Need a laptop. Any recommendations?

Guys, I need a laptop for grad school. I mainly use rhino+vray. It needs to be portable and in a reasonable form factor.

School offers a discount on Dell Percision 5520. It has a Nvidia Quadro M1200 GPU. I did a bit research, and some people say it’s a overpriced garbage gpu.

I also checked out MSI WS63 and Razer Blade. Both of them offer reasonable specs, yet I do not favor the flashy gaming laptop looks.

Should I consider the new macbook pro?

(I do have a 6700k+1070 desktop)

I have the 2016 Razer Blade Pro 17", which is a bit of a beast to carry around but for me the screen real estate is worth it.

For portability I’d definitely recommend the 14" Blade, and just slap a sticker over the logo if it bothers you that much.

I’m very impressed with the quality of the Razer hardware, it’s every bit as good as the Macbook Pro it replaced if not better.

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Thanks for the reply!

What about fan noise? I heard people say the razer fans are really loud when under loads.

It does get a bit loud when the fans spin up, but it doesn’t happen very often or for very long - just in certain situations for a few seconds at a time.

If you were gaming and constantly pushing it to the max, I could see how it might get annoying, but I’m just not seeing it with Rhino.

I’m also not sure if it’s the processor or the GPU that’s causing the fan to spin up, it seems to me it might be the GPU that’s doing it. There may be a difference there between the Blade and the Blade Pro.

I never considered blade pro due to its size, but it does have some great specs! How does the battery hold up on blade pro? Do you run render on it?

I would buy ThinkPad P50 or P70.

I don’t do and rendering.

The battery only lasts a little over an hour when I’m running Rhino, so the Blade Pro is more of a desktop replacement for me (I’ve been working on laptop exclusively for years now). Battery life is similar to what i was getting with my 2013 MBP Retina (running Windows). I’d expect better battery life with the 14" Blade.

Also: the Blade Pro is quite heavy even though it’s slim, so it’s a bit of a workout to carry around.

The Surface Book is pretty good. The screen is a bit small though.

Thanks! I’m gonna check it out

The surface book only carries 2GB vram max. Is it enough?

I’m using a 1990 Macbook Pro. I have never had a Dell last over three years. That length of service outweighs any upfront costs. Plus, if I could have gotten a comparable peecee, it would have cost nearly the same as the mac,

Depends obviously on your needs. It’s been fine for me but I don’t do a lot of rendering with lighting or materials. Although Keyshot runs fine for me with 2GB vram as well.


It’s amazing that your 1990mbp still runs!

I have been working on a early 2013 mbp. It is a great machine indeed. I do think mbp has better build quality than most of the win laptops. But the battery on mine needs replacement and it runs kinda laggy now, I suspect the hardware suffered from some long stress under heavy load.

I thought about getting the new mbp with max specs, but the touchbar seems very unnecessary to me and it carries an AMD graphics card. (i believe AMD card is not recommended with rhino)

It might have to run 6 more years if Apple does not do a 17" screen again.

I replaced the HDD on my mid 2010 17" mbp with an SSD, it’s like a new machine ! The HDDs on the older mbp’s were very slow… I have one of the good models that came with an NVidia graphics card, although I think it still only has like 512 Mb video memory.


I have to agree with @Helvetosaur. I have a mid 2012 MBP and swapping out my HDD for an SSD was a big change in performance. After that ram is cheap for those old machines now so max it out if it is not already.

Recently I upgraded my old Samsung 750 Evo drive to an 850 and better performance yet again. Replacing a battery in these older machines is quite easy as well.

Swapping out the HDD with SSD always works like magic!
My 2013mbp comes with the SSD, so I can’t do much about that =/

Have seen you guys stick with older macs than mine, I probably shouldn’t waste money on a new machine. Maybe I should bring my mbp in and have them diagnosed if anything is wrong. If everything is fine, maybe I should just replace the battery since it doesn’t hold any charge now.

I found the speed of an old 2012 and a new 2017 SSD can be very different. My Samsung 840 Evo was slowing down so I replaced it with an 850 Evo. After cloning the data to the new drive and swapping them out my write speeds were over double with the 850 EVO. YMMV

I also took the optical drive out of my MBP and put in a second SSD for internal backups to compliment my external. The new Apple laptops are not as flexible from what I have seen and not much more power. I certainly will not be paying over $4kAu to replace my MBP. When that time comes I am going Windows.

I went with a Dell M3800 and it is great. I hear the surface Pro is good too. But no matter what you get you should get a 20" monitor and Max out the ram always. I highly recommend a solid state hard drive or flash.