MBP 15" 2.8Ghz vs MBP 17" 2.66Ghz for Engineering student?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by deanmadoo, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. macrumors member

    Dec 25, 2008
    I am going to university this May and would like to buy a MBP.

    because i think that the MB screen is to small for all the engineering programs that i will be using.
    And i would be using this laptop for all 4 years of college.

    and was wondering which one should i get between
    1. CTO Macbook Pro 15.4" 2.8Ghz
    2. Stock Macbook Pro 17" 2.66Ghz

    I would be using a lot of engineering programs such as
    matlabs, CAD, video editing, a lot of music encoding, Photoshop, Bittorrent, and i will be playing games using VMware Fusion

    which one should i get?:D
  2. macrumors member

    Dec 15, 2008
    Id say youd be better off with a pc or imac.

    The 17" screen wont make much difference on a laptop, its still going to be small.

    Theres a lot of people wanting to use MBP for designing on these forums and I keep saying get a desktop, simply because long term use on a laptop is going to hurt your hands, eyes, and fingers! It may also take longer to do certain things.

    On the other hand it depends how you work and it might be ok for some.
  3. macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2008
    North Korea
    I'd get the 17" macbook pro, its as good as, and after Snow Leopard comes out will be better than the current imacs, it just doesnt have a big screen which can be annoying, but 17" is suprisingly large.
  4. macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I disagree. I think the new 17" MBP is amazing. I think the extra space over the 15" will make a difference and make the display big enough for your needs. I have some clients that are engineers and I see a lot of 17" MBPs at their desks!

    With the new release, you will get a great unibody construction that will last you through college. Will be great for Snow Leopard and all software will need to run. Can use Windows in boot camp if you ever need to. High speed memory, a faster CPU, dual graphics, extended life battery, what more could you ask for?

    Congrats on college and your chosen career path. Good luck with your MBP whichever route you go. I think either MBP will be a wonderful computer to last through college.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2005
    I would personally rather have a smaller computer for portability... how are the computer labs at your university? My engineering labs all have 30" displays specifically for students working on CAD and other design programs, so they pretty much render a huge laptop pointless.
  6. macrumors G5


    Nov 25, 2005
    What screen size do you need when you carry the computer around? Do you use matlab, CAD, Photoshop when you are not at your desk? If you don't, you could consider any MacBook with a smaller screen, and buy a 24 inch monitor for your desk.
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 25, 2008
    I'm not sure..
    But i dont think it wont be that high tech seeing that i will be going to university in Thailand and I think the computer labs here will be kind of old:)

    I dont know exactly know because this will be my first laptop.
    The reason I chose to buy a laptop for college is because I will be living in a dorm on campus.
    And it will most likely be my main computer for all 4 years of college.
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 25, 2008
  9. macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2008
    Games = Graphics Card = MBP = Bootcamp not VMware fusion

    I do engineering and use Autocad. 15" is fine but I recommend an external monitor like I have. The extra space and productivity of dual screens is amazing. And then having the portability to take it around with you is awesome. They are powerful laptops and very capable.

    As always by the best you can afford, but I really would say a MBP. I have the Early 08 15" and I cant fault it.
  10. thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 25, 2008
    Thx for the tip:D

    May i ask how big is your external monitor?
    And how long are you planing to use your MBP before buying i new one?
  11. macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2008
    Its a 19" and thats plenty untill you start doing massive stuff. I am in my final year at University at the moment and bought it in September. I plan to keep this machine for at least 4 years. As to be honest it is so powerful for what I use it for and I do big projects, that I just wouldn't be able to justify "upgrading" untill it no longer starts to perform the way i need it to.

    The reliability and consistency of this machine is amazing. You wont be disappointed at all. You will be disapointed if you just get a macbook though, while the discreet graphics is enough for a little bit, you will kick yourself for not spending the extra money. What you invest now will save you time in the future.
  12. macrumors member

    May 24, 2007
    New Jersey
    As a computer engineering major, my vote would be the 15". This will be better for portability. If you want the screen space, I would suggest buying external KVM (24" monitors are getting a lot more affordable).

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