Laptop for scientific computing ($1500 budget)


Sep 20, 2013
I am a postdoctoral researcher working on optimization of electric power systems. I routinely have to solve what I would term "medium-scale" (i.e., minutes to an hour of computing time) and "large-scale" problems (i.e., hours to days of computing time). For large-scale problems, my university has plenty of high-performance computing options available. I would like to buy a laptop that can handle medium-scale problems so I can work more efficiently, especially while traveling.

I have a budget of approximately $1500, although I may be able to surpass that if there is a significant performance increase available at a somewhat higher price. The problems I investigate often require significant amounts of RAM and processing power (although hard drive storage is not a major issue). Many of the problems of interest can be parallelized, so multiple core processors are potentially useful. I most commonly use MATLAB for developing research-grade code.

Many high-end laptops seem to be primarily for gaming. While I would use the performance of a gaming laptop, I don't need features like a high resolution screen or an advanced graphics card (although future work in GPU computing may be interesting, but not something I am currently working on). While performance is my major concern, I am of course still interested in all the typical characteristics of a laptop (battery life, weight, size, etc.) as I will be traveling quite often in the future.

I would greatly appreciate any advice on a laptop that would suit my needs. Thank you!


Dec 17, 2012
i would suggest you get yourself any high end i7 laptop... granted they're mostly for gaming but then gaming laptops have all the high end processing power for a reason.

that said a high end ultrabook is probably what you're looking for... though after looking around i see your basic problem.

here is the best sub 1500 laptop i could find that probably meets your needs. its a gaming laptop but that said it seems to fit the bill for what you need so i think you can overlook that small defect :D