What kind of hardware do you guys like to use for programming purposes?

Hello all,

I’m thinking about building a new computer, and I’ve been doing some research into what I should get. I’ve noticed some comments on the web talking about using “workstation” builds like Xeon processors and ECC memory? Is that something that people recommend, or will anything do well?

I also had read a little that apparently overclocking your CPU could affect the compiling of our code, since the CPU is “unstable.”

I’m curious if this issue happens with Java/JVM, or could it happen with most of the programming languages? If so, which languages wouldn’t be affected? Would web languages have issues as well? I would assume HTML since it’s not a programming language, but what about Javascript and such?

I did read that error correction and such has gotten a lot better in recent years, but I’m curious what people here think?

It seems that you want the most stable computer as possible, but again not sure if that’s language specific or…?

Thanks for any advice :slight_smile:

So your question is about overclocking the CPU? My answer is, Yes of course, do it knowing the risks. But it doesn’t have to make your setup unstable, the contrary really, it’d be stupid to have a unstable PC for just a few extra cycles.
To overclock you need to invest a little more in quality hardware (Good cooler, good power supply, good motherboard) and do a lot or reading to know what are you doing and evaluate the gains (speed) vs the losses (power consumption, heat, component stress).
And specially a lot of experimenting; bump the clock a little bit, test for stability (e.g. 10+ hs of stress test), check temperatures are safe, repeat…

I used to overclock (before using a laptop), but it was just for fun and making my not so new hardware last a little more time.
If all you care is speed for compiling, just buy a faster CPU and a SSD and save your time, use it for what you really want.

In my opinion the most important components are those you directly interact with, display and keyboard. A good keyboard is priceless, I still use a 1987 Model M at home and a Cherry MX switch based one at work.

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Thanks for the tips. I just wanted to know what hardware is best for programming, and if overclocking would mess with compiling our projects and mess with values? This is the claim of someone saying that the binary data could be messed up when it compiles to those 1’s and 0’s or whatnot.

I’m not sure how much it matters these days though.

That’s why I’m asking about the Xeon processors and workstation motherboards, and if they are better for the task. I’ve seen some recommend them, and some recommend regular gear.

I definitely need a new keyboard, i;'ve been using this cheap keyboard for awhile now, after my Logitech broke.

I was looking at this 300$ Ergo keyboard with keys inwards, Cherry keys I believe too.

I would like something with MX browns, or whichever is silent, but decent feedback. IT seems reds are very light, so I’m not sure if I would like that… Is there a way to test them out I wondedR? Not sure if stores sell them like Best Buy…

I have a decent monitor now, was looking into a 4k Monitor. Currrently I’m using my monitor in the “portrait” position… SOO MUCH BETTER!

Thanks :slight_smile:

I would say it’s not worth getting a Xeon based CPU and ECC RAM for a normal workstation unless you have the extra cash to splash in which case Xeon could be nice :wink:

In whatever case people might tell you it’s more important to be able to run fast on a single core rather than slower but many cores when it comes to running games as your CPU usually ends up bottlenecking the data flow to the GPU. Either way I’d say 16 Gb RAM at least and at least a Core i5 equivalent CPU and you’ll be good. Then of course you’ll need a GPU as well but there are plenty you can get for not too bad a price these days, but get the best you can afford essentially.

Personally I have a Core i7 overclocked to 4.8Ghz running perfectly stable, wherever you’ve heard you get issues with compilation, it’s all a myth. If you get any issues when overclocking then you should tune it back down a bit again until your system is stable.

I do agree with @xuan, get a nice keyboard, mouse, office chair and make sure you have your monitors at the correct height/level. A good foot support might be a nice idea as well :smiley:

I have a 4K monitor and I must say I like the way I can see more of the code on the screen now though. Totally worth it, make sure it runs 4K @ 60Hz at least though.

I have 3 Full HD monitors - which is not only good for car racing games, but also for putting several things to the left and right of the middle (where my main action happens when coding).
Two monitors are also good, but three are better (you don’t have an edge split in the middle then).
CPU is not overclocked, but still fast enough.
SSD and suspend to disk are my friends.

If you did it incorrectly your computer will hang or you’ll end up with a corrupted file. It means you didn’t properly test your setup before. My advise is forget about overclocking, you won’t see any noticeable difference in programming really, maybe for playing games you’ll get some extra fps’.

