Good for computer science

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MacTwick, Sep 7, 2015.

  1. MacTwick macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2012
    I'm going to receive a 2015 MBA 13" in a couple of days. Just wondering if it will be suitable for computer science. Also, would it be able to handle your standard games like WoW or something similar? Obviously not ultra graphics, but something suitable.

    The specs are:

    13" Macbook Air latest version
    128GB Flash storage (I use many externals so storage is not a problem)
    8GB Memory
    2.2GHz Intel Duel-Core i7
    Intel HD Graphics 6000
  2. rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    what is your definition of "computer science" ????
  3. MacTwick thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2012
    Going to college to learn Computer Science. Java, Python, etc.
  4. kmaute macrumors 6502


    Oct 5, 2008
  5. dor4231 macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2015
    The graphic card you have is not strong enough for gaming. The WoW experience will be... not fun, even the LoL experience will be like that.

    Buy a rMBP, this computer will last longer and have a good graphic card.
  6. boast macrumors 65816


    Nov 12, 2007
    Phoenix, USA
  7. daniel-sheard macrumors member


    May 9, 2014
    I have a 13 Inch rMBP, i7 3GHz with 8GB RAM and Intel HD Graphics 4000, I also do Computer Science at University and regarding Uni I've had no problems at all, my mac run's all the software I need to do my course. Regarding gaming I play a few games which include Football Manager 15 (with very large database and 3d game play), Cities: Skylines, Skyrim, and a couple more less demanding ones. Hope this helps a little bit, I know mines not an air but at least it gives you an idea!

    EDIT: I've also played Dota for a couple of days early this year, it played completely fine :)
    EDIT: My mac does get warm when playing games, so I use a fan to help keep it cool if needed
  8. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Yes - in general. Potentially, very suitable. You can certainly use it to write Java, Python etc.

    Whether or not it will be the best choice for the particular Comp. Sci. course you're taking is another matter (I'd hope that a Comp Sci course of all things would be platform-agnostic and not, e.g. require all coursework to be done in MS Visual Studio - but never underestimate stupidity...) - however, worst-case scenario is you have to install Windows via Parallels/Fusion/Virtualbox/Bootcamp.

    Only real caveat is that I'd have gone for a larger HD if I knew I needed to run multiple operating systems, since virtualisation or dual-boot always wastes disk space.

    If the course is totally Windows-cenric, I'd change course rather than change computer... :)
  9. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    Personally, I'd have gone for the 13" MBP. Though the 15" would be even better for screen space, there's a massive price premium for that.

    I also opted for a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to dock when I'm not at school as it really helps to have the extra space and ergonomics for those longer projects.
  10. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    This exercise seems backwards -

    Research the programs you most likely will use and see their requirements. Make your purchase based on those requirements and budget. Just remember, that "minimum" doesn't mean runs well but runs. Many years ago, I
    had a friend compile a program in C and it took quite awhile. I set up for him a RAM drive to load and compile and the results were many fold faster. The point is sometimes whatever you get, you may need to tweak and get smart about it.

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