# Is Inspiron 15R good for programming?

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I'm currently searching for new laptop for my college. i need my laptop for college uses (programming,noting) and for gaming. I'm not quite understand about comp specs, dkk. but from my beginner view, this laptop is good enough ( and cheap ) for my needs. and the price is below $1000. is it worth it? Processor: 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-4500U processor (4M Cache, 1.8 GHz) Operating System: Windows 8, 64-bit, English Display: 15.6 inch LED Backlit Touch Display with Truelife and HD resolution (1366 x 768) Memory2: 8GB3 DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz Hard Drive: 1TB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive Optical Drive: Tray load DVD Drive (Reads and Writes to DVD/CD) Video Card: Intel® HD Graphics 4400 Warranty: 1 Year Basic Hardware Service and 1 Year NBD Onsite Service System Weight: 5.12 lbs And if you guys have better opinion for which laptop i should buy for my need, please tell me Thankyou #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Advertisement Strongly recommend finding a laptop with NVIDIA graphics. Other than that, the only must-have spec is 8GB+ of RAM. I'm also insistent on finding the highest screen resolution you can afford; 1920x1080 is common now and 1600x900 should be considered minimum. 1366x768 is embarassing on a 15" screen. Edited by Promit #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites i see, do you know any laptop that meet that requirements? #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Lenovo or maybe Sony would be at the top of my list. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Strongly recommend finding a laptop with NVIDIA graphics. Made me curious why you won't equally recommend an ATI graphics card? #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Strongly recommend finding a laptop with NVIDIA graphics. Other than that, the only must-have spec is 8GB+ of RAM. I'm also insistent on finding the highest screen resolution you can afford; 1920x1080 is common now and 1600x900 should be considered minimum. 1366x768 is embarassing on a 15" screen. Why are you recommending NVidia for graphics as there is no real difference between the two, even the new Intel 4th generation core GPU's are actually full DX11 GPUs and are mid range cards. I would go for the Inspiron 15R SE as it has a 1920x1080 screen and a Radeon 7730M price should be similiar and dito for the hardware. This laptop has hardware that you normally would find in a laptop that is 300-400 dollars more. Edited by NightCreature83 #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Strongly recommend finding a laptop with NVIDIA graphics. Other than that, the only must-have spec is 8GB+ of RAM. I'm also insistent on finding the highest screen resolution you can afford; 1920x1080 is common now and 1600x900 should be considered minimum. 1366x768 is embarassing on a 15" screen. Why are you recommending NVidia for graphics as there is no real difference between the two, even the new Intel 4th generation core GPU's are actually full DX11 GPUs and are mid range cards. I would go for the Inspiron 15R SE as it has a 1920x1080 screen and a Radeon 7730M price should be similiar and dito for the hardware. This laptop has hardware that you normally would find in a laptop that is 300-400 dollars more. The big problem with Intel really is their OpenGL support, it has caught up slightly and you do get OpenGL 4.0 on their most recent GPUs but featurewise those GPUs should allow you to use OpenGL 4.1-4.3(They don't though) and OpenGL performance is quite a disappointment on them (Not sure how D3D performs but if its equally bad then those are not midrange GPUs by any standard). If you're not using OpenGL its probably better to get a laptop with a fast and reasonably big SSD, some laptops today even have both a SSD and a traditional HDD. (not having a SSD is just pure painful) #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites If you're not using OpenGL its probably better to get a laptop with a fast and reasonably big SSD, some laptops today even have both a SSD and a traditional HDD. (not having a SSD is just pure painful) Can only second that, we do have a HDD-only laptop at work. The specs look fine on the paper, but the small HDD is crippling the whole thing. As soon as I start a virtual machine I can't do anything else, even opening a browser takes minutes (no exaggeration). #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites after reconsider all your response, i came up with this laptop VAIO S Series 15 Laptop Model number: SVS1512EPXB 3rd gen Intel® Core™ i7-3632QM (2.20/3.20GHz) Windows 8 Pro 64-bit Features: 15.5" Full HD IPS display, 8GB RAM, 1TB (5400rpm) HDD, CD/DVD player / burner, NVIDIA® graphics (2GB), HDMI® out, USB 3.0, TPM Resolution : 1920 x 1080 Price :$1330

which is better? this one or inspiron 15R SE?

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For that price you might want to find something with an SSD as mentioned.

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Strongly recommend finding a laptop with NVIDIA graphics.

Made me curious why you won't equally recommend an ATI graphics card?

On the plus side for NVidia: Cuda, Linux
On the downside: The OpenGL drivers don't conform to the OpenGL standard.

Going back 4 years or so, I'd have recommended Nvidia. These days I generally prefer using the ATI drivers for development (but then I've typically been doing OpenGL). The nice thing about ATI is that they implement the OpenGL specs to the letter. Rather than crashing in the driver (which is what Nvidia cards tend to do more often than is fun), ATI actually fails with the correct error code, and so it's easy to diagnose any problems. If your OpenGL code works on ATI, it will typically work on Intel and NVidia cards (although you may find that you've run out of resources on the Intel cards). These days though, you can usually test both Intel and something, on the same machine, so it's possibly becoming less of an issue.

I just tend to buy refurbished laptops directly from dell (they have an 'outlet' part of their site, where they sell laptops at knockdown prices). Since Dell has already taken the price hit, it's pretty easy to sell them a year or two later, without losing a huge amount of money, and then you can buy a new one with the latest GPU/CPU specs.

For that price you might want to find something with an SSD as mentioned.

Always buy a laptop with a HDD, never with an SSD! Not all SSD's are equal, and typically computer vendors will choose the cheapest SSD available, rather than the best. Imho, you get a much better deal by buying an SSD of your choosing (along with a cheap 2.5" HDD caddy), and then perform the upgrade yourself. It can often be cheaper (or about the same price) to do that, and you end up with a nice external hard drive for backups etc.

