MacBook or MacBook Pro for UK Architecture degree? (Software graphics requirements)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by new2macx, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. new2macx macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2008
    I'm starting an Architecture degree at Uni in Sept '09, and up 'til now had planned to buy a MacBook (my first Mac) at some stage this year (pref sooner rather than later- October updates probably:D) as my main computer at Uni. I had planned to simply save up for the most powerful processor available at the time so that it would see me as far into the course as possible. It's a 6 year course in total, so I suppose (I'm a tight bugger) that I would need to upgrade at some point, unless I take out a bank loan and carry a Mac Pro around with me :D.

    Reasons for the MacBook:
    • Has to be a Mac. Hate Windows, always wanted a Mac, Uni uses Macs etc...
      Portability- will be taking to studio to room to pub etc :D
      Cost (not too bad with the HE discount), Pro always seemed expensive to me but then I've never had the dough for any Mac before :eek:

    I'm now realising that the graphics on the MacBook (and possibly on the updated one coming out) will most likely not be up to the job. I don't play games, but it looks like the software I will be using will be equally, if not more, graphic-hungry.

    Some examples:

    • Sketchup Pro recommends "3D classified card 512mb+, minimum 128mb"
      AutoCAD: "OpenGL /Direct 3D compatible, 128mb+"
      Vectorworks: "16 bit display color depth"
      ArchiCAD: "OpenGL compatible 256mb+"
      Adobe Indesign/Illustrator: "16 bit video card"
    Photoshop will probably also come into it somewhere.

    Note: I don't know much about graphics, ie. what this OpenGL thingy is, or about "bits", but I appreciate more mb=better graphics :eek: you reckon the MacBook is up to (any of) this? I don't know specifically which software I'll be using...but it does look like the MacBook might be struggling. I've read on this forum that Apple will probably put better graphics in the new MacBooks, but I'm sure they still won't have heavy CAD software users in mind when they do this.

    So I suppose my question is: should I just shell out for the most tricked out MacBook Pro there is when the new ones come out? Or get a MacBook for studio/lighter work and then somehow fund a powerful iMac for the heavy stuff with some magic money or something? Either way...I need to get a second job :rolleyes::eek: Are there any other CAD users/people in the same situation as me out there?

    Sorry to go's rather a sorry tale and apologies if I bored you :eek: Help would be much appreciated!

    EDIT: forgot to add, small screen size isn't really an issue as I'd use an external display in my room for detailed work.
  2. 11800506 macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2007
    Washington D.C. Area
    With those requirements you would have to get a Macbook Pro. I would just go ahead and get it being your sole machine since it will be powerful enough and you wouldn't have to go back and forth between computer, plus it would be much cheaper.

    A Macbook with integrated graphics wouldn't be able to handle any of the work, so you would have to rule that out.
  3. mattyb240 macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2008
    I use:

    Vector Works
    Sketch up
    Auto Cad

    I can assure you, the pro is the way forward go for the 2.5 it will do it all without breaking a sweat!
  4. new2macx thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2008
    Thanks to both of you- looks the MBP for definite! Maybe by the time they come out I'll have saved the difference between the MB and MBP :D

Share This Page