[Advice] New laptop on the cheap

Thinking about getting a new cheap laptop any ideas?

If you are thinking of it for SketchUp (else why post here?) be prepared to be frustrated. Cheap laptops seldom have a graphics adaptor sufficient for decent performance in SketchUp. In fact, many of the integrated graphics are known to cause crashes.

My last laptop work great it ran Inventor but cash is very tight right now.

Here are the hardware & software requirements to run SketchUp Pro 2015, if it helps you narrow down the search for the perfect laptop for SketchUp for cheap: http://help.sketchup.com/en/article/36208
(But slbaumgartner makes a good point).

would go for a device w/ Core i5 (min. 3thrd gen.) w/ a GeForce GT(X), 8 gig RAM and maybe Win 7 Pro, the Acer business notebooks regularly do provide a good price/value relation.

I’m running:
Windows 7 Home Premium
Intel core ™ i5-3210m cpu 2.5 ghz
8 gb 64 bit

You left out an essential ingredient: what graphics adapter? SketchUp draws very heavily on the OpenGL support of the graphics, and a weak graphics adapter can have a greater effect on performance than the CPU or memory!

Generally any graphics adapter will make a huge difference compared to an integrated graphics solution (Intel HD…). The improvement of adding a more powerful adapter is much more gradual.


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[quote=“slbaumgartner, post:7, topic:12629, full:true”]… a weak graphics adapter can have a greater effect on performance than the CPU or memory!

SU relies heavily on the CPU (not GPU), thus max. performance requires a high-clocked CPU as e.g. with a desktop system the i7-4790(k). A mediocre GPU as e.g. with a desktop system the GTX 750Ti (~150 U$) is already sufficient for core SU.

On certain models HP UK are offering £75 cashback plus £150 trade-up if you send in an old laptop/desktop. I bought a £300 laptop for £75 by trading in an old Sony Vaio which was too slow for what I wanted. It took 2 months to get the rebates paid into my account, but I got it in the end. Aimed at business customers, but they will allow one trade-up for private customers.

Take a look at some of the online deals that may be avaiilable for getting a laptop. A few recommendations include:


although there are many others be sure to filter for the graphic adapter you want. I suggest looking for the nVidia Geforce series or an equivalent from another manufacturer or (if you can afford a higher end card) one of their Quadro series graphic cards. .

I suggest neither looking for an equivalent from another manufacturer (= AMD) nor for their Quadro series graphic cards.

You failed to state why you hold that opinion.

I have elaborated this already several times, AMD Radeon drivers have proven in the past to provide a bad OGL support resp. an OGL support being optimized for speed with games. And CAD series (Quadro FX & AMD/ATI FirePro/FireGL) are expensive w/o showing any advantage for SU.

A lesser known laptop company that makes custom and high end computers is Eurocom.com. They are the only company that I’ve ever seen, that has a few machines made just for 3d.
You can buy them stripped, with almost no on board storage (250 MB disc) and no OS if you like! They have screens up to 18.2" and are Tesla when it comes to fast. They re-furbish many machines so you can get last years hot rod for about a grand, prices drop another 15% because they’re Canadian, and the exchange rate is good for American buyers, bad for Canadian sellers right now.
They’re in my home town, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada so i used to go by their office/storefront/warehouse to drool. An organization of geeks, very professional.