Macbook Pro Buying Advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by michers306, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. michers306 macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2012
    I am in need of a new laptop and I'm trying to decide which of the updated Macbook Pro line to buy. I am hoping that the laptop will last quite a while so I am debating which laptop will be better for me in the long run. I will primarily be using the laptop for statistical programs (SAS, STATA, R, Mplus ...). Some of my datasets can be quite large and some of my analyses (like bootstrap analyses) are fairly intensive. Any advice for whether the base 15" MBP would be sufficient or whether the retina MBP would be better suited for my needs. I would really love the new retina MBP but I'm not sure if it's worth the $$$ considering that I don't do any video editing. Although, its so beautiful I think I could be pretty easily persuaded if I think I would benefit from its features!

    Thanks so much!!
  2. fivetoadsloth macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2006
    I do quite a bit of similar work, lots of R, MATLAB, and Mathematica work. I'm currently doing work on a first generation i5 computer with 8 gigabytes of RAM. For the vast majority of my work, I never have a problem with two instances of Mathematica running (only 6 total Kernels, though) and some simulations running in R. That said, some of the more complicated simulations I've written take 2 or 3 minutes per run, and when I want to run a few thousand of them it can take quite a while.

    You definitely won't have any problems with any of the 15" Macbook Pros that Apple offers, though I would strongly recommend getting at least 8 gigabytes of RAM (probably aftermarket if you go with the non-Retina).

    All that said, I ordered a retina macbook pro. I do quite a bit of reading and writing to files and this will be my first solid state drive laptop. I use an external drive anyway, so space isn't a problem. For me, the biggest factor in the high resolution display is the screen real-estate. When I have two or three mathematica windows open, a terminal window, MATLAB and or R, and some scientific papers, things get really ugly on 1440 x 900. My current laptop turned into more of a desktop, because the joy of sitting on the couch was offset by the convenience of being hooked up to my 24" external display.

    If you have any questions let me know. I should have my retina MBP in the next few days, so if you want to PM me, if you send me some R scripts I can do some timing tests for you.

Share This Page