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Want a laptop for computer science degree



I would rather have a discreet gpu than not have one because at the college I am going to, they have options to take game design classes or cybersecurity classes as part of the major. I’m more interested in cybersecurity, but I don’t take those classes until the end of sophomore year so my views could definitely change by then. If I need to change out the thermal paste, I should be able to manage that without a problem. @sgtawesomesauce


If you have any specific questions, I’d be happy to help, but I think that Ebay unit is a great deal. My recommendation is to snag it, or see if you can get a cyber-monday deal through Dell directly.

My only qualms with the XPS 15 is that I can’t get the 6 core without the 1050.


1050ti is more than enough for 1080p gaming, it’s a great CPU and that is a strong deal.


After looking at the ebay xps 15, it looks like it will come with a 56 wH battery, because it doesn’t have the 4k touch display. What should I expect in battery life from this model? Also, does it have an internal sata port? Since it has the smaller battery, there might be room for a full size ssd. If I added that instead of upgrading the m.2, I could keep the 256gb from the m.2 and it would be cheaper for more storage space. @sgtawesomesauce


I think that listing is probably wrong; every 9570 with the 1050ti and no secondary hard drive are supposed to come with the 97wh battery. But since it’s on eBay it could be an unusual SKU.

Even with the 56wh battery, since it has the 1080p screen, you’ll probably get 5 hours of light normal use (no dGPU), or more like 7 or 8 watching movies.

Edit: Reading through it again, it doesn’t say it comes with the 56wh battery. It’s listing the weights for both. Since the 9570 with dGPU and no second hard drive normally comes with the 97wh battery, I wouldn’t be too concerned about it.

Edit2: This is the precise model, eb22mpseq4, on Dell’s site. Search for 97, and you will see it definitely comes with the 97wh battery.


Thanks for finding that @Ruffalo


Can confirm.

But @bobby3605, you are in college taking other courses. It might be handy to keep Windows around temporarily for the other classes, papers, etc.

The online version of Office is not all that it’s cracked up to be. And I, personally, screwed up an assignment for my group because I used LibreOffice instead of MS Office.

Use a VM. It’s only temporary.

Also, my first two semesters were in Visual Studio


4-6ish hours is my experience on Linux. You might get slightly more on Windows.

It has internal sata. You have the following options:

  • 1x M.2
  • 1x SATA
  • 54Wh battery


  • 1x M.2
  • 97Wh battery

I have a 97 wh battery on its way for my 9570.


I’d look at the XPS laptops, X1’s, and even at sombe System 76 laptops like the galago or the kudu.


this is one of the most under rated and huge things for comp sci… having a pi plug and play scb’s saved my ass more than once


xps15 battery life tends to be crap, IMHO. Even with the 99Wh/97Wh battery it just gets not enough battery life maybe between 2 and 4 hours of browsing (e.g. compared to a few years old pre touchbar 15" MacBook Pro, or an x1 carbon, or an xps13, or a 2015 Chromebook pixel ls). If you already have a desktop for heavy lifting, I’d consider a laptop with a proper laptop chipset and no discrete GPU, that has a chance of living through your day without being plugged in. (Something using <10W when just displaying text in a browser)

I don’t think you’ll need a GPU on your laptop for game design or cyber security, there’s lots of theory to go through before you get even close to coding software meant to run on a GPU and even then it probably won’t matter as you can do so much before needing to sit on front of a machine with any kind of performance. Just buy what you need in a few years when you end up needing it.


I get 4 hours of browsing with the 54wh battery. Not sure why your battery life is so low.

But, re: the gpu thing, you’re right. I don’t think a gpu is necessary at all. Also, any opencl code can be run by a cpu.


Not sure either, I used it for almost a year and finally gave up on it and returned it a few weeks back, it’s a 9570 4k touch model with 32G ram, nvme only. I’ve powered off the Nvidia GPU and it’s still using power like stupid.

Also it’s heavy, and under Linux, the DE support for per monitor scaling is, well, weak in general . After a while I realized I was using it more as an expensive desktop replacement, and it’s a waste.

Now I’m just getting by at work with an i5 lenovo Chromebook 13 (connected to a pair of external 4k displays in addition to the internal 1920, sadly the one connected over HDMI only does 30Hz). I can usually get by with a browser and a terminal for ssh.


I have cheap ideapad 330 with 2500u and rx 540, in this context what should I test to rank it to be something?

Just managed to set things up yesterday evening, and from glance I noted that I can assign software to rx 540, and both vega 8 and rx 540 are listed over driver as separate tabs


I like to know how upgradeable something is.

Gonna suck to find out later you cant replace/upgrade ram/ssd/battery/etc


Pretty sure that’s the Ideapad, not Thinkpad.


My mistake, fixed


Ah, that’s why. 4k and Nvidia. 4k uses an additional 5 watts over the 1080p display, and even when it’s “off” the 1050 uses 2 watts. 7w is more than the xps 13 uses while browsing.

Also, the killer nic isn’t great on power efficiency, but I just live with that.

Theres a reason I stay away from 4k hidpi right now. It’s just not there yet on any platform except osx. On windows, it pretty much doesn’t work if you don’t use stock window widgets, on Linux, it’s hit or miss, but kde does it pretty well.


I really only see a big different with high DPI on mobile devices, because you look at them really closely. I’m typing this on a 5k 27" monitor right now, and just to the right of it I’ve got a 1440p 27" monitor, and the difference between the two displays is not extreme at my normal viewing distance. I guess it’s a bit sharper, but nobody walks into my office, looks at my screen, and immediately busts their nut.


programming, your requirements are very minimum, even JIT compilers today require next to nothing, unless you got a loose while loop/thread, in your code, which would just kill your system regardless of price.
As long as your going for the intel iX’s, or ryzens’s you’re more than covered.
while in school you’re not going to be meddeling with 1000’s of gigabytes of data or anything, it’s all how stuff works theoretically.
If it can handle windows, and the occational VM, you’re more then golden.
As a student you’re not going to be handling extreme workloads requiring servers etc.
I think the worst stress i ever put my laptop to while studying was running a linux dev vm, maybe a second vm running a server app.
id grab a laptop with a descent GPU, so you can game some, most likely that’s gonna be what you and your school buddies are doing after hours.