Recommended laptop for blender

General discussion about the development of the open source Blender

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Recommended laptop for blender

Post by Contagano » Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:11 pm

I am a Soldier about to deploy to Afghanistan, I have only just recently come to descover Blender but have for a long time wanted to learn how to do 3D animation. Its something that has always interested me but I had always assumed it was out of reach unless I went to a university or paid 4K for software.
I happened to stumble upon blender and although I have yet to get my hands on it and start using it because I am getting ready to deploy I have been reading blender for dummies and watching every tutorial I can find, I have a burning desire to create with this program. My main dilemma is not that I am deploying, I will have long stretches of time where I'm not getting shot at and will have nothing to do, I do however need a laptop since I cannot bring my desktop with me. I don't have the means to get a 6 thousand dollar laptop, I'm in the army I don't make that kind of bank.
I would however like something that would allow me to create without having to be burdened by lag if at all possible. If anyone knows of any laptops that will allow me to create animated films without breaking the bank, and can point me in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it.

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Post by stiv » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:25 pm

Blendering is basically two things:

Modeling - moving stuff around on the screen and
Rendering - computing images

Rendering depends mainly on CPU power. Or said another way, how quickly your machine eats batteries.

Modeling depends on your graphics card (or chipset), specifically, how well it does OpenGL. Laptops typically have low-end graphics systems suitable for email, browsing and watching videos. Certain cards and chipsets, notably those from Intel and ATI/AMD do not do OpenGL well, although you mileage may vary. (the video driver matters a lot!)

Graphics performance is probably going to be the limiting factor for you since you can always set your machine to render and go do something else.

Try before you buy, if you can. Blender can run from a memory stick and does not need to be installed.

Perhaps others can offer some specific recommendations.

Good luck with your blendering (remember, if one chimp can do it, so can another) and good luck in A-stan.

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Post by Vastias » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:43 am

Well first things first, find out the system requirements for Blender here and then work on finding a laptop that has those capabilities and meets your budget.

If I could make a suggestion, I would go check out a website that offers custom built gaming laptops. The reason I suggest this is that gaming laptops have a lot of kick in them for running high end games. This also means that they will have plenty of kick in them when it comes to Blender.

A website for this that I would suggest is Digital Storm. This is the site where I built my gaming/modelling laptop from. It will allow you to choose a laptop size, general power, and then finally it will allow you customize the laptop to fit a bit more of your needs. These laptops run from roughly $1,000-$2,000. I know that's a tad bit spendy, but you can't go to Walmart and buy a $450 laptop and expect to run Blender. It just wont work very well.

Now I took the liberty and looked at a few laptops on the site, configured a few of them to work well with the "Good" specs required to run Blender. The average cost of one of these laptops was roughly $1,400. Like I said, it's not super cheap, but it's not $6k. And if waiting around for things to load and worrying about lag is something you wanted to avoid than $1,400 is about were you're looking.

My personal laptop cost me about $2,500, but I use it for more than just Blender and thus needed a bit more kick. If you have anymore questions about Blender requirements, laptop builds, prices, or anything like that feel free to let me know and we'll get in touch.

P.S. You'll also probably want an external mouse for your laptop or navigating Blender will be a nightmare, trust me. A good 3-Button laptop mouse is about $30-$50 and it'll get the job done.

Hope this helped!!

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Post by Contagano » Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:38 pm

yes this definitely helped, Thank you both!

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Post by ldo » Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:00 pm

Here’s wishing you lots of time not getting shot at. :)

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Post by stiv » Sun May 13, 2012 5:35 pm

Unless the Blender have so much requirements with the graphics.
The graphics are pretty much the *the* issue with laptops - specifically, poor OpenGL support with on-board chipsets and their drivers.

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Post by DrAltaica » Fri May 18, 2012 2:16 pm

I use an Aspire 5552
AMD Phenom II N970 quad-core 2.20GHz
5Gb ram
Keyboard with num pad

With the stock win7 home pre and Blender 2.63a release windows64
I can sub divide a cube to 7 before it gets jerky. 9 levels is the max before it's unusable.

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