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Best Desktop Computer for Programming and Coding
April 28, 2021
Reading time: 7 minutes
Whether you are an advanced programmer with years of experience or just beginning your career, it’s crucial that you have the proper tools for your job. And that starts with the right computer.
When choosing the right coding desktop computer for your needs, there are a handful of important factors to keep in mind, including the amount of RAM and type of storage. To help you find the best PC for programming, we’ll explain the essential components you’ll want to include, and then provide a list of the top available options from HP.
When evaluating the best coding desktop PCs out there, it’s important to understand the components you need as well as the level of power to prioritize.
1. CPU (central processing unit)
When selecting a CPU for your new desktop PC, you need one that can deliver serious computing power. For programming purposes, you want to start with at least an 8th Generation Intel® i7 processor or an AMD Ryzen™ 5000 series processor.
2. GPU (graphical processing unit)
Unless you use CUDA acceleration technology, your programming tasks won’t require a GPU at the level of a top-tier gaming PC. Instead, you can get the job done with a modern midrange GPU from the NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX series and AMD Radeon™ series.
3. SSD (solid-state drive)
When you’re working on complex tasks such as programming, you don’t want to worry about any part of your PC slowing you down – and that includes your storage. That’s why we recommend that you choose a solid-state drive (SSD) to keep your system nice and speedy. Using an SSD will make every operation on your PC faster, from compiling code to launching applications and projects.
You also want to make sure you have enough internal storage available. Consider investing in at least a 256GB SSD, though a 512GB SSD is even better. This will give you top-tier performance while guaranteeing you have enough room for coding projects. Also, consider a hybrid storage solution to get more bang for your buck.
4. RAM (random access memory)
Aim for at least 16GB of memory as a baseline. This offers a great amount of capacity and gives you the flexibility to run several applications at once without slowdown. However, if you need to run more heavy-duty applications specific to your work, you may want to upgrade to 32GB of RAM.
5 best desktops for programming
Once you know the specs you need, you can feel more confident about choosing a new desktop PC. To make your search a bit easier, we’ve put together this list of the 5 best computers for coding and programming from HP.
1. HP Z4 G4 workstation – highly secure powerhouse
The HP Z4 G4 workstation is one of the most customizable desktops on the market. It also boasts excellent performance and precision components. Chief among them is the upgradeable Intel Xeon® W-2123 processor, which will meet all your coding and programming needs while delivering high-quality processing for mobile device development and web development.
Along with its many customizable specs, the HP Z4 G4 workstation features unparalleled security features. These safety measures are necessary for any programmers who work in highly secure fields such as cybersecurity and data protection.
All HP Z workstations include HP ProtectTools security, which makes it difficult for hackers to access key areas of the system such as the BIOS and storage device. It also automatically heals the BIOS in the case of a disruption, such as a system degradation or a power spike.
Upgradeable Intel Xeon W-2123 processor
Upgradeable NVIDIA Quadro® P400 graphics card
3 years parts, 3 years labor, and 3 years onsite service (3-3-3) standard limited warranty
Upgradeable 256GB HP Z Turbo Drive Dual Pro TLC SSD
HP ProtectTools Security; HP Remote Graphics Software (RGS) software
ENERGY STAR® qualified configuration
2. HP OMEN 30L desktop GT13-0395xt PC – for coders who game
The HP OMEN 30L desktop GT13-0395xt PC is more than just an amazing gaming desktop; it’s also one of the best PCs for game development and app programming. With a sleek chassis featuring tempered glass front and side panels, a full-metal frame, and complete RGB control, this computer lets you program in style.
But style meets substances thanks to the Intel Core™ i9-10850K processor that packs a real punch. This machine also includes a 512GB WD Black PCIe® NVMe™ TLC M.2 SSD and HyperX® 16GB DDR4-3200 XMP RGB MHz RAM, so you’ll complete tasks faster than ever.
While a gaming desktop may seem like overkill for programming, it’s ideal if you perform computation-heavy tasks or if you’re involved with CUDA acceleration. And if you’re a gamer? What better way to enjoy your favorite hobby after hours.
3. HP EliteDesk 805 G6 small form factor PC – big things in a tiny package
HP EliteDesk 805 G6 small form factor PC is built for the modern workspace with its small form factor and robust processing power. You’ll find an AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 4750G under the hood of this tiny computer, which is more than capable of handling big workloads while barely taking up any space in your office.
Along with its excellent processor, this small form factor PC is loaded with a 512GB PCIe NVMe TLC M.2 SSD and 16GB DDR4-3200 of SDRAM. You’ll also find notable security options and HP Noise Cancellation software, which allows for better audio tuning.
AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 4750G processor
Small form factor: 3.84 x 10.63 x 11.93 inches
512GB PCIe NVMe TLC M.2 SSD
16GB DDR4-3200 SDRAM
HP Noise Cancellation software
ENERGY STAR certified
4. HP Z2 small form factor G5 workstation – serious power that fits anywhere
The HP Z2 small form factor G5 workstation is another incredibly compact device with neck-breaking power. Like all HP Z workstations, you can customize just about every element of this device. This is perfect for those who need to meet very specific needs but are also on a budget, because the HP Z2 is surprisingly affordable.
If needed, you can upgrade to up to 128GB of RAM along with a 2TB HP Z Turbo Drive M.2 PCIe TLC SSD and Intel Core i9-10900K processor. However, this is likely beyond what you’ll need, and there are many upgradable options between the minimum and maximum possible components.
The HP Z2 has advanced security features, too, which is essential for any device being used for programming. These include a self-healing BIOS and HP Pro Security Edition software, which locks down your device and keeps your data safe.
Upgradeable Intel Core i3-10100 processor
Small form factor: 13.3 x 12.1 x 3.95 inches
Upgradeable 256GB M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe TLC SSD
Upgradeable NVIDIA Quadro P400 graphics card
HP Pro Security Edition software
ENERGY STAR certified
5. HP Pavilion desktop TP01-1065z – programming on a budget
The HP Pavilion desktop TP01-1065z blends great performance with an affordable checkout price. And it doesn’t hurt that the sleek silver chassis will look sharp in any workspace. With its AMD Ryzen 5 4600G processor and a 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD, this machine is more than capable of running midrange programming tasks with ease.
The HP Pavilion desktop also comes with an integrated 3-in-1 memory card reader and a DVD writer optical drive, a rare feature in PCs these days. It’s extremely useful for legacy programs that you may need to boot up by disc, and it may save you the time and effort it takes to set up a virtual drive. Plus, this device is energy efficient, so you may see cost savings on your energy bill.
AMD Ryzen 5 4600G processor
16GB DDR4-3200 SDRAM
256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
DVD writer optical driver
3-in-1 memory card reader
ENERGY STAR certified; EPEAT® Silver registered
The best computer for programming is the one that meets your technical needs along with your budget. We kept those concerns in mind when building our list, which features premium powerhouses like the HP Z4 G4 workstation, mid-range machines like the HP EliteDesk 805 G6 small form factor PC, and budget-friendly options like the HP Pavilion desktop.
Whichever option you choose from our list, you can feel confident that it has the processor, GPU, RAM, and storage necessary to compute complex tasks without any slowdown for all your programming needs.
About the Author: Daniel Horowitz is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Daniel is a New York-based author and has written for publications such as USA Today, Digital Trends, Unwinnable Magazine, and many other media outlets.
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