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New Hardware for Window 7 64bits Suggestion

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by DavidL, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    You know what? I always thought a laptop would be greatest thing... find one that's powerful enough to design on at home or in the office, take to clients for presentations, carry around with me where ever I go, some light gaming perhaps, maybe even watch a movie on it, etc. Then the problems start. Biggest problem I face with my laptop is overheating. When that happens it just freezes and I have to force shutdown. I'd like update the graphics card but can't. Even something simple like replacing RAM is a hassle (over here laptop RAM costs 2-3 times as much as desktop RAM), etc, etc...

    I would like to have a laptop as back-up, mainly for portability but honestly, I really can't stand the hassles anymore.

    Just my thoughts...
  2. Hop

    Hop Senior Member

    Laptops. Ugh! Love ‘em and hate ‘em.

    I took one of the earliest Zenith laptops, a SupersPORT, on a business trip once. It came with its own bag and shoulder strap, so I knew it was portable… well, luggable, like the Osborne 1 an engineer friend owned. I had to lug the SupersPORT from concourse to concourse at several airports, but I only did this on that one trip, having thereby learned my lesson. This thing featured a battery life of about one hour or so.

    Back then there was no such thing as Wi-Fi or even Internet. If you wanted to ‘phone home you used an acoustical modem (110 baud) and an old fashioned hand-set that would allow you to stick the handset microphone and earpiece in the rubber acoustical sockets of the modem. I packed the modem, and the shore power supply for the Zenith, in a suitcase as checked baggage but I didn’t have the common sense, then, to put the “laptop” next to it.

    Fast-forward thirty years or so to the 21st Century. Wife wants a laptop. I buy her an Acer something-or-other, top-of-the-line, slightly used, dealer demo model with a big disk drive, big hi-res LCD display, lots of memory, XP Pro, etc. Wife is very happy for maybe two years. Then, just before the three-year extended warranty expires, laptop starts dying, from overheating it turns out. I learn this after I take it to the local computer shop where I bought it originally. They say it is junk, mobo or memory controller fried or something like that; they want to sell me a replacement laptop. They will dispose of this one for free.

    That was last summer. I say, “No, thank you,” to their offer to purchase a new laptop. I take the broken Acer back home and put it on the shelf, another list item for my Honey Do Jar. This winter I take it outside and let it chill out a little. I bring it inside, hook up shore power, and turn it on. Everything boots up just fine. But I don’t hear any fans running. Maybe they are thermostatically controlled? After awhile it quits working. Bottom feels very warm. Not a peep from any fans.

    So, back it goes onto the shelf. However, now I know I can probably connect an external USB HDD, place the laptop in the freezer, and run it long enough to download all the “valuable files” my wife has stored on the internal HDD. These files were stored without ever once copying anything to built-in writable CD-ROM optical disk drive for offline storage and recovery.

    My wife wants me to buy her a replacement laptop with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and Blu-Ray and who knows what other blue stuff to complement her Color Nook she got for Valentine's Day. This will be an "official" birthday present for her. If I do that, she says I can have the old Acer laptop, but I have to restore all her files to the new laptop first. Tempting offer, especially if all it needs is some replacement fans... And if I want to upgrade to Windows 7 64-bit with a new PC, I have to turn over to her my office PC running XP Pro (after putting it back in its case), and donate the two Win98 PCs to Goodwill or someone equally deserving.
  3. wathavy4

    wathavy4 Alibre Super User

    I am using a Laptop for over three years.
    I am mobilizing back and forth between home and my office with my back pack, cause I'm on my motorbike.
    And it has 500G H.D. 4GRAM and dual boot OS of Win XP 32bits and Win 7 64bits.

    When I bought it, it had 80Gbytes H.D. after I changed to the 500Gbytes H.D. it became faster.. I don't know why but I speculate that the access speed may have been improved due to the data density per radius.

    Laptop rocks. :wink:

    At least for me.
  4. RocketNut

    RocketNut Alibre Super User

    Back in the the late 80's (if memory server me correctly) the place I was working for had one of the very very first portable computers. It was a Osborn that was the size of a small sewing machine and heavy. It did not have a battery (if it did it would only last a few mins). It used the CPM operating system, but was great about it was its floopy dirve, which was the old 8" disk that could hold a woopping 720K. Wow how times have changed.

    I just had an idea. Lets design a backpacktop computer. It would a backpack with a normal mobo build into it. Possibly open a flap to expose the keyboard and monitor. :p

    As for cooling my lap top I have USB powered cooler. I don't like the nose levels and some times I have to turn it off when I am talking to some one.
  5. indesign

    indesign Alibre Super User

    I had really bad overheating issues on my laptop until I decided to repair a faulty power connection (not the cause of overheating). I discovered the main problem was the cooling vent was getting too dirty on the inside. I blew the crude out (what a hairball came out too :oops: ) Anyhow once the system was clean there was no more overheating for a while. Now every 6 months I clean it out to keep it cool.

