Which MBP to buy?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by combataran, May 19, 2011.

  1. combataran macrumors member

    combataran

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    #1
    I've decided on getting an MBP for college, base specs, planning on upgrading with the OWC Data Doubler, teaming it up with an iPad 2. So which MBP should I buy for an electrical engineering major?
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    Do you know if you'll have to be running anything specific? Generally all of the software that programs the FPGAs and things of that nature is Windows-only. I don't know why anyone would pay the premium for a MBP when all they need is a Windows machine.
     
  3. combataran thread starter macrumors member

    combataran

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    #3
    Well I don't really want to use a PC anymore. See, the PC has frustrated me for the past, I don't know, a decade now, so I feel like saying goodbye to PCs forever. Back to the question, I COULD always run Windows on Parallels.:rolleyes:
     
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #4
    Yes... but you could also pay $1000 less for something that does the exact. Same. Thing. :rolleyes:

    You haven't answered my question, either. Do you know if you have any specific software requirements, or not?
     
  5. sioannou macrumors member

    sioannou

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Location:
    Nicosia Cyprus
    #5
    Simple answer . I don't see your program to be any gpu intensive. Maybe a 13" along with an external monitor will do the job for you especially if the size matters ;).

    Sorry but I don't see the point on this. Generally all tasks that a mac computer could do , a pc also can do them. (in some cases even better). People usually don't buy macs because they cannot do what the do in the pc. Except if i am missing something special that I could do with my mac that I cannot do with my pc.
     
  6. combataran, May 19, 2011
    Last edited: May 19, 2011

    combataran thread starter macrumors member

    combataran

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    #6
    Hmm..not really, no. Okay, let's just assume I'm gonna run something like Autocad on the MBP, and also assume that I'm taking up mechanical engineering instead, which one should I get?
     
  7. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #7
    This question comes up a lot. I think people are trying to get ready for school next year, and they want to take advantage of the back to school savings, so they ask for opinions on the forums. Of course, people can offer their opinions, but I don't think they will be terribly reliable.

    The best people to ask are faculty and students at your school. Often times there is a faculty member designated to field these kinds of questions from undergraduates, there are students currently in the department who can give you very specific details, and there are graduate students who can tell you how they succeeded in graduating. There is a huge knowledge base there tailored to your needs, and it is just an email or two away.

    In the case of my university, it turns out that we have unbelievably low prices on software, there are some very good deals on computers, and students have a very keen sense of the pros and benefits of each operating system for your field of study. For my field, the Mac is generally considered best, and you'll find most (?) students and faculty with Macs. In other fields, it might be different.

    At any rate, the 13", 15", and 17" are all great computers, but a lot depends on how you intend to use them. Do you intend to carry them around or not? I suspect you won't be carrying it around as much (based on our past correspondence). So, maybe you might even want to consider an iMac :)
     
  8. combataran thread starter macrumors member

    combataran

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    #8
    Oh right. iPad, pen and paper for classes, a Mac for everything else. Well, personally I would prefer the portability of the 13" + an external monitor, but an iMac....not reeealy a fan of desktops.:p
     
  9. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #9
    :)

    If you can get away with it (in terms of CPU power and screen size) I would recommend the 13". If you add in an SSD and an extra 4GB of RAM you are looking at a very snappy computer that ought to be able to handle most workloads. I would still check with your university, but I'd be surprised if someone told you that an i7 quad core was necessary!

    Anyhow, price-wise, I think the 13" compares very favorably with its PC counterparts, so you don't need to worry there. It is a little more expensive, but not prohibitively so. If you time things well (assuming your school does not have cheaper computers available already), you can take advantage of the back to school deals and save about 300 dollars. I think that is correct--I am not so familiar with the US program, but as I recall you'll get an iPod touch (you can resell that) and 100 dollars off.
     
  10. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #11
    That is really expensive, and they are not even giving you a decent software package with that price. Ouch. They also recommend PC models. I think you ought to check with your dept. first :)

    What a shame. I have no use for the nano. No wifi? FM radio? I haven't listened to the radio for so long now, I have almost forgotten the pain of listening to the inane banter of morning talk show hosts.
     
  11. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    #12
    A couple things, the university offerings are quite expensive most likely because they come with Adobe CS5 Web, MS Office, and 3 year warranty (applecare???)

    If you aren't going to use cs5 it's kind of a waste to buy through them...

    You really need to determine what programs you are going to be running.

    If you need to run autocad, you may want to reconsider. Autocad for mac is $2000-$3000 after searching on google. Autocad for a PC is around $1000, not to mention the money you would save buying a pc instead of a mac. Also, you probably aren't going to be running much autocad in parallels, you will need to use bootcamp, which is running windows natively, so you will see no benefits on a mbp over the pc, in fact it will be worse because you can't control the gpu in windows on a mac...

    Also in the past b2s programs you could sub any ipod you wanted into the deal they would just give you the value of whatever the iPod was in the deal, you had to pay the difference, i don't see why it would be different now.
     
