Which MBPr for ME/CS Major

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kdot, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. kdot macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    #1
    Hi guys,

    Sorry for creating another thread about the same topic. I searched the forums, but I wanted to see if you all had advice that was specific to my needs.

    I'm currently a first year Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science double major. My 2010 MBP is serving me fine, but one of my family members needs it, and I know I'll need to upgrade eventually, so I'm hoping to get a new machine by next fall.

    I'm torn between the 13" and 15" rMBP. I'll upgrade both to 16gb RAM for sure, because I do run virtual machines from time to time. I will probably need to run CAD software eventually for ME, and I hope to dive into iOS development this summer. Obviously, it also needs to handle whatever else my CS classes throw at it over the next three years. Screen size is not a huge issue because I have an external monitor for desk use.

    Thank you for your help!!
     
  2. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #2
    You already answered your own question. If you use CAD software, you'll want a dedicated GPU. That limits you to a 15" Pro, so your only choice is do you want to spend more for a retina or a regular one?

    Although by the time you buy, that may not be an option anymore. ;)
     
  3. Albuca macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Location:
    192.168.1.101
    #3
    Assuming money isn't the issue here.
    I would go with the 15".

    The extra screen space is certainly worth it when you don't have the external monitor kicking around (in my case, HDTV).
    Especially useful when your coding and need to be able to see everything, and/or have a webpage side by side to your programming window.

    The weight and size difference isn't anything major, and the battery life is just as good (between the 13 and 15).

    Best regards,
    A

    Edit: as the poster above mentioned, the dedicated GPU is only in the 15"
     
  4. kdot thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    #4
    Ok, I was thinking I would need the dedicated GPU, thanks for the confirmation!

    I think I'll go with the 15" retina then, especially since adding an ssd and extra ram to the regular 15" brings it to the same price.
     
  5. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #5
    You won't be running CAD on your own machine

    The licenses are expensive. You will most likely vpn into a machine with a license where you won't need your computer power really or, as you will find, using the labs will be much nicer.

    You can get by with the cheapest mac for ME. They are all more than adequate. College is not an extensive use of a machine (yet is always presented that it is for some ungodly reason).

    Here is what you will be doing:
    Due to all the programs, you will not have the option of running it on your machine (due to licenses). You will have labs (much faster than your machine is anyways) as well as remote capability.

    You will use your machine (and its hw capabilities) for writing reports, internet, and email for the majority of school related tasks.

    Do not be disillusioned thinking otherwise.


    I got through ME and my grad program with an emac and base macbook. All more than adequate at the time
     
  6. kdot thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    #6
    Thanks for the input. My school does offer free licenses for a lot of software, so I do know people who run it at home, but many also use the labs. I'm not yet sure what I will end up doing. Since with the edu discount its only a few hundred more for the 15" with the dedicated gpu vs the 13", I was thinking it would be safer to get a machine that can handle everything I may need, than get one that turns out to be inadequate in a year or two.

    Also, will the 15" provide noticeable gains while coding vs the 13"? The only benchmark I have right now is my current 2010 mbp, which lags noticeably while driving an external monitor. Compile times are also not great even on simple programs.
     
  7. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #7
    My experience was completely different. Within the first trimester, 1/2 of the dorm had passed around a copy of AutoCAD, and my 2nd gen MBP was lightyears ahead of the G5's my school had. I would never skip out on a high powered computer when you're going to be using any professional grade software (Final Cut, Auto CAD, etc).
     
  8. Asuriyan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Location:
    Indiana
    #8
    AutoCAD is free with a .edu email address, as long as it's not being used for any kind of commercial work (and it watermarks absolutely everything you do just to make sure).
     
  9. kdot thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    #9
    Same with Solidworks, which is what we use heavily.
     
  10. Asuriyan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Location:
    Indiana
    #10
    I'm not sure about Solidworks, but even the latest version of AutoCAD has no Retina display support. It looks a bit gnarly, and I generally wind up running it on an external monitor. If you use Bootcamp you can also just get the Windows version- it scales to lower resolutions pretty well (I use 1920x1200).
     
  11. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    #11
    Also, you would not make the 13" rMBP 16 GB, since it does not have that option.
     
  12. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #12
    I would get a refurb 17" if I were you, but they only have glossy.
     
  13. kdot thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    #13
    Oops, well it will be an 8gb then, which will probably suffice but may be a little risky with vms running...

    What do you think? Is 16gb necessary, now and 3-4 years down the line?

    They refurb 17 is only $100 less than a retina 15 (with edu discount) so it doesn't make much sense. It will be heavier when I need to carry it around, and when I'm in my room I will have an external display.
     
  14. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    #14
    About the RAM, what OS are you currently on your MBP? I ask because it will show if you like the latest OSes which use more RAM as time goes on.
     
  15. kdot thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    #15
    Primarily 10.8.3, but sometimes I need to boot up Windows and/or ubuntu in virtual box.

    I almost always upgrade to the newest OS release, so I'm thinking more ram will be better than less.

    Also 8gb is fine for me now, I usually have 2-3gb free, but I'm going to only be doing more with my computer in the coming years so I'm thinking I might need more later.
     
  16. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #16
    If you're gonna run VMs then I would suggest the 15".
     
  17. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    #17
    More RAM is better than less, but with an SSD, less RAM is ok than with a HDD because page outs are processed faster. But if you can wait for the next release of computers from Apple, 16 GB of RAM might be a key option for the 13".
     
  18. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #18
    It makes sense because the retina is used for smoother display, not for more work space.
     
  19. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    #19
    But it is also great for more space: 15" can do 1080p and using SwitchRes, case scale up to 2880x1800.
     
  20. kdot thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    #20
    Yeah I'm aware, but I don't need the additional work space of the 17" because I will have a much larger external monitor at my desk. And when I'm taking my laptop to go to the library or class, I won't need a ton of work space, which is why it doesn't make much sense for my needs. Especially since the specs are not as good as the retina's, and the retina is much lighter.

    this too.

    This is true. I'm leaning towards the 15" right now, but I don't need to purchase till august so if Apple releases their haswell update by then, with a 16gb 13" I'll have to reconsider.

    Thanks for the super fast responses everyone! I really appreciate it, you all gave me a lot to consider.
     
  21. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #21
    Well, I don't know how well fractional scaling works, because for full resolution you would need Superman vision.
     
  22. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    #22
    Actually, scaling on the rMBP works quite well (maybe a little bit blurry) but it is hard to tell because the physical resolution is so high.
     
  23. 0r30 macrumors 6502

    0r30

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #23
    Im a EE and I would recommend a 15" over a 13"

    Im glad I upgraded from a 13" to my current 15"
     
  24. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #24
    That's odd. Most, if not all, mech engineering lab/school I know of will not be utilizing macs, much less g5s even in the early 2000s, as there are frankly no industry apps that were made for ppc, or even osx and all required windows in my experience.

    Did you do ME?

    Common Programs in ME that are used (to name a few)
    ProEngineer/Creo
    Solidworks
    MathCad
    Matlab
    Fluent
    Gambit
    Abaqus

    To my knowledge, these programs NEVER had OSX variants (aside from matlab) and required Windows
     
  25. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #25
    I never said they ran OS X :p

    No seriously, the lab we used as freshmen was a ton of G5 iMacs running Windows in a virtual machine. It was pretty bad. I didn't stay.
     

Share This Page