    I have repaired several laptops over the past few months and they all were the same way. From the outside you would never know that there was a fire trap in the making. Several of these laptops had tohave componites replaced and they may have been damaged from over heating.
  6. RocketNut

    RocketNut Alibre Super User


    If people just know what those fans draw in and collect around the internals. I just didn't know how much dust and crude was in the air and how much can collect in there. :eek: If you want to find out just look inside your machine and you will surprised on what you find.
  7. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    Cooling problems? Usually a poor quality will cause that.
  8. wathavy4

    wathavy4 Alibre Super User

    Tim, I had the same symptom,with older laptops.

    Today, I don't have it anymore with my 3 years old laptop. They must have changed the internal air flow hardware so it won't accumulate dust, I bet.
  9. mshideler

    mshideler Senior Member

    lots of information on this thread for sure, but I think some of you are forgetting some things about nearly every CAD package out there. They are not multiple core programs for CAD specific functions so it is really easy to over spec the CPU. Also, most "work stations" come with open GL based graphic cards while PCs are typically filled with direct X cards (like the nvidia gaming cards).

    Really, your bang for the buck with Alibre (and most other CAD packages unless you are rendering, CAM, etc) is a speedy CPU (not the most cores but highest clock speed). High bus speeds, 7200 rpm to 10K rpm hard drive, and 64 bit OS so you can run 8gb.

    Much more than that and you are blowing money that you don't need too. If there are other apps and uses for your work station, clearly build to the most demanding tool you have, but just cad, a good work station is not expensive at all.

    I way over build mine and it was just under $2,000. Probably $600 of that was not needed to be spend. I geared it towards high-end gaming (which makes for a good Alibre, Spaceclaim pc) while using a video card that has both Open GL and Direct X on it. Thus, when I use SolidWorks, it runs great just as Alibre runs great.

    Alibre still runs nicely on my pooch of a laptop.
  10. wathavy4

    wathavy4 Alibre Super User

    One thing I noticed about the latest model.
    I tried $500model from DELL. It seems it runs on low power with CPU speed adjusted automatically depending on the demand.
    Core i5. I donno how many CPU in this core, but it is damned slow.

    Previous laptops with Core2duo without these power economy design runs hot, and it seems much better than the Core i5 model I bought in terms of intensive work with CAD.

    I would recommend to use laptop because,
    It has battery so in case of blackout.
    You can mobilize it anywhere you want.
    But I don't recommend to use it while you're away from power tap.
    The recent models are just equivalent of a few years old desktops.

    So, I would buy most updated $2,000US range model for CAD use. :roll:
  11. mshideler

    mshideler Senior Member

    "I tried $500model from DELL. It seems it runs on low power with CPU speed adjusted automatically depending on the demand.
    Core i5. I donno how many CPU in this core, but it is damned slow"

    could be CPU speed, hardrive or ram. Not enough known here to know why it is slow.

    You can spec out some nice custom rigs at http://www.avadirect.com. way more customizable than Dell.

    When I was messing around on Dell's website there were many things I could not dial in. I wanted a certain CPU, but the video card I needed was not offered. On a machine with the video card I wanted, the CPU of my preference was not an option.

    Avadirect has it down pat. Long before Alienware, Dell, etc. bragged about the i series in their laptops, Avadirect already had options up through desktop i7's in a laptop platform.
  12. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    Don't forget running processes. If you have everything running on start-up then, yes, it will be slow.

    I agree but also want to point out that i7's (not sure about i5's) have turbo-mode. That does give one the best of both worlds ie high clock speed when needed and multi-core when needed.
  13. Hop

    Hop Senior Member

    Okay, I'm baaaack! So I am just gonna bump this thread and ask @bigseb (1) when did you move from South Africa to Merry Olde England? and (2) When did you change your avatar to an (obviously) younger man? IIRC you have been a Super User almost since Day 1, maybe even longer than @Ralf.

    There are so many friends and acquaintances and useful informants here that I have missed exchanging ideas with, but I would like to get back to using Alibre Design again, after suffering, lo, those many months with Geomagic Design, but eventually seeing the light that @Max was holding high at the end of the tunnel.

    Originally, I had three install licenses for Alibre Expert: one on my Dell PC at work and one on my home-built PC at home. I later installed the third licensed copy on my HP laptop.

    I was forced to "retire" from my day job on December 31, 2014 when work for the particle accelerator that I operated and maintained vanished. As a result, that Alibre license also vanished when I deleted everything from the hard disk at work. This was a real delete, not a fake "marked for delete but Microsoft will let you restore it delete." I wiped that puppy clean. It was too bad if UES didn't do periodic backups, but no one ever said anything about it and I never asked.

