Laptop buying Guide for Programmers
Choosing the best laptops for programming can be tricky with all the different specs and brands out there. In this laptop buying guide for programmers we will try to help programmers get the best laptops for their usage.
Programmers looking for laptops should focus on 4 main components in any laptop. We will discuss in details every component and what they should focus on while evaluating their laptop choices.
Best CPU for programming
Programmers usually use multiple heavy application simultaneously. These applications put heavy load on the processors and for that programmers must make the CPU their top priority when buying the laptop. Programming is cpu-intensive work.
- Android programmers are usually using IDE like Android studio along with an android device emulators at the same time to view their changes to code live.
- Web programmers can use plenty of applications at the same time. IDE like visual studio code, VS code, with a running server software like: apache, nginx, php, mysql, mongodb .. etc. These server software might be running inside virtual machines, using software like virtualbox, or containerized inside containers using Docker or other solutions. Also web programmers usually run multiple browsers to test how to website look on multiple browsers.
These software heavy on cpu and may require a dedicated physical cpu core for every software to function.
So, the more physical cores the better.
The best laptops for programming should have 4 or more physical cores ✅
💡 Tip: use CPUBenchmark website to get all the details about the CPU:
Minimum RAM for programming
What does RAM do?
You can look at ram as the temporary storage of the running applications. So the applications you run live in ram until they’re closed.
When you launch an application its files are loaded into RAM. So it depends on the size of the application you run. If you have an application that usually load 5gb to RAM it can’t be run on a 4gb computer but the good thing about RAM is it’s easily upgradable in most laptops.
While 4gb of ram can be used to do most of web programming, if you’re an android developer you should consider adding more ram, like 8gb and above.
Best laptops for programming should have 4gb ram minimum for web developers and 8gb ram or more for android developers.
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Internal Memory for programming
This is going to be short. Best laptops for programming should have SSD internal memory instead of HDD. This will reduce lag while moving between applications and boost the application launch time.
while 128gb might be enough for OS and basic applications, 256gb SSD is recommended minimum.
Luckily, internal memory are easily upgradable in most laptops.
Best Graphics Cards for programming
Unless you’re doing 3d development or other related programming, an integrated graphics card is more than enough.
The best laptops for programming should have:
- Quad core ( 4 cores ) processor (CPU) or better
- 8GB or ram or more
- 256GB or more SSD internal memory
- Integrated graphics card unless you’re doing 3d game development
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