med student, specific graphics needs, buy MB or MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by TheNorthWaves, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. TheNorthWaves macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2007
    I don't care about the price difference a whole lot, but if I can't justify ~$600 difference I'll get a regular macbook. Please take the time to address my specific needs, it's important that I buy the right machine...

    Window switching is a priority, which is a main reason i'm selling my PC and getting a mac. I would like to have a desktop monitor extension (not duplication) on to my 22" (1920x1260 or whatever) LCD at home, and be able to run multiple windows on the one laptop screen side by side (ie: two word documents next to each other.) I need to have a lot of open documents and switch between them a lot.

    Is this all doable on a macbook or should i really get a MBPro? Is there a difference in the supported external monitor resolutions? Can you assign the "spaces" windows to external monitors and also not cause any problems/glitches when switching back and forth between the laptop LCD and the LCD + external LCD? My experiences with multiple monitors have been on windows PCs, so you can imagine I have run into strange problems...

    Thank you all
  2. Habusho macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2006
    My experience has been with screen duplication with my 23" and MBP but if you're going to have many open documents and also use the 2 monitors simultaneously I think a MBP with a dedicated graphics hard would be the way to go. Granted a MB could probably pull off what you're looking for but I would want the headroom a MBP gives with me.
  3. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Just get a last generation 2.2GHz MBP and you don't have to worry the extra $600.
  4. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    I'd suggest the MBP over the MB for what you say your needs are. It's not just the power and performance, it's the dedicated graphics card and the excellent screen that make the MBP that bit better. If money matters, get a current refurb, or wait until the updates and get a refurb then; you'll have the peace of mind of knowing that the computer has been individually rigorously tested and that it comes with an Apple warranty.
    Cheers and good luck
  5. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    Pft. You can probably get away with a Macbook if your driving word all day.

    Macbook pro's prowess in the educational/scientific market come from its dedicated GPU and higher end v memory (256-512) which will generally come into play only when doing high end virtualizations on both the 15" and, for instance, a 30" simultaneously.
  6. amac4me macrumors 65816


    Apr 26, 2005
    MacBook Pro is my vote. As a med student, you'll be able to qualify for the student discount.
  7. Animalk macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2007
    Montreal Canada
    Your wasting your money on an MBP. The MacBook will do. I know many doctors/med students that do just fine with macbooks.
  8. Cadium macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2008
    You could probably get away with a MacBook, thanks to Spaces it will make it a lot easier with managing multiple windows on the smaller display.

    However if you are planning on driving two displays with a multitude of windows open, I would recommend a new base-line MacBook Pro (15-inch 2.4 GHz) or a refurbished 15-inch 2.2 GHz (same model as what I own). The dedicated graphics processor that the MacBook Pro provides will give you enough overhead to ensure that you will never be fully taxing the system to the point that it crawls.

    With that being said, I haven't tested out the newer MacBook's that have Intel GMA X3100 integrated graphics, so your milage may vary. I would recommend trying out both computers at a local Apple store or an Apple Authorized Reseller and see which one meets your needs.

    Also, check the MacRumors guide to help you decide what Apple notebook is best for you:

    Good luck! :apple:
  9. TheNorthWaves thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2007
    thanks everyone - the $1299 refurb MBP 2.16 C2D/120gb/1gb seems like a bargain, and I can swap the ram from my Mini into it. Any reason not to get this model?
  10. kgeier82 macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    my CD 1.83 macbook with gma950 pushes its screen, and a 22" 1680x1050 LCD, with 10-15 windows on both, and it doesnt even sweat it.

    get the MB, youll be just fine.
  11. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    Is that a first gen or 2nd gen? THe first gen had minor cooling issues that was for the most part fixed in the 2nd gen...correct me if i'm wrong.

    I'm a senior in undergrad looking at law school and i have a 2.2 mbp from last gen with a similar monitor as you and it runs well. The 15" screen is nice and its very light..light enough for me to take to class easily.

    honestly for your needs though..just word processing and expose...thats nothing a macbook can't handle. its more a question of if you want a nice aluminum case and a 15" led screen. Also wait for the updates before you do anything..a new mbp is probably close to release.
  12. jackiecanev2 macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2007
    My 2.2 MB with the x3100 drove my 1920x1080 ACD as a secondary display with no problem at all. Spaces, dashboard, constant window switching was fine. No hitches at all.

    That said, I love my MBP, and I use the dedicated graphics for bootcamp and some bioengineering/biomedical simulation programs.
  13. TheNorthWaves thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2007
    well, crap. They just sold out of the 1299 model. EGH
  14. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Feb 13, 2004
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    Most rumors on this site point to a October 14th update for laptops. If you can wait, there should be a clearing out of old models. Or the new models might have features you want. Waiting a few weeks is probably a good idea.
  15. sangosimo Guest


    Sep 11, 2008

    your 22" is probably 1680x1050. The only problem you may run in with the macbook is if you try using a 30in @ 2560x1600.
  16. kgeier82 macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    Im not sure about the x3100 MBs, but the gma950 macbook could push UP TO 1920x1200, that was it!

    i believe the x3100 MBs also have this limitation because of the single-link dvi plug on the book.
  17. TheNorthWaves thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2007
    I'll probably wait til the new ones come out, and buy a previous one on closeout. Good idea. Thanks
  18. rupie94 macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2008
    I think the MacBook will do. I have a brother who is a med student too and it he thinks it works great! But if you have enough money, you should go for the MacBook Pro, it is better, but the MacBook will just do fine.
  19. typerlover macrumors regular

    Dec 31, 2006
    Im running a 24" at 1920x1200 with an Air of all things, and I pop into parallels and watch some lecture videos at 2.5x and everything works just fine.

    MBP would definitely be more smooth though and I would go for it.

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