If you're looking for a new laptop with machine learning (ML) built into its processes rather than a desktop, look for something portable. Many students and teachers study and work in public spaces. Finding the best laptop for machine learning that is also portable will be quite a difficult task, as ML will put a lot of demands on your laptop.
When it comes to AI and data science, you're only as good as your hardware. You will need something that can easily handle large data sets. A second key component is a modern GPU, so that your computer doesn't get too slow while performing huge calculations. (Trust us, nothing kills your creative flow like a great model that takes hours to complete build).
Laptops these days have different configurations to suit your purpose. Some of them come with high-end graphics for gaming. Some laptops have powerful processors and some have good memory. But what specifications do you need for your machine learning laptop? That is why in this review article we have compared all the necessary attributes that you need in your machine learning laptop.
Eluktronics Max-17 laptop for machine learning
- AMD Risen 7 4800H 8 x 2.9 - 4.2 GHz processor, Renoir (Zen 2)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 2060 Mobile Graphics Adapter - 6144 MB, Video output: 1005 MHz, Memory: 1375 MHz, GDDR6, 442.80
- RAM 32768 Bytes Avant DDR4-3200, 22-22-22-52, Dual-Channel
- The display is 17.30 inches. 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixels. 127 dpi, BOY NV173FHM-N44, IPS, BOE07B6, Glossy finish: No, 144 Hz
- AMD Promontory Motherboard/Bixby FCH
- Data storage Phison PS5013 PRO-X-1TB-G2R NVMe SSD, 1024 GB
- Weight 2.553 Kg
- Power adapter: 563 g
The Electronics company announced, according to her, the world's first laptops equipped with IPS displays with a resolution of 1440p, supporting a refresh rate of 165 Hz. According to estimates, these BOE-made panels cost only $50 more than similar 1080p panels. The maximum brightness of the screen is 318 cd/m2. The screen covers 100% of the sRGB color space and 87% of the Adobe RGB color space.
Best laptop under $ 3,000 and billed as “Lightest 17.3 Gaming Laptop in the World”. The design of the Eluktronics notebook is similar to the Intel Whitebook, but its GPUs and processors are more up-to-date and more powerful. They also make a powerful workstation.
MSI GS65 laptop for machine learning
Thin, light, fragile. The MSI GS65 was and remains one of the leaders among gaming laptops - although it also has disadvantages, even in its updated form. Our test configuration is relatively simple and will cost $1849. It has a Core i7-8750H, 16 GB of memory, a GTX 1060 and a 256 GB NVMe drive. We take out the ruler and start the comparison!
GS65-8RF Stealth Thin, the predecessor of today's test device, was on our review recently - in May. It had a Core i7 processor, GTX 1070 Max-Q graphics and an NVMe drive. You can take this slim laptop with you and not be ashamed of its appearance, it provides an acceptable working time and has the same high-quality aluminum case as many more expensive models. We were pleasantly surprised by the RGB backlight, which is configurable individually, and the thin frames around the screen (which works with a refresh rate of 144 Hz and shows the correct colors). The performance turned out to be very good. At the same time, the price of that model, $ 2,100, gave us a reason to find fault with the quality of assembly and design, the quality of energy-saving capabilities, and even ill-conceived maintenance.
All current versions of the MSI GS65 laptop for machine learning use an Intel Core i7-8750H processor and either 16 GB or 32 GB of dual-channel DDR4-2400 memory. The GPU can be either GTX 1060 or GTX 1070 Max-Q. The size of solid-state storage varies from 256 GB to 1 TB, the connection type can be both SATA and NVMe, and there is even such an animal as a 1-terabyte "Super RAID 4" (and in fact these are two 512-gigabyte NVMe drives in a RAID-0 array).
Our current test sample is equipped a little worse than the past, it has Intel Core i7-8750H, GTX 1060 mobile graphics, 16 GB of DDR4 memory and a 256 GB NVMe drive.
As you probably should have expected, battery-powered performance drops significantly compared to mains power; running 3DMark 11 on standalone soldering gives out only 5758 points. But LatencyMon does not find any unnecessary delays.
