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Picking a new computer

This information was updated Spring 2023 for the 2023-24 academic year.


If you are you are looking to purchase a new Mac we recommend the MacBook Pro 14" with M2, however if you need to save a bit of money the MacBook Air 14" with M2 is similar.

The main difference being it has no cooling fans which means as it gets hotter the computer will slow down to avoid overheating, which on longer workloads can be an issue.

At the time of writing, Apple is still selling the previous MacBook Air and Pro 13" with the M1 chip which is also a good option.

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

MacBook Pro 13" with M2

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

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.


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.