Laptop recommendation


Coming from here, I have again the chance to buy a new laptop, and I would like the option to install flame for some occasional use.

Main request is some disable igpu option in bios. Now seems that laptop’s brands are adding this option (called “mux switch”) for more models. I have some in my radar, but it is nearly impossible get some manual or info about bios settings for most of them.

I wonder if there is anyone with a capable laptop to run flame , and get more options.


i honestly would not even look anything other than a m3 macbook pro at this point in time. they are such great laptops


ADSK doesn’t list any certified laptop configs. That can make the DKU hit or miss.

Unless you do something that has a huge difference with a NVidia GPU, I think the MacPro is the way to go.


hiumm… I don’t want anything from apple. It’s only an experiment for some short and occasional use. I’d rather experiment and try and have nothing, than buy any crap from that damn company.

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Fair enough.

In that case you could look at this one: Precision 7780 Mobile Workstation | Dell USA | Dell USA

Not exactly a cheap one. I have a prior generation of this laptop and it’s been a solid workhorse for tough on location work.

17" screen is helpful for some things, though makes it harder to fit into cases/bags.
Nvidia RTX 4000 Ada GPU helps with the performance. While the fan will come on, from all the high performance laptops this one doesn’t get so hot that you can’t touch it, which has been a problem with some Lenovo and others.
2 TB4 ports helps with IO. You can connect BMD UltraStudio or other IO interfaces, or fast storage.
And solid construction, doesn’t feel like the typical thin plastic shell.

If in budget, I’d buy this one again in a heartbeat.

I have not run Flame on it, or Linux. I use that for some other location work running Win10.

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There are a few HP ZBook Studios that have decent specs and I believe HP provide Red Hat drivers for, which would work on Rocky Linux as well. Expensive!!

There are some Linux only laptop manufacturers such as System76. They usually come with drivers for all major Linux environments including Rocky Linux.

Seriously though, I think the MacBook Pro is much better bang for the buck and will be way easier to manage/less hassle than trying to get Rocky Linux and Flame running on a laptop. This is coming from someone with a preference for and decent knowledge of Linux too. With laptops there often is something that doesn’t quite work as it should, such as Bluetooth or Wifi and far too often power management (you go through the battery much faster than Windows on the same laptop). I know of a few people who bought the Ubuntu version of the Dell XPS thinking they could run other versions of Linux on it, and they always had issues. These are IT friends not using Flame. So unless the laptop is available with Red Hat Linux or even Rocky Linux as the O/S with purchase (and you’d reinstall the Autodesk Rocky ISO then download the driver pack from the laptop manufacturer) then I would probably avoid it. Unless you’re the type of person who likes to hang around in Linux tech forums and have a play around for a week or two trying to get everything to work. I was a bit like that years ago but now don’t have the time or the patience.

One other option would be a small form factor PC with an ultra portable monitor and peripherals.

Now that you mention it, one of the two HPs may have been on the slide that ADSK showed at the NY FUG, but it’s not listed on the website. You could probably get clarification.

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We have not shown laptop in our slide, only workstations.

Up to now, we were under the impression that VFX supervisor mobile configurations were only macOS based.

It would be nice to measure the request for Linux mobile workstations and if there is enough demand we might be able to work with vendors and add models to our qualified workstations. The Z Book that Adam posted seems to be a quite capable offering. Curious to know what you guys think about that.


Thanks for correcting me re: slides @Slabrie.

Re: Interest in laptops - I definitely use Flame on a laptop semi-regularly as it opens up location flexibility. Most of it though is light work, not a whole session. For me a MBP works perfectly fine on that front at this point.

Could I see myself using a Linux based laptop if I ever needed it more regularly on location for client work? I’d definitely consider it and it would be good to have the option. By no means a burning need though. It would probably mean taking two laptops, as on location you also need all these other apps that don’t always exist/run well on Linux. So this would be a more dedicated solution. And primary reason would be access to NVidia GPUs. It all depends a bit on how the Apple GPU roadmap evolves parity wise.

Thanks Jan for the quick reply.

No worry, there were many slides and I tried to went over them quite fast to leave time for actual application demo.

I would be curious to hear more from others to gauge the interest.

You may have a little underated linux support in recent times. My three last attemps (one workstation, and two laptos) was almost succesfuly out of the box, including rocky linux (and DKU) on my last laptop. Only wifi use to give some problems, (and the dual graphic support, sure) , easy to fix buying a cheap (20-30$) usb wif adapter. Although each model is a separate point, It’s not something that concerns me. I’d rather do that than buy a $2500-3000 laptop without an ethernet port.

But this is my personal preference. It´s a sort of off-topic.I just asking about because sometimes I read about it (i remember some post in facebook times)

For those of us who consider the hardware, the roadmap for gpu’s (including nvidia), and the insane of their term of support for their OS (and therefore their hardware), of Apple are rubbish, yes, linux support (or kind of) for laptops would be great.

Precisely because it would be for light, sup, or client work, some “last” change, is why I think it would be very interesting to open the support to a wider range. If so far it seems that “only macbooks were used”, it is precisely because of this lack of support .

