New mac for programming and career?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Hylekmi, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. Hylekmi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    #1
    Hey guys,
    I am currently a student and am taking a programming class. In the coming quarters I will be taking another programing class as well as alot of network classes. I am currently using a white MacBook 13'' that is slowly but surely dieing due to the use of all of these applications that I have to install for school(mainly eclipse, but i am using a lot of other programs for my network classes ) I went to the apple store today and the guy there recommended the 15'' MBP. I almost died when he told me that it was $1600(with student discount). My question is, is it worth the extra money for the 15'' or was the guy at the apple store taking me for a ride and I should just get the 13''?

    Also, I have a Macbook that I am going to sell, How much should i put it on craigslist for? Its a 2009 2.13ghz core2 duo with 2 gigs of ram.

    Thanks in advance!

    -Mike
     
  2. willieva macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    #2
    I use an older 13" mbp for non work related programming(we use Linux at work) and its fine for eclipse, things like wire shark, and running two vm's simultaneously for network programming. The screen is, however, rather small. At home I hook it up to a 24" monitor most of the time. If you're going to be using your mbp on the go then the extra screen real estate of the 15" is worth it if you can afford it. I'd even go hires if possible. For home use a 13" with an external monitor would be great.

    If money is a concern you might be able to get some more life out of your current setup by adding some memory. 2 gig is really not enough. I have 8 gig in my 2.4ghz c2duo mbp(2010) and its fast enough.

    The longer you can hold out buying a computer, the faster your next one will be.
     
  3. Hylekmi thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    #3
    ok so basically a 13'' should suffice. I already use an old Insignia Flat screen as my external monitor. What about just getting a 13'' and upgrading the ram to 8 gigs? or do i really need the 4 cores?
     
  4. KylePowers macrumors 68000

    KylePowers

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    #4
    You could try going 13in MBA, since it has the screen resolution of the 15in?
     
  5. willieva macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    #5
    From what you describe you don't need 4 cores. The base 13" should be fine. If you find you need more memory, you can easily add it later.
     
  6. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #6
    I don't know, but I'm taking a intro. to computer science class, and learning Java via Eclipse.

    What laptop do I use? A 15" PowerBook G4 @ 1.5 GHz. And you know what? It's slow, but it works.

    I can't imagine your 2.1 GHz MacBook being unable to handle the load. Slowly dying from all the applications you load on it? Quit applications you're not using right now. If that doesn't speed things up, do a fresh install.
     
  7. Hylekmi thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    #7
    I am currently running Firefox, itunes, and eclipse. I am currently listening to music and using eclipse and it is working ok, but when i am on here for a little while, the fan goes crazy and the base gets really hot. After that it gets slow as i use it. From the sounds of it it looks like the 13 inch is enough.
     
  8. SimonUK5 macrumors 6502

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    Nov 26, 2010
    #8
    What specs is it?
     
  9. willieva macrumors 6502

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    Mar 12, 2010
    #9
    When this happens take a look at Activity Monitor. If your cpu is maxed out you'll be able to see what's using it. Also look at your system memory usage. If you have no free memory left, then $25 worth of memory might solve your problems.
     
  10. rjphoto macrumors 6502a

    rjphoto

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    #10
    I second that. Get as much RAM as it can hold (4GB for $60 at Crucial) and save up for the next model.

    Also, How much free space do you have versus total space? Less than 10% free space will slow you to a crawl.

    You may want to test your hard drive out too. Slowing down and freezing up can be a sign of hardware problems.

    AND For Pete's Sake, BACK IT UP!
     
  11. Hylekmi thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    #11
    It's basically a split between eclipse, iTunes, and Firefox. My hard drive was just replaced in September. And I can't add ram because that would void the warranty.
     
  12. macsmurf macrumors 65816

    macsmurf

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #12
    No it won't. http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=13946

    Upgrade your RAM to 4 GB. I'm using a 2009 2 GHz macbook alu for Java programming and the only time the fans start going is when I'm building for a fairly long time (minutes). I don't use Eclipse so there might be something it does in the background that uses a lot of resources. Repeated indexing by OS X on directories of small files that are continuously recreated can be a problem. You can switch off indexing of specific directories by adding them to the privacy list in the spotlight settings.

    You don't need a new machine. You need to analyze what's going on.
     
  13. MonkeyBrainz macrumors regular

    MonkeyBrainz

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2012
    #13
    Adding RAM does not void the warranty as previously stated. I'd highly recommend getting RAM (as well as storage) from OWC ~> http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/apple/memory/
     
  14. rjphoto macrumors 6502a

    rjphoto

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    #14
    So, how much stuff is on it now? If Apple replaced it, it may still only be the same size as your original drive... And still be full.

    I've sen as many a 4 hard drives replace in one year in one machine...

    They are mechanical devices and can fail at any time. A friend of mines died in a one month old 13" MBP last year.

