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Lots of ?????????

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  • Lots of ?????????

    My son wanna be an electrical engineer. He will start college (freshman) this fall and I want to get a laptop for him.

    I haven't a clue which os (32 or 64 bit)/video card/software/screen size requirements an engineering student may require or will be required in the next few years. Also please make recommendations that may be beyond the basic requirements if you have them. Hopefully he can utilize the laptop for at least 3 years.

    He prefers windows and has a hp desktop at home w/ Vista Ultimate, 32 bit. Alas, no room for a desktop in his dorm (3 in a room). He also does play puter games (we can figure out his gaming needs) and has a xbox 360.

    Would be great if anyone out there has some knowledge with the engineering program at UCLA or other California state college and provide me with some insight. Of course input from those familiar w/ other colleges would be most welcome as well.

    I was thinking of picking up one of laptops sold by xoticpc, any recommendations? Should I wait for the new intel processors to come out?

    My budget would top out at about $3000 w/ warranty but would consider paying more if it will prolong its usefulness or functionality.

    I would be extremely grateful to all those that reply. Sorry I didn't use the standard laptop query from this forum but there would be jus too many blank answers.

  • #2
    For CAD apps, I would look for a laptop that features an FX series card and 4 GB of RAM. You should be able to get a decent machine for less than your budget, as long as your son is not an extreme gamer, in which case the 8800M GTX would be the more prominent choice.
    Sager NP5792

    Microsoft Windows Vista Premium 64-Bit
    17" WUXGA
    Intel Core 2 Duo T7700 2.4GHz
    4 GB DDR2 667 RAM
    1 GB Intel Robson Turbo Memory
    500 GB 7200RPM Seagate Momentus HD
    nVidia GeForce 8800M GTX 512MB GDDR3



    • #3
      Thank you for your thoughts......with 4 GB of RAM I can utilize Vista Ultimate 64 bit OS then. Does this version support gaming better than the Business 64 bit one? Sorry for the delay to your post but kids wanted supper.


      • #4
        Have you been to college orientation for him yet? Usually at the orientation they give you technical requirements/suggestions for your major or school division. I am/was a freshman at a prominent Minnesota University for electrical engineering and the requirements arent even that high. Most schools can just use shuttles to run the engineering software which is an indication that the technological demand isnt too high. But if you have around 3K to spend I recommend the Sager Np9262 starts at 2200 base and you can upgrade it to its highest performance for under 3000 on xoticpc of all places . But yeah that is my recommendation or your could get a Asus G1 or G2 series as they are very reliable from reviews. Although he is using Vista right now on his desktop I would suggest springing for XP and an extra battery. The engineering suites at my school are much easier to run and use on an XP system than Vista. He is most likely using Vista because all major computer manufacturers produced models specifically for vista when it came out and nixed XP. Those are just my recommendations from someone in a similar situation.

        Edit: Oh yeah 4gb of ram and a 250gb hard drive are also suggested.


        • #5
          3 in a room!? wow, i would go crazy. I like having a single room as of now
          Sager NP5796 Custom Notebook
          500GB 5400RPM HDD
          17 WUXGA (1920x1200)
          4,096MB DDR3 1066Mhz
          Windows Vista Ultimate 64-Bit
          Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi 7.1 Xtreme Audio
          nVidia GeForce 9800M GTX DDR3 DX10 1GB PCI-Express


          • #6
            Here's a question for you:
            Does he want a 15" or 17" laptop?
            If he is going to be carrying it around, he'll be wanting a 15", but if he might not have to carry it around think about a 17".
            If you want I could post a few computer builds here that would be within your budget.

            As for graphics cards, a GeForce graphics card will be able to do CAD and similar programs, and allow him to play games as well.
            There will be a small difference between the FX and GeForce series, but in most cases he would probably not notice it.
            Last edited by Mazeura; 09-14-2008, 03:17 PM.