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Thread: Revit on laptops

  1. #1
    AUGI Addict MikeJarosz's Avatar
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    Default Revit on laptops

    We are getting serious about putting Revit on laptops for our Senior staff who spend much of their time on the road. Uh, make that most of their time.

    We have Dell Precision workstations in the office, and they are running just fine. When I called Dell to ask about laptops for Revit, they steered me to the Precision M4700. It has the Autodesk specs, but our finance manager wants to see an alternative price.

    Anyone have Revit running well on something other than Dell? BTW, it will have to run Office and maybe some other things (like Acad )
    "everything you know is wrong...." -FST

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    Certifiable AUGI Addict irneb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Revit on laptops

    I've got Revit Building Suite 2013 working decently on my HP Pavilion dv6 i7 and it's even just their bottom of the range on that model. Though for some reason mine has a 1GB Radeon card instead of the "default" GeForce. Still only 8GB Ram, but sems fine thus far.

    The only issue I have is screen size & resolution - the 15" is a bit small for all the functions in the ribbon, especially since I've only got the 1366x768. That I'd definitely recommend upgrading, though I'm in 2 minds as to if I should go to a 17". My previous 17" laptop could only run for about 30min on battery - not good enough. The new one can handle near 3 hours of Revit working before it goes to hibernate. So for me that one works reasonably, though it is not even considered as a "mobile workstation". For that HP recommends going to their EliteBook range: http://www.hp.com/united-states/camp...l#.US8JHVdf-Uk

    Don't know what the Dell's price difference is though. If you want to check something closer to matching, perhaps look at the Sager laptops: http://www.sagernotebook.com/index.p...ial&mid=NP9150

    Apparently Toshiba and Lenovo also make quite decent mobile workstations: http://www.bestcovery.com/best-mobil...station-laptop

    Or if you reeeeeealy want to get "the best possible": GoBoxx http://www.boxxtech.com/Products/goboxx-1850

    But IMO, going with a full-on workstation as a laptop kind of defeats a laptop's purpose. Firstly, using a touchpad for Revit/ACad is simply idiotic - so you have to have a mobile mouse (wired / bluetooth as per your choice). Second a mobile workstation can't be placed on your "lap" (not to mention where are you going to push your mouse), it's too heavy and it's too HOT!!! (So you're going to search for a table) Third if you want to do any kind of long term working (more than a few minutes) - you're going to search for a power point pretty soon (especially if you go with such a high-end machine). That's why I went with a much cheaper low-end thing - allows lots more battery without loosing too much functionality. It's not as fast as my desktop, but pretty close - only on some stupidly large RVT files (in excess of 300MB) it starts showing its inferiority.

    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeJarosz View Post
    ... it will have to run Office and maybe some other things (like Acad )
    If Revit runs, I don't think you have to worry about any other programs (ACad included) - they all have lots less requirements.
    Last edited by irneb; 2013-02-28 at 08:04 AM.
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    Certifiable AUGI Addict dhurtubise's Avatar
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    Default Re: Revit on laptops

    MBP here, the 17" that i got just before they cancelled it. Got 16GB RAM, SSD (2x) and 2.5Ghz CPU.
    Works like a charm on any size project. I also use the Thunderbolt 27" display to act as a docking station.

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    AUGI Addict MikeJarosz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Revit on laptops

    The person we are getting this for likes the Dell XPS 15. It meets or exceeds the specs of the Dell Precision laptop. The only exception being the video, which is a NVIDIA GeForce GT-640M with 2Gigs. It's not on the Autodesk certified hardware list. This is meant to be a gaming machine, so this video might exceed Revit requirements. It's also lighter.....

    Any thoughts?
    "everything you know is wrong...." -FST

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    100 Club rosskirby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Revit on laptops

    We just purchased an HP EliteBook 8570w. It's capable of running up to 32GB of RAM, so it's relatively future proof, and runs Revit 2013 like a dream at the current 8 GB of RAM and Nvidia K1000M video card. We primarily use it for on-the-fly input of information during field verifications, but it's got a decent battery life (4+ hours when working on a fairly large Revit model). It's also relatively cheap (got it for about $1700, including taxes and a 3-year parts/service warranty). Let me know if you want the full specs.

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    Default Re: Revit on laptops

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeJarosz View Post
    The person we are getting this for likes the Dell XPS 15. It meets or exceeds the specs of the Dell Precision laptop. The only exception being the video, which is a NVIDIA GeForce GT-640M with 2Gigs. It's not on the Autodesk certified hardware list. This is meant to be a gaming machine, so this video might exceed Revit requirements. It's also lighter.....
    Any thoughts?
    While the Dell XPS 15 looks sleek and is quite light, I'd consider holding a physical version of it. Many of the ultrabooks that try to be in the same category as the Mac Air feel quite flimsy to me. I can't speak directly to the GeForce GT640M, but if it isn't tested then I personally would steer clear... had too many video card issues with Autodesk products, Revit included, that would make me wary.

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    Certifiable AUGI Addict irneb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Revit on laptops

    Quote Originally Posted by damon.sidel View Post
    ... had too many video card issues with Autodesk products, Revit included, that would make me wary.
    Too true! Strangely enough we've just found an issue with some GeForce cards in our Desktops: A 3d view would not work properly - the order of objects gets screwed up showing furniture which should be behind a wall as if it's in front. Had to revert to an older driver to fix the problem - so it seems updating isn't always what it's cut out to be.

    I haven't had any issues with the Radeon in my laptop yet, but of course it's no Quadro / FireGL. You notice only on extremely large models that it's not too fast. Try for something with at least 2GB dedicated video ram - preferably more (and don't be fooled, some of those "4GB" cards just take shared RAM which is actually slower than not having the extra RAM). A 1GB is a bit on the low side (most mobile cards are 1GB with possible extension using shared, but as stated that's useless) - unless your models never exceed 100 to 200 MB, then there's no apparent difference in speed (even comparing to a Quadro) - as long as you don't turn on the shared RAM.

    I would have liked to get the EliteBook, but costwise it was just over my budget. Got my Pavilion for ZAR 12000 = US$ 1330 ... that's due to the stupid import duties over here and the middle-man's take. HP's price in the US for that is $830. Now imagine what the EliteBook costs here? http://www.pricecheck.co.za/offers/4...e+i7+Notebook/

    And the Precision: http://www.pricecheck.co.za/offers/3...e+i7+Notebook/
    Knowledge is proportional to experience, but wisdom is inversely proportional to ego!
    My little bit of "wisdom": Hind-sight is useless, unless used to improve the next forethought!

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    Default Re: Revit on laptops

    I just bought a Lenovo W530, with an i7, K2000M graphics card, 500 GB HDD and 16GB solid state second drive, and 16 gigs of RAM. I did a couple of Max renderings last night, and it is very fast. I've been running two instances of Revit 2013 all day, and it is very nice. The matte screen is bright and glare free. I have a second 24-inch monitor hooked up, and it's working well. This is my second ThinkPad (I bought one years ago) and I am now off Dell. I was previously using a Studio XPS 17, which was nice at the time, but it crashed a lot and the screen was very glossy.

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