What Makes a Good Laptop for a Programmer?

Mar 29,2017
Choosing a laptop is not an easy task, choosing the right laptop for programmers is even a harder task. Follow us to learn how pick the right laptop for programming.

A good laptop for programming will have a set of parts that could perform well, namely, the hard drive, RAM, processor, and connectors. According to your needs as a programmer, a laptop should be well chosen by you. A good programming laptop needs to have parts that are able to perform efficiently.

Do you need a great programming laptop? Well, you have come to the right place then; but first you need to know what are your desired characteristics for a laptop or else you will be misled by various greedy laptop sellers.

Hard Drive

Arguably one of the most important parts to look out for when buying a laptop is the hard drive. A programmer wants to have the freedom of installing many apps for programming as well as having a large amount of memory to save other files.
A large capacity HDD would still be not enough, why? Well, an HDD or also known as mechanical hard drives have slow read and write speed compared to an SSD. It is also more prone to inefficient storing of data because it tends to save data on different sectors in the drive rather than optimizing it.
SSDs are known to be more power silent and efficient than the traditional HDD's thus, making it a great choice for a programming laptop. A good SSD memory capacity would be 120 GB, enough for programming and developer apps.
However if you are on a tight budget, buy a laptop with an HDD, but definitely buy an SSD if you are not on a budget.

RAM

Because this and the CPU dictates on how many applications that a laptop could open, RAM (Random Access Memory) is also important for a programmer. Because of the lack of memory to be used for processes, a low RAM will likely lead to multitasking issues as well as the infamous BSOD (Blue Screen of Death).
Ideally, a 4GB RAM is enough for everyday multitasking by an average programmer however, in this modern era, more than 4GB of RAM is a great deal because of how technology evolves day by day; adding more RAM will enable your laptop to be future proof at least, to future applications for programming.
8-16 GB of RAM is enough for that future proofability that you can enjoy however, when you are really in a tight budget, you may opt to instead only have 4 GB instead (I still recommend 8-16 GB of RAM however).

To sum up this section, generally 4 GB is ideal, but if you want to squeeze more juice for your multitasking activities, 8-16 GB is more than enough.

Processor

The brain of the laptop (or any computer/gadget); the processor will calculate the processes necessary for the efficient running of your applications in your laptop.
A powerful processor is a must have in a programming laptop because in programming different applications, complex calculations are needed for the application to run perfectly in a default programming setup. Your programming skills will also suffer because of the sluggish running of applications if the processor calculating speed is low.

Generally, a processor with 4 cores (8 cores is a good idea) is ideal for multitasking and programming. Because workloads are being evenly distributed through each of the cores, more cores = more processing speed and power. Choose a processor that has a minimum of 2 GHz of speed on each core while the minimum number of cores should be at least 4.

Connectivity

Connectors are almost a must for compatibility such as when you opt to connect devices into your laptop such as a drawing tablet, another larger monitor, into a more powerful computer, and basically almost anything related to programming.

It's best to find a programming laptop that has both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, HDMI cable port (VGA's are accepted as long as you have compatible devices to connect with), and of course an audio port.

Others

Weight-- Well, if you are always on the move, a lighter laptop would be a good choice however; a programming laptop may be heavier than other laptops because of hardware. It is just a matter of self-preference.

Battery life-- Consider this if it will not add to the overall cost of your laptop and if you generally want a hassle-free laptop when bringing it to different areas.

Remarks

A good laptop for programmer will definitely need the perfect balance of performance between the processors, hard drive, and RAM. With this in mind, it might be best to get something from the Macbook line because these typically have good specifications; but you should still choose wisely in selecting a laptop well. Happy Programming!

Do you need a great programming laptop? Well, you have come to the right place then; but first you need to know what are your desired characteristics for a laptop or else you will be misled by various greedy laptop sellers. A good laptop for programming will have a set of parts that could perform well, namely, the hard drive, RAM, processor, and connectors. A good programming laptop needs to have parts that are able to perform efficiently.

A good laptop for programmer will definitely need the perfect balance of performance between the processors, hard drive, and RAM

If you're looking for more in-depth guide, there is an article in HobGear that reviews best programming laptop, also, you should take a look at the best programming keyboard for programmer, too.

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