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Question

Buying: Mac vs others for Calculation intensive applications

by addyreg / January 20, 2013 8:15 PM PST

Hi all,
My brother is looking to buy a laptop for his PhD. He has an application which is very intensive in calculation (SWAT) and may take upto 3 hours on his current lenovo (AMD) laptop.
Our choice was a Mac with i7, Quad-core, 13/15 inch, 2.9GHz, 8GB RAM. But this costs almost 1.52 lakh INR in India which is very costly.
However other brands with i7 like HP/Dell , as per his hands-on over a friend's laptop, did not match upto the speed he required but were priced around 70-80k INR. Now that he is a student and without any loan, is the Mac we have zeroed in on worth the price? This will be the first Mac we have ever purchased

Regards,
Addy

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All Answers

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Answer
Re: mac versus others
by Kees_B Forum moderator / January 20, 2013 8:42 PM PST

If it's calculation intensive, it's unlikely that the difference between Mac and Windows are a factor 2. But it's worth a benchmark, if the Mac shop is willing to run the program for you (you might be able to find anotheri7 Windows laptop yourself).

Kees

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Re: mac versus others
by addyreg / January 21, 2013 3:01 PM PST
In reply to: Re: mac versus others

My concern is are other brands competent enough to completely make use of the advanced i7 + quad-core. It may be that though hardware is there, it may not be well utislised by other brands. Am I biased in saying so?

Regards,
Aadishri

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Re: quad core
by Kees_B Forum moderator / January 21, 2013 4:07 PM PST
In reply to: Re: mac versus others

That's the application program that does it, not the OS. Just try before you buy.

Kees

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Answer
Seen both and not enough difference to worry about.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 20, 2013 11:40 PM PST

A long time ago an analysis we ran took about a month. As we optimized our code we got it down to 10 days so the lesson is always that algorithm beats hardware every time. We could not get a machine 3 times faster so my suggestion is they talk with folk that do such optimizations.
Bob

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Answer
First of all looking at the
by orlbuckeye / January 21, 2013 10:39 PM PST

Mac Book Air from the Apple website there are 2 versions of the 15" Air and they have the 2.3 and 2.6 i7. The turbo boost which is overclocking power built into the processor is 3.3 and 3.6. The 2.6 ghz processor is the I7-3720QM. The 2.9 ghz processor is the i7-3920XM and is classified in the Extreme category.

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/processor-comparison/compare-intel-processors.html?select=laptop

The processors are made by Apple or Dell they are made by Intel and placed in both machines. AMD is an aternative company to Intel and many say their high end processors don't match the Intel high ends.

here is a search at Newegg.com with laptops at 2.6 ghz processor speeds and above. It includes 2nd and 3rd generation i7 processors.

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Re:Mac vs others for Calculation intensive applications
by addyreg / January 22, 2013 2:54 PM PST

We have decided on Mac Pro, so not looking into Air.

My confusion is with other brands' capacity to utilise the quad core capabilities of i7

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Never found that to be a brand issue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 22, 2013 11:23 PM PST

As an programmer and more I can tailor my app to use more memory, more cores or in short, tailor the app to the platform to take advantage of what it offers. Once in a while you find folk that think the platform sets the limits.
Bob

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It isn't a brand issue.
by orlbuckeye / January 24, 2013 11:23 PM PST

Basically whether you have a Dell, Apple, HP or Toshiba most processors are made by AMD or Intel and they are placed on motherboards made by other companies but are designed to fit specific processors. The experts all point to Intel as the more powerfull of the 2 AMD versus Intel and that part of the reason Intel is usually more expensive. You need to look at the Intel site and compare model numbers of the i7 and find the one that fits your needs then find our what brand/models have that processor you want. Typically if you buy at a retail outlet you will not see the mainstream Intel i7 models. If you go to the manufacturer sites you will have more flexibility in processor choices. You will be able to select whic processor you want from the ones offered.

Here is a list of all the components in a computer if you by a Dell almost nothing in the Dell is made by Dell and no company either will you find a company that makes all the components in the PC. The advantage Apple has which helps with support is every PC of the same model contains the same components. The Windows machines vendors mic and match components

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_PC_hardware_manufacturers

Morale to the story look at Intel site unde the i7 processors and looks at the differences and find which one meets your needs and then look for a laptop with that processor. The same model Processor in an Apple with perform at the same level as the same processor in Dell. Thats because the Mobo's are designed to match the the processors.

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