I am applying for a grant to create an interactive 3D model of a campus that will have interactive icons. I will be using CityEngine to create the buildings and landscape and I will be using Unity to code the interactive icons. I am looking for information on the best computers (preferably a laptop, but I am open) to use to complete my project. The machine will need to be efficient at giving a great quality for both programs. Here are my main questions that I have after reading feedback from similar questions:
MAC or PC does not make any difference. The software does not run any better on a MAC. I don't even know a lot of users that us MAC for GIS. And they cost a lot more.
For the best computer for 3D applications you are going to want a lot of RAM. A good GPU and preferably an i7 with a quad core processor.
Personally I would stay away from a laptop for GIS Applications unless your going to hook up to a docking station with larger monitors.
Fortunately Gaming Computers perfectly fit the bill for good GIS computers. Generally many modern high end games take more resources than 3D GIS.
If you want to explore the option of making your Campus tour VR then you should consider a VR ready computer
Go online to Best Buy and check out their computers. Set your price at $2000 or higher and pretty much any gaming computer will be over kill for your project.
I have a pretty good PC for home and work, but I use a laptop quite a bit for rule writing. For years I used a Macbook for CityEngine. I have a countless number of hours on both platforms and the only things I've noticed have been minor. My laptop now is is the XPS 15" Touch with 32gb of RAM. I have only recently made the switch from a Macbook Pro to the Dell XPS primarily so I could use ArcGIS Pro alongside CityEngine.
Surface Studio is nice - but it may not be the best tool for CityEngine. The GPU- GTX 980 is a mobile chip and not super powerful. I would also strongly advise against a Surface Pro as a laptop option.