My needs

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dmoreno26, Jun 26, 2010.

  1. dmoreno26 macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2010
    Ok let me make it quick and simple.

    I make music and study architecture. so i need both mac and pc...

    so im deciding to go with a macbook pro.. I was originally looking at the 15" i5 with 500 gb of space... best of both worlds.. only prob is that its expensive =/
    I wanted a new computer to be my good investment for a couple yrs but its sooo hard being 2000 dollars and all..

    so looking at a 13" with 4 gigs of ram and 500 gb harddrive it comes out to about 1234 with student discount...

    Doing architecture on bootcamp, which is more valued... core 2 duo, i5, or does ram play a big part in it...

    the 15" inch fitss the bill to a tee, good sized skin for arch and not getting cramppeddd.. only thing missing is an hdmi port :p

    but yeaaa. opinions??

    like i said the 15 inch is my first choice but would the processor be that much worse on the 13 inch for architectural needs, not just casual use?
    should i make the investment now in the i5 so in 2 or 3 yrs my comp isnt tooo slow to keep up with tech and programs??


  2. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    More than likely one of your biggest requirements would be a professional graphics card, and this is why more than likely for anything intensive, you will be using the school's computers.

    My only others comments are that miniDisplayPort is much more usable than HDMI, because HDMI is normally implemented to carry only HD/SD TV format standards such as 480i/p, 720p, and 1080i/p, where as miniDisplayPort can provide a wide array of resolutions, often much higher than HDMI and the newest miniDisplayPorts can pass audio and video, so all you would need is an adapter to use HDMI.

    Finally do not pay Apple for Memory Upgrades or Harddrive upgrades.
    Because an example.
    You want 8GB RAM, in this example. You pay Apple $400 extra for this RAM. If you buy it yourself from a third party like, you spend only $300-$350, and then you can sell your original Apple 4GB RAM for $75+ on ebay or wherever. So you total out of pocket is really only about $225-$275. This is getting close to half of what Apple is charging.

    This is true for harddrives too.
    You want a 500GB HDD. Apple charges you $150. You can buy the same 500GB from a third party for $90. So then you are really paying Apple $60 more and receiving 250GB less HDD space, since you do not get the original 250GB HDD when you get the upgrade through Apple.

    The only Apple upgrades anyone should consider are things that are soldered to the motherboard and the display type.
  3. dmoreno26 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2010
    so now knowing my needs for arch and music, which would u recommend yourself?
  4. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    If your teachers/school has expectations of a minimum specification for a laptop computer, they will let you know, otherwise both the base model 13" and base model 15" (plus whichever display you prefer) are both more than you will need for doing basic school work.

    Personally though, if outside of the school computers, this will be your only computer (meaning no desktop computer or external display/keyboard/mouse setup), I would get the larger display.

    The 13" is a great computer, but the display will start feel small after a while. It is very portable though.

    Nevertheless, the 15" is $1700 after student discount, right now you get a free iPod touch and printer too. So you can easily keep this under $2000 (display upgrades will push the price closer to $2000 though).
  5. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2010
    Either will give you satisfactory performance. The only way to go with a 15 is the hi-res display. So, do you want portability or a larger screen? To me, it isn't worth it without the hi-res (but even then it wouldn't be because even 13 inches is too big for my tastes)
  6. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009

    The standard resolution 15" is the close in DPI to the 13" (just slightly lower) and the high resolution 15" is nearly the same DPI as the 17" (just slightly lower).

    So why must the 15" be high resolution?
  7. dmoreno26 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2010
    would u guys be comfortable making the investment
    with a core 2 duo? rather then a core i5?

    think that would bother u in a yr or two?

    thanks for all the advice so far
  8. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    Personally, NO. When I got mine, all the laptops were still Core 2 Duos (as I am not married to OS X (software dependent), Apple was not my only laptop in consideration). Now with very few computers using the Core 2 Duos and even cheap computers using the Core iX processors, I would be very hesitant to buy a Core 2 Duo.
    I think if you are willing to wait, the next update to the 13" MacBook Pro should bring next generation processors.
    I think the current 13" is a good computer, but considering what you gain by moving just to the base 15" these days, it is a much better computer.
    Latest Processors, Discrete and Switchable Graphics, Matte & High Resolution Display Options
  9. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    Here is some food for though. I know a lot of college of architects require their incoming students to get laptops that are at up to a certain level of specs and they encourage you to go beyond that.

    One of the requirements that is pretty common is you need Windows. No way around that requirement.
    Now comes the advice that I know I will get flamed for but comes from knowing multiple architect students while I was in school.
    Your music part is going to be a hobby at best while you are in school and one you will have very little time for. There is a reason the architecture building at Texas tech is known as the light house of Texas Tech. Give you a hint it is common for student to work all night and sleep in that building for days. Time is gone.

    Also you need raw horse power for your classes and cost wise the Macbooks Pro well just suck compared to dell. The i7 in the macbook pros are i7- 620 dual cores or something around that number. Those chips are around the same power level as the i7 720 quad cores dell is using. Now which chip is better for you depends what you are going to be doing. For you the extra 2 cores will be better than the higher clock speed. You will be doing some very processor intensive renderings for class. University across this country have had their budgets cut to the bone and the labs being kept up to date has been long gone and they are pretty out dated computer. Plus it is not like you want to sit in the lab for 2 -3 hours while you wait for it to finish a rendering any how.

    Also on windows you can find software that is completable for what is out there for OSX. Maybe not as good but close enough. Mix that with you complete lack of time for music you will be fine.

