5 Best Laptops For QuickBooks 2023 (November)

The problem with QuickBooks is that…

Due to the core code not being optimized well, loading bars and waiting is something every user has to go through regardless of hardware.

That’s right..

That means even if you spend a lot of money on hardware, you won’t eliminate loading bars. 

Thus….

The best laptop for quickbooks should make loading bars ‘load’ almost INSTANTANEOUSLY even if you open and save changes on very large database files.
You should be able to get the same performacne whether you run QuickBooks as a single user or through a network.

In this post…

We’ll not only list the best laptops for quickboks but also teach you what you need to optimize (in terms hardware) to reduce the software’s tendency to run slow.

How is this info useful? Well, you can get the best bang for your buck, in other words. This knowledge will help you choose exactly the power you need WITHOUT overspending money.

Recommended Laptop Specs for QuickBooks

Now if you’re budget is high…

Then by all means just grab one of the latest Core i5 or Ryzen 5 laptops and you shoudl be running the software at nearly the same speed. Although I’d advice you to keep reading this post because a laptop for software like QuickBooks is more than just power (it’s also about ergonomics aka display, keyboard, etc). 

Back to hardware…

It’s not really about CPU power or graphics card but mostly about RAM & Storage speed.

Q: So CPU isn’t important at all? 

Well it is…but you see most CPUs released within the past 3-4 years are equally fast for QUICKBOOKS. The latest ones may help increase peformance in video editing and gaming, etc, but they’re all plenty fast for quickbooks.

The main bottleneck….

The becomes how fast you can fetch data….

And since QuickBooks is a database applications…then increasing bandwidth (speed at which data can be retrieved) is the most efficient way to increase performance. You can increase bandwidth through upping RAM & Storage speed.

TL;DR: Don’t focus on CPU but rather RAM and Storage Speed. The CPU almost never bottlenecks performance on QuickBooks unless it’s a very old (thus very slow) CPU. 

Q: I have a high budget? Should I invest on a powerful CPU if I can afford it?

Even if you work with super large database files which may even get larger over a long period of time, it’s almost impossible performance will be hindered due to the CPU. Even the CPUs (modern post 2020) found on 400 dollar laptops should be fine ! 

However…

Investing on the latest CPU because you have a high budget is not a bad idea, you will reduce the time it takes to run operations  by a few milliseconds and this can add up to significant amount of time saved over the course of the week.

A more recent and faster CPU (with more cores) is also useful for heavy multitasking (running many many more applications in the background).

Here’s a summary of my hardware recommendations:

  Good Optimized
CPU 3.5GHz   +4GHz
RAM 8GB DDR4 8-16GB DDR5
Storage Any SSD PCIe 4.0 (PCIe 5.0 desktops)

Good– Pretty much close to the official recommendation. Also not hard to find at all, most laptops above 400 bucks meet those reqs.. Just be sure to get the 8GB RAM right if you’re on a budget, most laptops under 350 bucks will only have 4GB or less. That’s a big no no because the software becomes unusable. Even MS Office will become a problem 4GB RAM because Windows 10 or 11 takes up lots of RAM (3.5 approx).

Optimized – Not required but this will get you the best performance with the software regardless of how big your database files are. Not just with quickbooks but with every accounting software on the market. You can also multitask with ease: think about running QuickBooks & Quicken w/ 40 web browsing tabs simultaneously. Since most laptops have 8GB RAM and an SSD, the type of RAM and # of lanes becomes more crucial (only if you want to maximize performance , note that performance gains are not going to be significant !)

The latest type of RAM is DDR5 and the highest # of lanes on SSD is 4 ( PCIe NVMe 5.0 will be released in late 2024 on laptops).

For a more detailed explanation on how to optimize hardware for quickbooks, check the last section

Top 5 Best Laptops For QuickBooks

Laptops with the “GOOD” requirements can be found on pretty much any laptops made between 2020-2023 over 400 dollars. For that price you can even get , if you look long enough, a FHD display and a lightweighit laptop at that too (this is rare but I have listed one laptop like that under 400) .

