Recommendations please for quality laptop xp or 7 Rhino friendly


Is the Nvidia Geforce 840M 2Gb ram ok for Rhino ?…I will get to trial it soon !

Whilst considering where to get fans from and cost of repairs, I had a chance of a good equivalent and better purchase, so taken it as a moment to move on, get more power, , only two instances of Rhino being all it can manage is not useful when copy pasting between files. HD always full. memory at max, 128mb video ram not alterable. and the noise.

fan possible swoppable with some soldering., noise may continue.

Finding that Dell sell Inspiron 17 5749 designed for quiet running for £529 , £50 off at the moment until 6.30pm today, when similar machines are £700 through to £1k…beyond me., it was a chance not to miss. Especially as they didnt mention quiet running and build qlty and screen.

17.3" Trulite backlit LCD IPS screen 1600 x 900 (thats same as Toshiba which had me in love with it, the #1 reason I like my G20.) screen is said to be stunning. Also can be calibrated spyder4 etc.
Nvidia geForce 840M 2Gb ram ( and fully swoppable)
Intel i7 3.6GHz 4m cache quiet running
1Tb HD hybrid, option of a second one.
and win8.1 (to be booted to desktop or treated to Classic Shell !!! )


That’s fairly low-resolution for a 17.3" screen in today’s world considering that 15.6" screens are now standard HD 1920 x 1080 (1200 Mac) not to mention 3K at 2880 x 1620 (1800 Mac Retina)… But if you don’t mind the large pixels, the rest seems pretty decent…


For future render power (RhinoCycles) you might want to look for a GPU that boasts as many CUDA cores as you can find.

Mitch…I did ponder over the res but I am running 1920 x 1200 on a 24inch Eizo and find myself leaning into screen 16 inches from it when working to Rhino lines etc which are it seems 1 pixel width, So taking that res and reducing it down to 17 inch from 24 inch I envisaged it being even finer and I didnt want to be leaning into laptop screen as such, as I am using it whilst watching tv and more distant than 16 inch. Toshiba is same size as Dell and running 1440 x 900 and its good for me so this will be a bit finer as it is. Also text and icons etc got somewhat smaller when I went from 1024 x 768 eizo crt to 1920x1200 eizo flatscreen so to have them go smaller still, if thats how it will be, I was a bit dubious.
I am however trialling it so we shall see. Another £300 or more for an even finer screen which might make things too fine ?

I have the ability to alter the video card later on, but at that price compared to almost double for 1920res and the vid cards were the same, it was worth a shot.

I simply cant stretch to £700 ~ £1000 machines, for what is a secondary less important PC for me, especially having had to just spend almost the cost of this laptop on my new tower , which is my important and most used PC, to fix it 4 months into its life, where it went from normal to effectively dead after a video (same driver ) reinstall. (ram stick and SSD HD caddy interface faults) yet was fine just before the install !..except for annoying little singular one off error message first thing in the morning.


New machines with high screen resolutions also come with an OS which allows text and icon size choices suitable to the resolution. Rhino5 does, too. On the other hand, in my experience, it takes some time to adjust to the smaller sizes and finer resolution. The advantage is that you get a larger field of pixels upon which to array the elements of your working environment so you can see more at once. I agree that it is possible for some apps to throw text on the screen that is too small to read, but that does’t happen very often. On the MacBook Retina there’s always the two-finger zoom to make it readable. I don’t know whether the high-res Dell laptops have a similar feature - maybe with Windows 8.1. My opinion is that if you get a high-res screen you will soon love it and won’t want to go back. I am, of course, assuming that you have vision at least correctible to normal at computer screen distances.

Don’t those Inspirons have hi-res display options at a reasonable price increment?

Hi, yes hi res 1920x1200 on my Eizo 24inch is stunning. I would imagine its awesome on 17inch.
working on 1pixel lines though could be challenging !

Does Rhino in fact display a 1 pixel line or a ‘thin’ line. ? Would that line be just as thick on a 1920 as on a 1600 screen at same zoom ?

In fact a 1 pixel line is often thicker than 1 pixel on screen. I have opened Pshop and drawn a 1 pixel line with pencil tool, and depending on zoom, its soft, then sharp. It still has to display its line whatever the zoom, so antialiasing kicks in when zooming out.

