Register to reply

Laptop for CAD Software (Entry Level)

by ptrpan
Tags: entry, laptop, software
Share this thread:
Nov21-12, 02:25 PM
P: 7
As suggested on my last post 'how to become a design engineer' self practice is the key to learn a design program to a competent level.. At this point, I am looking for a computer so to be able to train myself, refresh my pro/E skills, and be able to apply what I read in tutorials and watch videos online.
As my current status allows only a portable device, (and not looking to invest for a workstation that early) my question is if a decent core i5 laptop with an Inter HD4000 graphic card and 4, 6 or even 8 GB RAM is strong enough to run design software (SolidWorks, pro/E, Inventor, AutoCAD, CATIA, etc), so i can design parts and assembly.
Phys.Org News Partner Science news on
Apple to unveil 'iWatch' on September 9
NASA deep-space rocket, SLS, to launch in 2018
Study examines 13,000-year-old nanodiamonds from multiple locations across three continents
Nov21-12, 03:44 PM
P: 11
Pretty much any new laptop will handle those programs fairly well.
The laptop I'm typing this on is a 5 year old Sony Vaio laptop, 2GHz dual core, 32 bit Vista (Ya-ya-ya, I know Vista is rubbish), 3GB of RAM, a 256MB ATI graphics card and 500 GB hard drive. It has handled Autodesk AutoCAD and Inventor 2008 and 2010 with ease, only lagging when a large number of assembly files are being run simultaneously.
Most new laptops will meet or exceed this spec easily.
The only really constructive advice I can give you is "what size laptop are you willing to lug around." A high resolution screen is a must have and a bigger screen is always nice except for the fact that the weight goes up and so does the power consumption.
Nov21-12, 05:25 PM
P: 7
Oh, good to know... does the same apply for a new core i3 then? if it could handle that software, I would be happy to reduce cost...

Nov21-12, 05:45 PM
P: 11
Laptop for CAD Software (Entry Level)

I'm not too familiar with the new Intel products but just a quick glance says it should. However I would say try to get the best processor, graphics card (if applicable) and screen you can. The RAM and hard drive can always be upgraded at a later date but the first three are are either very difficult if not impossible to replace.
Nov21-12, 06:00 PM
PF Gold
boneh3ad's Avatar
P: 1,503
On the contrary, I have had nothing but trouble running newer versions of SolidWorks and Pro/E on my laptop, even when it was new and the software was current to that time.

For reference, I have a Lenovo ThinkPad T400:
Intel Core 2 Duo P9500 @ 2.53 GHz
Windows 7 Pro x64
ATI Radeon HD3400 Series GPU

It really struggled then and it really struggles now, largely on account of the GPU having a hard time rendering the parts. Laptops just really aren't all that good for CAD work with any of the newer 3-D programs. It kind of sucks because it means I am pretty well tethered to my workstation when I need to do some design work.
Nov22-12, 02:30 AM
P: 11
System Requirements:

I've never used solidworks on my laptop before so I can't comment on it. Boneh3ad, what kind processes were you trying to run?
Nov22-12, 10:54 AM
P: 72
Im using a HP pavillion DV6 running Core i5 2450m, 6GB ram, AMD Radeon HD 7490M and 750GB hard drive and it runs solidworks and AutoCAD flawlessly. Good thing is that as well as the dedicated Radeon HD graphics card, it also has onboard Intel HD3000 and it automatically switches over to the dedicated Radeon Card if the intel HD struggles. Was 450 about 3 months ago by the way
Nov22-12, 11:38 AM
PF Gold
boneh3ad's Avatar
P: 1,503
Couldn't really do any processes. Like I said, I don't think the video card had the strength to render the parts even fast enough to rotate the part without lagging horribly. It's fine though, since there are very few reasons to ever do CAD on a laptop.
Nov23-12, 12:29 PM
P: 7
i've found a Dell, core i5 3210M, ati radeon 7670 1GB, and 6GB or RAM
is it strong enough to run these programs?
Nov25-12, 04:06 PM
P: 208
It's better than my work laptop that runs Autodesk Inventor, so it should be fine.

Register to reply

Related Discussions
Are entry level mathematics really the hardest? Academic Guidance 23
How to connect function generator software on laptop to breadboard? Electrical Engineering 3
What entry level ME job should I be looking for to prepare myself for the job I want? Career Guidance 6
Entry level College physics Academic Guidance 3