Best Laptops for Data Science in 2020

Table of Contents

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Data science is a hot topic and it is an area where you can benefit from a good laptop. Running data models and artificial intelligence techniques require a lot of computation power. It fact, it requires so much that a laptop is not the best workstation.

If you are looking to maximize your performance then you are better off with a desktop computer or some online platform like Google or Amazon AI.

Here are 3 great laptops from this post that you should check out.

Top Pick
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SGS-031 15.6" 300Hz 3ms Ultra Thin and Light Gaming Laptop Intel Core i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super 32GB 1TB NVMe SSD TB3 Win10PRO VR Ready
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 (2020) Gaming Laptop, 15.6” 300Hz FHD IPS Type, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super, Intel Core i9-10980HK, 32GB DDR4, 2TB RAID 0 PCIe SSD, Per-Key RGB, Windows 10 Pro, G532LWS-XS99
Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, Intel i7-10750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB, 15.6" Full HD 144Hz 3ms IPS Display, 16GB Dual-Channel DDR4, 512GB NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6, RGB Keyboard, PH315-53-72XD
Name
MSI GS66 Stealth
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15
Acer Predator Helios 300
CPU
Intel Core i9-10980HK
Intel Core i9-10980HK
Intel i7-10750H
GPU
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
RAM
32 GB
32 GB
16 GB
Storage
1 TB
2 TB
512 GB
OamaScore
10/10
10/10
8/10
Top Pick
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SGS-031 15.6" 300Hz 3ms Ultra Thin and Light Gaming Laptop Intel Core i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super 32GB 1TB NVMe SSD TB3 Win10PRO VR Ready
Name
MSI GS66 Stealth
CPU
Intel Core i9-10980HK
GPU
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080
RAM
32 GB
Storage
1 TB
OamaScore
10/10
More Info
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 (2020) Gaming Laptop, 15.6” 300Hz FHD IPS Type, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super, Intel Core i9-10980HK, 32GB DDR4, 2TB RAID 0 PCIe SSD, Per-Key RGB, Windows 10 Pro, G532LWS-XS99
Name
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15
CPU
Intel Core i9-10980HK
GPU
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super
RAM
32 GB
Storage
2 TB
OamaScore
10/10
More Info
Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, Intel i7-10750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB, 15.6" Full HD 144Hz 3ms IPS Display, 16GB Dual-Channel DDR4, 512GB NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6, RGB Keyboard, PH315-53-72XD
Name
Acer Predator Helios 300
CPU
Intel i7-10750H
GPU
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
RAM
16 GB
Storage
512 GB
OamaScore
8/10
More Info

In this guide we are exploring the best laptop options for data science. We also dive into some of the things you should be looking for when doing your research.

System Recommendations

You should aim for a laptop with at least the following qualities.

MinimumRecommended
CPU10th gen i7 with 6 cores10th gen i7 with 8 cores
GPURTX SeriesRTS 2080 Series
RAM16 GB or more32 GB or more
SSD512 GB or more1 TB or more

The recommendations above are pretty steep, but the best laptop for data science needs to be able to handle many of the more complex things you can get into. If you are a beginner then you should be okay with some of the lower end models. We will include some more budget friendly options (although still not cheap) so you have a wide array to choose from.

List of Best Data Science Laptops

I think the best laptop for data science is the MSI GS66. There are a lot of other great laptops out there, and the following are some that I think are good options.

  1. MSI GS66 Stealth
  2. ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15
  3. MSI GE75 Raider
  4. Acer predator Helios 300
  5. MSI GL65 Leopard
  6. Razer Blade Pro 17
  7. HP Omen
  8. ASUS ROG Zephyrus S17

Best Laptops for Data Science

The best laptop for data science is the MSI GS66 Stealth.

MSI GS66 Stealth

MSI is one of my favorite laptop brands, and they have once again delivered a great laptop. Not only does it look good, but it has some great parts. This is not the cheapest laptop out there, but it is definitely one of the best laptops for data science.

Image of MSI GS66 Stealth

One reason why this laptop is good for data science is the incredible CPU that it has. The CPU comes with the Intel Core i9-10980HK. This is an 8 core CPU, which is very good in a laptop for data science. 8 Core CPUs are becoming more common in premium laptops, but the majority still has some 6 Core CPU. If you have the budget for a laptop with 8 cores that would be best.

The laptop also comes with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super. Tis is a great GPU in a laptop, and it makes it so that you can run most machine learning algorithms even. The GPU has 8 GB of GDDR6 VRAM, which is important for artificial intelligence algorithms. For data science, the GPU is important.

There is also 32 GB of RAM on board. This is about what we would be looking for, and the laptop can take up to 64 GB if you want to upgrade it at a later time. As far as storage goes there is a 1TB SSD, which is quite good.