HP Omen 15 laptop for ML
The HP Omen line is aimed at the gaming audience and within its framework, the manufacturer offers both top-end high-end models and those available with an initial level of performance. The new Omen 15 is a very interesting device in terms of price-quality ratio.
Intel Core i5-10300H and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti are a pretty decent basis for gaming in Full HD. The amount of RAM (16 GB) is sufficient for trouble-free operation of the system and applications, and a factory SSD of 512 GB is enough for the first time.
Intel Core i5-10300H contains 4 cores and supports Hyperthreading. The base frequency of this chip is 2.5 GHz and can reach 4.5 GHz according to Intel. The test laptop has a maximum frequency with a load on all cores of 4.2 GHz. However, even so, the i5-10300H loses to the AMD Ryzen 7 4800H in the MSI Bravo 15. In a single-threaded test, Intel still looks good, but in a multithreaded one, it lags very much.
The long-term performance of the Omen 15 processor looks good: the score in the Cinebench R15 multithreaded test (running in a circle) has not changed over time. After 50 iterations of the test, the average score was 897 points - Omen 15 slightly bypasses Nexoc GH15, based on the same Core i5.
Acer Nitro 5 laptop for AI
The Nitro 5 series is very popular. There is nothing surprising in this, because we are dealing with inexpensive solutions (for example, against the background of the Predator Helios series), which nevertheless have decent gaming performance. So, the configuration of the Acer Nitro 5 AN515-54-56MH laptop for machine learning includes a 4-core Core i5-9300H chip and GeForce GTX 1660 Ti mobile graphics - listing these characteristics is enough to say: this is a fairly productive gaming PC.
I will immediately draw your attention to the fact that the updated Nitro 5 series includes not only components from Intel and NVIDIA. On sale you will also find configurations based on AMD chips. This laptop can use Ryzen 3000 processors and Radeon RX 500 graphics. All the main characteristics are listed in the table below.
In the default operating mode, the frequency of the graphics chip varies from 1650 to 1785 MHz. At the same time, in the game — that is, in an application where the CPU and GPU are simultaneously involved — the cooling system works noticeably louder: from a distance of 30 cm, the equipment recorded 41 dBA. Noisy, but quite tolerable, in my opinion. At the same time, the GPU heats up to 83 degrees Celsius, but the temperature of the hottest core of the CPU reaches 96 degrees Celsius - the design features of the Nitro 5 cooler, which I talked about in the first part of the article, affect. As a result, the laptop heats up quite a lot.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus laptop for machine learning
The Asus ROG Zephyrus S17 laptop line, as you might guess from the name, has 17-inch screens, so these models can't be compact or light. But not everyone needs portability — after all, gaming laptops generally assume primarily stationary use. But the performance of the Zephyrus S17 GX703HS model we are testing is excellent, as a highlight we will allocate a RAID array of three (!) terabyte SSDs. And then there's Intel Core i9-11900H and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop, 32 GB of memory and an interesting keyboard and wheel.
The laptop uses very hot components, and the thickness of the case, although not small, is standard, so here we see the usual cooling system that uses the internal space to the maximum: 6 heat pipes that are pressed not only to the CPU and GPU, but also to the elements of the power converters on the board and video memory. There are formally two coolers (with 2 fans and 4 radiators in total), but they are so intertwined that in fact it is a single cooler. And the fans, when loading any of the components (processor or video card), work synchronously. The Thermal Grizzly liquid metal alloy is used as a thermal interface on the processor.
When applying the maximum load to the CPU, a typical pattern is observed for Intel processors: at first, spurred by the Turbo Boost mode, the processor operates in excess of all reasonable limits, including its own TDP (which, according to official data, is only 45 watts). The frequency of cores under load exceeds 4 GHz, consumption is in the region of 105 watts, the temperature rises to almost 100 degrees and at least one core begins to trot. However, this period does not last long, just a couple of minutes. Then the consumption decreases to still very high 90 watts, the temperature drops below 90 degrees, the frequency stabilizes at 3.75 GHz, the trolling disappears. This is a stable long-term regime. But the operation of the cooling system in this case is far from ideal, the fans are constantly lowering, then raising the rotation speed (approximately in the range of 2700-4600 rpm), aggravating the high noise level by also changing its volume and tonality.