  12. combataran thread starter macrumors member

    combataran

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    #13
    Exactly. Adobe CS5, Office 2011. Thats it. They don't even have a discount on the ACD or matte-high res option on their 15"s. I'm planning on buying from my country's online store.
     
  13. Bobby Corwen macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    #14
    I have a question.

    Do you like nice things?

    If the answer is yes and can afford it, get the 17 and never look back :)
     
  14. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    #15
    whatever you do, don't listen to this guy. If you had to carry a 17" mbp to class and walk around with it in your backpack along with all of your other books, you will immediately regret buying a computer that's that big and heavy.

    Granted if you have a very small campus this may not be an issue, most universities here in the states you can walk 15+ miles a day.
     
  15. combataran thread starter macrumors member

    combataran

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    #16
    I agree. The weight and size of the 17" just isn't justifiable to carry around, even more so for a college student.
     
  16. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    #18
    yeah, if you are a student or have been recently you will definitely never want a 17" for class, get a smaller laptop and a nice screen for when you are at home.

    Also, did you read my above post... you really need to find out if you "have" to have autocad and if you do are you going to get an edu discount through the school. I did a quick google search and autocad for mac (complete program, not upgrade) ran between $2000-$3000, much more expensive than the pc counterpart (~$1000)
     
  17. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #19
  18. combataran thread starter macrumors member

    combataran

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    #20
    I think of MIT as a prestigious standard, and certainly not implying that I'm attending 2 colleges at once. I was just trying to point out the tech specs for MIT Macs. Sorry if I offended anyone.

    Anyway, I think I can get Autocad at a much lower price, 'cos my uncle distributed software, --->cheaper price. Problem solved.
     
  19. dagamer34 macrumors 65816

    dagamer34

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #21
    I got my new high-end 15" MBP from eBay for only US$1815 shipped. Do look there for some shockingly good deals.
     
  20. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #22
    I didn't read the site closely. That is a good point. However, my institution offers 15" MBP for just under 2000 dollars with the following software and a 3 year warranty, so it is a considerably better deal than buying it on your own with a student discount at an Apple store. The price on the Singapore website seemed too expensive. Perhaps it is convenient for students to purchase there, but they aren't getting a deal.

    I know. Some of the software "included" is basic stuff you'd get anyways (iTunes, hahaha). But, other stuff seems nice (if you are a math or engineering major).

    Microsoft Office: The industry standard with Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc. for documents, spreadsheets, presentations.
    Endnote: For publishing and managing the bibliographies for your academic papers
    Mozilla Firefox: A web browser for browsing the Internet
    Mozilla Thunderbird: An e-mail client for managing your academic and personal e-mail
    McAfee VirusScan: Virus protection software with automatic updates to provide you with the most current and effective protection against ever changing viruses
    Adobe Reader: Displays PDF documents
    Apple iTunes: For listening to music and accessing Apple's online store
    RealPlayer: Streaming audio and video player for listening to and viewing video and audio files from the Internet
    Quicktime: Streaming audio and video player for listening to and viewing video and audio files from the Internet
    Shockwave and Flash plug-ins: For playing interactive web content
    Write-N-Cite: For assistance with bibliographical documents

    Macintosh OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
    Microsoft Office 2011 for OS X
    iLife '09: includes iDVD, iMovie, iTunes, Garageband
    Flip4Mac WMV: to import, export, and play Windows Media video
    Adium: instant message client compatible with AIM
    FileZilla: For securely connecting to Unix servers

    Mathematica: Symbolic manipulation package primarily used by physicists
    Matlab: A data-manipulation software package that allows data to be analyzed and visualized using existing functions and user-designed programs
    MikTex (Windows Only): Viewing TeX Files (Scientific Word Processor)
    S-Plus (Windows Only): Provides Statistical and Graphical Techniques
    DrJava (Windows Only): A lightweight development environment for writing Java programs designed for students
    MacTeX (Mac Only): Viewing TeX Files (Scientific Word Processor)
    R (Mac Only): Provides Statistical and Graphical Techniques
     
  21. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    #23
    that is student edition, it's not the full edition, also prints a huge watermark saying student across the entire project. You would then need to repurchase the actual version after school to continue using the software. May or may not be an issue, just something to consider.
     
  22. dmw16 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    #24
    Having been through an engineering problem I'd suggest a 15" MBP with the upgraded anti-glare screen (more screen real estate the better) and as much RAM as you can afford.

    I would skip the iPad2. I have an iPad and it's a fun toy, but I don't think it's very useful for school especially in a technical field where it can't really do anything useful for you that a pen and paper can (IMO) do better such as taking mathematical notes/notation.

    At least when I was in school we used a lot of MATLAB which is where the RAM comes in. If you are dealing with manipulation of large arrays it can be a big RAM hog.
     
  23. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    #25
    prices are not the same around the world... and now looking back on it those are S$, not USD so you would need to look on apples singapore site to determine how much more it actually is costing.

    Most unis offer very good deals when you buy through them.
     

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