MBP for academics - advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by SansFrontieres, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. SansFrontieres macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2010
    I was wondering whether anyone might be able to recommend which MBP would be suitable for productivity in an academic setting.

    I'm an academic working in health sciences and I plan on using my MBP primarily for running stats on large datasets, and then Office/iWork-type productivity for writing and creating presentations. I'm looking to replace my ancient t40p Thinkpad with a hopefully equally durable MBP that I can use to do work at home evenings and weekends, and enjoy the occasional game and movie, plus general web surfing.

    I'm thinking the base model of 15inch MBP (2.4 ghz core i5) should suit me well and be future-proof enough to last me a while. I'm also thinking of upgrading to the higher resolution display to increase my desktop space.

    I have two questions I was hoping for some advice on:

    1) Does that setup seem appropriate for my intended usage? Core i7 is tempting but probably overkill I guess.

    2) Can anyone point me towards any reviews of the higher resolution 15inch MBP displays (or give me their anecdotal impressions of it)? On paper they sound like an obvious upgrade, but every (of the many) review I've read is based on the base display.

    Cheers for the advice
  2. pasdesilence macrumors newbie


    Aug 19, 2010
    The extra real estate with the higher res will do wonders when you're working on coursework. I honestly think the base model with the high-res screen would be a great purchase.

    If you decide to upgrade anything i'd look at getting an SSD hard drive and THEN look at Maxing out your RAM. SSD gives a percentage of a performance boost, but that may be all you need to run efficiently.
  3. eng42ine macrumors 68000


    May 2, 2010
    Running into a burning building...
    For what you''re doing the i5 should be fine, and I would go with the hi-res anti-glare, I've seen, heard, and read great things about it.

  4. fcortese macrumors demi-god


    Apr 3, 2010
    Big Sky country
    Since you are using a lot of Office/Presentation stuff, the 15 inch would probably be better. I agree with i5, base model. No sure you really need anti-glare, but maybe glossy hi res. If you are doing presentations, then the $29 Mini Display Port to VGA would be a useful accessory. I use this to hook my MBP up to a projector when giving lectures and presentations. Good luck!
  5. Moocher macrumors regular

    Mar 5, 2008
    NE Atlanta area
    Base 15" i5 will be great. I chose standard resolution because my eyes aren't very good. I also prefer the glossy screen; depends on the conditions where you will be using the computer.

  6. 3lionsbecks Suspended


    Jul 19, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    +1 the set up will be great for you. Get the adapter because you'll need it to hook up to the projector for your presentations.....you will need either the DVI (better) or the VGA (more common) connector depending on the projector you will be using.

    Enjoy....it will be a great update for you.
  7. Schipperenzot macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2009
    Mind the smaller text with hi-res if you have sensitive eyes...

    The text size is between 15" with normal screen and 17".
  8. modestmelody macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2005
    Long Island, New York / Providence, Rhode Island
    How large is a large data set? Number of rows or variables?

    Are you using SAS, STATA, SPSS, R, or something else?

    If you're using Stata (especially MP), I don't think you should have much of an issue on even a 13" so the base 15" is plenty fine. I've run fairly large data sets in STATA (but still sub 1gb) without much trouble on my old T43 I just replaced with an MBP (though it's much faster now).
  9. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    Yes and yes. =)
    the battery will last all day which means you don't have to sit near the wall/plug :]
  10. aznpride macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2009
    13" one might be better since it's a pound lighter and those few extra hours of battery life might pay off one day

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