Buying a new laptop (confusion), what to buy? mac/pc help!

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  01 January 2018
Buying a new laptop (confusion), what to buy? mac/pc help!

hey guys,

so my laptop is getting old and Im buying a new one, but Im completely confused about what to buy...

Im a visual artist and I work in video of different forms. 
So I make things like videos but also projection mappings and video installations and live cinema with multiple outputs etc.
Most of my material is made using cinema 4d and after effects, and my output is often processed in software like modul8 and madmapper or Maxmsp, touch designer etc.

Im currently a mac user and have been for quite a time,
(I now have a macbook pro 2015, 15' 2,5 ghz, 16gb ram,  nvidia gforce 750 2gb) 
so Im used to the mac system, and I do like it, so the natural thing for me would be to get a mac,
but to get a new mac that is better than what I have I would have to pay at least 4000 euros, and still not having something that great, which also -as it is mac- is kindof hard to upgrade, but I could get a pc with a lot better specs for 2-3000 euros, so Im thinking about making the switch to pc.
But, its a whole new world, so what I am basically asking is what to get? 

I do a lot of rendering and work at home, but also a lot of things on location an "on the way", so desktop is not an option.

Im currently thinking in the lines of getting a razerblade,
and then they have this razor core, which seams like a neat option but Im not really sure what good it would do me as all the examples and reviews I find are all based on gaming, and since I do not do any gaming, this seems irrelevant somehow.

so if anyone has a good idea I would be very grateful to hear it.

Also I would be very interested in hearing ppls experience of switching from mac to pc.


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  01 January 2018
€1999 gets you a kitted out XPS 9560, with space to upgrade the ram and ssd yourself if you need more. The website isnt great, but keep in mind you can phone them to customise a spec if needed.

The razer blade is nice, only downsides are that the ram is soldered on so youre limited to 16gb, its 20% more expensive, and the tech support will often involve mailing in your machine and waiting a week or two to get it back.
Matthew O'Neill
  01 January 2018
Find a webshop that sells Clevo laptops and configure it to your liking/budget.

HP/Dell/MSI/ASUS/etc... all restrict their laptop-designs in a way it makes it pretty hard for the user to change anything (adding memory or replacing the cpu for example). Also, they put allot of restrictions in the bios etc... +they generally are much more expensive

Clevo's are designed in such way it's easy for the user to adjust/replace most hardware and you can get a much better/more powerfull laptop for the same price as a Dell for example.
Also, because of that most Clevo resellers offer you the possibility to choose every component you want in your laptop, which is awesome!

I see you're from Spain.
You can get a Clevo here, for example:
(They are based in Portugal though... I'm sure you'll find a reseller you like in Spain and closer to where you live after you google a bit)

2-3000 euros will get you a total beast! You can get a Clevo with a desktop i7 8700K (6 cores, 12 threads) and a 1080GTX for that...
Just keep in mind its still a laptop so dont go too crazy on the CPU
GPU's tend not to overheat so much.
If you get a i7 8700k you can always under-clock it a bit in case it runs too hot.

Last edited by ACiD80 : 01 January 2018 at 02:02 AM.
  01 January 2018
I've done clevo before, they have the specs but they're pretty grim as far as a laptop experience goes. The one you linked is triple the weight of a regular laptop and triple the thickness. If they're anything like the ones of the past, it will also be made from flimsy creaking plastic, it will be loud as hell and the power supply will be heavier by itself than many other laptops.

Upgradable and configurable, sure, but that also means 2-3 empty 2.5" drive bays, space taken up with 5 audio outputs for 7.1. Plus the screen will be a shitty VA panel where everything hosts and inverts as soon as you move your head from the centre.

Basically, go find a bag you'd want to put the laptop in and then throw in 15 pounds of weight to get an idea of what you'll be carrying around.
Matthew O'Neill
  01 January 2018
Pretty much agree with everything imashination said. Also, regarding what ACID80 said about Dell/et all restricting their laptop design - I run MACs and PCs and on the PC side have used Dell exclusively since about 2011. I've never really had a problem changing anything. Admittedly, I've never attempted to swap out a CPU, but by the time I wanted/needed to do that, I'm typically just buying a new machine anyway. The most common upgrades you would want to do on a laptop tend to be fairly simple.

A word of warning though -

If you get anything less than a Precision series laptop from Dell, it will come with a ton of bloatware. Malware trials, Antivirus trials, a whole bunch of Windows nonsense you don't really need, etc. It's not a big deal to get rid of all that once you have the machine in your hands, but it is something to be aware of.  I typically phone in my order (if you call instead of using the website, you can get configurations that aren't available via their site), and a few times have gotten lucky by telling the rep that I did not want any of the "extras" and free trials, etc. A few reps have pulled that off. The others said they would make that happen and didn't.

We also just got a few MSI machines in-house and they seem to be running really solid, although we've only had them for a few months.

As far as a new MAC - don't. I mentioned this in another thread already, but in a batch of 80 brand new MacBook pros, 30 had significant issues. Two actually caught fire. They've been so bad we're phasing them out and moving everyone over to PCs. They don't appear to be what they used to be. Plus, if you haven't really looked that much at PCs before, you will be pleasantly surprised at the range of hardware that is easily/readily available on a PC. Especially when it comes to video cards.


On the topic of switching to a PC from OS - If you do a Google search there's a surprising amount of free tools you add to Windows to make it more closely resemble the OS experience. Working on both, I feel like each has its ups and downs. Windows can be a cluttered mess at times, but I really appreciate how easy it is to do things like assign CPU priority and to change some of the general settings to better fit my workflow. OS is nice because it's a little "calmer" visually, but it's a little harder to interact with at a deeper level. My two cents.

