Computer for Inventor

I started using inventor this season and was able to create my teams robot in it but just barely. The reason I say this is because Inventor has been crashing a lot and will sometimes do so before I can save. My laptop is about 5 years old now and inventor takes about 5 minutes to start up on it and will sometimes crash if I am opening large files. My main problem is that much of the KOP and parts from the CAD library cause autodesk to give me a message saying something along the lines of “this session of Inventor is using 96% of your virtual memory…” and then before I can save or do anything it says that no Virtual memory is available and then closes Inventor. I have been working around these problems (mainly by creating “look-alike” parts to act as place holders and by limiting detail) but my solutions don’t really do much.

Since I am replacing my laptop soon what type of computer should I consider getting in order to use inventor more effectively? Better yet is their some way I can format inventor so that it will run on my laptop without causing it to crash? Also is there something I can do to make inventor load/run faster?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated,
Garret Smalley

It would be worth taking a look at the Lenovo Outlet online. It would be difficult to piece together a system for a better price than many of the ones on there.

Thanks for the suggestion. I have never seen such inexpensive computers :slight_smile:

Do you know what do they mean by “refurbished” computers?

Does Inventor run better on a particular version of windows or does it not matter?

Wikipedia explains better than I could.

Thanks, that makes sense.

Does anyone have any opinions about the reliabilty of refurbished computers or are they functionally the same as new ones?

If you’re lucky they can be good as new. The main difference is their life-span, which could be shorter. Be sure to check for the differences in the warranty between new and refurbished. Sometimes refurbished parts have a shorter time or less coverage.

Hi there, I was looking for a Laptop to start working with Inventor as well.

First I’d like to suggest for any software that you check out the system requirements, it’s a good starting point those can be found here:
http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/index?id=13727144&siteID=123112

The next thing to figure out is your budget. If you don’t have your price range set before you go looking at computers then you may end up spending more then you want to.

I also would recommend Google searching for Autodesk Inventor to see what other professionals have used and what has worked for them. One of the things that I came up with in my searches was that Inventor works just as well with a gaming graphics card as it does with an engineering graphics card. With that in mind you can double your Engineering laptop as a sweet gaming system as well.

As for “Refurbished” or “Recertificated” hardware I usually like to stay away from it. However that does not come from any issues I have ever had before it’s just a personal preference. The important thing to do if you wish to purchase used or ever new for that matter is check the return policy.

Keeping all of that in mind a good place to search is new egg, you can do a power search and enter in what hardware you are looking for and they have usually have a good return policy plus really good customer service.

You can also try tiger direct, Fry’s Home Electronics, Micro Center, and any place else you like to shop.

Hope that helps.

If you can spend the money, I dont think you can beat a w500 or w510 from lenovo for a laptop. It uses workstation class graphics cards which are guaranteed to work with most CAD programs and tailored more towards professional software. They also have much much higher build quality than any consumer class computer.

In terms of durability, they’ll break quickly with drops or tosses. MacBooks hold up better. But the actual hardware isn’t flaky at all, no crappy equipment. The card and processor makes everything in Inventor or Solidworks basically painless.

Lenovos? I dunno about those particular models but my buddy has a thinkpad that has been through 3 years of college and is still holding up fine. My MBP on the other hand has had to have major components replaced due to heat damage.

(And I AM a fan of Mac computers)

Asus G73JH, end of story. For the money its the best mix of performance and price. I run inventor on this laptop and it screams.

A little background, RPI offers a Thinkpad package to incoming freshman every year. This past year we got the W500, the previous year was the T61p, and previous years were also from the T60 line.

Have a lot of your friends broken theirs? On the flip side of the coin, I’ve only seen someone have a hardware issue once (and it was a senior, so the laptop had been around for 4 years). 1276 also had a pair of Thinkpads donated in 2007 from the early 2000s, when one of our sponsors upgraded to new ones. They still worked great!

I was under the impression that Thinkpads had a reputation for being some of the hardiest laptops around. Is this not the case?

I have a w500 and I can definitely say it is way more bulletproof than any macbook and about half the price. Ive read numerous reviews saying the lenovo is much better overall quality than the mac as well. It definitely isnt as shiny or cool looking but thats not what you should be buying a computer based off of.

The single best upgrade that I can recommend is going with the solid state hard drive. It eliminates a common source of failure among laptops as well as increases battery life and makes your system faster. For a while it was only a $100 upgrade on the lenovo over a standard harddrive.

Thanks for your opinions and advice.
I think I know where to go from here.

Ill throw in my 2 cents

I have a macbook pro (non unibody) and while it feels pretty durable, you cannot beat the durability of thinkpads, I have lifted the things off a table by a corner of the palm rest and held them horizontal without feeling scared of breaking them.

They are known for being very durable, the screen has a metal mesh to prevent it from damage from impacts, hard drive is in a cage (magnesium I think) to protect from crushing, etc.

As for SSD/HDD most HDDs have a sudden drop protector that usually prevents them from crashing and SSDs may not actually save battery life SSD Battery Life Hoax The price to size ratio is your own to decide, its nice to have increased performance but you can get pretty fast 7200rpm drives (a 500GB 7200rpm drive would be pretty fast due to density, my 5400rpm is awfully fast)

Also, a T400 got run over with a 26000lb truck and the memory was still intact and the battery still worked as well as the harddrive the screen obviously was cracked and the keyboard had a few buttons break.

T400 Truck

They are definitely physically durable, I’m just incredibly abusive :slight_smile: The border for the LCD screen cracks pretty easily and the battery latch can get worn down. But the hardware is generally rock solid. My only issue was an electrical problem a few of my friends claimed they had before, static buildup or something.

anyway, get a W500 you’ll love it, preferably at RPI with a gigantic warranty. I might go solid state on the drive once I can afford it.

Many people here, and that I’ve met in real life have told me that Thinkpads were some of the best quality laptops out there. I’ve had a Z61t for the past three years, and it’s horrible. Granted, it’s not their high-end line, but the thing would break every couple weeks, and different components too. The hard drive will break and BSOD my computer every so often. Power cord comes loose. Battery randomly died after a year of use. The OEM CD drive stopped working. The speakers started giving me so much feedback that I couldn’t hear anything I was playing (probably due to some bare wire picking up external noise).

But as I mentioned before, this was a middle-class line. They’re high-ends could be much better, and it seems like I am a very small minority.

Batteries normally last only about 12-18 months with extensive use.

“Asus G73JH, end of story. For the money its the best mix of performance and price. I run inventor on this laptop and it screams.”

^^^This.

We purchased two of these this year to become our new design laptops and shuffle down the rest.

They held up great and were able to handle our complete robot assembly, as well as some stress simulation work.

I would highly recommend for a cheaper level inventor laptop.

I will add onto my comments in more detail about this laptop.

The large screen (17.3") makes it much easier to work on parts while doing other things or editing two things at the same time. A larger workspace is always better.

Full-size backlit keyboard makes it easy to enter dimensions or work in the dark. Also, unlike a IBM stinkpad, the Ctrl key is in the right spot on the keyboard (don’t ask me how many times I have hit the Fn key looking for the Ctrl key). :wink:

Super fast CPU (Core i7), graphics card (DX11 support), and lots of ram mean you can open and edit large or complex assemblies without lag. Nothing comes close to its spec in its price range.

The only annoying part about it are touchpad buttons, but your going to want to use a mouse anyway. The battery life is a bit pitiful too. If you can accept its size and weight it makes a perfect portable workstation.

Bestbuy carries a cut down version for $1200, or you can get it decked out for around $1650 at xoticpc.com.