Apple MacBook Pro laptop for ML
The new MacBooks with Liquid Retina XDR display are powered by M1 Pro and M1 Max processors — the most productive chips in Apple's history.
The device can be the best laptop for machine learning and complex mathematical calculations. According to the developers, "MacBook Pro cope with tasks that were previously simply unthinkable for laptops."
Also, the new MacBook Pro received a 1080-pixel FaceTime HD camera, an improved audio system with powerful bass and a large set of connectors.
Up to two Pro Display XDR monitors can be connected to models based on the M1 Pro chip. And models with the M1 Max chip support simultaneous operation of up to three Pro Display XDR and a 4K display.
The updated design made it possible to improve the cooling system: the new design allows 50% more air to pass through, so the fan does not even turn on when performing everyday tasks.
The keyboard has also changed. Laptops received Magic Keyboard keys with a Force Touch trackpad: Apple abandoned the screen at the top of the layout and returned to physical buttons.
Sound with spatial audio technology is output to six high—definition speakers - two high-frequency and four low-frequency with resonance correction. This provides 80% more powerful bass. The models are also equipped with three professional studio microphones with noise reduction. The developers assure that this is the best audio system that Apple devices have ever received.
The performance of M1 Pro is up to 70% higher than that of M1: in the maximum configuration, the new chip is equipped with a powerful central processor - up to 10 cores - and a 16-core GPU. Laptops based on the M1 Max chip will be even more powerful: instead of 16 cores in the GPU, they got 32.
M1 Pro and Max reach peak performance values by consuming less power than similar chips.
The bandwidth of M1 Pro is 200 GB/s. The M1 Max has 400 Gb/s. This is three and six times more than the M1. The chips are equipped with fast combined memory - up to 32 and 64 GB, respectively.
Thanks to the built-in 16-core Neural Engine system, both new chips provide high-speed processing of machine learning processes and more efficient camera operation.
ASUS TUF laptop for machine learning
For the demanding, Asus produces thin and sexy ROG Strix laptop for machine learning and ROG Zephyrus laptops, but thrifty gamers are looking towards the TUF Gaming family, which is distinguished by an extremely attractive combination of power, availability and reliability. With an emphasis on reliability, as befits the products of the TUF family: the filling of laptops is hidden in metal-plastic cases that are certified by the US Army (MIL-STD-810G standard) and can be used to work in adverse conditions.
Initially, Asus set the bar at the level of a psychologically comfortable figure for buyers of $ 1000. Because of this, laptops had to cut off excess fat like USB C with Power Delivery, fingerprint scanner, fast charging or RGB backlight. Over time, the TUF family has grown, and the boundaries have blurred, but the principle of "nothing superfluous" has not gone away. Unlike the flagship models of the ROG series, TUF laptops have only the most necessary for a gamer: productive hardware, a display with a high refresh rate, a convenient keyboard and an efficient cooling system.
Gigabyte Aero 15 laptop for machine learning
Unfortunately, due to the well-known insanity, there are practically no new GeForce RTX 30 series video cards in retail. And although Nvidia seems to be starting to struggle with miners (let's see how things go with the GeForce RTX 3060), right now it's not easier for ordinary buyers. For them, almost the only option to purchase a card like the GeForce RTX 3080 is to buy a laptop with it. However, it will be a mobile version of the accelerator, by definition slower. And the rest of the laptop components are not exactly given away for free. But if you were going to buy a gaming laptop anyway, at least you have the opportunity.
