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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MBP 13" for engineering?


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LEMike09

 
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I will be entering college in the fall and am thinking about buying my first macbook, the macbook pro 13" to be exact. I'm majoring in electrical/computer engineering and was wondering if the 13" would be sufficient enough to handle the applications I will need to use via bootcamp. The main thing that I'm worried about is the integrated graphics instead of discrete. If it won't work well enough then I guess I will be getting either a Dell XPS 15 or possibly a thinkpad.
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chscag

 
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The MBP 13" machine with the Intel HD 3000 graphics should be able to run the programs you'll be using in Electrical\Computer Engineering without difficulty. You can check around our forums and get an idea of its capabilities from other owners. It's also a pretty good gaming machine.
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LEMike09

 
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I'm just a little skeptical because this is a big investment for me and I've never owned a mac before lol. Anybody else have some insight?
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RavingMac

 
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You have a 14 day no questions asked return window, but having said that, I can't see that your needs are all that intense. A significant portion of those of us on this forum are engineers, ITs, photography and graphic arts professionals-- that should give you an indication of the performance vs cost of Macs in general.
Probably any of the current Macs would easily meet your needs, but your best value price/performance wise is the MBP 13in.

I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .
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MinaMACMan

 
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Well, how about we look at this from a different angle. What programs are you going to be running for school?

I work and go to school at Stanford (Electrical Engineering) and the majority of the students and faculty use Macs. And a lot of the students use the 13" MBP.
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wheelguy12

 
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I finished a Masters in EE and CS and only used Windows software for all of my course work. The low end 2011 MBP 13" would be my choice if I were doing it again. Here are the things you add on to it with the $ you save...
0. Get a USB or FW backup drive for safety and for storing fun stuff like tv/movies/music/etc ($100?)
1. Buy VMware so that I could run various versions of Windows server at the same time ($55?)
2. Upgrade RAM to 8+gig so that I could run more than just 1 VM($100?)
3. Upgrade the HD to a 750gig 7500rpm so that I could run more than just 2 VMs ($120?)
4. Add a big external monitor or 2 - makes it easier to do more. The Apple Cinema is the best, but expensive ($900?)

2011 MacBook Pro 13" i5, 8/300 gig 27" + 23" disp
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LEMike09

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelguy12 View Post
I finished a Masters in EE and CS and only used Windows software for all of my course work. The low end 2011 MBP 13" would be my choice if I were doing it again. Here are the things you add on to it with the $ you save...
0. Get a USB or FW backup drive for safety and for storing fun stuff like tv/movies/music/etc ($100?)
1. Buy VMware so that I could run various versions of Windows server at the same time ($55?)
2. Upgrade RAM to 8+gig so that I could run more than just 1 VM($100?)
3. Upgrade the HD to a 750gig 7500rpm so that I could run more than just 2 VMs ($120?)
4. Add a big external monitor or 2 - makes it easier to do more. The Apple Cinema is the best, but expensive ($900?)
I already have a 24" external monitor and I planned to get a USB backup drive for use with time machine. I was just going to use bootcamp but if VMware or Parallels would be sufficient enough I would just buy one of those. I had also planned to upgrade the RAM to 8gb but I hadn't planned to change the HD. That might come in the future lol.
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VMware is not only sufficient, but essential - in order to run more than 1 Win machine on your Mac. Running 3 Win machines is a great way to study client-server networking. Just try doing that on BootCamp.

You can probably get 3 Windows VMs running with the standard 300gig hard drive if you conserve. Maybe 2 Win7 (20gig) and 1 Win2008 server(80gig).

2011 MacBook Pro 13" i5, 8/300 gig 27" + 23" disp
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LEMike09

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelguy12 View Post
I finished a Masters in EE and CS and only used Windows software for all of my course work. The low end 2011 MBP 13" would be my choice if I were doing it again. Here are the things you add on to it with the $ you save...
0. Get a USB or FW backup drive for safety and for storing fun stuff like tv/movies/music/etc ($100?)
1. Buy VMware so that I could run various versions of Windows server at the same time ($55?)
2. Upgrade RAM to 8+gig so that I could run more than just 1 VM($100?)
3. Upgrade the HD to a 750gig 7500rpm so that I could run more than just 2 VMs ($120?)
4. Add a big external monitor or 2 - makes it easier to do more. The Apple Cinema is the best, but expensive ($900?)
Just curious but if you only used windows software for all of your course work, what would make you choose the 13" mbp?
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wheelguy12

 
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Why choose a 13" MBP? It is good to learn different operating systems and development tools. With the MBP, you can become proficient in Win, Linux, and Mac systems/app development; whereas with a Win machine you can not enter the Mac space. In addition, I like the quality feel of the MBP hardware.

2011 MacBook Pro 13" i5, 8/300 gig 27" + 23" disp
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