I think RAM is much more important that CPU, get as much RAM as possible, you’ll be switching windows between many programs open at the same time.

That’s a personal decision, reds are linear which I don’t like for typing but some people do. Browns are nice they have some tactile feedback but are also light, I personally like noisy ones best. There’re some switch testers not very expensive.
If you’re considering non classical configurations, take a look at Ultimate Hacking Keyboard project, seems promising.

The worst possible one :stuck_out_tongue:

So this way i know everyone should be able to run the game xD

From what I’ve seen I could put together a nice computer with a C226 Chipset, and a Xeon V3.

I don’t play games, so it’s just for programming and JME.

Thanks for the information, and yeah I need to get a better setup for sure. Just got a new chair, and turned my monitor into portrait, but it’s a bit low on the bottom, so I think I’m gogn to raise it :).

I have a pretty nice ergo mouse though, it’s called “HandShoe Mouse” :)))))))))))))))))))))))

I wanted 4K for that reason, but this portrait monitor is awesome! Granted I fiugred 4k @30 or so inches isn’t that big in reality, especially if it’s 4x 1080p resolution…

So you don’t think a Xeon setup would be good, and that I should just go with a regular setup…??

Ugh all this stuff is skfhasdjkfhasdjkf…

I don’t want to overclock, just curious about any potential part of my system being not cool for what we are doing.

and if the workstation hardware would be better.

I’m not sure how much ram I should get, 8 I can get to 90% usage, so I wanted at leasdt 16, but figured 16 would be good enough…

I’ll check out the links, thanks :smile:

That’s what my old laptop is for.

Testing is one thing, programming is another.

Your best bet is to max cores and RAM. That will give you the most day to day benefit.

I use 6 core AMD Phenom blacks here. I like AMD because you can get a lot of good cores for the money. I custom built these workstations for about $800 5 years ago… and the $220 GPU was the most expensive part. When my kids and I built their computers last year for our basement lab, I think we got 8 core AMDs and still paid about $200 for the graphics card (my sweet spot) and those were down around $600 or so.

Many cores. Lots of RAM… and an SSD hard drive if you can swing it. If not, go with a RAID-0 configuration. You will be happy with fast drives.

So how much ram do you think will be good? It’s interesting to hear all the different comments. I was thining 16 would be enough, but It’s good to hear from others.

So you think an AMD cpu would be better than an intel???

I wouldn’t think I would need that many cores unless I was working on multi-threading, which I haven’t really done much of for my JME projects yet… But I think I’m going to need some.

I’m just not sure how it spreads the workload and such to the cores.

I also hear that in a 4 core setup, that if you’re gaming 2 cores would be for the game, 1 for windows, and 1 for other stuff, but I’m not 100% on that, just what I heard…

GOing from i5’s, to Xeons, to AMDs… :frowning: idk wtf to do LOL…


Thanks for the help :slight_smile:

Also,… I laughed when you said AMD, since in the other thread about GPUs you were against them… Even though Technically it was ATI originally, and I guess they merged…?

Thanks :slight_smile:

AMD bought ATI and that’s the only reason they are even usable.

I buy AMD CPUs because I can get more cores for the same money.

My own games tend to use at least 3 cores or more… but that’s beside the point. When you compile (ie: what a developer does a LOT) you are maxing at least one core. Meanwhile your OS is trying to do its thing, JME SDK is trying to scan background projects for the 50th time in the last minute, your web browser is idling reloading ads on some page, etc…

Never mind the fact that when I build with something like gradle, I actually get multi-threaded builds.

More cores = never having to wait.

So essentially the compile takes out 1 core, JME’s background scan will do it’s own thing in another, OS is doing it’s thing, and everything else is trying to utilize the cores/threads.

So more is better for what we do regardless of what it is we are doing?

IS there a specific way you say to use more than 1 core, or it’s all about the thread amounts? If you have 4 cores, with 8 threads, and you use 6 threads, that would mean the 3 cores or…???

So the faster cores, and less of them wouldn’t matter as much, because compiling is going to eat the crap out of the core regardless…???

Why does JME background check so many times? :stuck_out_tongue:

So with Gradle, the build process is setup to utilize multiple threads? Haven’t touched Gradle, that’s similar to Ant and Maven right? I just build with the normal stuff, but not too sure what benefits certain build tools do that would benefit us…


Thanks for the help…

So would going an octa-core AMD be the best choice?

