Recommended Laptop Specs

Laptop Recommendations for Media Arts students

The Media Arts program at York University is very interdisciplinary and focussed 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 as campus response to COVID-19 continues to unfold.

Technical specifications that we recommend as minimum for a new laptop purchase:
  • Operating System: Windows 10 or Mac OS 10.15
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7-3750H, Intel Core i7-9750H
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 1050, 8GB
  • Storage: 500 GB (primary hard drive)
  • Mouse: 3-button (non-touch pad)
Examples of laptop models and configurations that are suitable for media creation:

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.