Is MacBook good for computer science students?

MacBook is a famous laptop to be used by students but what about computer science students?

MacBook will be the best idea?

according to the I-download blog, 40% of students prefer to use MacBook over a PC so what makes students have this choice?

Here are the 12 facts that make students love MacBook and other things that you should be aware of as a CS major:

  • powerful
  • silent no fan
  • easy to use
  • MacBook Air doesn’t have a fan
  • they run smoothly in famous IDE s
  • MacBook is not for machine learning
  • MacBook is good for web developments
  • MacBook is enough for mobile development but
  • Macbooks are different driving monitors
  • you can run windows on MacBook
  • expensive
  • mac accessories are expensive
  • not enough storage for
  • privacy
  • lack of ports


According to the experience made by Max Tech MacBook prove strong capabilities as a hardware laptop, the secondary version of the MacBook which is the MacBook Air has beaten windows laptops in the market. We will list the results in the table below.

Ram Test

 Mackbook air

Windows laptop surface 4

single core test 



 Multi-core test



Average Ram



This test is based on two principal elements:

  • Single-Core score test
  • and multi-core score

we’re not going to go into details about what is a Single-core and multi-core score. But to focus on the average ram score. The highest score means a better or stronger laptop.

The results have shown that the MacBook processor is 10% more powerful than the Windows laptop, for more proving we’re going to illustrate the second test between two versions of the MacBook:

  • One version that has an Apple chip processor
  • The 2nd intel processor Intel processor

you will see a comparison between a MacBook Pro that has an apple M1 processor and another MacBook Pro that comes with an intel processor.

Ram Test

Macbook pro

apple processor 

Macbook pro

Intel processor

single core test 



 Multi-core test



Average Ram



This test has shown that the MacBook apple processor is 40% more powerful than the intel I9 MacBook processor which is a significant difference between these two processors. This proves always that apple has the best hardware devices in the world.

Don’t buy the intel MacBook version

MacBook has two versions the version that has a silicon apple M1 processor and the second version that has an Intel processor. But the interesting thing about the MacBook Pro version that comes with an Intel processor is:

  • The macBook intel edition is expensive 3 times more than the apple M1 MacBook processor.
  • The macBook intel edition is less powerful by 40% than the apple M1 MacBook processor.

You can watch this video and see the details between the MacBook Pro apple processor and the intel one.


According to Techusersguide, the noise of laptop fans is vary between 30 to 60 dB the average is between 40 to 45 dB. But when a processor gets hotter the fan turn at high speed which increases the noise and can reach a maximum of 60 dB.

If you are lucky and have a laptop that only generates 30 dB it’s already quite good. But what about 0 dB?

The MacBook Air’s zero noise is completely silent, simply because it doesn’t have a fan.

Have you imagined how a laptop that doesn’t have a fan yes the MacBook Air doesn’t?

You can’t distinguish if the laptop is working or not unless you see the screen is on or something flashing on the keyboard. You can see this amazing experience in the video below.

But for computer science, students who love MacBooks have to understand that only MacBook Air that has this specific characteristic. In other words, MacBooks pro or other versions came with fan coolers.

In addition, the MacBook Air must have an apple chip processor because there are other MacBooks air versions that come with intel processors.

MacBook air intel processors versions have fan cooler because they generate a lot of heat. So computer science students have to be aware of this.

They run smoothly in the famous IDE

Thankfully to the M1 cheap MacBook processor, this device allows Computer science students to run the famous IDEs smoothly without any interruptions or flaws. As a computer science student you can smoothly run the following IDE:

  • Pycharm
  • vs code
  • x code
  • eclipse
  • Microsoft Visual
  • NetBeans
  • IntelliJ IDEA
  • Aptana studio
  • PyCharm
  • WebStorm
  • RubyMine
  • Komodo IDE
  • Octave (free alternative to MATLAB)
  • Julia
  • Prolog
  • Haskell
  • Racket
  • Oracle VirtualBox

you will be able to complete the class assignment without issue, not like iPads. You check this article to know 11 reasons to avoid iPad as a computer science student?

But for students who have the MacBook Air version have to be aware that some apps might not be supported by iOS as on the operating system.

In the next paragraph, we’re going to explain that well in detail.

You can run windows on MacBook but

The powerful Advantage that makes a lot of students love the MacBook is the ability to run a second operating system such as windows. But at the same time, this option is only included in an expensive MacBook Pro or Max.

So for computer students, is a big deception to not be able to use Windows on MacBook Air.

But, why do computer science students need to have Bootcamp for the windows operating system?

Because the MacBook operating system doesn’t support all the IDE that computers sciences students will probably need in their development process.

For instance, if you have an Android phone and want to make or test a visual studio app you won’t be able to do that with MacBook Air. So you need directly to switch to the Windows operating system so you can do that natively, which is impossible in MacBook Air.

