Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 30 total)
  • Switching from Mac to PC?
  • Premier Icon hooja
    Free Member

    Well.. looks like my 2011 MacBook has finally turned up it’s toes and won’t turn on.
    Time for a replacement anyway.
    I would much rather just get a new Mac book but…
    I use REVIT architectural CAD software that can only be run on Mac via boot camp, which is a pain in the ass.

    I am seriously considering switching to windows laptop.

    Can anyone recommend a replacement that would;
    A- appeal to a Mac user
    B- better value for money and possibly cheaper and more powerful

    Thanks

    Premier Icon mogrim
    Free Member

    A Dell XPS13 would be a good bet, but it’s going to be close to Mac prices (albeit with a better spec and nicer operating system 🙂 ).

    If you go cheap you’ll hate it – cheap Windows machines are cheap for a reason. (This is like comparing a 100€ Android phone to an iPhone, of course it’s slower and the camera’s not as good…)

    Premier Icon thols2
    Free Member

    It’s years since I’ve bought a new laptop, but generally a professional grade Windows laptop will have similar spec to a Macbook and won’t be massively cheaper. However, if you add in the cost of a Windows licence to run on a Macbook, it will work out cheaper. In general, Dell XPS 13 and XPS 15 are a safe bet, but Lenovo, HP, etc. all make decent machines.

    If you check out review sites, they will benchmark different machines. Depending on the software, you need to know whether what you’re doing is going to be constrained by graphics processing, single core speed, multi-core speed, RAM, or SDD performance. You can get Windows laptops with discrete graphics, which will be much faster than the standard Intel graphics that basic laptops use, but you’ll pay more for a pro grade machine. Also check out the performance of the specific model CPU. They are marketed as i5, i7, etc, but that doesn’t mean anything. A mobile i7 will probably not perform as well as a desktop i5 of the same generation because the mobile chips are designed for low power. Desktop replacement laptops use different CPUs from the super slim laptops, but they are bigger an heavier because they need much more cooling and bigger batteries.

    Another thing to look at with reviews is whether the machines are undercooled. Often the CPUs will get throttled once they get hot, so you don’t want that if you’re rendering graphics.

    Premier Icon ajantom
    Full Member

    Does it have to be new?
    Have a look for refurbed business use laptops (i.e. HP elitebook), go for class A for better condition, and you can get recent, fast, well specced machines for less £££

    Premier Icon hooja
    Free Member

    Thanks everyone…some good input, cheers
    Nope, it does not have to be new, nearly new refurbed is a good idea, I will have a look
    Cheers

    Premier Icon superlightstu
    Free Member
    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    Microsoft machines like the surface laptop – now available without the furry cover. They have a very clean build without junk so they’re probably the closest to what you are used to.

    Premier Icon db
    Full Member

    I swear by my T-Series Thinkpad, has been utterly reliable, it is heavy but I could confidently hammer nails into a wall with it knowing it would boot up fine afterwards.

    Premier Icon spacemonkey
    Free Member

    B- better value for money and possibly cheaper and more powerful

    Cheaper and more powerful than what exactly?

    What’s your budget?

    What power do you need, ie CPU, GPU, RAM, storage, display(s) etc?

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Full Member

    I use REVIT architectural CAD software that can only be run on Mac via boot camp, which is a pain in the ass.

    you can run in under a VM also; people are happy with the performance after a few tweaks eg
    https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/revit-architecture-forum/revit-2018-sluggish-in-parallels-on-new-imac/td-p/7390340

    Premier Icon spacemonkey
    Free Member

    Re VMs, I had big issues with Parallels running Win 10 Pro that Parallels failed to acknowledge. Other users had the same problem – some kind of boot loop IIRC. Bottom line is that the VM couldn’t be accessed and required reinstalling. Not good. That was the main reason I returned the MBP.

    I’m well aware there are many happy users out there.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    A- appeal to a Mac user

    None of them.

