Leaning away from Apple now, Engineering student... discrete gpu... etc.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tomass389, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. tomass389 macrumors member

    May 26, 2009
    Long story, short...

    Bought my first laptop when i went off to college (PC w/ vista of course). My girlfriend converted me to macs and I fell in love... with macs. I got a little off track in college, but now I'm getting back into engineering and need a new notebook. (Over time I traded my 15" toshiba for a 12" iBook G4, then that for a 17" PowerBook G4 which I just sold cause i couldn't lug the beast around anymore)

    I was dead set on the base 13" uMBP until I saw this today...


    • $400 less first of all
    • double the ram and hd size
    • comparable processor performance (although the ASUS is way more efficient)
    • switchable graphics
    • the discrete Nvidia G210M GPU with 512MB has nearly twice the performance

    Trust me, i'm scared to go back to PC but...

    • I've been using my roomates extra laptop for the past week and she's behaved well so far
    • I really need discrete GPU for engineering
    • need windows for engineering programs
    • windows 7 sounds like quite a turn-around

    Just looking for an open-minded, honest opinion

    I know all this chit-chat about the uMBP refresh early next year, but its looking like thats only for the 15 and 17 inchers at first and I dont see the 13 getting the GPU power I want. I also dont really wants to go up to 15" nor can I afford to.

    Thanks Guys and Gals
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    really? i vever did in my 5 years at college for engineering

    they have labs for all the intense programs as licesing prevents you from having it on a personal computer usually
  3. tomass389 thread starter macrumors member

    May 26, 2009
    Which programs do you mean by "intense"? I know back when I started all the students got copy's of the CAD programs and such. I was also just thinking along the lines of wanting to do some autoCAD outside of lab.

    I also would be doing some light HD video editing and game playing
  4. Hands Sandon macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2008
    Beg, borrow and steal if you have to for the 15" MBP. You wouldn't have mentioned it if it wasn't your first choice. I know you say you can't afford it, but you will if you can think outside the box.
  5. wankey macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2005
    Engineers need to play games. Thus he needs a discrete GPU. Otherwise you projects won’t even come close to taxing the GPU (heck, I worked 4 months at RIM doing pro/e without even the GPU driver installed for Windows. I thought the slide show was part of the program… then someone pointed to me, and while it ran super smooth after the update, it really didn’t change the way I worked lol…)
  6. tomass389 thread starter macrumors member

    May 26, 2009
    I'm not looking for a smartazz remark, I probably wont play anything at all.

    If your point is that I will not need discrete graphics for the programs I will be using in college then just say so and then back it up. Thanks
  7. tomass389 thread starter macrumors member

    May 26, 2009
    I really dont want to go to that size for portability though.

    There's just something about how much nicer a 13.3" mac fits in your backpack...
  8. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    you wont

    source: my expereince
  9. MBHockey macrumors 68040


    Oct 4, 2003
    New York
    Agree with this. The only thing we ever got a personal license for was Pro Engineer, and I even remember running it via VirtualPC on a PowerBook. CAD programs really aren't that demanding.

    Your Mac will be fine.
  10. Hands Sandon macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2008
    True. Maybe you can find a more comfortable backpack though. The bigger screen, I think, really makes a diference over the 13.3", especially at a desk and the graphics should keep you covered. It only weighs 5.5 lb's, that's just one more than the 13.3 MBP.
  11. Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    your first mistake was to post this in a mac forum, what kind of reponse did you think you were gonna get? people are gonna try to have you get a mac regardless of what your needs are. I'm not sure what was point of the post though, it seems that the asus is a great deal for what you're getting, so just go for it. you're only going to get biased opinions here.
  12. TheMechanic macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2007
    I have a Late-2007 MacBook (not Pro, with graphics on board) and I study Mechanical Engineering. Until last week I ran AutoCAD 2008 and Autodesk Inventor 2008 under Windows XP in VMWare Fusion 2 without problems. Unfortunately my MacBook wasn't able to run the latest versions of these applications in a virtual machine. So I ended up with Windows 7 via Bootcamp and now AutoCAD 2010 flies on it.

    When you are so tempted about the new 13" uMPB why don't you just get it? You have always the opportunity to install Windows via Bootcamp.
    Macs can always be PCs but PCs can not be Macs!
  13. deafboy macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2009
    I too was having this dilemma. I was leaning towards the UL80VT until the reviews came out and everyone but anandtech.com said they were worried about the build quality and the screen. I'm impressed by the battery life and discrete graphics, but after reading the reviews I'm leaning towards the MBP. I'd link you the review but I'm typing this fom my phone. it was In laptopmag.com. Having been a pc guy all my life I think I'm ready to take the mac plunge at least for a laptop. I have a self built PC to do all the heavy lifting ;). Good luck on your decision


    edit: check out notebookreview.com also
  14. iMacmatician macrumors 601

    Jul 20, 2008
    The 13" is likely to also get an update but I don't think it will bring a large increase in GPU performance either.
  15. Sparky9292 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2004
    Remember that you can have Windows 7 running native (via Bootcamp). I run Left 4 Dead all of the time on my MBP under windows 7.
  16. chrisrottan macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2009
    Or you can buy a $600 fully loaded asus notebook that will dance around the macbook pro's with its dedicated graphics card for rendering.
    I'm on a macbook pro 13.3 and i use autocad but it's god-awful. But if you have $2300 to spend on a 15" mac with 512mb dedicated graphics, it should be enough as the cpu is 2.8ghz. But then again, 600 vs 2300 and the 600 notebook is pretty much on par with the mac.
  17. tomass389 thread starter macrumors member

    May 26, 2009
    Damn I'm so confused...

    ok, so I guess I'm not worried about running the programs now. I should probably just stick with apple.

