Need a laptop for college, which should I get?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by 4look4rd, May 28, 2010.

  1. 4look4rd macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2009
    so basically I need a laptop for college, so I would like it to last for at least 4 years.

    I am trying to chose between the base line 15' macbook pro priced at $1700 (with 100 dollars off)

    and a PC laptop with the following configuration:
    i7-720QM @1.6GHz (2.8GHz turbo mode)
    6GB of ram
    500GB hard drive @ 7200RPM
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 - 1GB of vRam
    Full HD screen (15')
    price: $1400

    So my questions are:
    Will apple's higher quality components, better OS, and 3x longer battery justify the inferior specs and the 300 difference?

    Will this macbook pro be able to handle 2009/2010 games? Because my 2007 iMac cannot handle Half Life 2, and that game came out in 2004.

    I have an iPad to complement whichever system I endup buying. Suggestions on other computers are highly appreciated too!

  2. bobfitz14 macrumors 65816


    Oct 14, 2008
    to me that is kind of a subjective question, some would say yeah i would pay an extra couple hundred to get OS X over any version of Windows, others would say no way i would drop the extra cash for a Mac just because of OS X.

    if i were you, i'd spend the extra 300 for higher quality components, OS X, and the better battery. btw you might not even need a 15" MBP but you didn't provide what kind of tasks you're doing so i could be wrong.
  3. 4look4rd thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2009
    I am not a high-end user but I will using my next laptop mostly for some gaming (hence my concern about the MBP's video card), casual photoshopping/video editing, and whatever I will be required to do as a civil engineer (or maybe economics.... or perhaps history......) major.

    My current iMac has a 2.0Ghz C2D with just 1GB of RAM and the worse graphic card that I have ever used (ATI HD X1300 I think).
  4. Raje macrumors member

    Mar 2, 2010
    Buy a 13" MBP and build a windows desktop/ps3/360 to game with. I really don't think you will have much time for gaming at university so I suggest getting a 13" MBP for the battery life which you will find to be helpful. The 13" MBP can run photoshop and edit video just fine. None of the Macs will be able to handle games as well as a windows pc.
  5. budugu macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2004
    Boston, MA
    As a civil engineer let me warn you that you will not be able to get away with out a windows computer. Yes you can boot camp and all. BUT practically you need windows on your machine (could be a mac) if you want to pursue any engineering much less civil / electrical.

    Also Core i7 QC laptops come much cheaper than that 1400$ with a decent graphics card btw look for some deals on line. I think a fast dual core should also be ok for gaming.
  6. KadMac macrumors regular

    Sep 13, 2009
    I would recommend getting the PC laptop. Macs are nice and all but if you are into gaming, the other laptop you mentioned is really going to give you the extra power you need. Battery life is great, but at a University will that really be an issue? Worst case scenario you can head to the library on campus to recharge your laptop while you work if you fully drain it. Plus Windows 7 is great.

    I have the new MacBook Pro 13" with the new 320M graphics and while it plays games pretty well at medium to high settings, if you want to keep up with all the latest games and excellent settings, stick with PC. On top of that, you have an iPad. Now you can surf the web among other things with a long lasting battery. The PC and iPad will leave you all set up for many years to come plus you'll save some money.
  7. haajkoe macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2010

    Two years ago I had to make the same choice.
    I'm also studying civil engineering.

    I can tell you that I'm very happy with my Mac.
    In the beginning I used to play games on it, but now I rarely do.
    I have the mac version of CoD 4 if i'm really bored.

    OSX runs great and whenever i'm on windows 7, I just want to switch back as quickly as possible to OSX.

    When I need windows apps, I use campus PCs as often as possible.

    I have a high end macbook pro. I realized later that I didn't really need it. A macbook would have been good enough. Though the screen is kinda small.

    This year my sister bought a macbook. She's very happy with it. We go to campus by train so it's size is handy.

    The best is thing is to get a mac, and if you really need to, you can also get a $500 PC to play your games the first few months. After those you won't be gaming at all

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