Opinions Needed! Future college kid needs a MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Davewithak, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. Davewithak macrumors regular

    Mar 7, 2011
    Hello! I know there are plenty of long threads about the next generation of MBPs with a lot of speculation, but I need opinions. I'm graduating in May and my mom was planning on getting me a MBP as a graduation present. I've done research and saw all of the stuff about new ones with Retina screens and MBA-style bodies, but I'm just unsure.

    I need the MBP for college, which starts in August/September. I know the new models are supposedly coming out this summer, but I'm afraid that Apple will wait and I'll have to start school without a laptop. I don't want to not buy one, thinking they'll come out in June/July and then Apple not release them until later. Should I go ahead and buy the newest model available now or wait and see what happens this summer?

    It would suck to buy a late 2011 model in August and then Apple release a brand new MBP in September.
  2. shanimal macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2011
    I would just wait if youre not starting until September. if there isnt any sign that Apple will be releasing one any time soon in August/September than i would get one then, but if you can wait than i would. Assuming you dont need one right now, there really isnt anything bad that could happen. if you wait the price wont go up o you could find a better deal waiting until the end(ish) of the year.
  3. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    Wait as long as you can and buy when they come out. However, if school is starting, just buy what is available. You don't want to be setting up a new computer in the middle of a semester if you can avoid it.
  4. rockyroad55 macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    I would also wait until about a week before you move in/start classes. Plus, if you do wait, Apple will have their back to school sale around that time so you get whatever they offer.
  5. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011

    It would suck to buy a Mac too, and have your curriculum say you need a Windows computer. Been there, done that, and having to now buy the daughter a Windows machine for engineering school because they refuse to support windows bootcamped or in a VM.

    Check the curriculum requirements before buying anything. But to answer, I'd hold off until the new ones are announced or school is starting and you need one, whichever comes first. Everything about what the new ones will bring is still all just speculation. They'll be what Apple says they'll be. Wait until the announcement, unless you require a build to order machine old ones will still be in the sales channel

    My money is on Apple releasing the new MBP's with the release of Mt Lion, and given Intel announced yesterday IvyBridge isn't shipping in quantity until June/July my money is on a Sept MBP refresh
  6. Davewithak thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 7, 2011
    I didn't think to check the curriculum to be sure I can even use a Mac, thank you very much! I looked and it says Macs are acceptable.

    Thanks for your input everyone, I think I'll definitely wait until late August/early September (depending on when classes start). As someone mentioned, Apple will be having their back to school sale, so that's a plus. Also, if something happens (for example, Apple removing the CD/DVD drive) and I don't want the newer MBP, I will be able to get the older model for a cheaper price.
  7. Agent-P macrumors 68030


    Dec 5, 2009
    The Tri-State Area
    Why would the school care if Windows was being run on Apple hardware via bootcamp versus any PC hardware manufacturer? It's the same thing as buying a Dell/Toshiba/HP/Sony Windows laptop. The hardware differs, but the software is the same across all of them. (this isn't directed at you in particular, I'm just wondering why the school is so uptight about it).
  8. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    Lol. And you caved in over this silly nonsense? It's an Intel based machine - same as everything else except it has an Apple on it. End of story.
  9. malman89 macrumors 68000

    May 29, 2011
    Just wait and see what happens. Back to school deals don't even start until maybe end of May/June, and if there is an Intel Ivy Bridge delay until June, then Apple should (hopefully) launch an update around then anyway (if not sooner).

    Also, need to change your thinking. Title should be: "Opinions Needed! Future college kid wants a MBP". There's nothing one "needs" a MBP for at college.
  10. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011

    It has to do with what they'll support. Although I'd have no qualms with doing it myself, in reality all users are not savvy enough to support their own machines, my daughter being one of them. Apple won't support Windows, and Microsoft won't support Mac hardware nor VMware if I went that route.. While I disagree, it's about what the school will support.