So if you think to use MacBook Air as a student you have to be aware that the following application won’t be available to use.

  • Docker
  • VMWare
  • Parallels Desktop
  • VirtualBox
  • Homebrew ==>not work properly
  • Eclipse ==> can work but doesn’t include many features
  • JetBrains IDEs
  • Android Studio ==>doesn’t work properly
  • logism

you can read this article to know more details about that.

Easy to use

MacBook and iOS operating systems are known for their fluency and ease of use, if you are an Apple consumer, meaning you have an iPad or iPhone it would be easy for you to switch or access the data from each device to the iCloud service that apple has.

Kids find the iOS operating system easier to use than Windows. Moreover, the icons and features that Mac has, look more appealing to users.

MacBook is not for machine learning

Regarding the powerfulness that MacBook Provide but is still not the greatest tool to use if computer science students are serious about learning machine learning. You will face a lot of problems related to software incompatibilities and hardware limitations.

Especially if you want or have a MacBook Air, this version is the less powerful version among apple laptop devices. So if you want to have the potential to use MacBook for machine learning you have at least a MacBook Pro.

But you have to spend $3000 to have a MacBook laptop Pro configured for machine learning, while you can find better alternatives in the market at reduced prices.

MacBook is good for web developments

For interesting computer science, in web development like front-end or back-end, apple has a great and cheap laptop to use for only $999. For students, they can get a discount and have a MacBook air for only $899.

It comes with 8GB of Ram and 256 GB SSD but computer science students have to be aware that this version is limited.

If they want to do a complex tasks like video editing, 3D rendering, and other demanding CPU applications, the MacBook Pro is better.

MacBook is enough for mobile development but

MacBook is a good tool for computer science students who are interested in mobile app development. But the issue that many students can face who have a MacBook Air, not MacBook Pro is the ability to run or develop android apps.

The famous app known in Android app development is Android Studio, if you have or are thinking to buy MacBook Pro to develop android apps there is no problem.

Even though the MacBook Pro doesn’t support android Studio you could easily switch Bootcamp to Windows with your MacBook pro.

But if you have a MacBook Air that is impossible you can’t install windows to all MacBook Air laptop versions. So computer science students have to be aware of that before making a killer buying mistake.

Macbooks can different multiple driving monitors but

For developers or computer students using multiple or dual monitors is a lot helpful for studies you can read this article for more information how about this topic. Dual monitors for stem majors(8 things to know about)

If you think or study computer science and want to become a developer you will need to work at least with two monitors, some developers use free and even more 4 for some cases.

In general, MacBook can’t drive up to 4 monitors at once.

But as a MacBook user, you have to understand that the MacBook laptops don’t drive monitors similarly.

  • For instance, if you have a MacBook Air you can only drive one single monitor.

You could find in the table below the detailed information about each MacBook and how many monitors can drive.

MacBook version

The number monitor you can run

Macbook air


Macbook pro 13 inch


Macbook pro 14 inch


Macbook pro 16 inch

2 and 4 if you have M1 max chip

You can only drive for monitors if you buy a MacBook Pro version that came with an M1 Max chip processor, this version cost $3499 which is expensive.


If you are a computer science student and look for privacy, the MacBook or Apple products are the best you won’t be afraid that someone would spy on you or track personal data as Windows allows.

What is great about apple, is it doesn’t sell user data it is not like Google, Amazon, or Facebook.

97% of Facebook’s Revenue is coming from selling users’ information and Google comes in the second position with 84% of its Global Revenue.

This is the principal reason why students love to use Apple products.

you can read this article 15 interesting reasons why students love Apple.

Not enough storage for

having a MacBook as a computer science student has a lot of advantages but the key drawback is that Apple has short storage if you buy the :

  • $999 MacBook air you will only have 256BG of storage
  • $1299 MacBook air or pro version you will have 512GB

As a computer science, student 512GB is not enough today, especially for students who love to make videos or download a lot. $1299 is able to bring you a windows laptop with 1TB of capacity storage.

In addition, to have 1TB in your MacBook air you have to add $400 to buy a 1TB MacBook pro version which will cost you $1699. if you bought the standard $1299 version you have to invest in an external SSD hard drive for $400.

Apple accessories are so expensive once you make the wrong buying decisions you pay hardly the price.


Use a MacBook as a computer science student major if you look for:

  • privacy
  • less noise like MacBook air
  • security
  • ease of use
  • smoothness

but if you have a lower budget or want flexibility MacBook is not for you as a computer science student there is another version that can meet the need.

In addition, if you think to buy a MacBook we hugely recommend having a MacBook Pro instead of a MacBook air, So you can run windows on it if you face compatibility problems.


Yassin ajanif is a physics graduate and electromechanical engineer width more than 5 years in the field. My goal and my team are to share our experience to help you succeed in your career as a stem major. we talk about all tips, problems, and struggle STEM students face in their career and how to overcome them.