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A Portable Revit Workstation

A Product Review by Michael Anonuevo

 

Introduction

In the Revit family modeling eBook I’m currently writing, the chapter on Computer Configuration includes a discussion on desktop and laptop workstations. While I have enough material pertaining to desktop workstation configurations, I barely have any relevant information on modern mobile workstations. I do have a laptop –an Intel Core 2 Duo-based laptop with a 16″ screen, which I use as a third computer backup. But by today’s laptop processor standards, it hardly qualifies as a mobile workstation (translation: obsolete!). Sure it runs Revit, but all functions are painfully slow.

With the gaining popularity of the new and more powerful Intel® Core™ i7 and Intel®Xeon® processors for the laptop, I needed information about them for inclusion in my eBook. I also wanted to write a review for the benefit of Revit users. Having previously dealt with BOXX computers in a review I had written on their XTREME 4920 workstation (http://www.clubrevit.com/2012/10/17/boxx-revit-workstation/), I reached out to their Director of Business Development, Shoaib Mohammad, who graciously sent me a laptop for review.

01start image

This article is about the GOBOXX G1840, a laptop classified by BOXX Technologies, Inc. as a mid-range mobile workstation. This model is part of their G1800 WS series. The laptop sent to me was a demo model used by Pixar in one of their trade shows. Knowing this, I expected this model to perform as a true mobile workstation, capable of running Revit and other graphics programs.

So does this model qualify as a desktop replacement? It’s a resounding YES, so please read on for more details.

How the GOBOXX G1840 was Evaluated

The laptop arrived at a time when I was getting ready to install a larger capacity solid state drive on my main computer. This meant reinstalling Windows 7 and all the programs I use. During the downtime period, I used the GOBOXX G1840 to continue with my daily work, after installing all my regular programs—including Revit and other graphics applications. I was then able to observe and time common computer tasks and Revit functions such as opening huge files, navigating 3D views, generating renderings, and rendering a walkthrough. I also continued writing my technical articles on the laptop, including this review. My goal was to simulate using the GOBOXX G1840 in a situation where I would be working away from my desktop workstation (e.g. in a hotel room, a friend’s house, a client presentation, or in a construction meeting). I did use it for presentations with the management of the company I am currently working for as a Revit contractor. The accessories I used in the meetings were minimal—stuff I would be taking along with the laptop in a laptop case. These are: a midsize wireless mouse, a 3DConnexion SpaceNavigator, and a tiny USB 3.0 WD 1-terabyte external hard drive. To write a fair review, I spent one month using the GOBOXX G1840.

To find out how the laptop stacks up against a desktop computer, I used my second Revit workstation for comparison. It is an i7-930 processor-based computer with the following specifications:

  • Intel Core i7-930 Quad Core 2.8 GHz (up to 3.0 GHz max turbo frequency)
  • 24GB DDR3 (6 DIMMS)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5770 1 GB
  • 1 TB SATA
  • Super Multi Blue-ray Player with Lightscribe Technology drive
  • Microsoft Windows 8 Professional 64−Bit
  • Corded Keyboard & Wireless Mouse

Note: This desktop computer is going to be referred to as the i7-930.

Here are the GOBOXX G1840 specifications:

  • 3rd generation Intel Core i7-3740QM Quad-Core 2.7 GHz (up to 3.7 GHz max turbo frequency)
  • 16GB DDR3 1600 (4 SODIMMS)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M 4GB
  • 180GB SSD SATA 6Gb/s
  • 8X DVD Multi Drive
  • Display: 17.3″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 Glossy Glass View LCD
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Edition 64-Bit
  • Price as tested: $3,485.00

Note: This laptop is going to be referred to as the G1840.

Miscellaneous equipment used for testing both systems:

  • 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator
  • 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse Pro
  • 3Dconnexion SpacePilot Pro
  • 4, 16 & 64 GB Flash Drives
  • 500 GB Western Digital Passport HD
  • 1-Terabyte USB 3.0 Western Digital Passport HD
  • 1-LG Flatron W2486L 24″ monitor
  • Behringer XENYX X1204 8-channel USB mixer
  • 2-KRK Rokit 5 powered speakers
  • 1-KRK Rokit 10 powered subwoofer

Although this review focuses on the laptop’s usability in Revit and other applications, I included results from benchmark tests using the following free software:

  • PCMark7.
  • Cinebench 11.5
  • RFOBenchmark 2013

Unpacking the Box

The laptop was packaged in a large corrugated box containing two flip top corrugated boxes stacked on top of each other.

