Looking for new workstation advice


Cicindelidae

New Member
Good day, fellow humans!
I have recently been swept up into some GD activities at work, which I am quite new to.
My workplace is looking into getting me a new computer so I don't have to keep using my own when I'm working on graphics and they'd like me to make a short list of what might work well for me.
The computer MUST be a laptop, because I need to travel for work, it MUST have a Windows OS, it must have at least 3 USB ports, and it can't be a tablet.
While I'm not currently using Ps and Ai, I'm running similar programs now and may have to use more Adobe software in the future, and I need something that can keep up easily if it comes to that.
So I'm looking for input on what systems are working well for other folks--both in terms of performance and comfort. Any thoughts?
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
As always, if the budget is not outlined, just go mental.

I'm torn in regards to the processor - I would think a Xeon processor would be better, but slower in the single cores, but lots of multicore support.
Or to go with an ixxxxxK which would give better single core support for Photoshop ....

Levi might have other ideas, probably way overkill.


Processor
Intel Xeon E-2176M Processor (12MB Cache, up to 4.40GHz)

Operating System
Windows 10 Pro for Workstations 64

Operating System Language
Windows 10 Pro for Workstations 64 WE (EN/FR/GR/IT/NL)

Display
17.3" UHD (3840x2160), LED Backlight, IPS, 400nit, Anti-glare

Memory
32GB (8x4) DDR4 2400MHz SoDIMM

Graphic Card
NVIDIA Quadro P4200 8GB GDRR5 256bits

Keyboard
Keyboard Backlit Black English (UK) With Number Pad

Fingerprint Reader
INCLUDED

Near Field Communication
INCLUDED

First Hard Drive
512GB Solid State Drive, M.2 2280, NVMe, Opal

There are other configuration options

Base Price
£4,589.99
As Configured

£4,779.59
Use Coupon THINK15*

-£716.94
Your Price

£4,062.65
Ships in 2-3 weeks.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
But hey - if your laptop is sufficient at the moment - why not go for something similar but up some of the specs.

I'd go for a strong processor with fast singel performance, with multicore support - and plenty of RAM.
NVidia Quadro is good for PS and AI.
 

Cicindelidae

New Member
I think I'm going to pass on the system that costs more than my car. Budget may not be an issue but I like to know the company is getting their money's worth. For the life of me, I can't even figure out why they're charging that much for it. It's a nice system, but it's not 4k nice as far as I'm concerned. XD
The problem is that while my laptop is hanging in there for now, I can tell it's just not meant to keep up with anything like Ps. At one point, I actually tried Ps on it and, after drawing a single straight line, it caused everything on the computer to freeze up, and I don't think it only have 8gb of RAM is the only thing causing the problem. I'll take a look at the Quadro series though, as I'm sure having a better card to take some of the load off would help.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
Honestly I was going to suggest the MS surface book 2 with the dedicated gpu (or updated version if it turns up soon)... I know you said no tablets but this gives the best of both worlds (technically the surface isn't marketed as a tablet anymore either :p) and a tablet gives more freedom when sketching etc imo.

Dell do some nice options too if you want pure laptop, such as the xps range.

Razor laptops seem to get good reviews even though they're aimed at gamers they'll be fine for what you want to do too.

As to gpu's, imo you don't need quadro unless you're getting a display with full 10 bit colour (unlikely) and in terms of PS and AI you're fine with a decent geforce or radeon. You can now get 'artist' optimised geforce drivers for software like PS and AI so clearly they're more than up to the job :)

I do agree about plenty of ram (16GB+ is my sweet spot these days) and ideally ssd(s) for storage.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
I think I'm going to pass on the system that costs more than my car. Budget may not be an issue but I like to know the company is getting their money's worth. For the life of me, I can't even figure out why they're charging that much for it. It's a nice system, but it's not 4k nice as far as I'm concerned. XD
The problem is that while my laptop is hanging in there for now, I can tell it's just not meant to keep up with anything like Ps. At one point, I actually tried Ps on it and, after drawing a single straight line, it caused everything on the computer to freeze up, and I don't think it only have 8gb of RAM is the only thing causing the problem. I'll take a look at the Quadro series though, as I'm sure having a better card to take some of the load off would help.
Don't worry about the price if you're not paying for it. So what if it costs more than your car! It's the companies laptop, and won't be yours when you leave.

I have worked on dogged computers over the years, companies refusing to input any financial backing into a computer system and left working in the stone age.

I know I went out there on the price. But you said the budget was not an issue, hence, I could have went to 20k or 60k.

You really need to have a discussion with your employers and find out what they are willing to spend.

For what it's worth - here's another spec to consider

The specification below has been formatted so you can easily copy and paste this to our forums when discussing your specification. Once you've copied the specification, please click here to continue.

Chassis & Display
Defiance Series: 15.6" Matte 4K 60Hz Adobe RGB LED Widescreen (3840x2160)

Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™ i7 Six Core Processor 9750H (2.6GHz, 4.5GHz Turbo)

Memory (RAM)
32GB Corsair 2400MHz SODIMM DDR4 (2 x 16GB)

Graphics Card
NVIDIA® QUADRO P4200 MAX-Q - 8GB GDDR5, 2304 CUDA Cores

1st M.2 SSD Drive
500GB SAMSUNG 970 EVO M.2, PCIe NVMe (up to 3400MB/R, 2300MB/W)

Memory Card Reader
Integrated 6 in 1 Card Reader (SD /Mini SD/ SDHC / SDXC / MMC / RSMMC)

Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre Cloverleaf UK Power Cable

Thermal Paste
COOLER MASTER MASTERGEL MAKER THERMAL COMPOUND

USB/Thunderbolt Options
3 x USB 3.1 Type A, 2 x USB 3.1 Type C AS STANDARD

Price: £2,334.00 including VAT and Delivery
Unique URL to re-configure: https://www.pcspecialist.ie/saved-configurations/defianceXS-pro-II-15/vAbxB!v9FV/
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
Honestly I was going to suggest the MS surface book 2 with the dedicated gpu (or updated version if it turns up soon)... I know you said no tablets but this gives the best of both worlds (technically the surface isn't marketed as a tablet anymore either :p) and a tablet gives more freedom when sketching etc imo.

