At home I have a desktop computer that I use mainly for games. Well, one specific game anyway. For everything else, I use my laptop at home (a Pentium III 850 with 256 megs of RAM) or my laptop from work (a Pentium III 900 with 512 megs of RAM). The game PC has 512 megs of DDR RAM and an Athlon XP 1800 (which is like 1500mhz or thereabouts). Anyway, recently I’ve needed to do some Java development at home, and the home laptop just doesn’t have enough RAM to run Eclipse the way I’d like it to be run. What I’ve discovered, though, is that my desktop PC, for standard development tasks, is astoundingly faster than my work laptop for just about everything.
It has a better video card, a faster processor, faster RAM, a bigger, faster hard drive and on and on and on. I could replace the whole thing for about five or six hundred bucks, and tack on a good 17″ LCD for another $400 or so. I realize that we’re in the midst of the laptop revolution, but the bang for the buck you get from desktops is just absurd. When I see Ant scripts that take 30 seconds to run on my work laptop run in 8 seconds on my dirt cheap self-assembled desktop PC, I wonder if we haven’t taken this portable thing a bit too far.