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what is the best laptop for houdini

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what is the best branded laptop for Houdini

 

i want to choose between a mac book pro with 8gb ram

 

or a dell alien ware 17

 

 

here are the specifications on the dell alien ware 17

  • 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-4700MQ processor (6MB Cache, up to 3.4GHz w/ Intel® Turbo Boost)
  • Windows 8.1 Single Language (64Bit) English
  • 17.3 inch (439.42 mm) WLED FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare 300 Nit Display
  • 8GB Dual Channel DDR3L at 1600MHz (2x4GB)

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Does it have a discrete graphics card? I wouldn't go with a laptop that just has Intel graphics.

 

Note that you'll have issues with it if you install Linux and the laptop has a discrete Nvidia card, because Optimius is not supported on Linux yet. There are ways around it (bumblebee), but it's still rather hacky.

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dell alien ware 17

 

video card

 

NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 765M with 2GB GDDR5

NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 880M graphics with 8GB total GDDR

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Either card will do nicely.

 

You might consider going to 16G of memory,  if you're planning on doing large sims, renders or scenes.

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my confusion is between mac book pro and dell alien ware 17

 

is  mac book pro as good and does it support Houdini well?

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i read a post from you (malexander) in another forum where u mentioned that

 

The GL2.1 renderer is the highest supported renderer under OSX in Houdini due to Apple's drivers.

If you were to dual boot the MacBook Pro to Windows or Linux, you could run the GL3.2 renderer (using Nvidia's drivers).

Geometry updates are a bit slower in GL2.1, especially if the geometry contains primitive or vertex attributes that the shader uses (N, uv, Cd, Alpha). 

 

http://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_forum&Itemid=172&page=viewtopic&t=27603&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=

 

so do u think that the  dell alien ware 17 is a better pick over mac book pro for houdini ?

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The next major version of Houdini will support Macs using the same viewport renderer as all the other platforms. So I wouldn't advise hinging a multi-year purchase on the current state of H13. If you prefer OSX and don't mind using GL2.1 for a while, go for the Macbook pro. Otherwise, the Dell will be a good machine too.

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Here's my 2 cents:

Don't go with the Alienware. They tend to put server type hardware into a laptop.  In theory that looks and sound great from a specs point of view. In reality the heat that is coming off that hardware when running heavy sims/renders for longer periods of time can not dissipate fast enough. Therefore the machines are prone to overheating and crashes. The fans on the laptop will wear out over time so overheating will become even more of a problem. The Alienwares also tend to be quite pricy.

 

I used to own an Alienware and turned it into an expensive brick by running an exponentially splitting particle sim. This overheated the memory, which overheated the motherboard and that was that - it was out of warranty for about 3 months. So if you do get one, get warranty.

 

I would personally also advise to go for the macbook pro. I do not own a macbook yet, but it will be my next laptop. 2 main reasons there: gui access for quick navigation, linux shell for more complex tasks. Also the hardware is optimized for the form factor (ie: no server processors that would normally require proper cooling hardware in a laptop.) And if you wanted, you could dual boot windows on it.

--- One other nice advantage is that if you are into programming, you can program apps for IOS - one of my colleagues has linked the gimbal of his iphone into the camera in houdini :). Fun stuff.

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Hi newbee,

 

I can recommend from personal experience HP laptops of Envy dv6 series (or Pavilion depending on your country). For ~1000 dollars you get a 16Gb / i7 beast ready to sim and render 24/7 :) Seriously, I pulled the heck out of this thing and had no problems whatsoever. In my opinion, greatest price/value deal for Houdini stuff.

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I have one of the big Asus gaming laptops, It's nothing special, but you do get quite nice hardware for relatively cheap. The stealth plane design is a bit obnoxious, but all in all I've been happy.

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i just got the mac book pro

it seems to run things smooth, but lets see how it does in the long run

 

thanks all for your inputs

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Here's some insight. using the intel HD4000 or greater embedded graphics will work, I've been able to see volumes, and points, however there are no viewport aliasing support and points in the view appear larger but this can be fixed by knocking down the point size in the display options. Also check the cache size of the cpu you are getting. Higher the cache size the better, this is the one thing that is significantly different between the mobile and desktop counterpart cpu's aside from power consumption. There are actually some laptops that have a desktop equivalent cpu instead of a mobile one, but they're huge and heavy. It all boils down to the tradeoff between portability vs power.

 

I'd recommend the latest macbook pro, it seems like the only laptop out there that has excellent portability:power ratio. Just get a spec'd out macbook pro and instal linux on it and you will be set.

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Hi, thinking of buying a laptop recently as well.

wonder has anyone consider the latest gigabyte gaming laptop P35g-v2?

Seems quiet nice laptop for vfx, the only con is there might not be many maintenance spot depends on where u live.

 

about $1.6k

15 inch,  2.2KG, IPS panel

i7-4710HQ (2.5-3.5g), max 16g ram,  gtx860M 4gb DDR5,

4storage bay(2hdd, 2msata, both raid0 capable)

dual cooling fan like mac book pro

 

http://www.excaliberpc.com/631499/gigabyte-p35g-v2-cf2-15.6-ultrablade.html

 

they have another model with higher video card (gtx870 6gb DDR5)

 

By the way, If you have mac book pro. Would you please share your experience to run long hour simulation or like running over night?? Does it get very hot??

Edited by jorosy

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Hi!

I think it`s time for some hardware upgrade, so I`m considering buying latest 15" macbook pro.

I`ll use it mainly for personal non-commercial projects for the next atleast 5+ years, so I want to get the proper model for my needs.

 

Can somebody tell me what are the performance differences inside Houdini between Intel Iris Pro and GeForce GT 750M models ?

I don`t care about viewport anti-aliasing, shadows and fancy stuff like this. Just regular nicely working viewport.

I`m probably will install some other 3d packages, so can you tell me if there are any major benefits in performance of buying the GeForce model?

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It's not really a case of performance difference.  nVidia tend to have the most solid, and most widely supported OpenGL drivers.  You can run Houdini on an Intel chipset, but you're pretty much setting yourself up for trouble.  Even if you get a bottom-end nVidia card, you'll likely be better off.

You'll obviously have some performance benefits too, but that's not really as important as the basic compatibility.

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