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Re: Student laptop needed. [Re: irv] #5287908 12/07/19 05:24 PM
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pburchett Offline
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Had better check with the University and the Electrical Engineering Department.

My son is in Mechanical Engineering and the computer he needed had to be able to run Solid Works.

Specific processor, specific video card, specific amount of RAM, Specific hard drives… Got him one that was a little better than the minimum so he would not need to upgrade in a couple of years. We went with a Dell Precision Mobile Workstation. A hefty computer and a hefty price but it was recommended by the CAD Program Developers.

Re: Student laptop needed. [Re: irv] #5287912 12/07/19 05:27 PM
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Engineering schools that require apple is very rare. I went to one. Graphic arts major... different story.


If Mathlab with Simulink will be needed for EE courses....

https://www.mathworks.com/support/requirements/matlab-system-requirements.html

Dell has some options that won't break the bank
https://www.dell.com/en-us/work/shop/dell-laptops-and-notebooks/sr/laptops/inspiron-laptops-netbooks/solid-state-drive-ssd?appliedRefinements=8787,6092


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Re: Student laptop needed. [Re: irv] #5287942 12/07/19 06:13 PM
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irv Offline OP
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Thanks guys. That is some great information!
I never even thought of him asking his professor what he might need in the future.
He has only been in this course since September (1st year) so I would assume things will be getting a little more in depth/complicated going forward?

He is currently at work now so I will be sure to tell him this tomorrow so he can ask his professor early next week.

I appreciate the info.

Thanks again.

cheers


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Re: Student laptop needed. [Re: irv] #5287950 12/07/19 06:23 PM
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I would have him check with "the department" vs. a Prof. Reason being his current prof may not teach a course that requires a specific system.


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Re: Student laptop needed. [Re: WagonWheel] #5287963 12/07/19 06:41 PM
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irv Offline OP
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Originally Posted by WagonWheel
I would have him check with "the department" vs. a Prof. Reason being his current prof may not teach a course that requires a specific system.


Ok, will do.

Thanks. cheers


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Re: Student laptop needed. [Re: irv] #5288048 12/07/19 08:34 PM
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pitzel Online Content
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*always* business class laptops for university students. Avoid that consumer stuff (sold at big box retailers) like the plague. Dell Latitude, or Lenovo Thinkpad T480/490 is what I'd be looking at.

If I was buying right now, I'd personally get a Dell E7470, an E-Dock (with the *blue* USB ports), and an external 4K display like the Dell U2718Q. Should be able to pick up the combo for USD$1000 or less if you shop through eBay or the refurbers (buy the display brand new, of course!). The dock will save the ports on the laptop.

Throw in a 4G LTE card like a Sierra Wireless EM7355, and the laptop can be on a cell data plan for working "on the go". Should cost $40-$50 on eBay.

As the others indicated, make sure you get a 1080p IPS screen.

Avoid the Nvidia or ATI accelerators (they're not needed) -- just use the Intel embedded.



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Re: Student laptop needed. [Re: pitzel] #5288100 12/07/19 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by pitzel
*always* business class laptops for university students. Avoid that consumer stuff (sold at big box retailers) like the plague. Dell Latitude, or Lenovo Thinkpad T480/490 is what I'd be looking at.

If I was buying right now, I'd personally get a Dell E7470, an E-Dock (with the *blue* USB ports), and an external 4K display like the Dell U2718Q. Should be able to pick up the combo for USD$1000 or less if you shop through eBay or the refurbers (buy the display brand new, of course!). The dock will save the ports on the laptop.

Throw in a 4G LTE card like a Sierra Wireless EM7355, and the laptop can be on a cell data plan for working "on the go". Should cost $40-$50 on eBay.

As the others indicated, make sure you get a 1080p IPS screen.

Avoid the Nvidia or ATI accelerators (they're not needed) -- just use the Intel embedded.




I was going to suggest this. Look for refurbished laptops on Amazon or Dell Outlet. You'll get a lot more with $400 buying refurbished than a new laptop.

I'm using a refurbished Dell Latitude E7440 right now which I bought for $400 in September 2018. Other than some cosmetic marks, It works perfectly. Battery Life is great, The laptop is light and it came with a SSD. The whole system is quick and responsive.

I graduated with a Computer Engineering Degree a few years ago, an i5 Processor should be more than suitable to run any EE related program.


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Re: Student laptop needed. [Re: skyactiv] #5288143 12/07/19 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by skyactiv
Plus, do you really know if he can actually use a Chromebook for his studies?

