Recommended Laptop Specs

Laptop Recommendations for Media Arts students

The Media Arts program at York University is very interdisciplinary and focused on helping you develop an understanding of media as a social, political, and cultural process as well as a technologically-mediated practice. Having the right equipment is important to make the most of your studies and to allow you to create independent work. Learning by doing, making, experimenting is a fundamental way that we learn. To this end, we are making recommendations for laptop purchases that will allow you to use the wide range of software we will be using in courses. By having an appropriate laptop you will be better placed to collaborate on team projects, learn remotely (from home), and continue exploring when you have the time and space to do so.

Laptops used for the creation of time-based media (movies, videos), interactive experiences (apps, games), visual design (artwork, posters, publications) are required to have higher capacity than laptops used primarily for writing, web, and watching videos. The most important characteristics of the laptops we recommend for Media Arts students are memory (RAM), processor (CPU), video processor (GPU), and storage (main hard drive). We have found that Windows-based laptops tend to be a better deal than Apple Mac-based laptops. The vast majority of software that we use in Media Arts is available on both platforms.

If you are in the process of purchasing a new laptop for this fall we encourage you to consider models that are intended for media-creation or higher-end gaming (these have similar technical specifications).

Please note: Good equipment at home always helps, but know that if you are not in a position to purchase a recommended computer at this time that we remain committed to assisting students achieve success with their projects.

Technical specifications that we recommend as MINIMUM for a new laptop purchase:

  • Operating System: Windows 10 (64-bit)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2050 with 8GB GPU RAM
  • CPU: 13th / 14th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 (e.g. 13700HX / 14700HX) or
    Ryzen 7 (e.g. 7020, 7030, 7040)
  • System RAM: 16GB
  • Internal Storage: 256 GB SSD
    *Recommended 1TB external storage drive (HDD) for project files and storage*
Technical specification that we recommend as IDEAL for a new laptop purchase:
  • Operating System: Windows 10 (64-bit)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 or higher with 16GB GPU RAM
  • CPU: 14th Generation Intel® Core™ i9 (e.g. 14900HX) or Ryzen 7045
  • System RAM: 32GB
  • Internal Storage: 1TB M.2 NVMe Internal SSD
    *Recommended 4TB external storage drive (HDD) for project files and storage*

Examples of laptop models and configurations that are suitable for media creation:

  • Dell XPS 15
  • ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED
  • Lenovo Legion Pro 7i
  • Asus TUF Gaming F15
  • MSI GE76 Raider
  • MSI Creator Z17
  • Dell Inspiron 5000 16″ FHD+ Laptop

We do not specifically endorse any one manufacturer but instead recommend that you look for special discounts and find the equipment that best matches your budget.