See the MSI GS66 Stealth on Amazon.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15

Another laptop that I would consider as one of the best laptops for data science is the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15. This laptop looks great and offers premium parts. It is comparable to the MSI GS66 Stealth, so you should definitely check out both of these options.

Image of ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15

This laptop also comes with the Intel Core i9-10980HK CPU. There are not that many laptops that have this particular CPU. You will only find it in newer premium options, and typically in gaming laptops. Gaming laptops tend to be good for data science because of the good parts that they have.

The laptop has the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 GPU. This is a very good GPU, but it is not quite as good as the RTX 2080 competitor. It still has 8 GB for GDDR6 VRAM though, which is what you should be more concerned with if you want to do things such as machine learning.

As with the MSI GS66, this laptop has 32 GB of RAM. This is quite good. This laptop has an edge over the MSI GS66 with that it has 2 TB of SSD storage, but that is something that can be mitigated pretty easily by either upgrading the memory or getting an external SSD.

Overall the ASUS is a solid choice that you should have a look at.

See the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 on Amazon.

MSI GE75 Raider

There will be more budget friendly laptops coming up, but these first few ones are some of the best laptops for data science, and therefore command a premium price. Despite the high price, they do offer quite some value for the money by offering some of the best parts that you can currently get in a laptop.

Image of MSI GE75 Raider

As with the other two top picks on this list, this laptop comes with the Intel Core i9-10980HK. This is a great 8 core CPU that is great for data science. You should try to get a CPU that is at least comparable to this option, where 8 or more cores will be your best choice. You can get away with 6 cores also.

This laptop also comes with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q. This is a great GPU for these thing laptops, and makes it suitable for not only data science, but also playing video games and other high intensity tasks. It is a gaming laptop after all.

This machine also has 32 GB of RAM like the other options. This is what would be expected from this price class. There is even an option with 64 GB of RAM if you want to go that high. This option comes with a 1 TB SSD, but there is also a 2 TB option on the product page.

See the MSI GE75 Raider 17 on Amazon.

Acer Predator Helios 300

The Helios 300 is a great laptop that keeps getting better every year. This is one of the best bang for your buck options out there, which is one of the reasons why it made it onto this list of best laptops for data science.

Image of Acer Predator Helios 300

This laptop comes with the Intel Core i7-10750H. This is the new version of a CPU that was staple in high end gaming laptops for a long time. It is a 6 core CPU which is quite decent, and for this price it is very good. You will find a lot of high end laptops that have this CPU, and it is definitely a good pick.

The laptop also comes with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060. This GPU only has 6 GB of GDDR6 VRAM, which can be limiting if you are doing machine learning, but for most data scientists it will be ok. If you do require a stronger GPU then there are other options on this list that offer up to 8 GB of GDDR6.

There is 16 GB of RAM which is OK. It could be higher but that is something you can upgrade at a later point. There is a 512 GB SSD on board. You may want to get an external storage device if you think you are going to have a lot of data sets locally.

See the Acer Predator Helios 300 on Amazon.

MSI GL65 Leopard

The MSI GL65 Leopard is another middle of the road option. It offers very good parts for a decent price so it belongs among the best laptops for data science. This laptop is a good option if you are looking for something a little cheaper than the premium models, but still want a solid laptop from a great manufacturer.

Image of MSI GL65 Leopard

This laptop also comes with the Intel Core i7-10750H, just like the Helios 300. The two laptops are similar in many ways. This 6 core CPU is a good option for a laptop in this price class, and it is a good option for data science.

The GPU in this laptop is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 with 8 GB of GDDR6 VRAM. This is a good option for artificial intelligence and data science tasks. It also makes the laptop well suited for things such as video editing or playing video games.

There is 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD. This is a pretty common combination, but at this price level it would be great with a 1 TB SSD. These are things you can upgrade yourself later. The laptop can take up to 64 GB of RAM so there is plenty of room to upgrade.

See the MSI GL65 Leopard on Amazon.

Razer Blade Pro 17

The Razer Blade Pro 17 is a great laptop. This is one of the few 17 inch options, and you can also find the 15 inch version on this list. Razer Blade is one of my favorite laptop brands. They make great laptops that look good and has fantastic parts.

Image of Razer Blade Pro 17

This laptop has an 8 core CPU. It comes with the Intel Core i7-10875H. This CPU is comparable to the one that comes in the MSI GS66 Stealth. These CPUs are very good for laptops, and is what you should be looking for in the best laptop for data science.

There are a few options, but the version of the laptop that we picked for this list has the Nvidia RTX 2070 Max-Q. This is a very good GPU and is a good choice for data science.

