FYI- Took half the ram out of my PC now have 12GB and haven't BSODed me since (Mem Dump) Hopefully it was just one of those basterds that was choking.

CKPinson
01-04-2013, 07:00 PM
Just got it and I gotta say DAM- It's big LOL!

CKPinson
01-05-2013, 01:40 AM
FYI:
Since the laptop tech has 2 GPU (Quad and CPU) it causes the GPU sniffer for Photoshop to crash thus neutering the GPU performance features such as 3D Mode

This is on Adobe's site:

Are you using more than one video card?
Multiple video adapters can cause problems with GPU-accelerated or enabled features in Photoshop. It's best to connect two (or more) monitors into one video adapter. If you have to use more than one video adapter, make sure that they are the same make and model.
Otherwise, crashes and other problems can occur in Photoshop.

Note: Using more than one video adapter does not enhance Photoshop's performance.

CKPinson
01-05-2013, 02:01 AM
OK, so testing Nvidia's driver vs Dell's.

Also- Optimus was in my bios and enabled- does say can only be enabled in WIN 7 32 and 64 since it's the only OS it works with.

Just an FYI . Are you using WIN 7?

Having a hell of a time getting photoshop to use my Quadro and not recognize the INTEL HD graphics. what happens is it checks your GPU performance then disables features for Intel.

DuttyFoot
01-05-2013, 08:06 AM
what the... how in the heck did that get past QC!

tech replaced my motherboard this morning and still no optimus setting in the bios. it still shows the lcd brightness only. the tech said i should probably call dell and let them know. i told him my co worker has a similar laptop so i dont see why the optimus feature is missing from mine. he said dell would be able to run the tag for each laptop to see what could be different between his and mine.

Also- Optimus was in my bios and enabled- does say can only be enabled in WIN 7 32 and 64 since it's the only OS it works with.


glad to hear that you see the optimus option. I am running windows 7 64bit on mine. I found a link to a site where someone was having issues using optimus and they went with a display link adapter. i think i will try that and see if i can get it to work.

http://www.displaylink.com/shop/adapters

CKPinson
01-05-2013, 06:25 PM
That is really strange that it's missing.

cojam
01-06-2013, 07:31 PM
ck, i heard not so great things about optimus for 3d work.

Take the time and read

https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/485306/geforce-mobile-gpus/maya-2011-opengl-viewport-issues-nvidia-or-optimus-bugs-/

CKPinson
01-07-2013, 02:57 AM
Bout to test Performance with Optimus disabled.
Tested and made no difference- still no 3d Menu tab although the update is installed and yes under the menus I have all the 3d tabs to set to visible. Interesting.
Also- uninstalled and installed vid drivers- question, do you use Nvidia or Dell vid drivers?

Added and removed the GPU-Sniffer for Photoshop- strange I like using the 3d features too.

DuttyFoot
01-08-2013, 04:58 AM
That is really strange that it's missing.

The dell rep i worked with emailed me about the optimus issue and i told him that the motherboard swap changed nothing. he emailed me later and here is his response

After digging further we found the root of the cause. The optimus option will not be available on systems shipped with an rgb type lcd panel which this system was ordered with

to get a third monitor to work i purchased a sabrent display link adapter, i guess i dont have to worry about the optimus issue anymore.

tswalk
01-08-2013, 05:18 AM
The dell rep i worked with emailed me about the optimus issue and i told him that the motherboard swap changed nothing. he emailed me later and here is his response



to get a third monitor to work i purchased a sabrent display link adapter, i guess i dont have to worry about the optimus issue anymore.

so... what other type of LCD panel could you possible get? a monochrome? :argh:

CKPinson
01-08-2013, 12:36 PM
Hmm, that is strange LOL. I guess I got the Technocolor CTV Monitor- perhaps that's why my laptop weighs 40 pounds?

CKPinson
01-09-2013, 02:26 PM
So watched a movie on mine for the heck of it and gotta say that the quality of the screen and playback was excellent.
Playing with Mudbox, Maya and Photoshop everything (Minus the fact that the 3d Menu won't load in Photoshop even after updates) runs great. Scenes with large poly counts seem more fluid than on my desktop albeit it has an older ATI 5850 card.

Looking forward to adding more memory (currently has the stock 2GB) that I ordered (32GB).

Weight is not an issue, yes it is heavy compared to my 15inch HP but it is performance wise a beast thus far. No issues with heat either even with it in my lap using mudbox- also surprised at how silent it runs even at large files.

Dam, the power brick is large, the size of a netbook LOL but a NONISSUE for me- I am still primarily using my desktop because I am in the middle of finishing a few scenes but will be transitioning to the laptop to see about using it more regularly and possibly batch rendering across both the laptop and the desktop because rendering was a bit slower but that my be more of a network issue since I pulled the Maya files across the network. More updates to come.

Haven't tried dongling the Intuos to it yet.

CKPinson
01-13-2013, 04:03 PM
BTW I got it working, PS 3d that is- had to redownload it from Adobe and reinstall it. Works like a charm- better than on my desktop.

tswalk
01-13-2013, 07:54 PM
i'm a bit stunned that its' out performing the 5850 :applause:

wow, that's very cool.

CKPinson
01-14-2013, 01:11 PM
For the most part YES.
I have to get my RAM installed to make sure that some things aren't RAM issues then I'll post a more complete feeling about performance- the desktop launches and runs smoother in general until 3D gets involved in PS. then it sucks and has strange glitchy behavior with the paint.

The laptop runs the 3d Fine but with such low supply of RAM will prob run slower on large files, haven't tested yet because I am waiting for the RAM to be installed before I even bother- just did some painting and what not. Will give it a real go after the RAM

Intuos works great except the cable is annoying so am after all considering getting the wireless one (5) if anyone has any input on that.

the screen OMG- I am so glad that I got the 17 incher! found out that I had to go into bios and enable lit keyboard, awesome and also maxed screen brightness and surprisingly still lasting a good amount of time. Let kids watch Brave after fooling around with MUD and it still had about 10% afterwards. Keep in mind- that was a scene in Mud with large poly and color maps- Thought RAM come into to play more with MUD but didn't seem to have an issue with it.

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