Whether you are a beginner or an experienced programmer, you need the right set of tools in order to make your coding life easier.
The good news is that you do not really need a high end PC in order to program like champ.
In fact, if you are a beginner, you can start your programming career with something as simple as a Raspberry Pi.
However, if you are an advanced developer working on a complex project, then you will need to invest in something more robust. Still, any mid range desktop would do just great.
In this article we will have a look at some of the best desktops for programming, but first let us talk about the features that you need to look for.
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Intel Core i3-9100
512 GB HDD
Intel Core i5-9400
512 GB HDD
AMD Ryzen 7 2700
1 TB HDD
AMD Radeon RX 580
Intel Core i7-8700
16 GB + 32 GB Optane
2 TB HDD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080
Features to Look for in a Programming Desktop
There isn’t a specific set of features that you need in order to program.
Every single person would tell you that the features that you need depend upon the complexity of your program.
Linear vs Complex Loops
If you are writing a linear program, then even a 10 years old Pentium processor can compile thousands of lines in mere seconds.
However, if you have very complex loops in your program, then this warrants investing a better and newer processor.
Graphics and Multimedia
If you are writing a program for a very complex project like games, large apps etc, then of course, you will most certainly need a powerful processor.
You will need a GPU if you are dealing with graphics as well.
So in the end, you can start off with a basic computer. However, as you advance your programming skills, you will definitely need to upgrade your PC components.
A Few Pointers for Hardware
- 1CPU: If your program leverages on multi cores, you will benefit from a CPU with more cores. You also need more cores if you are running plenty of emulators. Of course, this will only matter if you are a truly expert programmer.
- 2GPU: If your program renders 3D graphics i.e for game or simulation purposes, you need to invest in a high end GPU.
- 3RAM: Even 4 GB is more than enough for most programmers. However, again, if your program is complex and renders graphics, videos, etc, you need more RAM.
- 4Storage: SSD is always the preferred choice for programmers. This is especially true if your program has to access multiple files from the storage.
No matter which article/forum you read, most programmers will put a good display setup well above getting a powerful CPU or top of the line RAM.
That is because a good display setup can enhance your multitasking as well as coding experience. In fact, research proves that a good display setup with multiple monitors can definitely enhance your efficiency.
Fortunately, you can check out the right monitors in the following articles:
List of Best Desktops for Programming and Coding
We have selected the following as the most suitable desktops for programmers and coders.
1. Raspberry Pi 4 – For Absolute Beginners
- Includes Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with 1.5GHz...
- CanaKit 3.5A USB-C Power Supply with Noise...
- CanaKit USB-C PiSwitch (On/Off Power Switch)
- Set of 3 Aluminum Heat Sinks for the...
If you have just picked up programming as a hobby or a career, then you will also know that programming is nothing more than just typing text on a document.
Of course, there is the element of debugging and compiling, but this is something even a 20 years old PC can do with relative ease.
Therefore, learning how to code is one of the easiest and cheapest hobby to pickup.
If you do not have a computer at all or if you are looking for a dedicated budget desktop for coding as a beginner, then there is absolutely nothing more famous than a Raspberry Pi.
Raspberry Pi is small enough to fit on your palm yet harbors a full fledged desktop with Linux operating system installed.
The latest Raspberry Pi offers a 1.5 GHz 64 bit Quad Core ARM processor. Recall from earlier that complex program generally utilize multiple cores. With this you would be able to do so.
As far as the RAM is concerned, this is available in 3 different configurations i.e 1 GB, 2GB or 4GB RAM. Again, if you want to design somewhat complex programs, 4 GB is great. On the other hand, if you are a complete newbie, stick with 1 GB or 2 GB RAM
Raspberry Pis are used in schools and even colleges for teaching the basics of programming since they are so cheap to acquire. However, they are designed to handle plenty of complex programs as well.
In short if you came here looking for the cheapest choice to buy for your kid or for yourself as a beginner, then this is certainly one of the best desktops for programming.
You can also learn more about Raspberry Pi from the follow short and fun video.
2. Acer Aspire TC-885-UA91 – All Purpose Core i3 Desktop
- 9th Generation Intel Core i3 9100 Processor...
- 8GB DDR4 Memory, 512GB SSD & 8x DVD Writer...
- 802. 11AC Wi Fi, Gigabit Ethernet LAN &...
- 1 USB 3. 1 Type C Gen 2 port (up to 10 Gaps),...
A desktop with an Intel Core i3 is considered to be the best for all sorts of tasks so long as they are done on a low level.
For general coding, Intel Core i3 is more than ample especially if it hails from the latest 9th generation.
The good thing about this desktop is that it is well within the reach of a beginner, yet it has the capacity to develop fairly complex programs.
