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ZacT94

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 25, 2012
196
0
Hi everyone. I would like to ask for advice on what Macbook I should buy, as I am about to buy a new computer. I am making the switch to a Mac and I am an Australian uni student studying science and money is not an issue. I intend to do mainly assignments, web surfing, some experimentation with garage band as well as some light photo and video editing. I also intend to do some gaming (mainly The Sims 3). If anyone could help me on this issue it would be great.
Thanks everyone.
 

Collin789

macrumors regular
Mar 29, 2011
195
4
Raleigh, NC
I recently got the Retina MBP for college in the Fall and so far I am really enjoying it. I need to be portable and I'm guessing you will be as well? This thing is really light. Some people would disagree but I think it's just fine. As far as what you'll be using it for, it will most defiantly suit your needs. Too much really, but nothing wrong with that.
For me, the main reason I like it so much is the screen. It's so clear and crisp. You really just have to go in the store and see if you like it.
The other MBPs or Airs would do you good as well. The Air or 13in MBP might be a little small on screen size for doing something with pictures.
Go in the store and see what you like.
 
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ZacT94

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 25, 2012
196
0
Retina MacBook Pro 2.7/16/786. Currently the best laptop money can buy.

I see where you're coming from but I don't need that much storage and I don't want to take a $4000AUD laptop to uni because it might get stolen. Thanks anyway.
 
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ZacT94

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 25, 2012
196
0
Collin789, thank you for your reply. I have been considering getting the MBP retina because of the SSD and 7-8 hour battery life (tested on laptopmag). I am not sure about the size of the hard drive though for the base model. My last/current laptop (which is dead now) had 250GB of storage which my Mum & I didn't fill up (it was used for what I will be using the Mac for) but I may or may not need a little more hard drive. Is it worth paying $700AUD more to get 512GB SSD?
 
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BlazednSleepy

macrumors 6502a
Apr 15, 2012
698
208
Keep in mind since your a student, you can get a student discount which also applies to the optional upgrades.

I think a 2.3ghz, 512gb, 8gb of ram will be perfectly fine for what your doing.
 
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medi.freak

macrumors regular
May 26, 2011
221
0
You might also want to look into the MacBook Air. I bought a unibody MBP 15" and thought it would be fine carrying it around everywhere, but first of all I don't like the idea of getting >2000$ laptop stolen and/or damaged, and I think it is just too big too. The rMBP might be a little lighter. Okay, A LOT lighter (;) but it is still 15". If you really want to be taking it to class all the time, I'd buy the Air now. Because I noticed the 15" is just too big to take to class all the time I just bought the iPad for that, but you could save yourself a lot of money.
 
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MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,107
9,298
13" MBA, perfect for Uni. Lets be realistic, you do not want to spend a fortune for something that you will lug around daily, and most probably wear/tear due to it being in a backpack, when I was at uni my backpack got thrown around alot etc.

Size and weight is the main issue, I personally think the retina being 15" is too big for university, and an absolute overkill in terms of specs. Heck the 13" MBA is an overkill.

And don't forget, your at university to have fun!!!! and study etc, not to look at a laptop screen... spend more time at the uni bar!
 
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ZacT94

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 25, 2012
196
0
I don't mind the extra weight in my bag as I am used to carrying very heavy textbooks in my bag. I was considering the MBA 13" but my mother who will also be using this laptop likes to leave everything open at once and I don't think that the RAM or the processor could take it so I'll need quad-core and maybe even 16gb of RAM. Thanks for your advice though.

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And suddenly, money is an issue...?

Ok I mean when buying the laptop. Money becomes the issue if I have to replace it six months later. I have enough saved up for the laptop but not to replace it.

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Your at university to have fun!!!! and study etc, not to look at a laptop screen... spend more time at the uni bar!

Hehehe... I do that already around 3-4 times per week!
 
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Dangerous Theory

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2011
1,984
28
UK
I see, well you can get 8GB RAM airs that will most likely be plenty. If your mother is anything like mine, she'll only have basic apps open like safari and mail, not heavy demanding ones. I think 4GB would be fine, but 8 is loads. Then again, you know your uses more.
 
