Buying a notebook to run SolidWorks

I have to get a notebook computer to work at a customers site and I have narrowed the choices down to two. A Dell M60 or a HP ZD7000.

The differences:

Processor: Dell: Pentium M 2.0 Ghz. HP: Pentium 3.2 Ghz. Extreme Edition

Memory: Dell: (1) GB DDR SDRAM HP: (2) GB DDR SDRAM

Graphics Card: Dell: Nvidia Quadro FX Go1000 (128 MB) HP : Nvidia GeForce FX Go5700 (128 MB)

Display: Dell: 15.4" WUXGA HP: 17.0" WXGA+

the rest is either the same or inconsequential

The price: Dell: $3,820.00 US HP: $3,824.00 US

Can anybody make any comments about the differences? Or any recommendations?

Thank You

Reply to
Jacob Filek
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1920x1200 vs 1400x788... It looks like the Dell has a much better resolution for CAD work, even though the display is smaller. Are your eyes accustomed to high resolution? Or do you need the bigger screen (even though less fits on it)?

I don't really feel qualified to comment on the rest. I'm not sure how those processors and video cards stack up against each other in SW. I would say to go for the larger memory too, if your projects warrant it. How much memory do you use now?

If it were me, I'd choose for the fixed items (processor, video and display), then upgrade the RAM as required.

I do know that the Dell M50 and 60 have been well loved by users in this ng. I haven't heard anything about the HP.

Reply to
Dale Dunn

I'm use to a resolution of 1280 x 1024 on my 21" CRT The assemblies I work on can slow my current workstation to a slow crawl. (2.2 Ghz processor w/ 1 GB RAM, ATI FireGL2 graphics card)

HP has a notebook that is very similar to the M60 it's called the ZT3000 series. The only bad thing is the graphics card that comes with the system: ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 (blah) The interesting thing is that a similarly equipped HP ZT3000 system is about half the cost of the Dell at $2,300.00!

I'm looking at the HP ZD7000 series because you can get the Nvidia graphics card with it. What I don't know about are the processors: Pentium 4 3.2 Ghz. E.E. vs. Pentium M 2.0 Ghz. And of course any other caveat of owning a notebook to do SoildWorks on.

Reply to
Jacob Filek

Have you looked into HP's NW8000? FireGL-T2 is great for SW use (supports RealView) and Pentium M processor is awesome!!!

Reply to
Arto Kvick

Hello Jacob- Have you looked at any of the "Mini" computers? My Shuttle (P4 2.8, 2Gb RAM, Quadro FX500, Dual SATA HD's w/RAID) works much better than my laptop. Best Regards, Devon T. Sowell

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Reply to
Devon T. Sowell

I have an HP 7000 notebook (great display) with Wildfire 1.0...this thing runs rings around the one year old Dell 530 workstations we have. No video issues (Nvidia 5600). The only down side is that the fan runs all the time but it is a P4 so that's what you get.

Reply to
The Pixleys

The thing you asked about is SW...I have 2001+ on the big HP and have absolutely no issues with up to bout 10 windows open on 2000+ part assemblies.

Reply to
The Pixleys

I would go with the HP. HP has been working with Solidworks to make their machines work very well with all of thier software. I just had a chance to play with an HP running Solidworks 2005 at the MSUC (Midwest Solidworks User Conference).


Reply to
Richard Charney

HP vs Dell: I own a Dell M60 (& an Inspiron 8000)

I would suggest that the choice may have more to do with what features are really important to you.

  1. Screen size: If I could have picked a 17 inch screen, I would have done it in a heart beat.

  1. High speed Ethernet, FireWire, & Wifi/802.11 and BlueTooth is mandatory for me and I want it built-in.

  2. Keyboard & Trackpad & buttons: I want the easiest for me to use. Dell's could be better, sorry to say.

  1. Extended warranty fix or replace policy and time: Dell guarantees me a repairman on site in I would go with the HP. HP has been working with Solidworks to make their

Reply to
Bo Clawson

I don't mean to be facitious here, but why would you possibly even hesitate, buying

30% more speed, 100% more memory, and 2" more view for $4.00, assuming the rest is equal. Kind of a no brainer, don't you think?

G. De Angelis

Jacob Filek wrote:

Reply to
Guido De Angelis

All that speed, memory, and view is not much use if your SW slows to a crawl with 4 or 5 parts open. My FXGo 5600 still suffers from the dreaded slowdown. I have soft-modded it to a Quadro, but it has been extremely unstable. I say go for the Dell, unless you can verify for sure you can reliably soft-Quadro the FXGo 5700, or there is a driver available that does not slow down on you. It is a serious pain in the ass when you just want to get something done.