    Now I'm scared of them upgrading the 13" uMBP right after I buy it.

    What are possible integrated GPU upgrades comming up for the 13"?

    I know arrendale or clarksfield for the cpu will be around february-ish
  18. zbasarab macrumors member

    May 29, 2009
    threads like these are pointless.

    if you have certain requirements for a laptop and cannot afford them on a mac, go with a pc. its that simple.

    if you want a mac and can afford it, then get it. how hard is this?
  19. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    op: all i know is i made it through engineering with an emac and then a mb with a gma 950 lol
  20. Sneakz macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    If you really needed graphics, you wouldn't be getting this. That is not a fast GPU. Its like saying a certain car has twice the performance of a Smart Fortwo. If you need graphics, you need a mid range GPU at least. (9600, GT 130, GT 240, HD 4650 etc.
  21. jcraw4d macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2009
    Response from My point of view

    I expect that I will be flamed for this, but here goes anyway.
    I am not an engineer and use my computers for other things that being said, however, we meet with you trying to make the change to MAC and me going the other way.
    I have been using personal computers since about 1983 primarily as a PC user with occasional forays into MACs. Had an old powerbook and a desktop I don't remember the name of.
    The reason I am going the other way is primarily that the hardware is not very reliable. I bought 3 MACs in the last 3 years and went all the way (All MAC all the time). In that time I have had to have 2 motherboards, 1 keyboard (on a macbook) and one repair on a un-findable harddrive (that Apple repair said was because it was pointed at the network for an OS (I rather doubt that as booting to install CD or a TechTool CD couldn't see the drive at all. Can't reinstall if you can't see the drive.
    So the point is I have had enough. Yes, all the repairs were under warranty but it get way to scary when you feel you can't trust the hardware.
    I also don't find OS X that spiffy, but then none of the current OSs are very good.
    So anyway I am divesting myself of all Apple hardware, and of course software too. I did send an email to Apple but got no reply.
    I have bought a netbook cheap because they said it had an unbreakable password on it and discounted it over $100. That won't do for you of course.
    All the notebooks come from just a few manufacturers in China so I don't know whether any of them are better than another.
    I would say this though, don't spend a premium price for a theoretically premium piece of hardware. I don't thinks such a thing exists anymore.
    I would find the cheapest notebook that meets your needs and buy that when it breaks throw it away and get another one. Of course, stau backed up and keep all your software disks available.
    Computers have become a commodity and don't get all involved in the religion of one type or another.
    Two final things.
    I have been using Windows 7 release candidate for about 3-4 months and it isn't that bad. That being said, all the OSs don't know what a good desktop is, what document based means or how to get out of my way. They all try to be cute and that looks good for awhile but then starts to look dated. Beware the spinning beachball of death.
    The final thing is this. You have already experienced people in this forums and maybe others who treat you like an idiot. It is pervasive, particularly in MAC and Linux forums, so beware. They won't answer a simple question or give an opinion without pulling out their religion and beating you over the head with it.
    Good luck in your career and follow you own opinion and research, all others are flawed.
  22. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    If all his programs are Windows-only, why would you spend the extra money for a Mac? Buying a Mac to run Windows is retarded.

    The first list item should be driving your decision. Windows 7 is much, much better than Vista and much better than XP on almost every front you can think of (with the exception of "compatibility" which will be fixed in the coming weeks for probably 95% of commonly used software).
  23. Cubsin09 macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Chicago, Illinois
    I got a mac for engineering. Easily dual booting does wonders.
  24. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    What the hell is a MAC?

    Op, get a PC. If you think you will be in Windows 51% of the time, just get a winbox. Even if I were running Windows full time (I do run win 7 and run xp for work) i'd still get an apple machine provided Apple came out with decent bootcamp drivers. Alot of the laptops/desktops i've used were poorly designed from a variety of manufacturers (ASUS, Compaq, HP). The only PC laptops i'll consider are VIAOs and Thinkpads. Even I like those fugly little Thinkpads cuz they're built like corporate tanks.

    Best of luck to your studies.
  25. motoMBP macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2009
    my college reccomends both pc or mac, they frown upon linux. i went and got me a uMBP 15" and i havent used a personal windows os since ive been at school. the pc labs now they have the software you need.

    ps our school has some nice imacs but it makes me cry when they erase osx and put xp on it, wasted a good machine especially when they get win 7 free

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