    It's not a matter of "caving in" it's a matter of their policy. Their policy says they don't support it, and you're on your own.
  11. shootingrubber macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2009
    Buy a cheap refurbished one, sell for the same amount as what you bought it for or slightly cheaper when the new one's come out, then buy the new one. You won't be without a computer for any length of time. Problem solved ;)
  12. Dejta macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2012
    Sounds exciting.
    I'd say it's best to have your gift before Sept., If you want it get it, you'll never know what tomorrow holds. It's about enjoying your MBP.:cool:
  13. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    It works well enough. You do run into a few quirks with drivers and bootcamp partitioning.

    By vmware you mean their fusion windows shell? You can install Windows, and it does behave like a Windows box for the most part. You have a couple missing keys, a few wonky drivers from Apple, and their hit and miss partitioning scheme. It works well enough. I'm curious about their policy though as I've never heard of this. It just said "no macs" or something? I haven't seen any really crippling problems that are unique to bootcamp personally, but if I spent most of my time in Windows, I'd buy a Windows computer. You aren't limited to cheap junk at that budget range (although the only thing made well these days seems to be server hardware).
  14. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    Wait, at the very least, you'll get the summer student discount!
  15. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
    While they don't specifically say "No Mac's" they do list that the software that they're using in engineering school is specifically for Windows, and that while they are aware that you can run Windows on a Mac it's 100% unsupported by their in-house IT (and why they reached that decision). Basically a "you can choose to do this but you're doing it alone" type scenario. This is not the school as a whole, just the students with majors in some of the Engineering disciplines. Here it is verbatim (would have posted a link but couldn't find one that didn't need a logon)

    Recommendations on Computers for Incoming 1st Year Students
    arriving August 2011
    U.Va. School of Engineering and Applied Science
    Q: I hear that Windows7 runs on the Apple Mac computers. Will a Mac laptop work for
    me if I'm an incoming engineering student?
    Response by Prof. M. C. Rosen, CTO, U.Va. SEAS Posted: 5/18/11; rev. 1
    A: Most of the software used throughout the Engineering School curriculum is available
    in editions that run on Microsoft Windows. This general compatibility is not the case for
    the Mac OS or Linux.
    Running Windows on a Mac
    Technically it could work, but it is not a supported option and therefore not
    recommended for everyone at this time.
    The University has implemented a plan that allows remote access to some Windows
    software titles from a Mac. This project goes from pilot to production rollout this Fall,
    and provides access in a way that wasn't possible a year ago. Unfortunately, not all of the
    titles used in engineering programs were included, and the need to run some Windows
    application software on your laptop remains necessary.
    Apple has some nice laptops. There are some key considerations to incorporate in
    making your decision:
    [1] U.Va. Bookstore's Cavalier Computers sells Windows 7 Ultimate Edition installation
    discs for $15 to students who own MACs.
    [2] Running Windows under virtualized environments on Intel-based Macs that include
    Parallels, VMware Fusion, Virtualbox or emulation software such as Codeweavers
    CrossOver on Mac OS X is an unsupported option.
    Many Windows applications will work under such virtualization. However, software
    versions are updated each year and there's no way to test ahead. There is no guarantee
    that all the Windows-based software or your devices (incl. some peripherals) will work
    correctly in that mode, and that the virtualization not interfere when you are trying to
    work in the Mac mode.
    Page 1 of 2The use of Parallels ($79.99), Fusion ($39.99) & Virtualbox (free download) consumes
    system resources (CPU, RAM) when running Windows sessions/software. The choice of
    MAC hardware model is relevant. For example, MacBook Air configured with 2GB RAM
    would not be sufficient.
    Keyboard mappings are different as well as the mouse operations on the Mac compared
    with Windows. When running Windows software or running even just in virtualization
    modes, this takes some getting used to even for some experienced users.
    [3] An alternative that only shares hard drive space, but not system resources is Apple's
    Even though BootCamp is included by Apple in the current operating system, Apple's
    support does not cover a lot of questions on Windows running on their hardware,
    Microsoft doesn't support Windows running on Apple hardware, and the U.Va.'s ITC
    Help Desk does not support dual boot or virtualization modes.
    The bottom line is in either the virtualization mode or dual boot mode, you're on your
    own to try and make it work. This appeals to a limited set of Engineering School
    If you feel comfortable providing your own self-help technical support, and are willing to
    find creative ways to get your work done should it turn out that a particular program or
    device doesn't operate properly, then maybe you are a Mac person.
    Students enrolled in some majors do more intensive computing tasks than others, but I
    can not recommend a path based on major. About half of our incoming students don't
    know what major they want, and a portion of those that do when they applied to U.Va.
    wind up changing their mind once they are enrolled and learn more about the different
    choices of majors that we offer
  16. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Sounds like the engineering department have never used bootcamp before. There are mechanical engineering students on here all the time using MBPs, seems like a bit of laziness as far as the uni is concerned.
  17. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    You considered an air? Unless you NEED mobile 3d graphics (which suck battery BAD) or the increased ports, the Airs are MUCH faster in general use due to the SSD, and much lighter to carry around in a backpack.

