MacBook Pro for architecture student - reasonable?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by imHappy, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. imHappy, Aug 13, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014

    imHappy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #1
    Hello guys,

    I have a gaming rig for the grunt stuff like rendering.

    - Anyways I seriously got to admit that osx yosemite continuity with ios is damn neat. So much that its one of the strongest reason to buy a mac is imo badly designed for laptops/desktops. The integration with ios is way too good.

    - So, given that, architecture school requires quite a lot of software that runs on windows only or is better on it like autocad or rhino which far more development with it. Because of it a windows laptop is the way to go on a rational point of view.

    - Any opinion on anybody that did their entire course with a mac? Is using bootcamp to borthersome as I may have to be rebooting frequently?

    Finally, this might be offtopic, but in the case i buy a windows laptop, does android integrate better than ios with windows pc? I have this preconcieve idea that android is to pc while ios to mac(obviously)


    Yes! im damn trying to justify my purchase!
     
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #2
    Should be fine for you.

    Well I don't use windows at all at home but there are many ways to get it on your mac and if you don't like the idea of running it in bootcamp run it in parallels and you can swipe easily between OS's.

    Android is not to windows what IOS is to OSX, the closest android integration is with Google chrome OS (and I don't see a chromebook as your bag).
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
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    Boston
    #3
    You're spending a lot of money on a Mac just to run windows. I think a Windows machine may be a better fit given your school's requirements.
     
  4. chaofahn macrumors member

    chaofahn

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2014
    Location:
    Australia
    #4
    I agree with MaFlynn. Given that most of the main architectural programs run on Windows, I'd recommend getting that given that you'll spend most of your time there. Plus, it'll be cheaper and you can get a faster machine for the prices you're expected to pay when buying Apple.

    That said though, I went through Uni with a Mac as an architorture-... architecture student. :p Bootcamp wasn't too much of a hassle and the Macs these days can run Parallels very smoothly (back then wasn't the case :/). The Mac based architecture programs are improving too. Rendering speeds were okay, but I found it faster doing it on Windows.

    If speed is absolutely necessary, I'd go Windows. If you want respectable speeds AND a nice looking laptop, go the Mac. 75% of my classmates went Mac. :p
     
  5. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #5
    I, too agree with Marilynn.
    I hate Win, but if all you are running is win apps, then a PC laptop is the obvious choice.

    ----------

    I, too agree with Maflynn.
    I hate Win, but if all you are running is win apps, then a PC laptop is the obvious choice.
     
  6. imHappy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 27, 2011
    #6
    I believe I will be using mac for most post work like making panels with illustrator and indesign. Autocad will be mostly be for editing exist

    ----------

    I believe I will be using mac for most post work like making panels with illustrator and indesign. Autocad will be mostly be for editing existing plans given that I will model with my desktop. Same with rhino.

    How is the workflow of windows and mac together? Like using both mac and windows autocad version?
     
  7. Aldaris macrumors 65816

    Aldaris

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake
    #7
    From current and ongoing Arch Student experience:

    AutoCAD for mac is great, all the adobe stuff is easy with creative cloud or other native mac apps. Rhino is currently offering a mac beta. ArchiCAD is currently native. The only time I really am on the bootcamp windows side is for Revit.

    AutoCAD workflow is up to you- I mainly use the shortcut keys, but if you're a clicker you'll be using an interface similar to pre-ribbon on the windows side. Also if anything some features might be a year behind the windows version, but AutoDesk is heavily committed to AutoCAD for the mac.

    I personally found parallels more trouble than it is worth-it takes up as much space on your machine and then runs at less than native speeds through virtualization. If you're running on a retina you can't scale past 150% without causing problems in Revit.

    Bootcamp is what it is and I haven't found it too annoying to swap from Mac to Windows- generally I'll use windows for what I have to, and use the mac end for polishing and publishing, either digital or print.

    ----------

    AutoCAD (windows) and AutoCAD for Mac Comparison
     
  8. imHappy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 27, 2011
    #8

    Awsome bro. May I ask which mac are u using? Discrete graphics are must? Or would the iris pro suffice?
     
  9. paolo- macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 24, 2008
    #9
    Mech eng grad here.

    It really depends on what software you'll be using. As imHappy mentioned, lots of CAD software is making it's way to the Mac right now and you can do a lot more than you could just a few years ago.

