WHat kind of Laptop is needed (is best) for a compE freshman?

<p>-in terms of performance (CPU, RAM, HD space, graphics card), and/or portability (battery power) ? What about screen size - 13, 14, 15? and make - WIN or MAC?</p>

<p>Whatever you want really. Get something with a decent sized screen.</p>

<p>CPU- for compE a faster processor will obviously result in quicker/better performance. If you get any of the i5 or i7 intel chips you're good togo</p>

<p>RAM- minimum of at least 4gb, more is better but 4gb is fine </p>

<p>HD- you could go for a SSD, which will be faster and quieter than a HDD, but they cost a lot more. There are 2 common speeds for HDDs (5400RPM and 7200RPM) 7200RPM is faster, hence better performance but it can be more louder than the 5400</p>

<p>GPU- just for compE you probably can get by with anything in nVidia's 300 series, if you game, get a better GPU</p>

<p>As for portability, I would recommend a 15in laptop, because 17in is way too big to carry around and 13in's screen is noticeably smaller and less useful than a 15in. 15in = sweet spot for laptops. Also, most laptops usually have enough juice to last you atleast 2-2.5 hours which is more than enough.</p>

<p>For compE, no doubt a Windows computer , Macs are very poor to use for a major as compE</p>

<p>
[quote]
Macs are very poor to use for a major as compE

[/quote]
why wd they be so poor?</p>

<p>anyone with any other input on the questions, or at least on the last one, why a mac might be a poor selection as a laptop for a compE UIUC student?</p>

<p>Macs are actually a good selection. Mac can run Windows natively through bootcamp or you can run Windows concurrently with OSX through parallels which is not a bad solution. You get a little Windows Start Menu where you can run windows programs in OSX.</p>

<p>I'd avoid true virtualization like VMWARE though, you'll take a huge performance hit.</p>

<p>The only considerations are that you have to PAY for a Mac and you'll no doubt have to also buy a licensed copies of Windows.</p>

<p>I'd say Mac is a great choice, to get anywhere near to the quality and performance will bring the price of a Pc up closer to Mac anyways.</p>

<p>If price is an issue however, go PC, decent ones can be had at 500-700. Good enough for school, horrendous for gaming, video encoding, etc.</p>

<p>Depends on your true needs...</p>

<p>I see a asus pc at $600 - 15.6 scr, i5 2.3 ghz, 6gb ram, 640 hdd, batt life=9 hrs
<a href="http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+Laptop+/+Intel%26%23174%3B+Core%26%23153%3B+i5+Processor+/+15.6%22+Display+/+6GB+Memory+/+640GB+Hard+Drive+-+Lake+Blue/2712418.p;jsessionid=7D476DE326C7AC724DC8E5273DEC87C0.bbolsp-app04-49?id=1218346634378&skuId=2712418%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+Laptop+/+Intel%26%23174%3B+Core%26%23153%3B+i5+Processor+/+15.6%22+Display+/+6GB+Memory+/+640GB+Hard+Drive+-+Lake+Blue/2712418.p;jsessionid=7D476DE326C7AC724DC8E5273DEC87C0.bbolsp-app04-49?id=1218346634378&skuId=2712418&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>and a macbook pro for about $1100 - 13.3 scr, i5, 2.3ghz, 4 gb ram, batt life = 7-9 hrs, 320gb hdd, plus the cost of a W7 license</p>

<p><a href="http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Apple%26%23174%3B+-+MacBook%26%23174%3B+Pro+/+Intel%26%23174%3B+Core%26%23153%3B+i5+Processor+/+13.3%22+Display+/+4GB+Memory+/+320GB+Hard+Drive/9755322.p?id=1218169737492&skuId=9755322%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Apple%26%23174%3B+-+MacBook%26%23174%3B+Pro+/+Intel%26%23174%3B+Core%26%23153%3B+i5+Processor+/+13.3%22+Display+/+4GB+Memory+/+320GB+Hard+Drive/9755322.p?id=1218169737492&skuId=9755322&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>It almost looks like one can get a couple of similarly powered asus pc's for one macbook pro and the latter will have a significantly smaller screen. But the apple will have the apple on the cover.</p>