Laptops with optimized hardware requirements are not expensive either… on average they will be around 700 dollars.

Now..most of the laptops will have optimized hardware requirements (since they’re not so expensive) and the best one on the list will have a few more extras that are WAY MORE USEFUL than hardware itself like HIGH resolution, HUGE DISPLAY, TOP OF THE LINE KEYBOARD, etc. All equally important for a fast workflow with accounting software.


1. LG Gram Z90R

The Best Laptop For QuickBooks – Best Display

  Intel Evo 13th Gen Core i7

  16GB LPDDR5

  Intel Iris Graphics

  1TB NVMe SSD PCIe 4.0

  17.3” QHD IPS 16:10 ratio

  3lbs

  5 hours

    WiFi 6



The LG Gram not only has the optimized specs we went over but it’s also got the best ergonomics for any type of office work and of course quickbooks. 

Note that this is the 2023 , latest version of the LG Gram with the 13th generation chip! If you find it too expensive, it’s okay to buy older models, they’re all equally fast. Just be sure to get the RAM part right, the CPUs and SSDs from previous verisons are fine.

  Hardware

RAM: 16GB DDR5

Although 16GB is kind of unncessary to have, it does help a bit when RAM spikes’ , in other words, when you throw in some heavy multitasking (which may take over most of the RAM), the extra headroom will make sure you still work lagless in every applications you’re running.

Also think about this…

If Windows starts updating itself or starts running some background processes automatically and you’re heavily multitasking too, there’s a chance your computer will be slowed down to a crawl.

Now if you don’t multitask that much and you just use software pertaining accounting and quickbooks say  Intuit Data (for back ups) , MS Office (with data integration) and a few other apps then you don’t need this much RAM. 8GB RAM will be sufficient.

DDR5 vs DDR4:

RAM size itself isn’t a big issue when you buy a laptop becausez you can always upgrade a laptop (unless as it’s a windows laptop with an Intel or Ryzen Chip) to have more RAM as shown in this tutorial.

If you’re working with very large data base files say for a HUGE COMPANY (not a small business) and you want maximum performance with the software, even if the gains are minuscule, then think about investing on laptops or desktops that support DDR5, this is the latest technology. It’s going to help feed data to the CPU at a faster rate thus run operations a few milliseconds faster especially when you’re running MULTIPLE operations on a file.

For small business, DDR5 isn’t recommended if you don’t have the budget. DDR4 will do fine

SSD: PCIe NVMe 4.0 vs PCIe NVMe 5.0

The same can be said for storage (since this is where data is primarily stored), the faster the storage can feed data to RAM (which feeds data to the CPU), the faster the operations on data will run.

The LG GRAM has a PCIe NVMe 4.0 SSD, this is the fastest SSD you’re going to get as of late 2023. PCIe NVMe 5.0 is available on desktops and will be available on laptops in 2024.  Again being nitty picky about SSD & RAM type it’s only useful if you’re running operations on HUGE data base files (think a big company!), for which in most cases you’ll be provided with a laptop or computer too.

CPU: i7-1360P

The latest LG GRAM has a 13th generation Intel CPU, which honestly is OVERKILL, for 99% of QuickBooks users. It’s not just overkill for quickbooks but for pretty much any office or accounting software. 

I would advive you to consider older versions of the LG GRAM if you want to be economical. Older versions have a 12th or 11th gen Intel CPU. The difference between those and 13th generation is only clock speed and the clock speed on the 11th and 12th gen chips are still above 4GHz.

They will give you pretty much the same performance and the only difference in performance will be seen when working with very large data basefiles.

 Display & Design

The best part of the LG GRAM and the MAIN reason why you should choose it over all other laptops on this list is really the design.

It’s thin.

