Anybody else in Engineering that could help me!?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mxelre, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. mxelre macrumors member

    mxelre

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Location:
    Quebec
    #1
    Alright here's my dilema:

    Going to University this fall (2008) in mechanical engineering. Im going to McGill downtown Montreal and they say if we buy laptops we should get dedicated video cards because some programs are demanding.

    I already planned on buying a new desktop because mine is 3 yrs old (windows). So, I was wondering what if I bought another desktop, which would be powerful enough to run my programs and a simple macbook to bring at school? Or keep the same desktop (upgrade it a bit) and buy a macbook pro and a second screen for my desktop and maybe sometime plug-in my MBP.

    What do you guys think would be the wisest choice?

    **I heard new MBP are coming in June so I'll wait for those if I decide to buy a MBP**
     
  2. pothen macrumors newbie

    #2
    i'd get the macbook pro, then you can also just use it everywhere, thats what i do, but i also have an older version then what they selling, but still i say get MacBook Pro

    you can always put parallels on it for windows.
     
  3. SVT Amateur macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location:
    Tyler, Texas
    #3
    The second choice. Heck, the Macbook Pro along with the 8600M would be good enough to replace your desktop and you could therefore sell the desktop and make some extra money. I'd say go ahead and get the mid MBP if you need one now or just wait like you said until June, although June isn't a set date for a newer MBP release, but just another rumor.
     
  4. iJesus macrumors 6502a

    iJesus

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    Reno, Nevada
  5. cobbe1 macrumors member

    cobbe1

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #5
    CAD programs like Solid Work, AutoCAD, are graphic intensive, but not like video games. Video game GPU emphasize on pushing polygon but as where the pixel falls is not critical. However, CAD program are precise on dots and lines, and exactly where each and everyone of them is located on the screen.

    What you want is something like the Nvidia Quadro FX series not the GeForce. I'm not an engineer but I support scientist and engineers (their computers) and often custom order desktop or laptop with Quadro card in them.

    Although a lot of scientists do use MBP but are mainly for Mathematica, Origin, those type of programing.

    Hope some engineers out there could give you better answers.:p
     
  6. grandtheftfob macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #6
    As a Chem E, I'm not sure how much computing power an ME uses, but as a hint, here at UCSB our CAD lab has some pretty high end machines, Core 2 quad cores (I think), 8800 or 8600 nvidia graphics cards. So I figure that a newer Macbook Pro in June would be enough for you to use for the rest of college.

    You'll probably also be running MatLab, Mathematica, so you might want to make sure you budget for those also (really cheap usually from the bookstores).

    But overall I think a Macbook Pro would be the best bet, then you can have a lot of computing power on the go, and if you want you could still bring your desktop to school, and have a dedicated windows machine. Or just throw Windows onto the MBP if the CAD program requires windows.

    Good Luck!
     
  7. mxelre thread starter macrumors member

    mxelre

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Location:
    Quebec
    #7
    Thx a lot guys, that would have been my first choice as well. Simply hope apple comes out with their new version of the MBP before the semester starts!! I love the design so I hope they won't do anything critical! Just a few upgrades would be nice! Maybe a new a graphics card, in that case I would simply upgrade with the latest GFX card and I'd be ready to go!:D
     
  8. mxelre thread starter macrumors member

    mxelre

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    Feb 28, 2008
    Location:
    Quebec
    #8
    Is it actually possible to change the GFX card in a MBP?
     
  9. aerove macrumors 6502

    aerove

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    Apr 3, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta,GA
    #9

    yea .. but u ll have to consider goin in for a hi end mbp cause in mech u ll be facing lotsa CAD ,etc graphic intensive stuff ..
     
  10. mynameismatt89 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2005
    #10
    I'm an Architecture student at the University of Waterloo and I've just purchased the new MacBook Pro. I bought my iBook awhile ago and realized now that it cannot handle the programs I have to use. Some of the programs I use are Photoshop, Formz, AutoCAD, Vectorworks, and the basic ones like Microsoft Word. I've also recently purchased a 24" Samsung monitor which is great. With the upgraded 512mb Video card and 4GB of ram, all these programs will run very well on it.

    So I suggest that you buy the MBP (for portability) and a nice Monitor.

    A friend of mine also in Architecture just spent over $6000 dollars on his Mac Pro, so it's really up to you what you want. For me, I think portability is important due working both at school and at home. But, if you are like him and don't mind working at home all the time then perhaps a Mac Pro you should consider.
     
  11. rsm5068 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #11
    I am going into the same situation as you next year at Penn State. I would recommend building a totally new desktop (for $1000 on newegg you can get awesome stuff) and buying the low-end 15" MBP, if you can afford it. I personally went with the mid-range 15" MBP as my only computer for college, but that's what I felt was worth the most.

    If you do go down to only having one computer, get the mid-range 15" MBP; upgrade to 4GB RAM from a 3rd party and install windows using bootcamp with a partition space of around 75GB, as that's all you will need at the most. You will most likely be using MatLAB & Solid Works for the majority of your classes, and MatLAB is available for the Mac platform (not SW). Neither is really graphics intensive, but both suck the life blood out of your processor and RAM. Other common apps are AutoCAD and pro/ENGINEER, both of which are only available for Windows, just so you know. Good Luck!
     
  12. wk127001 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    #12
    I'm a Computer Engineer/Comp Sci student at RPI and have plenty of friends who are MechEs. My recommendation to you would definitely be a midrange Macbook Pro. Just be aware that in general a lot of CAD software is windows only so you'll probably be using boot camp quite a bit (buy a wireless mouse). Maple and Matlab are available for OS X and Linux so those aren't an issue. Other than CAD/Math software though, it really doesn't make a difference.
     
