Macbook pro 13 inch 2011 autoCAD, MATLAB, solidworks?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Tony06, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. Tony06 macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    Can the new macbook pro low end 13 inch run autocad, matlab and solidworks. i'm a soon to be mechanical engineering student and for some reason can't seem to find the anwserr to my question. theres also the low end 15 inch refurbished(2010) that im interested in buying. the choice will be between to two of them .

    for the poll asking which one i should buy:

    plz anwser the poll if you have the time and leave me a msg telling me which is the better buy:D
  2. notclosetofour macrumors member

    Feb 1, 2011
  3. lukta macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2011
    My brother runs solidworks (the old version) on his 7 year old dell desktop. I can say with confidence that the 13 inch would run it (if it is mac compatable) with no problem. I would also get the 13 over the older 15 if it is within your price range.
  4. dwhynman macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2010
    Sounds like you are an engineering student. As I just finished my degree I know you will need to run windows as well right? I would say the 13" will be fine just remember to max out your RAM.
  5. Tony06 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    Would the 15 inch be a the better buy since it has a discrete GPU and a better screen?
  6. Tony06 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    Even if there 15 inch has a bigger screen, and a discrete GPU. i know its not as powerful as the new 13 though,
  7. Tony06 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    Which one would you recommend? i have the price and specs of both just follow the link.
  8. onelazyman macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2011
    I am an engineering student as well, just about to undertake a PhD actually. I use MATLAB a lot for my studies, and I must say upgrading my late 2008 Macbook to the 2011 13"MB Pro made a huge impact. It's really night and day for me.

    However, I must say that I upgraded the RAM from 4 to 8Go, which comes in really handy if you want to have several programs - including Matlab - running.

    I can't say anything about Autocad though as I don't use it, but I am pretty sure it would work well.

    Don't hesitate if you have any more questions
  9. dwhynman macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2010
    I would go for power so get the 13". screen estate will be stressed especially when dealing with large spreadsheets. I bet you will find yourself wanting a larger screen when working in auto cad. even larger than the 15" so you can use school comps. for that. Good luck in school.
  10. Tony06 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    THanks :)
  11. Tony06 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    how do you like the new 13 inch so far(other than for matlab)?
  12. maratus macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    I'd never recommend anyone to use both AutoCad and SolidWorks with 1280x800 13.3" on a regular basis. It is surely doable but resolution is simply too low. Of course it depends on what exactly you're planning to do and, which is even more important, for how long. Would you use external screen at least >50% of you time?

    I'd go with refurbished 2010 15" hi-res Anti-glare. It's only ~250-300g heavier than 13" but is better in every way (screen alone makes it a no-brainer for me). Better spend more money on a proper machine.
  13. sv-mbpxs macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2011
    I wouldnt worry about autocad or solidworks too much, im a junior mechanical engineering student and i had an autocad class my first semester and havent had to use it again since, and even then it was on pc's in a computer lab. I have used it a time or two just make a presentation a little more impressive. I will say that matlab and excel will be your friend.
  14. onelazyman macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2011
    So far I'm loving it. No heat issues, no problems at all, it's blazing fast compared to my old MB. I do recommend it but I understand the appeal of a 15 inch with a proper GPU (even though I hear that the cheapest 15" has a really crappy one, so in that case you ought to go with the hi-end model... which was way out of my price range to give me a hard time choosing)
  15. pompidom macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2011
    Solidworks doesn't natively run on a mac: minimum system requirements
    I wouldn't recommend CAD drafting on such a low res screen, so I don't know if you will be using CAD a lot. The HD3000 IGP is by no means a workstation GPU. So if you need to work on complex 3D models you should consider a workstation type of notebook: Thinkpad, Elitebook, Precision.
  16. Merkyworks macrumors 6502

    Oct 14, 2008
    I graduated a year ago from a mechanical engineering program and I had a 13" MBP when I was going threw school. I had AutoCAD on it and yes the screen is way to small for any "real" design workspace, for just looking something up in a drawing it was fine. Forget using SolidWorks on a screen that small, regardless of the OS. Its also very true that most AutoCAD/SolidWorks stuff can be done at a computer lab with bigger screens or even better dual screens, however sometime you really dont feel like being there or you are working on stuff when the lab would be closed so its nice to have your personal comp that can run these programs. Everything that sv-mbpxs has said about true, mathlab and excel will be used WAY more than design programs BUT I will say this, make sure that you can use those design programs proficiently. I now work for a company in there engineering department and I literally use AutoCAD and SolidWorks everyday to design and do day to day operations.

    So to basically sum it all up

    -Get a 13" if you dont want to use design programs and just want to use mathlab/excel type programs. This comp will be able to run any program without problems and will be very portable but you will need to get a large secondary monitor to use design programs.

