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iRyu

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 22, 2010
101
1
I'm going to study Computer Security and Forensics. I have no idea what type of programming tools they going to use, but does anyone of you know which Macbook Pro suits me? Many of the tools are memory hogging? or need more processing power? of course, higher resolution is always a plus as word will become more crisp.


My budget is base RMBP and below. :)
 

takeshi74

macrumors 601
Feb 9, 2011
4,974
68
I'm going to study Computer Security and Forensics. I have no idea what type of programming tools they going to use, but does anyone of you know which Macbook Pro suits me? Many of the tools are memory hogging? or need more processing power?
Hold on. How do you expect us to know if you don't? Get the details on your requirements then ask for assistance.
 
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iRyu

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 22, 2010
101
1
Hold on. How do you expect us to know if you don't? Get the details on your requirements then ask for assistance.

well, I only have basic knowledge in coding stuff. I hope programmers out there can help me out, I don't know if intense programming tools need which kind of power. I'm gonna use this mac until it totally unusable.
 
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leenak

macrumors 68020
Mar 10, 2011
2,416
52
Well you will most likely want to run Parallels or similar because you shouldn't be running stuff on your own system. It is best to run stuff in a VM where you can just refresh it to a clean state.

Your best bet may actually be the non-Retina MBP or if you have money to blow, a 2.6/512GB/16GB retina.

It does depend on your curriculum though. I'm assuming you are doing some of the stuff I've done in the past :)
 
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iRyu

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 22, 2010
101
1
Well you will most likely want to run Parallels or similar because you shouldn't be running stuff on your own system. It is best to run stuff in a VM where you can just refresh it to a clean state.

Your best bet may actually be the non-Retina MBP or if you have money to blow, a 2.6/512GB/16GB retina.

It does depend on your curriculum though. I'm assuming you are doing some of the stuff I've done in the past :)

is base retina mbp enough to run VM kinda stuff?
 
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Stetrain

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2009
3,548
18
well, I only have basic knowledge in coding stuff. I hope programmers out there can help me out, I don't know if intense programming tools need which kind of power. I'm gonna use this mac until it totally unusable.

The Retina Macbook Pro should have plenty of power. It has a quad core processor and a pretty decent graphics card for a notebook. I'm sure that horespower wise it is more than capable for what you need.

Edit: Regarding VMs, if you want to run multiple VMs at the same time you may want to get the 16GB RAM upgrade. 8GB is a lot but VMs can use a lot of memory.

Just for reference I do plenty of programming (and run Windows in a VM on rare occaision) on a 2008 Macbook with a dual core processor and 4GB memory.
 
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MisterSensitive

macrumors regular
Mar 22, 2012
121
4
I've never bought the mantra that "software developers need fast machines." Yes, they compile code faster, but they often obscure performance issues from the programmer by providing a best case scenario of speed.
 
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leenak

macrumors 68020
Mar 10, 2011
2,416
52
is base retina mbp enough to run VM kinda stuff?

The base MBP has enough power but if you start collecting VMs or even using those VMs for things, then it might not be enough disk space and you can't upgrade the disk space (or it will be very expensive to). Some of the tools you may use may be Windows based. The Linux based tools will be a bit easier as they require less disk space.

It could be doable but it could also require quite a bit of juggling on your part for disk space management.
 
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mikepro

macrumors 6502
Sep 3, 2010
428
19
What's your budget?

Honestly, any current offering will probably be fine for you. May not be the most enjoyable if you get one of the slower models, or low disk space memory.

So, get the most expensive one you can afford, (but don't pay extra for any processor speed only upgrades).
 
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iRyu

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 22, 2010
101
1
The Retina Macbook Pro should have plenty of power. It has a quad core processor and a pretty decent graphics card for a notebook. I'm sure that horespower wise it is more than capable for what you need.

that's good. I did consider base 13inch mba. will that be able to run VM well? I really like MBA portability.

