Alienware Laptops For Programming (Guide)

Editor Choice
Alienware m17 R4, 17.3 inch FHD (Full HD) Gaming Laptop -...
Budget Choice
Alienware m17 R3 17.3 inch FHD Gaming Laptop (Luna Light)...
Alienware m17 R4, 17.3 inch FHD (Full HD) Gaming Laptop -...
Alienware m17 R3 17.3 inch FHD Gaming Laptop (Luna Light)...
$2,199.99
$2,155.69
-
622 Reviews
-
Editor Choice
Alienware m17 R4, 17.3 inch FHD (Full HD) Gaming Laptop -...
Alienware m17 R4, 17.3 inch FHD (Full HD) Gaming Laptop -...
$2,199.99
-
-
Budget Choice
Alienware m17 R3 17.3 inch FHD Gaming Laptop (Luna Light)...
Alienware m17 R3 17.3 inch FHD Gaming Laptop (Luna Light)...
$2,155.69
622 Reviews

Last update on 2021-10-14 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

If you are a gamer who is also interested in learning how to program, the following question might pop into your head:

Is a gamer computer, especially Alienware, any good for programming? We will cover all about that in this article.

Is Alienware laptop good for programming?

Yes, Alienware laptops are more than fine for programming purposes. As Alienware laptops primarily focus on gaming, they have powerful CPUs, SSDs, and large memory modules (RAMs). All these features help in programming.

Certain programming requires more cores and core speed. Dual-core processors like the “U” series from Intel will give you better battery backup compared to “HQ” processors. “U” is dual-core series and “HQ” is quad-core.

In a neural network, as you increase the nodes/nets size in your model, it will require a more powerful CPU like a Xeon processor, but that is not so easy to get.

So, programmers usually pick the top “HQ” series. The difference with each CPU is the time it takes to compile and do the whole process to give input. The more powerful the hardware, the less time it will take.

If your programming purposes involve machine learning, neural networks, and anything of the likes, a powerful laptop comes in handy to make your programming go fast.

For example, neural networks program training of 500MB text data takes you 5 hours, which will run very fast on Alienware since it comes with a powerful GPU.

Read Is Predator Laptop Good For Programming?

What kind of laptop do you need for programming?

For starters, programming usually doesn’t take as much hardware as gaming. Most laptops are pretty decent for programming. However, finding the right option can increase your productivity and save you time.

For the degree program of computer programming at St. Cloud Technical & Community College, for example, the minimum required is:

  • Intel (or AMD equivalent) i5 or better processor, 7th generation or newer (Virtualization must be supported)
  • Windows 10 Operating System
  • 1920×1080 or greater screen resolution
  • 500 GB or larger SSD
  • Minimum 8 GB of RAM (12GB -16GB RAM recommended)

Display

Most laptops come with a 1366×768 display, so pay attention not to get those. The problem with getting such a small display is that programming requires multitasking, and a small screen won’t allow you to do that with comfort and quickness.

You need at least a 1920×1080 display.

Processor

As for the processor, it was already mentioned that you need a good processor to make things quick.

Nowadays, it is easy to get a decent laptop that comes with Intel Core i5. It is essential to get a processor with at least 3GHz of frequency.

RAM

If you are eager to learn how to program, you probably already use your computer for a lot of things. Then you noticed how 4GB of RAM can’t do much nowadays.

For programming, it is the same. You will need at least 8GB, but it will be fantastic if you manage to get even more.

Storage

When it comes to storage, an SSD will serve to program much better than an HD. Compiling codes, launching apps, and loading projects get a lot faster with an SSD.

The minimum you should get is 256GB since SSDs are a bit more expensive than HD. Now, if you can spend, getting 500GB or even 1TB will be perfect.

If money is a limiting factor for getting an SSD, you can get a small 256GB to install the OS and the main apps you will use. Your files such as music, videos, etc. can all be stored in an external HD.

Keyboard

Academics, journalists, programmers, writers all know how much a good keyboard impacts the quality and pace of their work. If you can go to a store and test the keyboard of the laptop you are about to get, then great.

The keyboard must adjust finely to the way you are used to typing. A too-small keyboard might mean you will press the wrong letters all the time.

If you are going to work in low-light conditions (some people prefer to work at night with all lights out, for example), consider getting a keyboard with a backlight. That way you can see all of the letters. This also doesn’t hurt your vision.