Last edited by Crotalis : 01 January 2018 at 01:58 PM.
  01 January 2018
I was in almost the same situation you're in now about a year ago. I ended up getting a maxed out Lenovo Legion laptop. Works great but I'd probably go for the Razer Blade if I had to choose again; Lenovos are good value but I didn't realize how much I'd miss the unibody shell and how important a good screen is. Only things that turn me off the blade are the 16GB of ram and the potential to overheat. If you're doing live projection mapping etc. then you're basically looking for the same specs gamers are. 

Before I got the Lenovo I was using Macs. I didn't enjoy the switch to Windows 10, I found it surprisingly buggy and pretty obnoxious (forced update restarts, preloaded with garbage apps, annoying and irrelevant alerts) and it generally feels like a huge piece of spyware. The upside is that at the time I bought this laptop Apple didn't even make a laptop of comparable spec - the best option at the time was significantly slower all round and more than 4x the price. I still use my macs fairly regularly for PS/Id/Ai and writing but I'll never buy a new MBP again, especially since they have started soldering in their batteries. 

One thing I've been thinking about doing is setting up a desktop in my apartment and controlling it remotely using a laptop when I'm traveling, getting it to bake sims and do renderings. Could be something to consider. 
  01 January 2018
Quote: (forced update restarts, preloaded with garbage apps, annoying and irrelevant alerts

Definitely one of the most annoying parts of switching over. All of this can be turned off (even the "forced" updates), but you do need to spend a little time researching. 

Quote: One thing I've been thinking about doing is setting up a desktop in my apartment and controlling it remotely using a laptop when I'm traveling, getting it to bake sims and do renderings. Could be something to consider. 

That's actually a great idea. 
  01 January 2018
I use this 17" MSI 4K Ultra-HD laptop for my work and it is fantastic:


Complete test report/review:

Thin and lightweight metal chassis, full 17" 4K UHD panel, very good screen sharpness/brightness/contrast/color quality, Nvidia 1060 GPU with 6GB RAM.

Best laptop I've ever bought, and it is only about half the cost of a good Apple laptop.

ALWAYS check the review of any laptop on NOTEBOOKCHECK.COM first - often the screen quality is very bad, even in expensive laptops.

Last edited by skeebertus : 01 January 2018 at 05:39 PM.
  01 January 2018
I'll chime in to add:
Mac = End of support
PC = End of Life.

For 3d this is important to mention as well. A PC can likely run any version on Windows (or Linux) available.
Even if its old the worst thing that can happen is it will be 'slow' compared to the latest and greatest.
But you can use it till you fry the hardware!

But my wife has always run Macs. And she has *never* broken a single one!
It simply gets to the point (like only 3-5 years) where her Mac will no longer be supported by the latest Mac OS.
And the software she needs to run no longer installs on her out-of-date OS.
So she has no choice but to upgrade her laptop if she needs to teach with the latest Software.
And the old one is too thin and elegant to make a good door stop. 
I always thought this was the shittiest thing about Apple. I would not depend on it professionally for this reason alone.
Its fine for phones though....

Last edited by circusboy : 01 January 2018 at 06:00 PM.
  01 January 2018
Originally Posted by imashination: I've done clevo before, they have the specs but they're pretty grim as far as a laptop experience goes. The one you linked is triple the weight of a regular laptop and triple the thickness. If they're anything like the ones of the past, it will also be made from flimsy creaking plastic, it will be loud as hell and the power supply will be heavier by itself than many other laptops.

I have pretty good experience with them and dont want anything else anymore...
Sure that one is heavy and a bit larger with louder cooling... its basicly desktop cpu and gpu with SLI (2 gpu's) support in a laptop... what would you expect...
If you want a slimmer and less heavy one just pick another model with a laptop cpu/gpu.

Last edited by ACiD80 : 01 January 2018 at 07:21 PM.
  02 February 2018
Thanks a lot for the input everyone! it really helped me out.

and @ACiD80: I never heard about clevo before but I will have a look, cant go to clunky though as I carry my laptop with me pretty much everywhere.

@circusboy: yea I know, its terrible. the first mac I had I bought with max cpu and minimum ram/hd, as I could just get a a quick/big hd and 16gb of ram for quite cheap from somewhere else.
The second had soldered ram so I had to pay apple a ridiculous amount of money for my 16 gb, with little ability to upload, but I could still replace the SSD, and when that one got some water damage, which damaged the airport (only) I was told by apple that repairs would be 2600 euros, which was then 200 euros less than what I payed for it in the first place (I mean seriously, wtf?), I sold that one to a friend who fixed it up by ordering a new airport on aliexpress for 50 euros which worked fine, but as the damage happened on a job and wasnt my fault, the client bought me a new one which was the same except more parts where soldered.
now it seems everything is soldered, not great and very expensive, so yea @Crotalis : no, no way, im getting off that train.

@skeebertus: I hear bad things about MSI from a lot of ppl, but then if you say you need only 6 gb of ram, we are perhaps not in the same target group, but dell perhaps could be something as I hear its supposed to be good, @imashination do you have an XPS 9560?

I might not wait for replies to this as I decided to buy something tomorrow, but like I said, thanks for all the input.
atm Im leaning between:
xps 9560 (as dell seem to have great service, and it seems to be a cool machine)
razerblade (still, as everyone I talked to who has them seem to think that they are great, and I like their look + they have a 1060 vs xps 1050 plus they have this razercore thing which seems like a pretty neat way to have the laptop be desktoppy at home, and laptoppy away from home)
(sorry for late reply, im not 'visible until moderated'')
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