06-27-2011 03:23 PM
just joined the forum - looking to place an order in within the next 24hrs.
I think I'm pretty set on the i5 T420 with NVIDIA NVS 4200m, HD+ screen and 4Gb RAM.
I will also be throwing in a second 4GB stick (8Gb total) and changing the Hard Drive for an Intel SSD.
This computer will be used for 2 things: Website Development (including some light Photoshop work and Video editing), and some CAD work (Solidworks). I looked all over the internet but could not find anything about the T420 and CAD, nor about the NVS GPU and CAD.
On this system, I really think the GPU is achilles heel for CAD work. However I want to keep the smaller form factor, smaller screen and lighter weight for portability, hence the W520 is not really an option. Keep in mind that I'm not really working with complex assemblies with hundreds of parts though.
I will also be ordering a Docking station to be able to use 2 External Monitors, eventually 3 External Monitors (for a total of 4, including the laptop's own).
I guess I just need some reassurance about the NVS 4200m - could it handle some CAD work?
06-27-2011 11:30 PM
"My T400 runs fine with 4GB x 2 (8GB total). However, if you have a 32bit OS you won't be able to take advantage of anything beyond 3-3.5GB of RAM."
QUOTE nibs From another thread re RAM.
So, use the 64 bit disc.
06-28-2011 12:19 AM
06-28-2011 05:15 AM
Yes I'm absolutely looking to use the 64bit OS (Windows 7).
This system will be an upgrade to the current desktop being used in every category except GPU (marginally better on the desktop). So I was hoping the upgraded CPU, RAM and SSD drive would compensate for the slight GPU downgrade.
Also, I understand the NVS cards are of course business cards and thus more geared towards CAD and/or media work versus Gaming. Since this T420 will be doing Zero gaming, only CAD, I was also hoping the tweaks made to the slightly inferior GPU would be put to good use for CAD applications.
So do you think the clear answer to "Can a T420 with NVS handle CAD work with ease" is YES?
Just trying to make this thread as clear as possible, because I assume that a Google search for "T420 CAD" will return this page as there really isn't much out there on this topic for others in the same situation as I am.
06-28-2011 05:17 AM
06-28-2011 05:56 AM
" So I was hoping the upgraded CPU, RAM and SSD drive would compensate for the slight GPU downgrade."
For both the RAM & SSD, no hurt can be done - good choice.
The CPU, I do not know enough to advise you. Why not just get in touch with AUTODESK or whichever
CAD system you use/will be using and just ask them? It is your/their best interest to advise you, afterall,
it's their system.
06-28-2011 06:47 AM
06-28-2011 07:15 AM
Calling Dassault (Solidworks) is a good idea.
The i5 I'm looking at is the 2520M (2.5Ghz, 3Mb).
Yes my current desktop satisfies my CAD needs. Since this lappy is an upgrade accross the board (except GPU) I expect it to also satisfy my CAD needs.
FYI, my current desktop GPU is an ATI Radeon HD 3850. It benchmarks a bit better then the NVS 4200m, but the drivers of the latter should be optimized for CAD, plus add the better HD, RAM and CPU.
I also plan on having it docked 80% of the time using dual external monitors (so 3 total, eventually maybe 4).
Hopefully this does not place too much strain on this setup...
Think I'll order tonight.
06-28-2011 07:37 AM
06-28-2011 11:13 AM
An external Graphics Card is a good idea - had not thought of that.
Given that 100% of the CAD work would be done at the office while the laptop is docked, this could really work.
I was also going to purchase the docking station.....do you have any recommendations for external GPU? Since I need the Docking Station anyway, any good one with GPU's?