Picking a new computer

This information was updated Spring 2023 for the 2023-24 academic year, you can see a list of course specific information on the Recommended Kit List page.

❌ Chromebook, Android Tablet, Netbook

We do not recommend students purchase these products because they are usually quite low spec and do not have access to most open source software available for Windows, Linux and macOS devices.

❌ iPad

We do not recommend students purchase an iPad because it does not give your proper access to the operating system needed for software development which will be a core part of most courses at CCI.

✅ Mac

If you are you are looking to purchase a new Mac we recommend an any M1 or M2 laptop from Apple, Intel Macs are not recommended any more.

At the time of writing, Apple is still selling the previous MacBook Air and Pro 13" with the M1 chip which is a good option if you need to save money.

The main difference between the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air is that the Air has no cooling fans which means as it gets hotter the computer will slow down to avoid overheating, where the Pro can turn on fans to keep running cool and at full performance.

Memory: Make sure you buy a computer with at least 16GB RAM.

MacBook Pro 13" with M2

A B C
Processor 10 core 12 core 12 core
Graphics 16 core 19 core 19 core
Neural 16 core 16 core 16 core
Memory 16GB 16GB 16GB
Storage 512GB 512GB 1TB
Price with discount £1,989 £2,299 £2,479

MacBook Air 13" with M2

A B
Processor 8 core 8 core
Graphics 8 core 10 core
Neural 16 core 16 core
Memory 16GB 16GB
Storage 256GB 512GB
Price with discount £1,329 £1,629

We also recommend purchasing AppleCare+ or a similar warranty and insurance scheme for repairs.

AppleCare+ 3 years MacBook Air 13" with M1 MacBook Pro 13" with M1
Price with discount £175 £183

Around August/September each year Apple will run the Apple Back to School deal which in addition to the discounted prices above will include some kind of free giveaway, this has been gift cards or AirPods in the past.

✅ PC

If you are specifically looking at a Windows or Linux computer you may get better value from purchasing a desktop computer for home use, then taking advantage of the large number of PCs and MacBook Pro laptops that are available on campus during and between classes.

PC Laptop

Generally we're pretty big fans of Dell (XPS, G Gaming, or Alienware), Razer and HP brand computers, however there is a large market and you should pick whats best for you, the following specs give you an idea of what to look for...

Check for USB-C charging and display connection as plug in stations at CCI all use this.

Minimum graphics
The minimum graphics required will depend on the course, if you are studying areas including machine learning, data science or 3D you should try to obtain any NVIDIA RTX 3xxx series GPU or higher.

PC Desktop

At CCI we primarily use Dell desktop computers, with some HP and Viglen computers used elsewhere at UAL.


Revision #5
Created 2 May 2023 17:29:26 by Tom Lynch
Updated 3 May 2023 08:18:44 by Tom Lynch