Dell do some nice options too if you want pure laptop, such as the xps range.

Razor laptops seem to get good reviews even though they're aimed at gamers they'll be fine for what you want to do too.

As to gpu's, imo you don't need quadro unless you're getting a display with full 10 bit colour (unlikely) and in terms of PS and AI you're fine with a decent geforce or radeon. You can now get 'artist' optimised geforce drivers for software like PS and AI so clearly they're more than up to the job :)

I do agree about plenty of ram (16GB+ is my sweet spot these days) and ideally ssd(s) for storage.
Spot on. I did consider the 10 bit colour in the Quadro. However, the quadro does come highly recommended for PS and AI.

32 gb RAM would be minimum these days for me.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
For what it's worth - this is what they would pay for a Mac Book Pro

I think the one I spec'd 2nd above there is way better.


6971
 

Cicindelidae

New Member
Honestly I was going to suggest the MS surface book 2 with the dedicated gpu (or updated version if it turns up soon)... I know you said no tablets but this gives the best of both worlds (technically the surface isn't marketed as a tablet anymore either :p) and a tablet gives more freedom when sketching etc imo.

Dell do some nice options too if you want pure laptop, such as the xps range.

Razor laptops seem to get good reviews even though they're aimed at gamers they'll be fine for what you want to do too.

As to gpu's, imo you don't need quadro unless you're getting a display with full 10 bit colour (unlikely) and in terms of PS and AI you're fine with a decent geforce or radeon. You can now get 'artist' optimised geforce drivers for software like PS and AI so clearly they're more than up to the job :)

I do agree about plenty of ram (16GB+ is my sweet spot these days) and ideally ssd(s) for storage.
Aaah that's helpful. I'm definitely seeing a lot of "gaming" titles pop up in trying to llok up models, and that's no surprise with the GPU needs. I hate to be the only person at work walking around with a big ridiculously flashy gaming laptop (as many seem to be these days) just because I sometimes need need to slap a few lines together though. Good to know regarding the new drivers. That will definitely help broaden the field a bit. Still not fond of the tablet--just not something I've ever want--but I'll take another look at it.
 

Cicindelidae

New Member
For what it's worth - this is what they would pay for a Mac Book Pro

I think the one I spec'd 2nd above there is way better.


View attachment 6971
Ah yes one of the many reasons I dislike Apple. Personally, I think they're overpriced for what they are. And even if I'm not the one footing the bill, I like to think practically and shop as if it were coming out of my own pocket.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
Aaah that's helpful. I'm definitely seeing a lot of "gaming" titles pop up in trying to llok up models, and that's no surprise with the GPU needs. I hate to be the only person at work walking around with a big ridiculously flashy gaming laptop (as many seem to be these days) just because I sometimes need need to slap a few lines together though. Good to know regarding the new drivers. That will definitely help broaden the field a bit. Still not fond of the tablet--just not something I've ever want--but I'll take another look at it.
You'll pay as much for Surface Pro as you would for a high end laptop.
That being said the Surface Pro will behave like a mid range laptop.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
Ah yes one of the many reasons I dislike Apple. Personally, I think they're overpriced for what they are. And even if I'm not the one footing the bill, I like to think practically and shop as if it were coming out of my own pocket.
100% agree on the overpriced.

But don't worry about your own pocket here - they can buy it ex-VAT. Plus, it's THEIR laptop for the next 10 years. Plus, you need to future proof.

How about these

 

Cicindelidae

New Member
100% agree on the overpriced.

But don't worry about your own pocket here - they can buy it ex-VAT. Plus, it's THEIR laptop for the next 10 years. Plus, you need to future proof.

How about these

The price on those seems more reasonable for the specs, but I'd have to look into the size a bit. I had a similar Asus for a while and it was really too big and heavy to practically carry around.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
Just had a thought there is another approach your employer could take and a fair few businesses do this so they don't actually have old inventory when it gets too slow etc.

If you're going to talk to your company about how much they will spend then I'd also suggest asking if they'd be open to leasing the hardware instead, Dell for example still have a lease option iirc.

Also don't dismiss ryzen 5/7 laptops, especially if you can wait for zen2 architecture ones :)
 

Cicindelidae

New Member
Just had a thought there is another approach your employer could take and a fair few businesses do this so they don't actually have old inventory when it gets too slow etc.

If you're going to talk to your company about how much they will spend then I'd also suggest asking if they'd be open to leasing the hardware instead, Dell for example still have a lease option iirc.

Also don't dismiss ryzen 5/7 laptops, especially if you can wait for zen2 architecture ones :)
Ah I hadn't thought about that but to be honest, I think they're just looking to buy and be done with it. I'll be looking at the Ryzens too. I've been digging through specs and reviews and I keep running into issues, even on many of the more expensive setups that the specs are good, but the screens have issues with backlight washing and the like. If there's one thing I know I need, it's a good screen, and while the screen on my Y480 hasn't been awful in terms of resolution, it's damn near impossible to work on in any brighter room.
 
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