Macbook for Engineering???

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by parthc007, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. parthc007 macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2007
    London, Ontario
    So here it goes....Is Macbook any good for Engineering applications? Ok let me be more specific!
    I am in First year Engineering right now and will go into Electrical engineering next year....but I really dont have any idea what programs i will be using in Elec engineering(calling all the engineers on this forum!!:rolleyes: )...My assumption at this point of time would be some graphics circuitry software like Eagle, minicap and a bit of CAD.As a result i will probably have to use bootcamp to nstall XP.

    The config. of mac i was thinking of is:
    2.0ghz,2.0 GB ram, 120 GB HDD

    ok so the question is...would macbook be okay for engineering purposes in terms of GRAPHICS(INTEL GMA 950)???Also i am a light gamer of racing games including NFSMW,NFSU2,NFS carbon and pretty much all the racing games out there, so would the current macbook serve those needs with the integrated graphic card?

    I've heard tthat if you install XP you can increase the shared video memory upto 224 MB(shudnt be a prob in a mac with 2 gb ram)?is it true?

    And the most important of all, when is a good time to buy a macbook??
    I've heard that Santa rosa platform is coming out in around May and they are hoping for a big upgrade for Macbook graphics? is it true? if yes anyone got a date when these new upgraded macs coming out?

    I was actually thinking of purchasing a macbook in august, the reason being that leopard is released soon and hopefully New line of santa rosa macbooks(?) too....

    Please advice if its a good choice to buy a macbook for engineering(especially electrical). Also take into consideration that most of the programs i will be running are only made for windows!!
  2. mrkramer macrumors 603


    Jul 11, 2006
    I'm not sure about how much the programs will need the Graphics card, but for when to buy it, That would depend on when your classes start, basically just wait until it is getting close unless you need it before than.
  3. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    im a senior in mech engr and my macbook works great for me
  4. MightyThomas macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2006
    I am using Macbook Pro, and I am currently in senior Computer/Electrical Engineering. I find that it is very useful and things. If you are worry about running apps like Matlab or Mathematica, then rest assure that your MB/MBP will probably have enough horsepower to plow through your numbers (given enough rams). But one thing is CircuitMaker (a popular circuit simulation program in my university), it is not available on Mac, so I have to run parallel every time I want to use CircuitMaker. But if your course instructors just want a SPICE circuit simulation software, then there are one or two on the Mac platform that are available. Otherwise, everything else is perfect.

    In terms of sturdiness and build quality, I think everything is good at least with my computer. I've heard that macbooks are also very well built and my friends use MBs too. I chose MBP because I am a part-time web developer who occasionally need that horsepower to do many things. But mainly this is because the MBP also replaced my desktop.

    In terms of portability, I find that both are equally portable. But if you are running around campus all day, you might want the MB because it is smaller and easier to manage. But if you are like me who have all my courses in one or two buildings, then either would work fine.

    Hope it answers your question. But good thing you chose the MB. What colour will you get?
  5. szsiddiq macrumors 6502


    Dec 21, 2005
    im a mech eng major/comsci minor. programs like matlab will run natively on OS X, but most CAD and other simulation software MAY require windows. BUT, hey, just install boot camp or parallels :)

    A lot of the CAD software we use isnt licensed for personal machines, so i end up using computer labs a lot for programs like Pro/Engineer.

    Best of luck!
  6. MoparShaha macrumors 68000


    May 15, 2003
    San Francisco
    Civil engineering here, my MBP does everything I need. I often run AutoCAD on it. I have AutoCAD installed in both Boot Camp and Parallels, and find it runs significantly better in Boot Camp because of the better graphics support. Parallels is fine for 2D stuff, but if you're doing 3D or using raster images, Boot Camp is the way to go.
  7. pip11 macrumors member

    Apr 29, 2005
    I'm a sophomore in CompE right now, and I can say definitively that none of the electrical/computer engineering courses will need the MBP's graphics. Unlike in MechE, there really isn't any use for 3D graphics in circuit design. Like for other engineering disciplines, the Mac really doesn't get much love--open source apps will run, but anything commercial is going to be Linux/Unix and Windows only. The open source apps include spice and one that I use occasionally called Ktechlab--somewhat 'liter' than spice, with a nice gui, and a ton of dependencies from KDE :rolleyes:. Of course, for the commercial apps, you can use Linux or Windows in a VM, or, more likely, ssh into your school's Unix servers and export them back to X11 running on your Mac.