02unboxing

The top box contained the G1840 protected by high density foams. The bottom box contained miscellaneous items including the power adapter, manuals, miscellaneous DVDs, USB flash drives, and a micro fiber cloth.

03contents

The laptop went through a series of self configuration the first time I turned it on. After starting and shutting down both computers several times, I timed their boot times. Here are the results:

Note: The results are in a stopwatch format (hours:minutes:seconds:milliseconds). Also, please note that the i7-930′s operating system is Windows 8 while the G1840 was preinstalled with Windows 7.

Pressing the On button, up to the appearance of the Password prompt:

I7-930 00:00:25:77
G1840 00:00:20:76

Pressing the Enter key after typing the password, up to the appearance of the Desktop (Metro interface in Windows 8):

I7-930 00:00:04:68
G1840 00:00:02:37

Shutdown:

I7-930 00:00:14:46
G1840 00:00:07:20

Restart to password prompt:

I7-930 00:00:46:38
G1840 00:00:29:55

 

The G1840 was faster in all boot times.

 

Windows Experience Index (WEI)

i7-930:

04hpwei

G1840:

05laptopwei

We all know that the WEI score is based on the lowest subscore. The disk data transfer rate score is lower when using an SATA hard drive. Obviously, changing the i7-930′s main drive to an SSD will result in a higher subscore. But take note that the subscores of all the G1840′s components are higher (7.7 average).

 

A Closer Look at the G1840

The design of the G1840 is streamlined —simple and classy. It gives the impression of a powerful and robust machine by way of its overall thickness. The body is encased in black, shiny, brushed aluminum casing, accentuated with glossy edgings.

06frontviewThe G1840 measures 16.22″ W (412mm) x 10.87″ D (276mm). The thickest part measures 1.79″ (45.4mm) in the back and tapers down to a thickness of 1.69″ (41.8mm) in the front area. Although Pixar has used this laptop, BOXX has obviously inspected, tested, and cleaned all the components before it was shipped to me. The screen panel even had the usual thin plastic film which I immediately peeled off. A mylar sheet separated the keyboard from the screen panel. The back panel, however, had faint traces of little soft scratches that can only be seen from a close distance. Having been used as a demo laptop, I expected a lot worse. However, this laptop looked almost brand new. Proudly emblazoned in the middle of the back panel is the shiny, polished aluminum BOXX logo.

07rearviewThe G1840 is solidly built and weighs a hefty 8.60 lbs with the battery. Here are the various parts of the G1840 as viewed from all sides:

Front: The right side of the front area is where the battery charge and power indicator LED lights are located.

08front

Left: This side consists of an array of ports.

09leftside

1 Mini-IEEE 1304a Port: This port is also known as Firewire and is primarily used for connecting audio or video devices. It is used specifically with digital video.
2 RJ-45 LAN jack
3 USB 3.0 ports
4 Combined eSATA/Powered USB 3.0 port: When the powered USB 3.0 is used, it supplies power for charging devices, even if the laptop is off _provided the AC/DC adaptor is plugged into a working outlet, or the battery has a capacity level above 20% (Note that this may not work for certain devices).
5 Multi-in-1 Card Reader (reads: MMC/RSMMC/MS/MS Pro/MS Duo/SD/Mini-SD/SDHC/SDXC cards)

Right: This side consists of miscellaneous ports.

10rightside

1 8X DVD Multi Drive
2 Emergency Eject Hole
3 Headphone Jack
4 Microphone Jack
5 S/PDIF-Out Jack
6 Line-In Jack
7 USB 2.0 Port

Back: This side consists of the power port, vents and ports for connecting to various display devices.

