Advice on Buying PC for Data Science Students/learners

Advice on Buying PC for Data Science Students/learners

by January 10, 2023 0 comments

Students or professionals who are about to start on their data science journey need to choose their PC carefully. Ordinary PCs or laptops can’t handle the level of processing power needed for data science work like data analysis on large data sets, cleaning, machine learning model training, algo testing, etc. It will either take too long or won’t run at all. You therefore need to carefully decide the specs required to do your work. You need a machine that fits your budget and last long enough to handle all your data science workloads. That’s because over time, the data science workloads you’ll work on will increase, and if your machine isn’t powerful enough, it will hinder your learning. Let’s understand what specs you really need as a data science learner.


Memory: You must go with at least 16 GB RAM, and make sure it can be upgraded to 32 GB later. That’s because most probably, you’re likely to use multiple virtual machines on your laptop, maybe there’s a data science application that runs on Linux. In this case, you’ll need to install a virtual machine with Linux on it. If you don’t have sufficient RAM, you won’t be able to run multiple VMs on the machine.

Storage: A relatively large and fast Solid State Drive (an SSD, or another form of flash storage like an M.2 drive). 512 GB is the bare minimum, but be prepared to upgrade it to 1 TB after a few years.

Graphics: Here, you must go with a machine with an additional GPU, preferably from NVIDIA. Most deep learning libraries (Theano, Torch, Tensorflow) use the CUDA processor, which is only compiled on NVIDIA processors. Go for a GPU with at least 4 GB video memory.

Processor: You should go with at least an Intel Core i5 CPU, but if you know what kinds of data science workloads you’ll be working on, then you could choose an i7 or i9 as well. Another point to note is to always choose the current generation processor. They have more processing power, better thermal management, and power efficiency to name a few. Also try to choose a CPU with a high number of cores and threads. This of course also depends upon what your budget supports.

Display: If you plan to go for a laptop, then choose one with as much screen to bezel ratio as possible so that you get plenty of screen real estate to work on. 15.6” should be bare minimum screen size with Full HD support and blue light filtering as you’ll be working long hours on the machine. You could also consider buying a separate monitor to increase the screen size.

Choosing the Right Brand

This is very important. You should choose a laptop brand that offers excellent warranty terms and conditions, provides a vast service and support network, and offers highly durable and reliable devices. One such brand is HP. They offer 3 years warranty on many of their laptop models, have the widest service and support network, provide really good batteries that last longer than most other laptop brands, and finally, their devices have excellent build quality. All of this makes them very reliable.

Operating System

Go for a device with Windows 10 or 11, as you can easily run other operating systems like Linux as Virtual Machines through it.


You don’t need a supercomputer when you want to be able to run code on any reasonably sized dataset on your computer. If you do something computationally intensive—like massively parallelizing computations or GPU-based deep learning networks—you’ll probably just use the cloud. You do not want to have to turn to a cloud computer for simple class exercises, but you always have this as a safety net for BIG jobs.

As a student, you’ll want to buy a device that offers the best price to performance ratio because you’ll most probably be on a tight budget. You could either try to check out on of the ZBooks from HP, as they’re designed for heavy duty work like data science. Or, you could opt for a gaming laptop, like the Victus of Omen from HP. As a student, you might want a device that let’s you work as well as have fun, so a gaming laptop can give you the best of both worlds! Happy computing.

Click here to visit the HP Online store for some really great deals on the products discussed above.

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