View Full Version : Highend laptop for 3d apps like Zbrush, 3ds Max and Maya

10-19-2010, 01:54 PM

I am soon going to start college, and will specialize in 3d modeling. So I will be spending a good chunk of my time modeling in apps like Zbrush and Max/Maya. Not going to spend much time in animation but mostly sculpting and modeling/rendering. I have been scouring the net for reviews on laptops that are great for artists like us but couldn't find any substantial info and most benchmarks are of games >_<

Has anyone used such 'desktop replacements' for sculpting in Zbrush, etc and if so then any sort of feedback would greatly assist me in deciding. I will also buy an extra LED monitor so that I can reap the benefit of a larger screen when working at home. I have my eyes set on this monster:

I intend to get 8GB RAM and the notebook comes with the GTX 460M dedicated card, no idea how well Core i7 CPUs scales in the mobile/laptop department as opposed to it's desktop counterpart. But as long as I dont get stutters and slow downs I am happy.

Thanks in advance ^_^

10-19-2010, 02:29 PM
I wouldn't trust that thing any further than I could throw it. A ThinkPad W510 would be a much better option if the budget allows.

10-19-2010, 03:06 PM
Phew, that's a lot of dough for a laptop.

10-19-2010, 03:26 PM
Yeah, but it can fly! Dont need your car anymore, so lots of savings there...

10-19-2010, 04:03 PM
Phew, that's a lot of dough for a laptop.

You get what you pay for with the W510. Over four hours of battery life when actually using it, it won't overheat under load like most notebooks, awesome support, up to 16GB of memory, etc. :thumbsup:

10-19-2010, 07:37 PM
You get what you pay for with the W510. Over four hours of battery life when actually using it, it won't overheat under load like most notebooks, awesome support, up to 16GB of memory, etc. :thumbsup:

I just checked out the Thinkpad W510 specs, the great thing about this rig is its using a 9 cell battery hence a longer battery life. 4 hours is indeed a good amount of time hmm. The graphics department is the only place where it seemed a little weak. The Quadro FX 880M card that comes with the Thinkpad is a 128bit vga card using DDR3 modules, where as the GTX460M is 192bit using GDDR5. The greater the memory width, the better the performance of 3d apps/games. The Quadro has 48 unified pipelines where as the GTX460M boasts a total of 192. Now gotta find out which gpu can get the job done without any hickups. But all in all the '4 working hours' seems tempting!

Read reviews of both the laptops in several places and both dont have any heat issues and both supports up to 16GB of system memory. Thanks for the heads up on the Thinkpad, I totally forgot about the Quadro series cards...now gotta do a little research on notebooks that have Quadro cards in them.

10-21-2010, 02:25 AM
I would go with Asus. 17", better graphics.

10-21-2010, 02:55 AM
get a tower instead you will outperform all other laptops.

I know what your feeling you would like the luxuriant portability of the laptop.
We all been there before.
Coming from a recent grad with a major in game art design.
go with the tower you be better off in the long run with it.

10-21-2010, 11:04 AM
the w510 is indeed a very fine (and powerful - hence mobile workstation) notebook. but even with a 9-cell battery you won't get any more than 2 maybe 2,5 hours from that battery - i'm using a 6-cell pack and it gives me for about 1 hour (sometimes 1,5) freedom to find another power-outlet!

that said, i would always buy this notebook again - like olson said, best support, super-quality and a fast horse for your cg-adventures! (just keep in mind, mobile means being mobile in looking for a starbucks or anything with a nice poweroutlet to recharge!)



10-21-2010, 08:51 PM
I just got the Toshiba Qosmio X505 Q890 which has the Core i7 740 (+ GTS 360M) and and just to give you an idea it renders in 3DS Max at almost exactly half the speed of my 8-Core Dual Xeon desktop, which I think is pretty impressive.
I haven't tried Mudbox, but 3DS Max is super smooth in the viewports.

10-22-2010, 09:05 AM
Thanks folks, appreciate all your inputs!

@rawshark - Dude, that's a pretty impressive feat! Let us know how Mudbox performs in that rig, any chance you will be testing out Zbrush on it?

@chemkid - Thanks for the tip bro. Do you get 1 hour out of your 6-cell battery on full load or on normal usage?

@art371 - I hear ya man, I did a preliminary research on a pc build with specs almost identical to the Asus rig mentioned in this thread. The desktop is still cheaper ofcourse (by $250). The vga card (GTX 470) on the desktop is ofcourse heaps better than its notebook version (GTX 460M).

10-23-2010, 05:58 PM
@K1LLSW1TCH - i''ll get a little over 1 hour with settings for max performance (100% brightness, no powersaving features enabled on a i7-820QM(1.73GHz)) from my 6-cell battery. maybe i could get a little more if i enable the power-saving settings... i'd rather get a netbook if i just want to check my mail...

hope that helps. oh, and please check the w-series section of lenovo's thinkpad-forum.



10-27-2010, 10:37 AM
@chemkid - Thanks man, really appreciate it! ^_^

10-29-2010, 12:36 PM

$749 for an AMD quad core with a 17" screen.

10-29-2010, 07:41 PM
That is really a balanced cheap laptop. Usually the cheap ones have one way or another a silly choice. This one it is just the 5400rpm but we see that even in better ones and itself can be easily replaced if we wish.

CGTalk Moderation
10-29-2010, 07:41 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.