    B- better value for money and possibly cheaper and more powerful

    All of them.

    (-:

    I swear by my T-Series Thinkpad

    The T420 I have here as an “obsolete” machine decommissioned from work is night and day better than the POS Dell they replaced it with. It’s a joy to use and a joy to work on (I supported them back when the T420 was current).

    By contrast I’ve got a HP Somethingorother on the bench at the moment and it’s a proper obtuse prick of a thing. Swapping the keyboard – two screws and about 15 seconds on the T420 – is a full teardown on the HP, motherboard out, the works. It’s a chicklet keyboard and the palmrest it pokes through is the main chassis holding everything together, what utter manic thought that was a great design choice?

    Premier Icon hooja
    Free Member

    I have a feeling I am going to struggle to get past the seduction of the shiny new M1 silicone, in the mbp.
    I’m such a sucker!
    I need to either order a windows laptop soon, or I know I’ll stick with Mac!

    Premier Icon spacemonkey
    Free Member

    Nobody other that Apple know how the M1 performs. Anyone who watched their ambiguous presentation would recognise that. On the surface it has the potential to be amazeballs. Or it could just be an entry level launch point. I’d at least wait for the reviews to start rolling in through Dec … and ideally into next year before splashing out on one.

    Premier Icon IA
    Full Member

    I’m a mac user for preference at home, and had the benefit of spec’ing my own work machines. Used PC for work, as you couldn’t get powerful enough macs but also PCs for regular laptop use.

    Anyway, as a mac user – look at the XPS 13 if you want small and light, or the 15 if you want power. The 17 maybe if you want a huge screen in thin-and-light but it’s a bit of a tea tray (though if you have fond memories of the 17″ powerbook this is the nearest modern equivalent).

    Premier Icon hooja
    Free Member

    @spacemonkey
    I know, I’m not keen on paying my money to be a test pilot but my MacBook won’t turn on and even if can get it to work, it’s pretty knackered anyway. I have to replace it asap

    Premier Icon rs
    Free Member

    bootcamp won’t work on the M1’s initially at least.

    Premier Icon DavidB
    Free Member

    Let us know how you get on @hooja as the concept of an OS specific processor has huge potential. I hope they get it right

    Premier Icon IA
    Full Member

    bootcamp won’t work on the M1’s initially at least.

    It’ll never run, and you can’t* run a x86 VM either.

    *technically, you might be able to spin up a qemu backed vm to do it, it’s possible on other ARM machines, or you might be able to fudge something with rosetta, but I’d not want to be relying on a M1 mac to run x86 windows software I needed to earn money.

    Premier Icon vicksplace
    Full Member

    Plus 1 for the thinkpads. I moved from Macbooks as I didn’t like the thin keyboards on the new ones and really rate the thinkpad. Dual booting linux and Win 10 and it’s brilliant.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    Dual booting linux and Win 10

    What are you using Linux for? WSL2 has rendered 99% of my ‘booting into Linux’ requirements redundant, I just hit the Windows key and type “bash”.

    Premier Icon metalheart
    Free Member

    Er, Revit capable machines are pretty high spec.

    We’ve recently gone through a refresh at work and the best I could squeeze out of the implementation team was Lenovo P53’s. Revit was the most onerous programme we run (more than dynamic simulation stuff) although some people in other departments needed higher spec for larger models and presentation rendering capabilities @4K+£ a pop).

    You need a decent graphics card (I think they recommend 4Gb min onboard RAM), i7 min processor and 16Gb RAM (think we went 32). They were around 1800£ Ex-vat (and ordered pre lockdown). There’s been some glitches but I’ve not exactly unbounded faith in the delivery teams real world IT skillz… best check out the autodesk recommended spec sheets.

