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Choosing a Laptop for Intensive 3D Modeling and Rendering

I am looking to get a high-end laptop for 3D modeling, animation, and rendering and the one that has caught my eye is the Eurocom Sky X4C both for its upgradability and purported cooling potential but I want some informed opinions before I pull the trigger as well as some alternative suggestions. For the record, I will be doing a lot of traveling and will need a laptop in order to do the work that I need to do so buying a small form-factor PC is out of the question, unfortunately. I am also pretty fit so weight is not a factor, but size is so I would prefer avoiding a 17+ inch model if I can help it, and my budget tops out at around 4K CAD. 

 

 Read through my wall'O'text if you dare or TL;DR:

 

 My primary software would be Maya, Redshift, Substance Painter, Blender, and Zbrush (a pain to get running on Linux but fully doable).

 

 The things that are most important to me are easy Linux (Centos/Mint) installation without driver issues, Thunderbolt 3 (video output support optional), at least a 90% NTSC or RGB colour gamut, strong multi and single core performance, a dedicated GPU with 6-8 gigs of memory, 32GB of RAM, fast storage for caching, and most importantly: Good Cooling. ISV certification and battery life are not important. 

 

 I am avoiding windows 10 due to both its software overhead and stealing VRAM which is important for GPU rendering, so I do not go out of core.

 

 For the more detailed inquiry:

 

 My current specced (and slightly over-budget) version of the Sky X4C:

 

OS: Nothing/Linux

CPU: i7 9700k

GPU: Either a GTX 1070 or RTX 2070 - Maaayyyybe a P3200

RAM: 2x16GB 2400MHZ

Storage: M.2 256GB NVME, M.2 512GB, 2TB Firecuda HDD

Screen: 4K 100% SRGB - Or was it Adobe RGB?

 

 Now onto the caveats: Both the i7 9700K and i9 9900K are listed with a 95w TDP but from an Anandtech article they top out at 125 and 168 watts respectively and a laptop review on youtube showed the X4C constantly throttling with the 9900K while running some uncomfortably high temps close to a hundred degrees C. Would I expect such throttling with the 9700K and would it be better if I went with a lower TDP processor for both longevity and better overall performance?

 

Additionally, I am divided on what GPU I should get. The GTX 1070 is a relatively decent card but the RTX 2070 is newer and faster and will soon have its RTX technology supported in the GPU renderer I use. The problem being that I am not sure if its 525 dollar (CAD) increase in price over the 1070  is worth it combined with the fact that the RTX technology does not seem to be a real game changer when it comes to render speeds and I do not know if the RTX cores amplify the mobile cards TDP, causing it to throttle. 

 

An alternative option is the P3200 (which I am asking Eurocom if they offer this card on request for this laptop mode) which seems to be more expensive than the 1070 but less so than the 2070 (based on various online laptop configuration sites). Due to its drivers its performance in Maya VP2 would be similar to the more powerful 1070 while being multiple times faster in legacy mode, which I am still forced to use sometimes, and just being more stable in general.

 

- Maya really, reeaaallllly hates me. 

 

It would have a much lower powerdraw which means no throttling in the beefy laptop while having higher baseline performance over the 1060 with a similar power draw (4.2 vs 5.3 TFLOPS)

 

 The drawbacks being that its compute performance would be cut by around a TFLOP and a half but as I do not intend to render out full animations, only stills, it would be less of a deal breaker though I may or may not feel it when doing interactive preview rendering.

 

 Things only get worse when it comes to warranty. Being no stranger to having to RMA my laptops I generally go with the three year option which runs the price of around 375 CAD. This puts the 1070 version 100 dollars overbudget and the 2070 version 500 dollars overbudget.

 

 What do, what do.

 

 An alternative I am also looking at, which happens to have almost everything but lacks any upgrade path and has a screen with only 72% NTSC, is the MSI WS63 8SK-021CA. It is only 3500 dollars CAD on amazon but like I said, you cannot upgrade it and it has an inferior screen. Another major issue is I have no idea if you can install linux on it without voiding the warranty let alone the warranty only covering it for one year. I can ask MSI about this but have no hopes of receiving a reply unless someone here already knows.

 

 So, does anyone have any input or alternative suggestions?

 

 THANKS!

