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Old 02-06-2015, 07:32 PM   #1
InquilineKea
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Location: USA

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Default 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.
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Old 02-06-2015, 07:56 PM   #2
Brian Bushnell
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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?
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Old 02-06-2015, 08:06 PM   #3
InquilineKea
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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?
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Old 02-06-2015, 09:15 PM   #4
Brian Bushnell
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Quote:
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.
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Old 02-07-2015, 03:58 AM   #5
GenoMax
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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?
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Old 02-08-2015, 12:07 AM   #6
InquilineKea
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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 at 01:10 AM.
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