LebGeeks

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#1 2 weeks ago

ap4ss3rby
Member

Laptop for Computer Science if I have a desktop?

Hello, I want study Computer Science at Lebanese University next year, and because of the economic situation, I find myself needing to manage the money I have very carefully, and so I am asking anyone who studied or is studying computer science at Lebanese University if I should just save my money for paper notebooks and pens or fix the old one I have (HP Pavilion 15-E053SE if anyone is interested, needs a new screen, battery, and an SSD would be a major upgrade over the 5400RPM drive in it right now), or flat out buy a new one.

Last edited by ap4ss3rby (2 weeks ago)

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#2 2 weeks ago

Hybrid
Member

Re: Laptop for Computer Science if I have a desktop?

While I didn't study at LU, the only time we needed a laptop 10 years ago was for doing presentations in class. You can still borrow a laptop from someone to do that though.

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#3 2 weeks ago

Adnan
Member

Re: Laptop for Computer Science if I have a desktop?

Yeah the laptop is never really needed in class except for presentations.

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#4 2 weeks ago

VincentKeyboard
Member

Re: Laptop for Computer Science if I have a desktop?

This very much depends on the direction you want to take. Developing and compiling large projects is simply inefficient on a laptop no matter how well cooled.
Pretty much any coding I do is on my desktop.
I only use my laptop (A lenovo legion 520) for simple things at work such as email and word processing or showing demos to clients. I presume you will only need a laptop at university for demos and presentations as well.

So get a laptop if you can afford one but keep in mind that if you are going to be a software developer, a desktop is a must.

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#5 2 weeks ago

ap4ss3rby
Member

Re: Laptop for Computer Science if I have a desktop?

Looking at it, repairing the one I have seems like the most financially sound option right now even if I don't fix the screen(has several black circles on the screen), and MAAAYBE upgrading from the i5-7400 in my desktop if its gets horribly slow.

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#6 2 weeks ago

Johnaudi
Member

Re: Laptop for Computer Science if I have a desktop?

I would highly suggest you get a laptop especially if you're studying at LU. (Having studied Computer Science at ULFS2 and EM Engineering at USJ)
Although in many universities it is a necessity to have your computer in hand on several tasks, in LU this is not the case (hence, it is not required to have your hands on a laptop)
Yet I do recall the days where you'll be going there to learn, and instead the professor either gets lazy, doesn't come, leaves early, or just you won't understand anything altogether (as some don't even know what they're talking about, you'll see this a lot) my recommendation for a laptop kicks in. In between classes you can either study or prepare for your next course, get to play some CS with your uni mates, or even watch a movie.
I don't want to be the bearer of bad news but you've selected the potentially hardest university to go to and enjoy your university life. (I'm not talking about good quality of education, it's just hard in terms of living a day to day basis there) Having a desktop will only strand you further away from testing what the minority of the professors are teaching in real time, skipping the little time you may be able to enjoy learning there. And let's not forget of the days and nights you'll spend studying and testing out code at home or at some kind of coffee shop with your friends (which was probably 80% of my university life)

I would suggest getting any secondhand cheap laptop costing less than 100$ that you know can be reliable (some of the old HP pavilions for example) just for the sake of having your weapon holstered in case need it the most. Or try to order the broken screen through AliExpress?

Bonus point: in case there is no place in the TP/PC exam hall, you may be admitted to do the exam on your laptop (where you are familiar with your workplace + can copy paste, open browsers etc)

Good luck and I wish you the best, you can do it man!

Last edited by Johnaudi (2 weeks ago)

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#7 1 weeks ago

xterm
Moderator

Re: Laptop for Computer Science if I have a desktop?

VincentKeyboard wrote:

So get a laptop if you can afford one but keep in mind that if you are going to be a software developer, a desktop is a must.

There are very few scenarios where laptops aren't suitable for software development; With the right specification (just your average decent cpu, memory and an ssd), software development on a laptop is breeze.