    Personally I would say go get a PC laptop with as much horse power as possible then get a Mac mini for your music. It will not need as much horse power any how and you just will not have the time for it. Chance are the savings you get by going with lets say dell you will be able to afford a macmini any how.
  10. dmoreno26 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2010
    mac mini is 700

    pc is about 1200

    thats about 2,000 for that i have an all in one machine that does both..

    ne other suggestions?

    i mean ive been debating a pc but i do need it to be portable..
    so the specs would be similarrr to the 15" mbp
  11. dmoreno26 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2010
  12. pjcforpres2020 macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    The last guy was pretty spot on... Architecture programs take a lot of cpu power, and ram... What does the school recommend, windows, mac, or linux? Get the os they recommend with the most power you can...

    Actually, a desktop would be your best bet power wise, you don't want to wait for your computer when doing a project.

    Also, you won't start doing major specific stuff until year 3, and getting your power house then is a better idea then now.
  13. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    Well I recently got a dell studio 15 with an i7 with 6gigs of ram, 500 gig 7200 RPM HD. Blutooth and the 1080p screen for 1400 after you include shipping and tax. As of yesterday you can get the same specs I did for 50 less.

    Like I said you really do not need a OSX for your music. Trust me you will have no time for it any how and the little you do you can find the software you need for a PC. Worse case buy a used mac for 500 or less. It would cover you needs if you are departed.

    after tax and shipping from dell I believe you can get an Studio XPS for about 1500 with 6 gigs of ram and specs a lot like 15 studio.

    I carry my laptop with me every day to class and pull it out in my programing class. My Java text book ways more than the laptop with all the cords I will carry. The Java Text book is over 1000s pages and is quite a best but still the laptop is pretty easy for me to carry around.

    If this school is anything like Texas Tech it is a no go on a the desktop. Texas Tech REQUIRES their students to come in with a laptop their incoming freshmen and the specs are pretty beefy.

    For architech the i7 720 in the dell studio is going to be faster than the i7 used in the Macbook Pros. The type of rendering being done the extra cores will be worth a lot more than the higher clock speed.

    On most things those 2 chips are about the same it just depends on the taste. For Gaming the Macbook Pro i7 is better. For rendering and what not the dell Studio i7 is better.

    More proof of the CPU I am telling OP to go for I can show you this link It is Texas Tech requirements. As I said incomig freshmen require some very buffy specs. The i7 core from Apple just mean the Min spec. spec. The Dell will meet the recommended spec. Oh btw you would have to run in windows mode for all your architecture classes any how.
    Dell is going to be about 1500. Apple will be over 2 grand and still only meet min.

    Trust me go PC and take a look at the link I provided you. I am willing to bet what ever school you are going to will have requirements a lot like that.
  14. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    Since you are just starting college, a 15"'MacBook pro should be fine. Once the school starts to demand higher specified computers, 1) the lower wattage higher clock speed quad cores will be available in laptops and likely macbook pros 2) you can then sell this current 15" and decide if you want another MacBook pro or a windows laptop 3) buy a windows laptop for architecture classes and keep the MacBook pro for music.

    My only real suggestion is do not get the 13" if it will be your only computer/display. It is just too small of a display for constant 8+ hours days use.

    I am a senior in computer science, and I only used my MacBook pro 13" about 10 times throughout the semester for 4+ hours in a day (outside of in class use), and I never used it for writing papers.
  15. pjcforpres2020 macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    Freshmen?! That is way different from my school, you don't start major specific stuff til junior year, and don't need to get your computer til then... They also recommend a desktop and laptop for in class... Specs are about the same, laptop is a little weaker, desktop is beefier.

    Anyways, I was agreeing he should check with his school, and go for cpu power and ram.

    My brother has a dual major in arch and structural engineering, and his masters in universal design from harvard.
  16. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    For most majors that is the case. For architecture it is 5 years from the day you start it. Engineering it is about 3 year.

    Those are best case numbers. It is how the course build on each other. Architecture starts major specific stuff on day 1 and the rendering stuff will start on in the first semester.

    The 5 years for Architecture will be that way at ANY accredited program. I look at a few and I can tell you they are all the same at the 5 years and CPU power needed day 1.
  17. dmoreno26 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2010

    im in yr 3 now.. and ive been getting by with my pc at home and occassionally the school laptops...

    i use autocad, photoshop, sketchup, 3dmax, and probably rhino and revit this semester...
  18. dmoreno26 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2010

    im in yr 3... i have time in the summer, winter breaks as well as writing, making music on the offff times.
  19. pjcforpres2020 macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    I would go for power... My brother says the same thing, plus the native os for the programs you use most.

    Other dude at texas tech, do you just like disagreeing? Not every school is the same. My brother only had math, science, and art classes his first two years, then year 3 started the college of architecture specifics.
  20. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    No I do like disagree but I was stated a fact on architecture being very common a 5 year program and Architecture classes started day 1.

    A lot have studio 10 studio classes. that is 1 a semester for 5 years and you leave with your masters which is required to get licensed.
    I looked into get an Architecture degree and look at several schools and the programs were the same in day 1 is when you start you Architecture classes or as in Architorture as others like to call it. I learned more and went with engineering which is what I really wanted. I had a lot of friends who went threw Architecture.
  21. dmoreno26 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2010

    yeaa hes prettty much right. its torture from day one. they actually try to weed kids outttt the first yr... but in my school we were hand drafting things till 3rd yr, but now everyone can use computers depending....
    so its diff from school to school but if its a legit b.arch 5 yr program thats how it goes...

    so between the 2 macbooks which would u pick
    since the pcs im looking into arent going to be these monster laptopss that some are suggesting.

    i was looking into the hp envy 14... butttt

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