Engineering student needs suggestion!

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by KTe24, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. KTe24 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    #1
    Hello, im currently in the market for a new laptop. Im a college student studying electrical engineering and im currently finishing up my junior year. My Dell XPS M1530 is starting to take a crap on me not to mention its pretty outdated at ~2.5 years old. Anyways, i was looking into a Macbook or possibly a Macbook Pro. Im looking to try something new (OSX) and all my friends that have them have no complaints. can anyone lend any suggestions?

    As an engineering student, i will be multitasking often. i dont do too extensive coding (MATLAB mainly but a few other EE related programs). i will also be writing papers, listening to music, watching videos and surfing the web. Photography is one of my hobbies and i do photo-editing but not to immensely. My currently Dell XPS is spec'd out at:
    # 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo T7500 processor
    # 2GB DDR2-667 SDRAM (upgraded to 3GB DDR2 SDRAM)
    # 160GB 5400 RPM SATA HDD

    Will a Macbook or MBP be significantly better? my currently dell runs everything perfectly fine and quick (i just need a larger HDD, new battery, its kinda heavy and big, also there are a few other little annoying problems). Would a Macbook (newer white unibody) be sufficient or should i spend the extra $200-$400 for an equivalent MBP?

    Sorry for the long post, thanks! :)
     
  2. GfulDedFan macrumors 65816

    GfulDedFan

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Indiana
    #2
    Hey KT and welcome to the forum -

    Gut feeling is that you'd probably be much happier with the 13" MBP (either one) but I know that price is an issue for college students... especially ones graduating into the current job market. You probably should upgrade to 4GB if you get the MB or entry MBP. You could upgrade your hard drive to a larger size by purchasing one from a third-party and installing it yourself.

    You'll love having a Mac finally and if you need to, there are very effective ways to run ms windows on it.
     
  3. RITZFit macrumors 65816

    RITZFit

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    In my Corner
    #3
    will you need to run any CAD programs? If not, honestly the white macbook should be enough but I guess it also kinda boils down to whether you prefer metal or plastic :D
     
  4. KTe24 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    #4
    i will be running little to no CAD so i doubt that would be a problem. im leaning towards the macbook just because its about $900 (after student discount) 2.26 ghz, 2gb RAM and 250 gb hd. The entry level MBP is same specs but with only 160 gb hd and for $1099. The 2.53 ghz MBP with 4 gb RAM and 250 gb hd is too far out of my price range.
     
  5. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    #5
    You will not see a major boost in performance with the macbook over your current Dell machine.

    What you will gain is: better battery life, a better (in my opinion) operating system experience and you will be able to cater well to your photography hobby.

    If you don't need a machine right now, I'd suggest you wait and see if there is a spec upgrade in the next few weeks since the current macbook is running on a processor very similar to your 2+ year old Dell. The mac may also have an inferior graphics chipset since some of the XPS units came with a decent graphics solution.
     
  6. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #6
    If you run Matlab, you will need windows under bootcamp, an additional expense.
     
  7. skinniezinho macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Portugal
    #7
    There is matlab for OSX.

    I am a mechanical engeneering student,and I have hte white macbook "unibody".
    I think you don't need much more,ust upgrade it to 4Gb and you are ready to go.
     
  8. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #8
    glad to hear there's a version for OSx.
     
  9. blackburn macrumors 6502a

    blackburn

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    Where Judas lost it's boots.
    #9
    engineering student also, matlab do exists for mac and I use it a lot :D works fine, just like skinniezinho said upgrade the ram to 4GB
     
  10. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #10
    The new white unibody Macbook is $799.99 at Microcenter but you have to live near one as it's in-store only. They have 29 left in stock.

    • Intel® Core 2 Duo Processor 2.26GHz
    • 2GB DDR3-1066 SDRAM
    • 250GB 5,400RPM Hard Drive
    • 8x Double-Layer SuperDrive
    • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M
    • 10/100/1000 Network
    • AirPort Extreme 802.11n
    • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
    • 13.3" Widescreen Display
    • Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

    Kinda hard to believe that this is 2 years newer than your Dell.....
     
  11. KTe24 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    #11
    Thanks for the tip about the Microcenter sales price! i just googled them and there is one about 15 miles away from my house. ill have to go check them out and see if they have any left.
     
  12. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #12
    They also have the 13" MBP for $999. These are for new MB/P's. The 13" MBP is $999 if you can find it in the refurb section.
     

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