I recently received a research grant with which I can spend up to 2500-3000 USD to buy a piece of equipment.
For my research, I use QGIS, R, and Stata. My new project is also likely to require network analysis for which I have the impression ArcGIS is much more efficient.
Here is the dilemma: I have always worked with Mac products, I am sufficiently confident on my low-intermediate programming skills to make the move towards Linux. However, my IT team is strongly recommending that I purchase a machine running Windows (their suggestion: Dell Optiplex MiniTower; Radeon 350x Video Card to support GIS based research; i7 CPU to support graphical computation for GIS).
The questions are:
- Would you follow their advice?
- Will I loose too much power if I choose to go with a machine running Linux or Mac and use ArcGIS with an emulating Windows for the network analysis?
- If you'd choose the Linux option, which machine would you recommend? And which Linux distribution?
I understand that this is a rather open question, not with the usual Stack Exchange style. If you are planning on voting for it to close, please tell me where else I could ask it.