macbook for an engineering student?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mohdhm, May 28, 2009.

  1. mohdhm macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2009
    Hey guys, thanks for viewing my posts. I'm a total mac noob so i will start out with brief info about me.

    I was quite the computer geek, i actually hated the simplicity of the macs back in grade 7, and i loved windows and PCs. Now that i'm older and in my 3rd year of university, i'm getting sick of microsoft. Their vista OS that is forced down our throats, even when it is inferior to windows XP. It sucks! it makes everything waaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy more complicated than it needs to be. I was also a little pissed with with office 2007 because they basicly just hired people to photoshop shiny blue buttons and buttons for everything! instead of the simple toolbar they had at the top.

    Last year at university, i had an HP laptop with the vista OS. I installed this autocad program: solidworks 2007 then the computer would get a blue screen every time it attempted to load windows, so i put in the recovery CDs and it was back in action. I didn't want to install the program again so i was using a friend's program to model, very frustrating, i don't like to be dependant on others.

    Vista is a bit sluggish but tolerable. I would game on it but then it would overheat and crash. After a week i figured out that it was overheating and it wasn't due to a glitch in the OS or BIOS. So i simply titled it a bit to give it breathing space, and all went well. Then i started getting the ocassional blue screens of death until it died completely. I took it to a technician to fix and he told me my video driver bugged up and has been causing the BSOD. Ok fine, i took it back and wow, after a month it blue screened on me AGAIN and died. So this time i sent it directly to HP and it turned out that it was a common problem with that model. All this time i was stressed, luckily this angel lent me her laptop and i was able to use it instead of my own. Her laptop was also messed up but atleast i was able to fix it, i remember even the internet connection wouldn't work. So much pain, so much time wasted fixing/reinstalling windows/stressing. The laptop was also able to handle solidworks without dying, so i was able to do my work in my own time and not relying on others.

    I don't want to fix computers anymore, i'm worn out, i just want a stable system to work, for a long time! i hate losing my files, my work! (too lazy to backup, that is my fault). I want a system that will not blue screen every month or so, actually, i don't want to have to reinstall the OS at all. If the mac offers this, then i'm sold.

    Also, i installed windows xp afterwards, and got bluescreened 3 months later, it was some spontaenous "hardware error." And poof went all my files and bookmarks!

    So if i would go with macs, what would be an ideal notebook for me? I don't need the graphics/tools that macs offer, all i need is to run the modeling software for the autocad program (solidworks) and some programming compiler for C, because i'll be programming lots as well. If the mac can run these 2 programs without slowing down, i'll be a happy man. So please let me know if that is possible, and if so, which mac book would be more appropriate for me.

    Lastly, if i install windows xp on the mac (some software i need to use is only supported by windows). Will the mac be able to run it with no problems? what if window yeilds a blue screen on my macbook, i will still be able to go in the mac OS and reinstall windows right ? what i'm saying is that for the users who have both windows and mac installed, there is no way for the blue screen to affect both OS right?
  2. ziggyonice macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2006
    Rural America
    At my university, plenty of engineering students use Macs. True, there may be some software that requires Windows to run, but on the plus side, you would only need to use Windows when you needed it.

    Macs are quite stable. Rarely (if ever) do you get a hiccup. And if you do, it usually a simple fix.

    The Mac offers this. :)

    The system requirements for the software you listed don't seem too bad, unless you're doing some MAJOR modeling. All Macs ship with at least 2GB of RAM, so that's taken care of there. In terms of a good video card to handle the CAD design, the MacBook *could* cut it, although the MacBook Pro will definitely run it fantastically. Granted the MacBook Pro is more money, so...

    The Mac can run Windows XP or Vista with no problems. It's quite easy to install and get up and running. In the case Windows craps out on you, and you start getting blue screens among other problems, you can still boot into the Mac side of the computer, and reinstall Windows from there. The Mac would work flawlessly.
  3. mohdhm thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2009
    actually the macbook has a better videocard than my previous computer, so that should be no problem!

    Thanks so much for the quick reply, I'll just need to do some research about the type of harddrive to get with the macbook. Thanks again!
  4. kajitox macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2007
    Buy your computer with a cheap one and swap it with a Western Digital that's bigger. That's what I'd do. :)
  5. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Uh, ok- I guess I'll be the Devil's advocate.

    I really do not know why you'd get a Mac Laptop. None of the major CAD programs (SolidWorks, AutoCAD, and others) are OS X native, so you're going to be using Windows anyways (as you know). Windows on a Mac is the same as Windows on a non-Mac: same problems, same vulnerabilities.

    No computer is immune to hardware errors. And you should have had a backup.
  6. glwucifer macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2009
    macbook vs macbook pro

    as of yesterday, june 8 2009, apple redesigned the hardware for the old-new macbook and also the macbook pro.

    i'm a mechanical engineering student and will be using a lot of autocad for awhile. i currently have a (pretty crummy) hp pavilion dv6700 cto that skips every time i move a line in autocad. in other words, i'm ready to switch to a mac.

    the question is, i have no idea which one is best for my needs. i was hoping someone could help me out. the real dilemma is deciding between the newest 2.53ghz 13" macbook pro (yes the 13" is now called a macbook pro), the 2.53ghz 15" macbook pro, or the 15" 2.66ghz macbook pro.

    truth is, i REALLY have no idea what the REAL difference is. the apple representatives keep telling me to get the 15" model because it has TWO graphics cards, but i'm thinking that the new, snazzy graphics card really isn't necessary to run what i need.

    can anyone give me suggestions?
  7. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Again, you are not going to be doing any of your "work" in OS X. Get a PC laptop.
  8. Pommy macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2009
    You can't run Hybrid SLI (meaning actually use the "two" graphics card together) ... you can only pick one or the other at a time so the only benefit to having both is you can save some power when you aren't doing something graphics-intensive like 3D rendering or gaming. So .. yeah

    and what miles said

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