    Personally I went for a P43s about this time last year. Add a docking thingee (mine was around 125£) for enough USB slots and monitors). I’ve run a P50 myself at work the last ~3 years and liked it enough to stump up for P43s (numeric keypad on the larger a definite boon but easy solves with a wireless keyboard, hence docking station…).

    Premier Icon timmys
    Full Member

    …and you can’t* run a x86 VM either.

    Parallels is coming, presumably Rosetta 2 based, and yes will be interesting to see what the performance is like…

    …in other news Geekbench results are stating to show up for the M1 based MacBook Air. Results are within a whisker of the £5,499 Mac Pro (8-core Intel Xeon W). That’s in a fanless ultra thin laptop.

    Premier Icon bjhedley
    Full Member

    I’ve had a Lenovo X1 extreme from work, as a long time MacBook Pro user at home, it was the first ‘corporate’ laptop I’d had a good experience with and actually liked. Great screen and performance, even if the keyboard felt a little plasticky.

    Dell XPS’ are popular with my windows friends, and the Huawei Mate book gets great write-ups in all the Tech blogs.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    I’ve had a Lenovo X1 extreme from work

    Some of my colleagues have those, they look lovely. I would’ve got one but they weren’t available (to us) in 16Gb form when I had to make a choice, IIRC.

    I’ve used T, W and P series Lenovo before and I hate them. They might have a magnesium chassis but they tend to be covered in a crappy plastic case, which ruins the feel.

    Premier Icon ebygomm
    Free Member

    I had a very nice HP Z book with an Intel xeon processor in a previous role, colleagues used to run Revit from them no issues. I’ve never used a Mac so can’t comment on how they compare.

    Premier Icon IA
    Full Member

    Geekbench results are stating to show up

    Yeah though it’ll be interesting to see some benches that are long enough to hit the thermal limits, geekbench is a quick benchmark, it won’t throttle much if at all.

    Premier Icon Ioneonic
    Free Member

    I’ve gone from a Mac to a 2015 Dell Precision 5520 laptop (via a Chromebook running Linux admittedly). I need Windows infrequently for a work program so dual boot and mainly use Linux.

    Build quality and 4k screen are fantastic (allowing for some issues with scaling on some programs). I’m no expert but recall when looking reading that the processors in the Precision line were more geared to CAD work than those in the XPS range. If going second hand for Dell I’d strongly recommend getting one with the highest warranty still in date (I think called Next Business Day) then run diagnostics as soon as you get it and before the warranty expires. They repair/replace anything that isn’t accidental damage (although some come with accidental cover). The warranty is definitely transferable ie goes with the machine. When I was looking the Precision laptops were way better priced second hand (ebay) than the “equivalent” XPS, and more seemed to be in mint condition.

    Premier Icon slackboy
    Full Member

    I am seriously considering switching to windows laptop.

    Did just this earlier in the year. Had a 2013 Macbook Pro 13″ and replaced with a dell XPS 13″

    I still prefer MacOS generally – little things like built in PDF editing and image handling but the XPS build quality and battery life is excellent and it weighs nothing.

    I think I paid about £1200 for a core i7, 16gb, 500SSD with 4k touch screen – so expensive but nowhere near mac prices.

    Downside – its not a serviceable as my old macbook pro, which had a couple of new batteries and HDD’s over the years. But that ship sailed a long time ago as far as macbooks are concerned anyway.

    I have just ordered an inspiron 14″ for my partner and will interested to see how that stacks up quality wise.

    Oh, and USB-C hubs  & power are a work of genius.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Full Member

    …in other news Geekbench results are stating to show up for the M1 based MacBook Air. Results are within a whisker of the £5,499 Mac Pro (8-core Intel Xeon W). That’s in a fanless ultra thin laptop.

    yeah very very interesting, particularly the single-core performance which is the key thing for some of the CAD work I do (Fusion)… amusing as most of the “experts” on the Fusion forums have been slagging off it’s single-core potential (based on what, I do not know!!) over the last couple of days

Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 30 total)

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