View Full Version : Close to buying a laptop
05-31-2005, 02:12 AM
Hello to all!
I have been thinking about buying my own first laptop.
My uses for it are primarily to run Dreamweaver, LightWave, Photoshop, Fireworks, etc. I understand laptops are not entirely color correct, nor have the display fidelity for final graphic design work, but I am getting one so I can do some grunt work on the go.
My intent for LightWave on this laptop is mainly for modeling.
I have searched these forums and the forums at NewTek for info on using lightWave on laptops and I understand that it's very doable, however, I have seen blurbs that LightWave's OpenGL MAY not work at all on ATI Radeon graphics systems in laptops.
The Laptop I have my heart set on (for the moment) is:
IBM ThinkPad T42 2378FVU, Pentium M 1.7GHz(735).
It uses: ATI Mobility RADEON 9600 Dedicated 64MB
My question is:
Does anyone think there is any reason that LightWave 8.3 would not run or display properly at all on this laptop?
Thanks in advance for any response!
05-31-2005, 05:39 PM
Well there are a number of things to consider when purchasing a PC for graphics work really. LW, and most if not all graphics applications rely heavily on RAM and processor speed to chug through all the number crunching, and to hold all your textures. So, normail advice is to go for as much RAM, and the fastest processor you can as a basic starting point.
The next thing to consider is screen real estate. Get as big a screen as you can so your eyes aren't hurting after five minutes use. OK, so you can drop your OGL card into hi-res modes, but be prepared to get out your magnifying glass. You'll also need as much space as you can for all the windows you'll inevitably want open while using LW - there's stacks of them you can leave open if you want lol.
I used to run LW on a desktop with a Radeon pro 9700 and never had any problems, so ATI worked fine for me there, although I'm afraid I have no experience with them on laptops. I'm currently running an Alienware 51m 7700 which comes with the NVidia 6600GO, and all's well here.
You might like to think about storage space, but this isn't quite such an issue as long as you dont intend to go down the video editing/visual effects route where you need to render large movie files/image sequences. Besides, archiving media is pretty cheap now-a-days that this isn't so much of a problem really.
Have you got enough USB ports? Many apps now use dongles, including LW.
There's a stack of things to think about, but over the last 8 or so years I've used LW I've never once had a problem with its OGL display (although its cripplingly slow compared to some other 3D apps when wanting RT playback speed) no matter what card I've used.
Others might disagree, but I'd look at a card that has more memory on it. 64MB is fairly old-hat now for graphics cards, and I'd suggest looking for something that has 128MB minimum - but that's just me.
Many laptops dont have a number keypad, and this can be really annoying when typing in your translation values etc, so see if you can get one that has a full keyboard.
I'm sure there are many other things to think about, like expandability, future proofing (if such a thing exists), weight, battery-life etc etc, but maybe someone else could fill you in on all those considerations. Oh, and get insurance for accidental damage and theft lol.
ps - by the way, I do know we render off large image sequences and movie files (somethimes) but I still think that's more important for video editing and the like than it is for 3D work when on a budget.
05-31-2005, 06:24 PM
My powerbook has this same card, though I got the 128MB version. No real complaints here. I mostly use it for development, surfing, and (usually) modelling in Lightwave. I don't model things with heavy geometry though. Have been happy with particle visualization, textures, etc.
05-31-2005, 07:47 PM
BUY THIS with 1 gig RAm, 100gig, 256mg graphics card, 17" screen, DVDcDR. I am very happy with mine.
05-31-2005, 07:51 PM
A chance would have it, I'm currently selling my Alienware laptop on Ebay. I can attest to Lightwave running great on it. Its a big, heavy, desktop-replacement. Not as light as the Thinkpad you're looking at. Anyhow, if you're interested, look for item number 6773649222 on Ebay.
05-31-2005, 08:10 PM
Maybe concider a Tablet PC version.
I just guess it'd be nice to draw sketches on one of those, you can lie on the sofa etc. drawing. Wouldn't it be nice? :)
Be careful using ATI, have had some problems with ATI cards and LW. (display errors)
That was a couple of years ago though, might be fixed now.
05-31-2005, 08:10 PM
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