I must get myself along to a PC shop to study a 1920 screen once this 1600 arrives, but if i want a 1920 screen , I am not aware of a laptop with such and these specs without having to pay a lot more for it.


Hi Mitch,

If I open a folder in right pane, then one within that, in XP I would see the route to that also revealed as a tree in left pane at same time, and see just where I was, with an open folder.

In 7 all I see are C D E F G and + against each of them, I have to do a second unravelling of folders at left to get to the equivalent one I have open at right.

Maybe there is a setting to open at left same time as open at right.


Windows 8.1

It is a setting. Tools > Folder Options > General > Navigation Pane

Ah, yes, I forgot you could actually turn off the tree view… But it has been on by default in all the installs I have done since XP… --Mitch


and tick automatically expand to current folder.

Thank you oh so very much.

I have been using OS’s since win 3.1 and its always done that out of the box, why someone has disabled it in win7…grrrr

I spent three months fighting win7 trying to get back functionality and sanity of XP. Msoft meddle for meddlings sake.

That is me happy ! unless win8.1 has done away with it.

Now with trial laptop win8.1 arrived, boot to desktop or Classic Shell, I wonder what will be enough ?

Mitch, thanks for vid, now imagine that left pane empty doing absolutely nothing, then having to click the + to get to the folder…someone at Msoft thought that would be best as default !

Can I get win 8.1 to have a desktop with my program icons as in win7 ? I see you have sort of that, but I have 40 prog shortcuts and about same number for folders and files I access, all over a calibration screen of neutral greys. I might opt for such over a picturesque picture.


Sure, you can pretty much never see the “modern” UI if you set it up correctly. 8.1 is already easier in this regard than 8.0, and I understand 10 (haven’t tried it yet) will be even easier. In 8.1 you can boot directly to the desktop. I recommend investing $4.99 and buying Start8 from Stardock, it will install a Win7-like start button menu.

That being said, as you may have briefly seen in the video, I have the Win 8 start screen set up as “navigation central” instead of having program icons and folder shortcuts all over my desktop. With the help of a free utility - OblyTile - you can make start screen tiles that point to anywhere on your computer, be it files, folders, programs, apps or even specific websites - and you can customize the image and tile background. I have one click shortcuts maybe 50 of my most important programs, folders and websites there, plus some live apps like exchange rates, weather… So I don’t navigate that much from the desktop anymore, it’s just easier to hit the Windows key on the keyboard with the left hand and then click on the large tile to get where I want to go.

Other than that, the Windows search engine that’s been in there since Vista makes a night and day difference compared to XP. I could not live without it. Anyone who says XP is better than any of the OS’es that came after it has never used the current search engine.


absolutely !


That is what I use. It is free and (to me) faster that Start8 which I also tried.

As one reviewer said after installing Classic Shell: “The relief is immediate …” So true after using Windows 8 as “per se”…

I am with Classic Shell on my tower for win7 64 pro, sounds like the way to go.
I now have set 8.1 to boot to desktop as per youtube etc methods, all the same advice.
I boot up and see what might be a graphics error, loads of coloured curved lines. Atrocious for finding icons placed on it.
Is that supposed to be a desktop ?
Its about time the developers at Msoft actually had to use a Pc for serious work, I would also like Classic text back in standard mode, I still see colour fringed text becase Msoft removed the black anti aliased txt of standard mode. Pity Classic Shell cant give us the txt options of XP.
I dont like the fact that in win7 I start typing the file name I wish to search for and its already searching, yet I havent had a chance to indicate the time zone for the search, so then it has to start over again, and it takes a while across 1tb of data.
Is that your experience of the better search engine ?

One oddity of this Inspiron 17, the left mouse button click panel is part of the mousepad and manages to move the cursor when one tries to click it ! I need to disable the pad as its also so near the keyboard typing moves cursor !
How anyone could use that for CAD or graphics is beyond me. I know Msoft expect us to draw with fingers now.
I shall treat this lappy to Holomark2.


I can report back that the screen on the Dell Inspiron 17 is truly awful. 30% brightness increase at lower third and it changes with even slight head movement.

They now tell me they are designed like that !
back to gameboard square one :frowning:
The lenovo and HP links are 15 inch though and beyond my budget so 17 inch would be way beyond.

Really struggling on this one. Just cant see any Nvidia 17 inch that exists. Rhino needing Nvidia is a real drawback limiting choice.