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Macbook for Engineering Students and Majors - Pros and Cons

Updated on August 1, 2016
Macbook for Engineering Students
Macbook for Engineering Students | Source

If you are going to an engineering school or college, you might be wondering whether a Macbook is a good enough laptop for an engineering major or not. As a student of engineering myself, I don't find any trouble with using a Macbook for my studies. In fact, I have several friends (and also a lecturer) who are serious Apple fans and use a sleek, white Macbook Pro.

However, with different versions of Macbook in the market, it can be hard to make an informed purchase. First things first - a Macbook Air won't cut. Macbook Air is primarily for light-duty users who do not need serious processing speed, graphics rendering, and designing. All versions of Macbook Air also don't have a dedicated graphics adapter - which is a must for laptops for engineering students.

Macbook for an Engineering Major

Pros of Macbook for Engineering

  • It's an Apple product. Period. This includes design, light-weight, portability, and a plus if you are an iPhone user accustomed to Apple apps.
  • Longer battery life than its Windows counterparts
  • Increasing number of software programs for engineers (for example: AutoCAD)

Cons of using Macbook for an engineering degree

  • No universality. While Macbooks are popular, most of your friends will be using a Windows PC. It's not a big issue if you are okay with the OS and use iPhone and its apps to sync everything.
  • Some programs may not run - for example, Matlab, a popular software for mechanical engineering, does not have a Mac version. However, to run programs like these, it is easy to create another Windows OS in your Mac using parallels. All my friends do this and have had no problems whatsoever. This way, you get the performance of a Mac and also the compatibility of Windows.

AutoCAD 2014 in Macbook

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Gaming on a Macbook Pro

One aspect we can't overlook is gaming. Whether you are a casual or a hardcore gamer, we all want to know how versatile is Macbook for gaming. After all, gaming requires similar performance as graphic designing and simulation in engineering.

It was found that a Macbook is perfect for casual gamers that runs games like Minecraft, Tomb Raider and even GTA V. However, when Windows 10 was installed on the same Macbook using Bootcamp, the performance skyrocketed to more than double the frame rates of what the Mac was playing. And this was with just the integrated IRIS graphics.

More powerful spec graphics like NVIDIA should yield better frame rates with HD playback. So if you are a gamer and want Macbook as a part of your engineering course, go for the model with NVIDIA or AMD Radeon dedicated graphics.

Video: Gaming on a Macbook

What Macbook Pro is best for engineering?

Universities like Virginia Tech recommend the highest graphics possible with a good screen resolution. The 15.4-inch Macbook Pro with retina display (code: MJL2LL/A) is the only contender for a Macbook for engineering majors. It has a dedicated graphics card Nvidia GeForce 750M on top of the regular Intel HD Iris graphics. With 16GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD drive, it is a good investment for your engineering career.

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Newest Macbook Pro Version 2015
Newest Macbook Pro Version 2015 | Source

Features of the Macbook Pro

  • The display quality is a huge improvement than a Macbook Air. It will be useful when using AutoCAD.
  • The speakers are also improved and sound clear - although the bass seems lower.
  • Backlit Keyboard.
  • Battery life has been clocked at 10 hours.
  • Does not have a CD/DVD drive. Making a laptop lighter and more portable does have its drawbacks. And honestly, we don't use the optical drives much these days as everything is downloadable online.

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      Marco 4 weeks ago

      Matlab has Mac version.

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