I’d be interested to see what spec laptop you would get with NVIDIA GPU capable of doing the work vs the price of an Apple MacBook Pro. The ZBooks I listed up above are way more expensive.

I am being totally pragmatic here and can appreciate that you are anti-Apple. I think you will be spending a lot more money to get like for like specification but there are definitely options out there for a Linux laptop. System76 builds are supposed to be decent and they will be cheaper than most major OEMs.
System76 Bonobo

They used to have Fedora and CentOs as options as well as Ubuntu and their own flavour of Linux, Pop! It doesn’t immediately seem to be the case now. You’d want to check with them that they have drivers that would work on Rocky, they may even be happy to test this for you. Pretty good bang for the buck in terms of a Linux laptop offering.

Or there are Dell Precision laptops too but once you add a UHD screen and max out the RAM & GPU…. Woah that’s expensive!!!

I can come out both sides of this Apple argument. There’s a lot of things I very much dislike about that company, but they also deserve credit for some things.

The total tax on the overall industry and society that this company has created with their CPU changes, then annual OS refreshes is mind-boggling. They have single handedly held back innovation through their wasteful ways almost more than anyone else I can name, and they don’t care. Definitely the definition of a tech diva.

While Apple Silicon was a much needed kick in the pants for Intel and AMD, and while it is a worthwhile design for the low to mid-tier of the market, they have created a ceiling with their SOC design that they can’t overcome for the high performance market until they change their CPU yet again. The focus on power per performance was a good pivot. And they have heavily contributed to high performance I/O interfaces, even though their interfaces change about as often as their CPUs.

The recent court cases on Apple/Google with the app store practices, and their rather greedy response to the court ruling and continued extraction of 30% (and now 27% margin) on any app purchase (including in-app) is not a good moment. Some definite monopolistic behaviors at work there.

On the other hand, their focus on privacy deserves credit, even though some aspects could use a usability review.

Anyway, I can go on listing their offenses, but also weigh their innovative contributions. In the end a mixed bag.

At the end of the day, me not buying an Apple product is not going to change the company or make them go away. So I will continue to use their hardware where it makes sense. But I’m not a fan boy for certain. And keeping options on the table for users to buy something else rather than defaulting to Apple as the only choice is good for everyone.

So for that reason alone it is good to run Flame on a Linux laptop. As you wrote, and I assumed, with a bit of IT experience and ellbow grease, it’s already feasible. But having an official config would be a good thing.


On quick comparison the main specs are similar to the HP Fury, but just a bit more than half the price. Prices do swing widely on those laptops. But they work really well.

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I can’t answer that, just because, the reason of this thread. They are not supported. I would love to see a most affordable laptop with a ryzen9 and some good gtx running flame and compare. Although I know some people consider gtx as “gaming cards” :upside_down_face: :smiling_face_with_tear: and this will not happen. But maybe with some mid-model of quadro…

If at some point I could test and compare, I would be happy to show it.

Well, this is definitely an offtopic. My first contact with a computer (personal and professional), leaving behind my childhood’s years and 8-bit computers, was a power-pc and a Quadra. I grew up with System 7.6, 8, up to 9.2.2. My first computer was a G3. My second one (the last model that I think was a real king) was a G5. I still have my macbookpro from 2009 (the last laptop that made sense to me). I have an Apple Classic in my office. I’m not an anti-fan-boy, but a convet ( the worst ones).

For more than ten years I have seen what is perhaps the most pathetic model in history, the trash-can (never a name was so accurate), kept for almost 10 years without any update and almost killed the pro range. And laptops with glossy screen and a single usb port. Even so, I spent a lot of time in the hackintosh world because I wanted to enjoy MacOs. The final nail was the nvidia ban. Then a change of architecture to be able to make mid-range computers and how Apple removed gpus of the game. In our industry, everyone said “that’s the way”, and no one has followed it.

It is true that I speak with a very special bitterness, the bitterness of someone who was once happy with a platform for almost 20 years and everything was screwed up in just over 8 years.

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You can definitely run a RTX gaming card and get decent performance out of it. It’s not a laptop, but I am using a HP Omen at home with an Intel i9 & RTX3090 in it and it performs pretty damn well. Not as fast as the Lenovo P620 Threadripper I use in the office, but close enough that I don’t roll my eyes or notice too much. Does crash noticeably more but not so badly that it is anything but a minor irritation.

Once again, the main issue with laptops running Linux are the drivers. There are lots of affordable gaming laptops with NVIDIA GPUs in them, but if they don’t have OEM support for the motherboard drivers on Linux, they can run ultra hot as they don’t talk properly to the cooling system, the battery life is greatly reduced and as mentioned previously, things like bluetooth, WiFi, even ethernet ports can prove problematic. “Professional” or “Workstation” laptops often have linux drivers available from the OEM as they are used extensively in IT, and a fair proportion of that market want Linux as their OS. Not so much for gaming PCs.

Laptops with good nvidia GPUs in them tend to weigh 17 pounds, run super hot, and have battery life in the tens of minutes. Horses for courses here…

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