13" or 15" for Single Heterosexual Caucasian College Student?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ChefMacDaddy, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. ChefMacDaddy, Aug 14, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011

    ChefMacDaddy macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2011
    Hi, I'm going to be going to a uni in NJ pretty soon and I'm going to be to be a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering. I don't know what kind of programs I will have to run. When I took a tour of the school, I noticed how small the writing surface was in the lecture halls and I'm a bit worried that the 15" will simply be too large. I did go to the labs and they had Dell workstations with all the needed programs, but I would rather study in my dorm, my roommate is also an engineer!

    Would a 13" have enough to get me through 4 years of school?
    Is it worth sacrificing performance for portability?
    I don't know what I will be required to run on my MBP, maybe even Boot Camp?

    Somethings that might help making the decisions are that I am
    5'10" - 172lbs
    Mechanical Engineer
    Male roommate
    Cats back at home
    I'm taking 5 courses :( (carrying the MBP)
    Will be walking from class to class, no bike or scooter.

    Thanks, any advice will be appreciated, especially from any engineers here.
    I must make my purchase before August 24th.

    EDIT: Half of you have told me to get a 13" because I will not have many of the programs on my own computer and the other half tell me that the power from the 15" will be useful, especially if I plan on using it for 4 years.

    One person commented that I could just get the 13" MBA instead of a 13" MBP, because the MBA beats the 13" MBP in benchmarks, even if that is true, please remember that I am a heterosexual male. I can't buy a MBA!

    Another commenter suggested that I get a 17" if I wanted to be a real man, but I think that's a bit too much for me, I'm not trying to be Chuck Norris or Rambo guys.

    The anti-glare advice does interest me now that I think about it, but I'm afraid that going away from the black normal border will catch a few looks.

    Should I just get the 15"? Money is not important.
    What kind of accessories do I need other than a leather case? I'm trying to meet nice Catholic girls as well.
  2. Boe11 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 12, 2010
    You can't really go wrong with either.

    13: a bit more portable.
    15: a bit more powerful.

    If money isn't an issue, and you think you might want to do some casual gaming, I'd give the 15" the nod.
  3. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2011
    Either laptops won't affect your heterosexuality. Pick the one you want more.
  4. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
  5. SaMaster14 macrumors 6502

    Aug 23, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA

    Why the h*ll to those bolded items matter?? hahahaha

    I think the 13" should be fine, but its obviously not as powerful as the 15". When I was considering laptops, I was looking at the 13" Air and the 15" Pro. If you are definitely set on a 13" computer, why not the Air? It has SSD already, its brand new, and seemingly outperforms the 13" pro according to some members here who seemed to be experts when explaining the Air v. Pro to me.

    I personally got the 15" for college, with the 2.2Ghz quad core, and the 256gb SSD (harddrive). This thing is blazing fast... reboots completely in under 30 seconds, definitely has enough memory for me, and the processor is FAST... if it performs at even half the level its on now through college, it should last me my four years.
  6. Moyank24 macrumors 601


    Aug 31, 2009
    in a New York State of mind
    I can't figure out if you are shopping for a computer or looking for a date? :confused:

    As far as the computer...I would get the 13"...it's a bit more portable and it looks like you're going to be lugging it around all day.

    As far as the date, good luck. :D
  7. neech7 macrumors member

    May 31, 2011
    You didn't tell us if your thumb is longer than your pinky, and whether you still have all your wisdom teeth. Act cute in a singles bar, not here.
  8. canucksfan88 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 28, 2007
    whoa are you placing an ad in a personals section as well?

    anyways, the 15" honestly isn't that big. i have a 17" and i carry it to school every day. it fits on my schools lecture tables. love the screen.

    now...i don't carry text books, but when i do, its not bad.
  9. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    First of all, LOL. It's starting to sound like eHarmony in here!
    MacBook Pro will NOT:
    Cause you to be gay (not that there's anything wrong with that)
    Change you into a woman
    Change your roommate into a woman
    Change you into some other skin color
    Make you Muslim or Buddhist or Hindi or Jewish or any other religion
    Get you a girlfri....wait maybe it can

    More things that would help:
    Applications you will be running on it
    If weight is an issue (Is 5.6 lbs too heavy?)
    Budget limits
    Gaming needs

    If you DO go with a 15", then you'll want the antiglare screen because cats in your home may scratch your screen. xD
  10. RolandNights macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2011
    No laptop in existence can make you look non-heterosexual JUST as long as you use this mouse alongside with it.
  11. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Sorry Macs for the artsy metrosexual types. You might be better served with an hetero-industrialist machine like a ThinkPad.
  12. BAC5.2 macrumors regular

    May 16, 2011
    Do yourself a favor, and bring a pen and paper to class.

    You won't be doing anything other than surfing the internet if you bring your computer to class. Engineering lectures aren't like English lectures. You'll spend all day drawing diagrams, and writing out equations. Two things not exactly conducive to a laptop. If you have a laptop, your professors will know that you aren't paying attention. Period.

    As for programs, the only one you'll need and be able to afford is Matlab. Everything else is going to cost you a fortune, and get you arrested if you are stupid enough to pirate it. The university won't require you to have anything, all programs will be available in one of the 24hr labs on campus.

    The other programs you'll need, things like Labview, will only really be needed in lab classes... and you'll be there anyway. 3D modeling programs are going to require you to use the school lab, not much way around that.

