Should I sell my MacBook Pro? (College)

dfresh

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 22, 2012
22
0
So I'm a high school senior, going to university next year to study electrical engineering. I currently have a 2010 15" MacBook Pro, which rarely leaves my desk at home. I also have a custom built desktop that is MUCH more powerful that the MacBook and I much rather bring that to university than the MacBook. So I'm thinking of selling my MacBook and buying either a MacBook Air or Maybe 13" Pro with Retina Display.

What is your suggestion?
 

dfresh

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 22, 2012
22
0
Schoolwork. I don't know what programs I'm going to be using yet, as I don't know what university I'll be going to yet lol.
 

simon48

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2010
1,315
88
Schoolwork. I don't know what programs I'm going to be using yet, as I don't know what university I'll be going to yet lol.
Well that sure doesn't help me figure out what specs you'll need. ;)

I'm a big fan of the retina display and the 13 rMBP is going to be more powerful then the MBA so I'd lean towards the rMBP. Not really knowing what you'll be doing really narrows it down to mostly personal preference things, if you can I go to an Apple Store and play around with them see what you like.
 

Commy1

macrumors 6502a
Feb 25, 2013
726
69
That sounds like a decent plan.
I find that a portable machine in college is essential in college, the MBA or rMBP is almost overkill for note taking and documents. But I recommend it, always good to have a little excess power when needed.

+1 rMBP
 

dfresh

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 22, 2012
22
0
I found out what programs, probably just word processing, listening to music, and a little AutoCAD. Not much though, since most will be done on my desktop.
 

kelon111

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2013
303
4
I found out what programs, probably just word processing, listening to music, and a little AutoCAD. Not much though, since most will be done on my desktop.
The 13" Pro Retina would work fine for light work. Just be aware of the limitations when buying a Mac laptop. Mac laptops aren't meant to be upgraded or modded or anything like that so as long as you aren't a power user you should be satisfied with it.
 

Jambalaya

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2013
686
98
UK
Why not buy an iPad ? You have the desktop for yor college work. Upgrade desktop to a mac mini too, new one expected sometime ?
 

RoastingPig

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2012
1,605
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SoCal
finishing up my 4th year at ucla as a civil engineer. not much needed besides long battery life for the 6 hour lab + lectures for notes. auto cad should run good on your macbook. excel is needed to.
 

KUguardgrl13

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2013
2,485
109
Kansas, USA
Why not buy an iPad ? You have the desktop for yor college work. Upgrade desktop to a mac mini too, new one expected sometime ?
Mac Mini for electrical engineering? Probably not.

I'd say keep the desktop and sell the old MBP for a new 13" rMBP. The 2.4ghz model with 8gb of ram and the 256gb SSD is a very good deal for a nice laptop after the education discount. I'd definitely go with 8gb of ram over 4gb, especially if you'll be running CAD.

I'm not an engineering major, but I know that many larger universities with big engineering schools have computer labs for their engineering students with very powerful machines and all the programs they need. So that may affect your decision to bring your desktop.
 

Freyqq

macrumors 601
Dec 13, 2004
4,015
169
Just make sure that you keep a laptop and don't rely just on the desktop. In both college in grad school, I took my laptop to class every day to take notes. You are also going to want to be able to go to the library and such. Basically, almost everyone in college (at least freshman) is using a laptop.. You will understand when you get there, but it's two people to a small room and everyone leaves their door open. It's a fun place to hang out and sleep, but it tends to be loud and distracting; you are going to want to study elsewhere. Being tied to a desktop would be a bad idea.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,674
1,766
I'm not an engineering major, but I know that many larger universities with big engineering schools have computer labs for their engineering students with very powerful machines and all the programs they need. So that may affect your decision to bring your desktop.
It's unlikely that he would even hit any of that while in the lower division courses, but as you mention there are computer labs. They are a significantly better idea than going byod.

Just make sure that you keep a laptop and don't rely just on the desktop. In both college in grad school, I took my laptop to class every day to take notes. You are also going to want to be able to go to the library and such. Basically, almost everyone in college (at least freshman) is using a laptop.
I did the same thing. It's much easier to keep track of types notes than a bunch of random paper. For things such as math equations, you can use something that embeds the use of Latex such as google docs. If it's just college work, anything down to a 13" rmbp should be fine. I personally dislike the screen on the air.
 

RITZFit

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2007
1,268
8
In my Corner
Having a laptop for school is a nice convenience but not necessary. I always used plain old pen and paper to take notes (and my phone's camera in a pinch :p )during my undergrad in ME...much easier for copying complex equations and diagrams. Laptops mainly came in handy as reference material for group study/ hw sessions.

Outside of that, the on-campus computer labs and my home computer where more than enough to get the job done.
 

dfresh

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 22, 2012
22
0
Why not buy an iPad ? You have the desktop for yor college work. Upgrade desktop to a mac mini too, new one expected sometime ?
Mac Mini is inferior to what I have now. I won't be replacing it for another 4 or so years.
To give you an overview of specs:
Intel Core i5 4670K
8GB RAM
MSI GTX 760

----------

Mac Mini for electrical engineering? Probably not.

