6 Replies - 1907 Views - Last Post: 09 March 2013 - 11:55 PM

#1 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C.
  • member icon

Reputation: 807
  • View blog
  • Posts: 3,521
  • Joined: 03-December 12

Workstation requirements

Posted 28 February 2013 - 08:49 PM

I am presently working on a BS in Information Systems and will most likely pursue a Masters in the field. My question is on the computers people are using for their development. Currently I am working on an old laptop with an AMD Sempron processor, 2 GB memory, and a 15.6 inch monitor. I am thinking about building a new workstation based on an unlocked i7 quad-core setup, with at least 2 monitors, 16GB of RAM, and then have the operating system/ Visual Studio/ and various Adobe systems on a SSD.

Is this over kill for a developing environment that will double as a test server? What system is optimal being that I am not doing gaming at all? What are you working with or what would you like to work with?

Is This A Good Question/Topic? 0
  • +

Replies To: Workstation requirements

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

  • Suitor #2
  • member icon



Reputation: 9587
  • View blog
  • Posts: 36,326
  • Joined: 12-June 08

Re: Workstation requirements

Posted 28 February 2013 - 10:17 PM

There's plenty of parts comparison sites... example:

http://successfulsof...piling-machine/
http://www.tomshardw...clock-benchmark,3441.html
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#3 blackcompe  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 1156
  • View blog
  • Posts: 2,538
  • Joined: 05-May 05

Re: Workstation requirements

Posted 01 March 2013 - 07:25 AM

Quote

Currently I am working on an old laptop with an AMD Sempron processor, 2 GB memory, and a 15.6 inch monitor.


You should upgrade if your machine is preventing you from being productive. Generally speaking, your machine should be "snappy" or responsive.

Quote

I am thinking about building a new workstation based on an unlocked i7 quad-core setup, with at least 2 monitors, 16GB of RAM, and then have the operating system/ Visual Studio/ and various Adobe systems on a SSD.


That's a high-end machine, usually only necessary for gaming, virtual machines, or workstations (a machine that does heavy computation often).

Quote

Is this over kill for a developing environment that will double as a test server? What system is optimal being that I am not doing gaming at all? What are you working with or what would you like to work with?


If you're doing a lot with Adobe to point that a Core i7 makes a major difference in your productivity or just time spent waiting for work to complete, then I'd say go for it. If you're encoding, editing, developing or whatever daily, then you need it. If it's a leisurely thing, I'd go for something less expensive.

Adobe is really the only suite of applications (in the ones you've listed) that really tax multi-core processors. Programming IDE's really aren't that CPU intensive, relative to Adobe. A (good) dual core from the last 5 years should run an IDE just fine.

I really can't speak about what to use for a test server, but unless your doing serious testing for a real application, I'd like to think you don't need a high-end machine.

2 monitors .... well that's personal preference. Definitely get the SSD. Your computer will be a lot snappier, but after a program is completely loaded, an SSD has no effect on performance. If you're using Adobe, I think an SSD is a must, as Adobe takes forever to load. And for the RAM, I think 16 GB is overkill. Unless you're running a VM server or a RamDisk, there's probably no way you'll ever utilize that much RAM. I'd go for 8 GB. The one exception would be if you we're trying to utilize quad-channel memory access.

Since I really have no idea what your agenda is, I really can't recommend what to buy. Unless you're spending a lot of time using Adobe products, I'd say you should aim towards a mid-end machine. 3rd gen Core i3 would probably serve you just fine. Get a 80-120GB SSD and 4-8 GB of RAM. Note however that SSDs are expensive. If you're really on a budget go for an AMD CPU (possibly last gen) and instead of buying an SSD with a lot of storage, pair a 60GB SSD with a HDD and a motherboard and OS that supports SSD caching.
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#4 cfoley  Icon User is offline

  • Cabbage
  • member icon

Reputation: 2071
  • View blog
  • Posts: 4,307
  • Joined: 11-December 07

Re: Workstation requirements

Posted 06 March 2013 - 05:05 AM

Whatever you buy now will not be as good by the time you finish your BS, certainly not after your masters. The reality is that no matter what you buy, you will need to replace your machine every now and then. Let's call it every 5 years for argument's sake.

If you buy the most expensive machine you can afford, you are tied in for those full 5 years. You had better make sure it will cover all your changing needs for that timespan, and you can bet that its equivalent is available for a fraction of the price a couple of years in.

The strategy I prefer is to buy a computer that's only slightly better than what I need right now. It keeps it cheap so if I get a new job that requires something better then I have the option of upgrading parts or buying a whole new setup without breaking the bank.

Right now, a cheap 300--400 laptop suits my needs perfectly. The one I have is ~3 years old and is still snappy enough to keep me productive. A very big external monitor and wireless keyboard and mouse keep it ergonomic.

In theory, this means my old computers become test machines or personal servers and the like. The reality is that my brother spilled beer all over my previous laptop. Good job it wasn't an expensive one!
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#5 cfoley  Icon User is offline

  • Cabbage
  • member icon

Reputation: 2071
  • View blog
  • Posts: 4,307
  • Joined: 11-December 07

Re: Workstation requirements

Posted 06 March 2013 - 07:05 AM

Of course, I'm ignoring the most important factor here:

You WANT a stupidly powerful computer.

That's OK too and is a perfectly good reason to get one.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#6 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C.
  • member icon

Reputation: 807
  • View blog
  • Posts: 3,521
  • Joined: 03-December 12

Re: Workstation requirements

Posted 09 March 2013 - 09:53 PM

I can see where the sides lay. I think I may downgrade the processor to an i5 for a little while. I know that computers basically go "out of date" after 6 months? So, whatever I get will not be the best. I figured with the i7 and everything else I could stay slightly ahead of what I needed. My current setup is anything but snappy. When adding a reference in Visual Studio it takes 2 minutes for my system to catch up, anything but productive.

I'm sure as I progress thru I will have an easier determination of what my needs will be for the ultimate development workstation.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#7 stackoverflow  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Addict
  • member icon

Reputation: 165
  • View blog
  • Posts: 545
  • Joined: 06-July 11

Re: Workstation requirements

Posted 09 March 2013 - 11:55 PM

I work on a laptop. 15 inch screen, 8gb ram, i7 processor, 750gb hd and an ati 6770m graphics card. It's more than enough.

PS, I have always felt my laptop to be very snappy. If I could upgrade anything I would have gone with an SSD over my old hard drive. However this is an older laptop (2 years). This isn't my ideal laptop, in a couple years I may upgrade to a smaller 13 inch model that is roughly equal in power and has the same resolution.

:)

This post has been edited by stackoverflow: 10 March 2013 - 12:01 AM

Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

Page 1 of 1