Buying MBP for Grad School

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by umdjb, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. umdjb macrumors regular

    May 27, 2006
    Washington D.C.
    Hello Everyone,

    I am looking to buy a MBP or MBA for my graduate school program (MBA Degree). I will actually be using Windows most of the time (course requirements) and be running Excel 2007 and Access 2007. Here are my questions:

    I will be using the computer for personal use (email, web browsing, movie watching, music listening, loadings photos but no editing) and school use (Windows Excel 2007 and Access 2007). I do not video or photo edit or do any other high intensity tasks.

    1.) Is 4GB sufficient on a MBP 13' lowest end model to run Windows 7 with Excel and Access?

    2.) Is the SSD really worth it and will it help give me any benefit for the type of work I will be doing?

    Thanks for the help!
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Buy a Windows machine. There is no reason for you to buy a Mac. Any computer made within the last 3 years will work just fine for you.
  3. umdjb thread starter macrumors regular

    May 27, 2006
    Washington D.C.
    Problem is that all of the Windows machines I have seen out there are all complete junk. I probably should have stated earlier that I am simultaneously looking for a replacement to my old iMac which is about 4 years old now. This is why I want dual boot capability. OS X is where I will manage my personal media and Windows will be for school/work.
  4. huffboy macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2010
    1) Sorry I do not have any experience with it.

    2) Depends how patient you are. SSD really speeds things up.
    Faster load times for OS, programs.
    Faster file copying time.

    Based on your usage, I think the MBA will fit you better and your back will thank you.
  5. corruptshadow macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2010
    SF Bay Area
    I just bought the low end(i5) 13 for grad school myself and while I haven't started class yet I really love it.

    1) I was concerned about 4gb of ram myself, still it seems to be fine for my purposes so far. The nice thing is if you want to step up to 8gb you can do it anytime you want and for a lot cheaper than what apple sells it for if you go through newegg or amazon.

    The 4gb limit and slower processor was really why I went macbook pro instead of mba.

    2) SSD's are nice but ppg(price per gigabyte) is really steep. I would just go with the 320gb standard hd and upgrade it to an ssd if you want to later on, plus this way you can put the standard hd in an enclosure and you would have a backup drive.

    Finally, if you do go with a windows computer I would strongly suggest you look at the lenovo t420 it is about the same price as a baseline macbook pro after you add in some upgrades and the build quality is much nicer than a cheaper dell or other windows machine. Also, the battery life on the t420 is killer.
  6. njsa04playa macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2010
    new joisey

    the macbook pro ( i am agreeing with you) is the perfect choice for OP
  7. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006
    A MBA is plenty of computing "power" for you, but I just don't think you can get one with enough storage to comfortably dual-boot Windows and keep all of your media on OSX.

    Apple is selling this machine refurbished. It's the most recent revision, and it's exactly what I would buy if I were in your shoes. Quite a steal if you ask me.
  8. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    SSD will be noticeably faster than the (relatively) minuscule upgrade in CPU between the MBA and MBP. My 2011 11in MBA runs circles around my 2011 quad-core i5 iMac in everyday tasks, since my iMac has the standard 7200rpm 1TB hard drive.

    And what's with the Windows requirement? You can easily go Office for Mac... but then again I don't think Access is included. Though, there are certainly alternatives out there (Open Office maybe?)... or you could easily virtualize Windows (XP would probably be just fine; WINE might be an option too) strictly to run Access (which isn't as big as a hassle as it sounds).

    Anywho, if money isn't that big of a concern, I'd go MBA. Plus, screen resolution on the 13in is poopy compared to the 13in MBA.
  9. njsa04playa macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2010
    new joisey
    tru but the color gamut on the mbp is superior

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