    Another friend had an SSD go bad one week after installation in a New MBP last month.

    Back it up. It doesn't matter when it was replace.
     
  15. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #15
    That MacBook should still run you just fine for what you're doing. That said, if you are shopping for a new MacBook Pro anyway, I'd ask yourself the following question: "How much gaming and/or rendering/3D/video work will I be doing?" And if your answer is none, then go 13". Don't get the Air as it won't last you anywhere near as long.

    Not worth the lack of upgradability, especially for such a small screen.

    RAM upgrades don't void the warranty unless you break something, which on those models is kind of hard to do. That being said, if you find that 4GB of RAM isn't enough for you, at that point, I'd upgrade the machine as the newer MacBook Pro models all take up to 8GB officially and 16 unofficially.
     
  16. KylePowers macrumors 68000

    KylePowers

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    #16
    That doesn't even make sense. A higher resolution on a smaller screen means a lot more efficiency in terms of portability. It's like having a 15in screen in a 13in chassis.

    Besides, any programming will be just fine on a 4GB machine. The OP doesn't do anything that requires more. A 13in MBA would be much better than a 13in MBP for coding alone. More screen real estate, done deal.

    Let alone that an MBA will runs circles around a non-SSD MBP in everyday tasks. It certainly beats out my standard HDD 27in iMac which has a quad-core CPU and 12GB of RAM in almost everything I do.
     
  17. macrumorsuser10 macrumors 6502

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    Nov 18, 2010
    #17
    I'm a software engineer. I suggest you get a small laptop with an i7 and the biggest monitor you can afford, preferably with 1920x1200 resolution or higher. That's a combination many professionals use, myself included.
     
  18. Medic278 macrumors 6502a

    Medic278

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #18
    I have the 13' i7 and it is lightning fast. However as others have stated the baseline 13 should serve you well. Either way though you don't need to go pro and won't real make use of a quad core. Plus the 13 is a bit lighter and more portable.
     
  19. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

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    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #19
    Right, but given that you can upgrade a MacBook Pro, it will last longer than a MacBook Air. Plus it's not like you can't outfit a MacBook Pro with an SSD (thusly making it, at that point, faster than any MacBook Air). And honestly, as far as the increased resolution, the only people for which that would really matter is graphic artists and even they know better than to rely on JUST 13.3" screen no matter what the resolution.
     
  20. Winni macrumors 68030

    Winni

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Germany.
    #20

    Eclipse and Java perform better on Windows and Linux than they do on a Mac. Also, almost everything that I use to configure, monitor and maintain our satellite-based global network at work either runs on Linux or Windows.

    Except for --wanting-- to own an Apple notebook, what is your rationale behind shopping for a new MacBook? For the price of one MacBook, you can buy two or three more powerful Windows notebooks.

    And please, don't come with the "higher quality" of Apple hardware or other bollocks. Apple notebooks are sort of sexy or have the feeling of a more exclusive car, I give you that, but they certainly do NOT last longer than an IBM/Lenovo, Dell, Samsung, Acer, Asus or Sony notebook. I'm in this business professionally and I have no facts to back the claims of the home users around here that Apple is ah-so superior to the competition. They're not. And compared to Dell's business support, Apple's support is a pathetic joke - at double the price, again. Same day or next business day on-site support from Apple? Forget it. Their protection plans cover bring-in and send-in, that's it.

    Well, it's your money. But you should think about your real world needs and not just about your "wants". Out there, in the business programming and networking world, Windows and Linux are the "lingua francas" and this is NOT going to change. No serious business will tie its IT strategies to a company like Apple that does not even have business products and business support or transparent product roadmaps. Macs have always been and will always be a niche market. Business tools are built and sold elsewhere.
     
  21. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #21
    I will say that, having worked on many PC notebook repairs as well as many MacBook Pro repairs, the Unibody MacBook Pro's engineering and design from a very practical serviceability and durability standpoint is way better than even the best Asus or Lenovo laptop, and those are both PC brands that I hold in high regard. For every other Mac, I think that the whole "world class design and engineering" argument is very fanboy-esque and not based in any form of practicality as every Mac that isn't the MacBook Pro has some flaw that doesn't make it practical for what it is.

    That argument aside, I've never heard of Eclipse being that much slower on a Mac than it is on Windows or Linux, but your other point still stands; Eclipse is a tri-platform piece of software, and you can get a nice PC laptop and still have a nice chunk of change leftover versus a Mac laptop, which will always be pricier.
     
  22. willieva macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    #22
    Or you can get a Mac and run windoze, Linux, and osx simultaneously for the price of one laptop.

    Macs are currently the most versatile computer available. The slight extra cost over an equivalent laptop from another manufacturer, spread over the years of owning it, isn't even a factor. If its the right tool for you then just buy it.
     

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