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Thread: Best laptop for arcGIS

  1. #1
    Sep 2010
    Danville, Pa 17821

    Best laptop for arcGIS

    I am currently enrolled in college and am taking a GIS course and would like to get some suggestions as to what laptop I should purchase. From what I've ascertained so far is that it should have a very powerful processor, fast hard drive, lots of RAM, a good quality graphics card, and the typical port connections. Having a firewire connection would be great as well as being easily portable. The ability to play games on it isn't a high priority for me. I'm purchasing the laptop for arcGIS and cartography purposes, everything else is secondary.

    One last thing about the perspective laptop, I would prefer that it be advanced enough so that it's not too out dated by the time I get it home!

    Thanks everyone!

    Moderator note:
    Thread moved from Cyburbia Issues and Help
    Last edited by Tranplanner; 16 Sep 2010 at 8:40 AM.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Mar 2007
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    The heavy users of ArcGIS products in our planning department who also need mobility use Dell XPS and Alienware laptops. These are higher end computers actually geared towards graphics intensive video games but work great for the resource hog programs like ArcGIS because they have dedicated graphics cards, solid-state hard drives and more RAM than your typical laptop. The newer computers with the solid-state drives use transistors to store the data and not the conventional spinning magnetic disks. A conventional hard drive might be able to perform 400 write-operations per second whereas a solid-state drive can perform up to 16,000 to 20,000 write-operations per second.

    All that being said, as a student who is probably on a tight budget, I wouldn't waste the money on a laptop specced out for efficient cartography work. If you are going to be getting a copy of the student version of ESRI's ArcMap or just using ArcReader, most lower-priced laptops will be a better choice economically. Especially considering that the full version of the ArcGIS products is priced out of reach for most students and your university will likely have a lab with the software already installed if it is a necessity in your program.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  3. #3
    Sep 2010
    Danville, Pa 17821
    Thanks for the advise. I went onto Dell's website and customized the XPS 16. It's probably a bit overkill, but I figured if I added everything possible, the chances of it being able to do what it needs to do are greatly enhanced. I've copied and pasted the new configuration for it below...haven't purchased it yet...yet. Let me know what you think. Thanks!

    Module Description Description Product Code & SKU

    Studio XPS 16 Studio XPS 16 Notebook

    Operating System Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English

    Processor [/B]NEW 2010 Intel® Core™ i7-840QM Quad Core Processor 1.86GHz (3.2GHz Turbo Mode, 8MB Cache)

    Memory 8GB Shared Dual Channel DDR3 at 1333MHz

    LCD Panel Edge-to-Edge FHD Widescreen 15.6 inch WLED LCD (1920x1080) W/2.0 MP

    Video Card ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 5730 - 1GB

    Hard Drive 256GB Solid State Driv

    Network Card Integrated 10/100 Network Card

    Adobe Reader Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 9, Multiple Languages

    CD ROM/DVD ROM 8X CD/DVD Burner + Roxio Creator 10 Premier - Ultimate Burn/Authoring

    Sound Soundblaster X-Fi Hi Def Audio - Software Enabled

    Wireless Intel© Centrino© Advanced-N + WiMAX 6250

    Battery 85 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery

    Entertainment and Editing Software Adobe Photoshop Elements + Adobe Premiere Elements

  4. #4
    Apr 2009
    Northern Michigan
    WSU gave good advice - why spend the money on a laptop to accomodate GIS when the school will have labs for it, and any employer that you may end up with would provide a machine? If you need a laptop, great, but I don't know if I'd spend the extra to get a monster machine just for GIS.

    Obviously your call.... but I'd rather have a dirtbike.

    But if you still do want to go down that road... http://resources.arcgis.com/content/...reRequirements

    Looks like your processor may still be a bit on the slow side, unless it's using the Turbo mode (don't know what that means).

  5. #5
    I know this thread is a bit old, but I was browsing and wanted to add my input.

    ArcGIS is a 32-bit application, you can not take full advantage of the 64-bit OS. I hope that the extra RAM capabilities of a 64-bit OS and multi-threaded processing are fully supported in the next development of ArcGIS.


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