Could someone please help me choose the right macbook for me?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by neb45, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. neb45 macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2014
    I'm a computer science student in the United States at the moment and am looking for a new computer to buy. Obviously, I do not have an extreme amount of money to spend, but I can adjust my price range a little.

    I was looking between the 13 inch and 15 inch, and think that the 13 inch may be better for me since it is light weight and easy to carry around to class, but the only thing that worries me is that it only has a dual core processor, versus the quad core processor that's on the 15 inch.

    Something else that would allow me to save a large amount of money is to buy an early 2013 model instead of a late 2013 one. How much difference do you think there is between these two models? I heard the Haswell and Ivybridge processors are very similar performance wise, but for battery life the Haswell is better. If that's the only difference, I'm not sure if the $600 more is a wise investment.

    Here is one the models I'm looking at specifically:

    Would this model do everything that a computer science student would need to do? And are there enough advantages to the newer model to pay $600 more? Thanks.
  2. Dweez macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2011
    Down by the river
  3. neb45 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2014
    Well, I'm a computer science student, so mainly programming. Right now we are using python, c++, java and using ssh to access my university's Linux servers. I also mainly watch TV on my computer, as I don't have a TV in my room. However, I don't play any games or anything on the computer, so I don't need anything that powerful.
  4. Hexaea macrumors member


    Nov 29, 2008
    You're a CS student and you can't pick a computer out for yourself...?
  5. JunkyJeff macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2014
    Hey man, I think you'll be fine with the lower end model. I did c++ and some comp sci courses too and they arent demanding at all. You might want to look into C++ programs for mac or you can always bootcamp windows and you'll be fine. If you're set on a mac I would save the money probably and get the base model.
  6. Qaanol macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    Are you set on buying now, or can you wait until the summer? There’s probably a 50-50 shot that Apple gives a slight spec-bump to the rMBP line in June, and they pretty much always offer a back-to-school deal in August where you get App Store credit when you buy a new Mac.

    If you’re set on buying now, the best bang for your buck in the current line-up is the 13.3″ rMBP with 2.4 / 8 / 256 for $1399 after student discount.

    If you want the 15.4″ there’s this on the refurb store: current gen 2.0 /8 / 256 for $1699 (would cost $1899 with student discount.)

    The previous gen has much worse integrated graphics than the current gen, to the point that I would not recommend them to anyone. Since you’re not a heavy gamer nor 3D animator you don’t need a dGPU, so the current models with iGPU are just right.
  7. taedouni macrumors 65816

    Jun 7, 2011
    Go with the 15". Quad core will be useful for running windows virtually.
  8. neb45, Jan 30, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014

    neb45 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2014
    I'm not 100% set on buying now. My dell laptop still has good specs and can last me a while. It's just a bit bulky, which is why I'm looking to get a new one. And sorry if I sound dumb about this, I've never bought a mac myself, want to make sure I get the best one possible.

    And to the guy who said I can't pick out a computer myself, I can choose a perfectly good PC with the specs that I want (which I did with this current computer), but I am not sure how efficient macs run compared to PCs. I used to have a mac in middle school, but that was a while ago.

    And lastly, I am actually a more specific major inside of CS at my school (Software Engineering), so my specialization is software NOT hardware.

    I also just got a full time job as a software engineer starting in a few months, so I won't really need a new personal computer until school starts back up in August.
  9. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    I think this is true.
    As a CS major you never know. (You should know though ;) )
    I think 16gb in ram are in order, too if you are planning on running Linux and Windows in VMs.
    And I usually dont recommend people to get 16gb ...
  10. Asuriyan macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2013
    The 13" is a potent little machine. You're probably not going to see a whole lot of differences in tasks outside of rendering/transcoding and gaming.

    As a relatively recent undergrad who carried a 15" MBP for most of that time... I always wished I had a smaller computer. Desks in your average classrooms are not wide enough for a computer that size, and one side or the other was always hanging off the edge. On the other hand, as a CS major you might be taking more of your classes in computer labs, in which case it's less of an issue.

    The previous 13" models were also much less compelling by comparison. When I bought the MBP before my current one the i5/i7 CPUs had just come out but the 13" was still using a Core 2 Duo. The differences are less significant now. 13" Retina Display with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD? Yes please!

    I don't think you'll be unhappy with the performance no matter what you choose. Just don't underestimate the importance of size.
  11. Praxis91 macrumors regular


    Mar 15, 2011
    Since you're doing only programming and some multimedia (non games) you'd be fine with a MBA, let alone any MBP. :)

    Hell, I could code and compile and do anything but gaming on my brother's $500 Acer. :p
  12. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    This is also a good option if you dont want to spend horendous amounts on a maxed out 15".

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