It’s got a HUGE display with lots of resolution and it’s VERY lightweight. In fact, it’s the most lightweight laptop with a 17 inch screen.

It’s not just the 17 inch display that makes it great, lots of cheaper laptops have 17 inch display!, but the fact that it ALSO has QHD resolution (2.5k), which is almost TWICE the resolution of FHD (1080) laptops.

In layman terms, more resolution means more pixels and more pixels means there’ll be more data or space shown on the screen. If you combine 2.5k resolution with a 17 inch display, you get an insane amount of extra space.

What does this mean for quick books and other software?

There will be more rows and columbs shown at once….and bigger picture of graphs will be seen too. 

This mitigates the need to scroll up and down all the time.

Also, the extra screen space will make sure Also the extra resolution will let eliminate the need to menus and instead have all your functions & operations on toolbars one click away.

You can even have QuickBooks & an MS Office side by side and still have plenty of space left to work on both without compromising the whole picture of each document or file. 

Lastly, the fact that it’s a 17 inch laptop also gets you a large keyboard with a numerical keypad and all the FN keys too.


2. ASUS ZenBook 14X

The Best Laptop For QuickBooks – Lightweight

  Intel Core i5 13500H

  8GB LPDDR5

  Intel Iris Xe Graphics

  1TB SSD 

  14” 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED 90Hz

  3.06lbs

  10 hours

The ASUS ZenBook is like a smaller version of the LG GRAM, not too small though, it’s a 14.5 (almost 15”) inch laptop and it’s got the latest RAM: DDR5 and also the same storage: PCIe NVMe SSD 4.0. 

Not only that, it also has the QHD resolution (same as the LG GRAM) and the same weight. The only difference is the screen size.

If you go for the older models, it can cost you about half the price of the LG GRAM and you still get the QHD resolution and lightweight design. The latest model shown here is about 740 bucks which is ALMOST half the price of the LG GRAM.

Before you pull the trigger on the ZenBook, be sure to know the differences:

  • No PHYSICAL NumPad: However, if you look at the trackpad, you can see a numpad drawn on it. They don’t have keys but they’re sensitive to touch thus they work just like a numpad. To use it you have to discard (stop using) the trackpad though and that should be done with any laptop anyways. Working with a mouse is always much faster. 

In fact you can crunch numbers with the left hand and move the mouse around with the right hand, it works out even better because you don’t have to move your left hand all the way to the right side of the keyboard, it will just stay a natural position.

  • Display: Although it’s 14.5 inch, the resolution (QHD) will still give you a lot of extra space to see more rows and colums and improve graph visuzalition. 
  • 8GB: This is the most important thing to keep in mind. It’s only got 8GB and you CANNOT upgrade RAM (well you can but its kind of risky). None theless the RAM is still DDR5 (for the 13th gen model). Now, this is not a problem if you work for a small-medium company. You can multitask quite heavily with 8GB RAM too. There MAY be occassional lag spikes bu that’s it. 

The ASUS ZenBook is a better choice than the LG GRAM if you’re working for a small business and you’re looking for something portable


3. Surface Pro 9

Best 2 in 1 Laptop for Quickbooks

  12th gen Intel® Evo Core™ i5 or Core™ i7

  8GB-16GB RAM DDR5

  Intel Xe Graphics

  128GB-1TB PCIe NVMe SSD

  13” IPS ‎2880 x 1920

  1.96lbs 

  +10 hours

    WiFi 6

The Surface Pro is the most portable laptop as of late 2023. It is a laptop despite the looks. Yes, it can turn into a tablet but the hardware is really the same hardware they use on laptops and in fact is just as fast as the LG GRAM or even faster depending on the model.

Although there are lots of ‘convertible’ 2-1 laptops like the Surface Pro, it is the most popular due to aforementioned reasons and the fact that the touchpad is very sensitive and works just as good as an iPad Pro.

