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Fluxiipie

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 20, 2021
4
0
Hi, soooo i'm studying software (computer science), and I wanna buy my first mac, but I'm unsure which to buy, and which config would be the most fitting...

I'm considering the following configs but I'm happily taking suggestions/recommendations!

- M1 pro 16 Gb memory 512 Gb SSD 8 core cpu
- M1 pro 16 Gb memory 512 Gb SSD 10 core cpu

- M1 pro 16 Gb memory 1 Tb SSD 8 core cpu
- M1 pro 16 Gb memory 1 Tb SSD 10 core cpu

- M1 pro 32 Gb memory 512 Gb SSD 8 core cpu
- M1 pro 32 Gb memory 512 Gb SSD 10 core cpu

I'm unsure of what other info to include, so feel free to request info that is required to be able to help me :)
 

kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
1,281
556
To be honest, a Macbook Air with 16GB memory and 512GB storage would probably be just fine. I think the only thing you really need is that 16GB minimum memory.

If you expect to be doing some reasonably serious work (very large projects, multiple large simultaneously active VM's, etc), my guess is that the resource you'll run out of first will be memory, which would suggest the 32GB 8-core Pro.

The choice of 512GB or 1TB storage is almost impossible to decide at a distance. You can always add external storage or archive stuff to an external drive. If you are a junk collector, or if you're going to keep a ton of music / movies / photos there too, the 1TB drive might be a better choice. I can't imagine that you'll need more than a couple hundred GB for actual schoolwork.

As a point of reference, I can (if necessary) do actual DBMS development work in a linux VM on my late 2013 rMBP with 16GB memory, quad-core i7, and 256GB of storage. It's not my preferred mode of operation but it's perfectly adequate. An m1 Air would almost certainly leave my laptop in the dust. I don't think you will have a problem no matter which one you pick.
 

Fluxiipie

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 20, 2021
4
0
Hi, so i'm slowly but surely figuring out that i want to buy one of the new macbooks, but i'm having a bit of struggle choosing which configuraiton.

- 14'' 1tb ssd 16 gb ram 8 core cpu 14 core gpu
- 14'' 512 gb ssd 32 gb ram 8 core cpu 14 core gpu
- 16'' 512 gb ssd 16 gb ram 10 core 14 core gpu

I'm a computer science student so i'll mainly be developing on the machine as well as consuming multimedia, one of the restraints for me buying one of the macbook straight away is that i'm currently doing a project working with WPF C# (.net), do you guys know a work-around on how to use that on a mac, with acceptable performance.
 

chabig

macrumors G4
Sep 6, 2002
11,299
8,998
The 14" machine is more portable. The 16" machine is a beast to lug around. Once you decide which size you prefer, but the configuration that best fits your budget. Don't worry about cores. If money is tight, stick with 16GB. If you can happily afford 32GB, get that (but consider it a luxury not a necessity).
 

Fluxiipie

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 20, 2021
4
0
The 14" machine is more portable. The 16" machine is a beast to lug around. Once you decide which size you prefer, but the configuration that best fits your budget. Don't worry about cores. If money is tight, stick with 16GB. If you can happily afford 32GB, get that (but consider it a luxury not a necessity).
Would 32 gb of ram be more prioritized than 1 tb ssd?
 

Fluxiipie

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 20, 2021
4
0
Easiest way would be to remotely access a Windows computer.
Oh, you know the best way i could do that? Does any corporation or anything like that provide a service like that?Possibly like a subscription, like cloud gaming services? Or should it be my own windows machine that i remotely access?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,491
12,626
For school, get the 14".
You'll get tired of carrying around the 16".
Probably very quickly.

I have no idea as to how assignments in computer science classes tax a computer's CPU or memory.

32gb may or may NOT benefit you.
I'll speculate that 16gb would probably be "enough", but if you "want more", RAM is the place to put your money. But no more than 32.

The 512gb SSD should be fine.
 
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Realityck

macrumors G4
Nov 9, 2015
10,381
15,627
Silicon Valley, CA
Would 32 gb of ram be more prioritized than 1 tb ssd?
The SSD swap if it’s needed is almost as fast as 32 GB RAM on a 16 GB model. Getting $200 optional 1 TB SSD is usually a safe choice if you intend to keep the 16” MBP longer. The EDU discount drops the price of mid price configuration from $2699, to $2499 that encompasses all of that in the USA.
 

aesc80

Cancelled
Mar 24, 2015
2,250
7,144
Oh, you know the best way i could do that? Does any corporation or anything like that provide a service like that?Possibly like a subscription, like cloud gaming services? Or should it be my own windows machine that i remotely access?
Sorry for being late on the jump here! lol

So there's a number of ways you can get access to a Windows machine.

