Android Studio Laptop

Atreb

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Jul 12, 2013
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I need to purchase for university a laptop to develop android apps on during lessons since the pc we have in our classes aren't good enought to handle android studio decently so i'm looking for a second hand computer to get the job done without spending too much money on it. My main issue is not knowing the "Optimal" performance to look up for android studio + AVD usage while staying in my budget, first of all is how much ram should i be looking for? Will 8GB be good enought or i need the extra stretch for 16GB? As for CPU i have two choices, going for older (2011-2012) i7 but with more core/threads (example i7 2630QM 4/8) or would a more recent CPU do the job better (i7 4500U 2/4), will android studio benefit more from single core performance over multi thread? As for the OS i will probably go with a Linux distro installed on an SSD + HDD (will remove DVD drive). Thank you very much for your help
 

velo3100

Splendid
Moderator
I would recommend a quad core cpu like the 2nd gen i7 as this will make a difference to the compile times when you are making complicated code. If you are just learning the basics and don't have more than 1000 lines of code the dual core should be enough. As for ram, this will depend on how complex the apps are.
 

atljsf

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Jun 17, 2015
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8 gb is a good start

the more the better but some apps will not use over 10 - 12 gbs, this one seems that might use all ram available

the i7 2630qm is 4 cores and 8 threads, like a good cheap desktop i7

the 4500 u is a 2 cores and 4 threads, 2 cores, slow cores, for most things it will feel like a slow i5 or a i3, not a good cpu, at least form my personal experience using similar and newer i5 and i7 u series cpus

about the ssd and hard disk, is it possible on the laptop to put both? sometimes is only possible to put one, so a 240gb ssd and a good external solution could be better/viable

one thing to remember, or at least have in mind when using it is that the qm is a power hungry cpu, under load will drain battery on 2 hours, if it is a old laptop, the battery might be already dead so you might need a new battery
 

Atreb

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Jul 12, 2013
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i'm planning to use a DVD caddy to HDD 2.5" adapter to get my second drive in there, as for CPU main issue is to figure out how android studio works in multi thread, if the benefit is worth taking the older CPU (price difference is almost the same, the i7 4500U is the cheapest option atm). As for power i don't really care the battery drain, will be mostly using it with the power cable so i just need it to survive while moving around.
 

atljsf

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Jun 17, 2015
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if the battery is not a concern, the cpu is, the single core on the older cpu will be faster than the u series because it has more cache and is a gaming cpu, it is meant to be used hard, not to save battery like the u series

i will put it this way, i wouldn't buy a u series cpu for serious work, it is a light cpu for office and web browsing, not for content creatin

but perhaps if you use it and install the suite in it and find it usable enough, it could be what you need

one thing is certain,. it will be more silent than the other i7, since it is menat to save battery, it runs cool and uses very little the fan on the laptop
 

Atreb

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Jul 12, 2013
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Well, i'm not planning to stress it that much anyway so loudness isn't an issue either i guess. Just need to figure out if it's worth taking the risk of an older CPU (might die earlyer than the newer one) and the little extra cost for the benefits in android studio
 

atljsf

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Jun 17, 2015
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the cpu itself, die for that reason? not that common, the mainboard can die when is old, yes

if your concern is also related to that, try to find another cpu with 4 cores but not that old, even there is some new ones, what prices are you seeing on those used models?
 

velo3100

Splendid
Moderator
I would recommend a quad core cpu like the 2nd gen i7 as this will make a difference to the compile times when you are making complicated code. If you are just learning the basics and don't have more than 1000 lines of code the dual core should be enough. As for ram, this will depend on how complex the apps are.
 
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