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Old   April 22, 2012, 03:14
Default Laptop for CFD - recommendation
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Dear All

I am going to buy laptop for working mostly for meshing in ICEM CFD and ANSYS meshing and post processing.

Also I shall be preparing the tutorials and training on Fluent, CFX, ICEPACK and similar codes in ANSYS suit of softwares. But these CFD simulations shall be limited to representative problems and would not exceed 1.5 million nodes and may be few hour simulation for demonstration purpose.

After recommendation and home work in local market I have finalized these specs :

1. Dell inspiron n5110 Ci5, 2410M, 1 GB graphics card, 8 GM RAM, 500 GB hard disk, 600 USD
2. Dell inspiron n5110 Ci7, 2630M, 1 GB graphics card, 8 GB RAM, 750 GM hard disk, 730 USD
3. HP pro book with specs at para 1.

What do you recommend from these or any thing else, you think better than one shown above. Also write down some pros and cons for decision making.

Thankyou.
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Old   April 22, 2012, 14:30
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You should perhaps consider the screen size and resolution in your decision making process. IcemCFD in particular packs a lot of icons into the user interface, and you need a display with decent resolution to get the best use out of it. The resolution in particular is a big differentiator in terms of what you get for your money. If you are going to do a lot of meshing on the laptop, and your budget is limited, it makes sense to rather have more RAM and more screen than more CPU power. Budget laptops tend to have nice bright displays, but with rather low resolution. Dell makes some laptops with wonderful displays, but I'm not sure that this is one of them.
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Old   April 22, 2012, 14:47
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can you suggest one?

What should be screen size?

I also considered 17 inch screen size, but someone told me it would be too heavy to carry.

As far as the resolution is considered, the laptop I look at, are all of HD resolution with 1GB graphics card. What do you say?
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Old   April 22, 2012, 14:52
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http://www.alienware.com/Landings/la...t=1&redirect=2
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Old   April 22, 2012, 15:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Far View Post

I also considered 17 inch screen size, but someone told me it would be too heavy to carry.

As far as the resolution is considered, the laptop I look at, are all of HD resolution with 1GB graphics card. What do you say?
Yes ... I think whoever said that about the 17" screen knew what they were talking about. I curse my 15.6" Lenovo R500 every time that I have to carry it around, and it is not as heavy as most 17" laptops.

You should perhaps also consider that you have the option of simply hooking up a second, inexpensive, large high resolution monitor, if you are going to be working in your own office most of the time. I don't do it that way, but perhaps I should. Laptops with high-res displays are expensive, and this could give you the best of both worlds. FWIW, my R500 has a 1680X1050 display. There is nothing magical about that configuration, but it seems to be a good choice for CFD meshing and post-processing. Things have moved on a lot since I bought it, but it seems that high resolution laptop displays still come at a price premium.

I think the 1 GB graphics card is a good idea in principle, but keep in mind that they are not all equal. It is probably worth paying a bit extra to get good OpenGL performance. Also, I see that some of those Alienware machines allow you to get up to 16 GB of RAM, which I would say is well worth getting, rather than just 8. Even if you have to compromise on some other parameters.
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Old   April 22, 2012, 15:31
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Should I go for the dell studio? or stuck to inspiron?
http://www.dell.com/us/p/studio-1558/pd
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Old   April 22, 2012, 15:46
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Maybe shop around a bit more, for other brands as well, now that you have a better idea of what you really need. If you configure the Dell with the "Full HD" display rather than just HD, you get 1920X1080, which is nice, but it bumps up the price USD 150 to USD 1050. And you stil have only 8 GB of RAM, which is too little if you need to do moderately serious meshing.
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Old   April 23, 2012, 10:25
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If you can buy a customized Dell laptop I would go with a Mobile Precision M6600, here is my idea of configuration:


PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ i7-2860QM (Quad Core 2.50GHz,8M cache, Upgradable to Intel® vPro™ technology) edit
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® 7 Professional, No Media, 64-bit, English edit
SYSTEM RECOVERY OPTIONS Dell Back-up and Recovery Manager for Windows 7, Multiple Language edit
PRODUCTIVITY SOFTWARE Microsoft Office Starter: reduced-functionality Word and Excel with ads. No PowerPoint or Outlook edit
SECURITY SOFTWARE Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security Services, 30-days edit
MEMORY 16.0GB, DDR3-1600MHz SDRAM, 4 DIMMS edit
HARD DRIVE 512GB (SATA3) Mobility Solid State Drive edit
HARD DRIVE CONFIGURATION All Hard Drives, Non-RAID, 1,2 or 3 drive total configuration edit
GRAPHICS CARD NVIDIA® Quadro® 5010M with 4GB GDDR5 edit
OPTICAL DRIVE 8X DVD with Cyberlink Power DVD™, no media edit
LCD DISPLAY 17.3" UltraSharp™ FHD(1920x1080) Wide View LED Multi-Touch w/Stylus, Premium Panel Guarantee edit
INTEGRATED WEBCAM Light Sensitive Webcam and Noise Cancelling Digital Array Mic, Touch Screen edit
INTERNAL KEYBOARD Internal English Backlit Keyboard edit
TOUCHPAD OPTIONS No Fingerprint Reader and No Contactless Smartcard Reader edit
WIRELESS CARDS Dell Wireless™ 1501 802.11b/g/n Half Mini Card edit
BLUETOOTH Dell Wireless® 375 Bluetooth Module edit
BATTERY OPTIONS 9-cell (97Wh) Lithium Ion Battery edit
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Old   April 23, 2012, 10:32
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If you buy from Dell be careful to specifically ask for the OS and configuration CDs. Dell, like most manufacturers, will give you a preinstalled Windows 7 on your machine loaded with crappy extras that you won't really need (eBay links, Microsoft Works, plus some demo programs). While you can uninstall most of their crap it is cleaner to reinstall the OS, the drivers and the antivirus program that comes with your laptop.