Of course it has a windows operating system and you can install the full version of any accounting software and quickbooks too.

In fact, QuickBooks, the company that is, kind of encourages users to CONSIDER a Surface Device (there are other Devices like the Surface Book, Surface Laptop, etc). A while ago,  Intuit  implemented some features that only work with the Surface Book (QuickBooks Point of Sale).

So you can rest assured it is NOT a bad choice.

Now, let’s dig in deeper into the hardware.

  Hardware

Again, the hardware you’ll find on these devices (The RAM, The storage and the CPU) is pretty much the same hardware used on the laptops we went over, it’s equally powerful. It is NOT hardware used on tablets (as in the case of the iPad Pro or other tablets). In fact, if you pick the latest models, you can get the exact same hardware used on the LG GRAM and ZenBook.

For example, DDR5 RAM is available on the surface devices and the PCIe NVMe 4.0 has been used on these years ago.
Do note that this is the Surface 9 laptop with the 12th gen CPU, if you want the LATEST Intel CPU on it, you should wait for the Surface Pro 10 which is rumored to be released Q1 2024 alongside the new version of Windows.

Warning:

These devices are NOT upgradeable. In other words, just like the ZenBook, you’ll be stuck with whatever hardware you pick at the time of purchase. Thus if you have the budget, you CAN go for the 512GB & 16GB RAM model. But again that’s not a requirement, 8GB RAM will work fine for most people.

[/tip] Tip: If you can’t afford the Surface Pro 9 or the latest Surface Devices (Surface Book, Surface Laptop), just go for older versions. They’re surprisingly MUCH MUCH cheaper. Of course, they’re ALL a good investment ONLY if you’re looking for something EXTREMELY portable thatn can run QuickBooks with no LAG. Please try not to buy models released before the Surface Pro 6, they’re a little outdated so you will have some lag.  [/tip] 


4. Lenovo ThinkPad T14 

Best Lenovo Laptop For Quickbooks

  Intel 13th Gen i5-1335U (P-core 1.3 / 4.6GHz, E-core 0.9 / 3.4GHz)

  16GB RAM DDR5 (Up to 40GB)

   Intel Iris Xe Graphics

  512GB PCIe NVMe 4.0

   16″ FHD+ 1920 x 1200 IPS 300 nits

  3.90 lbs

  8 hours

    WiFi 6

If your budget is high…or the company you work with told you to pick a laptop…

You should take a look at the thinkpads….

Why? The design basically…it may not be as thin (it’s portable though) but it’s extremely sturdy and durable. Also ergonomics wise (keyboard, display) is top notch too.

 Hardware

As for the hardware, is very very configurable. Most models allow you to choose the RAM size and storage size you want. RAM can go up as far as 48GB! Storage can go all the way to 4TB. 

You aren’t likely to need that much RAM though, 16GB should be enough. However, the ability to upgrade (either before purchase or after purchase) storage comes in handy. (Note that large data basefiles do not take more than a few gigabytes so you should not buy extra storage with that in mind but rather for other purposes, store photos, videos OR if you store MANY MANY I mean MANY large database files).

CPUs is configurable too. In fact, you can find models with Ryzen CPUs (they have better multicore performance) or Core i7 and Ryzen 7 CPUs too. Again, nobody will ever need that kind of CPU power, as long as you grab a Core i5 or Ryzen 5 released within the past few years, you should have enough CPU power.

  Design

Here are the main points of its design:

  • All models are EASY to upgrade. You can do the upgrade to usually 32GB on most models. You can also up storage on most models up to 4TB.
  • Pretty much all thinkpads have 8+ hours of battery (as opposed to 3 hours from the LG Gram).
  • Best keyboards found on windows laptops. All have numpads and a full sized keyboard. Typing is superb and theres a lot of sensitivity despite the high travel. Keys are large and responsive.
  • Rock solid built design: This is WHY they’re so popular. They can last you for MORE THAN 5 years. 
  • Weight: ranges from 3.3lbs to 4.5lbs depending on the model.
  • Trackapds: the quality is close to the macbooks (which have the best trackpads on the market). Not that its much useful for QuickBooks but definitely nice to use on a trip. 

