Gearing up For College Should I go Mac or PC??

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jrp95, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. jrp95 macrumors newbie

    jrp95

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    Dec 10, 2011
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    Seattle, WA
    #1
    I am getting ready for college and I need to make that life changing decision...macbook pro or Hp envy. Please help me out.

    Ok, First I need to tell you what I am doing. I am going to be running 3D CAD (computer aided design) software on my laptop and I need the power capability to do it. Also, I already own an iPad 2 and iPhone 4s.

    Anyway, the big issue is a comproble HP Envy 17 is $1000 less than a really nice MacBook Pro 17. I am talking like $3012.12 (after tax and education discount) to the HP $2066.99 (no discounts and tax included). I know you get great software with a Mac and the customer service is great. I also love my iPad and iPhone but is it really worth the extra $1000??

    Just looking for some input.

    Thanks,
    Joel:rolleyes:
     
  2. happle macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    u come on a mac forum to ask this :D pretty obvious answer :apple:
     
  3. dontwalkhand macrumors 601

    dontwalkhand

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    #3
    Make the most of your iPad and iPhone that you already own, by going Mac. You know that all these devices are all designed to go hand in hand with the Mac.

    iCloud is worth it alone to go Mac, having your photos just pop up in iPhoto as you take a picture with the iPhone.

    As for college, I am not sure if going 17" is a good idea, I have tried that, and the laptop never was used as one because it was too big. 15" tops for the MacBook Pro.

    HP Envy seems like a blatant ripoff of the MacBook Pro ;)...and I don't trust HP and won't even go anywhere near them at all....or any other consumer brand PC computer...if you want to go PC, go Lenovo ThinkPad or HP ProBook, etc... If you are going to be doing real work on this computer, go for a quality brand like Apple, Lenovo, or even Dell (Latitude, Precision, not their consumer junk).
     
  4. jrp95 thread starter macrumors newbie

    jrp95

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    #4
    okay but why?

    Yes but, why should I choose a Mac?
     
  5. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

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  6. jrp95 thread starter macrumors newbie

    jrp95

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    #6
    Okay I will try a 15..I never thought about it being to big. Thanks!
     
  7. dontwalkhand macrumors 601

    dontwalkhand

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    #7
    Remember, the 17" is what people call a "Desktop Replacement"...the 15" is a nice blend between portable and desktop replacement, allowing you to use it as both easily. If you need more screen real estate, just get a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, plug it into the MacBook pro, and you have a nice desktop setup there for you, and portability when you need it....but for most, using it as is, is perfectly fine, especially with the high res display option.
     
  8. VMMan macrumors 6502a

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    #8
  9. jrp95 thread starter macrumors newbie

    jrp95

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    #9
  10. dontwalkhand macrumors 601

    dontwalkhand

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    #10
    Well, as I said, I have had issues with quality control on HP products, and won't touch them with a ten foot pole. While an old MacBook from 2006 is still going strong that I have given to a good friend of mine, when I bought my new 13", while an accountant friend of mine had an HP, which came with Vista, and was purchased in 2008 I believe, and it didn't last until 2010 (the thing stopped powering on at all)...you make the call here if you think this is worth it.

    If you don't want to go Mac, or can't justify paying a little bit more for the Mac, please please DO NOT go with HP, I am begging you! ;)

    P.S...The accountant is now happily using a Lenovo if you're now wondering, I couldn't get her to go Mac, as she would not like the change in OS.
     
  11. thundersteele macrumors 68030

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    Switzerland
    #11
    Did you check whether your CAD software is available for both systems? Are the implementations equivalent? Some software is ported very poorly.

    I like the design of the HP Envy. The 17'' has a few nice features, like two HDD bays, manufacturer support for 1600GHz RAM up to 16GB, better sound system. Other things I don't know... the MBP has very high quality components, e.g. the keyboard, trackpad, screen, great battery life. How is HP's service & reliability? As others have mentioned, Macs, Lenovo's and some Dell models are quality brands (the only laptops I see at work).

    How do you get the MBP to 3k with education discount? Overpriced RAM upgrade?


    edit: As others said, you should check out the 15'' models.
     
  12. VMMan macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Well, when I was in college, my Mac IIci with Apple Personal LaserWriter NT with educational discount was $6500. I almost went with the NeXT, but that system would have been another ~$3000.

    I ended up using the computer from 1990 to 2000.

    Was it worth it? It's hard to say, but I was pretty productive with that system. Only you can judge your finances and needs.
     
  13. hotgrease macrumors regular

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    Feb 14, 2010
    #13
    I don't have any experience with the Envy, but have you tried pricing the MBP with some user-upgraded parts (SSD/Ram). You could probably get it less than $3k. And going 15" would save even more $. I'm sure the Envy is a good computer too, but I haven't had great success with HP. I once bought a dv-whatver laptop and it kept shocking me while using it =S
     
  14. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #14
    Personally, I'd get a nice $1000 Dell Vostro laptop. Then, in 2 years, get another, nice, $1000 Dell Vostro. Finally, when you graduate, get yourself a 3rd, $1000 Dell Vostro. That way you'll always have the newest, latest, and greatest. Believe me when I say, in 4 years from now even the cheapest laptops will be much better than the best laptop from today.
     
  15. warvanov macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 13, 2011
    #15
    Personally, I would get the base 15" MBP in your position and save quite a bit of money over the tricked out $3K 17" you're looking at. At most I would upgrade to the faster 15". d

    Whatever you do, don't buy the RAM from Apple. It will be cheaper to upgrade yourself. If you can open a car door then you can install RAM on a MBP.
     
