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I have an ASUS Pentium-R Dual Core CPU running at 2.20Ghz. It has 4 gb of built in ram, currently running a 64 bit Windows 7 . I just started graduate school and Im wondering whether I should go in for a new laptop or just repair the nagging battery on my current one. My requirements include - -Ability to support IDE's - I may end up running Eclipse, Visual Studio's and the like to help with my work. - Ability to run multiple VM's (not concurrently). Im currently running a Ubuntu 12 and 9 as VM's (not sure if this is overloading the system) - I'm a non gamer so I really dont care about a minor glitch caused by running a uber heavy game. -In addition I will have heavy use of Office Application Software and will be using my computer to watch movies and stream media.

Looking forward to your replies and suggestions!

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closed as too localized by Hennes, Shinrai, slhck Sep 5 '12 at 20:35

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1) This feels like a shopping question (albeit unspecific: should I shop or not). 2) It can not be answered with yes or no, but with opinions. –  Hennes Sep 5 '12 at 20:20
    
Yes, it's sufficient. –  Daniel R Hicks Sep 5 '12 at 20:22
    
@Hennes,@Shinrai,@slhck. Im trying to understand the capabilities of my current computer, rather than look to shop around :-) –  KodeSeeker Sep 5 '12 at 21:22
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A generic laptop like this should be fine for anything except for very modern games. It is likely to get hot if loaded to 100% CPU for hours at a time and disk IO in laptops is generally slow. If you find it to slow then I suggest a newer laptop or a desktop (same price desktops are generally a lot faster). An alternative is a SSD which speeds up the laptop and which can be transferred to a new machine whenever you upgrade. The point as when and what you do is something which only you, your purse and the patience you have (read: do you find the system slow or not) will determine. –  Hennes Sep 5 '12 at 21:39
    
@Hennes: Thank you, that pretty much summed it up ! I havent found my system slowing down yet, but my question was more or less prompted by seeing i5's and i7's around me, which put me in doubt as to whether my system was antiquated(read as useless). Oh well, thanks again. –  KodeSeeker Sep 5 '12 at 21:52

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

In short, yes, though it may be painful. 4GB of RAM is a tight tolerance to run an OS, (?several) IDEs and several VMs concurrently. When I had 4GB in my MacBook Pro, there was a very real performance hit when I had more than one VM open at a time and I was trying to dev work. If you can upgrade your RAM further, max it out. RAM is cheap.

Another problem you may run into is disk IO. If you're doing a large/long compile and your VMs are doing some heavy disk IO, your laptop is going to slow to a crawl. Laptops aren't known for their disk throughput. An SSD will help a lot in alleviating this problem.

CPU isn't so much of a problem. More cores is better though, especially with lots of VMs.

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I dont think Id be running the VM's concurrently. Sorry but I implied that earlier, I've edited the question –  KodeSeeker Sep 5 '12 at 21:21

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