Genomic Epi - Macbook Pro M1 vs X86

Hi everyone - this summer I will be working using nextstrain as well as many associated bioinformatics tools and workflows.

I know this is very broad and likely depends on the exact software I will be using, however I still wanted to ask for broad advice.

I have to buy a new macbook and I am trying to decide if buying the new M1 chip will present many challenges ( ex running and building x86 docker images ) or other issues I have no idea about yet like with homebrew or python envs or even some R packages.

(I am somewhere in between beginner and intermediate when it comes to coding bash, python, linux etc )

Let me know your thoughts everyone ! ( I will also have access to a HPC cluster )


I don’t think you won’t be having issues - I’m getting an M1 macbook myself and am one of the developers of Nextstrain tools :wink:

Docker runs on M1, if you don’t use mutagen it’s slower than on Linux, but there are ways round it (mutagen or running docker on a virtual Linux machine).

If you’re running compute intensive things you’ll want to use the HPC cluster anyways.