5. Acer Aspire A515-56-347N 

Best Cheap Laptop For QuickBooks

  AMD Ryzen 3 7320U

  8GB LPDDR5

  AMD Radeon Graphics

  128GB SSD

  15” full HD IPS

  3.9lbs

  7 hours

    Wifi 6 

Every laptop we went over so far can be considered to be ‘premium’, they’re expensive because they’ve got really cool features on top of the reuqired hardware to run QuickBooks optimally.

Now…if you’re willing to give up the weight (if this laptop is going to stay at an office mostly) and the extra screen space from QHD resolution screens then you can find a laptop just as fast for quickbooks well under 500 dollars.

 Hardware

In fact, you can find them under 350 dollars. This year’s cheapest model on our list is only about 290 dollars AND has the LATEST Ryzen 3 CPU which is the 7th generation.

This performs slightly better than the 13th Core i3 Intel CPU due to better multicore performance (QuickBooks is slightly multicore, aka uses more cores, but the multi-core performance becomes useful for smoother multitasking).

Remember In this price range, CPU becomes important, because hardware speed isn’t nearly as fast as laptops over 600 dollars!

RAM: 8GB DDR5 vs 16GB RAM

As for this laptop’s sepcs and the general quickbooks user, there isn’t a need to do any uprades as 8GB RAM comes out of the box (DDR5 too!) and an SSD (128GB). You may need to up the storage if you install too many software but for a small business it should be plenty of space.

8GB RAM: as for RAM, again no need to do upgrade. Even if you run 50 web browsing tabs open + Quikcbooks and Office, you should be fine. Now if you run more software on top of that then you may need to up it to 16GB RAM. 

Which brings me to…

This laptop is very easy to upgrade. No need for a technician to do this, please check out my post on How to Upgrade RAM if you want to see the tools you need to do so. Again the upgrade isn’t likely to be needed by most people.

Price:

This is the cheapest best bang for your buck laptop. It even has a FHD display (usually HD+ screens are found on 250-300 dollar laptops). If it runs out of stock or you can’t buy this model in your come country. Just Type Acer Aspire 5 and buy any laptop with either an Intel Core or Ryzen CPU + FHD keyboard. The RAM + Storage can be upgraded later. Be sure to pick a CPU not too outdated. A list of recent & older recommended CPU is listed in the last section.

Windows 11 S Mode:

Do not panick at those models that say “Windows in S Mode” that doesn’t mean you have to buy the full version of windows for you to install quickbooks.

You can upgrade to Windows 11 FREE by just going into the windows store. Note that once you upgrade to Windows 11 there’s no going back to Windows S mode. This is a no brainer as Windows S mode only allows you to run QuickBook Online and Quicken

Make sure your laptop has 8GB RAM before you do the upgrade…the model shown here has 8GB RAM but if you buy older or cheaper models, they may come with 4GB ! Not that there’s anything wrong with that but do NOT Switch out of Windows 11 S mode UNTIL you do the upgrade to 8GB RAM. If you do the upgrade with just 4GB RAM, windows will run PAINFULLY SLOW.


Best Hardware Specs for QuickBooks (Desktop or Laptop)

QuickBooks has more than 10 million users as of 2023. It is by far the most popular software for small-businesses today. 

However, it’s not the most efficient accounting software for businesses there is and its popularity is the reason behind that.

QuickBooks:  Hardware Efficiency

Truth be told, once a software becomes “THE” software for anything, be it for accounting, school or teaching. It usually doesn’t care much about making things better for the user because people have used it for so long and they will continue to do so anyways. 

