What exactly is the question?
You will be able to solve this on a netbook also as long as you can wait until the disk-swapping is ready. A i3 to i7 or Xeon will be much faster, but according to my personal experiences, investing in more RAM is more efficient than buying the hottest processor. When the problem can be parallelized, better buy more cores with less speed.
As usual in the hardware discussions I want to stress, that excellent hardware can accelerate by a factor 5 or 10, while an excellent programmer can gain a speedup of factor 100 under some conditions.
While I've seen several benchmarks which show, that Matlab runs significantly faster under Linux, my impression from this forum is, that Matlab is most stable under Windows, while there are some strange bugs under OS-X and Linux. If you spend too much time with fixing Java-updates or side-effects from the built-in backup mechanism, 10% faster computations are not useful.