rMBP for college?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Zerka, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. Zerka macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2014
    San Jose,CA
    So I'm in the market for a laptop for college. I'm undecided but I plan on either software engineering or comp. sci. I've narrowed down my choices to two retina MacBook Pros, the specs of each as followed:

    2.6 GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5,
    8GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
    256GB PCIe-based Flash Storage
    Priced at $1,399

    2.8 GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5
    8GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
    512GB PCIe-based Flash Storage
    Priced at $1,699

    My biggest selling point is, mainly, the storage space. I plan on either dual booting Windows with BootCamp or using a VM to run Windows. The processor isn't much of a factor, as I've gotten by on 2.4 GHz on my Lenovo Y500 comfortably for the past two years. So my question is, will the 256 GB SSD be sufficient for 4 years at college? Or should I save up for to get the model with 512 GBs? Also, as an alternative to buying the 512 GB SSD model, will using the 256 GB SSD for mainly programs and what not while storing most of my files on a 1 TB external HDD be a good idea? the $1,699 is just a bit out of my budget, while $1,399 is a little more feasible.
  2. freeskier93 macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2008
    FWIW I'm in engineering (aerospace major comp sci minor) and find 256 GB to be plenty. I do have a second internal drive but the ONLY thing it has on it is media. I'm currently using 91 GB on the SSD, which even includes a lot of large programs like Matlab. I don't run a VM (or Windows at all) but definitely have enough space to.

    I also think you'll find you don't need Windows as much as you think. Although it's totally dependent on what kind of programming you're doing. For me it's pretty much all Matlab, Fortran, and C++. Pretty much all the professors/faculty use Macs for their research and coding where I go to school.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I have a 256GB SSD and I dual boot into windows and OS X. Both fit nicely, but I will say that I needed to move my iTunes library off to an external disk. If you plan on having other media type files, images, music, movies. It will be better I think in the long run to get the 512GB SSD.
  4. blooperz macrumors 6502

    Dec 10, 2013
    256 should be fine for all your main stuff...and especially if the latter is out of your budget it would make sense to go the external route, which one should use for media anyways otherwise you'll fill up your drive regardless of how large it is. I use the 3TB airport extreme and find it really convenient since I have it set up so that I can access its contents remotely, so I always have the files accessible without having to lug it around =).
  5. AllergyDoc macrumors 65816


    Mar 17, 2013
    Utah, USA
    Have you looked at the refurbs on Apple.com? You can get your sencond configuration for $1,409.
  6. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    I'd go with the refurb to get 512. If you are going to do either comp sci or software engineering (in my day... se was a speciality under CS so) and you want to dual boot into Windows, you may want to use things like Visual Studio which take up quite a bit of space. I think 512 would be the ideal amount of space for having dual boot and running various programs that you might want to run.
  7. Yoshi Yogurt macrumors regular

    Nov 5, 2010
    I would go 512GB simply for leisurely storage. I have something like 10,000 songs which is like 100gigs and like 30ish steam games which is about another 100gigs.
  8. Zerka thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2014
    San Jose,CA
    So here's my dilemma...

    First and foremost, I know that many people have different opinions on this, please give them all. Thank you!

    So, I've decided on getting a rMBP with the following: 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD. Now the problem comes as to whether I should get a 13" laptop or a 15" laptop. I'm going to be going to college soon, either as an SE major or computer info systems, and I want a new laptop. This one will be primarily for school, so I want it to be portable. From what I've heard, the 15" isn't as portable or optimal for carrying around, but others say it's just as portable as the 13". I do like the quad core aspect of the 15". What's your opinion? Would screen real estate be important for me, considering my majors? Note: my current laptop already functions as a desktop replacement so I won't need it for that. If there's anymore information I've omitted that you want to know, please don't hesitate to ask :D

    P.S. The price is obviously an issue here, but I don't mind saving up for a few months to get the more expensive option, I just need to know which one will be the best for college/my situation
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
  10. jdsipod macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2011
    Iowa City, IA
    Honestly, I would go with then 15inch rMBP. I'm a fourth year college student, and I have brought my 15in MBP with me to every class and haven't had a single issue with the portability with it. The weight is about the same between the two, so that really isn't an issue.

    I would also say that you should save up and purchase a bigger hard drive. If you are like me, you are going to be using your computer for a long time before you replace it, and you can't upgrade the retina's like you can the non retinas. You will be begging to have a bigger hard drive in it, and your only option will be to get an external.
  11. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    You'll want the 13". Portability is a big deal. I'm even looking at a Macbook Air right now because my 13" (non retina) MBP is so heavy carrying to campus everyday.

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