NO to Chromebook. He will need to run some specialized software that the school provides, so your best bet would be WIndows 10. If you need Linux as well, then you can run something like VmWare Workstation and then Linux in a guest.
You need a decent processor, a decent CPU, and a decent sized SSD (solid state disk) as the primary hard drive. The best overall performance boost will be a result of using a SSD instead of a traditional hard drive. Stick to the more popular brands that have good support: stay away from odd-ball brands that might cause obscure problems and waste your time. HP, Dell, Lenovo are fine. Acer is fine- there are plenty of other 1st and 2nd tier brands that will be fine.

Re: Student laptop needed. [Re: WagonWheel] #5288313 12/08/19 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by ecotourist
He's an engineering student. He should know (or be able to find out) what he needs. An engineering student should be good at that.

Suggest a ballpark price, ask him to check the specs and come back with 2 - 4 proposals that would meet his needs. Then pick one based on your budget.

Or even better, give him some money and let him pick his own.

Either way he'll be responsible for his purchase.


Originally Posted by WagonWheel
Have him check with the EE department. If he had to do circuit layout using a CAD tool, having a dedicated graphics card would be useful.


+1.

It’s likely that the standard MS office S&W, as well as Matlab-simulink, PSpice, pscad, etc will be necessary. These programs are generally intended to be run on windows machines.

Personally, I’d buy a 15” MacBook Pro, install w10 in boot camp, and then run windows when needed.

That said, there’s often expensive licensing and some higher end SW may not be available to install on a personal computer, versus available in a computer lab.

Re: Student laptop needed. [Re: irv] #5288956 12/08/19 10:09 PM
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If a Windows O/S is required, and you want a solid machine, look at a Microsoft Surface Book.


Surface Book

Last edited by JeffKeryk; 12/08/19 10:09 PM.

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Re: Student laptop needed. [Re: irv] #5289065 12/09/19 05:03 AM
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Expect to spend $1000+ for a quality machine that will last fours of student life And powerful enough now to stay relevant. MacBook Pro is excellent however there are windows equivalents.

Typically universities offer a couple choices and get the maker discounts(Apple and typically Dell) if buying out of sale.

Re: Student laptop needed. [Re: irv] #5290487 12/10/19 02:09 PM
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I have all of our engineers here run generic HP business-class laptops with windows 10 that typically run ~$800-1300 depending if there's a "sale" (some have desktops.) Basically a minimum of 16GB of RAM, at least a 4-core Intel i5, and 1080p screen. SSD is an absolute requirement, especially when working with huge CAD files.

Btw, I've had issues with AutoDesk and Microstation products with laptops that switch between integrated and dedicated GPUs as well as issues with GPUs that are released for specific manufactures (think HP)

We do have a monster $7000 PC for REViT and point-cloud work though.....

Re: Student laptop needed. [Re: irv] #5290527 12/10/19 02:53 PM
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I rarely ever need a laptop since being out of college. I can do 99% of things I need on my iPhone. But yes he will need one for college. What I mean by this is any decent laptop will work fine for 4-5 years so don’t feel the need to spend an arm and a leg. Unless he needs major hardware for EE school any decent laptop will work. Just my opinion. I’d agree with others to throw him the cash and let him choose. I’m sure he’ll have friends he can ask.


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Re: Student laptop needed. [Re: irv] #5290547 12/10/19 03:27 PM
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irv Offline OP
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Sorry for the late reply, guys.

Did some research and went out today to Best buy and was shown/recommended this one from a kid just removed from College/University.

ASUS X512 FA -BH71-CB. It comes with 12 GB RAM, SSD and 17 85bsu or 5u and is a I-7.

It is currently on sale for $899 CDN ($100 off until Thursday)

Because I need to know, I showed my son and he likes it and he said it sounds good.
https://www.91mobiles.com/asus-x512...-windows-10-laptop-price-in-india-134644
https://www.laptopdirect.co.za/laptop-specification-sheet.php?laptop=215869

Thoughts?



Last edited by irv; 12/10/19 03:47 PM.

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Re: Student laptop needed. [Re: irv] #5290701 12/10/19 05:58 PM
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As a EE major he will likely do some software development (VHDL / Verilog are like software development too).

I'd recommend at least a 15" screen, something with at least 8GB of ram with a slot for upgrade to 16GB eventually. An SSD of at least 240GB instead of mechanical hard drive, and 1920x1080 resolution at least.

After all that, look for the longest battery life and longest warranty. You likely won't need the most horse power and he will likely do most of his software / hardware development work on a school computer he remote into, so CPU power is only for gaming, so are GPU power.

After all those above requirement, look for an external monitor for his dorm room and external mouse / keyboard when he sits down.

Just one thing: don't waste your money on a Mac, the software he will run is likely either Windows or Linux based, and Mac can't upgrade their RAM or SSD easily.


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