Laptop Shopping: Compaq R3000Z vs. Dell Inspiron 9300

Anybody have experience with either of these models? I'm surprised at the bang-for-the-buck, but I'm wary of graphics card issues.
Compaq R3000Z $2000 AMD Athlon64 3700+ processor 2GB RAM (not sure what speed) 15.4", 1680 x 1050 display GeForce 4 440 Go 64mb video card I'll have to add a 7200RPM HD DVD burner, wireless, etc
Dell Inspiron 9300 $2400 Pentium 4 750 1.86ghz Processor 1GB 533mhz RAM (slots full; would cost $750 to get 2GB) 17", 1920 x 1200 display GeForce Go 6800 256MB video card 60GB, 7200RPM HD DVD burner, wireless
I'd be happy with the Compaq if I wasn't worried about video issues. Has anyone softquadro'd the 440 video card?
The Dell has a better display and probably a faster graphics card (any experience out there?), but the RAM limit / cost turns me off.
I'll be doing demanding assembly work and FEA, making plans to conquer the world with my laptop :)
Thanks for any comments from people with experience with these machines, Denny Trimble
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Hello-
"Has anyone softquadro'd the 440 video card?"
A few ago I had a Toshiba with this exact video card. The SolidWorks performance was terrible. At the time, my computer skills weren't as good as they are now. The Toshiba O.S. had "paths" and "locks" that only allowed Toshiba Drivers to load. The Toshiba Drivers weren't SolidWorks compatiable. I wasted many hours trying to go around this problem and I gave up. The 440 Go card is at least 2 years old and also runs at AGP 4X.
Best Regards, Devon T. Sowell www.3-ddesignsolutions.com

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Denny,
That's a good thing to be wary about. Generaly speaking, laptops are kinda dicey with SW for alot of reasons, video being one. Another is that they usually run a customizied O.S. that loads lots special gadget drivers. SW doesn't "play well" with some of these things. Anything other than a Dell M60/M70 is pretty much a crap shoot. A new one is a hell of alot of money for a student, but you can get a refurbished one from Dell.
You may want to do a Google search on this subject back about a year or so.
Regards
Mark
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I originally went through my "Inspiron" phase, but when I finally realized that my whole productivity depended on THAT laptop, and that all my CAD software had set me back far over $15,000, I just said screw it and bought the Dell M60 (now M70).
Yup, I could tweak around with saving a few bucks with an Inspiron or whatever, but at what cost penalty? I can't quantify the penalty I would take in any easy manner, and I didn't have the time to spend days and days trying to find out.
Never buy anything but the latest graphics card with the most VRAM and the most CPU memory. One year later you will wish you had done so.
Bo
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