----------

The Retina Macbook Pro should have plenty of power. It has a quad core processor and a pretty decent graphics card for a notebook. I'm sure that horespower wise it is more than capable for what you need.

Edit: Regarding VMs, if you want to run multiple VMs at the same time you may want to get the 16GB RAM upgrade. 8GB is a lot but VMs can use a lot of memory.

Just for reference I do plenty of programming (and run Windows in a VM on rare occaision) on a 2008 Macbook with a dual core processor and 4GB memory.

My budget doesn't allow me to change base RMPB to 16GB. hmm... 8GB really isn't enough ? I wish I can bump it to 16GB as I will be using it for long long long time lol.
 
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Stetrain

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2009
3,548
18
I think an Air would be a pretty good machine as well. In both cases you're looking at 8GB RAM (that's the max you can get an Air with).

Basically the Air will probably do what you need to do just fine, the base Retina MBP would be an awesome upgrade.

As long as you aren't trying to run 3 copies of Windows simultaneously in VMs I think you'll be just fine with either machine.

It's probably also worth going to an Apple Store now that they have the new models on display so you can compare the screens and portability in person.
 
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dccorona

macrumors 68020
Jun 12, 2008
2,033
1
I'm going to study Computer Security and Forensics. I have no idea what type of programming tools they going to use, but does anyone of you know which Macbook Pro suits me? Many of the tools are memory hogging? or need more processing power? of course, higher resolution is always a plus as word will become more crisp.


My budget is base RMBP and below. :)

I almost always recommend a mac to college students. But yours is one of the cases where I'm inclined to recommend a PC...simply because you're going to find yourself wanting, if not needing, to use windows (which you can do on a mac, true, but just be aware you'll probably need it).

I can't see any sort of computer security programming not using visual studio and other windows-only tools at some point.

Though the other possibility is that your school, like mine, will have all the development and compiling done remotely, through terminal, on linux servers. Then, mac or pc won't matter, and it's actually sometimes easier in OSX. It depends on what kind of support your school has for each OS though.

But, regardless, if you go mac or PC, for what you want to do, get as much power as you can possibly get in your price range. So get a retina mbp, or an equivalently powerful pc (note that graphics won't be as important to you, as raw processing power will). And, do yourself a favor and GET THE EXTENDED WARRANTY. The only way it could ever be a waste of money is if you're somehow the rare (and I mean rare) student who makes it through college without any sort of hardware issue. You won't. I can almost promise that.

----------

My budget doesn't allow me to change base RMPB to 16GB. hmm... 8GB really isn't enough ? I wish I can bump it to 16GB as I will be using it for long long long time lol.

Any reason you're thinking about doing VMs? Anything you're going to need to do requiring windows won't also require things OSX does exclusively. I would recommend just doing bootcamp, easier, less system strain, and better performance. Not to mention, you're already going to have to buy a windows license, no reason to also get a VMWare or Parallels license unnecessarily
 
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MimiHome

macrumors newbie
Jun 8, 2012
27
0
I agree to increasing your RAM, if you are able to. This will definitely help you. The more power you have the better, especially when working with mutiple programs.

Congratulations on starting your degree and let us know what you decided to buy!
 
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leenak

macrumors 68020
Mar 10, 2011
2,416
52
Any reason you're thinking about doing VMs? Anything you're going to need to do requiring windows won't also require things OSX does exclusively. I would recommend just doing bootcamp, easier, less system strain, and better performance. Not to mention, you're already going to have to buy a windows license, no reason to also get a VMWare or Parallels license unnecessarily

That was probably my comments. In my own experience of computer security/forensics, VMs are quite useful for testing/running tools/etc without screwing with your own system. They are useful because you can do a bunch of stuff then reload to a previous state. I'm not sure if you can actually do that with bootcamp?
 
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theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
7,413
1,790
Poole, England
16 GB, Retina? Seriously?

