Advice on Ultrabook

Another one for today friends,

I’m shopping around for an inexpensive Windows ultrabook (small laptop) to keep as a backup in case my main computer needs service. Wondering if there is a list of video cards I should pursue or avoid so that I don’t inadvertently buy something that Rhino will have trouble with?

Thank you.


It’s linked to the System Requirements page on the Support page, itself on the Rhino Web site.
Basically avoid a system with only the embedded Intel graphics chip. I doubt you’ll find an “ultrabook” with anything else.

I too have been lurking the net in search of a light yet powerful enough laptop. A true “Ultrabook” simply won’t cut when it comes to rendering and will be pretty slow otherwise. I have found three builders of truly lightweight, but powerful laptops; MSI, OriginPC and Maingear. All use the same chassis, a 4.3 lb. chassis with up to Nvidia 970m, 16 GB of ram, quad core Haswell cpu, SSD and mechanical HD and all can option up to a super high res screen or down to HD screen. These are compelling as they are so light for that which they offer. Cheers, Rob Ladd

Thank you, Robb. I appreciate the leads.

Here is my next laptop: The Dell Precision M3800. Its got killer workstation specs in a super thin and light form factor. One of its coolest features may cause problems; the screen is called QHD+ with a resolution of 3200x1800. Sounds fantastic, but I have read reports that Rhino icons are un-readable and un-clickable. Any updates from McNeel staff?


Windows 8.1 Pro - 64bit
Intel i7 Quad Core 2.30GHz
LCD : QHD+ (3200x1800)
Video : Nvidia Quadro K1100M, w/ 2GB GDDR5 (can drive a 2nd monitor, up to 4K)
RAM : 16GB (2x8GB) 1600MHz DDR3
C Drive for OS : 256GB Solid State Drive Full Mini Card
D Drive for DATA : 1 TB SSD (adding my own later)

The high resolution display will be addressed in V6. They did not exist when we did the basic display work for V5.
That said, it’s not too bad if you use the Display applet in Control panel to set icons and text to 150%-200%, and set Rhino’s icon size to Large in Options - Toolbars - Sizes and Styles.

Thanks, John. Good to know!

I’ve only heard about problem with the 4K displays … and this is approx 3K @ 3200 rez.

I too have been looking at powerful but light and thin laptops. There are a couple of models out there by MSI, CyberpowerPC, and so forth. All appear to use the same chassis while CyberpowerPC offers far more flexablity in terms of hard drives and the like. These are 15.6", weigh in at 4.4 lbs, include ultra high res screens or high def of your choosing and for CyberpowerPC includes an Intel I7 4870 quad core processer and a new Nvidia 970m GPU that runs when needed for heavy lifting. Hard drives vary from small ssd’s to large ssd’s or large mechanical drives. I’m drooling but also waiting for the next gen of Intel processors to be found in the same form factor. It’s so easy to find the greener grass, is it not? Cheers, Rob

I ordered the Dell M3800 laptop and it will be here around November 17.

TIP : Since they typically gouge you for upgrades, I ordered it with a single 256 SSD AND an empty second slot. I got a pretty good deal on a Samsung 1 TB SSD over at Amazon, so this will be a very speedy dual-drive system.

I now always buy computers with two drives. The first C drive is ‘boot’ for windows and all apps get installed there.The second D drive is for ALL data. If the computer ever fails, I can pull out the D drive, plug it in to another computer and keep working. Otherwise, it just runs better when Windows has its own drive.