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Mac Vs. PC - Okay, not really...

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Yomillio View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 February 2010 at 7:05pm
But that's probably where we're heading.

Well, I need some help from you all.

So, I'm starting college in the Fall for the 2010-2011 semester as a Freshman.  I applied to UConn's School of Engineering, and got accepted back in December with my major being undecided thus far - I'm pretty sure I want to do either Mechanical or Computer Engineering.  I'll make the decision some time in my first semester there.

Anyways, I'll be getting a laptop at the beginning of this summer for school.  I was planning on a PC (that's what I have used through my whole life), but I've been using a Mac lately in one of my classes at high school.  Due to my own preferences, etc., I think I might get a Mac instead.  I'm not looking for any comparisons - I know they don't come cheap, and I've studied their differences enough to know what I'm getting into.  Bottom line is, I am willing to pay the extra for a Mac.

Thing is, I don't know if the Mac will limit my capabilities for schoolwork.  There is a good chance that I'll need to run CAD programs - will I be able to do this with a Mac?  I know most CAD programs aren't made with Mac compatibility in mind.  I have heard you guys reference Bootcamp many times... is this something that is easily accessible, etc.?  Is it what I need?

Also, if I end up in Computer Engineering, for those who know... will I need a PC opposed to a Mac, etc?

Thank you guys for any help.


Edited by Yomillio - 04 February 2010 at 7:27pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JohnnyHopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2010 at 7:14pm
PC is cheaper
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tolgak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2010 at 7:16pm
I know a guy who has windows on his iMac but can't run CATIA (solidworks for air/space design). Programs like that are pretty touchy. I don't see why anything shouldn't work on a Mac with bootcamp, but there are some issues.

You should be fine though. At engineering schools, whatever you need should be available to you on the school computers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote choopie911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2010 at 7:26pm
You can get a mac, and use bootcamp to put a copy of windows on your laptop if you find out that you need it. It's what I did, I have a mac and use it for literally everything, but then use windows for Solidworks and Unreal Editor.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Yomillio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2010 at 7:32pm
Originally posted by Tolgak Tolgak wrote:

You should be fine though. At engineering schools, whatever you need should be available to you on the school computers.


Didn't even think of that... good point.

Originally posted by choopie911 choopie911 wrote:

You can get a mac, and use bootcamp to put a copy of windows on your laptop if you find out that you need it. It's what I did, I have a mac and use it for literally everything, but then use windows for Solidworks and Unreal Editor.


Looked up more information on Boot Camp, and it seems to be the solution, as much as I don't want to have to buy a copy of Windows.  Good to know if I do need it though.

Aside from all else important:  Where did your sister get the decal for your mac again, Choop?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote agentwhale007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2010 at 8:17pm
You're probably better off with a PC. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RoboCop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2010 at 10:25pm
Get bootcamp and see if your school has deals on the windows program. I know my college has crazy discounts on all sorts of programs. My friend is an engineer and he works with CAD also. He does have windows on his mac, but I'm not sure if he uses the windows to use CAD.

I love my mac. It works very well and I haven't had any real problems.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ParielIsBack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2010 at 11:02pm
If you want a Mac, go for it.

Certainly OS X is a very user friendly interface, but you will be paying a lot extra for it.  So far, I haven't found a single Windows program I've had trouble running, and as Tolgak said, if you're in engineering you'll have access to school computers with any programs you need.

Personally, doing it again, I would have bought a desktop PC and a cheap laptop, but I certainly am getting my money's worth out of my Macbook Pro, in all honesty.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FROG MAN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2010 at 11:34pm
you should look into a tablet PC, 

you can become insanely efficient in note taking and studying with a tablet. Many teachers teach with power points which you can DL to your tablet, and take notes right on top of them

im in 3rd year engineering and just got a scholarship, im spending my money on a tablet since I feel its such a huge advantage.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote choopie911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2010 at 4:04am
Originally posted by FROG MAN FROG MAN wrote:

you should look into a tablet PC, 
you can become insanely efficient in note taking and studying with a tablet. Many teachers teach with power points which you can DL to your tablet, and take notes right on top of them
im in 3rd year engineering and just got a scholarship, im spending my money on a tablet since I feel its such a huge advantage.


I imagine doing CAD on a tablet would make you commit suicide within 12 minutes.

And the decal is from this guy

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hysteria Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2010 at 4:11am
Originally posted by Yomillio Yomillio wrote:


Looked up more information on Boot Camp, and it seems to be the solution, as much as I don't want to have to buy a copy of Windows.  Good to know if I do need it though.


Lol, buy a copy of Windows?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Enos Shenk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2010 at 6:37am
Solidworks and other CSG CAD tools are memory hogs. They prefer to have a massive amount of memory, and running an emulated windows environment will eat memory right off the bat.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hysteria Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2010 at 9:31am
Originally posted by Enos Shenk Enos Shenk wrote:

Solidworks and other CSG CAD tools are memory hogs. They prefer to have a massive amount of memory, and running an emulated windows environment will eat memory right off the bat.


AFAIK Bootcamp isn't an emulator though.  It installs windows on its own partition, so pretty sure it is just like any other machine running windows.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2010 at 10:10am
Just for the record:  I am much better than any PC.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote choopie911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2010 at 2:33pm
Originally posted by Enos Shenk Enos Shenk wrote:

Solidworks and other CSG CAD tools are memory hogs. They prefer to have a massive amount of memory, and running an emulated windows environment will eat memory right off the bat.


