What computer/laptop to get

Hey guys, I just ordered my first CNC and went with the shapeoko 5 pro. Excited to get started once it gets in. But I’m honestly not 100% on what to go with for a computer or laptop. Kinda just want one to be able to do it all. Don’t wanna have two different computers if I don’t need to. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


The requirements to run Carbide Motion are really minimal, so the key thing here is to pick the machine based on the design software you are using. So, first step is to think about how you want to design what you want to cut.

I’m just gonna be using carbides create and carbide motion. And I just wanna start out with small stuff. Like catch all trays and just small signs.

Anything which meets the system requirements for Carbide Create should be fine:


  • Windows 10, or 11, 64-Bit (Intel or AMD)
  • 8GB RAM (EDIT: Note that this is up from 4GB when this was first posted)
  • Screen Display: 1280 x 1024

Note that pixel size is at 100% scaling — so if you’re running a display at 200% UI scaling you will need a display with is 2560 x 2048 at min.

A fanless (sealed) tablet makes a lot of sense for a shop environment, and some folks get units w/ a stylus to make pointing/drawing easier:

(well, I do at least)

Other folks are lucky enough to be able to source a rugged laptop, while many folks make do w/ just the least expensive refurbished unit they can find locally.

All good advice from Will, but I’d like to make a point that doesn’t get mentioned in the hubbub of defining the hardware (and hope that this isn’t changing the subject of your post too much.)

The point is that if your laptop with a fan driven cooling system is going to get clogged up with particles from milling, then you should consider this to be the canary-in-the-mine with respect to your lung’s intake of the same.


If you want a MS Windows laptop I ordered this laptop for my Grand Daughter for Christmas. It has 20gb Memory and a 2TB Solid State Drive. The price was good and is more than enough power to do almost anything. As far as CC and CM it would be overkill but I use my laptop for everything and this would be a good laptop.



I went with this one. Meets all the requirements that is recommended.

Dell Latitude 7280 12.5 Inch Business Laptop, Intel Core i5-7300U up to 3.5GHz, 16G DDR4, 256G SSD, HDMI, Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit Multi-Language Support English/French/Spanish(Renewed) Amazon.com

So Hopfully it works good.

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That seems like a good choice. I hope you saw the (Renewed) in the title because that means it was refurbished by someone likely after a return to Dell. Refurbished machines are good and the price is good. Just make sure you get the full warranty and not a shortened one. Sometimes (Renewed) means after manufacture the box was opened and updated with memory or hard drive so just be sure that is ok with you.

Yeah I seen it was refurbished, so I’m open at least does the job to start out with.

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