GPU

Dedicated GPUs (also known as discrete GPUs) are only necessary if you are going to code/program graphics-intensive apps, like games and video editing tools. Laptops with GPUs are always more expensive since the whole hardware has to support the machine having a GPU.

Here goes a tip from an experienced guy: if Alienware is expensive for you, don’t pick up Acer gaming laptops. They don’t have enough cooling to compensate for the GPU heating the whole system.

In most cases, you will be fine with a good laptop that comes with integrated graphics.

You may want to check Is Web Development Stressful?

Best Alienware Laptops For Programming

If you are still reading this, then you are both a gamer and a programmer who wants a machine to do both, or you need a powerful GPU for your coding work. Regardless of the option, let’s check the best options Alienware offers for programmers.

Alienware m17 R4

Alienware m17 R4, 17.3 inch FHD (Full HD) Gaming Laptop -...
  • 17.3-inch FHD (Full HD 1920 x 1080) 360Hz 5ms 300-nits 100% sRGB color gamut with NVIDIA-GSYNC technology
  • 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10870H (8-Core, 16MB Cache, up to 5.0GHz Max Turbo Frequency)
  • 16GB 2933MHz DDR4 , 1 TB PCIe SSD

Last update on 2021-10-14 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

Alienware m17 R4 is acclaimed as a great laptop for programming. On Reddit and Quora, you can easily find people telling that they found the laptop to be a great investment for their work.

The advantage it has over other options is the 17.3-inch (1920×1080) display.  Also, as a gaming laptop, it comes with a GPU and SSD, making your coding very fast.

As you can imagine, though, it is not an entry-level laptop. Its starting price is around $1,999.99, but you can get the ultimate configuration at $3,129.99.

Minimum configs:

  • 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-10870H
  • Windows 10 Home English
  • NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3060 6GB GDDR6
  • 16GB DDR4 2933MHz
  • 256GB PCIe M.2 SSD

Maximum configs:

  • 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i9-10980HK
  • Windows 10 Home English
  • NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3070 8GB GDDR6
  • 32GB DDR4 2933MHz
  • 1TB (2x 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD) RAID0 [Boot] + 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD [Storage]

Pros

  • Many ports
  • You can speed up the cooling fans for certain tasks (such as gaming)
  • Satisfying mechanical keyboard

Cons

  • Poor battery life

Alienware m17 R3

Alienware m17 R3 17.3 inch FHD Gaming Laptop (Luna Light)...
622 Reviews
Alienware m17 R3 17.3 inch FHD Gaming Laptop (Luna Light)...
  • High-end materials like magnesium alloy, copper and steel provide a premium, lightweight and performance-driven gaming experience...
  • Our fastest panel yet offers 300Hz 300nits 3ms Full HD for smooth, high-speed motion graphics
  • Alienware Cryo-Tech optimizes component cooling, which maximizes overall performance and keeps your laptop cool to the touch

Last update on 2021-10-08 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

If the R4 is too expensive for you (and it is understandable), then the next obvious option would be the R3, which is a downgrade but still does the job pretty well.

It has the same big display that allows for multitasking. Its price, though, starts at $1,579.99 and can go up to $2,599.99.

Minimum configs:

  • 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-10750H
  • Windows 10 Home English
  • AMD Radeon™ RX 5500M 4GB GDDR6
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz
  • 256GB PCIe M.2 SSD

Maximum configs:

  • 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-10875H
  • Windows 10 Home English
  • NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 2080 SUPER™ 8GB GDDR6 – Max Performance
  • 32GB DDR4 2666MHz
  • 1TB (2x 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD) RAID0 [Boot] + 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD [Storage]

Pros

  • Many ports
  • You can speed up the cooling fans for certain tasks (such as gaming)
  • Satisfying mechanical keyboard

Cons

  • Poor battery life

Yeah, since R3 and R4 are very similar, their pros and cons are pretty much the same. What will make you decide is the price and how much power you do need.

Final Thoughts

Alienware laptops are powerful. That is a fact. They are good for gaming and they can serve for programming too.

If you are a fan of the brand because of its quality and want to pick a machine that lets you both program and play, both R4 and R3 are perfect choices. If you are on a budget, you can pick the most basic version of R3 and still have a blast.

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