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    In September I will be starting a Mechanical Engineering degree at UoN. I am looking for laptop consultation from students in the midst of their Engineering degrees. Hence I ask the question in the title, as a means to determine what computer specifications I need.
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    Aside from normal usage: Matlab, programming suites, as a mechanical engineer you'll also use CFD and CAD programs which are pretty computer heavy. It might not be necessary to do these on your laptop though, although it will always be convenient and potentially quicker depending on how good your uni's computers are.

    So to be on the safe side I'd say get a small, cheap laptop with an i7 and 8GB of memory, graphics won't matter too much unless you want to game, same goes for having an SSD.
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    (Original post by Engineering Lad)
    In September I will be starting a Mechanical Engineering degree at UoN. I am looking for laptop consultation from students in the midst of their Engineering degrees. Hence I ask the question in the title, as a means to determine what computer specifications I need.
    I don't know what UoN is, but most engineering students use their laptops for internet and writing reports. Some manage to get actual engineering software installed on their laptops, either via their department who may have licenses to provide to students, or nefarious means, but this is far from necessary. I never had a laptop for most of my studies and even when I did get one I didn't use it much.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    I don't know what UoN is
    University of Nottingham

    (Original post by Smack)
    Some manage to get actual engineering software installed on their laptops, either via their department who may have licenses to provide to students, or nefarious means, but this is far from necessary
    You say it's far from necessary, but can you see any benefit to having the software on a laptop? In my mind, I envisage increased productivity, since I wouldn't have to traipse down to the computer labs every time I need to use the software.

    (Original post by Smack)
    most engineering students use their laptops for internet and writing reports. I never had a laptop for most of my studies and even when I did get one I didn't use it much.
    So would you argue that finding a laptop with a long battery life and high-end specs is not paramount?
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    (Original post by Helloworld_95)
    Aside from normal usage: Matlab, programming suites, as a mechanical engineer you'll also use CFD and CAD programs which are pretty computer heavy. It might not be necessary to do these on your laptop though, although it will always be convenient and potentially quicker depending on how good your uni's computers are.

    So to be on the safe side I'd say get a small, cheap laptop with an i7 and 8GB of memory, graphics won't matter too much unless you want to game, same goes for having an SSD.
    Yes, that's in line with what I was thinking. My university is well equipped to deal with the demands of engineering software, so is it really worth the extra expense for an i7 over an i5? Would an i5-6300HQ or even a dual core i5/i7 suffice for a bit of casual CAD for example (bearing in mind I'll have a GTX 960/950m)? Or would the performance be excruciating?

    By "small" do you mean less than 15.6"? Also, what's your definition of "cheap"?
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    (Original post by Engineering Lad)
    Yes, that's in line with what I was thinking. My university is well equipped to deal with the demands of engineering software, so is it really worth the extra expense for an i7 over an i5? Would an i5-6300HQ or even a dual core i5/i7 suffice for a bit of casual CAD for example (bearing in mind I'll have a GTX 960/950m)? Or would the performance be excruciating?

    By "small" do you mean less than 15.6"? Also, what's your definition of "cheap"?
    I think that's up to you, i7s aren't that much more expensive than i5s so for me it was worth it as I do need the extra power every once in a while for stuff which involves iterative calculations or image processing. An i5 would probably be fine though, or even an i3 as those offer a bit more bang per buck.

    Yeah, I'd say go for a 13.3" or 14" laptop, the extra portability is worth the slight premium. My definition of cheap would be less than £500 although that would be for a laptop with no discrete graphics, I'm not sure how much you'd be looking at with (I got mine which has similar specs for <£700 but it doesn't seem to be available any more). If it's for gaming you might be better off getting something with thunderbolt 3 and then getting a Razer Core + external GPU when it's available.
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    (Original post by Engineering Lad)
    You say it's far from necessary, but can you see any benefit to having the software on a laptop? In my mind, I envisage increased productivity, since I wouldn't have to traipse down to the computer labs every time I need to use the software.
    That's true. If you have the software installed on your laptop you can use it whenever you want.

    So would you argue that finding a laptop with a long battery life and high-end specs is not paramount?
    I don't know. I had no intention of using any engineering software on my laptop since it wasn't necessary, but if I were intending to, I would have purchased something that could run the software.
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    (Original post by Engineering Lad)
    Would an i5-6300HQ or even a dual core i5/i7 suffice for a bit of casual CAD for example (bearing in mind I'll have a GTX 960/950m)? Or would the performance be excruciating?
    Hey!

    Both Smack and Helloworld_95 have given great advice (as they usually do!), so I'll just add in some of my personal experience.

    I use a laptop with an i5, although at the time when I got this laptop, an i7 wasn't really a viable option. My laptop runs everything I need smoothly. I use software on my laptop a lot because it's very convenient and I prefer the freedom over studying on campus. Also, I've never had severe performance issues.

    At one point, I had CFD software, Solidworks, Matlab and Abaqus all installed. For my purposes, it's CFD or Solidworks that can really drain your laptop, so it might be the case that you would have nothing else running whilst using them.

    I would focus on getting a laptop that suits your daily needs, you don't need some £1000 monster laptop. Chances are it'll still run what you need to some extent, as mine does. My laptop was about £700, but for the same price now, you could get something way better, particularly if it's custom built.

    Hope this helps!

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    Hello, I'm planning to buy a new laptop.
    I'm a foreign student going to europe and will start my master in water science and management.
    Which laptop do you recommend me that can handle engineering programs, since I can't buy a desktop one, I need a laptop that really works for me.
    Probably I will use the computer labs of the university, but I also want to have the programs in my laptop, at least to work from home or something like that.
    Advice me with brands and everything!

    Thank you!!
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    Thanks for starting this thread.
    Would a MacBook Pro suffice? I use it a lot for my studies and might be planning to use it for uni. I do have a Windows laptop though but not too sure about having to carry two laptops around.
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    (Original post by MAS98)
    Thanks for starting this thread.
    Would a MacBook Pro suffice? I use it a lot for my studies and might be planning to use it for uni. I do have a Windows laptop though but not too sure about having to carry two laptops around.
    I just finished first year aero, I have a MacBook Pro and Windows PC in my room. It's perfectly fine, you can pretty much do everything on a MacBook apart from stuff like CAD programs, but you don't use CAD throughout the entire year, you get about 3 or 4 assignments and usually you have dedicated computer rooms for your year anyway where you get help from tutors so I usually went to them and completed my work there, or when I'm feeling lazy to go to those sessions I just designed stuff in my room on my PC, you can do the same on your windows laptop, so yeah no need to carry 2 laptops around.


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    (Original post by bigboateng_)
    I just finished first year aero, I have a MacBook Pro and Windows PC in my room. It's perfectly fine, you can pretty much do everything on a MacBook apart from stuff like CAD programs, but you don't use CAD throughout the entire year, you get about 3 or 4 assignments and usually you have dedicated computer rooms for your year anyway where you get help from tutors so I usually went to them and completed my work there, or when I'm feeling lazy to go to those sessions I just designed stuff in my room on my PC, you can do the same on your windows laptop, so yeah no need to carry 2 laptops around.


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    That cleared a lot of things for me. Ah thank you!
 
 
 
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