- Some universities have cloud instances / VMs that allow students to use a clean instance. See if your CS department has one

- You can try using VScode (download) on a Mac. It looks like Microsoft did make a version for the Apple Silicon chip, so you might be good. That being said, if you wanted to know how the app truly works on an x64 chipset, you might be better serviced with a Windows machine

- See if your university also has student benefits for AWS / Google Cloud. This one might be more doubtful since most of the student accounts would be linux based. Still, they'd be running X64 chipsets, so at least it would be executable with VScode.

- If your app isn't heavy, then just invest in a small PC that you'll use like a server. Since this is for school, I honestly doubt you'll be running massive services (like media encoding/decoding, DRM servers, etc.). You can probably get an old school machine for like $500 and just run your application there while you develop on a MBP or MBA.

The nice thing is you have a bunch of options. The real question is what's right for you. Sounds to me like you'd kill for a Mac, but you're running development for C#, so it sorta narrows things down (same if you wanted Windows 11 but develop in Swift). Give it some thought and see what fits in your range.
 
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MacCheetah3

macrumors 68020
Nov 14, 2003
2,141
1,108
Central MN
Great input thus far!

Hi, soooo i'm studying software (computer science), and I wanna buy my first mac, but I'm unsure which to buy, and which config would be the most fitting...

I'm considering the following configs but I'm happily taking suggestions/recommendations!

- M1 pro 16 Gb memory 512 Gb SSD 8 core cpu
- M1 pro 16 Gb memory 512 Gb SSD 10 core cpu

- M1 pro 16 Gb memory 1 Tb SSD 8 core cpu
- M1 pro 16 Gb memory 1 Tb SSD 10 core cpu

- M1 pro 32 Gb memory 512 Gb SSD 8 core cpu
- M1 pro 32 Gb memory 512 Gb SSD 10 core cpu

I'm unsure of what other info to include, so feel free to request info that is required to be able to help me :)
I would suggest sticking to the Apple M1 Pro with 8-core CPU, 14-core GPU. It should be plenty even a few years down the line.

To give you an idea, I used a 2018 HP Envy x360 quad-core i7 (Intel UHD 610 iGPU), 12GB RAM, 256GB SSD eventually upgraded to 32GB and 1TB. Honestly, the RAM and SSD capacities were overkill, but I only wanted to do an upgrade one time. I primarily did them in the second year for a section of learning MS SQL Server management (i.e., Active Directory user groups, permissions, etc). The assignments required two VMs (Windows Server and Windows 10 client) running simultaneously.

Any who…

As for storage, ask if you’re going to be using the Mac for things other than schoolwork (i.e., photo and music libraries, etc). For most software development, the file sizes are small. All of my assignments, including some from general classes, total <40GB — I have them archived. VMs require ~30-60GB. Basically, 512GB is absolutely doable. With that said, you could have external storage. Yes, that’s not preferred with portable computers, but nowadays is tolerable thanks to SSDs being small and fast. Example options:

(SuperSpeed USB)

(Thunderbolt 3)

As for RAM: 16GB should be sufficient.

I don’t have MAMP installed at the moment. However, below are some quick example workflow setups for Web development.

Screen_Shot_2021-11-03_1.png
Screen_Shot_2021-11-03_2.png

Surprisingly, the memory usage decreased after opening an image editor, Affinity Photo, and FTP app, Transmit.

I'm a computer science student so i'll mainly be developing on the machine as well as consuming multimedia, one of the restraints for me buying one of the macbook straight away is that i'm currently doing a project working with WPF C# (.net), do you guys know a work-around on how to use that on a mac, with acceptable performance.
As others have mentioned, .Net development is going to be tricky because it does require Windows. Similarly, if the courses use DBMS such as MS SQL Server, you’re going to be even more dependent on Windows (and I don’t think the ARM-native version of Windows is currently an option). To be even more blunt, such restrictions were significant reasons as to why I purchased (i.e., added) a Windows laptop for class work. Lastly, I did have a few classmates using their Macs, VMs for specific classes; although, of course, they were Intel-powered MBPs.
 

rando_onDaInterweb

macrumors newbie
May 10, 2019
22
3
What branch of CS are you studying ? Get as much RAM as you can afford because it is non-upgradable. I would get 14” M1 Pro to save $ and weight. Just think about carrying a 16” thiccc laptop with some notebooks and a water bottle around campus. Even better, get a MBA with 16GB, save money for a PC, you can connect remotely.
 
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