Laptops for Data Science/Programming

Why Data science and ML pros are opting for laptop over desktop these days

Machine learning and Deep Learning professionals typically use customized systems for their work. Here, the configuration depends upon the project’s scope and complexity. Most professionals either use an OEM’s desktop workstation or a highly customized PC as ordinary desktops are incapable of handling the load, and laptops till date were just not powerful enough. Things, however, are changing now. Laptops have become much more powerful and suitable for AI/ML professionals. Let’s dig deep into how laptops can be helpful for ML algorithm training projects and what to look for before buying one.

Why Ordinary Desktop PCs Don’t Work for ML Projects

Running reasonably extensive machine learning or deep learning problems on an ordinary desktop PC will usually lock up the entire machine. Opening even small programs on it can take a lot of work. Deep learning models train for hours or even weeks, and your machine will be barely usable during this time. So, every data science & machine learning professional needs a dedicated device for this job.

Power Dependency is Needed more than You think

Processing deep learning algorithms can take a long time and you surely don’t want to restart the process because the PC reboots due to a power cut. Even if you have a UPS to back it up, it can also run into glitches and may not be able to handle prolonged power cuts. Running them on a mobile workstation however can reduce this risk considerably.

Increased Need for Mobility

Initially, Data Science was used mainly for scientific and academic research, where working from the office/lab was the norm, so desktops were the device of choice. However, the rising usage of data science in routine business has changed the norms because a lot of people work from different locations. This is one a key reason why the number of laptop users increased among data science professionals.

Laptop is a Smart Investment

From a resource optimization point of view, investing in a costly Data Science desktop is a huge investment, especially for small businesses. Here, Data Science laptops are more affordable than data science desktops, which makes for another case to use them instead. Another case for using laptops for data science is that OEMs like HP offer a lot of features that can help get the machine up and running for work in no time. Plus, they come with features like WSL 2 (Windows Sub-System for Linux), which allows you to run Ubuntu Linux within Windows itself. There’s no need to configure the machine in dual-boot mode. You can seamlessly switch between the two Operating Systems, which saves time and allows data scientists to focus on their work instead of switching between operating systems.

Another interesting point to note is the Data Science stack that laptops from OEMs like HP offer. It comprises of essential tools that every data scientist needs to start their work. So tools like databases, ETL (extraction, transformation, and loading), warehouse/storage and data modeling, visualizations, AI/ML, etc. are essential for every data scientist.

A third interesting innovation is HP Remote Boost software. This application allows users to connect to super-powerful data science computers on a subscription basis at HP Data Center and use shared resources for power-hungry computations. This way, users can work from anywhere, and that too, at an affordable budget.

Some Good Laptop Options

HP ZBook Firefly 16 G9 Mobile Workstation PC is an excellent choice for the cause. Powered by 12th gen Intel i7, 32 GB DDR5 (4800 MHz) RAM, and dual GPU NVIDIA T550 Laptop GPU & Intel Iris-X if you will use local hardware and Remote computing at the same time. In addition, any HP ZBook Workstation comes with HP Remote Boost and DS Stack pre-installed for professionals.

On the other hand HP ZBook Fury 16 G9 Mobile Workstation Data Science PC is an excellent choice for high-end professionals with more local hardware requirements. Powered by the 12th Gen Intel i9 CPU, 64 GB RAM, and NVIDIA RTX A3000 (12 GB GDDR6) GPU, you are good to go with most machine learning projects on your local system.

People with a tight budget also can consider the HP ZBook Firefly 14 G9 Mobile Workstation PC, which is powered by 12th Gen Intel i5 and 16 GB DDR5 RAM.

Check out the HP Online Store for many other options and more details about the HP ZBook series.