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What computer should I buy?

This is a discussion on What computer should I buy? within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; My budget is similar to $1000 USD. As a developer, I am looking at buying a new computer. I primarily ...

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    Registered User HelpfulPerson's Avatar
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    What computer should I buy?

    My budget is similar to $1000 USD.

    As a developer, I am looking at buying a new computer. I primarily develop software in C and Windows currently, as well as more cross-platform games using the SDL 2.0 API. I need a computer that performs well as far as running my .exe's and a computer that is capable of running my various games' graphics smoothly. I was wondering if there is a certain type of Windows computer I should lean towards, especially in my limited budget.
    "Some people think they can outsmart me, maybe. Maybe. I've yet to meet one that can outsmart bullet" - Meet the Heavy, Team Fortress 2

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    Are you leaning towards a laptop or desktop?
    Nguhyw likes this.

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    Programming Wraith GReaper's Avatar
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    I found a promising suggestion here.
    Devoted my life to programming...

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    C++まいる!Cをこわせ! Elysia's Avatar
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    A couple of tips...
    Generally, desktops are a must if you plan on playing demanding games. Laptops are great if you need portability. Generally, however, the graphics cards they have are very weak, unless you purchase a very, very expensive laptop.
    Consider how much RAM you need. Some tend to get by with 4 GB, but that doesn't leave much for your programs. 8 GB is common these days and is enough for most casual tasks. If you start using virtual machines or programs that use a lot of RAM, you may need to upgrade.
    As for CPU, if you want to save money, go with AMD. If you want the best performance, go for Intel. Pretty much all CPUs these days are quad-cores, so look out for those. Chances are, if you don't get a quad-core, you are getting ripped off.
    Consider saving for an SSD if you don't already have one. A must have for any system. More important than any other part in the system - prioritize! It will speed up your computer by an insane amount.
    Try to waste as much money as possible on your graphics card because the more expensive it is, generally, the better (faster) it is.
    HelpfulPerson likes this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adak View Post
    io.h certainly IS included in some modern compilers. It is no longer part of the standard for C, but it is nevertheless, included in the very latest Pelles C versions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

    Outside of your DOS world, your header file is meaningless.

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    Registered User HelpfulPerson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan.lee View Post
    Are you leaning towards a laptop or desktop?
    Right now, I'm leaning towards a laptop, but I realize there will be a big performance trade-off so I could go either way in the end.
    "Some people think they can outsmart me, maybe. Maybe. I've yet to meet one that can outsmart bullet" - Meet the Heavy, Team Fortress 2

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    Registered User MutantJohn's Avatar
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    Unless you're going to be specifically gaming, get a laptop as transportation has more real-world utility. Fast code is fast code, if you're developing.

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    C++まいる!Cをこわせ! Elysia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MutantJohn View Post
    ...get a laptop as transportation has more real-world utility. Fast code is fast code, if you're developing.
    Laptop processors tend to be around 1 GHz slower than their desktop equivalent, too. Don't forget.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adak View Post
    io.h certainly IS included in some modern compilers. It is no longer part of the standard for C, but it is nevertheless, included in the very latest Pelles C versions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

    Outside of your DOS world, your header file is meaningless.

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    While I agree you definitely get more bang for your buck with a desktop the portability of a laptop is nice. Rather then being stuck at your desk you can work from anywhere. Lenovo has some nice options for around that price. Specifically the T530 series. For just under $1000 US you get an Intel i5 and 8 gigs of ram. Though you do get a nice graphic card bump for 1259. Lenovo - Laptops, Desktops, Tablets | Mobile | US. It's the last one on the list.

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    Chances are, if you don't get a quad-core, you are getting ripped off.
    Most non-gaming laptops, especially 13"-15" ones with very long battery life are dual core. Wouldn't really call that ripped off.

