MacBook Pro Selection for Aerospace Engineering Uni

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by LeonardXW, May 28, 2019.

  1. LeonardXW macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2016
    #1
    Hi, I need some guides on purchasing a MacBook Pro.
    I am an Aerospace engineering student, will use the laptop to do (A) assignment, (B) research or maybe some (C) 3D modelling. The 3D modelling software I used before was CATIA V5, which is available on window only. I don’t mind to use computer lab for 3D modelling as it is graphically intensive,I am doubting laptop can run it well. I will open a lot of safari tabs, and few documents while researching. Aside for study, I want to have some gaming such as The Sims 4 full Library.

    I am well aware of few problems with Apple MacOS, the systems itself consume 60% of the storage (on my MacBook Air systems take up 80GB of my 128GB storage). When the storage is Low, the computer tend to load slower. Also, we can’t install applications on external hard drive right? I am aware of the option of eGPU.

    Here are the questions, (either one)
    1. CPU vs GPU. Should I get fastest CPU or dedicated GPU?
    2. CPU vs Storage. Should I get fastest CPU or higher storage. I know there is an option of external storage.
     
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
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    5045 feet above sea level
    #2
    College doesn’t require a powerful machine. You won’t have licenses to run the engineering software anyways and you wouldn’t want to with the labs having much more powerful setups

    Get what you can afford. You’ll be fine with a MBA or base mbp

    *speaking as a former engineering student
     
  3. SteveJUAE, May 29, 2019
    Last edited: May 29, 2019

    SteveJUAE macrumors 68030

    SteveJUAE

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    Aug 14, 2015
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    Land of Smiles
    #3
    As a engineer in heavy construction and having put 2 sons through Uni both in engineering 1 with a PHD and the other with a Bsc they both used MBP for Uni but soon found out in the real world windows rules

    Whilst Uni has no real requirement for high powered laptops and of course you can always use bootcamp to use Uni licence paid software unless you have a real bent for MacOS I would save your money and learning curve and get a reasonably priced W10 laptop

    Not only because that is all that needed but additionally the worry of carrying around an expensive bit of kit on campus and with those impromptu parties, its one less thing to worry about

    else

    Get a 2nd hand or refurb Macbook or Air :)
     
  4. chabig macrumors 603

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    Sep 6, 2002
    #4
    Let me correct one factual error. Applications can run from external storage.
     
  5. LeonardXW thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2016
    #5
    Thanks Steve for your advice. Can you give me more advice on the Spec of the Macbook I should get according to my usage?
    --- Post Merged, May 29, 2019 ---
    Could you advice me on how to do it, please?
     
  6. Queen6, May 29, 2019
    Last edited: May 30, 2019

    Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Flying over the rainforest at dawn - Priceless
    #6
    Solid advice. As an engineer in the energy industry - Oil & Gas, Mac's are generally only ever seen in the hands of consultants who are mostly using them for basic tasks. Vast majority of the SW will require Windows, as will the vast majority of employers only issue Windows notebooks.

    A Mac will likely be OK for Uni, equally unless money is not a concern I'd avoid as the last thing students need to do is accrue more debt.

    Q-6
     
  7. maerz001 macrumors 65816

    maerz001

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    #7
    If you wanna run windows on it as a virtual machine consider min. 256GB and 16GB RAM. choose more storage before u upgrade CPU.
    If u have the money I would go for a MBP instead of MB. 12” can get cramped for CAD, old keyboard and missing Touch ID. GPU is also verry basic
     
  8. LeonardXW thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2016
    #8
    Yes! I am considering MBP. Should I get a dedicated Graphic Card model or better CPU model?
    512GB Storage & 16GB RAM is on my list. Can’t decide between GPU & CPU
     
  9. maerz001 macrumors 65816

    maerz001

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    #9
    CPU is usually the last on the list. Unless u do a lot of renderings.
    If u say dedicated gpu than it would be a 15”. the base model CPU is already quite potent.

    But i think even the base 13” touch bar version would be enough if u can live with the smaller screen
     
  10. LeonardXW thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 30, 2016
    #10
    I used my laptop mostly for research (maybe a lot of chrome tab) & the Sims 4 (a 3D instensive game), do you think a quad core CPU more than enough to handle it?
     
  11. SteveJUAE macrumors 68030

    SteveJUAE

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    Aug 14, 2015
    Location:
    Land of Smiles
    #11
    In truth most over spec :)

    From making family movies, photo editing and 3D modeling and analytical software

    Companies are not providing their staff with all singing and dancing laptops and PC's

    Building complex models for analysis and 3D models takes 100's of man years and it all happens on relatively low spec PC's typically 3 or 4 years old

    It's highly unlikely that your studies will require you to be doing 100's of hours of modelling. If it's like the new graduate given to me this week (by coincidence) her paper on complex push-over structural analysis of offshore platform focused on a specific part of the analysis. The model she used was given to her else she would spend 1000's hours or more building it, even if she understood the loading and elements.

    Having a high powered laptop over a modest spec is probably the difference in missing the first round of beer down the pub :)

    As for your papers and research probably a 5 year old Ipad is more than capable, my son's total course work for his 8 years to get his Phd fits on a modest stick drive as original content not unlike an author is relatively small. The rest is just accumulated junk :)

    If you look at the spec requirements of many engineering software its relatively low even your CATIA V5 or Autocad

    Your not going to be left behind using a very modest spec laptop I would be more concerned on how it fits in to your routine and backpack size :) you can always have a cheap monitor and external KB in your room if you think a small screen laptop may be a chore on longer assignments

    Don't get hung up of spec's think more about usage and budget IMO
     
  12. LeonardXW thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2016
    #12
    Thank you for your most realistic and relevant advices. I am totally agree to what you are saying!
    May I know which engineering industry are you in? I would like to consult your experience whenever I face a problem during my Uni time.
     
