Which laptop for an engineer/gamer

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by macgeek77, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. macgeek77 macrumors regular

    May 24, 2006

    I am planning to purchase a new apple laptop and needed some help choosing which one. I know that I am going into engineering (computer/electricial), but I also am going to play a lot of games on my Window's partition. I would be playing games found on PS2/PS3/and XBox. I wanted to choose between these models:

    1) The Black Macbook
    2) The base line 15" MBP
    3) the best 15" MBP

    Thanks for any suggestions.:apple: :apple: :apple:
  2. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    #3. If you're going to be doing serious gaming, you'll need the 256MB 8600M.
  3. alexprice macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2005
    The black Macbooks video performance isn't powerfull enough. Go for the base 15" MacBook Pro.
  4. Nuc macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2003
    I agree with #3 as well. I don't play games but I am an engineer and I run some pretty intense apps. Plus you'll probably need to run windows so get the best computer.

  5. kuebby macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2007
    I agree withzioxide, having twice the VRAM will be good for running Windows games, especially with effects, AA, etc turned on.
  6. jellz macrumors regular

    May 5, 2007
    Man...its common for a lot of engineers to start off as hard core gamers...but once the year goes on a lot of them just stop playing haha. Giving up games was one of the best decisions I made in college.
  7. holamiamigos macrumors 6502a

    Aug 10, 2006
  8. NATO macrumors 68000


    Feb 14, 2005
    Northern Ireland
    I'm studying Electrical/Electronic Engineering, and I'm also partial to a bit of gaming, so I know where you're coming from. Personally any of the newly-updated MacBook Pros would be ideal, although going for a 15" model with the 256MB VRAM would enhance gaming performance a little, so I'd go with that.

    Edit - As mentioned, the 256MB VRAM option involves spending quite a bit more for what is probably a small increase in performance. If you've got the cash to throw at it, then go for it, otherwise even the base-level 15" MacBook Pro is a worthy machine.
  9. jellz macrumors regular

    May 5, 2007
    Yes it'll enhance the gaming performance a little...but for the price of $500 more.
  10. RojoLeo macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2007
    Austin, TX
    If you can afford it, go with the best. If it's going to make it hard to live, start stepping down on features.

    If you want to game, the Macbook is out as a serious contender (though some will argue it can limp along). As for the base or maxed out on the MBP, only your wallet can answer that.
  11. landis macrumors regular

    Apr 9, 2007
    Toronto/Kingston Canada
    I am going into engineering next year, i am getting the top of the line macbook pro. for $99 you can get an ACD discount and it will considerably drop the price of the upgrade!
  12. BlizZ10 macrumors member

    May 18, 2007
    if u had to estimate how much are we talking in price differenciation?

    Edit- im in the same situation... i plan on goigng into engineering but im not a serious gamer altho i tend to play some counter strike source from time to time
  13. T-Stex macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2006
    Hey guys. I just graduated with a degree in Computer Science and Engineering, so I'll give my two cents here.

    For computer or electrical engineering, you really won't need the MacBook Pro's graphics power (unless you're going to be doing high-end computer graphics, in which case the choice would be clearly the MBP with 256MB VRAM). Also, if gaming on your computer is important to you, then I think you should go with the MBP with 256MB VRAM. Upcoming games are only going to utilize more processing and graphics power, so I don't think it makes sense to buy a model that will become outdated quicker. In the long run, you're only going to spend a little bit more to get something that, in theory, should last you throughout your college career.

    However, in my experience, while doing work or studying, I found it to be somewhat disruptive to try to work in the same area as distractions, such as video games. If you think you might have the same attitude, consider getting a console system as your primary gaming device. For the past year, I used a MacBook Core Duo for doing programming and other engineering tasks, and had an XBox 360 for gaming. This setup served me well, and I'd recommend it to anyone not dead set on computer-only games or working with high-end graphics.
  14. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006

    Here is a link, you can check for yourself. For the higher end config, you save about $200 more then educational pricing, inlcuding the purchase of the membership.


    Just click the ADC store link.
  15. ToddW macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2004
    speaking from experience, i'm an electrical engineer who consults on the side when i'm not working.... i have a base MBP and i just upped the RAM. i run schematic tools, such as orcad unison suite for PCB design, as well as the full version of matlab/simulink. i use parallels for the PCB stuff and it works really well for me. one of the great things is a lot of EE apps that are out there are not that much of a performance hog, that is except for some of the SPICE modeling but that is about it. i also use a few CAD tools as well and those run great also.

    for PIC programming i use some tools on the windows side and it works pretty good as well. parallels was the way to go for me. if i were you i would get a base MBP and max out the RAM and harddrive. i think that will benefit you more than anything. save the other money and get an 360. i played way more playstation in school then i ever did computer games. all night frag fests rocked.

    take the advice for what it is worth. work you butt off and study hard, but also party hard. it is a really crappy four to five years of really hard work but well worth it. and it beats digging ditches!

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