In my above selection I chose a 4GB Nvidia graphic card, this is helpful if your software uses the GPU for calculations or if you plan to write software for the GPU yourself. The SSD hard drive will speed up a lot the start time of all your applications and it is also useful if you often save your work.

I personally use a similar configuration, very powerful machine, a bit heavy to carry around but it pays this by the speed with which you can do your CFD calculations.

If you think you the screen resolution is too low you can always buy a large high quality monitor, for CFD I think is more important to have enough RAM (the above machine can have up to 32 GB RAM) and raw processor power.

Last edited by DoHander; April 23, 2012 at 10:50.
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Old   April 23, 2012, 10:35
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Can you please mention the approximate cost of this system?
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Old   April 23, 2012, 10:48
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It is a bit costly, I bought my computer trough my institution so I wasn't really interested in making a compromise cost/quality. The above config is about 8000$.
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Old   April 23, 2012, 12:23
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You should look at @Xi computers. They make some quite capable laptops. Intel just announced the Ivy Bridge processors, and by all indications they are quite capable. If you already have a computing resource, it might be worth waiting a month or so for the ivy bridge laptops to hit the market.

A mobile workstation-type laptop will probably better meet your expectations but you will have to pay for it (~$2000 US starting). Do you already have a workstation that you're running analysis' on? If you have a reliable internet connection you can use your laptop to Remote Desktop to the workstation and run the analysis.
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Old   April 23, 2012, 13:04
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I shopped around a bit today to see what was available, and one of the things I noticed is that I think you will battle to find a laptop smaller than 17" that will allow you to install 16 GB of RAM. So that is a trade-off you have to make. For sure, if you are going to be doing reasonably serious meshing, you will want the 16 GB, but you will have to lug around a bulky and heavy machine. Fugacity has a point, if price is a concern (and when isn´t it?) you can try to find a suitable barebones machine that you can get configured to your specifications. Here I was able to find a 17 inch Mecer with decent graphics and 16 GB of RAM, for the equivalent of around USD 1200.
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Old   April 23, 2012, 22:56
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From your initial statement, seems your work with these packages will be fairly light.
If you are doing demos, you will most likely be connecting to a projector with low res, 1024x768, maybe 1280x1024. While creating and daily work at the office, nothing beats a dock with >24 inch high res monitor (1920x1200 or higher).

I am using a Lenovo W701 (not made anymore) basically maxed out with the Quadro 3800M and 16GB of RAM. My work dictates this by needing to load multiple 10+ million jobs for customer presentations. Also, meshing some pretty decent projects in ICEM. I would not trade this beast for anything, unless they come out with something lighter not sacrificing cpu/gpu/power.

A good suggestion would be the Lenovo W520. Decent OpenGL with the capability of 32GB of RAM !! It is a 15 inch 1920x1080 screen and a bit pricey but Lenovo has online deals all the time.

the HP and Dell portable workstations are also good machines.

Bottom line for a portable workstation, nVidia Quadro gpu, at least 8GB ram, laptop screen should do 1920x1080

good luck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Far View Post
Dear All

I am going to buy laptop for working mostly for meshing in ICEM CFD and ANSYS meshing and post processing.

Also I shall be preparing the tutorials and training on Fluent, CFX, ICEPACK and similar codes in ANSYS suit of softwares. But these CFD simulations shall be limited to representative problems and would not exceed 1.5 million nodes and may be few hour simulation for demonstration purpose.

After recommendation and home work in local market I have finalized these specs :

1. Dell inspiron n5110 Ci5, 2410M, 1 GB graphics card, 8 GM RAM, 500 GB hard disk, 600 USD
2. Dell inspiron n5110 Ci7, 2630M, 1 GB graphics card, 8 GB RAM, 750 GM hard disk, 730 USD
3. HP pro book with specs at para 1.

What do you recommend from these or any thing else, you think better than one shown above. Also write down some pros and cons for decision making.

Thankyou.
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Old   May 11, 2012, 02:24
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I have bought the Dell inspiron n5110 2450. Specs are:

1. 2.5 Ghz ci5 .
2. 4 GB RAM
3. 1 GB dedicated graphics by NVIDIA http://www.geforce.com/hardware/desk...eforce-gt-525m and when not required shifted to Intel low level graphics card to minimize the power usage. http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=222744. This is termed as Optimus http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=225865
4. 15.6 HD LED display.

At the moment I am happy with these specs.

Now I have another question:
1. Should I use the cooling pad for it? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laptop_cooler
2. If in future when I need to change the batteries, then should be specs of the battery (6 cell, 9 cells or 12 cells)
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Old   May 11, 2012, 17:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Far View Post
Now I have another question:
1. Should I use the cooling pad for it? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laptop_cooler
Work with the laptop a bit to see if it is needed. Chances are that a Dell will be sufficiently well-engineered for it to be unnecessary. I used to own an HP Nx6325, which got amazingly hot, especially around the area where you rest your wrists, to the point of acute discomfort. A very simple solution was to just lift up up the back edge by an inch or so (wedge a book under it!), to allow air to circulate underneath. The difference was dramatic.
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Old   May 29, 2012, 12:35
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Could you please give some details? Thankyou
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Old   May 30, 2012, 07:55
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Quote:
i have better option for you.
What better options you have for me?
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Old   May 30, 2012, 09:10
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Far:

The poster you were replying to was a spammer....I have remoevd his posts. He was just posting to have his spam link signature visible.
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Old   May 30, 2012, 09:12
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................................

Thanks Ryne
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