MBP 13" for college

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by crush500, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. crush500 macrumors member

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    Apr 23, 2011
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    Virginia
    #1
    I'm facing the question most rising college students are facing now a days, is a Mac right for me?

    I've been asking myself this question over and over again lately and the only answer I've been able to come up with is yes. I just want some expert opinion to make sure it is right for me.

    Just last year I bought a Compaq laptop thinking I would be able to use it for college next year but it's already turning into crap. I let my family use it for five minutes and I'm getting attacked with a virus. It hasn't been the same since. This has become the norm for all the PCs I've used. They'll work fine for about a year and then just fall apart. Something always seems to happen whether it's a virus, hardware failure, etc. Something happens and then the entire system goes to hell. I don't want to continue this trend so I'm considering my first Mac.

    I'm planning on being a computer science and physics major. None of the programs I'll be running will be tremendously taxing on the computer so I'm not that worried with getting a top of the line machine. Just something that I can use to write code and run simple simulations. I do, however, want a machine that I can depend on to get me through college. I'm working on a limited budget so I can't afford to be constantly replacing and repairing.

    Right now the 13" i5 Macbook Pro seems to be the best machine for me. I was looking at going with the 500 GB upgraded HDD and was definitely going to get AppleCare. Does this seem to the best fit for me? Should I consider the basic Macbook or is the 13" Pro a better fit?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #2
    MBP is only 200$ more and it gets you a lot better specs. I wouldn't even consider the MacBook right now. If I was you, I would get the bigger HD from aftermarket. You get to keep the stock drive and the price is about the same, or even less. You could get 750GB straightaway though.
     
  3. AbyssImpact macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 6, 2010
    #3
    Get the 17 inch 2011 Macbook Pro with 2.3 ghz and 8GB of ram plus 512GB of apple SSD for $4000. It would last you almost 5 years without it being outdated. :)
     
  4. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #4
    I agree

    Off topic.....do you know if the 1066 ram works in the latest line of mbps?
     
  5. far4477 macrumors member

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    Apr 20, 2011
    #5
    No. He is a college student.

    Get the 13 inch MBP, its AMAZINGLY portable. Anything bigger will be uncomfortable to carry
     
  6. patel1029 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    #6
    Hey! I say defiantly go with the MacBook!! I have had mine ever since i started college. It has been AMAZING! Whenever i need to use Windows, i just use either bootcamp or parallels. I would also recommend the 13 inch for sure, its easy to carry around.
     
  7. vnle macrumors 6502

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    Jun 3, 2010
    Location:
    Maryland
    #7
    I had a 13" macbook pro for my freshman year and I was also a comp sci major. I have to say, it fulfilled all my requirements and more. I think the 13" would be a very good choice for you. I'm not sure what your comp sci program entails but if you're doing C, iTerm and macvim is great. If you're starting with Java, I used eclipse. You won't regret getting a mac - while everyone around is complaining about their PC's functionality, you won't be. :p
     
  8. vnle macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Not true. I upgraded to the 17" in the middle of my second year and I carry it around fine. Especially when I study outside of my dorm, I really start to appreciate the screen. :D Being a comp sci major also helps as our lecture halls have huge tables. :p
     
  9. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #9
    From my experience, I find the 13 much more easy to carry than the 15, much less a 17. To each his own
     
  10. far4477 macrumors member

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    Apr 20, 2011
    #10
    I dont know, I used to have a 17" and HATED it. I used to carry it around a lot (college) and it was way too big.

    I personally suggest the 13 inch if you carry it around a lot. Someone people will be fine with 15/17 but I'm sure the 13 is the best to carry around.
     
  11. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    Oct 21, 2008
    #11
    I bought a Mac when I started Uni, and it was the best decision I ever made. I was sick of constantly dealing with crashes, malware, viruses, etc. on my Windows machine and knew that I didn't want to be doing that on top of everything else in University. I hear that Windows 7 is a lot better in that respect than XP was, but even so, a Mac is basically zero maintenance. I haven't had a single problem with either of my Macs since I switched.

    As to which machine to buy, the base 13" Pro is, imo, the choice machine. It's only a little bit more expensive than the MacBook, but has a way, way faster processor, Thunderbolt, and better design and aesthetic. It's no contest which is the better value. That said, I wouldn't discount the MacBook Air, either. It will do everything you need, and is super portable.
     
  12. vnle macrumors 6502

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    #12
    I didn't deny that the 13 inch was easier to carry around, I just said that the 17 inch isn't uncomfortable to carry around.

    It probably depends on where you're going. For me, I go to the lecture halls with huge tables with outlets in front of every seat. I can see why the 17" wouldn't fit the lecture halls with tiny tables.
     
  13. vnle macrumors 6502

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    Jun 3, 2010
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    Maryland
    #13
    Also, OP, if you can afford it, I suggest the macbook air as well if you're looking at the 13 inch variety. The flash memory will have similiar read speeds as SSD although write will be slower. And the screen on the air is much better with a higher ppi. Personally, I feel the resolution of the 13" mbp is horrible. :mad:
     
  14. crush500 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 23, 2011
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    Virginia
    #14
    I'll primarily be using Eclipse for Java. Most of the CS courses are based around Java. Some of the higher level classes dip into C and even some of the older languages but Java is main focus.

