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1. I really like Lenovo Thinkpads because of the overall quality, especially the keyboard. That's probably not a factor for you.
2. Seriously consider buying from the Dell or Lenovo outlets. Unlike HP (or Apple), both often have large discounts compared to new, you still get a warranty (IIRC, 1 year for Lenovo, same as new for Dell). Dell also often has discount coupons (I've seen 20% and more) for their outlet; Techbargains.com is a good place to check for Dell and Lenovo coupons. Dell's outlet normally seems to have a better selection of laptop workstations than Lenovo.
3. For reviews, I like notebookreview.com, Newegg, and Amazon.
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I noticed your post some time ago as I do check this forum for compat issues, patch updates, etc.. No ifo though! I'm new to ZW for about a year and a half now, bought when was VX. I'm an IT Professional of 22years, in the Industrial Automation side, mainly. I run 2010 Prem SP1. I do make parts and own a small shop - for about 10 years - second business.
Randy Biebel one of the main sales reps uses an HP EliteBook 8540P this is current tech. He says it gives him no issues. That said, it would probably be prudent, to have what the very people that market ZW3D have. I'm not an advocate for any particular brand. Or even mobile systems for Engineering, but understand the need is legitimate.
Base specs are:
Win7 32bit ((64bit would be a bad idea for ZW3D) OPINION - not fact based))
4gig ram (supported on 32bit only)
2.67 Core I7 Intel (multi core) Good power here.
Nvidia NVS5100M (pretty strong video) Nice.
Hope this helps.
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Thanks for the reply -- I've had VX/ZW3D for a bit, and have monitored the forum, but didn't see a question I could answer until now!
I'm really just learning MCAD on the side; my job is industrial automation (programming + electrical), but of course I deal with mechanical stuff all the time -- and it's fun to learn more.
I don't feel too comfortable with specific ZW3D recommendations; I think it's probably worth paying for a 17" screen, at least 3G memory, reasonably fast CPU (say dual core >2.4GHz; I don't think quad cores are typically worth it) and a dedicated graphics card (definitely not Intel integrated graphics; Quadro or FireGL MCAD cards are nice, but not necessary). A SSD probably isn't worth it. Paying for a business laptop (HP Elitebook, Dell Latitude/Precision, Lenovo Thinkpad) is definitely worth it; I've seen far too many problems with consumer grade laptops, and very few with business-grade models.
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Key issues are hard drive access speed.
I have a Dual core that E8400 & WinXP that runs it faster than a later quad core AMD with Win7.
A local Consumer organisation just published some laptop reliability info from a reader survey and HP was at the bottom! e.g not good. The fruit computer was tops, but others where close.
So I would suggest reliability might be of more consequence than pure performance.
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It's important to note if it's consumer or business laptop reliability; in my experience, business laptops (EliteBook, Latitude, Thinkpad, etc) are much higher quality than consumer laptops.
If disk speed is important, than it's worth spending extra for a brand name (Intel, Micron/Crucial, Samsung) sold state disk. Just remember that SSD's fail about as often as HDDs, and it's harder to get your data back from a broken SSD, so in either case, backup often.
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I must say the Mike Lynch at ZW3D has been super. If every company that i deal with had people like Mike the business world would be a better place. Mike will answer questions and if he does not know he finds someone who does. I have been using VX since 1999 when the NC was next to impossible I guess what I had was pre beta. I went to Florida and gave my input for the start of the mold design part. I met Mike and Bob and both are great guys. While I am on the stump...... I want to thank Mike Burns for getting me to try VX in the first place. I just hope that the people at ZW appreciate the great team in Florida.
Allegheny CAD Solutions, inc.