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    C++まいる!Cをこわせ! Elysia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    Most non-gaming laptops, especially 13"-15" ones with very long battery life are dual core. Wouldn't really call that ripped off.
    Now we're mostly talking about the ultrabooks category, which trade performance for battery life. True, they aren't rip-offs, but for most regular non-ultrabook laptops, you will find quad cores in there.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adak View Post
    io.h certainly IS included in some modern compilers. It is no longer part of the standard for C, but it is nevertheless, included in the very latest Pelles C versions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

    Outside of your DOS world, your header file is meaningless.

  11. #11
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HelpfulPerson View Post
    Right now, I'm leaning towards a laptop, but I realize there will be a big performance trade-off so I could go either way in the end.
    Do you program in your commute?
    Do you MUST open your email account every 10 minutes?
    Do you dislike 8GB pen drives?
    Do you REALLY need to take your computer to your grandma's 90th birthday?

    No? Then do yourself a favor and get a real desktop computer. There's no better option in terms of performance/price ratio (those 1,000 will buy a mean machine that will wipe the floor with any laptop you can buy for that amount), not to mention you will get an easily upgradable computer. What do people who buy laptops say when they realize they need a better GPU? They say "oops!".

    But I know what you are thinking, I'm one of them laptop haters.

    You couldn't be more wrong. I lub 'em laptops. I love all my three laptops in fact. But here's the deal, I have a desktop. And that's only when you should start thinking buying a laptop; after you get a real man desktop computer.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 01-02-2014 at 11:06 AM.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    Master Apprentice phantomotap's Avatar
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    But here's the deal, I have a desktop. And that's only when you should start thinking buying a laptop; after you get a real man desktop computer.
    O_o

    Well, there are obviously professions that demand a huge chunk of power, and games too have demands, but beyond that which laptops offer, what is the point of "a real man desktop computer" if you can afford the premium of a laptop?

    I'm not saying you are wrong about the price premium for portability.

    I'm just saying, if the premium is affordable what is the point of having a desktop?

    Sure, I have a desktop, and the video card in that desktop cost more than my laptop, and despite having that desktop available, I still spend most of my time on the laptop even at home because why wouldn't I?

    *shrug*

    Despite the former comments, I too recommend getting a desktop with a $1000.00 (USD) budget. The premium for laptop features are fine if you can afford them, but if games are your focus you'll almost certainly be happier spending $1000.00 (USD) on a desktop. A $250.00 (USD) video card and a $300.00 (USD) SSD leaves you enough for a beastly CPU and more than enough RAM to do anything except play games that lie about requirements.

    Soma
    “Often out of periods of losing come the greatest strivings toward a new winning streak.” -- Fred Rogers
    “Salem Was Wrong!” -- Pedant Necromancer

  13. #13
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    I don't know why you asked me. You made a pretty good job answering your own question...
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  14. #14
    Master Apprentice phantomotap's Avatar
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    I don't know why you asked me. You made a pretty good job answering your own question...
    O_o

    Well, congratulations are in order for how well you misunderstood the question.

    Soma
    “Often out of periods of losing come the greatest strivings toward a new winning streak.” -- Fred Rogers
    “Salem Was Wrong!” -- Pedant Necromancer

  15. #15
    C++まいる!Cをこわせ! Elysia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomotap View Post
    Despite the former comments, I too recommend getting a desktop with a $1000.00 (USD) budget. The premium for laptop features are fine if you can afford them, but if games are your focus you'll almost certainly be happier spending $1000.00 (USD) on a desktop. A $250.00 (USD) video card and a $300.00 (USD) SSD leaves you enough for a beastly CPU and more than enough RAM to do anything except play games that lie about requirements.
    $300 for an SSD is a lot. What size are you recommending here? I always go for 256 GB which, to me, is the best tradeoff between size and price. I'd rather spend about $300 or more or so on the graphics card.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adak View Post
    io.h certainly IS included in some modern compilers. It is no longer part of the standard for C, but it is nevertheless, included in the very latest Pelles C versions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

    Outside of your DOS world, your header file is meaningless.

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