Macbook pro + engineering

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by runmin, May 29, 2019.

  1. runmin macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2019
    Bergen, Norway
    Hi, so I'm going to college to become an automation engineer this fall, and have some questions about which mac to use. Currently I have a 13" retina pro early 2015 512 GB 2,9GHz, 8GB RAM. I have been thinking of getting a new 13" pro, but I'm unsure if I need 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.

    There is quite a lot of programming in the course, mainly in C# so I'm going to have windows on it(for gaming as well), as I'm told that it's better on windows. I have seen there is quite a lot of money to save if I buy the 256GB option, anyone that has experience with running windows through an external USB-c HDD?
    And finally, is it necessary to have 16GB when programming?

    Quite a lot of questions, but I get the impression that there are many knowledgeable people here, so thanks in advance.
  2. Jac Robinson macrumors newbie

    Jac Robinson

    May 10, 2019
    I think your biggest dilemma is whether or not you need the quad-core processor and updated graphics. If you're only looking at the 2017 model in the apple store, don't bother. If you are looking a newer touchbar model (2018 & 2019) then...

    Concerning storage, are you willing to use an external drive? I find it a pain and will gladly pay the 200 for more onboard storage (if that is all it takes to be external-drive-free:D) The external drive option for Windows is a great idea! You can probably get a usb-c NVME external ssd that will certainly be capable enough.

    Concerning RAM, if you will be running virtual machines, I would definitely recommend 16GB. However, you could get this by buying a 2015 with 16GB of RAM and selling your current computer (it probably will cost you less than $200). If you are going to buy a new quadcore macbook pro, I would get 16GB of RAM.

    Concerning processors, I've never needed a quad-core, but I do not know what your assignments will require. See if you can get in contact with your professor for the class you will be taking. He will have his own recomendations.

    Good Luck! :)
  3. tegranjeet macrumors newbie


    Apr 5, 2019
    Boulder, CO
    Developer here. I mostly write apps for iOS, but do some web development.

    I personally am using a 2015 MacBook Pro 15' with 16GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and a 2.2GHz quad core processor. There is no graphics card.

    It's a wonderful machine for development, although sometimes I wish I had 512GB of storage since macOS takes up 90GB. I would definitely recommend 512GB for that fact alone.

    Web development is relatively lightweight, and you'll probably be using an IDE (integrated development environment) such as Visual Studio Code. IDE's can use quite a bit of memory at times, so I would get 16GB of RAM. It isn't necessary, but you will appreciate it when you have lots of browser tabs open when you are learning about something, and debugging some code.

    Personal preference here I guess, but I wouldn't boot Windows from an external drive. Apple's drives are so fast that the performance hit is noticeable. You can partition the hard drive on the Mac and dual boot. That's another reason to spring for the 512GB drive. In my opinion, Apple charges just a little bit much for drive upgrades, but the drives are so good they are worth it.
  4. Smeaton1724 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 14, 2011
    Leeds, UK
    Look into Samsung T5 external USB-C SSD’s, the 1TB drive is very fast, small and quiet. I have numerous VM’s for Windows 7, 10, Ubuntu, Raspbian, Chrome OS that I store/use (through Parallels) and I don’t notice they are stored on an external.
  5. nouveau_redneck macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2017
    macOS does not need to use 90 GB. The amount of space in use will fluctuate greatly depending on whats installed and features in use. My OS and system areas are using ~20 GB of space on my 2015 MBP. It never goes much beyond that.

    That said, I agree that 512 GB is a much better option. I'm getting by with no issues with my 256 using a 512 SD card for extra storage. If I didn't have the SD slot, 256 would not be a comfortable amount of space. 512 or greater is the way to go.

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