Let’s take for example Microsoft Office and Zoom, even if they don’t do radical changes to the software, companies and schools will still use them.

Now..

QuickBooks is not an old software, it’s been updated every year however….

But every update still uses the same ‘core’ engine which is still inefficient and outdated (compared to other banking and accounting software). 

You may see additional tools and interface changes but the engine will still be the same thus making the software prone to be a bit slower than the rest of its competition.

In fact…

Even propietary software written by my company handles large data sets with very complex math functions faster than QuickBooks (usually handled through an SQL server).

Anyways…

Most people have no choice but to use QuickBooks. It’s not all doom and gloom, QuickBooks interface and ease of use is still one of the best.

Thus if you want to make QuickBooks sort of the ‘perfect’ software for accounting you have to make sure to get good hardware to offset its lack of speed with large data sets due to its old engine. 

Note: what comes next applies to all versions of QuickBooks:QuickBooks Pro , QuickBooks Online, etc.

1. CPU(Processor)

I’m going to need you to understand some basic computer terminology to continue. So if you don’t understand what’s next please refer to my beginner’s guide to computer specifications.

When you pick a procesosr there are TWO specs to look after CORES & SPEED:

#Core (MultiCore, Multithreaded, etc)

Quickbooks isn’t a multithreaded application , this means focusing on # Cores isn’t going to improve performance. 

If you are reading this from a desktop, you can open quickbooks right now and press CTRL+ALT+DEL, you’ll see only one or two threads (one core = 2 threads) being used whenever you run tasks and click on any functions.

Current version of QuickBooks is very very single-threaded. Source:   Intuit.com forums.

Most laptops have at least a 4-Core CPU (8 Threads) and although that may not be useful for QuickBooks it does become useful for multitasking with QuickBooks, Office and other apps you may be running in the background.

The point is….

Do not look at the # of cores when buying a laptop.

Clock Frequency: Speed

The clock frequency (measured in Hz – Ex: 4.5GHz) is what speeds up operations on very large sets of data.

QuickBooks will run OK even on 3GHz CPUs but if you can maximize clock speed to 4.5GHz then you would be maximizing quickbooks performance from a CPU-stand point.

Which CPUs have 4.5GHz? 

Most CPUs today have at least 4GHz (2022-2023 CPUs) , even the budget ones. The ones that have approx 4.5GHz will be usually 10th or 11th gen Core i5 OR 5th and 6th gen Ryzen 5 CPUs. More specifically the following:

Intel

CPU Base Turbo Cores
i3 10050G1 1.2 3.4 2
i3 10100U 2.1 4.1 2
i3-1115G4 3 4.1 2
i3-1215U 3.3 4.4 2/4
i3-1215U 3.3 4.4 2/4
i3 1315U
3.3 4.5 2/4
i5 1115G4 2.4 4.2 4
i5 1235U 3.3 4.0 8/2
i5 1240P 3.3 4.4 12
i5 1335U  3.4  4.6  8/2

AMD

CPU Base Turbo Cores
Ryzen 5 7530U 2.0 4.5 
Ryzen 5 5500U 2.1 4.4 6
Ryzen 5 4500U 2.3 4.0   6
Ryzen 3 7320U
2.4 4.1 4
Ryzen 3 5300U 2.6 3.8 8
Ryzen 3 4300U  2.7 3.7 

Those CPUs labeled in green are recommended while those CPUs on blue are a minimum. Also try to stay away from Core i7 or Ryzen 7 CPUs, they’re too fast for quickbooks (yes you’ll see slightly performance gains but nothing that will justify the low battery and high price tag).

2. Storage (HDD or SSD)

Because Quickbooks can get slower when you perform operations on very large sets of data, maximizing the hardware where this data is stored and retrieved is also very very important.

We’ll cover storage first and then RAM. Both are equally important.

Capacity (Space)

It’s not a problem for QuickBooks even if you work with a very large company that has large sets of data.

