Powerful laptop or powerful pc for programming?

Hi guys!
What is you opinion… what is best for programming, powerful gaming laptop like MSI or smth like that with it’s mobility and connect it to the monitors or powerful PC because it will be more powerful comparing to the laptop of the same price?

You really don’t need something all that powerful. Some large IDEs are resource hogs (I love you JetBrains, but really), but besides that essentially what you’re doing is text editing.


The only limitation I ran into on my old crappy laptop was that the 4 gb of RAM was fine for general development but ran into problems when I was doing React Native and had to run an Android emulator. Then I realized that one of the RAM sticks wasn’t seated properly so I actually had 6 gb and that was enough.

Seriously most basic systems are fine. The biggest factor for me is screen size since I like to see a lot, but there are plenty of people that develop on small screens.

Yeah, gaming laptops/workstations/etc are built for resource intensive stuff like high-performance 3D graphics. If you really want to spend tons and tons of money on a development laptop, get a Dell XPS next time Dell have a clearance sale, they’re extremely pretty, insanely powerful, and stupidly expensive. But any old [crappy] laptop will do (for example, you could probably get a refurbished Lenovo for ~$200 that will beast through most development work you could imagine)

Honestly, the things I care about most are the physical interactions with the computer: weight, screen, keyboard, mouse, number and type of ports. I’ve gone the really cheap route, and wouldn’t advise doing that if you aren’t financially constrained to it, but any mid-range laptop that you like the look and feel of should be fine.

My usual thought process is:

Do I want to be able to work/game/whatever while I’m out or anywhere in my home/office area? —> laptop.

Do I want something I can invest in and upgrade over time to suit my needs as they change? —> PC

That being said, there’s no reason (finances withstanding) that you can’t have both. But I’d consider the above two questions and see which way you’re leaning more towards.

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I’d go with the obvious advantage of a laptop - its portability. Unless you’re fine with being limited to doing all your work in one place at your desk, always. Consider how nice it is to be able to move around the house and change positions with the convenience of a laptop. Consider being able to bring it with you to a pair programming session, or just going to a coffee shop for a change of scenery. After a while, being confined to a desktop just because you wanted better specs might be a bummer. In the past getting a laptop was a huge compromise in terms of memory, power, features, etc… Laptops today are amazingly cheap and powerful. Like others mentioned above, if you’re just doing web dev, you don’t need much. A big screen is nice but you can always get a monitor and connect it to the laptop like you mentioned.

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Yeah, I have a friend that does that. He just has a good laptop and then at home he has a “station” with a big monitor and keyboard he can plug into when he gets home - the best of both worlds.

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