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Topic # 151179 16-Aug-2014 16:25
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If you had to write code all day, what laptop would you buy and why?





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  Reply # 1109553 16-Aug-2014 16:43
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There is no way on earth I would consider buying a laptop for coding, especially for long periods.

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  Reply # 1109554 16-Aug-2014 16:44
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I use a surface pro with an external monitor and mouse.  It all depend on what kind of coding do you do and the related requirements.  If I needed to run a multiple virtual machines such as a domain controller and several servers, that is a different configuration than just writing simple web applications.







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  Reply # 1109567 16-Aug-2014 17:36
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I've written applications and website code using my MacBook Air for uni assignments. Mostly with the built in keyboard, but more often now I'll connect an external monitor as well for a bit more screen space. It's such a comfortable keyboard to use since there's a lot of space between each key. 




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  Reply # 1109568 16-Aug-2014 17:37
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paulmilbank: If you had to write code all day, what laptop would you buy and why?

Anything that would hook up to a full sized keyboard/mouse/monitor.  Possible one with dual display outputs for two big monitors, or just the laptop screen plus an external big screen.




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  Reply # 1109595 16-Aug-2014 18:33
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Yeah, sorry should have been more clear. External screens, keyboards, docks etc would be provided. We have all our Devs run dual 24" screens and any laptop has a usb3 dock.
Was more thinking about size, ram, CPU, screen res, ssd vs hdd, ie speed vs storage. Is any i7 with 16GB ram fine (generally we load up RAM on any dev machine.), or should we only be looking at the i7M procs over the U versions?
Guess what I really want to know would be is a 16GB i7 ultrabook good, or do you need a workstation class machine for development?
We need some of our devs to be mobile and I don't want them to be feeling that working on a laptop is the worst experience in the world. 




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  Reply # 1109626 16-Aug-2014 19:42
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I'd go with HP Elitebooks. They have loads of connectivity options various configs for screen size vs weight and vary in price. They don't vary in quality or warranty both of which are better than average by some margin. If productivity is important, stump for SSD's over processor speed. An I5 would be plenty for most devs but I'd consider an SSD essential to any staff member these days.

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  Reply # 1109643 16-Aug-2014 20:23
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paulmilbank: Yeah, sorry should have been more clear. External screens, keyboards, docks etc would be provided. We have all our Devs run dual 24" screens and any laptop has a usb3 dock.
Was more thinking about size, ram, CPU, screen res, ssd vs hdd, ie speed vs storage. Is any i7 with 16GB ram fine (generally we load up RAM on any dev machine.), or should we only be looking at the i7M procs over the U versions?
Guess what I really want to know would be is a 16GB i7 ultrabook good, or do you need a workstation class machine for development?
We need some of our devs to be mobile and I don't want them to be feeling that working on a laptop is the worst experience in the world. 


To be honest, I wouldn't do mainstream development on a laptop - a dedicated workstation class machine (Dell/HP etc.) would be much cheaper and way more capable and configurable as compared to a laptop (for the price of a cheap laptop, you'd be looking at a pretty high end workstation).  The laptop would be good for onsite visits and the like.

Generally I spec a developer rig these days with 32Gb+ memory, Core I7, 128Gb+ SSD for OS, 1TB SATA for data/vms and a pretty good graphics card for multiple 24" monitors. 






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  Reply # 1109647 16-Aug-2014 20:28
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TwoSeven:
paulmilbank: Yeah, sorry should have been more clear. External screens, keyboards, docks etc would be provided. We have all our Devs run dual 24" screens and any laptop has a usb3 dock.
Was more thinking about size, ram, CPU, screen res, ssd vs hdd, ie speed vs storage. Is any i7 with 16GB ram fine (generally we load up RAM on any dev machine.), or should we only be looking at the i7M procs over the U versions?
Guess what I really want to know would be is a 16GB i7 ultrabook good, or do you need a workstation class machine for development?
We need some of our devs to be mobile and I don't want them to be feeling that working on a laptop is the worst experience in the world. 


To be honest, I wouldn't do mainstream development on a laptop - a dedicated workstation class machine (Dell/HP etc.) would be much cheaper and way more capable and configurable as compared to a laptop (for the price of a cheap laptop, you'd be looking at a pretty high end workstation).  The laptop would be good for onsite visits and the like.

Generally I spec a developer rig these days with 32Gb+ memory, Core I7, 128Gb+ SSD for OS, 1TB SATA for data/vms and a pretty good graphics card for multiple 24" monitors. 




