Calling all MIS/CIS and Computer Science Majors...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by spjonesi, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. spjonesi macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2006
    So I don't want to be a thread-starter when not needed. I even posted in another thread after searching, on a similar topic. But I need some opinions of those sure to give them from this specific field.

    I'll be returning to college in the fall, I've already got a bachelors degree in a field deemed useless by me because I couldn't get the job(s) I wanted. So I'll be a double major in Management Information Systems (Computer Information Systems at some schools) as well as in Computer Science. I have a dying g4 12" iBook that needs to be replaced for the sake of being replaced. I also have a homebuilt Opteron 170 (2.2ghz dual core) and 1gb of ram. 256 mb geforce 7600 maybe. IDK. I don't do any gaming on it...that machine is for tinkering. My new computer will be what I consider my only one (which is what the 12" iBook is right now).

    I have about $3,000 in cash set aside for this little adventure of computer buying. I've been dead-set on the 2.4 MBP...until I started to think about spending $3,000 after Applecare, XP, Parallels, case etc. Ugh, $3k is a LOT of money.

    Would those of you with similar backgrounds chime in on your thoughts of the merits and de-merits of the 2.4 MBP and the Blackbook w/ 2gb ram?

    Keep in mind I am used to a 1.2ghz 12" iBook 1.25gb ram 120gb hdd (my first mac)

    Before anybody mentions it, I'm not interested in an iMac, MacPro, or any desktop setup. I NEVER touch the one I have. Period. It will either be the MBP or the MB dressed in Black.

    I'll shut up now.

  2. anthony113 macrumors member

    May 24, 2005
    i did my undergrad in CIS. get the MBP the blackbook isn't worth it. remember, since you're still a student you can get the student discount or... if you've never signed up for ADC get the ADC student membership and you'll get a really nice discount. i bought my old G5 using that membership and saved like 700 bucks or so. go for the mbp, you won't regret it.
  3. suneohair macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2006
    Go with the ADC student discount for big savings on Pro machines. (get the AppleCare from the EDU store though).

    Macbook. I don't recommened them. I think they are crippled due to their GMA. I owned one and couldn't stand it. Stick MBP IMO. You will enjoy it more.

    I would also go with the low end MBP, not the high end. There is not much incentive to spend $500 more. Use that for other goodies.
  4. spjonesi thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2006
    Great point on the ADC I didn't even think of it but I'm lazy and not in a searching mood...(its late here!).

    I'll be registered in late August. Can I sign up for the ADC once registered??

  5. suneohair macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2006
    You can sign up now if you have an acceptance letter or a previous schedule. You can buy the membership now and work on the verification.
  6. spjonesi thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2006
    I have an acceptance letter somewhere....but its in the States and I'm in Spain for the summer. I guess I could have one faxed here if I call and ask really nicely. I have taken classes over the last year, but only 3 total, and not full time. Does that work? I'll be searching in the meantime.

  7. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    Can I ask why you have your mind set on the 2.4 if you don't do any gaming? Do you need the improved VRAM? I did, since I do game. Otherwise, the 2.2 is a more logical choice for the money, as 200mhz is pretty insignificant.
  8. spjonesi thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2006
    No reason what-so-ever. LOL. I've taken it way easy on the old wallet on my last few purchases of computers, the last was my iBook that I am typing away on right $1,000 it was a deal.

    Does the 2.2 have any better battery life or anything? IDK, with ADC its like $300 difference. I might just like to have what I can for the $ (200mhz and 128mb more vram). It seems I am going for overkill just for the sake of overkill.

    Appreciate the feedback.

  9. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    Well, if you just want to go overkill...maybe you could get the 2.2, and use the money to upgrade to 4GB of RAM! I suppose the 2.2 might have better battery lfe, since the components will be slightly less taxing, but that should be insignificant. So basically it's the extra vram, and 400Mhz (200 per core). If you want to get the 2.4 just to have it (I did!), then go for it. But, it sounded like you were a little hesitant about the price, so I was just making sure you had considered the 2.2
  10. spjonesi thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2006

    Thats just it, I shouldn't be hesitant over the price. I've been putting money away for a long time...its just hard to spend some of that when I've only thought about saving (because I would be a full time student again). I'll be getting the ADC membership when I get back to the States. Then placing an order for (likely) the 2.4 with a possibility of the 2.2

    I do like the idea of 4gb of ram. But I'd rather do that a year or two from now when I may feel like I want a boost.

