Laptops for uni Watch

Wichu
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#1
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I'm going to be starting Computer Science at uni later this year (hopefully Cambridge), and am thinking about getting a new laptop. To those already at uni, is it worth getting a pretty good one? I've found one that I like, with pretty good specs (i7 processor, 8GB RAM, nVidia GeForce GT 540M graphics card). However, it costs about £900 (including VAT); that's pretty much exactly equal to my current savings, so buying it would mean I won't have much money left for other things (such as repairing my Nintendo DS). Would such a laptop be overkill?

EDIT: Whoops, meant 540M.
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laser
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I think there's benefits to having a fast laptop - your code will compile quicker, etc, and e.g., for your project it may involve manipulation of large datasets, lots of analysis etc. Just think, this laptop will have to still be good in 3 years time when you're finishing your degree. Yeah, you only *need* a laptop that's capable of running a text editor (and tbh, not even then, because the computing labs will undoubtedly provide everything you need), but I think it's worth getting a better one now - it'll be great now, and probably still good in 3 years time.
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Wichu
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(Original post by laser)
I think there's benefits to having a fast laptop - your code will compile quicker, etc, and e.g., for your project it may involve manipulation of large datasets, lots of analysis etc. Just think, this laptop will have to still be good in 3 years time when you're finishing your degree. Yeah, you only *need* a laptop that's capable of running a text editor (and tbh, not even then, because the computing labs will undoubtedly provide everything you need), but I think it's worth getting a better one now - it'll be great now, and probably still good in 3 years time.
That's what I was thinking. As a plus, it would be nice to have something that can run the Dolphin Wii emulator decently, as I'll be leaving the Wii at home for my younger brother (but I still want to finish the games I have for it).

(Original post by MylesXD)
If i was you get a laptop thats like half the prices, cause honestly all you will be doing with it is surfing the web and watching films, and most decent laptops for £400 can play a game on medium settings anyways, and you don't know how hard it will be at uni with money, so wait until student prices start to kick around July September time
Not sure what you mean by this; do you mean I should wait until then before looking for a laptop? I'm going to have at least £500 again by the time I start uni, not including loans/grants/bursaries etc. Also, as laser said, I'll be doing a lot of programming (I do it as a hobby anyway), so it would be nice to have a fast PC for compiling etc.
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iholdthem
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You don't need to spend that much unless you want to or have a reason to. Anything you need to do will work on a £500 laptop, just look for good deals and wait for sales, etc.
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Wichu
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Well, I'm using a Mac at the moment, but I kinda got it for free second-hand
I think I'll wait until late summer before buying one (or see if I can get one during my trip to China in July/August). About the money, how big of a difference would £500 make overall? I'm not really much of a party person (I don't even drink), so I can't see myself spending that much money on non-essential things. I'm certainly the best money-wise out of my siblings (they play MTG and are always asking me to borrow money). Thanks for the advice; does anyone else have an opinion they'd like to share?
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lalaberlin
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(Original post by Wichu)
Well, I'm using a Mac at the moment, but I kinda got it for free second-hand
I think I'll wait until late summer before buying one (or see if I can get one during my trip to China in July/August). About the money, how big of a difference would £500 make overall? I'm not really much of a party person (I don't even drink), so I can't see myself spending that much money on non-essential things. I'm certainly the best money-wise out of my siblings (they play MTG and are always asking me to borrow money). Thanks for the advice; does anyone else have an opinion they'd like to share?
so you're using a mac and you plan to buy a windows laptop? do you mind if I ask why? what's wrong with your mac?
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sunspoon
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Any computer will do in terms your course - the likelihood of you needing a really powerful processor is fairly slim. If you want your code to run really fast then maybe get one with a better CPU but to be honest you don't need it. Invest the money you save in an external monitor so you can code with two screens at your desk at home.

If you want to dabble in iPhone app development though get a mac because they only let you do it on an apple machine. Otherwise anything that can POST is fine.
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laeof
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Best option imo is a netbook(for lectures etc and they're good enough for coding...i can run photoshop on mine lol) with a powerful dual screen desktop for hardcore stuff ...that would be cheaper than £900 and you'll get more power, and portability.
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TartanSpartan
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Can you post the link to that laptop please?
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