With prices and hardware changing there are so many different choices for a good developer setup. Here are some of the edges assuming a relatively modest $6k budget:
A monster gaming laptop. Today for $6k Ok got it so that’s a $6k box that weighs 13 pounds. And it sure is powerful. And relatively cheap. Some ones to look at the 13 pound Msi GT83VR with dual gtx 1080s.
A workstation class laptop If u want 16GB because many machine learning apps need that then u need a p6000 (fwiw Nvidia at least has it families in alphabetical order so it’s Kepler -> maxwell -> pascal). Also the p6000 uses hbm so it has 4x more memory bandwidth between gpu and vram. Does your work load need that and also supports fast fp 16.).
If ur just going from home to work a pair of desktops plus a laptop that’s thin and light are actually cheaper and have more performance. U then have a mini data center at work. Main advantage is u can add up to four cards on either side. When disconnected u use a laptop with Nvidia so u can debug but big workloads are on desktops. And the laptop weighs 3lbs. The razor is a good one.
Youcan run loads in the cloud with the new amazon Tesla p100s. These can be pricey
- MacBook Pro 2016 prices are falling. They are now 10% off at B&H so remember prices keep falling.
- If you want to get decent battery doc on your MacBook Pro turn on the battery checker but you should Safari instead as it is much more efficient than Chrome and Firefox. Also when u see the power is higher you need to reboot.
The MacBook Pro can charge up to 15 watts on USB C so do yourself a favor and get a USB c to lightening adapter and you can ditch your USB c charger. Also if you get a USB c low power charger then you can use it to trickle charge got mbp. Nice to have one charging standard.
Ok when u use computers enough the usual problems get fixed. Such as bad drivers or lack of uodates or hard disk corruptions. Here’s my current list of mysterious problems and what I think is going on
Spontaneous reboots of an iMac 2008. This has been bugging me for a while. I will get visual freezes where cursors and junk appears on the screen. Lately I’ve been getting spontaneous reboots. Causes have varied from new gpu improvements put into later OS X releases. The interesting thing is that the spontaneous reboots happen without any kernel panic messages or anything in the console. Current ideas range from hard disk corruption but I don’t see any. Lately the reading has been about bad ram. That makes some sense. I put 32GB of third party ram into the thing and the macinrbis 9 years old as well. So on to using Apple hardware diagnostics and loading memtest86 onto a USB.
PC boots to black screen. All the lights flash but nothing appears on the monitor. Calvintong.com actually fixed this. It seems to have something to do with gtx1080 and starting in overclock mode. But he won’t tell me!
PC boots occasionally but when you hit the power. The last time this was a blown motherboard where an m.2 ssd had slid under. This one I’m not sure but looks like a short.
Ok the monthly notes about cool widgets I’ve found:
- My favorite status monitor is now broken on Sierra, so swapping to a new one called called Menu Meters with hat tip to Lifehacker, so that is still open.
- Flashlights. These are really commodities these days but getting the brightest and longest lasting is still a thing at candlepower
- Sun hats. Same thing here. I finally lost my Australia Cancer Society sun hat so time for another. Outdoor Gear Labs
OK, I’ve been trying to use the Satechi ($59) USB C hub. I actually brought the wrong one, there is another version with a 1Gbps Ethernet connection as well ($79), but I’ve been having trouble getting it to work reliably on a Benq 32″ monitor. Here’s the main lesson, I think it is the active Redmere cable from Monoprice.
I’ve never had this before, but when you plug in the dongle, it does not reliably turn on the monitor. This works fine with eh Cablematters USB C to DisplayPort, but the HDMI of the Satechi.
I’ve never had trouble like this before, but come to think of it, the Monoprice Redmere is an active cable (which is why it is so thin and nice), so I think this is because the active electronics are getting fooled. On the Mac side, it thinks it is projected to another screen, but the display remains black.
Just switching to a true (thick and ugly!) passive cable seems to fix the problem. Now this is not perfect in that the Satechi is 4Kp30 (that need 10Gbps alone!), so we will have to wait a bit more to get the dream cable. That is something that is Thunderbolt 3 to the MacBook so that it can carry, 4Kp60 (which is 18Gbps by itself), has gigabit ethernet, HDMI 2.x with 4Kp60 and a bunch of USB A legacy ports for old stuff plus an SD care reader.
The other thing that is a problem is that with the laptop closed, you can’t use the TouchId at all! I had not realized that until it asked if I want to use it. I like to leave the laptop closed and out of the way, but I need to rethink that strategy now.
http://4k.com/news/lgs-2017-oled-4k-hdr-tvs-now-available-for-pre-order-prices-revealed-18396/ if you can wait then let the 2017 LG oled drop in price. If I can’t wait the 2016 b6 is a great value. The main features at 25% greater brightness for a tv that was already the brightest. And a little more color space. Net the 2016 b6 is good enough for many videophiles.
http://m.thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-wireless-carrier/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=RSS%20Feed the best review of cellular I’ve seen. Try whisperout to figure out cheapest plan and root metrics to look at coverage.
OK some more strange things about this 4K display. Besides really being washed out and inaccurate color-wise, it has another problem. It does not seem to advertise itself properly with DisplayPort.
On an older MacBook Pro 2010 that can display 2.5K properly on other monitors, like the ASUS 2.5K or the Benq 32″ 2.5K, this one only shows that 1080p is available. It sure looks like upscaled, but it doesn’t seem to advertise properly. So beware.
Also the Satechi USB C dongle doesn’t seem to output HDMI properly so neither the Monoprice nor the ASUS recognize it. Sigh!
Well someone just asked me what laptop would you buy. The good news is that with Intel performance stalking you have lots of choice. Even three year old laptops are the same speed as even the newest Kalby Lake versions. PC Magazine remains a decent source of reviews for this so here’s a summary but right now there is a split in the choice you can make. The main issue is laptop longevity.
- Chromebooks. Let’s face it for $250 you can consider a laptop a throw away commodity. It’s something with an ok