iMac Computer Science

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MIKE666, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. MIKE666 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    #1
    hi,

    I am soon to be starting my computer science course in the uk,

    as soon as my student loan comes through i am going to buy a computer i think, I have decided that my next computer will definitely be a Mac.

    i currently have a 2 year old MacBook Pro, but i am thinking of either getting a new MacBook Pro or getting an iMac simply because i love the 27'' screen.

    i have searched around for minimum specs for my course but cant seem to find anything specific.

    anyone have any idea of course requirements for this course? (computing wise)

    i am thinking of spending the whole loan+grant on a computer, as stupid as it sounds.

    what would you recommend doing? i am open to suggestions.

    cheers
     
  2. Matthew Yohe macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    #2
    I would imagine anything you purchase from Apple would more than handle any classwork you would have.

    Although, I would be sure to get enough RAM (4-8GB) so you can load up something like Virtual Box and install Windows for those edge case programs.
     
  3. advres Guest

    advres

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    Any new mac you purchase will be plenty strong enough to do anything that course curriculum requires easily.

    edit - dammit I'm slow today.
     
  4. MIKE666 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    #4
    thanks for the replies.

    i did think that everything currently on sale would be good enough, however do you reckon it would be better to get a more higher end one so then it lasts the 4 years of my course?

    If i get an iMac i think i would also get a new MBP in my second year as that is when my applecare for my current machine runs out.

    I do like the idea of having 2 machines just so that i dont have to rely on one computer.

    i think as well with the iMac i would probably get the 1TB+SSD as i like to have more than 1 drive on my desktops.

    cheers
     
  5. advres Guest

    advres

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Boston
    #5
    You do realize that by buying this with a school loan you are going to be paying interest on it for years and years down the road? it's not a smart money investment at all. And having 2 computers when you don't need 2 isn't smart money wise either. Save those pennies because who knows what your job market will be like when you get out of school.

    Just my opinion
     
  6. Matthew Yohe macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    #6
    Yeah, if you can afford getting the SSD, that will certainly speed up your system.

    Also, be sure to leave around some cash to get AppleCare. You don't want to not pick that up. (You can purchase that up to a year from your original purchase date)
     
  7. MIKE666 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    #7
    yeah i do undersand that i will have to pay my loan off, however i dont have to pay my grant back.

    the reason for me wanting 2 computers is that if one of them breaks i have at least another one to rely on.

    i might even try getting a 27'' cinema display to go with my MBP until the second payment of my loan to see if that will suffice, as i really want a new bike.

    whatever i do get i will definitely be getting applecare, with the HE discount its very cheap.

    thanks for the replies,
     
  8. Matthew Yohe macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    #8
    Probably not a good opinion considering many people will take out government subsidized loans, for which there is no interest incurred during school. Also, grants? Yes you'll owe some cash after it all, but be aware of that, and study hard. You're not going to really have much of an issue finding a job with a 4 year computer degree. Honestly.

    And with this new Mac, you'll be able to begin programming projects in the iPhone/iPad simulator, right out of the box. It's a great investment for you as a computer science major. It's definitely better to be on a Mac if you're in CS (I'm electrical engineering).
     
  9. Kenndac macrumors 6502

    Kenndac

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2003
    #9
    To be honest, if you need a super powerful machine to do a Computer Science course, they're doing the course wrong.

    Computer Science is supposed to teach you the fundamentals of computing and programming. Nothing I did on my course (which I graduated from a couple of years ago) required more than a ten year old machine with 64Mb of RAM in it.
     
  10. mdatwood macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #10
    Listen to the person above.

    First of all unless you have money burning a whole in your pocket there is zero need to buy 2 machines. That is extreme overkill for anything you'll end up doing in school. Second, anything you buy today will be obsolete in 1 year much less 3-4-5 years from now. I'm sure it will still work for you, but don't buy the best expecting it to future protect you - it won't.

    For the record I went through CS undergrad with a linux desktop and the computer lab to use. Through most of grad school I had a G4 Powerbook that I bought used on the cheap just so I could be a bit more mobile.
     
  11. advres Guest

    advres

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Boston
    #11
    Umm, if you don't pay it off before you get out of school the interest starts going. Then you are gaining interest on a machine that will probably have been replaced by then. I don't understand how you can't comprehend this.

    And yeah he probably will find a job but telling him to save his money is not bad advice. I don't know one college kid who thinks buying 2 computers and a new bike is necessary within their first year of school using student loans

    But to each their own! My stock will go up regardless.
     