Specifically, it offers Intel Core i3-9100 which is a quad core processor with 3.60 GHz clock speed per core. Furthermore, it offers an ample 8 GB of RAM which is just great for multitasking especially if you have multiple emulators open.
Finally, one of the best features that it offers is the 512 GB SSD. As mentioned earlier, SSD is a very important component if your program loads several different files in order to compile.
All in all, we highly recommend this as one of the best desktops for programming who is need of a seamless performance on their low key codes.
3. Acer Aspire TC-885-UA92 – For Advanced Programmers
- 9th Generation Intel Core i5-9400 Processor...
- 12GB DDR4 Memory, 512GB SSD & 8x DVD-Writer...
- 802. 11AC Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet LAN &...
- 1 - USB 3. 1 Type C Gen 2 port (up to 10...
As mentioned earlier, the hardware you choose will depend upon the complexity of the program that you are coding.
Acer Aspire TC-885-UA92 boasts the same chassis as the one above, yet boasts a much better overall hardware configuration inside.
This particular desktop incorporates a hexa core Intel Core i5-9400 processor, which in very simple terms, is a beast for all sorts of programming tasks.
You would particularly be interested in this if you deal with very large programs that have highly complex loops and algorithms that you need rendering quickly.
Besides that, it offers a good 12 GB of RAM and a sufficiently large 512 GB of SSD.
You must note that a system like this is way too advanced for simple programmers. This is for those who program and design at the same time.
All in all, if you have evaluated your program requirements and you want a powerful system, then this is one of the best desktops for programming and coding in 2019.
4. Dell Inspiron i5676-A696Blu – Designing Simple Games
Whether you are student of game development or whether you are a hobbyist seeking to create your own game, you need a fairly capable desktop that offers a dedicated graphics card.
The need for a good graphics card is important not just for game development but for anything that deals with 3D designs, simulations and 3D rendering.
Hence, we have chosen this desktop for beginner game developers who have a limited budget.
This desktop offers an 8 core AMD Ryzen 7 2700 processor, which in terms of performance is almost as great as the Intel Core i7-7700 of the 7th generation.
While the processor does not hail from the latest Ryzen 7 3000 series, it still packs a punch. We have selected this desktop due to the overall performance/value it offers.
Besides a powerful processor, it offers a mid range AMD Radeon RX 580 graphics card, which is equivalent to an NVIDIA GTX 1060 in terms of performance.
In simple terms, it is good enough for most simple games that you may ever develop on engines like unity.
Additionally, it offers a large 16 GB of RAM so that you can render the assets easily as well.
The only drawback of this desktop is that it lacks an SSD. We highly recommend that you upgrade this desktop with an SSD in the future.
All in all, if you want to program a game and you are a beginner, then you need the right type of desktop. In that regard, this is one of the best desktops for programming.
5. Alienware Aurora R7 – For Advanced Game/Software Programmers
- Intel Core i7 8700 (6-Core/12-Thread, 12MB...
- 16GB 2666MHz DDR4 up to [64GB], Dual Channel...
- 2TB 7200 RPM [SATA] (HDD) + 32GB Intel Optane...
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 with 8GB GDDR5X
Finally, we have a desktop that is worthy of creating highly complex software that render 3D graphics as well as high end games.
This is basically a gaming desktop that doubles as an awesome desktop for programmers too.
Unfortunately, this is an expensive machine and therefore, it is not really suited for even intermediate level programmers.
In fact, this may even be an overkill if you develop mobile games since this is a beast with a performance worthy of developing AAA titles for PC.
This desktop offers an Intel Core i7-8700 processor along with 16 GB of RAM, 32 GB of Optane memory, a powerful NVIDIA GTX 1080 with 8 GB GDDR5X and ample 2 TB of HDD operating at 7200 RPM.
If you are considering looking into a desktop this expensive, then you most certainly would know what each and every one of those specs means.
You must be able to point out the fact that GTX 1080 is one of the most powerful graphics card in the market.
Basically, you would already know what you are getting into. The only additional positive thing that I can say regarding this desktop is that the combination of the Intel Core i7-8700 and the NVIDIA GTX 1080 on this desktop is one of the cheapest in the market.
Unfortunately, this too lacks an SSD drive. Upgrading this desktop with an SSD is not a matter of option for hardcore developers and programmers but a matter of necessity.
In the end, this is an expensive machine, however, if your development work requires a beast, then this is one of the best desktops for programming and coding in 2019.
Here we had a look at some of the best desktops for programming and coding currently on the market.
The bottom line here is that the type of desktop you need all depends upon the complexity of the program that you are writing.
If you are writing a simple linear program, then even a basic computer would be able to resolve thousands of lines within seconds.
On the other hand, if you are programming a complex software, algorithm, writing a game etc then you need all the power that you can get from all the components.