What to buy for college??

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by lperc, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. lperc macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2009
    New York City
    So I'm going to college next year, and I need to buy a laptop. I plan to use it for basic student stuff and a little photo/movie editing. I really like the macbook pro 15", but I don't know how much of it I need to upgrade. Will it make a huge difference if I keep the 4 GB RAM and the 2.53 GHz processor?

    Also, I don't really understand the compatibility of a mac with a pc. As in is it possible for me to use my Windows version of Photoshop on a new mac or do I have to buy a new version?

    And are macs really less susceptible to viruses than pc's? Will I still need to do Norton Antivirus and whatnot?

    And finally, how long to macs really last? I've heard from some people that they aren't really like PC's that will be outdated in a week. I would really like to avoid having to buy another new computer for as long as possible, so I need something that will still work in four years. Will a macbook pro still be reliable and working for that long?

    Sorry I have so many questions but I have never bought a mac and have no clue what I'm supposed to know!! Any help will be appreciated. =]
  2. ecstasy macrumors 6502


    Jun 9, 2009
    I'm in your position as well.

    I'm heading off to the Apple store this coming Monday to get the 13", mainly because I'll be carrying it around with me a lot (I'm commuting, not dorming).

    Also, what are you intending to major in? That could help the members here in giving you a solid recommendation/opinion.

  3. xhambonex macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2008
    The basic MBP would be just fine for you. You'll be fine with the basic config.

    You will have to own a Windows OS and install in via bootcamp (or other virtual desktop programs) to use photoshop. Basically you have to put windows on your computer and run PS in windows.

    There are as many viruses out there for Macs. Never had a problem and never had a virus or anti-virus software. But that software is free for me as a students so I use it on my windows side. But if you are smart, you can avoid almost all viruses.

    Apple computers last at least 3 years with Applecare...:D its a great extended warranty, but even past that Apple computers hold up very well. And for what you are doing, that MBP will last you awhile. Sure things will get way better and it will be outdated, but that's just how it is in computers.

    Hope that helps.
  4. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    You sound like you don't need to upgrade anything in the MBP, just go standard config.
    You can't use Windows software in Mac OSX, but I believe Adobe will let you change your Windows registration key into a Mac registration key for a no cost "upgrade to Mac".
    Yes, Macs aren't susceptible to viruses like PCs, but you can still get malware and trojans by installing bad software (stay away from cracked apps, just like on Windows). You won't need any antivirus as long as you are vigilant about security.
    Macs last anywhere from 3-5 years, usually longer. Macs come with a standard 1 year warranty, but AppleCare will extend it to 3 (AppleCare is very much recommended to save you money down the road). My MBP (bought March 2008) is still as good as new and in perfect working order a year and a half later, and I know people who still have working Macs that are 4 years old.

    EDIT: xhambonex posted while I was writing this, but we said the same things :p
  5. yoyomaster macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2009
    Yes it looks like the base mbp would suit your needs, and if down the road you need more memory you can always upgrade the RAM cheaper than Apple offers.
  6. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    Many posters on here have macs that are five plus years old, then there are others like MovieCutter, who have incredible set-ups that continue to get updated as soon as possible.

    What has been said above I agree with, including that the base MacBook Pro should be fine for your needs.
  7. MacAndy74 macrumors 65816

    Mar 19, 2009
    I'd recommend the 13-inch: 2.53GHz as is, without upgrading anything. It comes with 4GB Memory and a large Hard Disk. Plus it's more portable than the 15-inch model. And if you can afford it, get AppleCare.
  8. lperc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2009
    New York City
    Thank you for all the advice and help. I was just having a really hard time making the decision to go Mac instead of PC, but I'm pretty sure that's what I'll do now.

    So as far as anti-virus software goes, how to I go about getting that?
  9. AmpCoder macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2007
    I second this recommendation.
  10. adamvk macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
  11. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    That should be fine for almost any needs. If you need much more than that, then chances are good a laptop is not the right machine for you.

    Here are your options:
    (1) Set up Boot Camp, install Windows (you will need to buy a license), and install the version of Photoshop you have,
    (2) Buy a new version of Photoshop.

    I recommend option #2.

    Yes they are and no you won't.

    This applies to any computer, Mac, PC, or otherwise - as long as the computer is able to do what you need it to do, it doesn't need to be upgraded and it hasn't stopped working.

    This also applies to any computer, or anything else - it will last a long time if you take care of it. I'm sure many people are able to get four years out of a computer - you can even do that with a PC if you take care of it properly.
  12. MacLover4491 macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2009
    Get the $1700 Macbook Pro 15''. Its cheap. You get to save a lot of money also not a lot of apple tax. If you want something lighter, the 13'' Macbook Pro for 1200 would do. It would be even better than the 15'' because of the much better price. Good Luck and make the right choice =)
  13. AdamLikesMusic macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2009
    I was shocked to discover my school doesn't allow you to bring a mini fridge. The one they provide is hardly sufficient!

    I personally went with a 13" MacBook Pro, and bumped up the RAM and HDD to 4 and 250 GB respectively. I couldn't justify the extra money for 2" of screen. This configuration ran me $1,234 with the student discount. The way I see it, I bought it at regular price and paid $34 for double the RAM and 90GB of HDD. :)

    My entire university is really pushing Macs this year, which I think is really cool.
  14. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    I was shocked to learn your school provides you with a fridge - most do not!
  15. AdamLikesMusic macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2009
    If there was an option to not have it, and be able to bring your own, I would in a heartbeat. It holds almost nothing.
  16. macgrl macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2008
  17. LERsince1991 macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    I'd recommend the 13" MBP 2.53ghz. I wouldn't carry around a 15" every day. I use the 13" as I carry it EVERYWHERE with me and its incredibly useful. Very nice weight.

    I have the 13" Alu 2.4Ghz with 2Gb ram and its blazin fast with CS4. I bought it for my architecture course and I do medium/heavy CAD work on it. I'm about to start uni in september 09 and hoping to have it for 5 years but i will probably convince myself to get a new one before that i.e. end of year 3 or 4.

    Couldn't be happier with my setup
    And as said.. no virus's etc... Just how everything should be :)

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