Question MacBook for big data science: Should I buy a Intel or ARM Apple silicon?

Nov 20, 2020
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Hi everyone. I'm buying a MacBook Pro for programming and for the university. I was planning to buy a Macbook Pro 16, but, since ARM based Macs have been shown, I am a bit worried about what's better for my needs.

I've just graduated in computer science, and I'm continuing my studies with a master's degree. I want to become specialized in the management of Big Datas, and websites back-end development (and a little of front-end as well).
So I use a lot of different DBMS, such as Postgresql, MongoDB, Neo4j etc, and of course PHP, JavaScript etc.

What are your thoughts about ARM macs for my development needs? Should I wait for an ARM based Macbook Pro 16 or should I get the Intel one? Do you think that buying Intel today could be an hazard?

ARM of course is the Apple's future, so I'm really worried about the upcoming support for Intel based Macs lineup... That makes me think about the transition from PowerPCs to Intel.
____

Actually, I have a windows based laptop (not up to my needs) and a powerful gaming pc (that unfortunately is giving me some problems). I could possibly wait if that could be the right choice.

I don't need a lot of computing power, my laptop's i7-6700hq is sooo much more than I actually need. I7, i9, Apple M1 are basically the same for me. So, don't worry about raw performance, that's not my point there.
____

Ps. I'm not going to discuss why a Macbook instead of windows / linux based machines, that's not the point of my question ;)
Ps 2. I hope my question is not a duplicate!
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Hi everyone. I'm buying a MacBook Pro for programming and for the university. I was planning to buy a Macbook Pro 16, but, since ARM based Macs have been shown, I am a bit worried about what's better for my needs.

I've just graduated in computer science, and I'm continuing my studies with a master's degree. I want to become specialized in the management of Big Datas, and websites back-end development (and a little of front-end as well).
So I use a lot of different DBMS, such as Postgresql, MongoDB, Neo4j etc, and of course PHP, JavaScript etc.

What are your thoughts about ARM macs for my development needs? Should I wait for an ARM based Macbook Pro 16 or should I get the Intel one? Do you think that buying Intel today could be an hazard?

ARM of course is the Apple's future, so I'm really worried about the upcoming support for Intel based Macs lineup... That makes me think about the transition from PowerPCs to Intel.
____

Actually, I have a windows based laptop (not up to my needs) and a powerful gaming pc (that unfortunately is giving me some problems). I could possibly wait if that could be the right choice.

I don't need a lot of computing power, my laptop's i7-6700hq is sooo much more than I actually need. I7, i9, Apple M1 are basically the same for me. So, don't worry about raw performance, that's not my point there.
____

Ps. I'm not going to discuss why a Macbook instead of windows / linux based machines, that's not the point of my question ;)
Ps 2. I hope my question is not a duplicate!
For "big data", I would say Intel because, true big data happens on AWS or private clouds. Those are almost 100% Intel. You want to take advantage of the Intel compiler and the Intel libraries.
 
Nov 20, 2020
2
0
10
0
For "big data", I would say Intel because, true big data happens on AWS or private clouds. Those are almost 100% Intel. You want to take advantage of the Intel compiler and the Intel libraries.
That's a good point, but I would still be able to work with AWS since it's a cloud service.

X86 architecture dominated the market for almost two decades, so of course x86 it's not going to disappear any time soon. However RISC architectures are amazing (I've studied them and I also know a little of RISC-V programming), so ARM processors could be the future for a lot of reasons. Nvidia bought ARM, that's a really huge signal i think 🤣

I'm really worried about the support of Intel MacBooks for the next years. I read that PowerPCs have been supported only for a few years, and that could be a problem for a 2.5k€ machine 😅
 

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