    So, what it boils down to, is that you'll be using the computer for playing games and surfing the net, occasionally doing Matlab homework, and writing papers and using Excel.

    For all of that, the 13" is more than sufficient.

    If you decide to go to graduate school, that's when things change. That's when the university will start giving you the programs you need, and you'll have to do REAL work on your computer. All day. Every day. At that point, the horsepower and real estate of the 15" computer are tough to beat.
  13. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    I'm a mechanical engineering student as well. Been at it for 2 years, 2 more to go.

    Mechanical engineering means you'll likely run a lot of math/science programs.

    Expect so see Matlab, Maple or Mathematica, as well as whatever CAD software your school uses. Then there's good old Office for reports and such.

    Matlab Maple and Mathematica all have a OS X version that runs quite well, CAD software on the other hand will require you to bootcamp windows.

    Make sure you check your school for educational discounts on windows. You'll most likely need it.

    Oh and yeah, forget about taking notes with a laptop, too many diagrams and equations going on for you to actually be fast enough with your typing skills.
  14. BAC5.2 macrumors regular

    May 16, 2011
    I run Solidworks through VMWare Fusion for general modeling. I dislike Windows, so I didn't want to be forced to run in a Windows only environment. As you progress through the program, and you find yourself in 3 design classes at once, it's useful to be able to run OSX at the same time you are modeling.

    My university gave us full copies of Mathematica. Matlab is only $99 for students, which isn't a bad deal either. I vastly prefer Matlab to Mathematica, but it's because I was taught using it.


    I've taught a few classes while a professor was out. You aren't fooling anyone if you have a laptop out during lecture.
  15. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    I've tried virtualizing Solidworks and honestly was not satisfied with the performance, I much rather like having all the computer's power being dedicated to it. Especially as you get into the COSMOS FEA module...

    I have an older MBP though, maybe the newer quad cores make this point moot, I wouldn't know.

    Mathematica/Maple and Matlab are aimed at different things, so they definitely do not work the same way. I like using Maple for symbolic equations and ODE and PDE work, as it is much faster programming for them with it. For the rest, Matlab/Simulink is king IMO.
  16. wikus macrumors 68000


    Jun 1, 2011
    Planet earth.
    LOL!!! This made my day. It's not that shocking when you consider in the last 5 years that hipster losers have jumped on Apple bandwagon and tarnished apple's image (but significantly raised their stock price).

    If sexuality and your image of being hetero is really that important, I think Asus used to make a pretty awesome (and manly) leather laptop. But the specs are old and the laptop would now be outdated.

    Or just get a macbook and cover up the logo, no need to bring the wrong attention to yourself as we all know how people drool over electronics if it gives them some kind of orgasm. (i don't understand this).
  17. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Mechanical engineer.
    You don't need a 15" but it does help with the stronger GPU in CAD stuff, but you probably won't have to do anything too taxing for a while.
  18. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    I majored in mechanical engineering. We had to run many programs that used Windows, including some that were actually written by the professors.

    It always bears repeating, before you buy a computer for college, contact your academic department to see if they have any requirements or recommendations based on the programs you'll need to be able to run.

    As far as your question goes, if it were me I'd get the 13" MBP and set up an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse for your dorm room/apartment.

    PS - I have NO idea why your sexual preference, religion, etc. matter with regard to your post.
  19. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    This topic in itself is full of win.

    Get a 13 inch MBP, baseline.
  20. wegster macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2006
    I have no idea why people rated this posting down, it's the best and most complete answer given so far. :confused:

    If you expect to be doing much CAD/modeling on your laptop, even if in Windows (via bootcamp, Parallels or Fusion), the discrete GPU on the 15" Pros will help out. For the most part, I'd expect your first couple of years to be completely a match with the 13" - if you're sure you'll be on one laptop for the 4 (or 6?) years, I'd go with the 15" Pro. If the possibility may exist of upgrading after a couple of years, I'd go with the 13" Pro with external monitor in the form, and use it at least the first 2-3 years, then decide if you really "need" to upgrade from there.

    Gaming and various personal/non-school interests would point towards the 15" as well, but you didn't mention that, just about your cats.

    Make sure you pick up the neon pink case, as well. :)
  21. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Jul 23, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    If you're a single heterosexual male, the only option for you is a 17" Macbook Pro. Anything less shows weakness.
  22. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    I love your username.

    Yes, I really hopped back into the thread just to say that.
  23. imahawki macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2011
    I kind of figured the OP was joking. I've seen so many people post asking which laptop to get and then saying "I'm a 5'3" 120lb female". OK, so? Unless your body proportions are WAY out side the norm (i.e. under 4ft. or over 9ft.) your height and weight has no bearing on what laptop to get. Now if you are weak and can't carry a heavy weight fine but say that instead of listing your weight. I weighed 130 in high school and carried newborn 70lb calves over my shoulders across a feedlot, so my weight has no bearing.
  24. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    I'd recommend the 15", given that you have cats.

    Should one of your cats decide to sleep on your laptop, it may totally cover the 13" – making you think that it's been lost or stolen. The extra size of the 15" should mean that a bit of it will poke out from under the forty winks seeking feline so you'll know exactly where it is, thus avoiding unnecessary worry and potential embarrassment on your part.
  25. Alpha.K macrumors member

    Dec 25, 2010
    I'd suggest a 17" as it will ensure that you remain a Male Heterosexual God-Fearing Catholic(the screen will be too small for any serious porn watching). LOLOLOLOLOL

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