I am looking to buy a MacBook for the sole purpose of installing and using AFNI (I will be attending the bootcamp in July). I don’t want to spend an unnecessarily high priced model but also want to make sure I buy a machine that is up to the task (as a lifetime PC user, I do not speak Apple). In addition to ensuring that it has at least MAC OS X, what other specs should I be sure to look out for? I am assuming springing for the MacBook Pro with 16GB as opposed to 8GB is a must? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Hopefully others will chime in, esp. since my favorite Mac OS is called “Ubuntu 16.04”*…
My laptop has 7.5GB of memory, and that is fine for Bootcamping. I do process a fair number of test data sets and the like on it, occasionally something like 3dQwarp on it (but rarely that large a program) and it is OK, but still pretty slow. For major processing (i.e., a group study), I would not use a laptop anyways.
You would probably want as good a graphics card as you can get, and HD screen resolution (my laptop is 2048x1152).
More/faster processors are good, esp. for parallelized things: I have 4x2.30GHz.
I have a 256 GB disk and that is handy for not worrying much about space while saving dsets; 128 GB is also fine-- again, I wouldn’t process a group study on my laptop. Also, I assume most laptops are only 64-bit now, but yes, 64-bit.
*personal opinion only!
I’m pretty happy with the performance of my 13" Macbook Pro (MBP) with touch bar. The 3.1Ghz model is a big jump in technical specs for not a huge amount of additional costs. The 16GB of memory is certainly useful depending on what you’re running, and data is constantly getting bigger (multi-band, multi-echo, etc) - so some amount of “future proofing” is good if you can afford it.
Any of the 15" models should be fine as well. Screen size can be a personal thing, if you want/need screen real estate and don’t mind a larger package, absolutely go for it. The 15" model has more processors, so you’ll be able to do things faster.
Thank you for your input, most helpful! I was tempted to go with Ubuntu as well but my collaborator is using a MacBook, so I figure that it’s easier if we have the same operating system.
You don’t want to make your collaborator jealous??
I would love to make her jealous actually! I would prefer to go with Ubuntu (c.f. I don’t speak Apple)… but would that make it more difficult? Her sense is that going the MacBook route is the gold standard/easiest. Please disabuse her/us.
AFNI certainly runs fine on (many) Linux, as well as Mac. So… probably a lot depends on personal preferences.
The MacOS does have some advantages, but installation has been relatively more straightforward recently on Linux systems. The Mac can provide the standard Office packages, but equivalent, quite usable and maybe preferable packages exist for Linux systems - and work across all common platforms. Unfortunately Apple has done little recently to support their version of Unix. News today highlighted their deprecating support for the OpenGL graphics system.