Enos...enos enos.....bootcamp isn't emulated windows. I know you know that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mod98commando Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2010 at 8:55pm
Originally posted by Hysteria Hysteria wrote:

Originally posted by Yomillio Yomillio wrote:


Looked up more information on Boot Camp, and it seems to be the solution, as much as I don't want to have to buy a copy of Windows.  Good to know if I do need it though.


Lol, buy a copy of Windows?


Some people still do it. I actually bought a copy of Windows 7 since they had a student discount promo going and it was only like $30 for 64-bit Professional. I heard 7 was actually good and I've stolen plenty of software so I figured I could at least legally obtain Windows while it's cheap. Shortly after I did that, my school decided to offer all students a free copy of 7 Pro in 32 or 64 bit versions (Angry) but at least I wasn't a darn dirty pirate for once.

ANYWAY...

In response to the OP, I won't start the Mac vs. PC thing on you. Seems like you're aware of the potential issues involved with going Mac and the downsides of going PC (Windows) so there's probably no point in listing those for you. I will warn you though that if you're not very good with computers, getting the dual-boot setup might be a pain for you. However, once you have that going, things should work out great for you since you'll basically have a Mac and a PC in one box, giving you the ability to kind of dodge the main drawbacks of each OS merely by having the option to boot into either at will.

As you've probably learned from the first half of my post, it might be worthwhile to see if you school plans to offer a copy of Windows to students before paying for it. In my case, the school offers windows 7 (maybe even xp/vista still) and a whole bunch of other software like MS Office completely free for every student. If your school does that then your dual-boot will cost you nothing which would be pretty sweet. If they don't though, prepare to pirate/buy it yourself. I highly doubt you'll be able to run everything you'll need without Windows so that'll be important. If you know the apps they want you to use then you could also look up the system requirements and see for yourself if they'll run on OSX. Since many more people started getting Apple systems, more companies started supporting Mac OS so you may not need Windows after all. I'd check it out, a little research might save you a lot of time/money.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FROG MAN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2010 at 9:16pm
Originally posted by choopie911 choopie911 wrote:

Originally posted by FROG MAN FROG MAN wrote:

you should look into a tablet PC, 
you can become insanely efficient in note taking and studying with a tablet. Many teachers teach with power points which you can DL to your tablet, and take notes right on top of them
im in 3rd year engineering and just got a scholarship, im spending my money on a tablet since I feel its such a huge advantage.


I imagine doing CAD on a tablet would make you commit suicide within 12 minutes.

And the decal is from this guy


most tablets are convertible to a normal laptop.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Yomillio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2010 at 9:59pm
Originally posted by mod98commando mod98commando wrote:

Originally posted by Hysteria Hysteria wrote:

Originally posted by Yomillio Yomillio wrote:


Looked up more information on Boot Camp, and it seems to be the solution, as much as I don't want to have to buy a copy of Windows.  Good to know if I do need it though.


Lol, buy a copy of Windows?


Some people still do it. I actually bought a copy of Windows 7 since they had a student discount promo going and it was only like $30 for 64-bit Professional. I heard 7 was actually good and I've stolen plenty of software so I figured I could at least legally obtain Windows while it's cheap. Shortly after I did that, my school decided to offer all students a free copy of 7 Pro in 32 or 64 bit versions (Angry) but at least I wasn't a darn dirty pirate for once.

ANYWAY...


As you've probably learned from the first half of my post, it might be worthwhile to see if you school plans to offer a copy of Windows to students before paying for it. In my case, the school offers windows 7 (maybe even xp/vista still) and a whole bunch of other software like MS Office completely free for every student. If your school does that then your dual-boot will cost you nothing which would be pretty sweet. If they don't though, prepare to pirate/buy it yourself. I highly doubt you'll be able to run everything you'll need without Windows so that'll be important. If you know the apps they want you to use then you could also look up the system requirements and see for yourself if they'll run on OSX. Since many more people started getting Apple systems, more companies started supporting Mac OS so you may not need Windows after all. I'd check it out, a little research might save you a lot of time/money.


Will do.  Thanks for the heads up.

Still trying to figure out for myself if the additional cost is worth it.  Thanks for everyone's responses, they're a big help.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2010 at 10:06pm
Just adding to what mod98 said about free software, if you pick the Computer Engineering track, be sure to join IEEE. They've been having a membership deal lately (not sure if its still going on) where joining lets you join the Computer Society for free or cheap.  As a member you have access to a very nice MSDN library of PC titles.

Still kicking myself for not downloading Windows 7 Ultimate while they were supporting it =(
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote choopie911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 February 2010 at 3:28pm
Originally posted by Yomillio Yomillio wrote:

Still trying to figure out for myself if the additional cost is worth it.  Thanks for everyone's responses, they're a big help.


Recently I've been able to justify the price difference more easily.
Do you think that this chair:



Should cost the same as this chair?



You can sit perfectly well in both of them, move them around with you, stand on them even if you want....but doesn't design and aesthetics come into play? Absolutely, you pay a bit more for design as well. And that's not just macs, "pretty" PC manufacturers are more sometimes too.

If I just think about paying a premium for good design (which is unfortunate but common) then I don't mind as much, as personally I like that. Of course its not for everyone, but it makes more sense to me that way.
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