<p>I do not recommend Macs for computer engineers because there are some programs for classes for compE that cannot run on the OSX operating system. Yes you can buy a copy of windows 7 and install it via bootcamp. However! the current line of Macbook/Macbook Pros run VERY loud and hot on bootcamp because they have the dedicated GPU running full time while on bootcamp. Yes, you can use parralles or vmware, but I have run into some instances of some programs just not operating fast when using these softwares. Also, if you want to use bootcamp or parrallels, you need to buy a copy of windows 7, which costs about $100 dollars online..... trust me for engineers especially computer engineers, most students stick with PCs</p>

<p>the ASUS laptop from your link on Bestbuy looks very solid, the only thing I would look more into is the screen resolution. I might have not looked closely enough but I couldn't see the resolution for the laptop</p>

<p>So far I have had no problem. MATLAB runs fine. I haven't had any problems with AutoCad. All running under parallels. YMMV I guess. (Note that I am using the 15" quad I7 with 8gb of ram. I can't speak to the dual core performance.). </p>

<p>As for the heat problem. This has been fixed already. You need to install a program like MacFan or whatnot and adjust the fan speed. Windows 7 isn't doing it properly.</p>

<p>You do have to buy a copy of Windows 7 but if you can afford the Mac I'm sure you can afford windows 7 at the student rate.</p>

<p>if you are running windows 7 via bootcamp on your macbook pro, it only uses the dedicated graphics card. Since the laptop can only uses the dedicated GPU even on the most basic tasks, the temperature of CPU rises. If you were to install a program that controls the fan speed of the macbook pro, sure it might sound less annoying, but you are really damaging the CPU because the CPU needs to be kept cool. If you get the 15in macbook pros ($1700 and $2000 with student discount) you can most likely run many windows programs through parallels or vmware fine. Although the 13in macbook pros have the new intel processors, I would really try to find out if it can handle strenuous programs well.</p>

<p>I am not a compE major, but I guess compE will take both C and C++ courses. I have an asus computer. i7 and 2 gig for RAM. it runs fine for my C classes, so i figure that should be enough. Get a better one if you can.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I have an asus computer. i7 and 2 gig for RAM. it runs fine for my C classes, so i figure that should be enough. Get a better one if you can.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>get a better one than an I7? </p>

<p>Or, do you mean, in general, get a better laptop? By better, do you mean
horsepower (cpu/ram)?
hdd size?
build quality?
screen size?</p>

<p>
[quote]
the ASUS laptop from your link on Bestbuy looks very solid, the only thing I would look more into is the screen resolution. I might have not looked closely enough but I couldn't see the resolution for the laptop

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Native Resolution 1366 x 768</p>

<p>Asus</a> U56E-BBL5 Specs | PCMag.com</p>

<p>the macbook's rez = 1280 x 800 resolution</p>

<p>also, it was mentioned above that the dedicated GPU would be running all the time in the mac book. THe macbook that I am thinking of - the $1,138 entry level 13.3 alum unibody has a shared graphics card. The higher macbooks have dedicated gpu's. I wd think that this heating issue (when running windows apps ) would be even worse, therefore , for the lower end macbooks that use shared system resources.</p>

<p>How important is having a discrete dedicated graphics card in a laptop for a UIUC compE major? Are there any apps (auto cad, eg?) that need this kind of horsepower to run?</p>

<p>I found the following page that gives UIUC recommended parameters for a computer; however, there is no mention of graphics cards. </p>

<p><a href="http://www.cites.illinois.edu/newtocampus/recommended.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.cites.illinois.edu/newtocampus/recommended.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Most design software just runs off your CPU and sends the data to your GPU for display purposes. Some software, like Photoshop CS5, can utilize OpenGL to render your images (using your GPU for its processing power instead of hogging the CPU's), but most only uses your processor. So unless you're gaming, there's no pressing need for a dedicated graphics card, especially if you have a higher-end processor.</p>