Are Gaming Laptops good for Programming?

Gaming laptop with code on screen

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Yes, Gaming Laptops are excellent for programming and writing code. They pack in powerful hardware that can allow you to compile and write code without any stutters.


Gaming Laptops are also great if you want to do game development or work on machine learning. 


What are the requirements of a Gaming Laptop for Programming?

How much RAM do you need for Programming?

8GB RAM is the minimum RAM you would need for Programming. However, I recommend having at least 16GB RAM. 


This is because 16GB RAM will make working on multiple software development environments easier. 


And considering many of these software environments are RAM intensive, it’s important to have enough breathing room in your gaming laptop that it can breathe.


And development apps aside, you would also have other usual apps like your browser, or office apps opened in the background. 


And having insufficient RAM for all of these applications can lead you to experience stutters and lag.


So, 16GB is what I recommend. Though you can also get 32GB RAM if you run specialized software that may require more RAM.


Do you need a powerful CPU for Programming?

Yes, you need a powerful CPU for Programming. It’s one of the crucial components you should look for when buying a gaming laptop for programming.


For most of your Programming and Coding, your CPU wouldn’t play much of a part. Though where it will matter a lot when you are compiling or just testing code.


Though many coding applications are mostly single-threaded, you need to look for good single-threaded performance when buying a gaming laptop for programming.


That being said, many applications would benefit significantly from a better multi-threaded performance. 

This could be testing code in multiple virtual machines and checking how they interact, or maybe just running multiple programs that may benefit from the better multi-threaded performance of your laptop.


A quad-core CPU is a must for Programming. We recommend at least a Core i5 or a Ryzen 5 processor for people on a budget, as they are powerful enough to crunch through your normal code-compiling workloads.


Though, something like the 12th gen Core i7 or the Apple M1 Max chip is also a great choice for someone who wants more performance.


Is a GPU needed for Programming?

For the most part, you don’t really need a GPU for Programming. However, a GPU can be important if you are into game development.


A GPU can also be useful for Programming when your work involves deep learning or AI-based work. This is where a GPU could come in real handy. 


I would strongly recommend buying a gaming laptop with an Nvidia GPU, as they have better compatibility for most AI and deep learning coding.


You might also need a GPU to play when relaxing or just having fun with friends on CS GO after a busy work day. 


Do you need a good Display for Coding?

A good display is essential for coding, as you will spend most of your time staring at the screen.


There are a couple of factors that you need to look at when buying a gaming laptop for coding.


You need a display that isn’t tiring to look at when working on code for hours. Something optimal for reading text for long periods.


To start off, we recommend getting a gaming laptop with a display that gets quite bright. Something around 400 nits at best.


A display with a higher resolution is also great for text clarity. If you buy a 14-inch laptop, 1080p resolution should be optimal. However, for anything bigger than 14 inches and I would recommend going with something that has a 1440p display.


Though most displays on gaming laptops are 16:9, it would be great if you manage to buy a gaming laptop with a 16:10 display, as it allows you to see more code on the screen at a time.

Something like the Asus Predator Triton 500 SE is best for coding thanks to its 1600p 16:10 display, which has a peak brightness of 500 nits. You can check out our detailed review of it here.


How much Storage do you need for Programming?

Generally, 1TB is the recommended amount of storage for Programming. Though it completely depends on what kind of software development you are doing. So might need more than 1TB for your specific use case.


Luckily, almost all gaming laptops on the market have upgradable storage, so you are covered on that end.


Also, if it wasn’t obvious, avoid a hard drive and get an SSD at all costs. You would need the speedy responsiveness of an SSD when loading multiple assets or software environments.


Something like the Crucial P3 is fast enough for all your programming needs.

What kind of Keyboard do you need for Programming?

You definitely need a good Keyboard for programming. Many people overlook the keyboard when looking for a gaming laptop for programming.


A good keyboard is essential for writing code. You need to buy a gaming laptop with a keyboard that does not have an unusual key layout. 


Avoid a keyboard that has shallow keys and lacks travel, as you might start to feel fatigued in your fingers during long typing sessions.


 Also, avoid buying a gaming laptop that has a keyboard with white keys. These could be hard to read in a well-lit room due to the backlight blending with the color of the keys.


The Asus TUF Dash 15 is a great option for someone looking for a gaming laptop with a great keyboard. You can read our detailed review about it if you are interested.


Things Gaming And Programming Laptops have in Common

Due to gaming laptop vs regular laptop

Both have a powerful CPU

Performance is something that you will find on both type of laptops. 


Gaming and Programming laptops pack in a powerful CPU that can shred through any intensive workload.

This could be compiling code or running multiple virtual machines to test code. Both can shred through these workloads.


More than enough RAM

Gaming laptops and Programming have plenty of breathing room thanks to more than enough RAM.


Apart from opening multiple productivity apps, both types of laptops have enough RAM that you can test code in multiple VMs and work on it. 


And luckily, RAM is one of those few components in the laptop you can upgrade. So for some reason, you feel like you need more RAM, you can upgrade it with ease.


A satisfying Keyboard

A good typing experience is essential for coding. And both kinds of laptops usually have an excellent keyboard to type on for hours.


Though you will also find keyboards that tend to have a short travel, which can be fatigued for long periods, you should consider laptops with keys that have longer travel and provide a nice tactile feel.


Most gaming laptops have pretty good keyboards that are great if you are coding for hours.


