First time purchasing a mac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Imjustinjk, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. Imjustinjk macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2017
    Hello all! Torn between a couple choices and really need help. I just purchased the iPhone 7 after not having one since the iPhone 5. I really enjoyed the Samsung notes until recently. I've also decided that I really want a MacBook. My "main laptop" is an MSI Titan, but I rarely-to-never take it out of my house as it's not really portable. The laptop I'm looking to replace is my school/work laptop. I have a Lenovo yoga, which is a gimmicky pile of crap.

    I just graduated last month and will be attending school in the autumn to obtain a masters degree in Urban Planning. I just landed a transit planning gig. Programs I use frequently in school and soon-to-be at work are: GIS (geographic information system) - usually ESRI/arcmap, CAD, photoshop, and stuff like that.

    I'm stuck between the MacBook Pro 13 and 15. I understand that the 15 has more power, but I'm more attracted to the portability of the 13. I'm stuck between the 13 with upgraded RAM and processor and the base-ish 15. I'm not really sure though. Can a base-ish 13 get what I need done? I'm not familiar with Mac products at all.

    Any suggestions would be helpful. Thank you.
  2. rigid, Feb 15, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017

    rigid macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2008
    Have you considered getting an air? IMO the macbook pros this cycle are overpriced and painfully outdated already.

    Edit: Didn't see autocad in your post initially. Disregard.
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    As AutoCAD is Windows only (assuming that's what you're using), you'll either be installing BootCamp or running it in a VM. If you'll be running it virtually, I would recommend stepping up to the power of the 15", for the quad core processor. The 2016 model is very portable too, much more than you'd expect from a 15".

    Otherwise if you'll be using BootCamp for that software, the 13" should suffice.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Given the demanding nature of autocad, I think the 15" MBP is a better fit, dGPU, 16GB of ram, quad core processors and of course larger display for much needed screen real estate.
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Yep agree with the others autocad will beg you for 16gb of ram, dGPU and a quadcore processor that simple really.
  6. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2015
    I recently graduated with my masters degree as an engineer and now work full-time. My main program is SolidWorks. I use a laptop provided by my company and it is a dual core 15W Skylab processor with an iGPU and 16GB RAM connected to two screens. When I was a student I used a 2013 13" MBP, also with 16GB RAM. I have used Creo (ProE) in a VM without issues.

    My point is - yes, of course more power is better for computational needs. But if the 13" speaks to you, as it also does to me personally, then I would say goodnight with that. You only need the power sometimes - but you will have to carry it with you at all times.

    Besides, it is not like the 13" will not run the programs at all. It will just be a tad slower at doing it compared to the 15". But that is a compromise you will have to decide.
  7. tentales macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2010
    This will rub some people here the wrong way, but since you listed CAD as a requirement as well as weight, I would look at the new XPS 15 from Dell. Better GPU (GTX 1060 or better and overall CPU guts at $1000 less than the equivalent MacBook Pro 15.

    OTOH, you might want to wait for the next iteration of MBP, since the 2016 version only comes with Skylake, while Dell's XPS is already on quad-core Kaby Lake processors. So, better bang for your buck.

    If you're set on changing to Macs, wait for the 2nd half of the year.
  8. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    Given you want to run AutoCAD and you already have a PC, why not look at the XPS 13 and XPS 15. Much newer hardware than the MacBook Pro and have excellent build quality. Saves you running bootcamp or a VM for AutoCAD

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7 February 15, 2017