minimum system requirements

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anagengast
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Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:24 pm

minimum system requirements

Post by anagengast » Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:39 am

I am on a PC campus but prefer MACs and I am looking into getting a few used MAC laptops for the finishing portion of the course. Does anyone know what the minimum system requirements are for running Consed? What would be the cheapest laptop that would work? Does anyone have experience with inexpensive used Apples, good or bad? Would a 12 inch screen be too small?

cshaffer
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 10:29 pm
Location: Washington University in St Louis
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specs for macs

Post by cshaffer » Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:20 am

You don't need much power at all. The first three years we had the class we used 867 mhz 15 inch powerbooks with about 3/4ths of a gig of ram. I just checked on ebay and the "buy it now" price was $380.

consed actually needs very little power. Its mostly just a glorified viewer. The only place you will notice the power of the computer is when running phredPhrap to assemble. I think on those old machines it took about 7 minutes to do a full assembly while on our newer machines it takes about 45 seconds. since you only run phredphrap once a week when you get new reads it is not a hugh burden.

The biggest problem with the old titanium powerbooks is the poor hinge design. We had 3 of 11 of the computers have hinges break and the cost to repair them ran about $500. It is for this reason that I would recommend you not get the titanium powerbooks even if they would work.

Instead I would recommend a G4 based aluminum powerbook. The amount of memory is probably more important than the speed of the processor. So go with the slowest speed and most memory that you can within your budget and you should do fine.

As for screen size I would recommend going with the 15 inch screen. Consed gets to be quite a pain on the smaller screens because you spend as so much time just moving windows around. I had one student use his 12 inch powerbook but he gave it up after about 2 weeks because of the limited screen size.

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