iMac or MacBook Pro for Computer Science Degree

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gwelmarten, Jul 8, 2012.

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Having read my post, which computer should I buy for my degree at Uni?

  1. iMac

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. MacBook Pro (probably retina)

    100.0%
  1. gwelmarten macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Location:
    England!
    #1
    Hi
    So, I'm going off to University in September to study a Computer Science degree in the UK.
    I'm a little stuck on whether to buy a MacBook Pro or a fully spec'd 21.5 inch iMac.
    I'm extremely competent with the Mac Platform etc, having written a number of both Mac and iOS apps on it. I use a MacBook Air and an iMac at home, but can't take those with me.
    If it was an iMac, it would stay in my accommodation all year, coming home only at the end of the year. If it was the Pro, it would come home with me.
    If I were to buy the MacBook Pro, I would get a relatively powerful one as I need to be able to build lots of large applications quickly (without waiting for 10 seconds for the simulator to load, and 40 seconds for the app to build!), and I'd also use it as the run-around note making laptop, as it is so thin now. I'm just a little worried that it won't be powerful enough, having experienced my MBA get very hot and noisy as the fan works full pelt to keep it cool when doing anything even slightly intensive (it's a fully spec'd October 2010 model).
    If I were to buy the iMac, I appreciate it would probably be a little quicker with more capacity for cooling. I'd then take the MacBook Air with me for note taking. But when working on my apps and programming course projects, I wouldn't be able to go outside to do them or to the library for that matter, as the MBA wouldn't be powerful enough.
    What is the cooling capacity of the new Pro? Does the fan get super noisy like my current air when you render videos and build apps?

    What are your thoughts on this? Please vote in the Poll as to what I should buy.

    Sam
     
  2. RedCroissant Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #2
    Hi Sam. I have a 15" MBP and use it for school as well as converting videos, basic programming, streaming my iTunes library, and also normally heavy web browsing for research. I normally do this all at the same time and the only time I heard the fans come on was when I was installing Windows as a virtual machine. I would assume then, that the rMBP would be more than powerful enough to handle your tasks and still be relatively quiet even if the fans do come on. Good luck and have fun.
     
  3. gwelmarten thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Location:
    England!
    #3
    Hi
    Thank you very much.
    I guess I was just concerned following use of my Air - honestly, just one application such as Skype Screen Sharing is enough for the fan to get to super noisy status and for the machine to overheat - and even then the CPU's only at 60%! With the rMBP as well, you've got the SSD rather than HDD, so even less heat generation there compared to the normal MBP.
    Sam
     

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