Pls. help a confused Mac Noob(MB Vs. MBP)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by parthc007, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. parthc007 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    #1
    So, i am kinda new to this macworld and its really tempting to make a switch from the PC side of the world, But i have a few questions which are confusing the hell outta me!

    Alright so i will be going into second year electrical engineering this year and have a few questions:

    1. Would a Macbook with 2GB ram able to suffice the need for running all the engineering programs like Matlab and some simulation circuitry as well? or i should get the base PRO?

    2. I am planning to keep the lappy for the next 3-4 years- so which laptop would be more durable down the road? the MB or the Pro?

    3. In terms of portability, i will need to carry the laptop around classes and to and from the university, so is the pro portable enough? Also, is the new MBP's battery life same as the MB?

    I am a light gamer, mostly racing games (NFS and the like)....and like to play games occasionally.

    so yeah the question is : shud i get a mB with 2 GB ram or spend $300 more and get the baseline MBP for electrical engineering?

    NOte: I am going to be running parallel's for all the eng applications including matlab and circuit sim(or w/e its called!)

    SO yeah, shed some light and some advice!

    Thanks in advance,
    Hoping to be a valued member of the Mac World soon!:p
     
  2. Roguepirate macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    #2
    I just got my first mac (SR MBP) and I run the same programs that youre thinking of running, Matlab, Pspice/Cadence, LabView. These programs ran fine on my old dell which was a 1.4ghz pent M, 1.5gb memory, radeon 9000 mobile graphics. One of the reasons i decided on a MBP instead of the MB was screen size. MB only have a 13" screen, my old laptop was 14" and i had problems with real estate especially with matlab when i had 5-10 plot windows popping up. Labview the extra room will help if you want to see your front panel and the rest of your vi (sorry the name escapes me). Pspice, sometimes it helps to have a large enough screen to see your schematic and waveforms without completely hiding each other. So there it is, my decision was based more on screen size than processing power, at least for those programs anyway.

    and for light gaming, i dont think an integrated graphics card cut it, but i could be wrong.
     
  3. Alloye macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    Location:
    Rocklin, CA
    #3
    The MacBook has a more rugged case and is slightly more portable. But in your case, the MacBook Pro might be a better option. It will provide a much better gaming experience, plus being able to install/use a full 4GB or RAM will give you a bit more breathing room for those virtual machines.
     
  4. Trepex macrumors 6502a

    Trepex

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    #4
    From my own experience, apps like multisim, matlab, p-spice, p-cad, etc. can really benefit from a powerful machine. That said, it's not really visualization so there's no reason that you'd have trouble with the macbook instead of a MBP. I used my Athlon64 for 4 years on that stuff and didn't have much trouble, so a core2duo will be able to destroy :)

    In terms of gaming on a Macbook, don't plan on it. The integrated video makes that pretty much a no no.
     
  5. Trepex macrumors 6502a

    Trepex

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    #5
    Good point on a larger screen being useful for schematic layouts. I hate having to scroll around a lot.
     
  6. bigus7674 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    #6
    Macbook vs Macbook Pro

    If you're going to be using any type of CAD / 3D / engineering type of software, I would recommend getting the Macbook Pro. The reasons for this follow: the new Macbook Pro supports up to 4GB of RAM, whereas the Macbook only supports up to 2GB. Intensive applications such as the ones you will probably be using will benefit from having more RAM available for performance.

    Working in tangent with that, the Macbook Pro has a dedicated video card, whereas the Macbook actually has an integrated video chip that uses the system's RAM (up to 64MB) as a virtual video card. This could also slow things down because if you have say, 512MB of RAM installed, only about 448MB will be available to the system and applications because the 64MB will be used for the video. Also, some CAD and 3D applications use the video card for most of the rendering to alleviate the burden on the CPU itself; this will actually be noted in the individual software requirements - if it lists a video card requirement, then it most likely uses that for rendering.

    So, I think for the extra $300, you will be much happier and get better performance from the Macbook Pro. And then over time, as finances allow, I would definitely put as much RAM into the system as you can afford. If you're in the US, a place that I buy my RAM from and has one of the lowest prices I've seen is from Data Memory Solutions. This link will take you right to the page for Macbook Pro memory: http://www.datamemorysystems.com/MacBook_Pro_Memory.asp

    As for portability, if you want to be portable, get the 15" display model. You can always connect it to a larger screen when at home or in your dorm room if needed, but will still be fairly portable. Macbooks have a 13.3" screen, just for comparison.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. Roguepirate macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
  8. parthc007 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    #8
    Thanks for the replies...
    It seems that both MB and pro will be able to handle the load efficiently and the MBP would be a better choice due to the larger screen estate....but when it comes to durablity, which one is more reliable and durable after 3-4 years, the MB or the Pro?

    ALso, is the battery life of the Pro comparable to MB, can someone shed some light on the real world battery life of the MBP with the brightness set to minimum?
     
  9. L3X macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Location:
    Chesapeake, VA
    #9
    get the MBP. You will benefit from the video card and extra memory if you ever need it down the road. The MBP will hold it's value a lot better than the MB too.

    A friend of mine has a G4 PB and it's been going strong for 4 years.
     
  10. jayeskreezy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    #10
    throw one of these cases on it and it'll be just as rugged as the mb
     

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