    If you plan to do a lot CAD work (or run apps like ProE or Solidworks), you should go for the MBP. Otherwise, the MB should be fine.
  8. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    ProE works great on my macbook by the way........
  9. parthc007 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2007
    London, Ontario
    Thinking of a white MB!

    Also, Can you increase the shared video ram to 224 MB in XP via bootcamp?
    Does MB run fine on XP for games like NFS carbon and MW?
  10. klaxamazoo macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2006
    I've been a Mechanical Engineer for 5 years now and can recommend some CAD packages that are a lot better than ProE and you can get a personal license free.

    Solid Designer:
    - If your school has a license then you can get a free, personal license. Talk to your IT department
    - Solid Designer is a much better CAD package than ProE, better interface, faster, and better plug-ins

    Cocreate - Solide Model Designer
    - They have a free personal edition you can download until March 31st that will output .stl files and mpkg.
    - It is based upon Dynamic Modelling which is much more powerful and easier to use than parametric design (ProE, Solid Works, etc.)
    link to the free download
    - I've been a designer for 5 years and have used everything from ProE, Solid Works, AutoCAD, and Solid Designer and recommend CoCreate's Solid Designer over all the others
  11. Eric1285 macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2007
    I'm an engineering student (3rd year) and I have a MBP that does everything I need. I've got Parallels and Boot Camp installed so I can run Visual Studio for one of my programming classes. I see lots of other students with MB's or MBP's as well. The only inconveniences I have come across were the initial installation and setup of Parallels and Boot Camp (had to re-do it because I got the partition sizes wrong) and the fact that I have to show up to class a couple minutes early to boot up Parallels if I want to be able to follow along in lecture. Other than that, there's no reason not to get a MB or MBP.
  12. polevault139 macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2006
    I am going to go into Engineering as well in the fall and the IT guy said that most of the programs you will need to run arent liscensed to individuals and the computer labs are always open. You will probably only need to run programs that the MB or MBP can handle. I am going to get a MB with 2GB RAM and 120GB HD. Now I just need to figure out what size my bootcamp partition should be.

    Also buy your computer when you need it, dont waste your money now with technology that will be outdated by the time school starts.
  13. myra7 macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2008
    i also an engineering student...
    i used to use NEC bu the lcd screen has some sort of problemo...
    im thinking of buying new notebook...
    macbook hopefully if i have enough budget...
    but i still wonder if c++,multisim,matlab can install in macbook as i know they are only can be installed in windows...
    anybody can anwser me??
  14. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    C++ via gcc comes with the XCode dev tools with every Mac.
    Matlab has a Mac version
    If you're looking for Spice, MI Sugar is here

    You can always install Windows with Boot Camp or in Parallels/VMWare Fusion anyway.
  15. parthc007 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2007
    London, Ontario
    hey, I just realized that it's been two years since i first posted this thread :rolleyes:...I am now in third year elec engineering and own a late 2008 MBP (had a SR MBP before that) and all I can say, switching to apple was the best desicion I've ever made:)

    you might ask why?...well tons of reasons actually
    1..owning a mac brings out the creative side in you, no matter what you do...for example, I never thought I could sing;but oh man, garageband got me into singing!! and sound mixing....and many more things that I would have never thought of doing in windows - the simplicity of OS X software is AMAZZING!

    2. I can actually focus on the work that I should be doing, ratehr than fixing my computer!

    and as far as engineering goes, I need Microcap professional all the i run it off parallels and its beautiful chances are that if you need the pro version, you'r better of using it in your university lab as it is very expensive.

    if you are planning to do java prorgramming, eclipse has a mac version. Matlab has a mac version and C++ xcode tools?

    but all in all, you can get anything that you need, either parallels or native os x.
  16. MinhBui19996 macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2013
    Hi! I'm studying CE,too. Do you know if this major requires MB or not? Because people are now having a trend to use MB but it is quite expensive for me and I'm now still using PC. So... Could you give me some advices? Thanks... Please reply me soon, I'm really confused.
  17. xShane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 2, 2012
    United States
    This thread is 4+ years old. You'd be better off starting a new thread :)
  18. desi1 macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2013
    I don't think you've realised that this thread was posted almost 6 years ago, OP has graduated a couple of years ago.

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