MacBook Pro and Architecture

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by vivalashakeit, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. vivalashakeit macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2009
    So. I'm going to college for architecture this coming fall, but the school advises to wait until the second year of the architecture program to ensure that we get a laptop with the right system requirements. I've done some research on programs like AutoCAD and Revit (if you're at all familiar) and have noticed that their system requirements for the 2009 versions easily meet the MacBook Pro's specs.

    My questions are...

    Would programs like AutoCAD and Revit increase their system requirements beyond the capacity of the current MacBook Pro in the next 18 months?

    And... should I get the MacBook Pro now because chances are it'll be able to run the 2010 or 2011 versions of the architecture software? Or do I wait for 18 months (no matter how irresistibly difficult it will be)?

    Any kind of input/information/answers would be AWESOME. :D Thanks!
  2. yoyo5280 macrumors 68000


    Feb 24, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia & Bay Area
    I would get it. The MBP is a great machine that pretty new and can run the software great.

    My mom runs cad software and very low spec computers, and its not easy but it works (autocad btw)

    plus, I think that the MBP will last you for a very very long time.
  3. mforce300 macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2008
    Do not purchase your machine just yet. I too am an Architecture student, and I am in my second year of studio work. I waited the two years to purchase my machine and I can guarantee you it is something you want to do. It stinks not being able to run everything you need to on a macbook, but I have just ordered my beast of a machine for the next 3 years.

    What is available now is great, and will work out fine for the first few years. But technology moves fast and it is not worth buying a fast machine now and then again in your sixth semester. Get an Aluminum Macbook now, and use that until you can't deal with the integrated graphics any longer. Then go for the pro.

    I purchased my Black macbook 2 years ago, and it has done me just fine. You'll be surprised how little you'll use revit and autocad until your 3rd year. You'll be more likely to use the creative suite and sketchup for a while. A macbook will do you just fine.

    Also with the availability of core i7 in a mobile platform assured for 2010, you will want to wait until that is available.

    It sounds great to have your powerful machine now, but trust me you do not want to spend $2300 now and then again in 2 years.

    Hopefully that helps you out, and if you have anymore questions I'm more than happy to help out.
  4. adamvk macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'd buy a cheap notebook, netbook, or maybe a Macbook or old Powerbook, iBook, etc.

    AutoCad and Revit do increase their requirements. I remember one year for Revit it required like a Pentium 4 CPU with 1GB of Ram, and next year it hiked to Core 2 Duo and 4GB of Ram. So yes, their requirements do change :)

    And to the above poster, what did you buy for the next 3 years?
  5. vivalashakeit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2009
    Thanks for the quick response! I will definitely take what you have said into consideration. I do have a few more questions however :p

    1. Just curious - what college are you attending?

    2. What is Core i7?

    3. And if I were to get the newest 17" MacBook Pro with 8GB RAM and 2.93GHz processing power, how long would you think it would last until I would be forced to get a new laptop due to programs no longer being compatible with it? I'll be out of college in 2014... would it last that long? You can tell I'm desperate to get one :p

    4. And finally... what laptop did you get?
  6. mforce300 macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2008
    I went for the best portable I could get,

    17" unibody macbook pro
    2.93ghz (mostly to increase re-sale value)
    4gb Ram
    320gb 7200rpm

    main reason for going with the 17" is the support for 8gb of ram. The amount of ram in machines is about to explode due to i7. Software in the next few years will really be expecting the availability of massive amounts of system memory.

    I work at my school's campus store so I got a sweet discount on my order. I paid less than 2450 for my configuration... and I plan on selling the 17" if the next update of it really blows the current model out of the water.

    Core i7 is intel's next generation processor. Basically it is a huge design step forward from what core 2 duo is. It will bring back a form of hyper threading that basically allows each core to double the number of executions performed (not really). It also has a theoretical limitless amount of ram that can be addressed by the processors. Basically it is the $*&T.

    I go to the University of Kansas, and am in the Masters Program there.

    I would not expect any machine you buy this year to last as a main studio work horse until 2014. It will work fine as a normal computer for surfing the web, movies, email, and music. But maintaining a workflow for studio would be immeasurably harder due to the inevitable advance of software complexity.
  7. vivalashakeit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2009
    Thanks a ton!! I don't think I'll be getting one now, instead I think I'll get a last-generation regular macbook on eBay to save some money, or fork out $1000 for it from Apple.
  8. mforce300 macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2008
    I'd say go for the white macbook that has the 9400m in it. Won't run as well as the aluminum models because of the ddr2 ram. The x3100 is not that great in the previous macbooks. My recommendation would be the 1249 aluminum macbook (student discount). You'll appreciate the performance that it offers, and for the extra 300 you get the fantastic aluminum styling!
  9. adamvk macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'd agree with getting the Aluminum Macbook. But check eBay. I found a few "buy it nows" for around $1100 or so.
  10. Fonzijr1964 macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2008
    what about waiting till august and getting an iPod with your Alu MacBook? (assuming apple does that again)
  11. Markov macrumors 6502


    May 18, 2007
    I'm a Civil Engineer student currently, I was going to go into architecture but changed my mind. I've been using Auto Cad since the 9th grade (in my second semester of college now). I got my macbook pro a year ago and have been using it for AutoCad since, version 2007. It works flawlessly, very happy with the performance. My specs are:

    *2.2 GHZ Core 2 Duo (Santa Rosa chipset)
    *4 GB DDR2 ram (started out with 2, performance was just as good)
    *nVidia 8600m GT with 128mb of VRAM

    I run Auto Cad on Windows XP SP3, 32 bit.

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