College Student Choices

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Slivortal, Jun 25, 2012.


Which option?

  1. Base Retina Macbook Pro @ 16GB RAM and 3rd Party Insurance - $2180+

    2 vote(s)
  2. Macbook Air 11" @ 8GB RAM @ 2.0 GHz i7 (+possible 32GB iPad w/case and AppleCare+) - $1275 ($2025)

    2 vote(s)
  3. Macbook Air 13" @ 8GB RAM @ 1.8 GHz i5 (+possible 32GB iPad w/case and Applecare) - $1240 ($1990)

    6 vote(s)
  1. Slivortal, Jun 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012

    Slivortal macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2012
    So, I have a number of choices. Originally, when the MBPR came out, I thought I'd get one. But after some thought, I soon realized that if I got an MBA, I could save $1000+ - enough to upgrade in the near future instead of being stuck with an MBPR (generally I give all my old stuff back to my family, and I don't like selling stuff on eBay/CraigsList even if I didn't).

    $1000+ is even enough to get an iPad, which is tempting as well.

    Most of my usage revolves around computer science, with multiple Virtual Machines. I sometimes do light gaming, but it's stuff like Portal and Portal 2 - that don't even connect to the Internet (I hate MMOs).

    My worries have mostly come from fellow CS majors berating the processing power on the MBAs' ULVs. I do need something with a fair amount of processing power.

    I can pretty much afford any of these choices, but any of them are significant investments. While I could probably pretty easily replace an MBA in two or three years (my current computer is three years old), I wouldn't see myself replacing an RMBP for much longer (which is worrying with Intel's yearly CPU upgrades).

    Thanks for the advice.
  2. Cricketman macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2008
    I would go for the 13" MBA. The MBPR is just too expensive for any college student.

    The 11" is too small for me personally.
  3. RocketRed macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2012
    13-inch Macbook Air is the way to go :cool:

    I am also a University student.. using an Ultimate 2012 13''
  4. Slivortal thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2012
    As I said, I have the cash to support the MBPR if it's the better choice dollar-for-dollar.

    I don't see the point in getting the Ultimate... Isn't it within a couple hundred dollars of the MBPR (which has a full quad core over a mobile dual core)?

    Note I am looking for something with decent processing power.
  5. psharp macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2011
    13" MBA is a great machine for entry level CS students. I started College with a 15" MBP which was complete overkill and cumbersome to bring to school. About a year later I left it at home as a desktop and bought a 13" MBA.

    It wasn't until I started using specialized game engines (Unreal) that I needed to run a windows environment. I ran/run almost everything I do locally or if the code is time/calculation intensive I'll run it on the schools servers.

    The new generation MBA's are great don't let people in your major tell you different just because their machine is complete overkill.
  6. Slivortal thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2012
    I'm not an entry-level student. Whatever computer I get is going to be running at least 2 VMs (Ubuntu/Windows), possibly simultaneously, with intensive Terminal processes and shell scripts running in each. I specifically need a new computer now because my current 13" 2009 MBP 2.53 Core 2 Duo @ 4GB lags significantly on even a single VM (and the processor is bottlenecking for some reason). Otherwise I might have waited for Haswell.

    We don't even have any servers at my school currently (though we may be lucky enough to get some in the future).

    I know I need power, but because my current benchmark is so low, I'm unsure of how much more I need.

Share This Page