So, I'm done with Apple bootcamp, parallel, etc.

Every time I upgrade my Apple OS something happens to bootcamp, partition, etc. So much for MacBook Pro (it’ll be primarily used for photos and music production). So, I’m venturing into the PC world! With Win 8 and i7 processor I think PC is definitely the way to go (though I’ve heard that Rhino is developing for OS at the moment).

Since I will be upgrading to Rhino 5 from 4 very soon I need a PC soon. I will eventually get a workstation, but right now I’m shopping for a fairly powerful laptop and need recommendations as I’m a Apple nerd.

Please recommend me a reliable brand(s) as well as specs. Also, please chime in if anyone has experience with a Dell Precision M6700 laptop. OR, should I look (wait) for Windows 8 tablet/hybrids to improve?

Don’t use Windows 8… Yet. Wait another year or two for them to work out the bugs.

Are there issues with Win 8, or just general caution with the new OS? Also, any thoughts on getting a refurbished Dell Precision M6700 with Win 7 for now?

All versions of Rhino will run great on just about any newer powerful laptop. I have an Asus Republic of Gamers G73 gaming computer that is a few years old an still works great. I’ve also used my sons three year old $399 Gateway laptop a few times in a pinch, and apart from it being a little slower to move assemblies in shaded mode it did fine. Gaming computers are very powerful, and tend to cost less than their “workstation” counterparts. If you were running SolidWorks, it might be nice to get a workstation laptop (because the graphics card will be certified and allow SW to do its “Real Graphics” thing). In Rhino, there isn’t that big of a benefit.

The more powerful the graphics card in the laptop the better in general. But, Rhino doesn’t require a ton of power (unless your models are very complex, and I mean internal parts, bosses, ribs, etc…). What will be MORE power hungry, is any 3D rendering software you might run like Keyshot, etc…

I think we all stress too much about the specs on all this high-tech stuff we buy. Just buy the most powerful laptop you can afford on the day you are ready to make that purchase, then expect that as soon as you have it all set up Intel will introduce a new chip that is 3 times faster than the one in your “new” laptop. I think in that regard the PC world and Apple aren’t too different!!


Most everyone in IT I’ve talked to lately, has been saying to wait it out. Windows 7 works beautifully just make sure you get Professional 64 bit.

Refurbished stuff is a great deal, and there’s really nothing to be concerned with buying one. I have a refurbished iMac at home, and I’ve had refurb HP stuff in the past. Never had any issues beyond not spending money I saved…

Actually, I feel like Apple has lost many professional loyal fans with specs and UI. Either way, intel better not introduce a 3x faster chip; at least not on the day of my purchase! :unamused:

That’s good to know. I’m heavily leaning towards getting a refurbished Dell.

Thanks to Moore’s Law, that’s unavoidable these days. There will always be faster computers and better deals. If you waited for the best/newest/fastest machine out there, you’d never buy one.

I agree and have a pile of obsolete Apple computers, laptops and peripherals. I’m thinking of creating a sculpture out of them.

Just a small note to anyone who is curious… RealView can be allowed to run with any graphics card. Its just a software locked feature intended to make workstation cards appear more valuable - similar to Adobe’s GPU exclusive features in CS5 that they dropped for CS6.

This page has a link to an executable that will enable the feature in SW09-11. There are versions floating around for 11-13 though all I can find at the moment are torrents. I can upload my copy at the end of the day.


I recently got a dell inspiron 7520 for work, it´s quite powerful for normal work like rhino, inventor and photoshop but if i would have to choose again, i would not want another dell. it´s not running that good, problems with reboots and standby mode and such. It´s just not running smoothly a lot of times. I used a thinkpad for years, (still using it at home) and it feels much better.

just my opinion on dell from that experience.

also- get Win 7! Win 8 adds nothing useful for a workenvironment.

What about Lenovo? Better than Dell?

My 2 cents, and someone can back me up here:

Brand of PC means nothing in terms of how it runs. Dell HP Acer Lenovo whatever. All essentially the same hardware. The only difference is the bloat ware preinstalled.

Yea I would agree with you Nurb, its the guts the matter at the end of the day. Booting issues are probaly from the hdd. On another note you could always do a custom build as well.

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What about Lenovo? Better than Dell?[/quote]

yeah, my lenovo thinkpad is still running strong. and their service is fantastic. I had a 3 year waranty of home service. Got my display changed at home in less than 16 hours after calling them up. I dont know how many thousands of hours of runtime it has now, but it´s a lot. basically has been on 16 hours a day during my 3 years in college, and i don´t count the times i dropped it.

what bothers me every day about the dell at work is also the placement of the Fn keys and some other small details that just make it seem not well thought through.

Generally, I’d agree with this statement though I think there are some x-factors such as how well these machines are put together that might affect how the inner parts withstand vibrations, shock, heat, etc.

The owner of this repair shop I frequent which also is a reseller of Lenovo, Acer, Samsung and others told me the other day that they see more Dells coming in for repair than Lenovos or Acer from their experience. Of course, this could be a biased statement as Dell is a direct seller.

I was in IT for 5 years and my general consensus is anyone in IT sees more Dell repairs because Dell tended to dominate what people bought. Acer was terrible but a lot has changed since then.

HP’s new work stations are pretty nice IMO. The Dell Precisions aren’t bad either. Personally I think Thinkpads make you look like you just stepped out of 1996, but some people like that black-tank feeling.

I’m looking at a used Dell M6700 with the following specs. It seems the seller is a gamer. Thoughts please:

8 GB RAM DDR3 (4 x 2 GB sticks)
Intel Core i7 - 2.7 GHz
2 x 256 GB HD
64 bit
NVIDIA Quadro - 4 GB Memory
17.3" Display
2 x USB 3.0
2 x USB 2.0
Display port
SD Card
Headphone jack
Microphone Jack

Port replicator adds 2 monitor functionality (DVI or display port) - 2
monitors and the laptop monitor will give you 3

Are the hard drives SSD’s?

Ram is a little low but that’s an easy and cheap upgrade. The only things to look out for are what panel was the display equipped with (I don’t recall what options the 6700 has) but other then that it’s a solid machine.

Primary HD: 256GB HDD
Secondary HD: 256GB HDD

I’ll have to find out about the display . . . .