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  • How good is this build for bioinformatics? (esp. RNA-Seq)

    Processor
    4th Generation Intel Core i7-4710HQ Processor (2.50GHz 1600MHz 6MB)
    Operating system
    Windows 8.1 64
    Display
    15.6" FHD LED AntiGlare Backlight (1920x1080)
    Graphics
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M 4GB
    Memory
    16.0GB PC3-12800 DDR3L SDRAM 1600 MHz
    Hard Drive
    1 TB (or 500 GB SSD)
    Optical Drive
    None
    Network Card
    Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160
    Bluetooth
    Bluetooth Version 4.0
    Warranty
    One year
    Battery
    4 Cell 54 Watt Hour Lithium-Ion

    ==

    I'm just wondering - how much does the graphics card matter? And what about SSD vs a rotating hard drive? I'm thinking of dual-booting both Unix and Windows.

  • #2
    First off, you should assume that Linux/Unix will be your primary OS, and design accordingly. Graphics does not matter. An SSD may be nice, but depending on how much sequence you will be dealing with, I would prioritize more storage; a 2TB drive minimum. Memory is also quite important; I'd go with 32GB minimum, and there's no upper limit for how much would be useful.

    I would recommend a desktop system so you can jam more stuff in it more easily, be able to upgrade, and eliminate thermal / power limitations that will reduce performance.

    But, that's all just in general. What is your planned use-case?

    Comment


    • #3
      Okay - thanks very much for your feedback! I see...

      Hmm - I'm new to bioinformatics so I don't have a precise idea of my planned use-case yet. I'm thinking of using RNA-Seq (with Tophat and Cufflinks), but I'll probably go further than that.

      Couldn't I also make do with a 2 TB external hard drive instead?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by InquilineKea View Post
        Couldn't I also make do with a 2 TB external hard drive instead?
        Yes, that's certainly a possibility, as long is it's connected through USB3.

        Comment


        • #5
          Does this have to be a laptop? If the answer is yes, then comments below can be ignored.

          If that is not the case then you could get a better deal with putting together a desktop config. If possible you should try to leverage central compute resources (at your institution) and get a nice/portable laptop to remotely connect to those resources.

          A 4-cell battery with the core i7 processor/1080p screen and other stuff you have up there is not going to last very long. Have you also looked at what the overall weight is of that laptop?

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for all the advice! Well, a laptop would be much preferred, though I could also look into a desktop. I don't care much for battery life.

            So 32 GB RAM... Hmm - http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops...w-series/w540/ has a model with 32 GB RAM. Though admittedly, it would be nice to use it for gaming too. I don't care too much about graphics beyond the lowest settings, though I'd like to run GTA V and maybe some games of the future. I plan on dual-booting both Unix and Windows.

            ==

            Could a model like http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np8670-...wconfigure=yes be good for bioinformatics? (more on specs: http://www.sagernotebook.com/Notebook-NP8670.html )

            ==

            Ultimately the bioinformatics datasets I'm looking into are ones used in aging (in particular, from https://www.liv.ac.uk/integrative-bi...-de-magalhaes/ )
            Last edited by InquilineKea; 02-08-2015, 02:10 AM.

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