11backside

1 Security Lock Slot
2 Vents
3 Display Port
4 HDMI-Out Port
5 DVI-Out Port
6 DC-In Jack

Bottom: This side is where the battery is located plus additional vents, HD bays, etc.

12bottom

1 Vents
2 Component Bay Cover
3 Sub Woofer
4 HDD Bay
5 Battery
6 Secondary HDD Bay

The Screen

The G1840 comes with a 17.3″ Full HD Glossy screen called GlassView LCD. The images on this screen are absolutely stunning. Colors are rich. You get glorious bright colors and deep blacks. Nowadays, the images on the matte glass of my 24″ monitors appear dull, after getting used to the G1840′s sharp screen images.

The Keyboard

The keyboard is full size. You also get the full numeric keypad on the right side. The function keys invoke different functions when pressed with the Fn key (volume control, LED brightness, etc.).

Other Parts of the G1840

13openedlaptop

1 Built-in 2.0 Mega Pixel Digital Video Camera
2 17.3″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) with GlassView LCD
3 LED Indicators: These indicators display information about the current status of the computer (num lock, caps lock, hard disk activity, etc.)
4 Speakers
5 Keyboard
6 Built-in Microphone
7 Touchpad
8 Left & Right buttons
9 Fingerprint reader


Using the Touchpad with Revit

The touchpad may be a great feature for use with certain applications, but in my opinion, it is not an efficient tool in Revit. The finger combinations and how you move them to navigate a 3D scene or select objects are just plain awkward. I still prefer a wireless mouse, especially for selecting components, clicking tools, panning, etc. For zooming and navigation, the mouse is OK, but I’ve become addicted to the smooth and easy navigation maneuvers made possible by a 3D device. The SpaceNavigator (by 3DConnexion) works efficiently with the mouse when using a laptop. As long as you’re lugging this 17″ mobile workstation in a nicely designed case with sufficient room, these two extra devices are small enough to fit the pockets.

The Backlit Keyboard

I knew the keyboard was backlit after firing up the G1840 the first time. Against the black keys, the default color of the illuminated keys is blue (purple blue when viewed at some angles), which is really nice. But to my surprise, the colors are programmable. Yes, you can choose a different color or add color effects from a simple keyboard application! The effects include the following:

  • Random
  • Dancing
  • Tempo
  • Flash
  • Wave
  • Breath
  • Cycle
  • Custom: Sections of the keyboard can be assigned with a different color

Instead of explaining what these effects do, please watch this short video clip:

 

Sound

Let’s face it guys, unless hooked up to a good stereo or surround sound system, we’ll never get any earth-shattering sound from any laptop. Small speakers just do not move a massive amount of air to produce high quality sound. I’ve always used a high quality headphone or earbuds to listen to music, watch a Netflix movie, or watch a YouTube clip from a laptop. Anyway, the sound of the G1840′s speakers is clear and fairly decent. The installed Onkyo speakers are better than other laptop speakers.

Note: Onkyo is a Japanese consumer electronics company specializing in home cinema and audio equipment, including receivers and surround sound speakers.

The built-in microphone and speakers works pretty well with Skype, although I still prefer using a headset with a microphone. The video quality of the built-in 2 megapixel web camera is very clear. Surprisingly, there is a subwoofer at the bottom of the laptop.

14woofer

This is what makes the mid tones more prominent. Compared to the speakers from my old laptop, the sound from the G1840′s speaker system is beefier. A Realtek HD Audio Manager software is included that enhances the sound.

15realtek

A welcome addition is the THX TruStudio Pro software for adjusting the quality of the sound on the fly. THX is the standard in audio/visual effects used in movie theaters. It is also used in home theaters, computer systems, and cars. There is a clear perceptible difference when it is on, although the added sound quality is more discernible through a headset or home sound system.

