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laptop fit for a programmer?

Toaster

Member
What kind of laptop would be best for a c++programmer, php programmer, javascript programmer, last a few years and run ubuntu linux without any wireless issues? And cost under $1000
 

ToeClaws

PEBKAC exterminator
For under $1000, just be aware that you're limiting yourself to a laptop that is not a business or workstation-class machine. Not that a cheaper one won't be good to ya, but from experience, the higher-end laptops tend to be workhorses that last 5+ years without issues.

Anyway! What might not be a bad choice would be this guy:

http://system76.com/product_info.php?cPath=28&products_id=86

The base model is well under $1000, and even if you upgrade some of the options, it still comes out to under $1000. There are three things I would suggest upgrading from the base model on this one:

RAM: Go with no less than 2G, preferably 4G. RAM is cheap enough that there's no reason not to stock the machine with lots of the stuff. 4G will be more than enough for years to come.

Hard Drive: Update the drive to a 7200 rpm. Even though they're a bit harder on the battery, 7200rpm drives give the laptop much faster load times and swapfile work times akin to a desktop. The more work you do on it, the more you'll appreciate that extra speed.

CPU: Go with a Core2 Duo as a minimum - the Core2 is much better than the base Core Duo. Pick whatever you feel is appropriate for your power needs, but bear in mind that ALL of the CPU options in Core2 are actually quite fast, so don't overshoot. :)
 

Toaster

Member
That looks like a nice laptop; thing is I'm looking for something that'll last me until I'm able to do freelance stuff and/or get a computer job and/or intern ship. So that one might be the best fit.

Oh ya my shity compaq that I've had for 3 years now that was $600 when I got it runs good still with linux. Only thing is that it's like almost falling apart lol and most likely worthless to upgrade.
 
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Irreverent

Member
Toeclaws makes some good points, but programming is not statistical analysis or database manipulation, graphic design et al. And save for C, all the the languages listed are interpreted or pseudo compiled, not really going to tax a CPU/GPU. If programming and development are the only requirements (I'd game on a separate platform) then I'd go with a lower end unit, something that maximizes runtime over horsepower.
 

ToeClaws

PEBKAC exterminator
Actually, Irre has a point there - you could even go a bit simpler by ditching the need for a powerful GPU in favour of things that extend battery life. With System76, they don't have another model that would scale down cheaper unless you went with their ultralite, which might have far too small a screen for what you want to do. There are aother companies that offer them. If you intend to run Linux on it though, just make SURE that you're not paying the Microsoft tax when you buy it.

And aye - some cheaper units manage to stay up and running for a few years, but as you say with yours, the mileage really shows after a while. Laptops are just like anything else in life - you get what you pay for.
 

Aurali

Banned
Banned
Dude. If you wanna get into game programming.. (and I know you do) you gotta get something that can render and program in real time.

$1000 dollars ain't gonna give you what you want.. Game programming isn't the same as normal programming. not by a LONG shot.

I have a Dell Precision M6400.. and even though this is Dell's top Laptop.. it still don't cover what I need it to do half the time.
 

ToeClaws

PEBKAC exterminator
I have a Dell Precision M6400.. and even though this is Dell's top Laptop.. it still don't cover what I need it to do half the time.

:shock: Scary - that's a mega-laptop too. Awesome machine though, even though it's out of the price range of 99.5% of people. :/
 

Aurali

Banned
Banned
:shock: Scary - that's a mega-laptop too. Awesome machine though, even though it's out of the price range of 99.5% of people. :/
It's a warranty buy.. I had a Dell Precision M90 that the Graphics card died on.. they don't make FX Quadro 1500Ms anymore.. so they upgraded me for free.
 

Irreverent

Member
Game programming isn't the same as normal programming. not by a LONG shot.

Yeah that would change the mix. I was thinking more about coding business apps and CRM's.
 
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Toaster

Member
Most of my skills are going to be in networking and building game engines/severs. Also I'll be taking a Java class this summer. God I hope I end up on a mmo team. I just learned php because I felt like it might come in handy someday.

I just need a laptop that my dad will buy me without having a heart attack, then I'll get a better one when I get a job. Also people pm if you got any advice on living the life of a game programmer.
 

Aurali

Banned
Banned
Most of my skills are going to be in networking and building game engines/severs. Also I'll be taking a Java class this summer. God I hope I end up on a mmo team. I just learned php because I felt like it might come in handy someday.
You really need a good PC to be able to test things on.

I just need a laptop that my dad will buy me without having a heart attack, then I'll get a better one when I get a job. Also people pm if you got any advice on living the life of a game programmer.

Kill yourself. XD nawr kidding. Learn Pathfinding/AI/Vector Math/Physical Math/ applied math.. oh... and more math..
 

Irreverent

Member
Pathfinding/AI/Vector Math/Physical Math/ applied math.. oh... and more math..

Hell, even a pilot needs that these days. Programmed a full authority fuel controller lately? o_O
 

ToeClaws

PEBKAC exterminator
It's a warranty buy.. I had a Dell Precision M90 that the Graphics card died on.. they don't make FX Quadro 1500Ms anymore.. so they upgraded me for free.

Sweet!! Man, you sure lucked out on that one. :-D
 

Aurali

Banned
Banned
Sweet!! Man, you sure lucked out on that one. :-D

I paid 300 dollars for that extended warranty. Money well spent.. I seem to break this thing every other month. and it wasn't really luck as much timing.. Someone told me that they were running out, so I waited a month before getting the warranty repair.
 
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