Macbook pro 13 or 15 for CAD- Solidworks

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by awca22, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. awca22 macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2010
    Hello im a college student in my second year and i would like to know if a MBP 13 will be ok to use Solidworks, Autocad, MATLAB or I will be needing the extra screen real state... this is going to be my main computer for 4-5 Years... hoping it will works for that long time
    If it is a 13 I will be buying the 2.66 model
    and if it is the 15 I will be buying the i5 2.4 model..

    not so sure of what to do :S
  2. Mac7 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 14, 2009
    Go for the 15". Screen will be essential for CAD.
  3. Pentad macrumors 6502a


    Nov 26, 2003
    15" for sure.

    Solid Works is a nice CAD package. The 15" will do much better for OpenGL in SW...not to mention the screen real-estate space.
  4. awca22 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2010

    the only bad thing is that im having monetary issues! hahahaha
    and im in a real need of getting a new laptop do you know where can i get new macbook pro 15..
  5. RT2020 macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2010
    15 inch is advisable if you are going into a design field. Screen size and productivity are related.

    If money is tight, you might want to consider Windows options as well, given that some of the software you will be using will be Windows only anyway.
  6. Frosties macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    One fell off the back of a truck, special price for you...
  7. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    Get a windows machine.

    I used saladworks on my 15" macbook pro and it worked .

    But it was a major pain.

    •Starting my boot camp (windows) partition in OS X via VMWare would trigger Saladwork's crap licensing mechanisms and call me a pirate.
    • I couldn't get my Apple branded wireless keyboard and mice to work with Windows and OS X at the same time (had to use a seperate keyboard and mice set).
    •Have to buy/procure a windows license. Was cheap for me, may not be for others.
    •You might be able to get a better suited graphics card, especially if you get something like an Elitebook.
    •15 inch internal display was usable, but larger external display was paramount assemblies and modeling.
  8. Construct macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2010
    If you're serious about SolidWorks, do not get a MacBook Pro. Especially if this will be your only SolidWorks machine for 4+ years, as you suggest.

    Instead, you need to get a laptop with a SolidWorks supported & tested graphics chipset. This means a Quadro or FireGL card. The MBP graphics chipset is definitely not meant for heavy 3D CAD. Trust me. I actually swap the GTX 285 in my desktop (great for games, bad for SolidWorks) with a cheap, low-power Quadro card ($99 from eBay) if I'm doing any serious SolidWorks design. The low-power Quadro card is far smoother than the high-power non-workstation card.

    Use the SolidWorks supported/tested configuration database to find a good laptop for your use:
  9. pjcforpres2020 macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    This, also check that other software for recommendations. Solid works and my mbp 15" 2.4 i5 don't get along very well.
  10. awca22 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2010

    it seems that you know a lot of this any laptop you can recommend me specs graphics.... help please!
  11. Construct macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2010
    Go to and look under 'Small Business' at the top. Select laptops. Select 'Precision' series. Choose one in your price range. Check graphics solution at the SolidWorks website (see link in my last post).
  12. awca22 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2010

    I know that one of those laptop is the one that i will needing but.... I dont know i dont really like them... hehehe i think i wont be using its "full power"..... could the macbook pro will be enough i wont be using real view...
  13. danpass macrumors 68020


    Jun 27, 2009
    Miami, FL
    (if you know) how are those with Pro/E?

    What about remote desktopping into the workstation at work? Can a Mac do it without using VNC (just the PC RDP setup)?
  14. DJ-R macrumors regular


    Feb 17, 2010
  15. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    you should have a larger screen and a dedicated GPU.

    from what I've been told, it's nowhere near critical to use a workstation GPU with Solidworks.

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