    The 17 inch is way out of my price range. Plus it isn't very portable. I have a 16 inch laptop right now and this thing would be a pain to carry around all day. I actually prefer the smaller 13 inch just for portability alone.

    I haven't really considered the Macbook Air for the simple fact that I will have to run Linux for some of my CS courses and have a ton of music I want to store on my hard drive. I'd consider the Macbook Air if it weren't for the fact I want to have a large amount of hard drive space. I don't really care for having to lug a portable hard drive around with me.

    Thanks for all the replies. I'm pretty much set on getting a Mac I'm just trying to convince myself that this is the absolute best decision. I'm not going to lie, the price tag is what is making me question myself so much. I have a limited budget and don't want to make an expensive mistake. However I have heard nothing but great things about the Macbook Pros so I feel my money will be spent very well.

    Anyone know if Apple is planning to do the Ipod Touch rebate deal this year? I could very well take advantage of that if they are.
     
  15. Cantisama macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #15
    A Mac laptop is a great platform for programming, but if you're on a budget continue reading.

    Since you already have a laptop and are going to be a CS major you may want to install Ubuntu on your existing machine. Ubuntu is free, works immediately with most hardware, you won't have to worry about viruses, and you will get more experience with Linux (which is very important in CS). I have a BS and MS in CS and I only needed a non-linux machine once or twice (can't remember why, there was probably a Visual Studio requirement for a particular project). I dual-booted Ubuntu with Windows so I could still use Windows when absolutely necessary. Most of the time Ubuntu could handle all of my programming and general computing needs (again, for free!).

    -Update-
    Just read ^ post, if you're mostly using Eclipse then Ubuntu will work perfectly for you. My CS program was the same way, we did a bit of C but the rest was mostly Java.

    I only started using a Mac laptop when I began iOS dev. If not for that I would still be using my Thinkpad running Ubuntu.
     
  16. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #16
    I would say the base model 13" MBP is the most practical for a college student. If you want a bigger hard drive, I would do the upgrade yourself, as it's easy and quite a bit cheaper.
     
  17. edifyingGerbil macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    #17
    1066 doesn't work in the new MacBook Pros. You can get higher bandwidth RAM which will be downclocked but you shouldn't use low bandwidth RAM.

    I'm using 1600MHz in mine and it's wonderful.

    To the OP, I wouldn't get a 13" for the simple reason it uses integrated graphics. Integrated graphics suck serious baws
     
  18. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #18
    The HD3000 really isn't that bad, unless you're a moderately serious gamer. Otherwise, it is more than enough for most people's uses.
     
  19. far4477 macrumors member

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    Apr 20, 2011
    #19
    Indeed. And its good enough for light gaming.
     
  20. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    Finland
    #20
    The memory controller supports 1066MHz DDR3 so I can't see why not.
     
  21. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #21
    Get the 13". Its far better than the MacBook.
     
  22. ender land macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 26, 2010
    #22
    Access to the terminal is great for programming.

    I do a fair bit of programming on my mac (mostly c++) and so I use Xcode, which imo is better and easier to use than Microsoft's equivalent in Visual Studio.

    Like a previous poster said though, linux will be good enough for most ComSci stuff though - especially if it's in Java.

    Also, I'm not sure how committed you are to Physics/Comm Sci stuff - most people change their mind about their major a few times ;)
     
  23. lshirase macrumors regular

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    Jan 7, 2008
    #23
    get the macbook air. higher resolution, faster (flash), ultra portable.
     
  24. Criticalmass macrumors member

    Criticalmass

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    Apr 12, 2011
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    Everywhere
    #24
    A computer science major will not be able to get away from Windows and Microsoft. Purchasing an MBP is fine, but be prepared to have Windows on the unit as well. As for the viruses.... It sounds like you don't take the precautions necessary to keep your windows notebooks safe... And as a soon to be computer science major..........

    Well I'll just leave it at that.


    As for the Physics stuff, you'l be fine, a good friend of mine is a Physics Professor at Toronto University in Canada and these days all she uses are Macs. Though she did love her touch screen Windows 7 notebook from HP, it really helped with her classes, but I think she has since found alternatives.

    I disagree with the Macbook Air comments. There is such a thing as too small. The small size of the Air might slow you down when coding.
     
  25. Tony06 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #25
    the macbook hasnt been upgraded. pay 200$ more and you'll get a laptop that is way more futur proof and has better...everything.

    I just bought a macbook pro 13 last week and i can assure you that unless you're doing some photo editing, you won't have any problems with the screen resolution. i find the size perfect, and its not that heavy at all. the reason i chose this over the air is because 2 pounds more didn't make a difference once in my backpack ( its 2 pounds for gods sakes) and i prefered having a better processor and upgradable machine. i was also worried i might not be able to get as much when selling a mba. the 13 pro is a great machine. i was planning on upgrading to a ssd but i dont see the need to do so right now since its fast enough, (maybe when ssds get cheaper). you can also order 8gb rams for 110$ i think.

    you do need to keep in mind that you'll maybe need to buy windows (150-350$) to run applications you can't do without.
     

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