I just finished putting together my DL box a couple of days ago. I follow a simple process
- wget and run this file - this installs vim, copies all my dot files, etc, I use it on any new box I am setting up
- wget and run this file - this is a modified script from part1 v1 that includes everything for part1 v2 and also installs keras, this could potentially be useful to a person setting up their own box (I try to maintain it and it has been tested by a couple of people in the course)
With regards to the hardware, I didn’t expect I would enjoy having a box of my own so much. I have automated AWS provisioning quite a bit but still there is something extremely nice if you can just open up your laptop and reconnect to your box without any further ado. I think this convenience is really valuable, and the fact that you can have notebooks open and can resume working on them throughout the day, etc.
Having said that, I went for 1080ti but not sure this was the best choice for me. It is definitely quite pricey and there is still a long way till I can use it’s full potential. I am thinking a 1070 might be the sweet spot with how much compute it offers and how affordable it is, at least in Poland I could have picked it up for 50% the price of a 1080ti.
I mention this because I don’t think you need a top end card to be able to benefit a lot from having a DL box. Thus far my experience is that once you remove the AWS overhead, it is much easier to experiment and I think this is what much of the learning I will do will be about, at least for next couple of weeks. Probably had I had any GPU to speak of I wouldn’t have even considered getting a new one.
Maybe this will change later on but at least for now this is how I see it and should you have a GPU with any reasonable amount of RAM, I think you will be in for a real treat if you work on a set up of your own vs only relying on AWS
EDIT: The consensus among more experienced folks seem to be to go for the biggest and the greatest GPU you can reasonably afford, so please take my comments with a grain of salt