Computer Science major

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by hudsonab, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. hudsonab macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    #1
    Starting as a computer science major in the fall and love my current MacBook so I'm looking to upgrade.

    I'm spending my summer working to save for this and have budgeted about $1800 (with tax included). I really wanted the retina but decided I need the money and will only need something for the next two years when I finish. I'd like to see that tech perfected before dropping $2400.

    So the options I've settled on is either:
    -Ivy Bridge i7 2.0 GHz MBA 13" 8/256
    I know there are issues with the i7 right now but am confident Apple will fix this soon. I like the portablility of this option and having the SSD. This is the option I'm currently leaning towards.

    -Base MBP 15" with 8gb ram
    I'm sacrificing having the SSD on this but having a quad core processor is tempting considering being in CompSci. A bigger hd would be nice too but I do have a tb external so I'm not too concerned about that. Having the 512 graphics card could be useful as well.

    So those are the two I've narrowed down to but I'd like some advice from someone who's had some CompSci experience. I will definitely be using bootcamp and parallels (linked to bc), adobe programs, but don't game very often. Again, I will probably buy something top line when I graduate so this will be a two year machine. Thanks for any input!
     
  2. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Location:
    Luzern, Switzerland
    #2
    The MBA should be enough for your needs. Not sure what i7 problems you are talking about though... The quad core processor will not help you as much as you'd think right now... higher clock speed on the other hand will help your compile times. As for the GPU, since you are not a gamer, the dedicated GPU is not important ( except if you are planning on getting into more hardcore 3D game development ).
     
  3. Kaylor macrumors regular

    Kaylor

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    Oct 18, 2011
    Location:
    Long Island, NY/Houston, TX
    #3
    The only i7 issue I've heard of is that overclocking is disabled in Windows 7 on bootcamp while the i5 works as it should
     
  4. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

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    Sep 25, 2011
    Location:
    Luzern, Switzerland
    #4
    FYI, I've edited my previous reply a tiny bit :) I remember reading about the turbo boost issue too, but you should really not be concerned about it. If you really want the get as much performance as possible and you don't mind carrying a tad bit heavier notebook around, then pick up the MBP instead of the MBA.

    I've recently ordered a maxed out 2012 13" MBA for programming purpose ( not for university though - finished that a while back ). I do have a MBP too, but I just need something lighter and smaller... mainly because I hate sitting at a desk... prefer laying in bed or on the sofa while programming. Of course the MBA is slower and compile times will take a tad bit longer, but that's something I can live with...
     
  5. Stetrain, Jul 1, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012

    Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    #5
    The most CPU intensive things I've done as a CS major are compiling C or Java programs, usually not very large. Even my 2008 2.0Ghz aluminum Macbook handled that just fine.

    The most important thing for the Adobe apps and running VMs is RAM, and 8GB should be plenty.

    I would go with the Air unless you really want/need the dedicated GPU.
     
  6. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    #6
    OP: Other than telling us you will be a CompSci major and sharing incorrect information about the I7, you didn't say anything about how you plan on using the device.

    If it's going to spend most of its time sitting in a dorm room, get the MBP. If you're going to be carrying it around most of the time, get an MBA.
     
  7. thairs macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    #7
    Re:

    I would say go for the macbook air with upgraded ram. During your undergrad, the most intensive stuff you'll be doing would either be either having to run Windows for Visual Studio and/or any other needs in Windows depending on your focus. If you use Xcode, Eclipse, or a text editor and compiler, an air will be fine for your needs. Since you're not going to be doing a whole lot of large data set management during your undergrad, I'd say you're safe with an air, and get the upgrade to 8gb of ram.

    I was using a macbook pro 13" during my undergrad in CS, partitioned with Windows and Ubuntu. It worked like a charm, but I wish I had the macbook air during undergrad that I have now, due to the portability of it.
     
  8. hudsonab thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    #8
    Thanks to all for confirming what I was leaning towards, I will stick with the maxed out MBA.

    For kodeman53, I was relatively clear what I was going to be using it for and here is the link about my "incorrect" information:
    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4035733
     
  9. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    #9
    1. You were not clear, other than being a CompSci major, with a minor in attitude. Bootcamp, Parallels and Adobe programs is hardly helpful. What are 'Adobe programs'? Even a cursory reading of this forum would have indicated Parallels equals more memory.

    2. Using Parallels renders the so called problem, irrelevant.
     
  10. Barna Biro, Jul 1, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012

    Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

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    Sep 25, 2011
    Location:
    Luzern, Switzerland
    #10
    Sorry man, but you're just pushing things too far and too hard... It's University for God's sake, of course he won't be doing anything mega-intensive and as for "Adobe Programs", since we're talking about Computer Science, then it should be obvious that he won't be spending hours each day in Premier or Photoshop or After Effects, etc.

    If he is not the kind of person to leave every crap software that he has installed running without any apparent reason, then chances are any of the mentioned notebook will handle things just fine.

    You really think it would have been helpful if he enumerated 20-30 possible tools that he might be using at University ( assuming he knows... because many Universities don't just make this information public and many times teachers like experimenting with stuff that they did not do last year or the year before, etc. )? I don't think so... and what would have your next question been then? "Do you run all those at once?" "How many hours will you spend in each tool?" "How intensively will you be using each tool?" etc.

    Seriously now, stop being a pain in the ass for no reason...
     
  11. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    #11
    You're right, a CompSci degree is a universal term that's the same across the globe and has the same requirements worldwide, which hopefully includes Logic 101. :rolleyes:

    If the requirements are so innocuous, any laptop would suffice, with the only decision being how much weight do you want to carry.
     
  12. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Location:
    Luzern, Switzerland
    #12
    In reality, almost any laptop is indeed enough ( debating whether a 1500-2000 USD notebook is "enough" is just plain senseless ). When I was at Uni, I've been using a crappy old Toshiba Satellite M70 and it was MORE THAN ENOUGH for University... I could also play some games on it at home and do some freelancing which included using many more tools than at University and running more stuff at the same time.

    Not sure what your problems is, but all you did so far is act like a prick.
    Please cut the crap now and just walk away in a peaceful manner... or try to actually be helpful.
     
  13. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    #13
    You spend one paragraph agreeing with my recommendation that the only criteria is weight then you claim I made no recommendation and hurl insults. Tsk, tsk. Shocking, and a violation of MR rules.
     

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