Will my future Macbook Pro be good enough...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by TheOneEclypse, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. TheOneEclypse macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2010
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Hi. So I'm planning on getting my first Mac next week for college. I plan to get the 13-inch MBP, 2.4GHz model (lower end 13-inch) factory default from the Apple Store.
    I was wondering if the specs for this MBP will be good enough for creating video games, 3D graphics, rendering, etc or should I save up and go for the lower-end i5 MBP? I've already checked and all the programs will be compatible (in BootCamp) with the hardware, I'm more concerned with the performance.

    Anyone ever used 3DS Max, UDK, Maya in BootCamp on a Mac? How was the performance?

  2. rmbrown09 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 25, 2010
    For what you're describing, go for the 15"

    I grabbed mine for college about 4 months back. It's nice to have the extra horsepower.

    I will be using mine for C++ and Python
    but where it will actually probably sweat is gaming.
  3. TheOneEclypse thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2010
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    The only thing stopping me from getting the i5 is the price and the fact that I don't know how soon after I start college, when I'll need the laptop. If I had maybe an extra 3 weeks I'd buy the i5 no doubt.
  4. TRUCRACKER macrumors 6502


    May 31, 2010
  5. TheOneEclypse thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2010
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Just for the extra screen or for the i5 processor?
  6. ccashman92 macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2010
    Really, if you doing all this, I would go with a 17" Core i7 with 8 GB RAM and a SSD with a high capacity (300GB+).
  7. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    At least a 15". Take out a loan, you'll be able to pay it off after you finish school.
  8. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    The macbook pro in my sig is what I use for making games. The following programs I use are:

    Corel Painter

    and a bunch others but those are the game related programs I use. Maya will run on Mac natively but UD3 (I'm assuming your talking Unreal Engine) does not so you would want to use Bootcamp, same as if you were using Max instead of Maya.

    That being said get a macbook pro with a dedicated graphics card. This is important in modeling. Even though for basic stuff you can get away with a built in card, if you want to do any high quality renders make sure to get a macbook pro with a dedicated GPU and 8 gigs of ram. You can get by with four for a little bit but even at 8 gigs I often feel the pinch when I have Maya and Photoshop open together and especially when Maya, ZBrush, Photoshop, and Unity are open together! They all love to take all the ram they can get. My ram is maxed right now just by doing IPR renders in Maya to adjust my lighting.

    Now, some people will tell you "Go with a PC!" I couldn't disagree more. Why limit yourself? A mac will run both windows and mac and you can boot into windows natively. If you ever decide you want to make an iPhone game or something you will need a mac anyway. The mobile market is very attractive right now so you may end up doing this.

    Lastly...and I never see this mentioned ever....save some money for a subscription to Lynda.com and DigitalTutors.com. Lynda is great to get your feet wet with the software FAST and DigitalTutors takes things to the next level with a lot of advanced tutorials. If you want to learn Maya, Max, or anything else fast this is a great investment.

    Oh, and make sure to budget for an external monitor. You will HATE trying to model on a 15 inch screen.
  9. KyleKlink macrumors regular


    Feb 22, 2009
    Santa Maria, Ca
    Get the 15". I don't think the 13" is going to fit your needs. The i5 processor and the better GPU will go a long way in making your computing experience better.
  10. fcortese macrumors demi-god


    Apr 3, 2010
    Big Sky country
    If you can swing it, I add another vote for the 15." It is only about a pound heavier, but I have never had any problem carrying it around, and the extra power will serve you a lot longer, IMO.
  11. Weshzu macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2010
    I will be doing similar things when my college starts this september. But i'm a little tight on the budget. Should I really spend that much on the i5 you guys D:.
  12. h1r0ll3r macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2009
    ^ If you can, do it. Never hurts to have a fast(er) processor. Things like RAM/SSD can come later but you'll be stuck with your processor. i7 would probably be overkill but an i5 (stock config) should last you quite awhile provided that upgrade components in the future.
  13. Rithem macrumors 6502


    Jun 29, 2008
    Get a 15" i7 and an external. Or an iMac if you don't care about being portable or whatnot
  14. Harmless Abuse macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2008
    Talk to your school.

    Also don't sweat it much. The college will provide you with everything you need to do your work. They will have computer labs with the adequate amount of horsepower for your projects. Most colleges and big universities are starting to push 24-hour labs and libraries as well to accommodate as many students as possible, and almost every college I have seen pushes late hours at the very least.

    If your college specifically states that you will need your own computer (though I don't know why, I have never seen a college, even a community college, that refuses to provide proper labs for all needs minus textbooks), they will tell you the minimum specifications required for your programs and you can go from there.

    Thus, if you want something with more horsepower, like the 15" then you have ample time to obtain it. Or you can go with a 13" for personal things, or simple papers.
  15. bamf macrumors 6502

    Feb 14, 2008
    I run the IT department for a large company, and I buy a ton of computers. I have to say that without a doubt the 2010 15" i5 I use here is the best computer I've ever owned.

    You're much better off waiting a little bit and getting the 15" over the 13" for what you've said you will be doing with the machine. Integrated graphics is not what you need...

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