To prove this, lets imagine you’re working with a very large database file (for a very large company) which should be a maximum of 5GB ( on average these quickbooks files are 700MB). 

QuickBooks (the software) will take a additional 5GB. Windows 11 an additional 65GB (future updates may update this number up to 80GB).

We have 5GB (file) + 5GB (quickbooks) + 80GB ( Windows) + MS Office & Other programs (30GB) =120GB.

The cheapest laptops will have about 128GB (you’ll have 8GB left) and the average laptop has twice that number (256GB).

Capacity is not an issue.

Storage Speed

This is the KEY spec when buying storage or when choosing a laptop with storage: speed. 

High speed storage means the CPU will be fed data at a much higher rate. You can think of storage speed as a highway, the broader the highway the more cars (data) will travel through it and reach the destination (CPU).

SSD (Solid State Drive) vs HDD (Hard Disk Drive)

The fastest one is the SSD and as of 2023, 98% of laptops above 300 bucks have an SSD. HDDs are almost obselete but they are quite common on desktops because they are very very cheap. SSD (Solid State Drive) and HDD (Hard Disk Drive). You want SSDs because they are several several times faster. 

You may find an HDD on a laptop sometimes as part of a “dual storage” set up: a laptop that uses both an SSD and HDD. You may want to replace that HDD or just not use it because it is x5 times than SSDs.

Types of SSD: NVMe, SATA, PCIe & Lanes

Here’s how the hierarchy goes:

PCIe NVMe SSD w/ 4 lanes > PCIe SSD with 3 lanes > SATA III SSD

There are more SSD types on desktops but those three are the most common on laptops (besides eMMC & Flash storage which are only found on Chromebooks – useless for QuickBooks).

Truth is…

All SSD types will give you the following benefits (regardless of type):

  • Saving purchase orders is instantaneously done. On the other hand, HDDs will take ~10 seconds (and more if you use QuickBooks through a network).
  • As data files grow bigger over time, SSDs will show a clear advantage when doing operations that manipulate large chunks of data.
  • Every operating in QuickBooks will no longer take several seconds basically. Only a few like loading accounts or a bulk processing a day will and even then they will still be done several times faster than HDDs.

Now the PCIe NVMe SSDs will give you a slight performance gain (nothing significant) if that’s important to you (if you spend all day using QuickBooks even milliseconds here and there can add up to less hours during a week) you want to choose those with more “LANES”. The more Lanes the SSD has the faster it will be, the upper limit as of 2023 is 4 LANES.

On desktops, you can find PCIe NVMe 5.0 which has more lanes. The release of PCIe NVMe 5.0 SSD on laptops is expected to be somewhere in 2024.

Q: What if my data files are stored on server with a desktop SSD with more lines?

You will not get the speed benefits out of that SSD because the data must still be downloaded (albeit momentarily) in chunks to do MOST of the operations in your computer. The only way to get the speed benefits of desktops (which have SSDs and CPUs that are much faster) is through a remote access software like AnyDesk.

More SSD advantages:

There are few more advantages but they are not related to speed:

  • SSDs are less prone to hardware failure because they are slightly more resistant to physical damage. 
  • SSDs use less power so you will have slightly more battery if you’re buying a laptop (super useful for business trips).

3. RAM

Database files on the Solid State Drive is USUALLY moved to RAM (temporarily) for the CPU to do calculations. 

In fact…

The data of every software you have open and everything you see on your screen is currently stored in RAM rather the storage. 

So it goes like this:

Data—>SSD—>RAM—>Cache—>CPU—>Storage

The reason for CPU using RAM (and Cache) rather than storage (SSD) to do the processing is simple: the CPU can retrieve data much faster out of RAM because it sits ‘closer’.

Thus any gains in  RAM (Size & Speed) translate to SIGNIFICANT performance gains with the software.

Size: 8GB minimum, 16GB?

