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TechZone Heading
3D on the Laptop Computers
Added on: Tue Jun 04 2002
Page: 2 3 4 

For the past couple of weeks I have been on the search for the best laptop for Max. I thought I would share my findings with you for a couple of reasons.

First off, we are at the beginning of a new era in working with Max: the Laptop Age. :) Only recently have notebooks achieved the ability to adequately handle working in Max. Some of you might disagree; stating facts about a few rare laptops designed for the artist on the go, but I speak of not special laptops designed for a niche, but rather average, high-end laptops which are being made by all popular laptop companies which rival PCs built and used for Max just last year...and for a lot less.

Secondly, I feel that your basic graphic artist/designer in the future will feel some need to be "mobile". Recently, I was working a contract that called for design in Max and Photoshop. It was easy to show my client work I had done in Photoshop on my boss's laptop and then implement changes on-the-fly, but for the work in Max, I had to go home, make the changes and then email them or drive back to show the client the changes.

Also, how great it is to go to a park and sit with laptop in hand and draw inspiration from nature or people walking by? Painters, at least most, dont just sit at the easel day and night in their lofts. They travel out to different destinations searching for their next muse or inspiration for their next masterpiece.

Having said these things, I will now share what I have learned about finding the best laptop to run Max for your money.

In the next couple of years, most mid to high range laptops will be powerhouses for Max. If you have even $1200, you will be able to get a good system for working in Max. Today, a good system for running Max will run you at least $1500 for a new, name brand laptop. The bare essentials for running max adequately are: at least a high range p3 (at least 750mhz) and at least a GeForce2.

Don't settle for anything less. The only two graphics chipsets you can really use are the ATI Mobility Radeon and the NVidia Geforce2/4 Go. There are Intel, SiS and other graphics chipsets out there, but they are far from being capable of running Max efficiently. These are the bare essentials for running Max, but not what I recommend.

What I recommend

Dell Inspiron 8200For $1500, right now you can get a Dell Inspiron 8200 that has a p4 1.6 and a 32 meg GeForce440 Go. This is a great laptop for a great price. Scores will be in the upper 4000s in 3DMark 2001. In my opinion, any laptop that can do over 3000 in 3DMark 2001 is a good/sound purchase. The best laptop out there, in my opinion is the Toshiba 5105-s607.

It is a monster of a machine in power, not in size. It is a little more than 7 pounds and 1.3inch thick, but you wont find anything else as powerful and stable. Some will argue the Inspiron 8200 is better, but the Dell notebook is not as strudy and, in my opinion, the screen is not as vivid and clear as that of the Toshiba. Either is a great purchase.

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