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ZacT94

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 25, 2012
196
0
Yeah I am worried about 4GB of RAM as my last laptop with 2GB RAM started clogging up after 3 months of use (got the laptop in 2009 and it died this March), so 4GB might clog up quite quickly too and I do get frustrated when a computer takes 5 minutes to load up a game or even Microsoft Word.
 
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valleydesign

macrumors member
Mar 29, 2012
97
0
I see where you're coming from but I don't need that much storage and I don't want to take a $4000AUD laptop to uni because it might get stolen. Thanks anyway.

Those kids at "uni" will steal your frozen pizzas if your not careful! Whatever you get, watch it like a hawk.
 
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MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,107
9,298
Yeah I am worried about 4GB of RAM as my last laptop with 2GB RAM started clogging up after 3 months of use (got the laptop in 2009 and it died this March), so 4GB might clog up quite quickly too and I do get frustrated when a computer takes 5 minutes to load up a game or even Microsoft Word.

8GB ram and SSD drive will see you through uni.

short of running PS/video editing/encoding your not going to get near 8GB of ram, maybe in three years time u might need more then 8.
 
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ZacT94

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 25, 2012
196
0
Those kids at "uni" will steal your frozen pizzas if your not careful! Whatever you get, watch it like a hawk.

Exactly, that is why I watch my Galaxy Note like a hawk.

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short of running PS/video editing/encoding your not going to get near 8GB of ram, maybe in three years time u might need more then 8.

Yeah I do intend on keeping the laptop for about 5 years

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I think a MB Air does well for most students.

Yeah but my Mum will also be using it so I need something more powerful.

----------

I'd also like to ask everyone if there will be a usb to thunderbolt adapter or vice versa. I've been looking online for one but I can't seem to find one. Are they even out yet?
 
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ZacT94

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 25, 2012
196
0
I would also like to ask if it is worth waiting for the Haswell MBPR or go for the one that is already out?
 
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boomhower

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2011
1,562
50
The MBA with 8GB ram upgrade will do what you want it to, your not giving it enough credit. You and your mom both have some apps open isn't going to kill it. If you want the quad get one, great machines. That just pretty much defeats the point of the thread though, not much of a decision. Pick retina or classic. Basically if you need a DVD or upgradability get the classic. If not get the Retina.
 
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warghh

macrumors newbie
Oct 27, 2011
28
0
I know people that get by doing Adv Science at UNSW with an iPad. They only problem with that is when they take Computing and can't compile.
 
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MrWingman

macrumors newbie
Apr 11, 2012
12
0
Germany
I am attending a lecture with my MacBookPro Retina right now ;) So I can highly recommend it. It is very portable and the battery life is awesome. It costs a lot but it is worthy every single dollar! :apple:
 
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valleydesign

macrumors member
Mar 29, 2012
97
0
So I have been using my new rMBP 2.7/16/512 for about 2 hours now and while I haven't had the chance to really test this thing out, I'd like to share my first impressions.

First, you should know that I am upgrading from an early 2008 mbp.

Out of the box everything is as perfect. Everyone knows how light and thin this is but its hard to truly understand until you take it out of the box for the first time. Anyone that tries to say this isn't a portable machine is delusional.

After booting up, I noticed 2 things. It's really fast, and it has a really nice screen. (who would have known...) Its crisp, vivid, deep, and detailed. It will be the nicest display you have ever used. The only thing that could make it any better is if it were 27".

Apps launch instantaneously. SSD is a beautiful thing.

The key board is nice. The speakers are really nice. The track pad is nice. This is near perfect in form.

What about function.

It lags. Everywhere.

It's not unbearable but its definitely noticeable. Scrolling and even dragging things causes it lags a little but its definitely not enough to hinder this machines function or give you a headache. I'm looking forward to ML in the hopes that everything will smooth and polished with that update. (you have to believe this machine was built for ML and nothing earlier.)

The lag is undoubtably caused by one thing, that 2880 x 1800 screen... We'll get to that in a second.

