My 2017 Web Development Setup (Hardware)

One of the questions I am always asked is what gear I use to develop and what software and IDE I favor. So I thought a good way to start off my blog would be to answer those questions. I am splitting this into two parts, hardware and software. This will focus on hardware with the software portion coming on my next blog post.

My setup is constantly changing and evolving based on the type of project I am working on and the set of tools I need or need to make.

But there are a few items that I favor and always have on hand through out a project cycle.

Currently this is my set up.

Computer: Wild Dog Pro By System 76

Developer Computer

This is my in office computer I chose System 76 because they build high quality computers that are specifically made to run Linux.

Specs
  • Case: Brushed Aluminum
  • Processor: Intel i7 7700k
  • 64GB DDR4 RAM
  • Video Card: 8GB GTX 1070
  • OS: Ubuntu 17.04
  • OS Drive: 500GB NVMe Drive
  • 2nd OS Drive: 500GB NVMe Drive
  • Non OS Drive: 2TB HDD
  • 2nd Non OS Drive 2TB HHD
  • 850 Watt EVGA Power Supply (Upgraded and not stock)

 

Main Monitor: Asus 29in MX299Q Ultra Wide

Web Developer Monitor

I chose this monitor due to its low price and high quality. It is an ultra wide monitor that give plenty of desk top real estate and allows me to efficiently arrange windows all in one screen. I do have two other monitors but they are generic 22inch Asus monitors running at 1080p.

 

Keyboard: Corsair Strafe Mechanical Keyboard

Web Developer Keyboard

The Strafe was a much appreciated upgrade to my dell keyboard that came with an old dell PC I had. Having a good keyboard is essential as we spend so much time coding away on our keyboards, having a good quality keyboard makes a big difference in typing efficiency. The Strafe is backlit, has Cherry Red mechanical switches and is very customizable. The key caps are removable and there are plenty of key cap options. My favorite add on is a custom storm trooper keycap I added on my escape key.

 

Mouse: CM Storm Xornet

web developer mouse

Having a quality mouse is one of the best and easy upgrades you can make to your development setup. As a web developer I some times need to edit graphics in photoshop, and having a precise mouse that can toggle between DPI modes is very important. One of the things you will notice when you upgrade to a performance mouse is that it has some weight to it, this makes navigating with your mouse very precise and you will find it very hard to ever go back to a generic or cheap mouse. I chose the Xornet because it is perfect in weight for my liking, it can change DPI modes on the fly, and the size is perfect for my taste. I like short and wide mice, and have never been a fan of long narrow mice.

 

Laptop: Apple Macbook Pro 13in

web developer laptop

I have never been a big fan of Macbooks and to be honest it was very hard for me to spend the money only to receive medium spec hardware, but I was working on an iOS app and decided to invest in the Macbook Pro. Its a nice laptop but definitely not a powerhouse by any means. With that said I use my Macbook for development when I am not in my home office. If I could go back and get a different laptop I definitely would.

Specs
  • Processor: 2.5Ghz Intel i7
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Hard Drive: 512GB SSD

 

In House Server: HP z600

best server for web developers

This is definitely an optional item but it is very nice to have. I use the Z600 workstation as a staging server. I do all of my development on this server to make sure everything is right before deploying to a demo server so my clients can test out the software, once they give me the ok then I move the software to a live production server. Its nice to have a server in house, you have full control and the server is always available on your local network. To my surprise as servers  age they really go down in value and I was able to score this server/workstation on ebay for about $200.

Specs
  • Processor: Two 6 Core Xeon Processors
  • RAM: 24GB
  • Hard Drive: 1TB HDD
  • Hard Drive 2: 1TB HHD
  • OS: Ubuntu Server

 

Future Purchase: System 76 Kudu 17in Laptop

This is what I consider the best web development laptop currently on the market for the price. Sure System 76 makes more powerful models but for just $999 you get a powerhouse of a laptop. I have been eyeing this laptop for a while and intend on making this my new portable workstation. You can check out the Kudu and the rest of System 76 lineup by visiting their website www.System76.com

Specs
  • Processor: Intel i7 7700HQ (4 cores/8 threads)
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Hard Drive: 256 NVMe drive
  • Hard Drive 2: 1TB HHD
  • OS: Ubuntu 17.04