MBP Vs. MB for a College Student

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by chuckee, Jun 3, 2006.

  1. chuckee macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2006
    Hey...I've been checking out this forum for a long time and decided to post for my first time with a question....

    I just graduated from high school and am looking for a computer...first thought/dream computer would be the macbook pro... I was hoping I would recieve one as a graduation present - however it seems it might not happen just because of the price... I like to play games and am a really excited to switch from a PC to a Mac ... so I can see two options:

    Try to convince my parents as much as possible to get me a macbook pro as a present / use up all my summer job money to buy one (Ideally i want to save the money/ buy a digital camera etc)


    Convince my parents to buy a macbook and bring my current PC for gaming

    I'm trying to find the most convenient result - sure you might say go for the macbook and PC combo but its still a hassle to have to bring a desktop...i just want to go full portability

    any suggestions is welcomed. Thanks!
  2. n8236 macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2006
  3. gammamonk macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2004
    Madison, WI
    Everybody gets a laptop for college, and except for wasting time at Starbucks they don't help you that much. I had a laptop all thru college, and it sat in my desk drawer most of the time. (You really don't need it for anything)

    I'd use the $1000+ for pimping out my desktop system if I had to do it again. Get a HUGE LCD and a new graphics card. Freshman year is all about first person shooters.

    My opinion, if "It would be nice to have" is the best reason you can come up with, skip it.
  4. wako macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2005
    LOL.. I like gammamonk's advise...

    I recently just finished my freshman year at college, and I can honestly say what Chuckee said is right. Laptops arent really needed. When it comes to classes, sure you can take notes on a laptop, however it is much easier to take notes with a pen and a pad because once the teacher started drawing diagrams and what not, you get left behind, rendering that laptop as useless :p Besides, I usually find people goofing off with their laptops. If it isnt playing WoW, than it is probably chatting or surfing.... caught a guy looking at porn once :(

    I would however say having a laptop is great because you take your work where ever you want to go. Its great not having to be stuffed in your dorm room all the time, and once mid-terms come along and final papers to write, it really sucks sitting in your dorm only for 12 hours. It is especially pleasing when you arent forced to use the schools computer labs, when you goto different places.
  5. MIDI_EVIL macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2006
    Chuckee is the original poster.

    If you're going to get one or the other, get the MacBook. Perfect for what you need if you already have a gaming machine.

  6. wako macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2005

    oops :rolleyes:
  7. hikingnclimbing macrumors member


    Jan 10, 2006
    Gorham, ME
    The MB would probably do everything that you need it to do and not cost you an arm and a leg. Is the MBP nice? Heck yes. But I don't think that you'd honestly do anything on it that you couldn't do on a MB. Or at least in the way of school work goes. ;)

    As for what some other posters have said, I think I would have died in college if I didn't have a laptop to bring to class with me. It totally depends on what your major is and what kind of classes you take. I was a technology education major, so a lot of the work I had to do was on the computer anyways. I was able to follow along with the professors a lot better because I could do everything on my own instead of just trying to remember what exactly they did. And you can't beat the portability of a laptop. It made moving into the dorms so much easier. I'd see my friends lugging in huge systems and then I'd just be carrying my backpack. :D
  8. idkfa macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2006
    If you bring a gaming only rig to your dorm, chances are you will fail out. Unless of course you have alot of self-control, or are doing an easy degree.

    If I were you, I would sell your PC and buy a MBP out of it. Now you have a computer that can run games, and a portable computer for which to do all sorts of college/university work.

    Depending on your degree, a laptop can be very useful. I did a programming course last term, as well as writing cover letters and resumes for alot of different work term jobs.
  9. celebrian23 macrumors 65816


    Mar 12, 2006
    Under the sun
    Pick your priorities. digital camera or MBP? Taking 2 laptops isn't the end of the world. At least with this option if you find it's a hassle you can just sell or take the PC back home. If you find you don't need the power of the MBP, well you just wasted a lot of money.
  10. Timepass macrumors 65816

    Jan 4, 2005
    I tend to disagree on how good a laptop is on that. Yeah for a while the only computer I owned was my laptop and I used it as such. For my first year or 2 of college a laptop is great for taking notes for those basic classes because it puts them all in one spot. After that it will really depend on your major on how much you will use it. I dont use my laptop much any more in class since the type of notes I been taking just are not good for typing up (diagrams and pictures). Also I got a desktop about 2 years ago and switch over to that as my main computer. Which also happen to be after I left the classes that I use my laptop for.

    But since getting my desktop and having both I find it really nice to have one and very helpful and I since doing that I will either be laptop only or duel with a laptop as a 2ndary computer and the desktop all heavy lifting.