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10 minutes ago, Immitem said:

For the record, I will be doing a lot of travelling and will need a laptop in order to do the work that I need to do so buying a small form-factor PC is out of the question, unfortunately. I am also pretty fit so weight is not a factor,

This bit I don't get? You cant exactly 3D render on a laptop battery, so is size the only concern? cos you can get really small pcs.

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laptop: portable

powerfull laptop: less portable

PC: cheaper for performance and it looks cool

 

I tried to read your wall o text but im too stupid to understand half of it. so there is my answer

 

also, 

laptops overheat eisir

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15 minutes ago, James the Broke Gamer said:

laptops overheat

not true

35 minutes ago, Immitem said:

snip

If you want to get Clevo P750/P775/P870, get from resellers that offer delided CPUs like HIDevolution, ObsidianPC etc

Check out my laptop reviews here

 

My daily driver: Lenovo Legion Y530 [REVIEW]

Spoiler

Intel Core i5-8300H Nvidia GTX1050Ti 2GB LP156WFG-SPB2 144Hz IPS 16GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM (2x8GB) Samsung PM981 256GB+Seagate 1TB 5400RPM

Check out my blog here

Laptop ODMsClevo, Tongfang, Quanta

 

My Phone: Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite [REVIEW] (Blue, with XUNDD hard case)

Spoiler

SDM710 6GB RAM 128GB ROM 6.39" AMOLED 48MP Sony IMX586 rear (AI triple camera)

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33 minutes ago, GeneXiS_X said:
49 minutes ago, James the Broke Gamer said:

laptops overheat

not true

well mine does, cuz it has no fans, and yes in general, laptop components are a little squished and the fan height cant always by good enough, so when ever I try to play cod on my laptop it starts toasting my nuts. why do u think they make laptop cooling pads lol

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hes not gonna be 3d modeling on the plane dummy :) he just needs to set it up again in a different country

 

HOWEVER if he is gonna use it on the plane then u have a very valid point lol ;) 

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16 hours ago, James the Broke Gamer said:

why do u think they make laptop cooling pads lol

those are mostly useless

Check out my laptop reviews here

 

My daily driver: Lenovo Legion Y530 [REVIEW]

Spoiler

Intel Core i5-8300H Nvidia GTX1050Ti 2GB LP156WFG-SPB2 144Hz IPS 16GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM (2x8GB) Samsung PM981 256GB+Seagate 1TB 5400RPM

Check out my blog here

Laptop ODMsClevo, Tongfang, Quanta

 

My Phone: Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite [REVIEW] (Blue, with XUNDD hard case)

Spoiler

SDM710 6GB RAM 128GB ROM 6.39" AMOLED 48MP Sony IMX586 rear (AI triple camera)

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20 hours ago, TrigrH said:

This bit I don't get? You cant exactly 3D render on a laptop battery, so is size the only concern? cos you can get really small pcs.

I do not intend to render on the battery. I only need to setup shop in the various locations I have to set down at.

 

20 hours ago, James the Broke Gamer said:

laptop: portable

powerfull laptop: less portable

PC: cheaper for performance and it looks cool

 

I tried to read your wall o text but im too stupid to understand half of it. so there is my answer

 

also, 

laptops overheat eisir

A 15 inch laptop is a 15 inch laptop. It does not matter if it weighs 3 pounds or 10 pounds as long as I can fit it into the same satchel or motorcycle bags I already have.

 

The MSI laptop does not overheat according the reviews I have read on it but the Sky X4C does when fully specced out (in the ballpark of 300-370 watts of combined CPU/GPU TDP) which is not my intention (it also does not help that the GPU and CPU share 2 heatpipes). I want to run it at a lower configuration and hope that I get the best performance without burning it out/throttling but the caveat is that all of the components have their individual drawbacks and I want a second opinion on each. I might make it seem like I have already made up my mind but in reality I am trying to create a spreadsheet on all of the configurations but I just keep adding an increasingly large plethora of criteria in the process and backtracking as I overwhelm and befuddle myself.

 

19 hours ago, GeneXiS_X said:

 

If you want to get Clevo P750/P775/P870, get from resellers that offer delided CPUs like HIDevolution, ObsidianPC etc

I have been mulling over that option as Eurocom offers this service for nearly 200 dollars extra but does the liquid metal TIM not need to be replaced roughly every couple of years?

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