Final year of uni & dissertation writing, which mac would be best?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Harri569, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. Harri569 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hey everyone,
    I've been lurking here for a while trying to decide on which mac to buy, I signed up today to get some of your opinions to help me out!
    I'm going to be buying my first mac at the end of the month (if new iMac isn't out with ML I'll buy a current model) ready for my final year at uni. I'm going to be spending a lot of time on it over the next year, largely for writing assignments and doing my dissertation. My dissertation is basically a scientific report, which will need extensive referencing. I view a lot of journals online and like to have a few open at once when working on my report, I'd probably be running a separate program for statistics also. This makes me think that a 27" iMac might be quite valuable as I would be able to have multiple windows open and view them quite clearly. Once I've finished uni though I'll mainly use the machine for light gaming, web browsing, watching YouTube and on demand TV. My current PC is fairly decent spec wise but has recently started overheating (the north bridge I think) I could try and fix it but tbh I'd really love a mac anyway.
    So my question for you all is, based on my current and future needs which iMac would you suggest? I don't really want a mac mini as I like the all in one look. I'd rather not run extra displays either as I wear glasses for PC use and would probably have to turn my whole head to look at another display rather than just moving my eyes. I'm happy to install more RAM myself as I know it's much cheaper that way.
    If you've read this far, thank you! I'd really appreciate your insight.
     
  2. Razorhog macrumors 65816

    Razorhog

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #2
    Definitely go with the 27". Sounds like that's what you want anyway, and if you get the 21.5" you'll just be wishing you had the bigger screen.
     
  3. ArtieFufkin10 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #3
    As someone who just finished this process, go with the 27".

    I was writing my dissertation mainly on a MBP paired with a 23" external monitor. The real estate was pretty sufficient for managing a TeX editor, Bib references, X11 and terminal windows for my MATLAB sessions.

    Since you'll likely be editing separate chapters in their own window, the more screen real-estate, the better.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Harri569 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    Thanks, what about specs? Would the base model be sufficient do you think?
     
  5. ArtieFufkin10 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #5
    I'd think the base model would be sufficient enough for you provided, as you said, upgrading the RAM to help you run a lot of programs simultaneously.

    I did most of my heavy computing on a workstation at my UNI so my MBP was mostly just running the SSH sessions. Though a 2011 (or newer) iMac is far superior to a 2008 MBP and can handle a lot more computation. I guess it depends on how computationally efficient your research is.

    Right now I'm hoping that the 2012 iMac's are released so I can get upgraded processor and graphics. The current model is good, but I plan on this being a 4-5 year machine so I want to start with the latest and greatest.
     
  6. MacMilligan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    #6
    I finished mine last semester. I used a pc with dual screens. Definitely get either a large screen or dual screens. It literally increases productivity by 30% or more due to not having to constantly flip through applications. I typical session had me using miktek, PDF reader, Mathematica, and references. Having all that on screen was a must.

    Be sure to get at least 8GB of ram and BACKUP everyday to two different sources. Use your universitys online storage as one location or amazon S3 if your uni doesn't offer storage.

    Good luck.
     
  7. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #7
    I expect that the OP has bought his Mac and finished his final year now, so any discussion at this point is moot.
     

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