rMBP 15" for College

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jack584, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. jack584 macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2010
    So I'm a senior in high school and I will be going off to college next year, and I will be needing a laptop. I have been looking at the rMBP 15" because I want something that I will be able to use for movies and some light gaming, as well as for school stuff. I would preferably want to keep the laptop for the whole 4 years that I am at school for. If I were to get one, I would be waiting for the next refresh, and would most likely max out the ram and get the best processor. Will the rMBP 15" be a good computer for college? Keep in mind I would not want to have to get a second desktop computer for movies and the games like I would if I got a MBA instead.
  2. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011

    Hard to say without knowing what your major is. Good for instance, my daughter is in Aerospace Engineering and her school has a policy that they don't support Macs in the engineering departments..

    Regardless of what people say here, is what are the schools requirements.
  3. Zauberer macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2010
    I think the 15" rMBP is a great laptop for your needs (college + light gaming). I have a regular MBP and I found it portable enough to bring to classes, etc. If you are in a major that requires Windows, boot camp is fairly painless to set-up.
  4. touko macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2012
    It really depends on your major. If the coursewares you need is available on OS X, then it's going to be a great choice. If not, you can still run the bootcamp (or buy a Windows laptop).

    I'm using 15" rMBP. As a CS major, it is a godsend. I can do UNIX/POSIX programming without fuss of setting up some third-party support like in Windows. Most importantly, terminal/text editors shine perfectly with Retina display.
  5. TC400 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 20, 2010
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    I will be off to college in January and I'm looking to pick up a rMBP 15 inch. I think its a great laptop for you as well!
  6. jack584 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2010
    Yes, I forgot to mention that I will be able to use a mac. So now that I know what I will be getting all I have to do now is wait for the next refresh which will hopefully bring new Haswell processors and better graphics :D
  7. arnamak macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2012
    It's easy to get carried away and think that "better" is always better.
    What I mean by that is, yes, the 15" rMBP is definitely the best laptop Apple offers. But who was it made for? Was it made for light gaming, word processing, occasional photo/video editing, and web-based activities such as netflix, reddit, facebook, etc? No! It was made for hardcore professionals who's lives/careers depend on their computer, people that need a machine that can compile and export a full length 1080p movie on a laptop without it falling all over itself, all while running more applications in the background. Will you be doing that at school? Highly doubtful.

    People seem to think that just because a computer is at the bottom of Apple's gene pool it means it's not good enough. As a society we're trained to not buy the cheapest thing available because it won't be as reliable or whatever as the more expensive things. But this is Apple we're talking about, they don't make cheap things. Apple makes quality products all around, from phones to desktops, and their products never stray from anything short of fantastic.

    It's easy to buy a $2400 computer and love it, but you never even gave yourself a chance to buy a cheaper one and see how you feel about that. For the purposes you use that $2400 one for, the cheaper one could perform them in the same exact way, and you would never know about it.

    I game, I produce music through Logic and Ableton, I watch movies, listen to music, I take web-browsing to a new level of tabs and time wasted, I program, I handle all of my school work, I do all of that at a high resolution, and I use flash architecture. I achieve all of this with a 1.8GHz 2012 13" MacBook Air. Buzzwords you see in the "tech specs" of apple.com are made to draw you into buying the more expensive machines, but the lower spec'd ones aren't as low tier as you would think. They're not low tier at all, these machines are nothing short of ridiculous.

    Try a cheaper model, buy it and return it a week later if you want, but from a junior in college to an incoming freshman: you're about to become poor, save your money where you can. Or blow all of the money you would have spent on the retina, get an air or a pro, and spend the rest on accessories like displays, appletv, speakers, storage, etc.

    PS I switched from a 2010 2.4GHz 13" Pro to a 15" retina (for about a week) to a 2012 13" 1.8GHz Air. Guess which one is my favorite. Hint: it's the one I still have.

    PPS Comedian Louis C.K. edited and produced the entire second season of his show "Louie" (Thursdays, FX. A show that is broadcasted on cable television) by himself with a 13" MacBook Pro. Will you really be using your 15" retina, a much more sophisticated machine, for more than that?
  8. Haiku214 macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2012
    This is basically more of a "want" than a "need". You absolutely do not need a $2400 for school. When I was an electrical engineer undergrad, I used a $1200 dell inspiron laptop for the whole 4 years without a single problem.

    Now if you want to game too, it depends on what kinds of games you want to play and how often do you play.
  9. jack584 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2010
    I will be doing graphic design which will require the fast processor, and it is why I want the retina version for the higher resolution.
  10. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    Don't compromise and buy a cheaper model ... you only live once and will love the retina screen!

    Either go with the 15" rMBP if you want a larger screen and don't mind the larger footprint, otherwise buy the 13" rMBP. When you're staring at the screen all day retina is worth it for sure.
  11. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2011
  12. zackkmac macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    I'm a sophomore in college and had a 2.7/16/512 rMBP. Then I decided I didn't really need it, sold it, bought a 17", upgraded it to 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM, added AppleCare and had over $1200 leftover. Much happier with that decision. It's a great laptop but with the screen "lottery" and lag issues, I don't think it's worth it unless you need it. When it refreshes with Haswell, though, it will probably be my next laptop. :)
  13. mackid1993 macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2009
    Make sure the programs that you will be using support the retina display. In my opinion to few things are supported by the retina display, therefore things tend to look worse in comparison to the stuff that is designed for it.
  14. Moshe1010 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2010
    You can always buy Parallels for $40 and run Windows.
  15. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Graphic design isn't terribly cpu intensive outside of motion graphics. If you're working with motion graphics, heavier scenes could still choke that machine.
  16. theineffablebob macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2012
    I'm a Computer Science: Game Design major and I replaced my gaming desktop with the 15" rMBP. Works fine for all of my needs. Plays games great and being able to work with both Mac and Windows is great for programming.

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