Computer Science Student/Photographer. What should I buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by KeriLorraine, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. KeriLorraine macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2011
    Hi everybody! :)

    I've been looking at laptops for when I go off to University in the fall, and I'm just wondering what you all would recommend that I buy? I'm planning on buying a Mac (of course, that's why I'm on this forum), but I'm not totally sure which I should go with?

    I've been thinking of getting a MacBook Pro 15', but I don't know what specs I should go with..

    I'll be taking Computer Science this fall, and I'm also a freelance photographer, so I do a lot of editing with high quality photos. I also listen to a ton of music and play some games that can bog down a computer fairly well, haha. I do have an external harddrive, but when I'm really busy, it can take me a while before I have time to transfer files.

    Any help/opinions would he greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Always check with the academic department before you buy a new computer for college - many schools have software that they expect you to run, or configurations that they expect you to use.

    If they tell you to get whatever you like (which they very well might do), the 15" MBP is definitely a good choice. Base model is probably fine. You might also consider getting an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse to use at home, but many folks do without those.
  3. Cboss macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2008
    It's my 3rd year at university and I'm a CS major. I have a 13" MB and the smaller size and lighter weight are great when I need to bring it with me to campus. A year ago I finally got an external monitor and it has made programming much more enjoyable. You can get a fairly nice monitor for under $200.

    I would suggest getting the lightest MBP that will do what you need. A laptop might not seem heavy, but my backpack feels much heavier when I have to carry mine around. The slower CPU/GPU won't make much difference when programming, but for games the 15" would be much better, especially the higher end model.
  4. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    You sound just like me 10 years ago. I would definitely go with a Mac no questions asked. You will find having a unix environment is much more relevant to things you will do in class. Not to mention you can always load windows, or linux if you want/need to.

    As for configuration go with a 13 inch if you plan on carrying it to class (which you probably will if you are a compsci major.) Keep an external monitor back in your dorm to hook it to to do photo editing or large coding projects. Also maximize your RAM and grab an external to back your stuff up on. NEVER forget to back your stuff up. I'd actually recommend an external and something like drop box which is free for up to 2GB.
  5. KeriLorraine thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2011
    Thanks so much, guys! I really appreciate this help! I still haven't decided on what I'll buy exactly yet, but I'm not buying yet, so there's still time to research and make up my mind.

    If anybody else has anything to add, let me know!

    Thanks again!
  6. ThaDoggg macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2010
    Peterborough, Canada
    I would go with the base 13". It will do everything that you need it to. Also, with the money saved get an external monitor for when you are at home.

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