Either the Dell Precision M90 or M4300 can be configured with XP 64-
bit and 4GB RAM. With a 2.3GHz CPU, performance is not bad.
HP "supports" XP 64-bit on their newest mobile workstations (8710w &
8510w) which have the latest and greatest Intel mobile CPUs and nVidia
graphics, but I haven't figured out how to order one with XP
AFAIK, Lenovo doesn't support 64-bit Windows on any of the mobile
XI and some other "boutique" manufactures have mobile workstations
that use desktop processors, but none of these are tested or certified
by SolidWorks. XI doesn't even offer the Quadro graphics as an option
on their website anymore.
Stephen - You're right - in the case of the M65 and M90. The new
chipset in the M4300, 8710w, 8510w and newest ThinkPad T61p models
will address the full 4GB with a 64-bit OS.
I *believe* that with the older systems, the video drivers will still
run in the protected mode space above 3.3GB, making more memory
available to applications. I'm not certain this is true, though.
As for the slower hard drives in mobile systems, this is also true,
but the newest Seagate and Hitachi mobile drives have narrowed the gap
considerably. As with CPU speeds, top mobile drive performance today
is about equal to top dektop performance two years ago.
Are mobile systems the fastest for FEA - or anything else? No. Would
I recommend a mobile system for complex nonlinear FEA or CFD? No.
But can you do effective design validation using COSMOSWorks on a
mobile computer? Absolutely!
Dell just announced the Precision M6300 - the replacement for the
M90. It is based on the "Santa Rosa" chipset with 800MHz FSB and
support for full 4GB RAM with 64-bit OS. It has the same Quadro FX
1600M graphics as the new HP 8710w. You can order it with up to a
2.8GHz CPU, which should be plenty fast.
It ain't cheap, though.
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