When you got a lot of code, forget a laptop. You need a serious desktop to be truly productive. David Levin makes the case for a big desktop. The following would be my choices:
HP Workstation – The Z series what’s currently offered. I used an older version of this type of machine 10+ years ago. The one I used was very loud but fast.
DELL Precision Workstation – The T series is what is out now. I got to use an older version of this for almost a full year. Really nice. With twin Quad-Core Intel Xeons and about 64GB of memory, the machine handled well. Maybe today you can get an 18-core upgrade. Twin 18-cores … with a terabyte of ECC RAM. Useful.
Lenovo ThinkStation – The descendant of the old IBM IntelliStation. Never ran either. I did upgrade a Lenovo ThinkStation. Technically, I did run it for a few days, but just to test an upgrade I was doing for someone else. It wasn’t my machine though.
Apple Mac Pro – I don’t care how small it is, it is a workstation class computer. You can get real stuff done with it. I do like the old PowerMac design better.
IBM Power System – Actually, this machine beats them all, but has special setup requirements (energy needs for example). I am listing it here just to be complete. Go for twin 8-core processors and 1TB of memory (yes, memory, not hard drive).
So no, laptops are not the tools for people writing code for a large code base or who truly need to speed through many code iterations. Desktops and workstations are the true tool of the software developer dealing with high-capacity.