16thxcontrolpanel

Power

The AC/DC power adapter is HUGE. It is full range and measures 3.48″ (88.4 mm) x 7.78″ (197.7 mm) x 1.7″ (43.45 mm). Look at its size compared to my wireless mouse:

17poweradapter

When the G1840 is used with Revit and other Adobe software, using the power adapter is a must. There is no sense in timing how long the battery will last using these powerful applications because they will drain the battery quickly. However, in cases where you have to access the laptop (e.g. retrieve or write an email in an airport) and you want to conserve the battery life, you don’t have to fuss around with the settings in the Control panel to adjust the performance settings. Pressing the Fn key + Esc key opens the Control Center, a handy application where the most commonly used laptop functions can be accessed quickly, including the power mode (1st row).

18controlcenter

Battery Life

This laptop features NVIDIA Optimus Technology. What this does is seamlessly switch between the integrated GPU (graphics processing unit) and the discrete GPU when the application in use calls for it. This technology makes the battery last longer. Integrated GPU is built into the CPU and has low power requirements. However, it is less powerful and slower than a discrete GPU. Discrete GPU is the dedicated video card, which is used for high performance applications such as Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. The battery life, of course, depends on what you’re doing. There are conflicting battery life numbers out there ranging from 2-3 hours up to 5-6 hours. However, I came across a review of a different laptop using this battery model which states the following:

  • Idle (without WLAN , min brightness)
    + 5h 29min
  • Surfing over Wi-Fi
    + 4h 21min

If you can, your best bet is to find the nearest power outlet when you have to use the laptop outside, such as an airport, cafe, etc. Then you don’t have to worry about the battery.

 

Multitasking

When I started writing a Revit eBook in 2010, one of the things that slowed me down was switching between InDesign and other huge applications, including Revit.  The i7-930 was my main computer back then. At that time, it was one of the fastest brand name desktop computers around. I had no problem with any Revit functions. But as my InDesign file grew in size to over 500 pages, it started getting slower in being the active application whenever I switched back to it, coming from Revit or Photoshop. We’re talking of 5 to 7 seconds before InDesign became active. This lag in time was very disruptive and annoying, but I patiently put up with it until I finished the eBook.

At present, I’m on my third eBook project which is about 75% complete, all done with the powerful BOXX 4920 XTREME workstation. The eBook is close to 800 pages now, and so I continued the writing process in the G1840. Amazingly, there are no lags whenever I switch between applications! I tried all types of graphics processes such as editing in Revit or Photoshop, then going back to InDesign or Illustrator. Everything is smooth. Revit navigation is normal—no lags or hesitations. The following applications were open in this multitasking test:

  • Revit Architecture 2013
  • AutoCAD Architecture 2013
  • InDesign CS6
  • Photoshop CS6
  • Illustrator CS6
  • Word
  • Excel
  • Snagit
  • Outlook
  • Chrome
  • iTunes

In the i7-930 computer, the lags were still there, although they were shorter after I switched to Windows 8 late last year. There is still the noticeable slow down in Revit navigation whenever all of the applications above are open.

 

Working with Revit

I was recently hired as a Revit contractor for a company based in Texas. A major part of what I’m doing for them is generating families of complex commercial kitchen equipment. During the downtime period of my main computer, I transferred all of this company’s project files to the G1840. I then hooked up a second monitor and made that the Revit window. I also hooked up my old keyboard and a 3DConnexion SpacePilot Pro. In working on the kitchen equipment families, it was as if I was using a desktop computer. Compared to the i7-930, 3D view navigation in the G1840 was much smoother. This is made possible by its powerful NVIDIA GTX video card, which improved the display performance in different visual styles (even with the following graphic display options on: ambient occlusion, transparency, anti aliasing, and shadows).

Note: As we all know, there are numerous graphic cards out there that are not supported in Revit. This is because they have not been tested by Autodesk, and testing is rigorous and takes time. However, with the exception of certain graphic card models, most of them work fine. The ATI HD 5770 video card in the i7-930 works perfect. So does the GeForce GTX 680M video card in the G1840, although both cards have not been tested in Revit.

After two weeks with this computer setup, I decided to forego using the external monitor in order to better replicate the situation of using the laptop just by itself outside the office. However, I retained the wireless mouse and added the SpaceNavigator.

Note: The keyboard keys take some adjustment to use because the board is parallel to the surface. You can prop up the laptop with a book in the back to make it angled, but the heel of your palm would still be resting on the palm surface. I find it best to just lay the G1840 flat against the table and adjust my fingers for typing. After a while, you will get used to your crooked fingers position and may actually tend to type more accurately.