    Then it depends how much of the work you'll be doing on your laptop. Working on a desktop from your school's computer lab and working from your gaming rig at home will probably be much more enjoyable than working on a laptop. You not actually need a machine that's super powerful if you're only using it to reference stuff when doing homework more than building super complex models and massive rendering jobs.

    That being said, bootcamp works well. I don't mind having my work software in Windows when I boot into Windows and have the Mac side be more of my personal stuff.

    I'd suggest the dedicated GPU if you'll be doing lots of CAD and rendering on the machine, but that might not be the case seeing you have access to other computers.
     
  10. Aldaris, Aug 14, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014

    Aldaris macrumors 65816

    Aldaris

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake
    #10
    Currently I'm using the late 2012 retina MacBook Pro (1st gen low end retina), with the Nvidia 650M 1Gb. When you're using bootcamp you'll *default to the discrete graphics anyway. Iris Pro would probably get you by if thats all you can afford/justify. Being a student you should be eligible for an education discount, the $400 difference for 512GB and the dedicated gpu are worth it in my opinion. You'll get more out of the discrete in the long run.

    The Iris Pro has had favorable reviews and would probably survive during your education, but the 'best' model would be my choice, as long as it feasible within your circumstances.

    *(with the Iris Pro model you'll of course be left with that option in bootcamp, there is no way to my knowledge to switch graphics on the windows side between the integrated and discrete).

    Anandtech Review for Iris Pro may be worth checking out for examples of how they perform against other graphics options.

    You may also want to check out Apple's refurb section, just looking real quick there was a 15" retina model with dedicated graphics for under $1500
     
  11. imHappy thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #11
    Guys one last question. The 13 macbook pro retina, for anyone that have one, is it really bad to work on that size? Also given that it is a dual core with a simple iris, is it very underpowered for the software we are referring to?
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #12
    I think you're setting yourself up for frustration , focusing on the smaller and lower powered 13" MBP.

    I've used the 13" MBP and found at least with photoshop and LightRoom the small screen size to be a detraction. It just didn't have the screen real estate to work efficiently. That was me, and maybe for others its fine but I think if can be penny wise and pound foolish by pinching the costs and getting the smaller computer but at the expense of a better user experience.
     
  13. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    Apr 23, 2011
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    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #13
    It's underpowered all right. You should aim for no less than a base 15" rMBP.
     
  14. paolo- macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 24, 2008
    #14
    Power probably won't be an issue for most school assignments. Especially considering you can use your gaming rig or school computers for rendering. The problem will be the screen size. While you'll probably be ok to study and do assignments on 13", it can be hard to say work on a report and have reference material open. Most graphics stuff (Illustratior, Photoshop, AutoCAD, rendering software...) tends to be very cramped on a 13" screen with the toolbars taking up a lot of space. You'll probably be ok with 13" for stuff you do around campus and do the grunt work at home on your gaming rig or connecting the MBP to a larger screen.

    That being said, I'd suggest looking into something like a refurbished 15" rMBP. Right now, you can get an early 2013 model with a 2.4GHz quad and an gt 650m for the same price as a new 13" rMBP with a 256GB SSD (128GB will be unusable if you're using bootcamp). You get the bigger screen which is awesome when you start doing more complex work but it's also a much faster machine.
     
  15. imHappy thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #15
    Thanks guys i really do appreciate your answers. I'll aim for the 15 inch atleast. Peruvian prices are damn more expensive than the us.

    If not ill get a gaming laptop with the stupid windows os given my budget constraint.
     
  16. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    MN
    #16
    I don't think a 13" would be underpowered per se, most applications are only going to be using a single thread at time anyway. But working a lot on a 13" will be limiting as mentioned.

    That said, I know you don't -plan- to render on it, it but even being able to do quick test renders would likely be useful. And for that it is going to hit all the processors plenty hard. A quad i7 Macbook is a pretty competent renderer, and when you start looking at Windows quad i7 options, the Mac prices aren't all that out of line. (many of the Windows options are dual i7)

    People tend to equate video cards with rendering, but typical "rendering" really comes down to the processor. Granted there is more being developed now in the way of real-time rendering, which is all about the video card, but no laptop is going to compete in that arena. (...maybe the 17" 12lb gaming machines.)

    refurb 15" with 650m should be a good option if you can get one, but I wouldn't feel bad about the Iris graphics either.
     
  17. littlepud macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    #17
    Normally I loathe to recommend PC laptops, but for architecture/engineering specialty applications (beyond just Autocad) I'll make an exception. You're probably better off with a Lenovo Thinkpad W-series or Dell Precision.
     

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