    Thanks for the input, ADC and MBP it is.
  11. RoadieJodie macrumors member


    Jul 5, 2007
    Some advice from a fellow CIS Major -

    I would skip the extra .2 ghz and do like someone suggested, upgrade the
    RAM to 4GBs. You will see more of a performace increase with that than the
    faster processor.

    :apple: Jodie
  12. Nuc macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2003
    I agree as well. Here is some very good ram I put this in mine: Link

  13. richard4339 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2006
    You're going to need to run Windows for any computer-related program at a college, from what I've seen. At my school, we're considered CS, but we're honestly a mesh of engineering and programming, though they've got a concentration now that pushes you more towards MIS (though you still take all of the engineering/programming type courses you normally take, you just get the MIS type courses in place of some of the electives/business courses the other concentrations take). The thing is, almost every single program our professors have ever wanted us to run has been Windows only. C++ programming course? Professor REQUIRES Visual Studio 2005, as well as Visual Paradigm (There is a Mac version, but its UI is so different there's no comparison). Assembly? Windows-based assembler or Visual Studio is required.

    I'm not trying to say that OS X isn't programmer friendly, on the contrary, I do most of my coding and such in OS X, then boot Parallels to compile it in Visual Studio, or do whatever else it is I'm needing. What I'm getting at is that you're probably going to want to run Windows virtualized via Parallels or VMWare, and that the higher RAM capabilities, higher processor speeds, and larger screen-size will probably be something you wish you had if you went with the Blackbook. So, MBP all the way.
  14. Zel macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2007
    They say 200 mhz isnt a big difference, and that the bigger videocard is for gaming, but I really feel that during the lifetime of the machine (five years from now is 2012) videoram will become more and more a requirement.

    Think about the graphical enhancements of Vista and Leopard's Core animated applications. I've got a feeling that new activities of the future will be more graphical than ever before. Imagine everything being full motion video instead of static bitmaps... really the bigger videocard is a good idea. 500$ is not a huge difference over the long long lifetime of one of these machines.

    Also, being a ComputerScience student myself, I know that I will want all the ghz I can get, so 2.4 was the only option. The first thing I installed was a VMWare to host Windows, and I know it's going to be slowed down by about the 0.2ghz difference :)
  15. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2005
    Do you have to buy XP yourself?

    I would think in your department that they would have a campus license agreement for you to get XP Pro and Office for free. Here in my department, xp pro is free and CS Majors also get xp pro.
  16. spjonesi thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2006
    OK, so I have the $ to do the MBP -and- 4gb of ram (so long as its installed by me).

    I also feel that the vram is important for the future of the computer as more and more becomes dependent on the vram and card. However, I don't know how much of a difference it will make when, conceivably, laptops will be shipping with 512mb or even 1gb in laptops. It may make no difference at all.

    However, I'll be adding ADC membership after I buy. Because I have done the math on some things that I will also be wanting to get, and have realized that through the available deal at I can get around the same deal (macmall is $50 more), but that is only when figuring the cost of a free all in one printer and parallels for $9, two things that I needed to buy anyway... (of course after mail in rebate). I will then purchase another bad ass mac before I graduate again using the ADC membership. Maybe a really nice SMALL MBP. A guy can dream, right?


    EDIT: I didn't make it clear, I have enough for 2.4MBP and 4gb of ram (user installed)
  17. Aea macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2007
    Denver, Colorado
    Consider getting the regular HE Discount + free iPod + Printer, I think that's a better deal (especially on the 2.2 Ghz MBP) then the ADC, at least it was for me :)
  18. spjonesi thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2006

    Not that I am aware of. We had it when I was at U of Iowa for all students, regardless of major...well XP was $5 and office was $10. Something like that. We even had it on OS X as well. I paid $10 for Tiger (my wife was a TA at the she's a Prof which is why I get to go back for free!). But this is now at a smaller college and I don't know what they offer as far as software discounts. I'll look it up in a minute.