Why do people like Intel so much then? The processors seem to be faster and such, so I’m curious what the tradeoff is.

So more cores will always be better then? Even with the tradeoff of speed?

hmm… :frowning:

Don’t fill the boy head with lies.

More cores come in handy only if the program is multi threaded. or for muli tasking like gaming + streaming but not by much. More cores would come in handy for programming if the compiler can take advantage of all the cores.
Amd also uses on the fx-8350, 4 logical cores and 4 physical cores. This is just like Intel hyper threading.

If you are looking for something to use with jmonkey then i would recommend and amd cpu as i get about double the performance vs my intel.

The other protip i can offer is wait till next year to get a new pc if you can. Its when the new graphics cards are coming out that should be leaps and bounds faster than what we have now. Also the new AM4 socket comes out from amd and building a pc now would make you behind by mid next year.

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Damn lots of info, thanks.

I use JMonkey and Netbeans mostly. I do JME game programming, Web Programming, and some other things using Java and the JVM.

I heard the new GPUs are coming out, so I was going to wait for that, but if you think that I should wait overall, maybe I should…

TBh I wanted to build a little something now, and then convert this new system into an HTPC, and then build another one, but this laptop I’m on is just old…

So AMD better than Intel… It’s funny these comments vs other ones I see where everyone wants Intel…

I guess it’s just what we are using it for…

I want to start getting more into multi-threading, but really haven’t seen the need for it in a lot of things, but am looking to use it for JME possibly, depending on a few things.

What do people like to split into multiple threads, or is it really just a case of “if it’s too slow, split it?”

I’ve also read that if you use too many cores, you could actually impact performance, as someone claimed adding a core is a lot of overhead… But not too sure about that since it doesn’t seem to make sense, but I guess if you’re using all 8 threads, when you’re doing some basic crap, it will cause things to slow down, then if you used 1 thread…

Thoughts on if I should just builf this HTPC now and then a new one next year or so, or…?

Should I still go AMD? All of this is so back and forth lol!

Thanks for the help :slight_smile:

Seems like you need a computer sience crash course.
Here is something to start with: Amdahl's law - Wikipedia

Every thread can potentially take a core. Mythruna even expands to use a thread pool with as many threads as there are cores. Even then, it has one thread for rendering, one thread for game logic, one thread for physics, and n-threads for mesh generation/paging. Most of the games that I’ve made have at least two threads but usually three. ie: would nicely use 3 cores.

But even for day-to-day use, more cores is better especially for developers. Trying coding with one core sometime and you will see what I mean about “never having to wait”. “Gee, I think I’ll load that web page while this compile is going… NOPE!”

The ANT builds in the SDK only use one thread… but they pretty much max out the core they are using.

I have never been unhappy with more cores. 4 is the minimum I would go with… but I prefer 6 to 8 for software development. I like an operating system that can actually multitask because it’s not starving for CPU time.

Thanks for the good info, much appreciated.

WOuld a dual CPU setup be good then, or it’s probably best to just get a single CPU for the price, or…?

That’s more of a preference thing, I guess.

I go with whatever option gives me the most cores for the $$$… motherboard included.

Should buy me two of those 24 core Xeons, and a dual cpu mb :))))))))))))))))

spend lke 30k on a setup :slight_smile:

I guess I’ll look at my choices… SO you don’t think a Workstation Intel setup would be preferred then? ECC memory and all that?

I shouldn’t get overclocked memory either then? Just keep everything nice and normal? :slight_smile:

Member above says he OCs with no issues, so just wanted to make sure that this is a “myth” or not, as mentioned above…


I’ve never overclocked my boxes. The small gain never seemed worth it.

Buy quality RAM. Brand name. Corsair, Kensington, etc… And make sure to buy the right RAM for the system specs. You will have a hundred almost superstitious level stability issues if you don’t.

Also, don’t skimp on the PSU. It’s the one thing that can slowly eat all of your other components. <–from experience.

Pick a price you can afford, subtract a decent PSU, some decent RAM, etc. then get the most cores you can with what’s left.

…if you are building it yourself. Else I have no specific advice other than maybe prayer (never hurts).