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Pretty Good PC + Okay Laptop vs. Good Laptop w/ Docking Station

My current PC is almost 10 years old and starting to have some issues. I'd like to upgrade/replace it but I'm having difficulty deciding with what. I'm currently working as a software developer, and I'll be going back to school next semester. I'd ideally like to have some sort of laptop for school and potentially work (not as necessary). I used to play a games a lot more but now I pretty much just play League or Elden Ring on occasion. I like the idea of using the same computer across the board rather than switching between a laptop and desktop, but for the price of a lot of laptops I feel like you sacrifice quite a bit of power compare to the price of PC components.


My primary use cases are: software development, Unity game development, Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, & After Effects, light gaming 


My current build:


RTX 2070


1TB Samsung 860 Evo + 4TB & 1TB WD HDD


I was considering either a Surface Pro 8/Surface Laptop + a docking station or:



Crucial P5+ SSD

RTX 2070 (keep the same one)

+ a lower spec laptop, but not really sure on what would be good here


Any recommendations on a PC upgrade + laptop, or pure laptop would be greatly appreciated as I'm struggling to decide. Thank you! 

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As a Surface Pro user, I can tell you that it cannot be used to game, the performance of it just cannot keep up.

I would suggest a PC + a laptop if you have the budget.

If you are going with a PC, for your workload, I think a 12600(k/non-k) instead of a 11700K would be the best choice, rest of the specs are good as is

For a laptop, in terms of school/work use, I would recommend the X series Thinkpads from Lenovo. Thinkpads are just beasts and my X270 from back in 2016 still runs pretty darn well with multiple VMs.

CPU : Intel i5-12600K

Motherboard : ASUS TUF Z690-PLUS WIFI D4

RAM : Corsair Vengeance RGB 3200MHz CL16 (2x8GB)

AIO : Corsair H100i 240MM

GPU : Asus TUF RTX3070

Case : ThermalTake Core P3

Keyboard : D60 HHKB with Jwick Ultimate Black switches, G81-3000SAV PBT keycaps

Mouse : Logitech G Pro Wireless

Audio : Edifier R1280DBs | Sennheiser HD598

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Laptops without dedicated GPUs really aren't meant to do much gaming at all. The docking station isn't really going to aid you in any meaningful way in that endeavour.

By the sounds if it you can easily get away with a lower spec laptop. I'd just go that route. I mostly use my laptop for browsing and word processing (spreadsheets and the like). The Lenovo T470s I got for $150 handles that with ease. You can get brand new laptops with Ryzen 4000 series processors (HP business laptops, for example; very, very nice units) for around $350 if you watch enough auctions.

CPU: Ryzen 9 5900 Cooler: EVGA CLC280 Motherboard: Gigabyte B550i Pro AX RAM: Kingston Hyper X 32GB 3200mhz

Storage: WD 750 SE 500GB, WD 730 SE 1TB GPU: AMD Radeon 6700XT 12GB PSU: Corsair SF600 Case: Streacom DA2

Monitor: LG 27GL83B Mouse: Razer Basilisk V2 Keyboard: G.Skill KM780 Cherry MX Red Speakers: Mackie CR5BT


MiniPC - Sold for $100 Profit


CPU: Intel i3 4160 Cooler: Integrated Motherboard: Integrated

RAM: G.Skill RipJaws 16GB DDR3 Storage: Transcend MSA370 128GB GPU: Intel 4400 Graphics

PSU: Integrated Case: Shuttle XPC Slim

Monitor: LG 29WK500 Mouse: G.Skill MX780 Keyboard: G.Skill KM780 Cherry MX Red


Budget Rig 1 - Sold For $750 Profit


CPU: Intel i5 7600k Cooler: CryOrig H7 Motherboard: MSI Z270 M5

RAM: Crucial LPX 16GB DDR4 Storage: Intel S3510 800GB GPU: Nvidia GTX 980

PSU: Corsair CX650M Case: EVGA DG73

Monitor: LG 29WK500 Mouse: G.Skill MX780 Keyboard: G.Skill KM780 Cherry MX Red


OG Gaming Rig - Gone



CPU: Intel i5 4690k Cooler: Corsair H100i V2 Motherboard: MSI Z97i AC ITX

RAM: Crucial Ballistix 16GB DDR3 Storage: Kingston Fury 240GB GPU: Asus Strix GTX 970

PSU: Thermaltake TR2 Case: Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX

Monitor: Dell P2214H x2 Mouse: Logitech MX Master Keyboard: G.Skill KM780 Cherry MX Red



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