Best Computers For Computer Science Students – Note: You can find “Best Computers for Data Science” articles online…but be aware that many of these articles contain affiliate links. . Here you will get 100% unbiased advice based on my experience and the experience of my fellow data scientists.
Before we dive deeper into the topic, let me quickly list the best computers/laptops I recommend for data science:
Best Computers For Computer Science Students
Because 99% of the time you use a remote server for your IT-heavy data projects. (At least, if you’re serious about data science.) So your PC will only act as a “translator” between you and the server.
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I wrote about this in detail in my remote server article (How to set up Python, SQL, R and Bash).
“What we’re doing here is connecting to a remote server—writing commands and letting the remote server do the computing instead of our local computer.”
Look, it doesn’t matter how powerful your PC is… What matters is the computing power of your remote server.
Note: If you’re working for a company, you’re using their remote server, so you don’t even need to worry about this. On the other hand, if you use your own server (e.g. for your personal data science projects), you can easily scale up and down the computing power.
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Of course, there are better and worse choices—but the decision factors are a little different than most scientists think.
But there are always some programs that should run locally on your computer. Here are just a few:
If you’re using a Mac, it’s easy. In my experience, all data science tools work fine on MacOS. .
If you have a Windows computer, my advice is to use Windows 10 (or something above) – and install Linux (Ubuntu) on it. . (This is just my personal opinion.) However, you will need Windows, as some programs are not compatible with Linux (e.g., many data visualization tools.)
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Note: Which version of Ubuntu do I recommend? Again, it’s a matter of taste, so don’t take it too seriously. May. As a general rule: I don’t always like to use the latest versions of Ubuntu (for compatibility reasons) and somehow even years seem better than versions (18.04, 20.04, 22.04…).
Either way, use a Mac: or a Windows PC with Windows 10 and Ubuntu.
I recommend not using more “exotic” operating systems for data science…eg. A ChromeBook (with ChromeOS) is a bad choice because it’s not compatible with most of the above software you want to run on your computer. Likewise, I do not recommend using iPads or other desktop devices for data science.
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Best Data Science Laptops In 2020
I’ve used all kinds of Apple laptops for my data science projects over the past 8 years: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13″, MacBook Pro 15″… and I love them all. I’ve never had a problem with any of them. The cheaper, lighter, and more powerful MacBook Air performed as well as the more expensive and more reliable MacBook Pro 15.
Well, I have to admit that the 2016-2020 editions of MacBooks have shown a slight downward trend in quality. The notoriously bad keyboards and lack of ports were a huge pain in the neck for all Apple users… Including me. But even these computers, in other respects (quality, usability, computing power, etc.) were still some of the best computers on the market at the time.
Fortunately, the downward trend is over and with the new 2021 14″ Macbook Pro, all the issues have been fixed and we have a very reliable, user-friendly and powerful computer to work with.
One more thing: The biggest drawback of Macs is the price tag… the new 14″ model starts at $1,999.
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Note 1: Important! If for some reason you decide to buy a 2016-2020 MacBook Pro edition, I recommend not buying the Touch Bar*. Apple – for some reason, decided to replace the traditional function keys with a touch pad on the top row of the keyboard. This is very disappointing.
Note 2: Also note that 2016-2020 MacBooks only offer USB C ports… So you’ll need to buy some adapters as well. A little annoying, but that’s it for now. I always carry these three cables with me: a USB-C to USB adapter; USB-C to HDMI adapter and USB-C to Apple Lightning adapter.
My laptop is a Dell laptop that I bought 10 (!) years ago and it still works fine. However, it is not the model I am recommending here.
But my opinion: Dell is a very good brand that I trust a lot. They make high-quality, long-lasting computers. In my experience, their customer service is also very good. I have some data professional friends who use the Dell XPS model… They also supported it: The Dell XPS laptop is well suited to the needs of a data scientist.
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For example, the DELL XPS 13″ with 8GB of memory and a Core i5 processor seems like a great alternative to the 13″ MacBook Pro.
As I mentioned above, I prefer the 13-inch screen size. But there’s also a 15-inch version here. You can also customize your XPS in many ways: more RAM, a better processor, even a touch screen (which you don’t need)…
Overall, in my opinion, the two best computers for data scientists today are:
Some readers were able to send computer data to study the data. So far, there are two laptops that come out frequently.
What’s The Best Computer/laptop For A Data Scientist In 2023?
Although I’m very happy with my old Macbook, I’m starting to think about selling it in early 2023 and buying a new Macbook Air M2. The beginning of these ideas was the proliferation of artificial intelligence projects.
AI projects are very new – and (at least from my first experience) prototyping in these projects seems to happen mostly on the local computer. There are several reasons for this – but if I have to put it in one sentence: there is not yet a well-developed and well-designed cloud solution that can serve AI projects. At least not economically. Until this is resolved, the need for a good local computer for data scientists will continue to grow.
(Okay, again: only if you want to work on AI projects. Not necessarily as a junior data scientist.)
Some — well, most — AI projects need heavy computing power, and that’s where Apple’s M2 chips come in handy. Compared to Apple’s other models, the MacBook Air M2 seems like really good value for money. It also received good reviews and fixed all the mistakes of the previous models.
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As I mentioned above, when I work on a complex project for longer periods of time, I prefer to use external monitors. Very comfortable indeed!
I have the same model at home and at the office – I bought them in 2015 and still have no problems with them…so I’ve been hesitant to replace them with newer models. (Maybe not.)
It’s also not an expensive external display, so it can be a great investment in your daily workflow.
An added feature I love about this monitor is that you can rotate it – so I actually use it in portrait mode for coding! This is very practical!
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Note: Some data scientists like to use more external monitors while working. I’m not one of them (I only use it once). But maybe you want to try this too. If so, check if the computer you’re buying can handle two external monitors! As far as I know, the computers I recommend in this article can do it, but ask the seller before you buy.
It doesn’t matter which computer you choose to study data science with. Any decent laptop will do the job.
But since you have to choose one at all, it’s best to choose one that fits the daily life of a data scientist.
If there is another