Having used desktop for cg works/animations,I am wondering if a laptop would be okay to use for 3d works though the rendering part especially with realistic renderers might not be a good idea.
I am considering getting a laptop with moderate specs as u can do ur work anywhere,and anytime especially when traveling.It also consumes less power and I am more interested in realtime rendering.Problem is,most laptops do not allow graphics card upgrade and they overheat easily.I am wondering if there are laptops now that allow changing of graphics cards and ram.Why laptops don’t have external graphics card/ram that u can just plug in and use like the external hard drive is really mind bugging.
Its nice to know though that high specs laptops with good graphics card exist nowadays.Someone mentioned laptops now are capable of rendering fairly well and if u need to upgrade,just sell the one u have and buy a better one or trade it in for another.Whereas desktops are like investments,all u need to do is change a specific hardware.
So,do any of u use laptops for ur cg works or a desktop?
Laptops and desktops have their pros and cons. With very few exceptions, you cannot swap a laptop GPU, and even those that do have removable GPUs are more for replacing bad cards as opposed to upgrading (read: Impractical, not impossible to upgrade).
That said, a strong laptop with a quad core (Intel) CPU, a GTX 770M (2+ GB GDDR5), 8GB+ of RAM, and your choice of storage drives would be a worthy rendering machine that would destroy most PCs used here (this claim based on the community spec spreadsheet here), or make the jump up to the GTX 780M, which is a fully enabled desktop GTX 680. An equally priced desktop, though, would still be quite more powerful, especially when GTX Titan is involved.
My laptop is a 1st gen core i5 (2.53 GHz) with a Radeon 5470, so Cycles is a cpu-only affair, though I’ve had a fair amount of success in that regard. I just have to be patient. I am curious though if I can use an eGPU (through the mPCIe slot) to execute CUDA code. I’d probably look toward a used GTX 560 TI for this purpose.
You can change the graphic cards of laptops with MXM and not soldered graphic cards, if you know what you’re doing you can even change soldered ones. And there are also external graphic cards.
Anyways. Here’s my unsorted list of downsides to consider:
Rendering/Working requires a lot more power, so if you want to use your notebook more than 60 minutes you’ll require a power outlet and are not that mobile anymore. Of you get a battery pack with a lot more juice, which pushes the weight.
Notebooks are a lot more expensive compared to a desktop with the same power.
A high resolution display, which makes work convenient pushes the price of a notebook
Notebooks are generally build to be small and mobile and only offer the minimum of airflow and cooling necessary for it to function. The focus is not high cooling capacity, but low noise and light and compact form. The constant heat is not the problem, but notebooks tend to heat up very high, to the allowed threshold and then cool down again rather quickly too. If you do that it’ll result in mechanical stress and causes micro fractures on the mainboard interrupting the circuit paths, depending on the heat expansion.
The number one reason why notebooks fail.
Especially for Blender, no full size keyboard. If you use Layers and the viewport alignment hotkeys, you’ll have a bad time, or got to get an USB numeric keypad.
Some food for thought:
IMO an average notebook is not a desktop replacement, it’s an additional tool and truth to be told, for the most people I see having a netbook or notebook, a 150 bucks tablet would have sufficed for their needs. Anyways:
We life in the information age, and internet access is widely spread.
I’d get a powerful machine, stationary at home, and a notebook with enough graphic capacity to do some smooth modelling, depending on what you’re after. Mobile sculpting is not really great, maybe with a Tablet PC with Pen input, but not so much with the mouse, and not with the trackpad.
An IGP HD4000 for instance does quite a good job already letting you model in Blender, is rather cheap and power effective.
And if you need to render? You send the job back home to your machine. Can be a wooden box with a huge fan in front of it in your toolshed, without display/mouse/keyboard, just a lot of ram and computational power, be it CPU/GPU. Send it and fetch the rendered frame.
The obvious downside, no cycles realtime view. You could bypass that issue though if you get a remote session going and simply stream the desktop from your “home server” to your notebook… you need a decent bandwidth though.
In any case, everything beyond a mediocre desktop sitting at home comes with quite a pricetag.
I have been using my laptop for work a long time now, it works pretty well if you only consider it an additional tool for doing lightweight stuff like modeling and texturing, that being said I don’t have an extraordinary laptop. It is a relatively cheap midrange one but my friend/neighbor has a real alienware gaming computer. It cost him a lot and he uses it only for gaming (as you would expect) but you can easily do some heavy-lifting CG work on it no problem.
I am very happy with my laptop because it allows me to work even when I’m at my girlfriend’s house but I have my desktop computer at home which I use to do all the heavy stuff like rendering/simulations/etc.
A desktop replacement type laptop still wont be able to match a desktop and if they came close, it would come at a hefty price. They do get pretty large and pretty heavy and they do tend to suck more juice… so they wont last long on battery power.
IMO desktop replacements will cost a lot though, so whatever advantage you get with it’s portability is offset a bit, but honestly you’re gonna need to plug it in when you’re working so what’s the point? Just get a desktop…
IMO The MATX and MITX platforms are getting more and more powerful all the time. A 4770 + z87 MiTX board + Decent videocard has a footprint the size of a shoebox and more than enough power for your needs.
Moved from “General Forums > Blender and CG Discussions” to “Support > Technical Support”
Sadly, for desktop that is, the step up from Ivy Bridge to Haswell shows that Intel no longer considers pure computional grunt a priority showing almost no improvement in performance. If the trend holds tablets will soon be nearly as powerful as desktop PCs, although on-die GPUs have much more of a performance gap with discrete GPUs. Perhaps Ubuntu Touch is not such a bad idea after all.
The main reason I am considering a laptop is the mobility.If I need to use it,I will rather have it plugged in than running it on battery.When I said travelling,I meant away from home,like in a cafe,with friends or on vacations e.t.c.
I know someone who has been able to fasten his project progress this way.He does most of his animation with his laptop in cafes to reduce power consumption at home,and it consumes less power to using a desktop.Its convenient especially when meeting up with team members to animate scenes.Since he renders directly from the viewport,no serious issues with rendering.Meets up with clients to show updates or final work.When away from home,work gets done.
I will definitely consider getting a laptop(maybe a gaming one),its just the ideal thing to do,rather than waste valuable time till one gets home,work and progress is being made towards project completion.