There is also 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD. At the price of this laptop I would have liked to see a 32 GB / 1 TB combination.

See the Razer Blade Pro 17 on Amazon.

HP Omen 15

The HP Omen is a powerful laptop that you should consider. It has a gaming vibe to it, which some people might like, but I personally do not like the design. Despite the looks, the laptop offers very good parts for a respectable price.

Image of HP Omen

The laptop comes with the same Intel Core i7-10750H CPU that many of the other laptops on this list have. This is a great 6 core CPU, and it will be a staple in mid to high level gaming laptops for a long time.

The laptop also comes with the Nvidia GeForce 2070 Max-Q. This is a great GPU for data science, and it also makes the laptop well suited for playing video games, or any other high intensity activity you can think of.

There is 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD. As you may have noticed, this is a common combination, and is okay for this laptop.

See the HP Omen 15 on Amazon.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus S17

The ASOS ROG Zephyrus S17 is one of the most powerful laptops on this list. The only thing holding it back is the interesting design and placement of the keyboard. Some people may really like this, and because of the great parts it did make it onto the list of best laptops for data science.

Image of ASUS ROG Zephyrus S17

This laptop comes with the Intel Core i7-10750H. This is an 8 core CPU that works very well for data science on a laptop. It is one of the best CPUs you will find in a laptop right now, and definitely makes this laptop capable of resource intensive work.

The laptop also comes with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super, which offers 8 GB of GDDR6 VRAM. This is a great GPU if you want to venture into the realm of machine learning, which a lot of data science is.

There is also 32 GB of RAM ad a 1 TB SSD. This is a good combination, and I wish more laptops would come with this now.

See the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S17 on Amazon.

What to look for in a laptop for data science

Data science is one of those professions that requires a pretty good computer. If you plan to work Here are some of the things to consider when researching a data science laptop.

GPU

Data scientists need an immaculate GPU in order to get some of the more complex things done effectively. You will have multiple demanding programs running on a consistent basis. If you are analyzing any a lot of information, you are going to need something that packs a lot of power.

You should go with one of the RTX models, where the RTX 2080 would be best.

CPU

The central processing unit is also important to any data scientist. This will help your GPU run as efficiently as possible. Going for at least an i7 is a great way to start. The multiple cores will provide you with peak performance.

I recommend that you get the best CPU that fits in your budget. The CPU is the brain of the computer and one of the most important parts for data science. You should go for a 10th gen Intel CPU with as many cores as you can. 8 cores would be a great option.

RAM

RAM is the memory that holds information readily available for the CPU. The more you have the more it can hold. Each time it needs something that is not in RAM, the CPU needs to first load it from secondary memory which takes a long time comparably.

Getting at least 16 GB of RAM for data science is recommended. I also recommend that you get DDR4 RAM that is 2666 Mhz. If you can get 32 GB that would be even better.

Screen

You will spend many long hours just staring away at your screen. You want a bright display that won’t strain your eyes during extended sessions. A 15-inch screen is excellent for a full-time data scientist. You can go a bit smaller if you only plan to dabble in data science as a side hustle. Make sure the monitor displays at an HD resolution.

If you are interested in gaming you might also want a screen with a really high refresh rates. Some of the laptops that we recommend have a 240 Hz refresh rate, which is as good as it gets for gaming.

Storage

There are two types of hard drives to consider as your storage solution. An HDD is the standard optical drive that has been used for years. They have larger storage capacity but perform much slower. An SSD massively improved load times and transfer speed. However, newer technology makes it more expensive to manufacture SSDs with ample storage. You should choose either a laptop with either a 1 TB HDD or a minimum of 256 GB SSD.

a 256 GB SSD is on the smaller side, so 512 GB would be a lot better.

Some Frequently asked Questions

How do I chose a laptop for data science?

You have already started doing your research since you are reading this, which is great. You should first decide on a budget. After that, find the laptop from the list above that has the best specs (CPU, RAM, GPU), and go with that one. If you want to look for other alternatives, compare the laptop to the ones above to get a better idea of they are a good deal or not.

How much RAM do I need for data science?

You should go for 16 GB at least, with 32 GB being a lot better. Some people go as high as 64 GB on laptops when they are doing machine learning related tasks, but depending on your stage and needs you may not need that much.

Are gaming laptops good for data science?

Yes, gaming laptops are good for data science. Gaming laptops tend to be more powerful, and they often have a good CPU and GPU. These are both things that are important for data science, as you will be using a lot of resources.

Conclusion

Data science requires a lot of computation power. If you want to use a laptop as your workstation, then you should consider some of the options we have listed in this guide. They are some of the best options out there. If you want to research other laptops then keep the pointers from above in mind.

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