  12. MIKE666 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    #12
    wow i didnt think anyone would agree with me, i thought it was the cash burning a hole in my pocket before i even get it.

    i get a grant as my household income is below a certain threshold, its about £2900 a year which doesnt have to be paid back.

    i have been wanting to start programming iphone apps for ages now, but been really struggling to motivate myself to do anything, hopefully this Uni experience can get me motivated.

    im not too worried about the debt as its pointless to worry about it, i see it more as an investment, i could get a job now and have no debt to worry about, or i could pay to go to Uni and hopefully get a career in something rather than just a job. (and get paid more hopefully)

    thanks for the replies
     
  13. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Isla Nublar
    #13
    This is smart, VERY smart. The 2nd computer if you can afford it and the apple care.

    I've gone for computer science at three different schools and wished id of had a mac at the other two schools. Its perfect for comp sci course work. You will probably be able to do everything on your mac since a lot of projects tend to be unix based. You can also easily run windows or linux too if you need.

    Extra screen real estate is a huge plus too especially when coding large projects.

    Also, in my opinion apple care on your system is usually always worth it. Being a tech for 15 years I always buy it because hardware fails, and its expensive to replace. Most people see the sticker and get sticker shock and wont want the warranty, but if you break it down year by rear its actually very reasonable.
     
  14. MIKE666 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    #14
    im only going to live the once though, saving money is the sensible choice but have £xxxx in the bank isnt much good if i get hit by a bus tomorrow, it will also be my only debt.

    and the bike is actually quite necessary, my current one is far too small and once i have passed my tests then i will get a new one, as a car has been ruled out due to ridiculous insurance costs.

    i do understand where you are coming from with the 2 computers though, maybe i will just get the iMac then only replace my MBP if it breaks or isn't up to the job.

    thanks or the replies
     
  15. Matthew Yohe macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    #15
    Besides not having to pay off grants... even if he didn't get a grant, he could use the loan as a no interest lump of cash to get the computer now and pay it off within the 4 years. You can send money to pay off your principle any time you want.

    Awesome. Don't let this motivation die.

    You don't need to "rough it" with a crappy machine, that's nonsense.
     
  16. MIKE666 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    #16
    yes my current applecare has paid for itself with only one repair, my logic board and superdrive had to be replaced, with the Higher Education discount im sure you get the 3 year warranty standard but can pay an extra £50 odd so that it includes phone support.

    i think that the extra pixels will help a lot, i love the hi res 15'' MBP but even after using one of those i still feel like there isnt enough room, the imac will have enough room though i have no doubt about that.

    thanks for the replies
     
  17. mdatwood macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #17
    To everyone above who thinks replacing his current MBP by going into debt is a good idea I'm amazed. I guess this helps me understand why the typical american is over $8k in CC debit, and the US has close to 1/136 houses in foreclosure.

    If you had no computer and your goal was to start making money by writing iPhone apps, then yes that's an investment. Paying for school with the expectation of getting a higher paying job afterwards is also an investment. Buying a new computer simply because? Not an investment.

    Then go do it! What about school is suddenly going to change your motivation. If anything you'll be left with less time. You want to program iPhone apps, but you haven't. You already have MBP and I'll assume and iphone/touch so what else do you need? What you have now is perfectly capable of creating any iPhone app that you can think up. John Carmack said it best (emphasis mine):

     
  18. vladzaharia macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    #18
    Eclipse is one of the biggest memory hoggers ever. Up to 1GB, it will use any and all available memory. With 2GB of RAM (found in the last generation of MBPs), you really don't have enough for speedy development through Eclipse, especially if you're running other Applications at the same time. And for some Java-based courses, Eclipse is required.
     
  19. MIKE666 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    #19
    Its not about time, if anything the less time i have the better. the last few months i have done nothing, and i mean nothing i have tried to do stuff and every single time something has got in the way, leaving me to start from scratch. just the real world i suppose, but not having a full time job over the last few months has been bad.

    i accept what your saying, i can see both the good parts and the bad parts, this thread was me trying to weigh it up.

    i will have to get an external monitor though, all of the people i have spoken to about it have said screen real estate is the most important thing.

    the debt is not much of a problem as the student finance system in the uk is good, i dont pay any of it back until i earn over £15k, which isnt a lot but its better than finishing uni then immediately having to pay money back.

    thanks for the opinions
     

Share This Page