Laptop Configuration

Hello! everyone. I am rather having a unique doubt, I hope the admins will help me out on this.

I am a doctoral student and planning to purchase a laptop primarily to process sentinel 1(SAR) images in SNAP software.

Should I go with a Rhyzen 4800H 8core upto 4.2GHz CPU or a i7 9750H 6core upto 4.5GHz CPU , the other aspects such as RAM, GPU , SSD being common?

Will the number of cores play a major role or the clock speed while processing the images?

I didn’t receive answers from my friends and colleagues so thought maybe the admins or anybody who has an experience of processing images from this forum can help me out please.

Also how important is the role of graphics card, will a 4GB GPU suffice with 24gigs of RAM ?


GPU is not important, buy as much RAM as you can (it gives you options for playing with ramdisk for example) and as fast an SSD as possible. Not fully sure about the CPU but I’d bet more cores beats a relatively minor difference in GHz.

Remote sensing is often I/O bound. With a single drive you are always reading and writing on the same disk. With enough RAM you can avoid writing intermediate files to a drive. Get a high performance SSD and as much RAM as the system can take. You can get high performance external drive arrays. Many jobs can take advantage of multiple CPU cores, but cooling in laptops may result in the CPU’s running at less than the top speed, so a CPU with lower clock speed and power consumption often matches the performance of more expensive CPU’s. Note that many published benchmarks are too short to see the impact of CPU throttling.

If your system is going to be running jobs with long run times (and is in an area with reliable power), you lose the benefits of a laptop. You might be better off with a desktop (more powerful cooling, more options for drives, more space for RAM) together with a tablet or lightweight laptop for use while the desktop is processing. If power is unreliable the laptop may be a better choice.