As powerful as this laptop is, it never heated up. The G1840′s palm surface remained cool, even from extended hours of continued use. This is because the unit has two cooling fans and is sufficiently vented in the back and bottom sides. In my old laptop, the heat from the palm surface became unbearable after an hour.

Rendering

In the following YouTube video clip, I’ve pitted the i7-930 against the G1840 in rendering a project scene filled with complex commercial kitchen equipment families I modeled, as seen from this wireframe view:

19wireframe

I also timed how long it took to open Revit and the project file in both machines.

Here is the final rendering:

20rendering

This is the rendering setting:

21rendersettings

The file size is only 61 MB, but most materials assigned were stainless steel and aluminum. In my rendering experience, these materials tend to render really slow because of their reflectivity properties. The polished and brushed finishes, in particular, are killers. Watch this video clip:

The laptop ruled! Revit uses the CPU for rendering and the 3rd generation processor in the G1840 is what made it more powerful than the i7-930. The test may not mean anything to you because I used my own file. Well, to gauge how your laptop stacks up against the G1840, read up on the next topic:

 

Testing Your Computer Speed

Revit comes with samples from Autodesk that you can render and compare the result with the G1840. Do the following test:

Open Revit. Click the Application menu then go to Open>Samples. This opens the Samples folder from its default location (C>Program Files>Autodesk>Revit 2013>Program>Samples). Double-click rac_basic_sample_project.rvt. In the Project Browser, double-click Fireplace from the 3D Views branch. Click the Render button from the View Control bar (or type the keyboard shortcut RR). Accept the render settings (shown below) then click the Render button.

22samplerendersettings

Now time how long it takes your laptop to render the Fireplace scene. This is what the final render should look like:

23samplerender

Afterwards, watch this video clip to find out how long it took the i7-930 and the G1840 to render the same scene:

In this test, the G1840 prevailed over the i7-930 again.

In a final test, I opened an old walkthrough I created in 2011  (Revit 2012 walkthrough of a Bass guitar gear). The walkthrough was setup to render 500 individual JPEGs, for assembly in Quicktime Pro as a movie file. It took the i7-930 seven hours to render 500 JPEGs while the G1840 took only 5.83 hours.

24jpegrenders

This is the final assembled movie:

 

 

The G1840 as a Music Workstation

Note: This section is for Revit musicians out there:

This laptop is capable of handling DAW (digital audio workstation) software for recording or editing music.

musicws

I’ve used it with Mixcraft 6, Finale 2012, and Amazing Slow Downer.  Instead of recording directly to the G1840 through a USB interface, my recording preference is to record my alto saxophone directly in front of the excellent built-in microphones of my Tascam DP 008 digital recorder. This recorder generates WAV files that can be exported and thus, be edited in Mixcraft 6. For monitoring the music, I simply plug a 1/8″ – 1/4″ stereo cable to the laptop’s headphone jack and connect the other end to my Behringer XENYX X1204 8-channel USB mixex. The sound is crystal clear coming out of my Rokit monitors and subwoofer. With the THX TruStudio PRO software, the processed sound is great and I don’t need to EQ the mixer. There is quite a difference when the THX is Off.

When I was researching on how other musicians are using the laptop, I found out that not only do they use it for practice, but they also use it in live performances. Take a look at this photo:

borromeoSQ

Apparently, reading music from digital devices is starting to gain popularity in the music world. Using a specialized foot pedal, musicians are able to turn pages, thereby allowing them to play their instruments without interruption. This reading method crossed my mind a long time ago, but I wasn’t sold on the idea of reading music on a small screen…until I tried it!

