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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

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What are your computer’s specs? Which specs are particularly important to you?

Top comments (66)

steveblue profile image
Stephen Belovarich • Edited

2.3 GHz Intel Core i9 w/ Turbo Boost up to 4.8 GHz
32 GB 2400 MHz DDR4 ✅
Radeon Pro 560X 4 GB
Sonnet eGPU w/ 8GB Sapphire PULSE Radeon RX 580 ✅
500GB Apple SSD ✅

I went for the second most powerful Apple MBP this time around. The most powerful configuration is overclocked and didn't want to mess with that.

Someone told me I wouldn't need 32GB RAM but so far it hasn't hurt!

SSD is essential. I was using an older computer w/o SSD for awhile and boy did I feel it while developing.

I can't recommend the eGPU enough. It drives my monitors so my MBP doesn't have to (and I only have to plug in one cable to dock my MBP). On top of that, I've found multiple apps will actually take advantage of it, including web browsers. This is a huge plus when I'm experimenting with WebGL. I can swap out the video card too whenever I want to upgrade.

ypedroo profile image
Ynoa Pedro

So much power

shimphillip profile image
Phillip Shim

Nice, what kind of docking station do you use?

steveblue profile image
Stephen Belovarich • Edited

No docking station. Single Thunderbolt 3 cable runs from MBP into eGPU with doubles my VRAM and powers the MBP.

When I rarely need to use another port that's not available on the MBP or when I'm on the go I use a HyperDrive Duo 7-in-2 USB-C Hub. Its great because its compact and it gives me all the ports I need! I can even go old school and connect a SuperDrive to it (even though Hyper claims this doesn't work I recently pulled some archived materials off burned DVDs using an old SuperDrive I pulled out of a legacy MBP).

fultonbrowne profile image
Fulton Browne

Very jealous beside the fact its a mac, I love it (I am not an apple fan , OK).

cheston profile image

Lenovo T420.

OS:Manjaro KDE
CPU:i5 (very old)
Battery Life: < 15 minutes.

Shes old but shes gold.
Most of the stuff I work on is browser based, so a decent CPU and as much RAM as I can cram in there is usually what I go for.

I'm trying to hold out for more ARM based laptops for maximum portability before I put this one down for.

moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

I have an T410 but I bought a NOS battery for a tenner on ebay so there's that.

andreanidouglas profile image
Douglas R Andreani

Thumbs up for the thinkpad legionaires

mvoloskov profile image
Miloslav 🏳️‍🌈 🦋 Voloskov

MacBook 12.

Instead of following the never-ending rush for the latest hardware I trained myself and build my tool palette exactly the way that allow it to run on pretty much any hardware.

The thinnest and lightest (less than one kilo) MacBook is sleek. It's elegant. It makes me smile and it also makes a walk with it in my backpack a breeze. I can launch projects wherever I want.

myterminal profile image
Mohammed Ismail Ansari

I wanted to have a setup like that a couple of years back, then ended up with a MacBook Pro 13" (late 2016 model, without touchbar).

mvoloskov profile image
Miloslav 🏳️‍🌈 🦋 Voloskov

Good! It’s way more powerful.

But core m3 seems to satisfy all my needs. Photoshop, Illustrator, 40+ Chrome tabs, Atom, Slack, bunch of running servers and databases, all that at the same time. Yes it works.

But even if it wasn’t, it’s still a 900 grammes of aluminum that can easily be the only creative instrument you need. So I’ve chosen this path.

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myterminal profile image
Mohammed Ismail Ansari

And the fact that it is so small/thin/light/cute I got infatuated with the design the first time I tried it at an Apple Store back in India. A fully capable machine at that size, something that can run a 'real' operating system is just fascinating! I call it a huge technological milestone.