    Ways my laptop is still used and very helpful having.
    When going home for Winter, spring break or something else I can take a computer with me with out much trouble. Plus if when ever I fly I cannt exactly take my desktop with me so the laptop is the only opition. When ever I have to write a paper is general only done on my laptop and I dont type it up on my desktop because I personlly find it easier to be able to move around when I want to plus I find working at my desk very distracting and I have trouble getting everything done. Plus I can work on it any where or around friends who will make me work on my paper and not let me slack off. General I work either in the study lounge. Cant exactly take my desktop there.

    Other thing it really helpful for is in group project or meeting I take my computer and work on it there. We put the files we are looking at on it and do some minor work on them or play with ideas and where we meet depends quite a bit.

    It really comes down to how you use it. Personly I strongly suggest you get some type of laptop. Taking the desktop up to school is not to much trouble. Just have to take it there in the fall and take it home in the spring. Leave it up there over xmas. For only those time it not to much trouble. Laptop over christmas and spring break and laugh at the people who lug there desktop home because they can not live out out them.
  11. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I'll be a senior this fall in Electrical Engineering. I honestly can't imagine not having my PowerBook for school. MATLAB alone makes it worth it, not to mention being able to write papers in Office, access the web anywhere, and run a lot of engineering apps that I need. I use it very heavily at school.

    That said, at least for me, a MacBook would be fine. However, I don't play games. It seems to me that the only major difference between the MB and MBP other than screen size is the graphics. If you really want to play games, get the MBP, otherwise the MB should be just great.
  12. Bubbasteve macrumors 65816


    Dec 23, 2004
    Charleston, IL
    I would go with a MB and hook it up to either an ACD or a Dell Display
  13. semicharmed macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2005
    New Orleans
    I just finished my freshman year. Katrina meant Tulane wasn't really an option for fall semester, so I went home and ended up going to a school that was worlds away in upstate NY.
    I spent my fall semster at RPI (very science/tech oriented) on a loaned IBM Thinkpad. Having a laptop is a necessity there, almost every class (except some lectures) uses it- Maple in Calc, Visual Studio in Comp. Sci, running experiements in Physics- and almost every one has the Thinkpads (sold at a discount to freshman). A lot of kids also had desktops for more power and gaming, but still needed the laptop for the majority of their classes.
    Spring semster I was back at Tulane with my Powerbook. I chose the PB over the iBook last July because the PB was more portable and was much better spec-wise. Tulane's a lot different in terms of needing laptop for class. I almost never bring mine to class, because I prefer taking notes pencil+paper, and all the classes requring computers (data collection in labs, etc.,) have a set.
    Having a laptop is still great though, I bring it to friend's rooms and work, if I feel like working on my bed as opposed to my desk I can, I have all my data if I need to go to the library, etc.
    As for MB or MBP, there's less of a difference in the two machines than between the PB and iBook, and you didn't say you were planning on selling the desktop to help pay for the MBP. So in either case you'll have the desktop to take to school if you feel you need it. And since both MBs and MBPs run Bootcamp, you have that option too.
    Go to an Apple store, play around with the MBs and MBPs. See which one feels better to use. Make the choice you're going to be happiest with, since it's an investment you'll probably have for the next four years. And if you'd be happy with both, having money in the bank is always nice for things like the occasional dinner out with friends and such.
  14. JimmyB248 macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2006
    I've got myself a 15" MBP and I'm looking to sell it for the MB, price wise I will be able to sell the stock standard (512MB RAM, 1.83GhZ, 80GB hard drive) MBP and then buy a pimped out MB and still have change to spare. The size itself makes a big difference to me, I'm going travelling so I need the smaller screen, and it just seems to me, what with the price, the glossy screen, the nice magnets rather than the latch, the better Airport reception, all seems to me like it'd be a better choice to go for the MB, but it's all up to you really.
  15. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    It depends on what you'll be studying. If you will be working with CAD or other apps that put a heavy burden on the GPU, then an MBP for sure (or better still, an iMac). If not, a MacBook or an iMac should be just the ticket. If you want a portable, as you seem to when you first posted this, then a MacBook. There were some good observations in responses here as to why you might want to consider an iMac instead. Honestly, either will be great, so get what makes you happy.
  16. c1gar macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2006
    Games course,

    Im taking a MB, and a PC with me for my course,

    MB size makes it the best bet over the MBP, also i traded in my MBP for this MB, there just doesnt seem to be much diffrence in speed!

    MB is a lovely machine
  17. stunna macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2005
    What are you going to study?

    I know as a computer science major a laptop in class would help me out a lot.

