What kind of computer should I buy?
Let’s get this one out of the way. Your purchase should be tailored to your specific needs. For a great simple user experience I suggest Apple and MacBook products. Their trackpad and keyboard are simply the best. The Mac OS is easy to learn and I much prefer using the terminal on it. If you’re going to do any professional work, like computer graphics and animations, you’re going to want to build your own PC. The rendering time is not comparable.
What equipment does a Software Engineer & Digital Artist use?
At Home: Custom Built Desktops
I’ve got many computers, and they all have different purposes. When I started developing Virtual Reality experiences in 2016 I built a custom computer which I continue to modify and use for development today. A year later I was building cryptocurrency mining rigs which I now use for rendering complex animations. Below are the parts I’ve used in my builds.
I currently use:
VR Computer Parts List
I like the white and black look with the RGB set up.
Render Rig/ Mining Rig Parts List
For Mobile Graphics Power
I try to travel as often as I can. There are so many beautiful places in the world that offer inspiration. The laptop I choose to carry around the world with me is the MSI GS63VR Stealth (until Apple releases a MacBook that can run VR)
I picked this machine because it was the best laptop I could find for running Virtual Reality. My alternatives would have been bringing a desktop computer or a 10lb laptop. At the time I was working at the State Farm HQ in Atlanta, GA and one of my extra assignments was to be the Technical Liaison to Lanier High School. Before purchasing this laptop I was testing the Razer Blade and brought it to the high school for “Dev Day” with my junior developers.
Would you believe the Blade laptop fried the graphics card as we were setting up! The Blade couldn’t handle the heat from the graphics card. The entire laptop got up to over 200 degrees Celsius. Nothing like telling 40 eager eyed high schoolers that they won’t be playing with the Oculus Rift they’d been eyeing during our intro. I immediately returned the Blade and got this MSI. This machine rocks. It will run Virtual Reality for hours without getting hot. The 1060 graphics card and 16gb of DDR4 ram will have your animations rendering quickly. The cooling on this machine is really incredible. There have been a few times that I’ve actually turned the fans up to cool myself down in a warm coffee shop.
If Apple could get their laptops to run VR then I would have a MacBook. Maybe next year they’ll catch up. I absolutely love the trackpad and keyboard on the Apple products. The Mac OS is based on a Linux kernel so it also makes developing easier in many situations.