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#8 1 weeks ago

VincentKeyboard
Member

Re: Laptop for Computer Science if I have a desktop?

I was working on a patch for a webkit crash the other day and tried compiling on my laptop because I have no electricity at home. My samsung ssd was reaching 90 degrees Celsius.
So I cloned the OS to the second disk (an HDD) and tried compiling again. HDD temperature went up to early 50s but compiling was excruciatingly slow compared to an HDD on my desktop.

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#9 6 days ago

DNA
Member

Re: Laptop for Computer Science if I have a desktop?

so am not alone I work on ue4 and my 970 evo nvme reaches 100c on a desktop easily even if i am just copying some files especially lot of small ones, I don't care though i think the drive just throttles down a bit am not sure what's wrong with samsung i don't think drives should reach 100c on their stock setting.

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#10 6 days ago

yasamoka
Member

Re: Laptop for Computer Science if I have a desktop?

NVMe drive heatsinks and you're good to go.

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#11 5 days ago

xterm
Moderator

Re: Laptop for Computer Science if I have a desktop?

VincentKeyboard wrote:

I was working on a patch for a webkit crash the other day and tried compiling on my laptop because I have no electricity at home. My samsung ssd was reaching 90 degrees Celsius.
So I cloned the OS to the second disk (an HDD) and tried compiling again. HDD temperature went up to early 50s but compiling was excruciatingly slow compared to an HDD on my desktop.

If your laptop memory allows it, try using ramdisks for heavy compilation.

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#12 5 days ago

mmk92
Member

Re: Laptop for Computer Science if I have a desktop?

I5-7400 is plenty for programming IMO, you won't get a return on investment any time soon from upgrading

The aforementioned compilation issues are not going to be something you will face as you're just starting, but if you ever do out of your own curiousity, just use your desktop.

I would only recommend an SSD and at least 12gb of ram as they're the most frequent bottlenecks you'd hit. You can even live with 8gb of ram in some cases. For any other updates, you will notice bottlenecks as you go that are specific to your workflow and will be able to justify investing more

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#13 5 days ago

DNA
Member

Re: Laptop for Computer Science if I have a desktop?

yasamoka wrote:

NVMe drive heatsinks and you're good to go.

that will be great, do you know any place here which sells them?

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#14 5 days ago

VincentKeyboard
Member

Re: Laptop for Computer Science if I have a desktop?

xterm wrote:
VincentKeyboard wrote:

I was working on a patch for a webkit crash the other day and tried compiling on my laptop because I have no electricity at home. My samsung ssd was reaching 90 degrees Celsius.
So I cloned the OS to the second disk (an HDD) and tried compiling again. HDD temperature went up to early 50s but compiling was excruciatingly slow compared to an HDD on my desktop.

If your laptop memory allows it, try using ramdisks for heavy compilation.

16GB (could be better but should be enough without heavy parallelization). I've tried that but cmake projects keep caching intermediate objects on the ssd even if the project is on the hdd or a ram disk.
On linux, I can just set TMPDIR to a tmpfs location but the MS visual studio compiler doesn't respect such an environment variable.

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#15 5 days ago

yasamoka
Member

Re: Laptop for Computer Science if I have a desktop?

DNA wrote:
yasamoka wrote:

NVMe drive heatsinks and you're good to go.

that will be great, do you know any place here which sells them?

I wish.

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#16 5 days ago

xazbrat
Member

Re: Laptop for Computer Science if I have a desktop?

yasamoka wrote:
DNA wrote:
yasamoka wrote:

NVMe drive heatsinks and you're good to go.

that will be great, do you know any place here which sells them?

I wish.

I have been seeing a lot of reviews for mini pcs and a lot of them seem to have thermal pads which are stuck to the case just above the space where the nvme drive sits and it does dissipate a bunch of the heat through the metal in the case..  I don't know what the availability would be like here, but has to be better than an actual heatsink. I looked at pcandparts, but unfortunately they were out of stock.

Would be better than no cooling anyhow.

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