After transferring my Finale music files on the G1840 and viewing the saved PDFs in full screen mode from Adobe Acrobat, the notes and staff lines were absolutely clear and sharp. The G1840′s screen size and resolution made a big difference. Although smaller in scale, the black note symbols are very readable and just seem to pop out against the bright back light. I’m hooked! You obviously don’t need music light anymore and you can also practice in the dark. I like to practice standing up and so I adjusted my music stand and placed the laptop on top of it as shown below:

laptopmusicstand

Later on, I found out that there are specially designed music stands made for this purpose from these websites:

http://www.quiklok.com/catalog/?p=productsMore&iProduct=477&sName=LPH-003

http://www.ultimatesupport.com/category/Laptop_and_Tablet_Stands

http://www.cranehardware.com/index.php?cPath=23

The specialized foot pedal works in conjunction with applications that use the Page Up/Page Down keys or arrow keys of the keyboard. Here is a company that sells one:

http://www.musicreader.net/foot-pedal-footime-page-turner-pc-mac-apple-ipad-clone-2.html

 

Tip:

Just like other applications, Finale files can be saved as PDFs. The beauty of reading music from a PDF file is that you can mark or annotate a page. You can also set Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat in full screen mode (Ctrl + L). This allows you to see the maximized music sheets without the menu and toolbars. Contrary to some of the articles I’ve read, you can view two pages at a time while in full screen mode. This is how to do it:

  1. Go to the View menu then click Page Display. Select Two Page View. If your PDF file has a cover, select Show Cover Page in Two Page View.
  2. Next, click Edit>Preferences then make sure the following boxes are checked or unchecked:
  • Documents tab: select Restore last view settings when reopening documents
  • Full Screen: deselect Fill screen with one page at a time
  • Page Layout: Under Default Layout and Zoom panel:
    • Page Layout: Automatic
    • Zoom: Fit Page

Lastly, to add more space, click the Taskbar>Properties then select Auto-hide the taskbar. Your two-page PDF music sheet will fill the screen and should look like this:

27fullscreen

In a YouTube music video I posted recently, I am reading the music from a PDF file in the G1840. Here it is:

 

The G1840 as a Graphics Workstation

Note: This section is for Revit users who are also the designated graphics person in a company.

In order to use a computer as a graphics workstation, a good video card is essential. This laptop uses an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M video card with 4GB of memory. During my research, I found out that the GTX series is very popular in the graphics and gaming world. I did not encounter any problem using Adobe Photoshop, Premiere Pro, InDesign, and Illustrator. They all run like butter. However, I did have a particular issue with Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 (APP CS6) which I was able to resolve later on.

You see, one of the great features of the GeForce GTX 680M is CUDA (Computer Unified Device Architecture). It is a form of parallel computing wherein calculations are carried out simultaneously. What this feature does is take advantage of the video card for processing computer intensive functions such as, in the case of the APP CS6, playback and certain rendering effects. Like Autodesk, Adobe also certifies video cards. To that effect, not all video cards are tested. But unlike Revit where you can enjoy the benefits of an uncertified video card, Adobe locks CUDA enabled effects from being used with uncertified NVIDIA video cards. The Mercury Playback Engine cannot be used in GPU mode. I’m like totally disappointed that the playback of my video in APP CS6 was choppy!  The only way to have a smooth playback is to set the playback resolution to Half (or less). This results in a pixilated playback, thus making video editing inaccurate.

To make a long story short, I found out that there is a simple fix to this problem. By simply adding your NVIDIA card model name to the CUDA-supported_cards text file in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 (and CS5) program files, CUDA is unlocked! There is a script that will do this for you. It can be found from this link:

http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5.htm

Good news! Adobe has released a new Premiere version called Adobe Premiere CC.  One of its features is support for video cards that Adobe hasn’t officially tested. The card, however, must meet the minimum requirement of 1GB of VRAM and appropriate drivers installed. Therefore, there is no need to unlock the CUDA. Additionally, OpenCL will be supported too, thus allowing AMD/ATI cards to use the Mercury Playback Engine in GPU mode. The repercussion on this is that we may see a drop in video card prices because NVIDIA will soon be competing with AMD/ATI in this domain. Of course, we users will benefit from this. Anyway, watch this video clip to see how unlocking CUDA greatly enhances Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 playback in the G1840:

And so, the G1840 with a CUDA enabled video card is perfect as a mobile graphics workstation.

