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Old Apr 8, 2013, 10:01 PM   #1
yvonnars
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MacBook Pro?

Hi
I'm a university student from vancouver studying engineering. I'm thinking of buying a new laptop and after looking through Asus, Lenovo and Apple websites I'm leaning towards buying a MacBook Pro.

I normally use my computer for school related stuff and gaming: MS office, Latex, gnuplot Altera Quartus (circuit schematics design stuff), some heavy programs include SolidWorks, MatLab. Games I play: sims 3 and league of legends are the only ones so far. I'm not sure if I will have to use other heavy programs in the next 3 years of my university, but right now my computer is 4 years old and can only run one heavy one at a time, and uses about 80-90% of the CPU.

I think most of the stuff I use a computer for are better off running on Windows, and even a lot of the profs I have specifically ask us to use windows for course related stuff. But I want a laptop about 13/14in, the other ones I looked at are either too large/heavy, not enough battery life, or too ugly XD (Yes I know that's difficult...)

So do you guys suggest me to go with a MacBook Pro or some PC? If PC any suggestions on which one (another reason I'm leaning towards mac is there's not too many options )? If Mac will i5 be enough for me or shall I get i7?

Thanks!
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Old Apr 8, 2013, 10:29 PM   #2
Lil Chillbil
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Get i7, non-retina 15 inch and put a windows partition on it

problem solved
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 09:58 AM   #3
jobush
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I would honestly say that with Bootcamp, the only game changer between Windows PC and Macbook would be the design and other things you have mentioned yourself.

Should you choose Mac side, being a workstation computer, I would advise getting a 15" Pro.

It starts with quad-core i7, and the nVidia graphics is quite good.

I think the GPU premium on the 15" is worth it for two reasons:

1. Certain application can 'borrow' the GPU's asset to boost application performance even further.
2. The computer can play most "Triple-A" games with reasonable settings (reasonable for a mobile solution)

The only downside is that there is no way to use integrated graphics on the Windows side at all. So even if you want to word process or just browse for a while, you will be stuck with the relatiively power hogging nVidia chipset. The Mac side with integrated graphics on should pump 5 hours of light use quite easily, but Windows side will only last an hour or hour and half in full load (which would be the case when you are using your coursework applications). Even at light use, the Bootcamp does not yield more than three hours. (Absolute minimum does seem to yield around 4 hours, but that is not the usual scenario)
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 10:11 AM   #4
eric/
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in my experience, universities with engineering programs provide computer labs equipped with software that you need. I'd just use that when you need to. Or use VMWare or something and remote in to university engineering department computers (if that's available). That's what I do.
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