    Of course a pro with SSD will be faster again, but the weight is definitely noticable...

    with ivy bridge i the new air (when it comes out) i'd suggest that the benefit of buying a pro over an air would be even less. the HD3000 is not bad GPU wise (ivy bridge will be even better), and much less power draw...
  18. macmastersam macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2011
    Essex, england
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    OP, I would say just buy it now or when you need/want it. At least you will be assured that it will last through your whole course of college and probably a few years after that.
  19. dank414 macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2011
    You don't need any VM for it and boot camp definitely is the better choice because you're computer isn't dying from sharing cpu/gpu/memory. There should be no hardware issue. *Funny thing is tech support should be able to assist you when you're running Win OS (unless they get confused with CMD key X).

    With that said, I agree with the comment above. Mac is a want, not a need. Get what you need for college, then get what you want when you're bling'ing. If not, wait until back to school sale. You'll get either $200 GC to Apps Store or iPod Touch (or something else), and free cheapo printer w/ rebate. It's worth it.
  20. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    All good points. I hereby yield to your logic.
  21. rockyroad55 macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    I would get a Windows laptop to be on the safe side. I wouldn't want to risk my education because I didn't buy the right laptop at the time. Take a tour of the school if you haven't done so already and ask to sit in on some classes if you can. Look around and see what people are using.
  22. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
    And for their stupidity I get to pay $24k a year for the daughters tuition.. :( Really does make you wonder when you see the complaints about the American education system doesn't it? UVA while not Ivy League isn't a podunk community college either.

    I run a big IT department, Mac was a no brainer for me to buy her. Never saw UVA's policy coming.
  23. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    They may have a few quirks even under bootcamp, but I don't understand how given the popularity of them among college students, they wouldn't just test this stuff properly. The bootcamp drivers have a couple bugs, but it's much more fluid than using Parallels or bootcamp. Autodesk actually certified 3ds max on a number of macs under Parallels and this IT department can't figure out how to support bootcamp :rolleyes:? With that kind of tuition they should be able to stay up to date with things:mad:.
  24. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    I share your pain my friend. I've got one at Kansas State. $20k with academic scholarships. :eek:

    But the university is pretty much all macs (basically get what you want). They have their own Apple genius/repair center on campus.

    Got mine a MBP for HS graduation. It didn't ever occur to me that a learning institution would have any type of OS requirement. I can see it for specialized engineering courses, maybe for grad students but not for freshman who have no clue about their future like my kid. :D
  25. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    when it comes to requirements in college, the program you are in will have the machines in a lab setting...which is nice as they will have all the software so you don't need to license out the expensive sw on your own machine and are frankly much faster than any personal computer. Plus the labs generate a community within your major

    for a personal computer, which all you will do is write reports, internet, etc, anything is fine

    I got by with a mac back when it was much harder to co-exist with windows and I was in engineering. No issues as for any program, I had the labs. Even if one had a windows pc, they couldn't run the programs as they couldnt afford the license cost for the applications

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