Buying a high end Macbook Pro is highly advised although not mandatory. In our experience, Macs offer the best systems for our work and having the same operating system within our group makes it easier to troubleshoot and share code. Using computers with similar hardware can also make it easier to share and pass down computer accessories and equipment. While we want to be conscious of cost and avoid wastefulness, the value of using well performing equipment that better supports our productivity, collaborative group culture, and reduces wasted time adds value which greatly outweighs the initial financial cost. If you would like to get anything other than a Macbook Pro, please consult more senior group members first.