algorithmic modeling for Rhino

Hi all

I'm an architect just finishing my masters, where I majored in parametric design for the past couple of years, and I'm looking to invest in a good laptop that can handle the heavy rhino/grasshopper files I will be working on without crashing.

but I would like to ask recomendations to the grasshopper community because I was thinking on investing around 2000€. For this price I would like to know what do you think I could fit in a new laptop and where should I invest the most? Processor, Ram, Graphic card?

I already have an HP Z1 All in one Workstation (Intel Xeon CPU E31280 3.5GHz, 32GB ECC DDR3 RAM, NVIDIA Quadro 1000M 2GB) which I bought in 2014 and it works preety great with my files. I just need a laptop to be able to work at uni as fast as I work at home.

My research so far led me to a few ideas:

I try to keep up with new technologies but I don't have as much experience on how they might work with our software needs.

Any recomendations are welcome.


P.S. I also use VRay for renders in both Rhino and 3DS Max and some basic Revit.

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From a purely performance view you might be right, but from experience I would recommend you get a refurbished/used Macbook Pro Retina 15" for that kind of money. Let me explain why:

1) You will have a machine that is light and very sturdy. I have taken my Macbook Pro all around the world, carry it with me every day, even dropped it a few times and its still totally fine. Its thin and light.

2) You get some actual support for your hardware even a few years down the line. My Macbook Pro is from 2012 and I can still walk in to any Apple Store and get help with it, which I have done many, many times in different places around the world - I never had to show a receipt or was charged any money for help. There is no PC/Laptop manufacturer in the world with anything close to that, because companies like Asus, Dell, etc. bring out dozens of new versions of laptops every year, so its much harder to service them after a few years.

3) This is the most important one, which usually people forget when they say that Macbooks are overpriced: Resale Value. If you have ever tried to sell an old PC/Laptop (I have a few times), you will know how little value they have even after just 2-3 years. Macbooks retain their value very well and even after 4 years you can still get 50% of your original price.

4) Of course you can install Windows on it and it runs perfectly. I have MacOS and Windows on it and both run absolutely fine. On the Windows side I have Rhino+GH, Maya and a few others. Having Windows is good, because some software still only runs on Windows (looking at you, 3DSMax!). Most other software also runs on MacOS. In the interest of sanity it is great to have an alternative to Windows for all the day to day stuff, like Mail, Calender, Photos, Presentations, etc. that just always works.

5) As for performance: Yes, Macbook Pros dont necessarily have the latest and greatest in graphics cards (the rest is on par with PC laptops), but unless you want to play games you will not need it. VRay RT can do GPU rendering, but you wont get great performance from a Notebook GPU anyways and it doesnt make sense to do rendering on a laptop (especially since you have a workstation). You could get one of the older Macbook Pro Retina Late 2013 or Mid 2014 models with the GTX750M by Nvidia, which will be usable to render using VRay RT, but of course not huge performance. Better to invest in a good used graphics card for your workstation like an Nvdia GTX980ti, which is the best value for money for GPU rendering right now (lots of used ones available).

So at least consider also getting a Macbook Pro. You can buy refurbished models (depending where you are) and they are like new, but a lot cheaper or even get an older one thats used. It will be a worthwile investment.

Take it from someone who has used dozens of PCs and Macs in my lifetime and have to do the IT support here at work (where we also use both).

I still have my Macbook Pro Retina from 2012 and its still running perfectly, super fast, and I can use Rhino and GH for huge files, do GPU Rendering with Octane Render and all sorts of other heavy computing stuff.

Hope that helps.

Thanks for that, I was also thinking about upgrading an old pc laptop but am now reconsidering using an old 2013 macbook for rhino+GH. Which version of windows are you using?






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