MacBook Pro for CS Major

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Affe, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. Affe macrumors member

    May 12, 2007
    I am an entering freshman, and I was hoping to get a new laptop. I plan on majoring in computer science. I'm looking for which model will be able to last me 4 years of college. I'm not sure how much power or screen size I need now and in the future. I want to be able to run Windows 7 via VMWare or Parallels. I don't do any gaming. Other than any programming, I would just need it for surfing the web, word processing, etc. Possibly some Photoshop as well.

    I like the 13" size because of the portability. However, I'm a little worried about the older processor and smaller resolution. Would it powerful enough to suit my needs?

    The 15" seems to be more to where I'm looking at now. Is there much of a difference between the i5/i7? 256 vs. 512 VRAM? If I go with the 15", I was planning on upgrading to the High-Res, Anti-glare option. I'm don't want to spend more money than I have to, but if it's worth it, I don't mind spending it.

    The 17" is too big for what I want.

    I'm at a loss between the 13" vs. 15" i5 vs 15" i7. If anyone has an recommendations, comments, etc. I would appreciate it!
  2. Sankersizzle macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2010
  3. chris2k5 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2010
    13" will work. You probably will be doing lots of coding in your room I assume so you probably want an external monitor?
  4. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    I would look at your options more like this, as I am a senior in CS:

    15" MBP vs. 13" MBP + SSD + 24" IPS external monitor

    The 15" will be the best all around system because you will have more processing power, and you will have the larger monitor wherever you go, but the 13" + SSD + 24" monitor will have advantages outweighing the 15" depending on the situation. You will have more screen space and a larger monitor for everything, which will be from writing papers to writing code when in your dorm or at home. Then you will have a lighter notebook to carry to class and will take up less space on the usually small desks in classes. Finally the SSD will make the 13" feel faster than the 15", but it is limited by its capacity.
    Either will be good choices, and if you choose the second option and skip the SSD, you can save that money and use the money toward upgrading to the newest 13" after a year or so. This is only possible cause of the high resale value of Macs.

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