Should I sell my MacBook Pro? (College)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dfresh, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. dfresh macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2012
    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?
  2. simon48 macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
  3. dfresh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2012
    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.
  4. simon48 macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    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.
  5. Commy1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2013
    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
  6. dfresh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2012
    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.
  7. kelon111 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2013
    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.
  8. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2013
    Why not buy an iPad ? You have the desktop for yor college work. Upgrade desktop to a mac mini too, new one expected sometime ?
  9. RoastingPig macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2012
    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.
  10. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    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.
  11. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    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.
  12. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    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.

    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.
  13. RITZFit macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2007
    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.
  14. dfresh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2012
    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?
    C)Wait till a Late 2013 shows up...
    D)Buy with education discount
  15. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    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)
  16. alex.maxham macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2012
    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.
  17. dfresh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2012
    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.
  18. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816


    Feb 17, 2013
    NorCal boonies ~~~by Reno sorta
    I'm only a junior in high school and I lug around my MBP in my binder and don't carry a backpack :eek: Talk about heavy :)
  19. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    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.
  20. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    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.
  21. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    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
  22. dfresh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2012
    C just happened, so I placed my order. I got quite a deal :D
  23. Barney63 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2014
    Bolton, UK.
  24. stevo88 macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2014
    Congrats dfresh on the purchase!

    What makes you say that?

    Battery life?
  25. alex.maxham macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2012
    Yep. Macbook Air Battery life is insane, and great for those in college as you can do a long study session without needing a charger.

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