I started programming on a ZX Spectrum and was glad to move up to a Commodre 64. I got through University with a 300 MHz Celeron that one could overclock to 450 GHz, but it would shut down on hot days. Universities/colleges normally have computer labs where you can work. Beyond 1st year he may start using more complicated tools. The most likely scenario is that he will have to use those from the computer labs terminals.

I am not sure what you guys think he is going to be doing, but he'll spend most of first year writing "Hello world" type of programs and learning the basics. The best solution for you would be to get a 13" base MBA 1.8 i5 and upgrade the RAM to 8GB since you said you want to use this for a while. Spend the rest of your money on a nice 23" 1920x1080 monitor or if you can afford it, a 24" 1920x1200 and an external USB 3 drive for backups.

It will be more than adequate until you finish your degree and you can reward yourself with a new computer when you get a job.

----------

That was probably my comments. In my own experience of computer security/forensics, VMs are quite useful for testing/running tools/etc without screwing with your own system. They are useful because you can do a bunch of stuff then reload to a previous state. I'm not sure if you can actually do that with bootcamp?

Yes, you can with a tool like Winclone. It's specifically designed to backup your bootcamp partition and keep multiple images of it so you can restore to whatever state you want.
 
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dccorona

macrumors 68020
Jun 12, 2008
2,033
1
That was probably my comments. In my own experience of computer security/forensics, VMs are quite useful for testing/running tools/etc without screwing with your own system. They are useful because you can do a bunch of stuff then reload to a previous state. I'm not sure if you can actually do that with bootcamp?

no probably not easily

I guess I never considered the fact that the OP would actually be PRACTICING the computer security/forensics on their own machine...just writing code and such. In that case, a VM probably does seem like the way to go
 
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iRyu

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 22, 2010
101
1
16 GB, Retina? Seriously?

I started programming on a ZX Spectrum and was glad to move up to a Commodre 64. I got through University with a 300 MHz Celeron that one could overclock to 450 GHz, but it would shut down on hot days. Universities/colleges normally have computer labs where you can work. Beyond 1st year he may start using more complicated tools. The most likely scenario is that he will have to use those from the computer labs terminals.

I am not sure what you guys think he is going to be doing, but he'll spend most of first year writing "Hello world" type of programs and learning the basics. The best solution for you would be to get a 13" base MBA 1.8 i5 and upgrade the RAM to 8GB since you said you want to use this for a while. Spend the rest of your money on a nice 23" 1920x1080 monitor or if you can afford it, a 24" 1920x1200 and an external USB 3 drive for backups.

It will be more than adequate until you finish your degree and you can reward yourself with a new computer when you get a job.

----------



Yes, you can with a tool like Winclone. It's specifically designed to backup your bootcamp partition and keep multiple images of it so you can restore to whatever state you want.

I like the idea of having the portability of macbook air and a external monitor, but i dont know if the processing will be sufficient for me next few years. I dont wanna change a laptop after 1 or 2 years. I will use this mac until it cant do my job well. Are you sure the dual core can survive for at least 4 to 5 years? Im just worry about getting the wrong choice :s

----------

I almost always recommend a mac to college students. But yours is one of the cases where I'm inclined to recommend a PC...simply because you're going to find yourself wanting, if not needing, to use windows (which you can do on a mac, true, but just be aware you'll probably need it).

I can't see any sort of computer security programming not using visual studio and other windows-only tools at some point.

Though the other possibility is that your school, like mine, will have all the development and compiling done remotely, through terminal, on linux servers. Then, mac or pc won't matter, and it's actually sometimes easier in OSX. It depends on what kind of support your school has for each OS though.

But, regardless, if you go mac or PC, for what you want to do, get as much power as you can possibly get in your price range. So get a retina mbp, or an equivalently powerful pc (note that graphics won't be as important to you, as raw processing power will). And, do yourself a favor and GET THE EXTENDED WARRANTY. The only way it could ever be a waste of money is if you're somehow the rare (and I mean rare) student who makes it through college without any sort of hardware issue. You won't. I can almost promise that.

