Are Macs Good For Bioinformatics in 2022?

Both operating systems have their advantages and disadvantages.

However, Macs are recommended a lot by the bioinformatics community because Mac is a Unix-derived OS. The PC also has the advantage of being easily upgraded.

Are macs good for bioinformatics? Or are PCs better for bioinformatics? Here’s everything you need to know about Mac vs PC for bioinformatics.

Mac or PC For Bioinformatics

Although it sometimes comes down to personal preference. Macs are the most recommended because of the ease of use and the similarities between the OS and Linux.

In terms of which is the best according to descending order: Linux < macOS < Windows. The bioinformatics tools are were designed to be run on Linux.

But Linux has a steep learning curve and is not user-friendly compared to macOS and Windows. Although it’s the best.


Macs have the advantage over PC when it comes to the programming environment. Mac command line is similar to Linux making it easy to switch between the two.

Windows takes an indirect approach by running a virtual machine or dual-booting Linux/Unix. If you aren’t programming in R or Rstudio it has to be done everything time.

This is one of the reasons why Mac is popular amongst bioinformatics scientists. It removes the headache of switching between two OS when working with data.


Macs can’t be upgraded like how PCs can be upgraded. Every hardware part in a desktop PC can be upgraded or replaced.

The RAM, storage, and Wi-Fi card can be upgraded or replaced in a laptop PC. The hardware configuration that comes with a Mac or MacBook can neither be replaced nor upgraded.

The only hardware part that can be changed is the SSD. This isn’t possible in all cases and has to be taken to a professional for it to be done.

Is Mac Better For Bioinformatics?

Mac is better for bioinformatics because macOS is a Unix derivative OS. This makes running Bioinformatics programs and code easier and convenient on Mac and MacBook.

Windows requires you to dual-boot, use a VMware or software to run the environment needed for bioinformatics programming.

Is MacBook Air Good For Bioinformatics?

Yes, the MacBook Air is good for bioinformatics if you have access to cloud computing. However, the MacBook Pro is the better because it’s more powerful and will handle demanding tasks well.

Final Thoughts

Mac is the preferred OS for bioinformatics because of the similarities it has to Linux. You don’t need to dual-boot and all the tools can be run and compiled on macOS.

Windows, on the other hand, requires dual-booting or running a Linux/Unix virtual machine. There is also the risk of some of the code not compiling when run on Windows.

However, the advantage of Windows is the upgradeability. All in all, if we had to choose Linux followed by Mac will be the better option.

As a lover of technology. Kelvin spends most of his tinkering with stuff and keeping up to date with the latest gadgets and tech.

Get our Free eBook When You Signup

Our ebook contains everything you need to know about laptops. It only takes 15 minutes or less to read! Also, get the latest updates in tech.