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Should get a powerful laptop(kinda overkill for my needs) or get more portable laptop and just upgrade my PC instead?

Posted (edited)

PC might be too weak for my workload in college as I applied for the Computer engineering course so I thought of getting a laptop with a powerful CPU but I do want to play games time to time(although I don't play the latest AAA games) so I might also need the GPU to be powerful too so I could still play games I potentially want in the future and for 3D rendering.

 

Or maybe instead of getting a i7 or R7 CPU with a RTX 3060, I could just upgrade my PC that has a modest i5 6400 and a 1050 Ti for games and heavier work loads.

 

 

Edited by Newblesse Obblige
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College is a situation where a beefcake laptop makes a lot of sense. If you live in a dorm or share a home and don't have much space, a laptop that can fold up and be put away doesn't take up much of the space you have.

 

My general thoughts on laptops are that they're not upgradeable, they're overpriced, and they're dependent upon lithium batteries that die over time. My preference is to sink money into a good desktop that suits my needs and can be improved over time with new components rather than having to replace the system. I do have a laptop that I use when I'm traveling, but it's lightweight and low-powered, capable only of basic gaming at 1080p. That arrangement works well for me, and is generally the route I'd suggest going.

bang bang go the dropping frames, man

wipe all the Macs that don't agree

max out the settings at 4K now

a 3090's what I need

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People put a lot of thought into computer engineering needing a really beefy rtx 3000 series graphics card kind of laptop, but as a graduate from an electronics/computer engineering program I really dont think its necessary at all. Most of the stuff you do in computer engineering is learning to code well or learning how computer hardware works (digital logic, VLSI desgin, signal processing). you're not a data scientist crunching giant data sets everyday. Sure you might have a course or two where you crunch data but when my surface book 1 from 2016 couldnt handle the workload which was very rarely, i'd either use the computer lab computers or my home desktop. 
My suggestion is to get a 2 in 1 laptop so you can take notes in class and more easily change from note taking to googling something and copy pasting it into your notes. 
You're also going to be looking at code or math a lot in class so having that quick change between keyboard and pen for notes is a life saver.

so my suggestion is upgrade the desktop. My gtx 1070 was more than enough to train the CNN (neural networks) that i did in school.

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I agree with @Mayday793, you don't need high end hardware to go through uni, your i5-6400 will be fine. The laptop format makes a ton of sense, so if I were you, I'd prioritize something portable and with great battery life over the absolute maximum specifications.

 

Unless the real purpose of the machine is to play games, that is.

Main: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X @ 4.2 GHz, Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti, 16 GB 4400 MHz DDR4 Fedora 36 x86_64

Secondary: Intel Xeon W3680, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, 24 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 Windows 10 Home x86_64

Server: AMD Ryzen 5 5600G, 16 GB 3200 MHz DDR4 TrueNAS Core

Home Laptop: Intel Core i5-L16G7, 8 GB 4267 MHz LPDDR4x Windows 11 Home 21H2 x86_64

Work Laptop: Intel Core i7-10510U, NVIDIA Quadro P520, 8 GB 2667 MHz DDR4 Windows 10 Pro 21H2 x86_64

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