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I am looking for a new laptop which will mostly be used for programming, specifically rust and want to get something that has best performance for the $. I'd rather replace my laptop every 2 years than pay double for marginal improvements.

Unfortunately there isn't much information online that I could find about what is actually offers up to date information for compiling rust performance in terms of hardware.

CPU

From my understanding, Rust compiler is mostly single thread but each crate can be done in parallel. Not sure if there have been other multithread optimizations added. So far all I could find on CPU front was this:

https://arewefastyet.pages.dev/

But latest is 1.51 when we are already on 1.69. And based on those chart it seems 4 cores is the sweet spot for incremental builds? But again dated

I have heard AMD is better than Intel for compiling, that seems to be the case for C/C++, but I couldn't find any modern comparison for rust with all things equal.

I am not too worried about battery life, I don't plan to compile on battery. At best I'd only watch videos on battery enough to last me a flight. So probably H/HS processors over U for more power? Though I hear finding one without a dedicated gpu is difficult

HD It goes without saying to get an SSD, especially NVMe (That is pretty standard on laptops already). Beyond that, does it matter if the SSD is faster or not? One of the advice I've seen is to compile on ramdisk. This seems to make a big difference for HDDs, but the improvement from SSDs seem marginal according to this:

https://stevedrivendevelopment.com/2021/01/10/does-rustc-perform-better-on-a-ramdisk-no/

If a ramdisk offers a marginal improvements, unless something was creating a bottleneck, is there a point to a faster SSD that is slower than a ramdisk anyways? I'd probably do some of my own tests on this once I clean up some ram with all the stuff open, but I;d probably be better off spinning up ramdisks either way than worrying about ssd speed. Instead probably getting a large ssd with decent endurance would be best? (for all those docker images/vms). If I am wrong feel free to correct me.

RAM I could not find anything on ram performance with rust

PS looking for rust hardware when there is a game called rust makes it that much more difficult to find info. At best I found just general compiling of things like godot/linux kernel/LLVM:

https://www.phoronix.com/review/crucial-ddr5-5200-5600/4

https://www.phoronix.com/review/linux-ddr5-6000/3

Based on that, the difference between 6000 and 3000 DDR5 seems to be around 20%? But difference between 4800 and 6000 seems to be marginal.

For reference there is also lower end DDR5 vs DDR4 and difference between DDR5 4400 and DDR4 3200 seems to be less than 5% https://www.phoronix.com/review/ddr4-ddr5-alderlake/2

Generally, I like to have my laptops with 64gb ram. That pretty much eliminates any laptop with LPDDR as few offer 64gb ram, and those that do, ram is always overpriced. If I go the intel route, I can technically reuse my 64GB 3200mhz DDR4 ram, if I plan to buy DDR5,I think they go up to 5200? Though 4800 may be the sweet spot as difference seems to be way less than even 5%. Overall I'd guess the difference of keeping DDR4 and buying DDR5 would be about $200 for 15-20%?

Any advice or corrections to my understanding would be appreciated.

If you can suggest a specific laptop that would be great too, I'd prefer the price to be reasonable of under 1k. But I can stretch up to 1.3k if it benefits. As mentioned I don't mind buying components separately like ram and ssd to get some savings. Looking at prices I can get 64gb DDR5 + 4tb ssd for about $300. Screen size should be 13-15 inches, preferably 14. But if it is virtually no bezel I can maybe manage a 16 inch. But it must be under 1.6kg. I don't need a dedicated GPU, it just wastes battery and add weight, internal gpu is enough for my needs. Matte screen is a must. If you happen to be a magic genie, I'd prefer hardware buttons on trackpad but I know that is asking too much there so take it as just a preference.

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So just for the upgradability I would reccomend the Framework laptop DIY edition, although it does stretch your budget. It does fit all your other requirements and if you for some reason need to upgrade the upgrades are reasonably priced and you can do it yourself. The i5 1240P edition barely fits your budget and has 4 (fast) performance cores, but again can be upgraded if needed. And the Framework laptop is pretty Linux friendly.

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  • I was just reading about them releasing a ryzen version. While the concept seems intersting, barely being in my budget for a last years i5 seems a bit of a stretch. Also, I am less than thrilled for those tiny up and down keys which are asking for mispressing when I go up and down through lines of code or database entries
    – dng2
    Apr 22, 2023 at 8:01
  • Yes that is true, but I have the 11th gen i5 version and it's still good enough for my current use cases (and that is way heavier than compiling rust). And yes I also prefer the bigger arrow keys on most desktop keyboards but on laptops I somehow prefer the smaller arrow keys
    – Irsu85
    Apr 24, 2023 at 7:48
  • Compiling rust has no upper bound. It all depends on how large an application one is compiling and how fast it does it. Even shaving a few seconds can make a big difference as it stacks up over hundreds of compiles per day. Not to mention I get live feedback from rust analyzer and it running quicker helps as well. Also, I noticed the Framework 16 has more options for swapping keyboards, trackpads and etc. If it does have all I want then maybe I can spend a little more for the i7/ryzen 7 model but too little info so far
    – dng2
    Apr 24, 2023 at 19:25

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