Differences between Gaming Laptops and Programming Laptops

regular programming laptop vs gaming laptop

Differences in Design language

There is a stark difference between a programming laptop and a gaming laptop when it comes to design.


Programming laptops tend to have a basic design language where they have a basic logo on the chassis with a silver or black body. There is not much going on when it comes to design on a traditional laptop.


Gaming laptops on the other hand, tend to have a tacky design that has sharp angles along with excessive RGB lightning. Bringing such laptops to a corporate office environment may not be suitable.

Differences in form factor

Programming laptops tend to be slim and lightweight, which makes them easy to carry and lift. 


Gaming laptops, on the other find, tend to be bulky and heavy, as they pack in a bigger cooling system for the relatively powerful. 


This makes them harder to carry around and affects their portability.


Differences in Thermals

Programming laptops tend to run relatively cooler compared to gaming laptops.


This is because gaming laptops also have a powerful GPU inside along with an performance CPU. 


Since programming laptops only tend to have a CPU that is usually power efficient. So they don’t tend to get as hot as a gaming laptop, which packs a significant amount of power.


Differences in Battery Life

Programming laptops tend to have an excellent battery compared to a gaming laptops.


Since traditional laptops that are used for gaming are not as powerful as a gaming laptop, they don’t consume as much battery. And hence provide a much better battery life.


Gaming laptops have more powerful components inside them, which consume significantly more power. This leads to shorter battery life.


Why you should avoid Gaming Laptops for Programming

Gaming laptop wiith a ban icon over it

Gaming Laptops can get really pricy

Since gaming laptops pack in powerful hardware, they tend to be really expensive. 


Though you can get away with a cheap gaming laptop, but if you want to buy a gaming laptop that has the ability to play all the latest triple-A games while also being great at compiling code, you would probably have to spend over a grand.


Gaming laptops have awful battery

One of the reasons why gaming laptops are infamous is their battery life. Gaming laptops also fail to perform at their fullest on battery power. So you need to be plugged into the wall if you plan to throw compiling workload at it.


Gaming laptops barely manage to last an hour on battery when you do something intensive. However, you could expect something similar from a traditional laptop too. Traditional laptops tend to have a better standby time, whereas most gaming laptops don’t.


You could expect a regular laptop with good battery life to last around at least 10 hours on light use. On the other hand, gaming laptops may last around 8 hours at best on light use.


Gaming Laptop consume a lot of power

Gaming laptop’s higher power consumption is the main reason behind their awful battery backup. 


Furthermore, higher power consumption means that you would also have to carry a bulky power brick with you too.


Regular laptops usually have smaller power bricks, and they also have the ability to be charged with USB C. 


Though gaming laptops also support USB-C charging, you would still have to carry the proprietary charger as it provides more power than the USB C laptop charger.


USB C maxes out at around 100W, which may not be enough for power-hungry components inside a gaming laptop.


Gaming laptops can get really warm

More power brings in more heat. Gaming laptops are also shamed because of their excessive heat output. 


Since gaming laptops’ chassis are small with components tightly packed in, they also have less place to breathe. 


This means that they are not cooled as efficiently as you would expect, and they get really warm.


A warm gaming laptop may get unpleasant for typing out code and doing other work.

So if you are buying a gaming laptop, make sure that its chassis doesn’t get uncomfortably warm under load.

Gaming Laptops can get loud under load

As we discussed earlier, gaming laptops get really hot under load. This means that the cooling fans inside the laptop ramp up to ensure the gaming laptop stays cool. 


And these fans get quite noisy and annoying. This could be annoying if you work in a corporate environment where people around you may be bothered by the noise of your laptop.


So if noise is an issue for you, then you must stay away from a gaming laptop.


Gaming Laptops are heavy and bulky

Compared to a traditional office laptop that has a slim profile and lightweight, gaming laptops tend to be heavy and bulky.


This is because gaming laptops packs in a much beefer cooling system with relatively big heatsinks and fans. This contributes a lot to the overall weight of a gaming laptop.


Furthermore, higher-end gaming laptops also tends to have a bigger battery too, which also adds to the overall weight of the device.



Is Gaming Laptop good for Python?

Yes, gaming laptops are great for Python coding. They are packed in with powerful hardware that can help with almost every coding or programming load.


How much RAM do I need for Gaming and Coding?

16GB RAM is the recommended amount of RAM for both Gaming and Coding. 


16GB RAM can allow you to work on almost any programming project while also being sufficient enough for running modern triple-A games.


Can you use a gaming laptop as an everyday laptop?

Yes, you can use a gaming laptop as an everyday laptop. 

Just make sure that the gaming laptop you plan to use for everyday use has a battery that can last the entire day. And that it’s powerful enough for your everyday tasks.


Which laptop is best for Programming and Gaming?

The Asus TUF Dash 15 is the best laptop for Programming and Gaming. 


It performs really well in games while also holding up great in code compiling and other CPU-intensive workloads. As for daily use, this gaming laptop also provides decent battery life too.


Do Gaming Laptops overheat?

Yes, gaming laptops do overheat. They overheat because of power-hungry components that output tons of heat. 


I go into much detail on why gaming laptops overheat, so if you want to learn more, you can read Why Gaming laptops overheat.


Also, there are ways to deal with overheating. You can learn how you can prevent your laptop from overheating in my detailed guide.


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