    That left Alibre still running on the home-built Pentium 4 PC with Microsoft XP Pro... said PC still spread out on my desk without a case (told wife they run cooler that way and are easier to work on if something goes wrong...). Then I decided to load Alibre onto the HP Laptop with its Intel Core i3 CPU and Windows 7 OS. That worked okay, especially after I got a wireless Logitech mouse to use with the laptop. Then we bought a house here in Florida and moved in December 2016. I collected the home-built PC into cardboard boxes for the mobo and disk drives and cables and such and bubble-wrapped the flat-screen LCD monitors, carefully placing all the boxes in a large Pensky truck for the drive from Dayton, Ohio to Venice, Florida. We tried to move everything in one trip, but there was a lot of stuff that stayed behind... most of it mighty fine junque that was too large or too heavy or both.

    I also brought along to Florida two other home-built PCs, each based on an Intel Core i7 CPU mounted on an Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 mobo. I mentioned that I planned to build these earlier in this thread (see post #22). One of these was "my" PC and the other one was "wife's" PC. However, I had not installed anything other than Windows 7 Professional on the two computers and a few thousand dollars worth of Corel software and drawing pad hardware on wife's computer. I was still running Alibre Design from the HP Laptop, although rather infrequently since I really had no real application for it.

    Fast forward past yet another near-fatal heart attack in March 2017, followed by a successful open-heart coronary artery double-bypass graft (cabg procedure) around a completely plugged "widow-maker" artery located behind my heart, and then a year-long recovery, Finally, three years later, I feel up to trying to use Alibre again. Of course, I will now need to be completely retrained.:eek:

    I think I renewed Alibre maintenance only once since my last upgrade, and that maintenance has since expired. Worse, I spilled a Coca-Cola on my HP laptop keyboard a month or so ago, while it was on "shore power," and it now refuses to work. So, desperate for a working PC, I hauled my latest home-built PC out of storage. My wife's home-built PC is virtually identical to mine, except mine also had a SSD and a second optical drive. Her HDD failed the month after we moved to Florida, just a few days after the HDD warranty expired. So, I moved my HDD and the SDD to wife's PC and ordered a replacement HDD. I also ordered a replacement for the HP laptop HDD, which had been acting flaky, but I had not installed it when I bricked the laptop with the Coca-Cola.

    Both of the home-built PCs had Windows 7 Professional installed, subsequently upgraded to Windows 10 Professional this year for free from the Microsoft website. This despite Microsoft ending support for Windows 7 earlier this year. Thank you, Microsoft, for not completely abandoning us loyal Windoze users.

    I think I might have been running "Geomagic Design 15.1.1" when my maintenance expired, but Alibre will have to verify that. In any event, I need to download and install whatever version to which my "permanent license" entitles me. I still cannot afford, on my limited retirement income, to purchase maintenance or an upgrade to version 22 or whatever the Alibre soup du jour happens to be.

    Whatever the current state of Alibre Design, I am sure it is better than anything 3DS and/or Geomagic Design has/had to offer. What a waste of time, money, and effort that was! I am sure glad @Max and others were able to buy Alibre back. But meanwhile, I just downloaded and installed FreeCAD, which may or may not run well on Windows 10... it was designed by a bunch of geeks to run in the Linux environment, which I have yet to embrace (except for a Raspberry Pi that sits unused somewhere on or near my desk)... so no active Linux users here.

    I notice there are recent posts here from "the usual suspects," so I guess Alibre and this forum is still alive, as are most of the folks I exchanged words with... youse guys knows who you are.

    Hop -- AC8NS
  14. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    Hi Hop, nice to see you're back! :)

    I am actually no longer in the UK but have moved back to my home town in Germany. And since you brought up my avatar I thought I'd update it to an actual photo of myself. Also, I haven't been here as long as Ralf. I have been away from the forum top for the last month or so due to moving but yeah Alibre will kick Geomagic right out of its pants. Really liking what I see in V22 beta.

    Don't be a stranger ;)
  15. NateLiqGrav

    NateLiqGrav Alibre Super User

  16. Hop

    Hop Senior Member

    Yep! I visited that link and left an email with Alibre last night. Got an almost immediate response with a new Alibre "perpetual" license activation code and a link to a download page for Alibre Design Expert software. So all is good now... or it will be after I download and install Keyshot rendering software. I think I am entitled to use the Alibre Vault, too, but that option is greyed out for some reason. The vault is not really of much use to single users, at least according to Alibre, but is helpful for controlling multiple files used by multiple people simultaneously on large projects. As for me, I tried it briefly several years ago and just couldn't "get the hang of it". But, then, I am not very well organized and the Vault with its metavariables confused the heck out of me. I don't think I will miss not having the Vault to check files in and out of... at least not yet, and maybe at my age never.

    Nice to hear from you, Nate.

    Has anyone heard from Toshi (@wathavi4) since the Japan nuclear reactor "accident" caused by the Tsunami? Last I heard from him (several years ago), he was measuring levels of background beta-particle radiation (high-energy electrons) in grass clippings some three times higher than the usual expected background levels. Not "hot" enough for any major concern, but it did indicate airborne spread of radioactive contaminants was occurring miles downwind of the failed reactor cores.

  17. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    He hasn't been here for years. Moved on I guess.

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