    If you are taking easy courses I dont think a laptop is needed.
    Don't let gaming destroy your life.
  18. Fiveos22 macrumors 65816


    Nov 20, 2003
    Save some cash, buy a MB. I just did a week or so ago (having never owned a laptop) after a very serious look at the refurbished MBPs. All throughout college I used a desktop (2 years in the dorms, 2 years in a house) and never had any great need to take a computer with me to class (as a genetics and liberal studies student).

    I settled on the MB and it has been plenty sufficient, but mind you it is no desktop replacement (but let's be honest, a MBP is not a desktop replacement either). My previous computer was a single processor 1.8 G5 PowerMac from 2003 with plenty of hard drive space for my music appetite. I feel a little cramped now using a laptop with only 80 gigs of HD (as opposed to 320) but I've adapted and am using an external HD for my extra stuff. The only benefit I can see from getting a MBP as opposed to a MB would be for the video processor...but again, being honest, laptops are not gaming machines, and as a student you don't NEED the extra video horsepower.

    Use your student discount (or sign up for the student developer program and get an even better discount) and get the much more affordable MB. Be sure to get lots of ram though, two sticks of 256 are not nearly enough for the MB (and I suspect the MBP as well).
  19. Fiveos22 macrumors 65816


    Nov 20, 2003
    Let's not be condescending. Coursework in any discipline can be difficult beyond a certain level. Furthermore, conflating use of a laptop in a CS course with not using a laptop in other courses because they are "easy" is a logic bomb. Laptop use in class is related to the content/structure of the course, not its difficulty.
  20. chuckee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2006
    thanks for all the replies... i will be hopefully studying computer science in college...

    i read from some of the replies that gaming will ruin your college life etc. ... uh im pretty sure i have enough self control lol ... its not like i'll be gaming more than going to class...that is kind of why i want a laptop so i can use it in class :p - but it would be really nice to have a laptop that can at least play WoW or those sorts of games just for the convenience of not lugging a desktop as well...but i think i can cope with the move in - like some of you said its only happening twice lol

    still a bit split between the two laptops, but i think its actually leaning toward a macbook at this moment....thanks for your responses again! :D

    (more discussion would be nice lol - i'm not too certain yet)
  21. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

    Apr 2, 2006
  22. semicharmed macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2005
    New Orleans
    Check with the Comp. Sci. department where you're going and ask them what their recommendation for a laptop is. Sometimes departments have volume software liscenses specifically for one platform (usually Windows if its CS), so that may help you make the decision on whether or not to bring your PC down.

    And with all the rumors of new chips coming out, you can always wait until July or August to order. Plus, then you can take advantage of the education deals (rebates/printers/etc.) and see if the difference between MB and MBP becomes more pronounced.
  23. Fiveos22 macrumors 65816


    Nov 20, 2003

    As a recovering Enemy Territory addict, let me assure you that gaming in college is a slippery slope. I have had five roommates who are 40+ hour per week World of Warcraft players. One of them maxed out at (an probably still plays) 70 or so hours of World of Warcraft each week. That game is bad news for your social life and school work (not to mention hygiene).

    I would suggest buying a laptop that will aid you in curbing your gaming habit.
  24. chuckee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2006
    lol yeah ive had that WoW addiction fade away actually...i started playing when the game came out and have a maxed out character too...i rarely play now but it seems to be the only game i come back to and can play for like an hour and then go onto doing something else

    i do like the idea of calling up the department and asking what kind of OS is preferable - but i can always just use boot camp if i needed Windows XP

    -edit- by the way when is Leopard suppose to come out? and how much do u think it cost to upgrade from the current Mac OS X --thanks!
  25. Timepass macrumors 65816

    Jan 4, 2005

    well I can save you a phone call for CS major on the OS. The OS they are going to use is going to be XP right now and then they will be switching over to vista. They teach windows because it what most of the world uses for their OS and so that means most of the students be used to using it already. Generally you will be coding in C++ for most of your stuff. And then when you get to the upper levels you will be doing group projects but you will have more freedom on what programing laungage you used. And there the people you will be working with most of them will be using C++ and windows. Even if you are working on a indivial project it is recomended that you program in C++ because if you need help in the code it just easier to ask some else because everyone knows it.

    that being said chances are you can use anything but I know at the begining you will be using C++ and that what the deparment going to tech in and want you projects turn in.

    Also best of luck to you. The earily classes are weed out classes and it not that they make them hard. It just you can either do it or you cannt. There is not much inbettween. The hardest part to CS is getting logic stucture and knowing how to think. The coding to be honest is the easy part. Figure out how to do it is the hard part and that thinking like a computer which is either you can do it or you cannt.

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