Edited by RobTheBloke

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• AMD Radeon™ HD 7730M 2GB or NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 640M LE?
• can you guys tell me the pros and cons of them?
•
Edited by JustNewbie

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http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-640M.71579.0.html

I prefer ATI but then again I only use D3D and ATI has always been the better for D3D. For the 1330 price the Inspiron is better as it is cheaper even the bluray drive version. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyVOdvF7By0

I have an SSD at work (perforce drive only OS is on a normal HDD) and the only reason I am glad I have one is that our build tool is shit and even on an SSD rebuilding assets takes 30 minutes.

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Strongly recommend finding a laptop with NVIDIA graphics.

Made me curious why you won't equally recommend an ATI graphics card?

*AMD, not "ATI" anymore. It is a reflection of my experience with the available hardware, with respect to performance, price, features, drivers, etc. No manufacturer is a panacea but I maintain that either AMD or NVIDIA is a fastly superior choice to any Intel chip, no matter what Intel claims their newest generation can do. And my personal opinion is that NVIDIA achieves the best balance right now. Others are free to disagree.

Edited by Promit

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I never saw you mention anything about graphics programming or whatever, so I'm assuming you just mean programming in general. In that case, yes, it's perfectly fine for programming.

Just think of it like this: If people with that laptop can play even relatively simple Steam games (Not necessarily Skyrim), and those games are made by teams of 3 or 4 people, your game probably isn't going to be the thing to crack its back.

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I never saw you mention anything about graphics programming or whatever, so I'm assuming you just mean programming in general. In that case, yes, it's perfectly fine for programming.

Just think of it like this: If people with that laptop can play even relatively simple Steam games (Not necessarily Skyrim), and those games are made by teams of 3 or 4 people, your game probably isn't going to be the thing to crack its back.

"[...] and for gaming."

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I never saw you mention anything about graphics programming or whatever, so I'm assuming you just mean programming in general. In that case, yes, it's perfectly fine for programming.

Just think of it like this: If people with that laptop can play even relatively simple Steam games (Not necessarily Skyrim), and those games are made by teams of 3 or 4 people, your game probably isn't going to be the thing to crack its back.

"[...] and for gaming."

Ah, didn't see that. Well, in that case, you don't need a whole 8 gigglebits of RAM just to play some games. You need like... 4, generally. What you really need is a good graphics card. Others have mentioned an SSD, and yeah, that'd be nice, but what you absolutely need is a good graphics card, like 4GB of ram (generally), and enough holes in the case to keep it from exploding. If the laptop comes with "Intel HD Graphics," my gut reaction is "Oh dear god no."

Edited by Shaquil

I don't care what you're using your computer for. Memory is the absolute LAST place to try and save a few bucks, and there are enough laptops with 8 GB that are well within the OP's budget. I'd advocate for an SSD too, but it might be difficult to accomplish under $1000. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites I don't care what you're using your computer for. Memory is the absolute LAST place to try and save a few bucks QFT. I don't run a single machine (at home or at work) with less than 16GB of RAM. Modern OS and software are memory hungry beasts. And don't get me started on build systems... #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites I don't care what you're using your computer for. Memory is the absolute LAST place to try and save a few bucks, and there are enough laptops with 8 GB that are well within the OP's budget. I'd advocate for an SSD too, but it might be difficult to accomplish under$1000.

I agree with the memory don't save on that, if you really need to save on something then it is the SSD as you can get away without one. But that also depends on what kind of programming you are doing, but I assume it is games and then you can do without one.

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thankyou for the comments, it make me a little bit understand about specs basics.

btw, windows 8 or windows 7?

i read an article once that said windows 7 is better than windows 8 for programming, what do you say?

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Makes no difference.

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btw, windows 8 or windows 7?

i read an article once that said windows 7 is better than windows 8 for programming, what do you say?

This makes no difference, I use Win7 at work and Win8 at home the only thing you learn with win 8 is to never use the start menu but do everything through explorer. But then again I am mostly doing this on windows 7 as well so no change for me.

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Strongly recommend finding a laptop with NVIDIA graphics.

Made me curious why you won't equally recommend an ATI graphics card?

For me, I'd never choose a Mobile ATI/AMD GPU in a laptop unless it is the only way. Too many laptops I've had where I get bitten by the fact that they drop support for the card in Linux within the card's lifespan, and I either get the choice of staying with an outdated, buggy kernel, or upgrading to the newest kernel version and losing hardware acceleration. The open source radeon driver is getting better all the time, but it still doesn't compare to the proprietary drivers, and I lost a lot of features and efficiency on a card that I bought with my hard earned money. This happened to me three separate times, and all my machines with an ATI card use the open source drivers. I have no other choice.

You may be safe for now, since it is a new machine, but if you plan to do anything for Linux, it's possible that driver support will abruptly stop for a card, at any number of years into the future, and you'll be without it.

TL;DR: nVidia's driver support for Linux has always (and still is) been excellent. ATI/AMD drops driver support entirely after a while, leaving you with a driver that only builds on an outdated kernel version.

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NVIDIA also provides drivers for FreeBSD which is awesome whereas the Linux only (temporary) support given for Radeon cards is really flakey. The 2D acceleration is much worse than the open-source driver last time I looked. So NVIDIA wins for me on the UNIX front. As for open-source drivers, Nouveau for NVIDIA is also becoming pretty usable for indie 3D games.

Personally I don't give a damn how either of them function on Windows because that is not my preferred development environment but I would probably go with NVIDIA though because they have some quite interesting research projects whereas AMD seem to just be scraping along and somehow still remaining competitive.