Guido De Angelis wrote:

Reply to
Markus Wankus

It isn't as simple as that.

The processor: According to Tom's Hardware

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a 1.6 Ghz Pentium M will keep up with and in some cases surpass a 2.2 Ghz Pentium 4 M. So the 2 Ghz. Pentium M might out perform a 3.2 Ghz Pentium 4 E.E.???

The graphics card: According to Nvidia's web site

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: The GeForce is more for "Entertainment" and the Quadro is for "Productivity". With all the postings and information here a "SoftQuadro hack" could even out the differences between the two when it comes to SolidWorks. But I'm not sure of the differences between 3D gaming and 3D CAD when it comes to graphics cards.

The screen: The 2" difference isn't! The 17" on a notebook is different than a 17" CRT or flat screen. From what I have found: The WSXGA+ 17" notebook would have a 16:10 aspect ratio with a 1440 x 900 resolution. The WUXGA 15.4" notebook would have the same 16:10 aspect ratio but would have a 1920 x 1200 resolution!

Thank you for your response.

Reply to
Jacob Filek


I spent a lot of time looking at the same laptops as you mention. I even bought two of the HPs (eventually returned them). I ended up with a Dell Inspiron 8600 with the 1920 x 1200 screen. The only thing I miss from the HP was the keyboard with the Number Pad! I have a workaround that is a wireless number pad from Targus, but it is not as convenient as built-in. Sony has it best with a pop-out number pad. My main complaint about the HP was the miniscule battery life. The Dell's Pentium M is way better, but not as good as they say - maybe because of running SWX

I've been happy so far - especially with the screen. I think the wireless setup was a bit better on the HP, tho. I usually end up plugging in a CAT5 cable.

Sincerely, Jerry Forcier

Jacob Filek wrote:

Reply to
Jerry Forcier

I went through the exact same process two months ago. My primary intended use was to run SW2004-2005SE. The Dell M60 was my first choice. I watched the price yo-yo on the Dell website for months, but the configuration I wanted never fell below $3200, and was sometimes nearly $4000 (I'm in the states). And I really wanted a 17" screen and a numeric keypad. In the end, I bought a ZD7000 through Costco for about $2600. 6 month cash return policy; no questions asked.

I went with the 3.0 P4, 1G DDR SDRAM, 128 MB Nvidia GeForce Fx Go5700, Win XP Pro, 60GB 7200rpm hard drive, and the WSXGA BrightView Screen (1680 x 1050).

IMHO, the screen is absolutely magnificent. It's one of the nicest screens I've ever seen, desktop or notebook. Super rich, liquid-like colors. Extrememly sharp. The resolution is perfect for me ? tons of real estate for big CAD assemblies; Word documents displayed with two pages side by side are a breeze to read because the text is so sharp. I probably wouldn't want to go too much higher on the resolution though, as the icons on the task bar at the bottom of the screen are already pretty small. Yes, you can enlarge them, but then they're too big! Hi-Definition DVD IMAX Coral Reef Adventure looks fantastic on this screen.

I haven't run any really big assemblies yet. Currently I'm working on one with, oh, 40 ? 50 parts, including a couple that are quite complex. Combo loft/sweeps, with lots of fillets; shelled. I've got the Options/Document Properties/Image Quality/'Shaded And Draft Quality HLR/HLV Resolution' slider maxed out and I can spin the assembly super fast; no problem. Sometimes zooming produces a few nanoseconds delay.

Drawbacks: No RealView. Trying to open multiple parts usually crashes SW. Fortunately it restarts in seconds. In fact, the whole notebook boots up super fast. From the time I press the 'Start' button until the desktop is fully up and ready to rock is only about

45 seconds. Yeah, baby! Nevertheless, I wish I could find a driver that would enable the Go5700 to emulate a Quadro. That's really my only complaint. Oh, and it's a big ass notebook; I use it as a mobile desktop and wouldn't want to have to fly with it regularly. The power supply is about the size and weight of a brick. I've forgotten to plug it in once or twice and find I get about an hour to an hour and a half running SW on the battery.

For my purposes it's a great notebook, and Logitech makes a really nice wireless optical mouse that almost matches the color of the HP! FYI, rumors on the Dell forum suggest Dell may come out with a 17" notebook Nov./Dec.-ish.

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