Is this overkill? (Engineers get in here)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by fate0311, Jun 14, 2019 at 6:51 AM.

  1. fate0311 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 31, 2015
    Programs I frequent which require me to run Windows 10 via Boot Camp:

    - SolidWorks
    - MATlab
    - Wolfram Mathamatica

    Programs I frequent in MacOS:

    - Lightroom Classic
    - Photoshop
    - AutoCad

    I have never edited a video before outside of Quicktime years ago. However I may begin this as a hobby.

    Result? I went with the 2.4GHz , 1TB, 32GB RAM, Vega 20 and wondering if I went completely overkill for my uses?
  2. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2004
    I don't think it is over kill and even if it is it just means you'll get longer use out of your hardware. However, aren't all of those software suites you listed available for both Mac and Windows? I'd just stick to one platform if I could.
  3. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Most likely yes. By the way, matlab and Mathematica run great on mscOS
  4. fate0311 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 31, 2015
    If you were to use a MBP to run what I am running which iteration would you have went with?

    I can still swap.
  5. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
  6. Ries macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2007
    You could have a MacBook Pro from 2011 with 16GB RAM and they all would run just fine. You're most likely not going to do anything, that would require that kind of power. And if you do, the university will properly have the equipment to crunch the numbers (Like a desktop with GPU's in it), while you develop the basis on your laptop.
  7. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    Depends a bit on the size/complexity of the projects, but yeah you're definitely set!

    Most of those applications don't actually need all that much from any modern computer.
  8. fate0311 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 31, 2015
    My goal was to have a MBP that would allow me to just go home after class instead of depending on the computer labs. So in theory I can go home and work on everything under my own roof.

    So I wanted to make sure I could run any engineering program whether its under Bootcamp booting windows or MacOS.

    Maybe I will swap for the base 15" if that will do everything fine.
  9. Webster's Mac macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2016
    I tend to recommend buying more than you need right now, considering these aren't all. Need 512gb of storage right now? Buy 1tb because you may need it in a few years. Does the base CPU fit your needs right now? Might want to option it up a little to make sure it will meet your needs in a few years. If I'm gonna shell out multiple thousands of dollars on a *computer*...a computer that costs as much as the value of my car... it damn well better meet my needs for years.
  10. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    Looking at your use case, I don't get why you are getting a MacBook, even.

    All of those can be run on any Windows computer.

    So is there any specific reason why it has to be a MacBook and not, say, a Dell XPS 15? You can forego Bootcamp altogether, and you won't run into thermal throttling issues, which you will see a lot when you run those CAD softwares.

    Also, non-engineers won't get this but AutoCAD and SolidWorks on Windows are better than their Mac counterpart in both performance and features. Certain things on MacOS are really buggy because Apple has not updated OpenGL for years.
  11. fate0311 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 31, 2015
    Reason being I want an all in one computer and I am a long term Apple/MacOS user.
  12. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    Well, aside from software engineers (and btw, I am one of them), most other engineering disciplines will benefit more from a full Windows setup than from a Mac setup.

    For CAD softwares and SolidWorks, you can get equivalently priced Windows laptops with Quadro or FireGL graphics, which provide great support for them. Consumer graphics solutions like Vega, GeForce, Radeon, etc... are just not suitable for professional work.

    If you do insist on sticking with the MacBook because you want something familiar for personal use, then I would suggest that you kill off Bootcamp and run all of those software on your Mac anyway, despite the lack of functionality. Mostly just because you don't waste storage space for the extra OS then.

    For a student, I think the lack of functionality won't be too much of an issue, though you will find yourself needing a Windows computer shortly after you graduate and start using those softwares more.

    In this case, it's not really that the computer is overkill, but that it's not suitable for the specific use case.
  13. fate0311, Jun 14, 2019 at 1:23 PM
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019 at 1:29 PM

    fate0311 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 31, 2015
    Well Solidworks does not offer a MacOS version, so that's my major kicker. I use SW a often. Outside of class I am using all of the programs I mentioned to sharpen my skills in each of them. Searching for my own tutorials/videos etc.

    Would you recommend I return the MBP for a baseline or keep the maxed out? Either way I want a MBP for personal use if that's helps your guidance. I also appreciate the real estate of the 15" for the amount of time I am on it.

    Keep in mind I am a 32 year old student.

    This wasn't an overnight purchase. I searched for a while trying to figure out what I needed for specs. I ran into a lot of comments such as yours about buying a Windows. So instead of sweating the specs I just went the easy route and bought a higher spec one.

    I don't want a Windows laptop and I want a (1) laptop solution.
  14. richinaus, Jun 14, 2019 at 1:46 PM
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019 at 1:56 PM

    richinaus macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2014
    All CAD software runs better in windows in my experience. I still prefer to use macOS.
    Doesn’t the xps throttle? Pretty sure I read that somewhere.....

    In my work life windows is great to get the job done, and just stay in a couple of apps. In my lifestyle macOS kills it.

