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Confusizzled

Laptop for Programming ~1000 CAD

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hey guys,

 

I'm going to be going into programming this coming year and I need to upgrade my laptop. My budget is around $1000 Canadian. I've seen a few pretty good deals online but I'm not sure how beneficial certain specs are for programming. I'm also a gamer but I already have a pretty decent desktop for triple A titles I'd probably only mostly use my laptop for lighter games like Overwatch, League of Legends, Left Dead. So here's the questions:

 

1. Would the new 8th gen kaby lake processors be a significant upgrade from 7th gen processors (most of the 7th gen processors I'm also looking at gaming notebooks so they're the HQ series while all the 8th gen processors right now are U series, Also been seeing i7 8th gens around the same price as i5 7th gens)

 

2. Do I really need a graphics card? (been seeing a lot of good deals on GTX 1050 laptops around the price range but usually comes at the cost of an i7 processor)

 

3. I really want it to be using SSD as storage, would 256 GB SSD be enough or should I get a combo of 128 GB SSD + 1TB HDD ? 

 

** I don't care too much about weight and size but lighter would be nice as i'd be carrying it around for a good chunk of the day

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I'd say that RAM, CPU, and SSD are more important than a GPU.

 

1. 8th gen i5 has 6 cores, and the i7 has 12 threads...so that is a pretty significant upgrade to me imo.

 

2. No. Intel graphics is pretty dang good these days for non-gaming and non-CAD.

 

3. Go for the SSD. I would try to develop a workflow process that allows for me to store long-term projects in the cloud and current projects on the SSD, so get the 256 (or even better a 512). 


Gaming Desktop: ASRock Phantom Gaming X, R9-3900x, 64GB RAM, 1.5TB SSD

NAS Box: Gigabyte Z97, i5-4690, 32GB RAM, 22TB, 1TB SSD Cache.

 

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a 1050/1050ti would be fine for those titles as long as you aren't expecting max settings 60 fps for all of them

 

nvm, i forgot they added more cores this gen, thats actually important, but most of the overall better deal are with older gen laptops, so gauging that is up to you

 

 

if you really care about programing on a laptop, its going to cost you some gpu, my friend got a i7 7700hq with a 1050 for around $750

 

im not sure how this translates in CAD but this is a pretty good laptop https://www.costco.com/Lenovo-LEGION-Y520-Gaming-Laptop---Intel-Core-i7---4GB-NVIDIA-Graphics---1080p.product.100347159.html?catalogId=10701&langId=-1&storeId=10301&krypto=XibKvJfRDOzQJycDdc%2Bnw%2Bc%2FYShYsWZzoATvBCOONB7dfJ%2B7KH8GNM9hPiAd5l8Q9j7jVQhYLWGa JoTGr2zkThfF0WnsNn61QXqWpJBf5u0yXI%2Fz6SaaiCOE0vJs0wKe

 

 

as is something like this which has the i7 and a 1060 6gb, but its $1050 usd https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06Y4GZS9C/ref=s9u_wish_gw_i1?ie=UTF8&colid=25H89Q9NV13MK&coliid=I35L3XREJDINWE&fpl=fresh&pd_rd_i=B06Y4GZS9C&pd_rd_r=QQFJWK6YVVP0CRS2MDT0&pd_rd_w=2Odad&pd_rd_wg=6tg9Z&pf_rd_i=desktop&pf_rd_s=&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=RA60NM564GT1C9Q40FEY&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=781f4767-b4d4-466b-8c26-2639359664eb&th=1

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10 minutes ago, Confusizzled said:

2. Do I really need a graphics card? (been seeing a lot of good deals on GTX 1050 laptops around the price range but usually comes at the cost of an i7 processor)

Just for programming, no. I am personally still only running an Intel HD4000 integrated graphics for programming an very light gaming. Works okay for me.

11 minutes ago, Confusizzled said:

3. I really want it to be using SSD as storage, would 256 GB SSD be enough or should I get a combo of 128 GB SSD + 1TB HDD ? 

Running anything programming related from an HDD is a pain.. Builds take too long in my opinion.

I would go with something like the samsung 850 evo 1TB SSD (or some other 1TB SSD) and just don't worry about space anymore. :)

 

I am currently using some configuration of the Thinkpad T530 and I'm pretty happy using it for school, and programming at home.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, Postremus said:

Just for programming, no. I am personally still only running an Intel HD4000 integrated graphics for programming an very light gaming. Works okay for me.

Running anything programming related from an HDD is a pain.. Builds take too long in my opinion.

I would go with something like the samsung 850 evo 1TB SSD (or some other 1TB SSD) and just don't worry about space anymore. :)

 

I am currently using some configuration of the Thinkpad T530 and I'm pretty happy using it for school, and programming at home.

I'm still super new with programming, Would the files get that big that I would need 1 TB of SSD? cause in laptops anything above 256 GB is pretty pricy at least here in Canada

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Storage:

Storage should always be an ssd for programming. Compiling code creates lots of small files which required good IOPS in combination with good read/write speeds. SATA SSD is a must, with nvme recommended.

For size it really depends on what sort of programming you are doing.

If you are doing c/c++/c# python etc you shouldn't need something too big. 250gb+ but would recommend 500gb. Especially if you are doing embedded coding, for that 250gb is plenty.

If you are going to be developing apps for iOS or android and the like, then you will probably need 500GB+ with a recommendation of 1TB.

 

As for the components.

GPU: anything will do.

RAM: Would recommend 16GB

Processor: definitely get a quad-core. The new 8th gen look like a really good option. Especially if you are a student as they can be found in much more portable designs

Display: Try and get something with 1080p as a bare minimum. But ideally a higher resolution. This will allow you to get more code on the screen at once (as long as your eyesight isn't bad). This may not sound like a big deal, but moving from 1080p to 1440p on my dev machine made a world of difference to my productivity. I find a single 1440p screen to be more productive than 2x 1080p ones.

Keyboard: you are going to be using this a lot, so make sure you like the keyboard. 

 

As for specific recommendations on specific laptops, I like Dell, others don't. Lenovo are quite good. But more importantly go and check out and have a play with laptops in some stores (even if you are going to buy online) that way you can see if you like the feel of it, you can see what they keyboard and trackpad are like etc.

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Wait for 8th gen 6 core HQ chips or Ryzen desktop CPU inside laptop. dGPU is nice to have but IMO it's not necessary.

 

240-275GB SSD - OS+a few big files

120-128GB SSD with 1TB HDD - SSD for OS only


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