Knowing tha all of your RAM will be fit into the whatever capacity you have, if you don’t have enough that can’t be good. If you run out of RAM for all the database files you have open, the software, and everybackground process running what happens is your CPU will resort to use the “SSD” storage as extra RAM and since it sits further away things will run slower (imagine the case if you didn’t have an SSD and an HDD instead, talk about slow).

Either way, you want to avoid that and usually 8GB is enough for that not to happen and for QuickBooks to run plenty fast even with add-ons and other accounting software in the background.

What other software you ask?

  • Intuit Data Protect: will run in the background if you want to constantly back up data files to the cloud.
  • MS Office: you may be merging QuickBooks data with Microsoft Word, Excel and OutLook if you want to create customer/vendor letters or convert Peachtree data to QuickBook.
  • Web Browser: for sending estimates through email.

Q: What if my data files are not big, they’re not even close to 1GB. They’re 50MB at best. Do I still need 8GB? Can I get 4GB or 6GB?

No. 8GB is minimum. In fact, you would want 16GB if you can afford the upgrade.

Think of it this way. Windows 11 takes 4GB and even Windows 10 (with the latest updates) takes that much too.

On top of that, you’ll have QuickBooks, a Web browser , MS Office and a lot of other stuff running in the background too. Let’s not forget most people have +30 web browsing tabs open too and if you use Chrome that’s a lot more RAM.

Lastly, database files will grow overtime as your business grows and eventually it will step into the GB range. 

If you go to the official site, they themselves will claim the biggest bottleneck might be ram especially when:

  • Data files exceeds list limits
  • Data files are too old(~7 years;lots of info/outdated data structures accumulated).

RAM Type: DDR4 vs DDR5

There’s an additional way to increase performance through RAM and that’s by choosing the latest RAM type. Just like adding ‘more’ lanes to an NVMe SSD adds more speed, the latest RAM DDR5 adds more bandwidth which increases the amount of data that can be fed to the processor. Most apps will see an 8-12% performance gain.

DDR5 is still kind of new on laptops as of 2023 so you’ll only find them on laptops that have a 12th gen Intel CPU or 6th gen Ryzen CPU. Obviously, also on the 13th gen Intel CPUs and 7th gen Ryzen CPUs.

4. Durability

This is important for everyone running a small business and using QuickBooks because having a laptop or computer last you a year or two isn’t ideal when you still working on your business growth and having to change workspaces (because you have to buy a new laptop or just reset the whole system) is sort of detrimental to your business.

For a laptop to last more than 2 years, it is important to make sure temperatures never reach dangerous levels, you can check CPU temperatures to a third-party software. This is the number one reason why laptops stop working after a few years. You have to read reviews and make sure there isn’t any “high temperature” issues with said laptop. In the worst case scenario, buying a laptop cooler and using it during the summer and spring is required.

You can also try to invest on alluminum laptops (business laptops) which not only slightly help with temperatures but also have more of a rock solid built that can witstand several drops.

Either way, always use Intuit Data Protect and the cloud to back up the entire system. Even the most expensive machines aren’t inmune to failure.

Comments?

If you have any suggestions, questions  or recommendations. Please leave a comment below.

Author Profile

Miguel Salas
Miguel Salas
I am physicist and electrical engineer. My knowledge in computer software and hardware stems for my years spent doing research in optics and photonics devices and running simulations through various programming languages. My goal was to work for the quantum computing research team at IBM but Im now working with Astrophysical Simulations through Python. Most of the science related posts are written by me, the rest have different authors but I edited the final versions to fit the site's format.

Miguel Salas

I am physicist and electrical engineer. My knowledge in computer software and hardware stems for my years spent doing research in optics and photonics devices and running simulations through various programming languages. My goal was to work for the quantum computing research team at IBM but Im now working with Astrophysical Simulations through Python. Most of the science related posts are written by me, the rest have different authors but I edited the final versions to fit the site's format.

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