One of my favorite improvements (keep in mind that before this I was on a '08 mbp) is the heat management. For 2 whole hours now I have been using this on my lap and not once have I needed a cold towel, ice bags, or burn treatment!! Now like I said earlier, I haven't had a chance to really stress the cpu or gpu but after 2 hours of mail, web, some 1080p youtube and some light CS6, my MBP has hardly reached room temp. I couldn't tell you how well the fans work or how quiet they are because, sitting in my living room with the tv on quietly and ambient outdoor noise, I have no idea if my fans have made one complete rotation or not.

Now for the screen. It's a blessing and a curse.

At "best for retina" CS6 is unusable. (I believe "fuzziness" is the technical term)

I downloaded an app called SetResX that allows you to run your rMBP at it's native resolution of 2880 x 1800. Tons of workspace, and beautiful art boards but it is also completely unusable due to the tiny menus and tools that come with that insane resolution.

So at this point, I'm starting to panic a little. I've got a 27" ACD I can plug into but whats the point of a graphic designer buying a laptop if the only time you can run CS6 is when your hooked into an external display.

"best for retina" was too hot, 2880 x 1800 too cold. So I opened up my display options and chose "more space" and it was just right. Kinda... (the furthest right scaling option)

Don't get me wrong, it's not perfect but you actually get a somewhat large workspace, menus and tools that are just big enough, and you get rid of a lot of the "fuzziness" that plagues non-retina apps at the "best for retina" resolution.

The pixelation still exists in some areas but after diving into a design for more than 20 min you will forget about it.

With all that being said, I am impressed. This machine is not only beautiful on the outside but is a complete and utter workhorse on the inside. Sure it has its flaws, but none of them will stop you from completing your work or getting frustrated in the process. With ML arriving in less than a month and retina updates coming later this year for most of the popular apps on the market, the rMBP will only get better.

As you would expect with an Apple product, everything has been design with a purpose. This machine is the result of years spent refining and perfecting a design ideology and not a single product line.

While nothing is perfect. Apple is getting damn close.

:apple:

If theres anything else I missed or anything specific you guys want me to take a look at, let me know. Remember these are just the observations and (mostly) unbiased opinions of one graphic designer. Take it for what it is. :D
 
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Collin789

macrumors regular
Mar 29, 2011
195
4
Raleigh, NC
Collin789, thank you for your reply. I have been considering getting the MBP retina because of the SSD and 7-8 hour battery life (tested on laptopmag). I am not sure about the size of the hard drive though for the base model. My last/current laptop (which is dead now) had 250GB of storage which my Mum & I didn't fill up (it was used for what I will be using the Mac for) but I may or may not need a little more hard drive. Is it worth paying $700AUD more to get 512GB SSD?

I guess it just depends on if you need it or not. I got the base model and don't plan on using that much space. My last HDD was about this size and I never filled it up. It wouldn't be worth it to me.
 
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beamer8912

macrumors 65816
May 30, 2009
1,137
3
Personally, I don't think any college student needs a retina. Everyone wants one, some might find a good use for it, but most others (including college students) will just use it as a toy.

A MBA or 13" MBP will be fine, no question. But if money isn't an issue, then yea get the (2.7GHz, 16GB, 786GB). Trust me, there will be no difference in the desirability of a $2200 vs $4000 laptop. Everyone will want to steal it no matter whats inside.
 
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Yuke

macrumors member
Jun 26, 2012
33
0
For college? 13" Air, upgraded to 8GB ram. Fast, light, good battery life, and reliable. Plus a heck of a lot cheaper than the rMBP. Should chew through whatever work college throws at you without any issues at all, and they're great laptops besides.

The rMBP is complete overkill for college, IMHO. It's a great machine, but you can handle the work with an Air, and have enough left over to furnish your dorm room with a nice HDTV and sound system. You'll get a LOT more enjoyment out of that in your college stay
 
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beamer8912

macrumors 65816
May 30, 2009
1,137
3
For college? 13" Air, upgraded to 8GB ram. Fast, light, good battery life, and reliable. Plus a heck of a lot cheaper than the rMBP. Should chew through whatever work college throws at you without any issues at all, and they're great laptops besides.

The rMBP is complete overkill for college, IMHO. It's a great machine, but you can handle the work with an Air, and have enough left over to furnish your dorm room with a nice HDTV and sound system. You'll get a LOT more enjoyment out of that in your college stay

Ding, Ding, Ding. We have a winner. +1
 
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