So in a few weeks I’m going to be updating my aging Powerbook G4 with a new mac laptop. (non-negotiable). However, the problem I’m facing is that I really want to get into CUDA programming for my research at the university. Should I just break down and get a Macbook Pro (at $1800+tax) over the $1250+tax vanilla Macbook, or should I get a cheaper Macbook ($1000) and spend the extra $800 on a homemade rig. If I do build a rig what Nvidia card would give me the most CUDA processing power for the buck? (8600GTS or 9600GT or …?)
I looked at the wikipedia page on the 8 series cards and saw that the 8600GTS has 128 stream processors or shaders or whatever they’re called. The 8600M supposedly has only 32, which is quite a lot less. As I’m just getting my feet wet, what would be the best option?