The last letter of the full name of the model (C) tells us that this is the third generation of Gigabyte Aero laptops. The first generation (A) was based on Intel Core processors of the 9th generation, the second (B) - on Intel Core of the 10th generation, in both cases Nvidia GeForce RTX 20 video cards were used. The current generation still has the same Intel processors, but the graphics cards have been updated. As a result, the three models of the current YC, XC and KC family differ from each other in just the video card — they use GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop, GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop and GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop, respectively.
Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED XC has a fairly powerful cooling system with 2 fans and 4 heat pipes. However, only one tube departs from the radiators on the CPU and GPU to the "own" fan, the two remaining tubes are "common", so there is actually a single cooler, not two separate ones. This is also confirmed by the operation scheme of the coolers: when loaded on any of the components, both fans turn on and operate at the same speed. Cold air is sucked in from below, where almost half of the bottom of the laptop is covered only with a mesh. The hot air is blown backwards (mostly) and to the right/left in the rear of the case (to a lesser extent). The heating of the case near the vents and in general in the back, of course, is felt, but in ordinary life it does not interfere much. The maximum speed of the fans is 5300 rpm, while they produce a very high noise level. This emergency mode can be quickly turned on and off by using the Fn+Esc keyboard shortcut without using the proprietary utility.
Dell G7 laptop for machine learning
The laptop uses a 6-core Core i7 and a full version of GeForce RTX 2070. The computer has 16 GB of DDR4-2933 RAM and a terabyte solid-state drive. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, I did not find such a modification on sale, but exactly the same version of the RTX 2070 in Max-Q design - Dell G7 17 7700 (G717-2482) laptop for machine learning - could be taken at Moscow retail for 130,000 rubles — this is one of the lowest prices for models with such graphics and the lowest among the versions with a 17-inch screen, according to Yandex.Market.
The Killer E2500 gigabit controller is responsible for the wired network in the laptop, and the Killer Wireless—AX 1650i is responsible for the wireless connection. The updated Wi-Fi module supports IEEE 802.11b/g/n/ac/ax standards with a frequency of 2.4 and 5 GHz and a maximum bandwidth of up to 2.4 Gbit/s and Bluetooth 5.0.
Claims have arisen about the cooling efficiency of Dell G7 components. Earlier I complained that the new version frankly saved on the cooler — and we see the fruits of such savings. So, the GPU heats up to 87 degrees Celsius — this leads to the fact that the actual GPU frequency is not much higher than the stated Boost frequency. At the same time, Intel's 6-core is also heated to 99 degrees Celsius, dropping the frequency of all cores to 3.3 GHz, which is 900 MHz less than the value declared for Core i7-10750H. The fact is that the PL1 parameter for the processor in the Dell G7 17 is set at 30 watts — that is, 15 watts lower than the standard TDP indicator. Naturally, this is due to the fact that the cooling system "does not pull" two such hot chips at the same time. Consequently, Dell engineers did everything consciously.
How to choose the best laptop for machine learning
As for the specifications, it is important to meet the minimum requirements mentioned above. However, if you are looking for a laptop for ML and you have the budget, it is useful to ramp up each specification to the recommended settings for ML. They are as follows:
- CPU - Intel of the 10th generation with 8 cores
- GPU - RTX 2080
- RAM - 64 GB
- SSD - 2 TB
Portability and processing power
The first thing you need to consider is portability and processing power. When talking about laptops, portability is one of the most vital factors to consider. This is because you will need to take your laptops with you for work. In such cases, ultra-thin lightweight laptops are ideal.
But besides, one of the most important things you need is processing power. You should always consider the processor you are using with your laptop. When in doubt, go for the latest-generation processor with the lowest nanoscale technology you can afford.
The next most vital thing that you should consider is RAM. Machine learning engages in heavy algorithms. In such cases, your laptop must be efficient enough to withstand such algorithms. RAM plays a huge role in helping you achieve your goal. The recommended RAM size for your laptop is 16 GB.
After RAM, the most important thing to consider is the GPU. The GPU is the graphic processing unit. Machine learning spoils many neural networks. It also contains a plethora of expensive calculations. Hence, you need a powerful GPU to get the program you want. This is what you need to look for when buying the best machine learning and AI programming laptops.