    -Get a 15" if you want to use design programs because the extra screen resolution/screen size will be a must.
  17. Tony06 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7E18 Safari/528.16)

    im planning on buying a 20something inch tv for my dorm room. would my
    mbp be powerfull enough to run that program on a full hd screen?
  18. cotak macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2011
    On one hand the larger screen will be much useful when you are trying to get work done. On the other hand the 13 will be easier to move around. Btw don't be one of those people who brings a laptop to engineering class for notes. You'll never actually use it for notes, just distraction . There are too many diagrams and figures for taking notes on a laptop. So don't expect to get much use out of the laptop. The only time a laptop's useful is when you need to collaborate with people. But even then it might not be as useful as you think.

    To be really honest. I never had much use for a laptop while I was in undergrad and in grad school however it was much more useful. But the situations were completely different. My supervisor never gave me a good desktop and my laptop allowed me to keep the simulator I was working on with me at all times. So If I felt tired of the lab I can pack up go home and work late into the night. Otherwise to be completely honest I think that a laptop was never that useful.

    But if you must have a laptop remember that your money situation is only going to become more tight unless 1) you some how manage to get a job while studying (big if, grades are important and now a days getting a grad degree is almost a requirement for a good engineering job and good grades are necessary for that) or 2) Bank of mom is generous. So beside whether the screen is big enough on the mac you should also consider whether it will last you the 4 years and if not will you be able to replace it between now and then? I know macs are durable but the battery that can still crap out on you in the 4 years. Accidents can happen like coffee spills or if that hot girl you are doing a lab with jumps you while you guys are working on something in your room and knocks your mac to the ground.. ;) It might be useful to think a bit more about whether or not the costly mac option is the best for you.
  19. alic01 macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2010
    Im an engineer and have been using Autodesk products for years. I am just awaiting arrival of my 2011 13" MBP and will be installing inventor on it as soon as i get it for doing odd bits at home.

    I have been running inventor on works 2009 13" MacBook just for over a year in Bootcamp on Windows 7. On very large models RAM shortage is the main stumbling block as it would be on a windows machine, with the new MBP having 4GB as standard it will cope with almost everything you throw at it.

    Stay away from rendering on your laptop and the graphics card wont be an issue.

    Yes the screen is small and if you intend to do a lot with it i suggest plugging in an external monitor but it is perfectly usable as long as you dont need to see lots of the model at once.
  20. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    I do all of this with my 2008 15'' which is technically less powerfull and it handles it flawlessly, these programs are demanding, but not to the point of needing 16 cores and 36gb ram.
  21. lepperm macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2011
    Autocad for Mac

    I have recently converted to mac (15" MBP 8gb RAM, 128 SSD) and did some research on software for mac and found that AutoDesk just released (to my knowledge) AutoCAD for mac.
  22. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    AutoCAD for Mac came out late last year. Still nice though. :)

    I would go with a 15" MBP personally, but that's because I'd want the higher-res screen to match my desktop.
  23. Tony06 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    i have at least 60% of my fees paid from academic scholarships and im hoping for more :D so money isn't really the concern here. its more overall ease to use and carry around. i know the 15 inch would last me longer but im planning on selling it and buying a new one in about 2-3 years.
    the laptop is for personal use and not really for taking notes anyway. it must be extremely time consuming trying to write an equation on a computer rofl. i want to record some music and edit some videos and pictures :p
  24. BatuKMan macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2011
    Far away from home
    I've used those programs extensively during university and I do not recommend the 13in MBP.
    One of the most important feature to achieve the best productivity (you'll need it) is to have the largest screen real estate possible, this will save you millions of zoom in/out.
    The second most important is RAM, using a graphics card that steals almost 400MB already it isn't good.

    I can tell you that when using Solidworks when you get to 100+ assembly, all with conditions you'll need all the RAM possible.

    The graphic card itself it isn't very important as you won't be doing 3D sequences.

    The best power/portability/bang for buck would be the MBP 15in with the high-res display, a 7200RPM and 8GB ram. Both hdd and ram can be added by yourself.
  25. goatleaf macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2011
    I am also looking at buy a new MacBook Pro. I am in grad school for applied math, so a lot of matlab and maple but no autoCAD etc...

    I want to be able to run matlab and maple while not at my imac (3 or 4 yr old), hence the laptop.

    I am thinking that the 13" would be fine? It feels like a waste to spend more.

    I also do have a 21" external monitor if I want to plug my macbook in while at home.

    having said that...does anyone know how much the difference is between the i5 and i7?

    the only set back is GPU CUDA stuff which only works with NVIDIA anyways, which means I couldn't use a macbook :-( But I feel like, if I am going to start crunching data with a gpu, I should probably have a tower for that. And that could be a few years down the road to replace my imac.

Share This Page