Laptop Specs For Hobby 3D Game Development - Any Advice?

Hello :smile:

I used to develop hobby games in the stone age on an Amiga 500. I haven’t had much to do with computers since then but discovering PlayCanvas (and and Ohm Studio) has revived my interest.

I’m currently using a Dell Inspiron 9400 which was lent to me by a friend to learn html, javascript, css, php etc for general web dev stuff and it’s been fine for that but it struggles with WebGL and 3D modelling tasks generally.

I’m going to buy a new laptop and thought I’d ask for some advice from people here that are more experienced in contemporary 3D modelling and WebGL based games development as to a suitably specced laptop to buy.

Thanks for reading and for any advice.

I have a 4 year old Dell Precision M4500 mobile workstation. And it still runs PlayCanvas really well! I’ve always bought Dell laptops personally. They last an age and are supported really well with software updates. My next lappy will probably be one of these:

Although it is a little on the pricey side. Awesome build quality and spec though. The fact is, everyone will give you a different answer, but, yeah, that’s my choice.

Thanks for the link. The spec looks good. It’s quite expensive for a hobbyist but maybe worth the investment. How do you think it would cope with 3D modelling etc using

It will be amazing for that. The Precision line is specifically designed for 3D content creation (Max, Maya, etc). Historically, the line has had video drivers optimized for those kinds of apps. As I say, it’s a high end laptop and you could get something a fair bit cheaper but still well specced. Also, check out the Alienware line from Dell (they acquired them a few years back).

They’re more geared towards gamers than content creators, but they have awesome 3D capabilities.

Hi Will.

If you are in UK, then I highly recommend those guys:
I’ve bought more than 10 laptops of different configurations from them for people I know as well as for myself few times.

Always left very happy with their great personal support and quality.

So there you have ability to choose actual chasis, and the components. If you want to invest in 4+ years and a good hardware, I do recommend to look for something above 900 pounds. Indeed it is not cheap option, but that is long-term investment.

In fact, today for development and learning even laptop for 300 pounds will do the job, but you probably want a good experience, rather than normal consumer one.

I recommend 15 inch if you move around and 17 inch if you mostly in one place (home, office etc). If you don’t move at all, then actual PC is the best option and is way more flexible in terms of hardware.
Then you probably want good speed 8Gb of ram and normal Nvidia Graphics Card. Pay attention to CPU, use to find models and compare them. Sometimes never models are cheaper and more powerful than one year old ones (depends of course, but benchmarks is best way to check).
Most important is SSD for general use, why? Because it speeds up dramatically loading speeds and general usage in most aspects of system. What you can have is SSD (240Gb way enough) for system, software and important frequently accessed stuff, and instead of CD drive you can have another HDD for something like 1Tb for storage, games, downloads etc.
This sort of build lasts very long and is pleasure to work with.

I have this chasis, very solid:

Those guys have great service - they build and test the rig for you, and then they replace parts for years based on warranty. I always had great and very quick responses from them and few replaces when there was even partly problem cause - the user rather than hardware (dropped laptop - burned HDD).


Thank you Max. I have been looking at pcspecialists after reading your post and it’s always good to get an impartial recommend.

So I just bought a laptop from PC Specialist as Max recommends. It was a tough choice to break from Dell, but when I saw that I could get a far more powerful machine for less money, I couldn’t resist. It should take a week to build and be delivered by I’ll follow up when I’ve had some time to evaluate it.