Engineering Software Performance

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by TPlane, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. TPlane macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2013
    Does anyone have experience running software like Matlab and Mathematica in OS X and can comment on the performance?

    I am beginning a graduate program in aerospace engineering and am in the market for a new laptop, since almost all the work I'll be doing will be off campus. I'm a longtime macbook pro user (currently have a ~2010 13" C2D) and am seriously considering the new high end 15" rMBP.

    My one reservation is that I will get better performance out of both of those programs from a native Windows machine. I've seen reports of them running noticeably faster in VMware/Parallels, which seems very counter-intuitive.

    My other options are the new Dell M3800 or the older Asus UX51VZ. Loyalty aside, I just want a machine that will comfortably see me through the next three years. I doubt I'll have to do any solid works/AutoCAD, but it's not unreasonable that I'll run into some other software that forces me into Windows.

    If I can make the MBP work, that's my first choice, but I'm not getting rid of my 13" MBP just yet, so I still have OS X for leisure use.

    Thanks for the help!
  2. onekerato macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2011
    May I suggest you ask your Guide/Professor? Then you can avoid the friction that comes from any software inconsistencies on two different platforms. For example, imagine writing some code which relies on file paths and then having to rewrite every time that script needs to run on your professor's machine with a different OS.

    Many Grad schools encourage Macs because they like running Linux-y terminal programs that can be automated easily compared to GUI-based desktop apps.

    If you require a windows machine, consider that: (1) your MBP can run windows natively using Boot Camp; (2) verify that the retina MBP will not have HiDPI display issues when running Windows 7/8 via Boot Camp; and (3) you will need a Windows license, which will likely be offered at discounted price at your University store.
  3. TPlane, Nov 2, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013

    TPlane thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2013
    Thanks for the input.

    I have spoken to the department administrator and the "tech guy" who does all the purchasing and IT for the department, and I was led to believe he buys windows computers for all the faculty. The department's computer lab is windows only and can be accessed via Remote Desktop Connection (which is what I'm doing now from a work laptop), but it crawls.

    I expect there to be some Windows/OS X friction, but for the most part, we're on our own and collaborative work is limited.

    I can get an inexpensive Windows license, and Boot Camp is enticing, but I've heard there have been release pains since the new rMBP's came out. I'm sure they will get resolved, but I'm curious if any regular bootcamp/VM users can weigh in on whether or not it's more trouble than it's worth.

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