New laptop for using Blender?

Hi guys! I’m searching for a laptop I can take with me on trips that can work with Blender. I used a desktop most of the time but I’d like a laptop I could take on the go. What would you recommend that would work with blender in the $600 price range?

I heard integrated graphics can cause problems with Blender, is this true? Most of the laptops I’ve been looking at have integrated graphics.

One I am considering is here:

Do you think this one would work? I use Blender for rendering and modeling for animation projects, I don’t use the game engine. Are there any other ones that might be good? Thanks!

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Integrated graphics are slow, but they work. You can’t use them for rendering, so you would have to use CPU rendering. Anything higher poly or complex animations start to slow down the machine. I speak from experience as my laptop has a Haswell i7 with a 4400m integrated gpu. If we were talking game assets, I would say you’d be fine give or take an occasional slowdown or two, but beyond that it becomes really questionable.

The other two questionable things about that laptop is the screen and the hard drive. 720p at 15" is enough to see pixel blur which would affect your art. 1600x900 would be better. Also, the hard drive is not an SSD, which makes it less practical if you just want to open up your computer and be up in running in a few seconds. Gaming laptops are the way to go, or any workstation laptop that has a gaming gpu is good too. Firepro cards work like beefy integrated gpus, and while I haven’t seen artifacts yet in Blender, I’ve seen them screw things up in Unity before.

The sub-$600 computer market has been pretty crap lately, and will be until we see Zen+Polaris devices hit market.

If you are keeping it in the 600 dollar price range, you should be able to find many laptops that can handle modest scenes and sculpts, provided you are mindful with your poly counts and they should do alright with animation work.

But if you need rendering solutions I would suggest using a teamviewer and drop box solution to have a desktop at home to do that work for you. Otherwise if you are looking for a laptop to do actual rendering on your price range is going to end up being more like 2k

Just to give you some real numbers, I once animated a 67k poly dog for a game jam (the environment was fairly low poly so I could get away with it without having to retopo). I was supposed to animate it at 60 fps, but playback would only play up to 30 in solid mode and 26 in material mode. Wireframe was ironically sub 1 frame. This is an i7 4500u with 4400m graphics. You can expect about double that with the latest integrated gpus.

I would suggest that the market for the ~$600 laptops is focused on browsing and watching streamed content on something larger than a human hand, rather than doing anything technical. One could argue that anything between that and the $1-1.5k devices are more about showing off the size of your… wallet… than providing technical capabilities. :eyebrowlift:

I’d make the comparison of GPU hardware downwards rather than upwards ie. the integrated graphics found on virtually all modern processors are stripped down, limited versions of dedicated cards, intended to help casual users with app-games and graphics-heavy sites. You definitely want a dedicated card of some kind for doing any kind of productive production work. Of course that will push the cost out towards the $2k mark. Its all a question of exactly how much work are you expecting to get done while mobile?

Thanks for all of the information everyone! It really helps get some perspective on what might be able do different things. Thanks for the help!