  13. neski macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    #13
    I do Architecture also and i have an old ibook g4. that runs a number of cad programs that i use very well. however i am going to get the new MBP sometime next week because i have to use a few window programs. if u need the computer now get it now. June is not going to happen i think more around september or something. I think Architecture uses more graphic intense programs then Engineers so u will be fine.
     
  14. mxelre thread starter macrumors member

    mxelre

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Location:
    Quebec
    #14
    Thanks a lot guys! I talked to my uncle who is a representative for a computer store(which sell macs) and he says I should buy the MBP between now and June. Because if there's an upgrade, chances are the first version is going to be a problem...bugs, patches, fixes or whatever problem that arises from newer versions. It'll probably take like 1-3 months for things to settle down and by this time I will have started school. So I'll go for the mid range MBP with some extra RAM (newegg) and I'll buy it around may! And if I get lucky maybe the MBP will receive new updates between now and June!
     
  15. anirban macrumors 6502a

    anirban

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #15
    No.

    Also, a MBP would be more than enough to run CAD based simulation applications.
     
  16. MacBookJoePro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    #16
    A MBP running windows XP in boot camp will be more than enough to handle highly intensive engineering 3d Applications. These programs really put a toll on the entire compute by doing multiple calculations. Of course, the MBP will be limited to a certain extent but i'm sure it will be good enough to homework and other light to semi medium work on a MBP without any problems. Get a MBP!!

    -JoE
     
  17. mxelre thread starter macrumors member

    mxelre

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Location:
    Quebec
    #17
    Yeah that's probably what I going to do...buy the mid range MBP, add some more RAM and I already have a pretty nice monitor ( 20" Samsung SyncMaster 206BW);)
     
  18. cobbe1 macrumors member

    cobbe1

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #18
    Don't think it's user serviceable. Unless it is offered as an option for BTO.
     
  19. cobbe1 macrumors member

    cobbe1

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #19
    That's two different things, the type of graphic program for engineering requires different type of GPU. The point here is Apple should offer Quadro FX as an option. GeForce is for gaming, not precise 3d rendering. And that's why Apple offer the Quadro FX5600 as a $2850 option:eek: for the Mac Pro.

    It's part of my job to spec out machines for engineers and scientists, base on their needs, so I do have some experience in this field. I even got a chance to set up a nVidia Tesla card about 2 weeks ago, a specialize GPU for high performance computation, not graphic output.:cool:

    We're talking about an investment of $2499 (midrange MBP cause of the 512MB VRAM) and indeed it turns out not capable of running (or not efficient enough) the application that the OP would need then what? Lenovo T60p with FX570m is CERTIFIED by SolidWork, IMHO a better choice for the OP's need.
     
  20. grandtheftfob macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #20
    Ideally, you should contact a professor from the department and ask them if a Macbook Pro would work for school. Or what they recommend you to be running. The Nvidia Quadro cards are nice, but I don't know if it's a necessity for an undergrad to have. To the OP, find a professor off of the ME dept website(preferably one that teaches a class with CAD), and e-mail them asking what they recommend. Probably your best bet.
     
  21. MacBookJoePro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    #21
    No I understand that you need the right tool for the right job. But is it necessary for an undergraduate to have a computer that can model and design large projects, physics, and landscapes? Maybe hehe, but I guess it'll be up to that purpose. I just assumed that an undergraduate may not need that type of processing power. So I advised the MBP as a study tool. If price were not an object, then getting best wouldn't be a problem. haha.

    -JoE
     
  22. cobbe1 macrumors member

    cobbe1

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #22
    I agree. That's why the Lenovo T60p might be a better choice. 1.1" thick, with a Quadro FX570m, same Core 2 Duo processor as the MBP(2.6GHz), $400 cheaper than MBP, but with a certified GPU.

    However, I'll say the best is to consult with the school engineering department for advice. Such as computer lab hours and availability of equipment. If they already provide extensive lab hour for access to powerfull desktop machines or PC laptop for loan, then the obvious choice is a MBP :p I wouldn't want to lug that fugly Lenovo around campus, girl repeller. lol
     
  23. mxelre thread starter macrumors member

    mxelre

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Location:
    Quebec
    #23
    Alright so I got my answer today. I contacted one of the teacher in the ME department and he says there's nothing wrong with the macbook pro except that the OS is not windows. So there should not be any problems, since I'm going to get the 250 Gb 5400 rpm hard drive and partition it around 75-100GB for my windows and the rest for Leopard.(+ I will probably buy an external hard drive...probably time capsule 500Gb). So there we are, I made my choice! I'll get the mid range 15" MacBook Pro + an extra 2 Gb of ram for a total of 4 Gb + my new 20" syncmaster screen + wireless mouse(VX revolution) and wired keyboard (cause I need the freakin numeric pad)+ probably time capsule 500Gb.

    So time to start saving/working cause all this is not cheap stuff!!

    Thanks again guys!
     
  24. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

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    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #24
    Be aware the 2GB of RAM fitted in the MBP is 2 x 1GB, so you will need to take that out and get 2 x 2GB for the full 4GB.
     
  25. landis macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto/Kingston Canada
    #25
    I am in engineering at queens university, thought about going to mcgill, going into mech eng next year and i am running a 2.4 mbp with 4 gigs ram. it is a beast and runs solid edge ( a design program ) like a champ. you really need a laptop and this one runs great. i will suggest waiting as long as you can before you buy one becuase you will get student deals in the summer and possibly a better computer. i bought mine in august of 07
     

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