People keep on asking me –
Hey Nowitziki, What gives better value PC or laptop for programming and stuff?
Is laptop better than PC for programming? But I really like my desktop’s keyboard.
If you’re also lost into this dillema then I guarantee you that after reading this blog post you’ll be able to decide easily – whether laptop is perfect for your programming needs or you need a pc.
Before we start, I would insist you to make yourself some coffee and sit at your most favorite place, I just want you to be feeling relaxed.
Desktop VS Laptop: A Battle From Programmer’s Perspective
First of all, take a time to think your requirements and needs. Consider below mentioned questions and answer to them are your main requirements to consider for deciding between PC and laptop for programming.
Where you’ll be using your computer?
While commuting? From your office? From your room at home? From your home office? At multiple places?
What you’ll be running on your computer?
Code editors? Local servers? Multiple operating systems? Movies? Games?
Number of users that will be using the new computer?
If its 1 (only you) then you’re fine otherwise you’ve to consider the requirements of other people as well.
How many years you’re expecting your computer to run?
Normally, 5 years is the time that most computers last, after that newer processors and other hardware completely take up on older ones.
Answers to the above 4 questions should help you to decide.
Now let me assume some most common answers and tell you what is right for such kind of people.
If you’re a kind of person who has to commute a lot then there are no other considerations for you. Just go and buy yourself a new laptop. Well, for other people who won’t be commuting they can choose between desktop and laptop. Now if you are the one who will be travelling but using the laptop from specific work spaces such as office and home desk then I would recommend for them a laptop because buying a seperate PC for both your workplaces will be costly and also it is better to manage the code on one computer rather than on multiple computers. So, for such people I recommend laptop for programming, let it be desktop type (17 inch).
Well, for those who can afford and take hassle of code transfer and stuff, PC is always the best.
Note – PC provides easy upgrading options. You can easily cut the cost of buying your next computer by upgrading your old PC.
Now taking 2nd question in consideration, you can run normal code editors on any computer but when it comes to multitasking in programming, you need to be picky. You’ll need a powerful CPU and even GPU according to programming you do. Also, RAM should be anywhere in between 8 – 16GB. Less than that is not acceptable according to me for doing coding and running multiple programs.
Now, laptop with these configuration will cost you anywhere in between $800 – $2000 or even high if you’re into VR game development or other similar things. And, for the $600 – $700, you can build a pretty great pc for yourself that can be beast for doing programming.
So, it’s up to you I would recommend you to go with PC if you’re on budget but if you are travelling a lot or you’re a student, laptop is must in that cases.
PC – Let’s change it.
Laptop – I can’t do that. Please manage!
We all have families. We all have to let our family members use our computer sometime or other. So, if you live in the family or an environment where computers are shared then apart from your programming requirements, you’ll also have to look at your colleagues or family member’s personal requirement.
In some cases, this may result into increase in overall cost and you may have to give up on your requirements to fulfill theirs because no one laptop is perfect and no laptops are built for your specific requirements.
So, what I would recommend here is buying a powerful laptop again if you have to use it from multiple locations or else get a home PC that can be shared with the family.
Last but not least, the span of years PC last is much more higher than of laptop. Why? PCs are upgradable. After 5 years you want to upgrade CPU of your computer? You can’t do that on laptop. You want more storage? Not every laptop supports that. Want more powerful GPU? No laptop yet allows GPU upgrade unless you’re buying external like Razer Core and using it with your Razer blade or other laptop via Thunderbolt port.
So, yeah! That’s pretty much it.
If you’re going with the laptop then don’t forget to checkout our article on best programming laptops. I think that after reading the points that I made in this blog post you’ll be able to decide on whether laptop or pc for your programming. Well, if you still can’t then comments section is always open for this post. Comment your requirements and I will do all the possible help to solve your problem.
As always, thank you for stopping by and keep visiting this blog for more programming tips.