Heading Off to University

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by blairbeckwith, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. blairbeckwith macrumors regular

    May 14, 2008
    Ottawa, Canada
    Hey guys.

    I've been a huge Mac "fan" for a long time, although I've never owned a Mac before. I have, however, had more then my fair share of iPod's and iPhones.

    Anyways, here's the straight facts:

    - As a graduation present, my parents are willing to put about $600 towards a laptop for me for school.
    - By my guess, I'll be able to save up about $1000 by the time school starts in September, and maybe more. My total budget is in the $1500-$2000 range.
    - I'm going to be taking computer science, so I won't need a lot of graphics power, although I would need to do simple photoshop work and stuff occasionally. Nothing heavy.
    - In a perfect world, I'd like to be able to run two 24-inch displays, which I currently have. They're 1920x1080. I'd need to be able to run at least one, but REALLY want to be able to run two.
    - I want to spend less then my budget if possible.

    With this in mind, what would you recommend? I'd love the Macbook Air, although I'm not sure if this has the graphics power to do what I need to do. I also wouldn't mind the 13-inch MBP, but I'm also not sure if it can run the two monitors. Then, the fifteen inch entry level would be great, but it seems really pricey. Is the i5 really worth the price for the kind of work I'll be doing (generally programming, word processing, very light photoshop, etc.)?

    Thanks so much everyone.
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    13" should be fine, upgrading RAM to 8GB later on might be a wise thing to do. For running two ext display, you need an USB video adapter
  3. rdp5008 macrumors regular


    Jun 23, 2006
    Agreed with the above. Go for the 13" and use the adapter for the dual monitors if you must.

    Save some money for other things you will want to have in college!
  4. mattnotis macrumors regular

    May 9, 2010
  5. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    Definitely pass on the air, especially if you want two external displays. You will need a mini displayport to dvi (or vga if that's what you use) adapter and a usb displaylink adapter. I have heard the displaylink can be a little slow when you move your mouse between monitors though. For what you want to do though, the 13" pro should work great for you, specifically the base model.
  6. cloroxbleach4 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2007

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