TechSpot

Need a laptop to run AutoCad

By kitty500cat
Jul 3, 2007
  1. One of the employees at work needs a laptop, but we're not sure what to get. I'd recommend an Acer TravelMate 3260 (which I have as my personal laptop), but he needs to be able to run AutoCad LT.

    Is an Intel GMA950 good enough for running AutoCad?

    Regards :)
     
  2. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,289

    How about a MacBook? A contractor friend of mine uses one of these, he doesn't use LT though.
     
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Any Thinkpad T4x or T-6x, or any HP in the upper third of their price range, or any Gateway in their upper third of their price range, or Dell Latitude in upper half, or Dell Inspiron in upper third of price range.
    No Sony, no eMachines, no Compaq, No Acer, No Asus, no Winbook, no Toshiba, and no Alienware. Local warranty service or 7 day maximum turn-around on national service. Guaranteed parts availability for five years minimum.
    Four USB ports, docking station available, ports for external optical mouse, 80 GB hard drive or better with 7200 rpm, 2 GB of memory minimum, with option to 4 GB for Autocad, telephone modem, ethernet ports, and wireless antenna in the lid.

    The computer should have multiple cooling fans and vents, superior video graphics, and a long warranty must be available.
     
  4. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 2,407   +6

    Thanks for your replies.

    A Mac would be cool, but the computer needs to be able to connect to our Windows Server 2003-based domain.

    I think we've run AutoCAD LT on a computer with S3 Unichrome graphics and an Athlon XP 2800+, but it didn't run very well.

    I'll probably look into a ThinkPad or an HP.

    Edit: been looking. How about a Lenovo ThinkPad T61 with a Core 2 Duo T7100, 1GB of RAM, and Intel X3100 graphics? Or should I up to a NVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M?

    Some of the other notebooks looked good too, but most of them were running Vista, which I don't want at this point.
     
  5. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,745

    I've run AutoCAD (Full version) on a Thinkpad T42p for years. It ran great.
     
  6. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 2,407   +6

    Cool. I'll probably get a T60 or T61 then.

    Thanks.

    Regards :)
     
  7. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 743

    I tend to buy the Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Pro range for work. The new core2duo's are pretty good and a good price.
    Autocad is 2d so you don't need any great monster of a cpu to run it.
    The latest lappies should all run it fine.
    Acer Travelmate = suckage!
    I will NOT be buying any more of those.
     
  8. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Autocad LT 2008 still current, and available for purchase for around $800. It needs a bit more memory than the versions of the olden days. You won't find better 2D software.
     
  9. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 2,057   +8

    Every version of AutoCAD has a min recomended config.

    If still in doubt, goto www.autodesk.com
     
  10. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 2,407   +6

    I installed onto my computer a copy of AutoCAD that I had here. It ran fine.

    Is an Acer TravelMate really that bad? Mine hasn't given me any significant problems yet.
     
  11. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    For what you get, it is not what it should be. High failure rate of screens or inverters after two years. Not very good cooling and air transfer... You want better cooling whenever you use any graphics or design program.
    It is not a "problem" machine like a Sony Vaio, eMachines, Alienware, or Compaq... just not the best choice for somebody buying a new laptop with Autocad LT as the primary use, when others are close to the same price range. It is fine for Office tasks, and internet... not for gaming..
    Just don't leave the screen on when you are not using it.
    Acers are made is so many different plants, under contract, that it is hard to target any one model Acer used to make some of the better IBM Thinkpads under contract for IBM. Acer is a very big company, but they don't have many dealers to whom they are obligated.
    I don't meat to bash Acers in general, but I assume Autocad LT users are using it as a work machine where you cannot afford to lose access to your work for a two or three weeks to get it repaired.
    You seem to be happy with it.
    I am more biased toward reliability than perhaps I should be.
     
     
  12. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 2,407   +6

    I don't know that ACLT would be his primary use. However, I will look into ThinkPads. They seem to be the best choice.
     
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