Starting set up

Carlos Pedreira's Avatar

Carlos Pedreira

19 Jun, 2017 02:12 PM


My name is Carlos Pedreira and I'm writing from Buckley's lab at the university of Oxford.

We are considering buying a new computer for behavioural control in our experimental set up and install works on it.

I was wondering if you could recommend the cheapest while versatile option. Which is the most basic mac that we'll need to run works?

At the moment our set up contains an eye-tracker (IScan), a touch sensitive device for the animal to hold and a direct digital I/O interface with a Blackrock recording system. We also have a NI PCI card and input board for our Windows PC that we are using for our present Monkey Logic set-up and that we would be able to re-use.

Thank you for your help.


  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Christopher Sta... on 19 Jun, 2017 07:12 PM

    Christopher Stawarz's Avatar

    Hi Carlos,

    The current release of MWorks will work on any Mac (laptop or desktop) running macOS 10.9 or later. If your production machine will have only one display attached, pretty much any model should be fine. If you want to attach multiple displays (e.g. one for the subject, one the experimenter), then I'd recommend a higher-end desktop model (i.e. iMac or Mac Pro).

    If you want a specific recommendation, I think a mid-tier 21.5-inch iMac is a good all-around choice. All the iMac models were just updated, so I'd expect to get at least 3-4 years of useful life out of one, if not more.

    Regarding your I/O hardware:

    eye-tracker (IScan)

    This is supported. You will need a USB-to-serial adapter to connect the ISCAN to the Mac.

    a touch sensitive device for the animal to hold

    How does this connect to your current system? Is it plugged directly in to the Windows PC, or does it go through the NI device or some other hardware?

    a direct digital I/O interface with a Blackrock recording system

    I'm not sure what you mean by "direct digital I/O interface". Ethernet? TTL?

    a NI PCI card and input board

    The list of NI devices that will work with a Mac is quite short. However, even if you do have one of the two PCIe cards that are compatible, no modern Mac has a PCI slot to put it in. (The last one that did was the 2010/2012 Mac Pro.)

    Chris Stawarz

  2. Christopher Stawarz closed this discussion on 02 Aug, 2017 02:30 PM.

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