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Engineering degree-Which computer should I get?

Sandbiter
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Hello,

I am an aspiring engineering student at Virginia Tech (the requirements https://eng.vt.edu/admissions/computer-requirement.html) and need to purchase a new laptop. The only problem is that I don't know which one as I have never properly used an engineering program. I don't know which things to prioritize while keeping the functionality allowing me to use it as my daily driver as a college student. Any and all help would be appreciated. 

Thanks

p.s. trying to keep the price around 2 big ones

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Shouldn't matter too much, as long as its decent spec wise. I am a sophomore mechanical engineer, have not had to use any super intensive programs yet. Besides, sometimes there are desktops in the class where you use the programs.

n0ah1897, on 05 Mar 2014 - 2:08 PM, said:  "Computers are like girls. It's whats in the inside that matters.  I don't know about you, but I like my girls like I like my cases. Just as beautiful on the inside as the outside."

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i am a chemical engineer and some of the stuff i use is intensive, but not as much to go all out, for like simulation software, a good quad core laptop is fine, i mainly only use matlab anyways, and a program called Hysys by Aspen and they just use up some of cpu performance, 

edit: i just have a bit of gpu to game on the side, so far havent really seen any programs benefit too much from gpu unless in matlab's case you use parallel processing which i doubt will happen in your degree

PC: Alienware 15 R3  Cpu: 7700hq  GPu : 1070 OC   Display: 1080p IPS Gsync panel 60hz  Storage: 970 evo 250 gb / 970 evo plus 500gb

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I have a Mechanical Engineering degree, and very rarely did anything intensive on a personal computer. Most of the intensive stuff you'll do in school will be in groups, so doing it in a lab is often times simpler. 

 

FWIW my personal computer when I graduated in 2014 was a Phenom II X4 with a GTX-570, and that was more than enough for the limited stuff I did on my personal PC. 

CPU: i7-4790k MOBO: Asus Maximus VII Gene RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance Pro CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken X63 w/ Noctua NF-A14s 

GPU: Asus Strix GTX-980 Case: Corsair 350D PSU: Corsair AX-760i Storage: 2 x 500GB Evo RAID0 + 2 x 8TB WD Red's in RAID1 

 

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anything that can run some hefty matlab is probably fine

I spent $2500 on building my PC and all i do with it is play no games atm & watch anime at 1080p(finally) watch YT and write essays...

Builds:

The Toaster Project! Northern Bee!

 

The original LAN PC build log! (Old, dead and replaced by The Toaster Project & 5.0)

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#1. Treat others as you would like to be treated.

#2. It's best to keep your mouth shut; and appear to be stupid, rather than open it and remove all doubt.

#3. There is nothing "wrong" with being wrong. Learning from a mistake can be more valuable than not making one in the first place.

 

Follow these simple rules in life, and I promise you, things magically get easier. " - MageTank 31-10-2016

 

 

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You probably could get by with a Surface Pro. I had a friend who was in college for Mechanical Engineering and used that

Main Rig CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2600 GPU: Asus TUF Gaming RX5700XT MB:ASUS TUF Gaming B450M-Plus RAM: Crucial Ballistix 32gb DDR4 3000MT/s CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Master Liquid LC240E SSD: Crucial 250gb M.2 + Crucial 500gb SSD HDD: PSU: Corsair CX650M Case: Corsair Carbide 275R KB: Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 SE MOUSE: Corsair M65 Pro RGB HEADSET: Corsair Void Pro RGB

 

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Honestly most anything will get you by-- my first 3 years of undergrad (Mech E) were on a Pentium D desktop that I replaced senior year with a then-new X58 machine. My laptop until I got my first job post-graduate school was an old Dell Lattitude with a Centrino M and 32mb quadro (yep!), and it ran Solidworks/matlab well enough for schoolwork. Anything intensive I either did on my desktop or a lab computer.

 

That said, I'd do things differently now if I were back at school, especially since the rate of technology progress is far more stagnant than it was in the 2000s. If you are only bringing one machine to school, I would aim for something like a mobile workstation, but one that skews towards portability. As my work computer I have a Dell Precision 5520 and it's a beast at solidworks and matlab (mobile i7/Xeon + Quadro), has a long-lived battery, can game well enough to get by, and has next-day support courtesy of just being Dell's premier business model line. I'd suggest taking a look at Dell/HP/etc models similar to that kind of a machine. Depending on the type of engineering you're interested in, the non-Quadro variant is the XPS 15.

I'll also say that I have used a Lenovo T440S for years for solidworks and matlab use, and it's slower but I got work done just fine (only has an i-GPU). Don't stress the hardware too much, and don't stretch the budget to buy more machine than you really need. Something cheap and good-enough means more money for beer.

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Do you think a zenbook 14 or a LG gram would work?

 

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15 hours ago, Bananasplit_00 said:

anything that can run some hefty matlab is probably fine

Anything can run some hefty matlab. Its just the time you have to wait for the program to run.

 

n0ah1897, on 05 Mar 2014 - 2:08 PM, said:  "Computers are like girls. It's whats in the inside that matters.  I don't know about you, but I like my girls like I like my cases. Just as beautiful on the inside as the outside."

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