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mvoloskov profile image
Miloslav 🏳️‍🌈 🦋 Voloskov

I’m glad you get this. Some of my hacker friends just go like “reeeee it’s got a mobile processor and can’t run crysis”

david_j_eddy profile image
David J Eddy • Edited

I kind of span the gamut when it comes to computing. The only OS not at use in my daily life is Windows.

Home Desktop:

AMD 8 core, at least 4 years old
16Gb RAM, DDR3 i think
RAID 0 @ 100Gb for OS and caches
RAID 0 + 1 @ 500Gb for long term storage
Some 4 year old GPU, dont game much anymore anyways
Dual Viewsonic 1080p 24" LED displays
Ubuntu 19.04 with Windows as a dual boot option but have not been there in months

Home Notebook:

mid-2015 MacBook Pro
- 16Gb MEM
-Retina display

Work Notebook:

Lenovo ThinkPad T series of some sort
Ubuntu 18.04


Startup Time; I press the power button, it needs to be on before my butt hits the seat. Program start up time need to be zero.

I/O: Must be able to push 1080p or better dual displays. Plenty of USB for input / output devices.

Responsiveness: When starting, switching, running multiple applications the system _can not_ be what I am waiting on. It waits for me, no compromise.

Terminal: MUST be POSIX compliant. Worse part of any job I have had was dealing with Windows Command Prompt or Powershell. Screw both of those abominations.
kungtotte profile image
Thomas Landin

Intel i5-4650K 3.8GHz
nVidia GTX-680 2 GB
1x240GB SSD
2x500GB SSD
1x1.8TB HDD
1x22" Benq screen (60Hz)
1x24" Benq screen (120Hz)
Keyboard: Leopold FC-980
Mouse: Steelseries something or other

Most of the HW is from 2013. I've added disk space and I originally had identical 22" screens but wanted a 120Hz screen for gaming. This runs perfectly on Linux including gaming, so I've no reason to switch anything out just yet. I value performance-per-dollar and stability first and performance second. I've never overclocked anything in my life.

In order of importance:

  1. Keyboard - my primary way of interacting with the computer.

  2. Monitors - following the first, if I can't see what I type it's mostly pointless isn't it?

  3. Everything else - as long as it works and runs fast enough I'm not bothered.

Photo of a desktop with two monitors, a keyboard, and a mouse

eddinn profile image
Edvin Dunaway

My current setup:

Intel Core i7-7700K CPU @ 4.20GHz × 8
Asus ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 Ti/PCIe/SSE2
Asus PRIME Z270-K
2x Asus ROG PG258Q 1920x1080@240Hz
Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 DRAM 2400MHz (PC4-19200) C14 Memory Kit - Black
Samsung 960 NVMe EVO M.2 SSD 500GB
Hydro 600W PSU
Corsair Glaive RBG
Corsair K65 Lux RBG
Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro TR

This setup is now 2 years old, but no need to upgrade just yet, even though there are better components out there now.
The Cores/Threads, RAM and SSD are essential for my work, but the 1080Ti with my 240Hz screens for FPS gaming in CS:GO

zerquix18 profile image
I'm Luis! \^-^/ • Edited

It's a dell latitude E6410 with 8GB of RAM and an i5 CPU

Most important to me is CPU/RAM (speed). I don't use a lot of storage because once I dropped my laptop and lost all my info. So I keep my local info to a minimum.

It's pretty old now, but now that I got my first programming job I can buy one under $1000. I'm taking recommendations :)

xowap profile image
Rémy 🤖

The first computer in bought with my first salary (which I almost completely spent on it) was a Thinkpad X1 Carbon (1st Gen). Still serving me well today 6 years later.

I wouldn't hesitate to put more money for something that lasts

ghost profile image
Ghost • Edited

old Thinkpad x230 with a broken screen as a "desktop", 8GB RAM and is painful, but has made me very resource savy with Gentoo+i3. To me, displays are the most important, is really painful to decrease the screen area, when the laptop screen broke was like losing an arm. A good keyboard is almost as important. A slow PC helps me work my patience and work with more efficient programs, bad keyboard or displays makes me hate the universe and whole its contents. :)

matthewbdaly profile image
Matthew Daly • Edited

I do most of my work on my open source projects on an HP Stream netbook with 2GB of RAM and 32GB storage space.

