Price versus longevity: 13" or 15"?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mktucker, May 23, 2010.

  1. mktucker macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Location:
    CA
    #1
    Hi, I've read up on the forums and this seems to be a common question, though I do hope not to be too repetitive...

    I'm an engineering student and after a few months of serious research, I've decided to take the plunge and get my first Mac! Unfortunately, since I have to run AutoCAD, SolidWorks, and MATLAB, dual booting or running some sort of virtual machine for Windows is a necessity.

    Since I have to run these processor hungry programs I originally wanted to jump on the new i5 model, but as a student I really would prefer something more mobile and affordable (the 13"). If I'm going to spend 1000+ dollars on a laptop I'd really like to have something that has some technological longevity and I'm afraid the 13" won't do it. Plus, can you blame me? The i5 is just sexy...

    I do know that I can get an educational discount and that the back to school sales are coming soon (Sadly I cannot participate in the tax free holidays as I live in CA).

    So as a college student what would you suggest, price (13") or longevity (15")*?

    *the last laptop I had I kept for nearly 5 years...
     
  2. aigoya macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    #2
    I had the 13" pro, and I want to say that i have random lockups during VMware. (it freezes for 2-10 seconds if i'm trying to multitask).

    I'd say go with the 15"
    And macconnection has their products for free shipping + no tax + rebate if you are interested. thats where i got mine.
     
  3. PsychOfMSE macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #4
    I would say get the 13". That's what I have and it runs the Autodesk suite fine, with only 2 gigs of ram. I'm sure it would be even faster with 4. A 13" will last you just as long as a 15", regardless of processor. You don't want to run CAD in a VM, I will tell you that for certain. No matter what CPU you have, software like that will lag in a virtual machine.

    Screen size on the 13 is too small for CAD though, so you would want to get a monitor with that, which I would probably do even if I had a bigger computer.
     
  5. mktucker thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Location:
    CA
    #5
    I was actually a bit more biased toward the idea of dual booting since it'll keep me in "school mode" with windows and everything else would be on Mac OSX. I've heard the battery performance while dual booting windows is really quite sad, but do you know anything about processor performance?
     
  6. mktucker thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Location:
    CA
    #6
    I actually hadn't even considered the idea of getting a SSD with a 13". You pretty much have me sold. Thanks.
     
  7. mktucker thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Location:
    CA
    #7
    Thanks, I'll definitely be dual booting then. I also did plan on keeping the monitor from my current desktop...hoping to do some cool docking station. Overall great advice, definitely made me take a second look at the 13".
     
  8. aumnevergiveup macrumors member

    aumnevergiveup

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Location:
    Indonesia
    #8
    i'll go for 15. i had 13" at my home. it's good for flexibility, but about performance, i go with i5. it'll be my next upgrade :D
     

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