Most suitable MacBook Pro for Architecture student?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tanxh, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. tanxh macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2013
    Hello, I've been lurking for a few months now. I'm still a student, so obviously I don't have much money to spend on a new macbook. I'm going to enroll in an architecture course next May, so I need a new macbook to replace my white polycarbonate 4 year old. I'll probably be using quite a lot of auto desk, photoshop and occasionally gaming. I'm looking into upgrades for the MacBook too. Thanks :)
  2. TheCakeIsALie macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2008
    13" mid-range pro probably the best for you. unless you need more power and have more $$ then go 15, either low end (if you need more cpu power but dont rly need gpu power) or high (if you need both more cpu and gpu power)
  3. nicknock macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2013
    I am currently in my third year of architecture at uni, I use a 2012 macbook air with 8gb of ram and it works perfectly with all the programs you'll probably need to run. I can have huge files open in photoshop as well as run auto cad and have a massive 3d model in rhino at the same time with no problems. If you don't want an air then any of the retina pro's will be perfect to as they are all more powerful. main thing is that you'll want as much ram as you can afford to future proof for programs.
  4. iZac macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2003

    More RAM is key. If you're just starting your course, I doubt you'll be doing anything to cripple a MBP just yet. Perhaps I'm antiquated, but my Uni even insisted we hand draw for the first year to help us understand actually how to draw things properly, CAD can make you lazy. RAM is obviously very useful in PS (however high speed SSD these days make paging out much less painful than it used to be) Rendering is reliant on CPU other than GPU, so yeah, I think a mid range 13" would be perfect, and the retina screen run scaled will be great to fit all those PS toolbars in!
  5. tanxh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2013
    Thanks for the insight. :) I'm pretty surprised MacBook Air works that well. I might actually consider an air instead seeing how light they're.


    Sounds great :) I might upgrade to 16g just for the longevity
  6. Vanillian macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2011
    New York
    I'm a graduate architecture student, and I currently use a MacBook Air. It has been fantastic to use, I've made huge presentation boards, rendered fairly complex models, and edited some animations and videos on it. I would recommend it if you are wanting a Mac and don't necessarily have the money for the Pro. I would, howeve,r make sure you go for the 256gb hard drive. With the work we do its very difficult to have a work flow that doesn't need something that only runs on, or work much better on Windows. You'll need that extra space for your bootcamp partition. I made the mistake of only getting a 128 and I've been incredibly squeezed for space.
  7. iPersian macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2012
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    this is still unclear to me.
    when does the GPU actually play in? does it when one renders?
    im an architect too and still after questions about this, it its not clear to me when GPU comes in. im also architect and will do alot of 3d
  8. diogoh macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2013
    Joinville, Brazil
    Just replaced my girlfriends crappy 2011 Sony Vaio with my former 2011 13" Macbook Air (Base model: 128GB, 4Gb, Intel HD 3000) and she is very satisfied with the performance. Basically she uses AutoCAD for 2D and SketchUp for 3D and there is no lag at all, everything runs smoothly.

    This machine is just a temporary replacement for her older sony notebook. Will sell it and buy the new rMBP 13" or 2013 MBA 13" before the end of the year, depending on her preferences - better screen and improved gpu OR more battery life and portability.
  9. pancakedrawer macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2010
    As an architecture student I have to say that a Macbook Air is a silly choice.

    Architecture programs are demanding to say the least and you will want as much power as you can get for you money. If you can afford the 15" get it. Consider last year's base model retina. The high quality screen is ideal for working on projects and the extra screen size will be useful.

    If that's too much, last years cMBP will be even cheaper.

    If you must buy new and can't afford the 15", go for the 13" pro with 256GB and at least 8GB ram (16 is better).

    There is nothing worse than your computer crashing / staling at 3am when your project is due the next day. You will be running Windows most of the time, but macs tend to be far more reliable at running it and having your computer crash when you are working on a large files. In first year your work wont be so taxing on your computer so if you have an ok computer now, hold out until 2nd year before upgrading.
  10. Starfyre macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2010
    Architecture begs for 15'' Retina Macbook Pro if you can afford it, the renderings look gorgeous.
  11. kithytom macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2013
    I have to say this is absolutely true.
    for those who use macbook air for PS, AI, CAD and even rendering works, I can't imagine how painful it is for you.
    think about it, you might need rhino and revit eventually, then you need install windows, which is more hardware demanding.
    i would say 13' 2.4GHz 8GB 256GB ssd is the minimum for now. (and tomorrow)

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