I'd say keep the desktop and sell the old MBP for a new 13" rMBP. The 2.4ghz model with 8gb of ram and the 256gb SSD is a very good deal for a nice laptop after the education discount. I'd definitely go with 8gb of ram over 4gb, especially if you'll be running CAD.

I'm not an engineering major, but I know that many larger universities with big engineering schools have computer labs for their engineering students with very powerful machines and all the programs they need. So that may affect your decision to bring your desktop.
I'm trying to decide, and I'm considering refurbished because I'm kind of cheap :p
What do you suggest?
A)http://store.apple.com/ca/product/FD212LL/A
B)http://store.apple.com/ca/product/FE662LL/A
C)Wait till a Late 2013 shows up...
D)Buy with education discount
 

TechZeke

macrumors 68020
Jul 29, 2012
2,372
1,987
San Antonio, TX
I have friend who had a 2010 15"Macbook Pro and has continued to use in College.

For his uses, 8GB of RAM and an SSD upgrade(granted, it's only SATA II) will let he easily get it through most of college. 2D electrical drawings in AutoCAD or HMI software will probably be the worst thing you will have to run, and it should be more than enough.

(Civil Engineering Major myself)
 

alex.maxham

macrumors newbie
Apr 25, 2012
25
0
I'd go with a 13" Macbook Air with 8GB of RAM. That way it'll last you for a while, and it's still really lightweight to go with your books and such. I wish I had gotten a Macbook Air instead of the rMBP. Even though both are really light.
 

dfresh

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 22, 2012
22
0
I have friend who had a 2010 15"Macbook Pro and has continued to use in College.

For his uses, 8GB of RAM and an SSD upgrade(granted, it's only SATA II) will let he easily get it through most of college. 2D electrical drawings in AutoCAD or HMI software will probably be the worst thing you will have to run, and it should be more than enough.

(Civil Engineering Major myself)
My problem is, that my laptop is wayy too heavy. Even with mere high school textbook plus the laptop is way to heavy for my back. And I'm forgetful, I need to put everything in my backpack.
 

KUguardgrl13

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2013
2,485
109
Kansas, USA
Mac Mini is inferior to what I have now. I won't be replacing it for another 4 or so years.
To give you an overview of specs:
Intel Core i5 4670K
8GB RAM
MSI GTX 760

----------



I'm trying to decide, and I'm considering refurbished because I'm kind of cheap :p
What do you suggest?
A)http://store.apple.com/ca/product/FD212LL/A
B)http://store.apple.com/ca/product/FE662LL/A
C)Wait till a Late 2013 shows up...
D)Buy with education discount
A hasn't been updated since 2012, so keep that in mind. I'd also shy away from traditional hard drives and disc drives as they tend to fail if you carry them around with books and such (just personal experience). It also might not be a huge improvement over what you have. C may or may not happen, so I wouldn't count on it. B or D would be good options. The education discount nocks off about $100 plus gives a discount on AppleCare. The difference between the 2.4 and the 2.6 isn't very much from what I've heard.
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
230
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
My problem is, that my laptop is wayy too heavy. Even with mere high school textbook plus the laptop is way to heavy for my back. And I'm forgetful, I need to put everything in my backpack.
For your needs, I think you might want a 13" rMBP (2.6GHz i5 and whatever amount of RAM you think is necessary).

If you plan to run VMs all the time, consider getting 16GB of RAM.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
64,141
30,738
Boston
My problem is, that my laptop is wayy too heavy. Even with mere high school textbook plus the laptop is way to heavy for my back. And I'm forgetful, I need to put everything in my backpack.
If you're current laptop is way too heavy then the MBA may be the best choice, though I think the 13" rMBP is a better machine, the thinner, lighter MBA may be a better choice
 

dfresh

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 22, 2012
22
0
A hasn't been updated since 2012, so keep that in mind. I'd also shy away from traditional hard drives and disc drives as they tend to fail if you carry them around with books and such (just personal experience). It also might not be a huge improvement over what you have. C may or may not happen, so I wouldn't count on it. B or D would be good options. The education discount nocks off about $100 plus gives a discount on AppleCare. The difference between the 2.4 and the 2.6 isn't very much from what I've heard.
C just happened, so I placed my order. I got quite a deal :D
http://store.apple.com/ca/product/FE865LL/A/refurbished-133-inch-macbook-air-13ghz-dual-core-intel-core-i5
 

stevo88

macrumors newbie
Mar 11, 2014
11
1
Congrats dfresh on the purchase!


I'd go with a 13" Macbook Air with 8GB of RAM. That way it'll last you for a while, and it's still really lightweight to go with your books and such. I wish I had gotten a Macbook Air instead of the rMBP. Even though both are really light.
What makes you say that?

Battery life?