Seriously 32GB? Are they virtualizing? Our dev houses we support usually have a couple of Hyper-V servers where the devs run the vm's they need.



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  Reply # 1109678 16-Aug-2014 21:16
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Good to know, thanks. Just helps get a better picture of what is required seeing as I don't write or compile code. We have a requirement for some of our dev team to be mobile hence the question and just wanted to know what kind of things were important to look for. 




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  Reply # 1109960 17-Aug-2014 15:04
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networkn:
TwoSeven:
paulmilbank: Yeah, sorry should have been more clear. External screens, keyboards, docks etc would be provided. We have all our Devs run dual 24" screens and any laptop has a usb3 dock.
Was more thinking about size, ram, CPU, screen res, ssd vs hdd, ie speed vs storage. Is any i7 with 16GB ram fine (generally we load up RAM on any dev machine.), or should we only be looking at the i7M procs over the U versions?
Guess what I really want to know would be is a 16GB i7 ultrabook good, or do you need a workstation class machine for development?
We need some of our devs to be mobile and I don't want them to be feeling that working on a laptop is the worst experience in the world. 


To be honest, I wouldn't do mainstream development on a laptop - a dedicated workstation class machine (Dell/HP etc.) would be much cheaper and way more capable and configurable as compared to a laptop (for the price of a cheap laptop, you'd be looking at a pretty high end workstation).  The laptop would be good for onsite visits and the like.

Generally I spec a developer rig these days with 32Gb+ memory, Core I7, 128Gb+ SSD for OS, 1TB SATA for data/vms and a pretty good graphics card for multiple 24" monitors. 




Seriously 32GB? Are they virtualizing? Our dev houses we support usually have a couple of Hyper-V servers where the devs run the vm's they need.


The strategy used is called 'software platformisation'.   Basically it allows for complex client/server solutions both legacy and new to be virtualised into a platform set of virtual machines.  The developers maintain their own network isolated domains and servers that allow them to run all of the technologies they need to perform whatever tasks they decide (both on project and in learning).  There is still a centralised set of VMs but this is more used for integration and acceptance testing.  Its an enhanced version of what you are doing.






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  Reply # 1109972 17-Aug-2014 15:18
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If you want performance + storage, consider fitting one of the Western Digital Dual Drives.  They are a 1Tb 2.5" HDD with 128Gb of SSD caching the most frequently access files.  Near-SSD performance but with heaps of space for data files or modest VMs.




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  Reply # 1112904 21-Aug-2014 15:37
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Dynamic: If you want performance + storage, consider fitting one of the Western Digital Dual Drives.  They are a 1Tb 2.5" HDD with 128Gb of SSD caching the most frequently access files.  Near-SSD performance but with heaps of space for data files or modest VMs.


Nice, have you used one. Just saw them on our suppliers site. Would like to give one a go.




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  Reply # 1112908 21-Aug-2014 15:40
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paulmilbank:
Dynamic: If you want performance + storage, consider fitting one of the Western Digital Dual Drives.  They are a 1Tb 2.5" HDD with 128Gb of SSD caching the most frequently access files.  Near-SSD performance but with heaps of space for data files or modest VMs.


Nice, have you used one. Just saw them on our suppliers site. Would like to give one a go.


We've sold and installed 3 I think.  Very positive feedback.  By coincidence none of these clients have had any other SSDs to compare with - they were SMBs wanting a performance upgrade while being able to carry the kitchen sink.  I have not been able to justify buying one for myself yet.




"4 wheels move the body.  2 wheels move the soul."

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  Reply # 1112928 21-Aug-2014 15:47
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networkn: I'd go with HP Elitebooks. They have loads of connectivity options various configs for screen size vs weight and vary in price. They don't vary in quality or warranty both of which are better than average by some margin. If productivity is important, stump for SSD's over processor speed. An I5 would be plenty for most devs but I'd consider an SSD essential to any staff member these days.


But avoid the Elitebook 840 - we've had a bad batch of them lately, we've sent 5 so far back with issues involving random ugly noises and processor activity while operating offline. Some have been fixed with a motherboard replacement, others have been replaced entirely, but HP swears there's no problem with them.

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  Reply # 1112929 21-Aug-2014 15:49
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I code on a Surface Pro 3 with 8GB RAM

1 or 2 VMs locally, the rest in Azure

Full size keyboard attached to my Surface Dock for function keys in Visual Studio

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