Advise on Laptop for Blender

Newbie,
Just getting into 3d & Blender & am considering a new laptop if it will improve the
experience & work flow significantly. My current laptop (which is relatively new itself)
is a Gateway md7818u & am considering upgrading for a better graphics card & full
keyboard. I’m debating between these 2 laptops -
Toshiba A505-S6965 (ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 with 512 MEG DDR3 discrete mem).

Asus G50Vt-X5 (NVIDIA GeForce 9800M GS graphics with 512 Meg discrete mem).

The Gateway I have has an integrated shared memory graphics card - Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD

Can anyone advise as to weather either of the 2 laptops I’m considering above would
significantly improve my performance in work flow speed with blender & which would
you advise? Having a full keypad with number keys will definitely be a benefit but I’m
wondering how important the upgrade in graphic card is.

Thanks

I think your better choice of the three is the NVIDIA card because it has the latest OpenGL Library (3.0) of which Blender uses, and more memory bandwidth than the other two.

That being said, I don’t think you will notice any significant difference. You also may not max out your experience until you get a year into Blender.

By then something better at the same price will come along.

I have been looking at laptops myself, so I can share some of my experience.

In my understanding, the most important piece of computer hardware for rendering is the CPU speed. The graphics card is just used for displaying the pre-rendered scene.

There is a site that benchmarks CPU speed called Passmark. You can find ratings for various CPUs @ http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php. I have found that the ratings that they have posted follow relatively closely to rendering speed.

The Passmark rating for your current computer (which has an Intel T6400) is 1316. The Passmark rating for either of the new computers that you are looking at (which both have an Intel P7450) is a 1528. So you should receive about a 15% boost in rendering speed with either of the new computers.

IMO, that is not enough of a performance boost for the price that you will be paying for a new computer.

I have an ASUS laptop and it works well. One thing about CPU usage, especially for rendering,is that my laptop gets hot (65C) when it remains at full CPU load during an extended render session. If you can purchase arctic silver or an improved heat sink compound do so.

Thanks all for the input. I ended up upgrading my laptop to this - MSI GX720-032US
I actually barely got my order in in time to catch it on sale for $699 but even at it’s current
price of $749 it seems almost a steal. I was able to return my Gateway to Best Buy for
a full refund because I had purchesd it less than 30 days ago so I’m only out an additional
$100 for this upgrade. After I recieve the laptop & have had a little time to use it I’ll try to
remember to post on here what I think of it for anyone else in the process of considering a
new laptop.
The specs & connectivity options (Even has Firewire) on this thing are pretty awesome for this price. Fingers
crossed there’s not some kind of catch or bug with it. It does only come with Vista 32
rather than 64 pre-installed but I don’t see that as a bigy for now. It comes with a 5400RPM
hard drive so since i figured the price on the laptop was so good & I had a little money
to spare I also ordered a 320GB 7200RPM Seagate to replace the stock drive.

Thanks all for the comments. I ended up returning my Gateway laptop to Best Buy for a
full refund since I had purchased it less than 30 days ago & I upgraded to this from Tiger Direct-

MSI GX720-032US

It’s currently listed by Tiger direct as unavailable but to anyone currently in the market
for a laptop you may want to keep an eye on it to see if they get more in stock. I barely
placed my order in time to grab one from a limited quantities sale for only $699 which is a
hard to believe steel for this thing!!! The day after I grabbed one they raised the price to $749
(still a steel as it lists for $1100) and next day went to unavailable. Check
the complete specs to see what I mean about a steel for that price. It also came with a
very nice back pack equivalent to ones I’ve seen for $70 !!! I’ve only had it for a couple
days so far & am extremely pleased with it. Only minor negative is it came with Vista
32 bit rather than Vista 64 bit.