    BTW FWIW I would specific the same machine and use similar apps. The only thing is Vega 20 or use an egpu [or both if you have the $$]
    --- Post Merged, Jun 14, 2019 at 2:04 PM ---
    Get a top base, see how you go and add an egpu if needed. It will be fine.
  15. fate0311 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 31, 2015
    By top base you mean the 8 core base that apple has on the site and in store?
  16. richinaus macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2014
    yes. It is fine except gpu.....
  17. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    Well, regarding SolidWorks, the final answer from the team is still that they don't recommend you run the software even in Bootcamp:

    As I mentioned, some features will be missing and when you work as a professional, it'll be quite limiting. This is why I suggested that you use something other than a MacBook specifically for CAD. It'll be okay for now as a student, but I think you will eventually want something else as a work machine.

    I'd recommend that you go back to the baseline. It won't make a difference since your everyday tasks most likely won't benefit from the higher specs, and the software you want to use won't benefit from any MacBook spec at all anyway.

    Well, I have a 2017 MB 12", a 2018 MBP 13" (recent acquisition and will replace the 12") and a work-issued 2018 MBP 15".

    Honestly, the 2018 machines after the last firmwares are not bad at all. I love the 13". It's only slightly heftier than the 12" but it approaches the performance of the 15" most of the time for casual use.

    The 15", on the other hand, is quite a workhorse. If I stress all 6 cores fully, then it does break away from the 13". I've had Apple replace the keyboard once, and that's the only complain I'd have with the machine. That and maybe the footprint/weight as I have to carry it to meeting and back a lot. It's been super reliable. When the GPU is in use, though, the CPU will sometimes (well, almost all the time) scale down quite badly. I'm guessing it's either thermal or lack of power draw from the battery/charger, or both. Not the first time I've had a 15" machine that scales down when graphics are stressed, so this is to be expected. But it does happen.

    I briefly bought a XPS 15 before settling with the 13" MBP because... as you said, MacBooks kill it for personal use. But when I had the XPS 15, it was very beastly. 4K screen and I could max out the GPU easily without the machine slowing down at all. Gaming on it was quite nice.

    Then again, it's like twice the thickness and weight of the 13" MBP, very hefty beast, and the fan noise dwarfs my bladeless Dyson at max power. Plus I'd be lucky if it lasted past 4 hours a day, so there was that. And the novelty of gaming wore off quite fast.

    I've since learned to offload my neural net experiments to the cloud so whatever personal machine I use doesn't need a super beefy GPU anymore. But if I was running CAD daily, that's a different issue altogether. I think the CPUs are fine, if only the OP was doing mostly CPU-intensive tasks.
  18. v3rlon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2014
    Earth (usually)
    Speaking as an engineer who works in semiconductor manufacturing, "overkill" with regards to computational power is something that only exists in fantasy- like when a kid says "infinity times a thousand."

    If your computer was freaking Data from Star Trek with an advanced, infinitely fast network to Skynet, The Matrix, WOPR, and JARVIS with a mind reading, prescient, completely benevolent interface that looks like Kate Upton, but still cooks and cleans up after you - there is still room for improvement.
  19. hajime macrumors 603

    Jul 23, 2007
    Can matlab take advantage of Vega 20 GPU?
    --- Post Merged, Jun 14, 2019 at 10:01 PM ---
    Please share your experience running SolidWorks and MATLAB on the 2019 MBP. Can you get RealView working with Vega 20? How is the fan noise of the 2019MBP running SolidWorks and MATLAB?
    --- Post Merged, Jun 14, 2019 at 10:07 PM ---
    I cannot find a quiet and light (below 2kg) Windows laptop that has Nvidia GPU to do CUDA stuffs. What program do you use to connect the cloud? I used rlogin over 30 years ago. With high speed internet, perhaps there are nicer looking GUI terminal for the Mac?
  20. richinaus macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2014
    Haha this is totally true. I have not had a computer yet that I didn’t push to the limit. No computer has been fast enough yet - I do real time rendering, so unless it is photorealistic and instantly rendered then it’s not fast enough
  21. idark77 macrumors 6502


    Dec 2, 2014
    If you can afford it you should buy and use it. No Overkill, just enjoy.
  22. fate0311 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 31, 2015
    In the tests in reviews the 2019's are still throttling bad in BootCamp. Would a VM fix that?

    I could try running SolidWorks on a VM? I would think this laptop is capable of it.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 15, 2019 at 6:05 AM ---
    I just began the Solidworks Performance Test. It says it’s going to take roughly 50 minutes. I’ll report back.
  23. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    Even with some throttling in Bootcamp, you're still all but certain to get better performance there than in a VM.
  24. fate0311 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 31, 2015
    SW Test Results. How does it look aside from me needing to change registry to make realview work?

    Attached Files:

  25. hajime macrumors 603

    Jul 23, 2007
    What is your hardware configurations? I have not done SW bench-marking. Are these good results?

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