----------



Any reason you're thinking about doing VMs? Anything you're going to need to do requiring windows won't also require things OSX does exclusively. I would recommend just doing bootcamp, easier, less system strain, and better performance. Not to mention, you're already going to have to buy a windows license, no reason to also get a VMWare or Parallels license unnecessarily

Hmm, my school have plenty of macs labs (those with 30s above 27 imac and mac pros) . Im not sure what os they will be using but im a mac guy, sorry for the windows part. Hmm, i always have the choice of switching to windows if some of the program require windows to run. Other than this, i use mac os.

Oh ya, talking about windows. Does anyone know if retina display works well in windows?
 
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theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
7,413
1,790
Poole, England
I like the idea of having the portability of macbook air and a external monitor, but i dont know if the processing will be sufficient for me next few years. I dont wanna change a laptop after 1 or 2 years. I will use this mac until it cant do my job well. Are you sure the dual core can survive for at least 4 to 5 years? Im just worry about getting the wrong choice :s

Of course it will. It's not like they're going to be asking you to break 1024 bit encryption using a brute force algorithm on your personal computer. We had Silicon Graphics and Cray super computers to do interesting stuff on.

Having said all that, do please double check what your course requirements say before making a purchase. I finished my University degree 12 years ago so things may have changed. I am 99% sure though that the MBA would be perfect for you since you can take it to the lectures easily.

The external monitor will be the best thing for you. I would also recommend a comfortable keyboard and a good mouse for your home/dorm set up. I use a Matias Tactile Pro 3 and it's just a pleasure to type on.

Once you've experienced typing on a proper keyboard (and you'll be doing a lot of typing) with mechanical switches, you'll not want to go back. They are a bit pricey (mine is $149.99 in the US), but your fingers and hands will thank you for it.
 
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iRyu

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 22, 2010
101
1
Of course it will. It's not like they're going to be asking you to break 1024 bit encryption using a brute force algorithm on your personal computer. We had Silicon Graphics and Cray super computers to do interesting stuff on.

Having said all that, do please double check what your course requirements say before making a purchase. I finished my University degree 12 years ago so things may have changed. I am 99% sure though that the MBA would be perfect for you since you can take it to the lectures easily.

The external monitor will be the best thing for you. I would also recommend a comfortable keyboard and a good mouse for your home/dorm set up. I use a Matias Tactile Pro 3 and it's just a pleasure to type on.

Once you've experienced typing on a proper keyboard (and you'll be doing a lot of typing) with mechanical switches, you'll not want to go back. They are a bit pricey (mine is $149.99 in the US), but your fingers and hands will thank you for it.

Thank you for your suggestion. Im seriously considering the base 13 mba w 8gb ram. The 128gb ssd definately not enough for me, need a usb3 external hdd thou. :)
 
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makaveli559m

macrumors 6502
Apr 30, 2012
312
0
I'm going to study Computer Security and Forensics. I have no idea what type of programming tools they going to use, but does anyone of you know which Macbook Pro suits me? Many of the tools are memory hogging? or need more processing power? of course, higher resolution is always a plus as word will become more crisp.


My budget is base RMBP and below. :)

Get the new "classic" MacBook Pro has more ports and optical drive, Retina screen might look nice and all but it doesnt replace missing ports and lack of Optical drive.
 
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iRyu

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 22, 2010
101
1
Get the new "classic" MacBook Pro has more ports and optical drive, Retina screen might look nice and all but it doesnt replace missing ports and lack of Optical drive.

yeahh but in my country, the price different between base classic 15 and base rmbp only RM1000. which is roughly $314 USD. For the 314 usd, I can get thinner lighter faster hi-res 8gb ram ssd. Definately worth it. hmm, I don't need ethernet and firewire. My uni is covered with high speed wifi.

The problem is I don't have extra money for upgrading 16GB ram. I only do if I go lower end. Is the 16GB ram helps me a lot? 8GB isn't sufficient for me to do my job?
 
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