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Mobile Workstations – More Portable, More Powerful, More Dependable
June 16th, 2015 by Tom Salomone
CAD designers understand the importance of having a workstation capable of meeting the demands of their resource-intensive applications. Yet many designers have been reluctant to invest in mobile technology in addition to their desktop machines. As powerful as mobile technology has become, it has historically struggled to match the performance and reliability of a high-powered desktop workstation, leaving designers looking to take their demanding CAD applications into the field with difficult choices.
But that’s changing.
In recent years, mobile workstations have gained ground in their ability to serve as complementary solutions. Here are a few reasons why you may want to rethink investing in a mobile workstation.
1) Portable Machines are Becoming More Portable
Today’s mobile workstations are thinner and lighter than they’ve ever been, and are being built with durability in mind using materials that protect vital machine components even under the toughest conditions. Additionally, battery life has reached the point of giving engineers all-day performance and then some, while thermal management systems ensure system cooling is at an optimal level for the components included, reducing the risk of failure. Portable machines have become more portable, making them, if not a replacement for the desktop workstation, at least a good complement for engineers in the field.
2) ISV Certification and High-Quality Display
Mobile workstations are now coming certified to run applications that include ICEM, 3ds Max, Creo Concept, Alias, CATIA, Siemens NX and others, providing designers with advanced features such as full-screen anti-aliasing, more advanced and realistic shading and other critical functionality. And not only can these machines provide these features, but they can also render them in amazing quality, with HD displays and up to 4K resolution that showcases their designs in pristine detail.
3) Performance is Catching Up
With innovations like the newest Intel® mobile processors and NVIDIA® Quadro® GPU technology, performance on these machines is attaining previously unachievable levels, with simple upgrades transforming laptops into full-fledged mobile workstations. Additionally, storage technology is quickly catching up to its desktop brethren, with the latest SSD memory and PCIe connectivity for faster data access. This means mobile workstations are now capable of running the most demanding CAD applications, from AutoCad and SolidWorks to CATIA and NX. Although these mobile workstations haven’t quite attained the level of the highest-end desktop workstations, they can serve as an attractive complement for engineers who need to take their work on the go and don’t want to sacrifice productivity on the road.
Though no one will confuse a mobile workstation with its high-end desktop counterpart, these systems are becoming more powerful, more portable and more affordable with each passing year, to the point where many are now seen as viable solutions for CAD engineers looking to run the most resource-intensive applications on the go. If you’ve been reluctant in the past to invest in a mobile workstation to handle your CAD workload, consider taking another look.
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