studying computer science in the fall, which laptop?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jg216, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. jg216 macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2012
    I will be studying computer science in the fall, also i do a lot of developing (apps) in my free time. I edit video lightly and watch movies and use iTunes. I do not game very often at all.

    Which laptop better suits me? The Macbook pro 13" high end
    or the Macbook air 13" base model

    to me MBP is faster more powerful more memory
    MBA is lighter more convenient, less memory (but it will be flash), it is not as poweful, but is it powerful enough?
  2. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Software development AND video editing?

    Careful, just now people will be telling you that you won't get by with anything less than a quad core CPU, retina display and 16 GB of RAM.

    Seriously though, both would be fine for you. If you're getting the MBA, upgrade it to 8 GB of RAM. If you get the MBP, upgrade the RAM yourself. Both have more than enough grunt for your uses.

    An external monitor will be the best thing you can buy yourself. Working at 1920 or 2560 width in Xcode, or any other IDE, is a pleasure. Anything less is not as much fun.

    Another guy had similar questions as you yesterday:
  3. samac92 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2008
    All will be powerful enough. If you do go for the pro, go for the low end one
  4. jg216 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2012
    to tell you the truth, i want the macbook pro more than i want the air
    the only thing bothering me now is the resolution

    the 13 air has 1440X900
    the 13 pro is 1280x800

    will that make much of a difference for me? or should that not influence my decision so much?
  5. espiritujo macrumors member


    Sep 19, 2011
    columbia, sc
    I would go for the MBP. I recently used a friends MBA for a couple of weeks, taking it to classes with me and what not. While I found the lightness and portability great, I also had the MBP in my backpack. There really isn't a difference in portability with the Air compared to the 13' pro in my opinion.

    I'm basing this only on my experience with it. Everything that I could do on an Air I could do on a pro, and I'm sure many others can argue the opposite. I just like having the Pro because I don't need to bother having to carry an optical drive.
  6. jg216 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2012
    this picture would be what i would order, i can conclude that it is worth the extra 100 dollars for the much more powerful processor

    Attached Files:

  7. jg216 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2012
    this also brings me to my next question, solid state drive or not!? I already have an external 320gb HD which i dont mind using. and since 2007 ive been using a macbook with 160gb and now i have about 60 remaining.

    Is it silly to spend the extra money for a very low capacity flash storage drive when i get 750 gb included? should i order it with the regular HD, and maybe sometime down the road buy a third party SSD drive which will be larger and more cost efficient?
  8. 88 King macrumors 6502

    88 King

    Jun 18, 2011
    London, UK
    It really depend on personal preference, I can't stand working on any portable laptop with less than 1600X900 screen for long, either coding or general Office work.

    I'd suggest an 24" 1900X1200 monitor and large external hard drive for either the 13" air or mbp.

    The air is nicer looking and lighter with higher resolution screen. However, with the 13" mbp you get a much more powerful CPU and GPU and the ability to increase both ram and storage space much cheaper.

    So it all depend on your budget and what are the main features you are looking for in the laptop.

    P.S. With the 13" mbp, you can install an additional hard drive inplace of the optical drive, so you can have a ssd as main drive and a hard drive for storage.
  9. JesseW6889 macrumors 6502

    Dec 12, 2010
    If you're carrying the Pro with you at the same time, you're losing all of the benefit of the Air anyways! Of course it didn't matter to you!

    Try just taking the Air, you'll notice the difference.
  10. bogatyr macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    The only benefits of the MBP is the processor and upgradability.

    The Air comes with an SSD, portability and slightly higher resolution.

    If you weren't doing video work, I'd say Air hands down, but I'm not sure how big of a difference the MBP processor makes in video work.
  11. danetello macrumors 6502

    Dec 23, 2010
    London, UK
    I would say either the low end pro or high end air
  12. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    Personally I would favour a drive which can fit everything you need to store on it so that you don't need to rely on the external HD, because then you always have everything with you, wherever you take the laptop. Don't get me wrong, SSDs are way faster, but the larger sizes are not for everyone due to the cost. It's quite straightforward to swap the drive yourself later on and move to an SSD. That's what I did. They will get cheaper.
  13. espiritujo macrumors member


    Sep 19, 2011
    columbia, sc
    Well yeah there were definitely times when I only took the Air, but the difference I noticed was not a whole lot. It was probably due to my large backpack and how many books I walked around with, I was just so used to the heavy load anyways! But I can't say I didn't like the Air. I would definitely take one, but I would make sure to have bought a Pro first. The Air to me seems more like a luxury item than a necessity.

Share This Page