 

Numbers…

…they speak for themselves, so here they are:

 

PCMark 7:

i7-930

28pcmarkhp

G1840

29pcmarklaptop

PCMark 7 Download Link: http://www.pcmark.com/benchmarks/pcmark7/download/index.html

Note: As a rough comparison guide, a modern fast desktop system with an SSD drive scores about 5000 in PCMark 7.

Cinebench 11.5:

30cinebench

Cinebench 11.5 Download link: http://www.maxon.net/?id=1258

Note: The G1840′s CPU score ranks high, just below desktop systems using Intel Xeon processors with more cores. Although the i7-930′s OpenGL score is higher, in real life performance, the G1840 performed better in Applications using this rendering mode. Currently, Revit 2013 uses Direct3D instead of OpenGL.

RFOBenchmark 2013: This is a Revit specific test you have to perform on your computer. Take a look at the Revit functions being tested from the results below:

i7-930:

31rfohp

G1840:

32rfolaptop
RFOBenchmark 2013 Download link: http://www.revitforum.org/hardware-infrastructure/1063-rfobenchmark.html.

Note: The G1840′s score on this benchmark test is better than the 17-930′s and is comparable to some of the desktop workstations posted at: http://www.revitforum.org/hardware-infrastructure/11025-rfobenchmark-2013-results.html.

 

Conclusion

The G1840 is a laptop that can function as a desktop replacement for Revit users. Whether at home or at a jobsite, it performs. It is a capable graphics and music workstation too. Here is a good setup if you will be using it on the go:

33idealsetup

If you’re in the market for one, I highly recommend this laptop. BOXX also offers higher end laptop models should you want an even more powerful laptop. But before you do, assess how your laptop performs by doing the tests I did. Render the sample Revit project I mentioned above. Download the benchmark programs and test your laptop (or desktop workstation). Don’t just settle for any brand that describes their laptops as mobile workstations. Look into your specific needs. Although Revit rendering relies on the CPU, ask yourself if you’ll be using your laptop as a graphics workstation—then get the right video card. Speak to a BOXX sales consultant (1-877-877-BOXX /sales@boxxtech.com). These guys are experts in putting together the right laptop components based on your needs. Check out the BOXX Revit solutions page on their website:

http://www.boxxtech.com/solutions/revit

 

About BOXX

BOXX Technologies, Inc. has been around since 1996 and was formerly known as Digital Emulsion. They manufacture high-end PC hardware geared for the movie and entertainment industry as well as the AEC and manufacturing industries. Not only do they build workstations for the private sector, but they also serve the US Government and the Defense industry. BOXX tech support is known for their knowledge of the applications used in their products. Their products and technical support are all based in Austin, Texas, US. This company is always on top of technology, working closely with industry leaders such as Intel, Microsoft, NVDIA, AMD, Autodesk, Adobe, Dassault Systèmes, Chaos Group, etc.

 

:) Thank you for taking the time to read this review. Oh by the way, please do not contact me. I will be away to an undisclosed location…with the G1840 and my saxophone! ;)

_Michael Anonuevo

 

About the Author:

Michael Anonuevo is a published author, BIM modeler, and musician who owns and runs https://www.littledetailscount.com/. He is currently working as a Revit Contractor for Design Build International, Inc., a Texas based construction company. His website specializes in unique and highly detailed Revit families created in native Autodesk Revit Architecture geometry. Michael is also an Autodesk Revit Architecture Certified Professional. At ClubRevit.com, he regularly writes articles pertaining to Revit families. He also writes product reviews and is a contributing author at augiworld.com, aecbytes.com, and revitcommunity.com.

Michael has written the following PDF eBooks available for purchase at his website:

  • Creating Custom Revit Architecture 2013 Families, 777 pages, over 2000 images
  • Creating Custom Revit Architecture 2012 Families, 751 pages, over 2000 images

Note: The 2014 version is slated for release by the end of this year.

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One Response to “A Portable Revit Workstation”

  • […] this website, I've written a product review on the BOXX G1840 laptop. Please click on this link: A Portable Revit Workstation, A Product Review by Michael Anonuevo | ClubRevit Thanks and have a great day! …Michael Anonuevo Reply With […]

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