My current laptop (mid 2014 macbook pro, 16 GB ram, 2.8 GHz intel core i7, 1 TB SSD) is on its way out. I am going to buy a new laptop, and I wanted to ask the community for recommendations. I know a lot of stan users do not use apple computers, but this is something that is a deal breaker for me—I am going to buy a new macbook pro, and I want to know what processor & RAM I should get. I am a PhD student (soon to be post-doc) who runs R-INLA, brms, and Stan regularly. I often do hierarchical models and have to add a phylogenentic component (which seems to really slow things down). For example, I have a brms model running with 570 observations, one random effect with a random slope and intercept per group (I have 25 groups–species), three predictors, and a phylogeny, 40,000 iterations, and we are going on > 24 hrs to run. I am not too tech-y, and have a basic understanding of RAM, processors, storage.
As I used my current computer for >5 years (and expect the next one to be used for a similar timespan), I want to make sure the specs I go with today will be appropriate even with 5 years of use.
There are the following questions I am thinking of:
In buying a new mbp, I am already going to get at least 6 or 8 cores, which will be an improvement over my 4. Should I get 6 or 8?
I currently have 16 GB ram. Should I spring for the 32 gb ram at an additional price of $380?
Do I want an i7 (what I currently have) or an i9 processor?
Any help would be appreciated!