buying advice for mac needed!!!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by visiondark, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. visiondark macrumors newbie

    visiondark

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2015
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    I am a student majoring in Physics and Astronomy. Heading to my master study in the coming academic year, I am planning to have a proper computer setup for my study. I usually work parallel with multiple programs. These are the programs that I often use:

    1. Safari Web browsing
    2. LaTex text editing
    3. microsoft word and excel
    4. DS9 image processing with multiple big images (over 5000pixels x 5000pixels)
    5. Python, Fortran and IDL programming
    6. ssh remote control to other computers
    7. light and occasional movie editing

    Since I am going to work heavily on images, a good screen would be preferred. I have a dell u2414h monitor at home and it is crucial for me to work with it in dual monitor.

    I am open to both iMac and MacBooks suggestions since portability is not my primary concern (I have another old notebook which is old and heavy but still can function). I have ~$3000 budget on it but it would be great if I can save as much as possible!

    What would be my best choice?

    Thanks for reading and advices in advance!
     
  2. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #2
    You sound like a candidate for the iMac 5k. Make sure it has a ssd or fusion drive in it. No other upgrades needed.
     
  3. Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Location:
    Here
    #3
    Well, will you ever need portability? If so, get a 15" rMBP. It's a desktop class machine in a portable body with 16GB of RAM, large SSD (if you get the dGPU model), great screen, and the ability to hook up to several external monitors if you need more space.

    The Retina 5K iMac is another excellent choice. Like @Meister said, get at least a fusion drive. I think you could get by on 8GB of RAM, but 16GB would be nice when working with several images over an extended period, but I'd put money into the Fusion Drive/SSD first.

    Personally, I'd go for the MacBook Pro with dGPU. The base model has a 512GB SSD, 16GB of RAM, and quad core i7 graphics. You can hook it up to multiple motors at work in clamshell mode or use the built in display as a secondary screen.
     
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #4
    If you don't need portability then the retina iMac seems a no brainer for your usage..... add you screen for a 2 screen setup and away you go.
     
  5. visiondark thread starter macrumors newbie

    visiondark

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2015
    #5
    @Meister Thanks for your advice. I just checked the the retina iMac. It is a beautiful machine and the 5K monitor offers stunning clarity on images.

    @Traverse Thanks for your detailed feedback. The 15 inch rMBP obviously suits my need. However, I am a bit worried that the small screen size will be a huge drawback for me. I might need to spend money for an extra monitor if I am not comfortable with it...

    @Samuelsan2001 Thanks for your reply!

    Now I am keeping my eyes on the retina iMac and the 15 inch rMBP. I will wait for the "Back to School" program until I make a decision....Thanks so much!
     
  6. imaccooper macrumors regular

    imaccooper

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #6
    Both options on here are good suggestions. I would also lean towards the 5k iMac since you want the large dual screens.

    Definitely a good idea to wait for the promotion since you don't need it until school starts.
     
  7. Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Location:
    Here
    #8
    You can buy a pair of external screens to work on and the rMBP can drive 4K displays. However, if you're sure that you just need a work setup that will never move, I'd lean for the riMac. Personally, I like having the ability to picture up my entire "station" so to speak and take it with me whether for work or an emergency.
     
  8. visiondark thread starter macrumors newbie

    visiondark

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2015
    #9
    A bit off topic question: is it possible to run Linux (fedora) parallel with OS X in the rMBP or the riMac? Will the computer become significantly slower when I run two operating system at the same time?
     
  9. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #10
    Yes you can install any OS you like. As for performance well if you run it in a separate partition on it's own then it'll use all the spec of teh computer (when it takes 20 secs tops to reboot this isn't such an issue. If you run it as avirtual machine you'll have to assign certain amounts of your CPU and RAM to each OS.

    also if you are going for an imac look at refurbished on apples website, the savings are great and the back to school is just a few dollars of itunes vouchers these days.
     

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