    As far as the Nano for free with the HE discount, it still doesn't work out well for me with taxes etc...and the fact that I have a nano already. I'd rather do the mail in rebates from macmall for the MBP, Printer, and Parallels then to sell the nano on eBay or something. Besides then I get parallels for cheap -and- a 'free' all in one printer (that my wife wants anyway). By the time I'm graduating I'll find a use for the ADC discount <insert evil laugh here>

  19. NtotheIzoo macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2005
    agreed...even if you dont get the free printer i still find it to be a better deal on the 2.2...that's my plan and i'll get the student ADC a month or so before I graduate in May and have a whole year to buy my ADC purchase...
  20. johnee macrumors 6502a


    Just curious what your orig major was? Horses? was it horses (animal science w/ focus on equine science)?

    my wife had got that stupid degree, and i didn't say anything at the time, but it is useless as well. now she's going into teaching middle schoolers, something she will enjoy AND be able to get a job doing. I'm glad cause she can keep the edu discount :D FOREVER!
  21. spjonesi thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2006
    LOL, wasn't horses. But that is kinda funny. Mine was a useful degree, I suppose, just not for getting jobs in the IT field. I majored in Communication people communicate with each other. It was useful in getting a job in a sales capacity (I was in TV advertising sales for 5 years or so)...I am also kinda pumped about being able to get the edu discount permanently (wife the college prof). Still via amazon and or macmall for a lot of the systems I can get about the same deal (after rebates).

  22. sarcosis macrumors 6502a

    Apr 25, 2006
    These United States
    MB Pro is a good way to go to ensure longevity, especially with the new screens they just put out not too long ago if you have the cash. I got a Macbook Rev A and it works for all I need it to do.

    I use used Windows Vista to do all of my course work this past semester. Using SAP and Microsoft Dynamics was just fine for my ERP class and SPSS for my Marketing research Classes. I did have XP on there and was Running Visual Studio 2005 just fine. For development, the vRam dosen't really kill it, but it does help, especially if you want to run Vista. But either one is going to work for ya.

    Just remember this, Ram is King for speed these days.
  23. spjonesi thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2006

    Ok, so its settled. I'll be ordering a 15" 2.4 MBP with 'factory' options and matte screen. Adding applecare, xp pro, parallels, and an all in one HP printer (for the wife)...then user installing 4gb of ram.

    This will take place sometime in August after I get back from my summer in Spain. I'll be ordering in the next few days.

    Is there any other suggestions out there?

  24. ktbubster macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2007
    Please don't diss that degree. It may be hard to get a job in that field, but there are definitely a good number of opportunities... it is just a lot more location based then many fields of study. Owning a horse myself and being around many equine professionals, as well has having about 10 friends graduating with an animal science degree 6 of which are equine science related... out of that 3 are going to vet school (which normally people do end up doing) 2 more are now (and have worked their way up in school during part time work) assistant trainers at large training facilities doing quite well and the last is doing part time training consultation as well as working at a university research park.

    It is not a useless degree, unless you aren't in a location where there is an emphasis in horse related sports/activies or breeding (or near a university)... in which case, if you really wanted to do that, and didn't have a husband or wife to have to stay by, you could move and find work. Most of the people I know, like I said, have managed to find very good jobs in the field that they very much enjoy.
  25. spjonesi thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2006
    All "horsing around" aside (man I am FUNNY!)...

    I just ordered my brand new 2.4 MBP: 2gb ram, 160hdd, parallels, hp all in one printer, etc. With shipping and all (including sales tax which I will get to) it was $2855 minus $335 in mail in rebates, all from MacMall.

    If I were to ship to where I live in Iowa rather than to my parents near Chicago then I would pay $150 less b/c of sales tax that gets charged to IL residents. Then looking at the price of computer with the extras, it compares favorably to the ADC discount...only about a $10 difference (if I didn't have to pay the sales tax) for what I ordered. But since it will take me a few weeks to get the ADC discount lined up because I'm in Spain right now, and on vacation when I get back, then a few weeks to get the order sent, I'd be computerless to start the year. And this iBook has got to GO. I can start to disassemble the iBook again to fix what I effed up on it once the new computer is here.

    I also came out about $100 shy of the education discount total. Which would not have included parallels or the mediocre at best HP all in one printer.

    I am posting here to half justify my purchase (and me paying way too much for sales tax) and also to let you know about other purchasing options on things that you may, or may not, need.

    Next up...

    4gb of ram from OWC (thanks for the link!)
    Applecare in 90 days from apple edu store
    Windows XP from Newegg


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