Most of the gamers who want to learn programming to upgrade their freelance skill and knowledge wonder if their gaming laptop is a good fit for programming.
Well, gaming laptops are a lot faster than each average laptop and they are designed to handle hardware-intensive tasks more efficiently. Also, they are engineered with powerful GPUs and CPUs that are needed to execute high-end jobs faster.
So, are gaming laptops good for programming?
Yes, gaming laptops are great for programming since they can perform intensive tasks at a much faster pace. Thanks to the larger RAM capacity and powerful CPU, you will be able to run multiple software and browsers without slowing down your machine. Also, the GPU can be very helpful for graphics demanding programming jobs, like game development.
Although gaming laptops are optimized to offer more features and specs, they might not be the perfect option for programming. Because, programming is a broad topic with many variables, which cannot be boiled down to just one word. There are so many different categories and sub-categories that fall under programming.
To make it easy for you to understand, in this article we are going to explain everything in detail. So, keep reading.
As I already have mentioned quite a few times in this article that gaming laptops are designed to run heavy resource-intensive tasks effectively, without letting you experience any lag. They are powerful enough to perform any task, let it be programming, video editing, streaming, etc. But as a programmer, do you really need a powerful laptop to start with?
Although a powerful gaming laptop will allow you to work more productively and efficiently, programming itself doesn’t require an overly fast machine, but it should be smooth. A laptop with decent specs is capable to perform most of the programming-related tasks quite efficiently.
However, programming is a vast topic and various types of language and development require different tools and specifications. If you going to perform resource-intensive tasks like app development, game development, or machine learning, we do recommend people getting a powerful laptop as most game engines and Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) require larger RAMs and powerful CPUs.
While on the other hand, if you are a beginner or going to perform basic programming like web development, a laptop with decent specs will work fine.
So, it should be now clear to you that it all depends on what kind of programming you are going to do. You should put more attention to the RAM, CPU, GPU, and storage while choosing a laptop. But yes, a gaming laptop performs great for programming and it will enhance your overall experience.
How much RAM is needed for programming?
Random Access Memory or RAM is one of the most important components that enhance the performance of a computer. A decade ago, computers used to run with only 512 MB RAM capacity on average. But nowadays, if you want to perform daily tasks smoothly, you should have at least 8 GB of RAM on your computer.
The purpose of RAM is to store data, instructions, and memory temporarily. The higher the RAM, the faster your laptop will be able to execute tasks, which is essential for programming.
As gamers require better performance, most gaming laptops come with 12-16 GB of RAM and some of them even leave one or two slots for you to install extra RAM.
Since there are different categories in programming, the RAM capacity depends on the task you are going to perform. For instance, a beginner who is learning to code or an intermediate programmer who does web development can do their work smoothly with 4GB RAM.
On the other hand, you should have at least 8GB of RAM if you want to run resource-intensive code. However, experts recommend working with 12 to 16 GB RAM for a better programming experience.
So, make sure you pick the right laptop based on your programming needs. But make sure you don’t get excessive RAMs as the price of a laptop rises with the amount of RAM.
What Processor do you need for programming?
The processor which is also referred to as CPU has a huge influence on the performance of a laptop. It is also considered as the brain of a computer that handles all instructions it receives from hardware and software running on the computer.
If you want to have a smooth programming experience then you will need a laptop with a powerful processor. Also, Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) demand high processing power to execute complicated tasks faster.
When it comes to gaming laptops, they have the latest and fastest processors built-in as most games require high processing power. If you want to execute your code faster and without facing any issue then we would recommend you to get a laptop that has at least an 8th gen Intel i5 or i7 processor.
Also, if you are a Ryzen fan like me, you can go with a Ryzen series processor that is able to deliver better performance in terms of processing power.
However, a powerful processor lets you work efficiently without worrying about slow speeds and improve your productivity. Therefore, it is not recommended to go with old outdated CPUs as they will ruin your programming experience. Also, make sure that the processor is able to fulfill your needs.
Typical laptop specs required for programming
While choosing a laptop for programming, most people get whatever the salesman recommends which doesn’t provide good performance. Therefore, here I am providing the minimum laptop specs required for smooth programming –
RAM: If you want to perform programming tasks efficiently on your laptop then 8GB RAM should be the minimum you aim for, although experts recommend 16GB.
CPU: At least get the latest Intel i5 8th gen processor. Look for a more powerful processor if you are going to perform heavy tasks.
Storage: For storage, most programmers prefer SSD (Solid State Drive) as it can provide better performance over a standard hard drive. You should get at least a 256GB SSD.
You may ask, why you are not talking about graphics cards? Well, a graphics card is not necessary for programming unless you are doing any graphics-intensive task. If you are developing websites, mobile apps, or software, CPUs and RAMs are enough for your work.
So, now you have an idea about some of the typical specs an average programmer requires to run programs smoothly. However, you should always keep in mind that there are no one-size-fits-all laptops specs for programming. So, make sure you choose your laptop specs depending on the tasks you are going to perform.
Best Gaming Laptop for programming?
In order to choose the best gaming laptop that is also suitable for programming, you need to follow the specs we’ve provided above. But you should know that these requirements are minimum. If your budget allows you to go a bit further then please do so.
If you want a laptop for gaming and programming that comes with the specs mentioned above, our recommendation is the Acer Nitro 5.
With a 9th gen Intel i5 processor, this is one of the suitable options for both programming and gaming. The processor is able to run intensive tasks efficiently and will also provide better performance while gaming. Also, it has got 8GB DDR4 RAM to give you a smooth programming experience.
Furthermore, it uses a 256GB SSD to store your data. If you want can add another SSD or HDD as it has 1 slot open for future upgrades.
Since it is a gaming laptop, it comes with an NVIDIA GTX 1650 Graphics Card that has 4GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM. Moreover, the 15.6 inches Full HD LED-backlit display will enhance your gaming and programming experience.
Gaming laptops are optimized to provide a smooth and powerful experience. They offer much greater specs than an average laptop, which makes them an ideal option for programming.
So ideally, the answer to the question “are gaming laptops good for programming?” is YES. You can use a gaming laptop for your programming needs. But if you are more passionate about programming and want to learn advanced coding then I would suggest you go for a laptop that is specially dedicated to programming.
To help you out with the buying process, we have provided the minimum laptop requirements required for smooth programming above. Consider these requirements as the baseline and go as far as your budget allows.
However, do your own research and find out the best one that matches your needs, because choosing the right equipment can help you a long way forward.
Hopefully, you have got all your questions answered from this article. If you want to know anything more about this topic then feel free to email us, we would try to help you. Also, you can read our other articles on laptops to enrich your knowledge.
Thanks for being with us 🙂