Smart contract development Laptop specs

Hello All,

For several months, I have been looking at resources on Cardano with the interest of developing smart contracts on the blockchain. I also recently created a stake pool and discovered that I needed 16GB of RAM each for the node and relay.

I am aware that smart contracts development may not need a full node on mainnet but I have been wondering if I need 16GB for development on the testnet as well. Does anyone have any experience on the suitable laptop hardware specs for setting this up?

Hi there,

I am running a testnet node that has an avarage ram usages of 1.2 gb ram. All the testing can be done there. What you also need to consider is emulating the plutus playground locally, I do not have stats on this performance but is is not much.

Good luck building :slight_smile:

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I would recommend at least an i7 CPU, 32 GB RAM, and a SSD drive. Not because of Cardano per se but because running multiple IDEs and other development tasks like compiling, running VMs or containers, testing locally, etc will be much easier with more power.


Interesting, I had not thought of accounting for the possible multiple IDEs, running containers and VMs. Thanks for the heads up. Though I bet that’s a an expensive option, it may be worth it in the long run.

@fermat Hey, so if I need to run multiple testnets (eg. to simulate end-to-end node transactions), I will need multiples of that I think…

Hi Tigoni,

No that won’t be necessary. To effectively develop IOHK made tools to simulate such environments. For a complete overview on how such development is done watch this plutus pioneer video [1]

But if you want to test it on a real environment that closely resembles mainnet you can use the testnet.

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You can definitely get by on less if you have a tighter budget.

I got an 8th gen i7 CPU with 16GB ram and a smaller SSD drive last year for under $800 that my girlfriend uses for art projects and the occasional Java/Android development. It’s also able to run Daedalus and a relay node without issues.

If you’re on a shoestring budget then i5 CPU and 8GB ram are probably the absolute minimum but you might not be able to run a node, servers, and apps the way you want to.

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Hey @DinoDude, @fermat

Thanks both of you for the great and useful info. I’ve settled for a Lenovo X1 8gen, with 8Gb (though not cheap in Nairobi). Hope it will serve the purpose at the very minimum.

Onward, now to an attempt at integrating MPESA with Cardano :slight_smile:


That is a great idea and a lofty goal. Best of luck!