It doesn't sound a lot, but I run Xubuntu on it and it's fast enough. I don't usually need a database other than SQLite, nor do I need a full web server. It's portable enough to take anywhere, and cheap enough that if I lose it it's not a big deal.

It wouldn't be sufficient for my day job, and I sometimes switch to my Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition for more demanding work, but I can get a surprising amount done with the Stream.

ashleemboyer profile image
Ashlee (she/her)

The screen is big: 15.6”. The battery lasts a long time: ~8 hours even while coding and running a local server. There’s a number keypad too. 😋

jsn1nj4 profile image
Elliot Derhay • Edited

I'm going to not even look at @steveblue 's setup (or attempt to look any further than the comment box), lest I get unbearable tech envy...

Anyway, my current personal laptop is an HP ENVY 15t-j100 (over 5.5 years old now). 16 GB DDR3 RAM, 2.4 GHz Core i7. On-board Intel HD graphics. 1 TB SSD (I will probably never do that again lol).

Used to run Windows 10. Currently running Kubuntu 19.04. I've seen some people say Plasma is a resource hog, but it's super lightweight compared to Windows 10 (including general application resource usage), so I'm happy with that.

Only thing I will say about this laptop is that the screen colors kind of have an extra bluish tint I couldn't even get rid of on Windows 10 via Intel's display adjustment tools. It's not nearly as easy to adjust on Kubuntu either, but it's bearable. Just don't try to do professional design work on the built-in monitor and you'll be good.

jsn1nj4 profile image
Elliot Derhay • Edited

Oh, I'll also add that I've never been able to get my laptop's build-in HD sound to work correctly on Linux (it's Beats Audio, from I think before Apple bought them). The sound is just standard, which definitely does stink.

I've tried playing with the pin settings via some software recommended on multiple forums, but it would always result in the sound not working at all until reboot (which, really, caused the changes I was playing with to revert anyway). And even then for a little while after, my speakers would pop occasionally, especially when I was switching between Kubuntu and Windows 10 while dual-booting up until months ago.

If anyone here happens to have any suggestions, I'm willing to at least look into them.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

I agree with others here bringing up RAM and SSD as the specs to look for.

Anything that keeps these apps from eating up all the memory and I/O resources!

moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

Thinkpad T410 (2011)
i5-520m (2-core) @ 2.4GHz
Arch Linux

I recently upgraded to this from a roughly-equivalent Vaio, because that had a hardware fault on the USB controller and a 15" plastic laptop is just too creaky and cumbersome to use on the sofa. I used its RAM and SSD to upgrade the T410 and bought a new battery on ebay for £10.

What's important to me?
The SSD, because it lets any old machine perform responsively.
The keyboard light lets me work in the dark - it's not as good as a backlit keyboard, but it's still much better than nothing.

If I was made of money I'd buy something with a non-integrated GPU and more CPU cores so I could use tools like Blender, I guess, but to be honest I'd probably do that on a desktop machine anyway. I have a gaming PC running Windows that I could probably make into something but I can't be bothered to get off the aforementioned sofa.

deepu105 profile image
Deepu K Sasidharan

Dell precision 5530. I wrote a detailed post with config here

It's the best config I could find for the budget offered by my company, Macs were more expensive then this but wouldn't match this config in power. So far my second precision and would keep buying them without thinking twice.

fultonbrowne profile image
Fulton Browne

Dell precision's are great computers, mine is from 2012 and runs like new.

khophi profile image
KhoPhi • Edited

i7 3rd Gen
16gb ram
1tb SSD

The most important to me is the SSD, followed by the RAM.

p.s. the most useless of my machine spec is the 820m Nvidia GeForce VGA. I even have it turned of.