  13. SteveJUAE macrumors 68030

    SteveJUAE

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    Aug 14, 2015
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    Land of Smiles
    #13
    Your welcome :) Energy - Oil gas

    Enjoy your studies and most important have fun at Uni
     
  14. LeonardXW thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 30, 2016
    #14
    Impressive. Could we keep in touch, Steve?
     
  15. LeonardXW thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 30, 2016
    #15
    I am thinking buying 13” MacBook Pro, but am not sure if the CPU able to handle day to day workload for three years. If I want to play the Sims4 which require dedicated GPU, I think I have an option to buy eGPU. Is this more cost effective? I am wondering.
     
  16. SteveJUAE macrumors 68030

    SteveJUAE

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    Aug 14, 2015
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    Land of Smiles
    #16
    Just PM me when you need to
     
  17. jmarttu24 macrumors member

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    Oct 31, 2017
    #17
    Personally in the architecture / engineering field, I would avoid a macbook pro. Not sure how intense the modeling is with aerospace engineering, but I got one when I went through college and the program compatibility wasn't there and the programs were not up to par with windows. Graduated 2 years ago. Plus, check your university lab and see what they run, good chance that will tell you how much power you are going to need to handle your 3d modeling. I find now a lot of programs do better on windows and when I attempt to use them on macbook pro they don't perform nearly as well and have several limitations. Save your money and buy a windows machine that can handle 3d modeling programs.
     
  18. jerryk, May 30, 2019
    Last edited: May 30, 2019

    jerryk macrumors 601

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    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #18
    I would just get a windows unit. The last thing you want is some windows based package/programs having issues because of a driver missing or mismatch. Then you are stuck between Apple saying their Macs run windows fine, a VM vendor (if you run under a VM), and the package/program vendor saying "It is says requires Windows right on the box, what are doing trying to make it work on a Mac? We cannot help you.".
     
  19. ThunderSkunk, May 30, 2019
    Last edited: May 30, 2019

    ThunderSkunk macrumors 68030

    ThunderSkunk

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    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    Milwaukee Area
    #19
    A 13” screen is great for portability, but pretty miserable to run actual CAD/CAM software on. But it might be fine anyway, when you consider that while you’re in class, you’ll probably be on the schools workstations, and when you’re mobile, the most you’re probably going to want to be doing is admin type work anyway, maybe exporting prints or renderings, but not actual serious drawing. We use Catia/Alias/Solidworks/Inventor & several machining applications, and they all run on old hardware fine, but start loading big assemblies, or a highly sculpted part with a ton of complex meshes and they bog down quickly. ...If you do do any actual CAD work, the difference between 13 & 15 doesn’t matter anyway, bc you’ll want a nice big fat display to immerse into, and an external keyboard with a proper ten-key numberpad. So at that point, sitting there with its lid closed, it really doesn’t matter that a 13” is too small to do effective work on. All you want is the best GPU you can afford, 16GB ram if not 32 for large part assemblies, and a faster chip, more than more cores. A lot of CAD software is built on old architecture from decades ago that still doesn’t know what to do with multiple cores, so faster chips provide a bigger benefit than more slow ones.

    You can think of it as a Mac is just another PC with an extra OS on it. ...an OS you can use for personal stuff when not in Windows for work. All our professional software runs fine on win10 installed on our macs via boot camp, and works especially well in Parallels in a virtual machine within OSX. There are some tools in parallels and functions of restoring the .pvm file from a backup that make running Win10 on a VM superior to a typical native install. What is NOT advisable with CAD software is trying to have it both ways. The option exists to install windows natively via boot camp, and then have parallels use that boot camp partition as its VM. This works with a lot of software, but it screws up CAD applications that freak out when they install and initialize with your computers full hardware specs in boot camp, and then the system reboots into OS X, launch parallels, boot up Win10 on the partition, and all of the sudden the amount of Ram is different and the number of processor cores has changed. No good.

    A pretty typical install would be a system with a 512GB flash drive, and go the Parallels route, then create a 96GB Virtual Machine, install Win10, all the miserable updates, then your CAD package, then look up how to shrink your Win10 install, do that, and let Time Machine back up the VM. Then when windows starts acting cranky, or CAD does, or whenever you install some awful thing in windows and wish it were gone, just restore the VM from time machine, wait 4 minutes, and get your brand spanking new Windows & CAD install back. For a single student user, that’d be pretty slick.
     
  20. Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

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    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Flying over the rainforest at dawn - Priceless
    #20
    Exactly in my realm (Oil & Gas) few if any companies use Mac's, even the consultants are dropping them, myself included. Far better to master Windows and reserve Apple for phones etc...

    Q-6
     
  21. maerz001 macrumors 65816

    maerz001

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    #21
    I think here was enough said. Just to clarify: the CPU of a MBP is more than enough to handle your life. I would even think a 5year old 2core machine is.
    So please relax
     
  22. cube, May 30, 2019
    Last edited: May 30, 2019

    cube macrumors P6

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    May 10, 2004
    #22
    The laptop offer looks extremely weak, even for PCs.

    I found only one which could be passable.

    You would have to check if you can add a hard drive, or if you are forced to buy from the manufacturer store to get a better configuration.
     

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21 May 28, 2019