MacBook Pro for School?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dweezle3, May 1, 2011.

  1. dweezle3 macrumors regular

    dweezle3

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Location:
    Earth
    #1
    Hello all,

    I'm starting my first year of college this upcoming semester and wanted to purchase a new MacBook Pro for classes to replace my old Powerbook G4. I've narrowed it down between the 13" and 15" models as I currently have a 17" laptop that I've found to be a bit cumbersome, but I won't be carrying it around too much, so portability isn't a very big problem. Price isn't really an issue, I just wanted to get some input from anyone else who already owns a 2011 Macbook Pro, which one do you personally think gives the best general performance for the price? I'm thinking about majoring in aeronautical engineering, but I won't be doing many intensive things like AutoCAD until possibly my third or fourth year. Would an upper-end 13" be able to handle this, or should I go with the 15" for these programs? I need something that would last me through and beyond college.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
     
  2. ScottNWDW macrumors 65816

    ScottNWDW

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    #2
    Actually, you may end up carrying it around more than you think, I'd say go with the 13" MBP.

    You may want to go with the higher end one for down the road. I had a 15" Windows laptop and that was cumbersome to carry around, now I just have the base 13" MacBook. Absolutely love it. It's light, fits nicely in a backpack.
     
  3. jvmxtra macrumors 65816

    jvmxtra

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #3
    go w/ 13 mba.

    13 mbp is not worthy at this point. Just get refurb mba and you are good to go.
     
  4. dweezle3 thread starter macrumors regular

    dweezle3

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Location:
    Earth
    #4
    Thank you for you quick replies!

    My reasoning behind portability was that none of the classes I'm taking both this year or next will allow computers in class :(, so almost all the work I'll be doing on it will be in the dorm or library, save for a few times that it'll be lugged to and from home (maybe once every month or so). I considered a mba, mainly because this will likely be a computer I use for the next 5 or 6 years or so, and I think that portability may be a bigger factor then once I'm out of college, but I also think that it will be my main computer, and I've been told that mba's aren't the best choice for a main computer, and most people buy them as secondary laptops when they just need something really portable (not the case with me - yet). How well would a mba purchased now be able to handle AutoCAD?
     
  5. macman716 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Location:
    Buffalo NY
    #5
    hey buddy I just bought my MBP and I love it, I have a 13' screen. If you do buy the MBP get the pages program its great for school work etc.... Also dont listen to the BS about your teachers not letting you bring in your laptop cause when you actually meet your teachers for the first time they almost always allow computers.
     
  6. DanyDare macrumors newbie

    DanyDare

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    my own world.
    #6
    OK- i was in the same 'boat' as you a year ago- IF YOU are gong to invest in a PRO then go with the 15"..... I bought a regular macbook (white unibody) a year ago, and even the rep at the store said the difference in the 13" screens IS NOT worth the extra $$$ - that is unless, you have it. SO, i figured the white one made sense- and it may sound 'girly' but i honestly liked the white better.
    ASIDE from that, i totalled my car an am actually selling, it haha. anyway- that is astray from he topic, but if you are set on a PRO id get the 15"......just my personal opinion- unless on the 13" a back lit keyboard is that imperative....... :)
     
  7. dweezle3 thread starter macrumors regular

    dweezle3

    Joined:
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    #7
    My main concern with getting a 13" (and really the regular macbooks and mba's too) is will they be able to handle running and keep up with AutoCAD and Photoshop rendering and other graphic intensive applications 5 or 6 years down the road? I'm leaning towards the 15" mainly because of this, but a smaller computer would be nice (although anything looks tiny compared to this 17" powerbook :p). Also how much of a difference does a quad core 15" make compared to a dual core 13"? Is that a noticeable difference when running daily use applications (pages, safari, garageband etc.)? What about with more intensive applications (photoshop, AutoCAD, video rendering)?
     
  8. Al Coholic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
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    Under the I-470 Freeway
    #8
    These are probably better questions asked by the makers of such software. After all, the mac you buy today won't slow down 6 years from now. And who knows what's on the horizon?

    I think you're looking too far ahead myself.
     
  9. MaxxTraxx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    #9
    Wait until the summer with the Back to School Deal. And take a good look at the 15 incher, it really is portable
     
  10. dweezle3 thread starter macrumors regular

    dweezle3

    Joined:
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    #10
    I agree. I'm just wondering, as newer, faster computers come out 5 or 6 years down the road, how will a 6 year old 13" do running the newer, more difficult programs compared to the faster 15"? I know I am looking a bit too far ahead, but this is the first laptop of my own I'm getting, and I'd like to get whichever model will become outdated last. For example, my PowerBook was great when I first got it, and it could run any program I threw at it. Now, it's hard to find a decently graphic intensive program that I can run on even the lowest settings because newer programs require faster computers. In your opinion, is it worth the extra cost to buy a faster 15" over a 13" because of this?

    Let me know if that was confusing, I'm not sure if I worded everything correctly...
     
  11. Al Coholic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Location:
    Under the I-470 Freeway
    #11
    Considering the 15" costs considerably more than its 13" sibling, there's still no guarantee even this will be adequate 6 years from now. That being said, the MBP15 will always outperform the 13" model with regard to both CPU and GPU.

    My gut tells me that if you are already somewhat accustomed to the bulk of a 17" laptop (with reservations of course), the MBP15 will allow for a comfortable transition given its form factor and weight. (Still a bit too hefty for my tastes though). You might find a 13" screen too much of a downgrade just based on screen size alone. Keep in mind that if screen real estate were your only concern I'd recommend the smaller 13" MBP and tell you to apply the savings on a 27" external monitor but it sounds like power is what you need.

    My daughter will be going off to university next fall as well. The campus is pretty large so she'll be getting the MBP13 for the sake of mobility. Not to say that certain macbooks are gender specific but by virtue of how god made us I think a 15" MBP might be a bit much for her.

    Good luck!
     

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