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I'll be buying a new laptop and while searching for information for the best configuration I haven't yet found one website where there is clear real-world use-case information regarding the best setup for programming.

To be more specific: I'm a web developer. I daily use the commandline on Windows 10 Pro, the WSL. Many a times I need to execute commands like npm, yarn, gulp, docker, webpack configs, etc. which have lots of I/O to the SSD disk and high CPU usage. I need those commands to be executed as fast as possible. Commands like NPM or Yarn can take quite some time, average 40-50s. Docker is pretty fast, but mounting folders (of course, depends on the way you do it) is quite slow. Loading the homepage of a fresh WordPress installation on LAMP instantiated through Docker-Compose might take 2 seconds when in reality it should take less than 200ms. It's a local setup and a fresh installation, after all. I use PHPStorm as my IDE and execute most of these commands through the WSL terminal embedded in it.

Having those needs in mind I'm searching for a laptop which can handle those tasks fast. I'm eyeing the upcoming Dell XPS 15 9580 this June or the Precision 5540/7740 later in July. Both use Intel i7-i9 and XEON respectively. The current XPS 15 9570 model has many complaints about issues which have been ignored by Dell, it seems. The Precision line, on the other hand, seems to be a mobile workstation specifically made to be more robust and reliable, although their intended use-cases are 3d modeling and high through-put computing, which I'm not so sure will apply to my current use-case. Maybe the Precision line is a bit overkill for what I need, but what really matters is reliability. I can't have any throttling, coil-whine or parts breaking. I need to work 10h average per day, and that's not counting my leisure use. I basically spend most of my day behind my current desktop computer. The laptop is for gaining a little bit of freedom and mobility, but without losing power in computing for work.

I'd appreciate the input of senior programmers who could guide me in my search for the most convenient laptop for programming. Money is not an issue.

  • Make sure you get a M.2 SSD instead of a SATA one. They are 4 to 7 times faster depending on the model. – cybernard May 24 '19 at 18:22

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