  16. vitzr macrumors 68030

    vitzr

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    #16
    The equivalent high quality PC laptop is a Lenovo ThinkPad T series. The HP cannot compare. It only looks like a MBP, but has neither the quality or support. Apple ranks number one, with Lenovo a very close second.

    I have equally equipped new 15" MBP ($3066) and a ThinkPad T520 ($1844) so as you can see the price premium for a Mac is significant.

    I pay it because I like Apple laptops with OS X, yet to be fair the Windows 7 experience is also outstanding. I use both because I work in a cross platform environment within the tech sector.

    Either way you can't go wrong.
     
  17. chrisvee macrumors regular

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    Winnipeg, Canada
    #17
    Mac, obviously. But, as many have said already, if you were to go PC, go with Lenovo. They're supposed to have some pretty top-shelf stuff! With HP however, I've had some hit-and-miss experiences, and I'd rather not go with them again. Don't get me wrong, the Envy looks rather enticing, but nah.

    If it's a matter of operating system, just Boot Camp Windows 7 on your Mac. I actually bought my base MBP 13" a couple years ago for university and it has been treating me well. Lion as my main OS, and Windows 7 via Boot Camp.

    And again, don't get memory from Apple. Try Crucial or OWC, you can get 8GB for something like $50 nowadays! (I think I'll do that soon too!)
     
  18. derickdub macrumors 6502

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    VA
    #18
    It's all preference IMO. If you're going to be doing any sort of CAD work I can guarantee you will be installing Windows since most schools use software that is Windows only.

    Only you can justify whether or not that extra $1000 is worth it. And you can never put a price on your "happiness", for lack of a better word. $1000 is a small price to pay for something if you think it'll make you that much more happy. Macs also last much longer and have a much better resale value than Windows PCs too.

    Once again though, it's all preference.

    ----------

    dontwalkhand also makes a very valid point too. Having a Mac makes keeping everything between your iOS devices and computer so much more easy.

    Also, at least consider the 15". You can get the high-end for much cheaper than $3000, and since the last release the base model isn't much behind spec-wise with the new GPU. I wouldn't suggest the 13" for CAD work though, I use my C2D 13" for AutoCAD 3D modeling and it gets sluggish at times.
     
  19. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    #19
    +1
    That is a really important thing to do. OSX is not a terrible OS but when you work the Application matters most and those often suck in their OSX ports. They often sport less features and give terrible performance.
    Boocamping Windows works well for games but when you work you'd want to have OSX battery life and lower noise fans. Also the touchpad of a real Windows Notebook comes with decent drivers the bootcamp touchpad drivers only get you the bare essentials. Again it works well for gaming as you use a mouse anyway and you will not game on battery probably and with a headset so noise is not an issue.
    I really wouldn't want to work on Windows on a MBP though. It is an emergency thing imo.

    Applications are of decent quality in Media design and stuff like Photoshop but I doubt CAD is strong on OSX. Without a big userbase there is not enough incentive for developers to make decent implementations.

    What you really want for CAD is a workstation like the Dell Precision, Lenovo W series or HP Elitebook w. They are expensive and heavy but they pack pretty much anything you might want and sport the best quality among all notebooks. Also you get the real OpenGL optimized workstation graphiccards not the stripped down consumer GPUs with the Gaming drivers.
    An HP Envy 17 is a sort of Gamer Notebook and with HPs track record not really one to recommend. The only HP Notebooks that are worth their money are the Elitebooks imo. I would rather go Dell or Lenovo considering HP means to sell their mobile Notebook line anyway and who knows what that means for the future.
    Macs don't last longer nor offer better quality compared to the business class notebooks. Macs do have a higher resale value because there are so many fools who just want to have a notebook that looks like a MBP and care little for what they actually get and they do look all the same from the outside for a while now.
     
  20. aCondor macrumors 6502

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    #20
    It really doesn't matter. Get the one you are most comfortable with.
     
  21. newone757 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 5, 2011
    #21
    Well what is your school using? If the labs are filled with Macs then I'd so go that route to make working at home easier, but if all you'll be using is windows then it doesnt make sense IMO to pay an extra $1000 just to have to bootcamp for a seemless transition from school work to homework
     
  22. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #22
    Before choosing, check with the school, and their requirements. They may require a PC because of the software using. Don't jump the gun too early until you know what you need
     
  23. TheJing macrumors 6502a

    TheJing

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  24. randomrazr macrumors 65816

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  25. MrBullet macrumors member

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    #25
    Mac 100%.

    Pretty much everyone here will be biased towards Macs (understandable as they are the best, but this isn't the point of my reply).

    I would take these steps:

    -Check requirements of any software you college uses. (I'm from the UK and in my school we use disks instead of Science text books and they aren't compatible with Macs)

    -Look into the specs of the two laptops. Power isn't everything but it helps!

    -Choose which one you are comfortable with and which one has better aesthetics.

    Why choose Mac:

    Very powerful laptops, capable of amazing performance and will easily meet your demands (15&17'').

    OSX Lion is very advanced. Fast and comes with some great features that can make using your iPad/iPhone even more of a pleasure.

    MBPs are sexy to look at, the unibody design is a wonder.

    You can have the option of an anti-glare screen and there are other features that make the Mac great. Illuminating keys, mag safe charger etc.

    Apple Customer service is top notch 99.9% of the time as well!

    As for which model to get, I would get the top end 15" as the 17" won't be as coveint for college use i.e. taking it to lessons, outdoors, tight spaces.
     

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