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Best Laptop for running mathematical softwares-Matlab, etc

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    Hi guys,

    I've been shopping around for laptops and was just wondering which brand is best for running mathematicalsoftwares such as matlab, mathematica, maple and other similar programmes. I'm lookiing into getting either a MBP or any other equally reliable brand. I've been reading through some of the posts on this forum but I am yet come across anything in this area.

    Any good advice much appreciated.

    thanks
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    From what I've heard, Matlab works slightly better on Linux or a UNIX based OS, while the Windows version is supposedly more stable. That's just what I've heard though, not saying its fact. Modern computers tend to be able to run Matlab/etc pretty well, and gone are the days of needing something super high end. That said, it all depends how patient you are - if you don't mind waiting for the longer codes to process then get something cheaper, if you want it to fly, get an i7 and 8GB of RAM. The question "which brand is best..." is pretty tricky to answer though, since brand usually just comes down to personal preference/experience.

    Either way, a MBP would suit your needs perfectly if you're looking to spend that kind of money - I'd wait until at least early June though, they're meant to be refreshed very soon. Otherwise you might want to consider a Lenovo ThinkpPad which would offer similar performance. I suppose this might come down to personal preference in the end - if you want to use OSX then you have no choice but to get a Macbook Pro, otherwise there's Dell/Lenovo/HP in my recommendations.
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    (Original post by Wookie42)
    From what I've heard, Matlab works slightly better on Linux or a UNIX based OS, while the Windows version is supposedly more stable. That's just what I've heard though, not saying its fact. Modern computers tend to be able to run Matlab/etc pretty well, and gone are the days of needing something super high end. That said, it all depends how patient you are - if you don't mind waiting for the longer codes to process then get something cheaper, if you want it to fly, get an i7 and 8GB of RAM. The question "which brand is best..." is pretty tricky to answer though, since brand usually just comes down to personal preference/experience.

    Either way, a MBP would suit your needs perfectly if you're looking to spend that kind of money - I'd wait until at least early June though, they're meant to be refreshed very soon. Otherwise you might want to consider a Lenovo ThinkpPad which would offer similar performance. I suppose this might come down to personal preference in the end - if you want to use OSX then you have no choice but to get a Macbook Pro, otherwise there's Dell/Lenovo/HP in my recommendations.

    Thank you so much for your advice, I've been leaning more towards the MBP but from reading all the suggestions on here, I seem to get the overall impression that MBP is a bit overpriced and more people are buying into the brand rather than looking at the actual specification they want in any brand of their choice. The problem is I've only ever owned a samsung laptop which still works ok but running out of hard drive and very low RAM too. I'll continue to do my research.

    thanks
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    (Original post by pappymajek)
    Thank you so much for your advice, I've been leaning more towards the MBP but from reading all the suggestions on here, I seem to get the overall impression that MBP is a bit overpriced and more people are buying into the brand rather than looking at the actual specification they want in any brand of their choice. The problem is I've only ever owned a samsung laptop which still works ok but running out of hard drive and very low RAM too. I'll continue to do my research.

    thanks
    Well I do Computer Science, and after owning a Dell and HP I finally decided to take the plunge and get a MBP. At first I thought I'd regret it, especially after the novelty of OSX/unibody design/etc wore off. However, I can honestly say its probably the best bit of tech I've ever bought - mainly because, unlike most other laptops, it doesn't have that feeling that it will or could fall apart. There isn't any plastic and it just seems way more robust than other laptops - even the equivalent high end models. Now obviously its a fair amount more to be spending on a machine, however its nice knowing you've bought something that will last for a long time and is well supported by a decent company - Apple are great with warranties and so on, not to mention the resale values being really high. You're also buying something that has an OS entirely modified and tweaked to run as best as possible on specific machines. Windows is built to run on thousands of devices, whilst OSX is far more hardware specific and therefore arguably runs better.

    I hope this doesn't come across as "you should definitely get a Mac", but I would certainly recommend them from my experience so far - as I said before, I've owned Dell and HP laptops, neither of which lasted like they should.
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    (Original post by Wookie42)
    Well I do Computer Science, and after owning a Dell and HP I finally decided to take the plunge and get a MBP. At first I thought I'd regret it, especially after the novelty of OSX/unibody design/etc wore off. However, I can honestly say its probably the best bit of tech I've ever bought - mainly because, unlike most other laptops, it doesn't have that feeling that it will or could fall apart. There isn't any plastic and it just seems way more robust than other laptops - even the equivalent high end models. Now obviously its a fair amount more to be spending on a machine, however its nice knowing you've bought something that will last for a long time and is well supported by a decent company - Apple are great with warranties and so on, not to mention the resale values being really high. You're also buying something that has an OS entirely modified and tweaked to run as best as possible on specific machines. Windows is built to run on thousands of devices, whilst OSX is far more hardware specific and therefore arguably runs better.

    I hope this doesn't come across as "you should definitely get a Mac", but I would certainly recommend them from my experience so far - as I said before, I've owned Dell and HP laptops, neither of which lasted like they should.

    Thank you so much, I think I'll stick with my gut intincts which is a MBP. Apparently, there's an update coming up soon-so will wait till then but thanks so much for your advice. Nothing like hearing from someone who's actually owned and used the system before. In between, how much do the accessories cost for a MBP?-I mean accessories/software that I will need to buy in addition to the actual system.
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    (Original post by pappymajek)
    Thank you so much, I think I'll stick with my gut intincts which is a MBP. Apparently, there's an update coming up soon-so will wait till then but thanks so much for your advice.
    Yeah, all the rumours point to them announcing the next design around the 11th of June - likely to see a thinner body, retina display but also the removal of the DVD drive, so if that's something you need you're probably better off waiting a while longer and buying one of the previous generation models for cheap.

    (Original post by pappymajek)
    Nothing like hearing from someone who's actually owned and used the system before. In between, how much do the accessories cost for a MBP?-I mean accessories/software that I will need to buy in addition to the actual system.
    I know what you mean, its pretty important when you're spending this kind of money! Well I suppose it depends how you're going to be using it - if its just going to be sitting on your desk then I don't think I'd bother buying anything (except maybe an external mouse/keyboard). However, for carrying it around you'll probably want some sort of case or bag. If you mean accessories or software you need for it to run out of the box though, you don't need anything at all.

    Personally though, I have these:

    iWork - basically your OSX equivalent of Microsoft Office. Would definitely recommend it over buying Office.

    Apple Care - if you're a student you can get this heavily discounted, and its really worth it in my opinion. For a 15" Pro, you have to fork out £60 for it with education discount, whereas without the discount its well over £200. Apple are great with repairs and often don't charge for a lot of things, but getting an extended warranty is probably a good idea when you're buying a £1k machine.

    Hardshell case - just like any laptop/phone/etc there are a billion different cases you can get, but I've had one made by Incase for quite a while and I love it. I've not owned an actual sleeve or anything like that though, since I just put my lappy in my rucksack everyday (its got a built in slot thing).

    Mini DisplayPort to HDMI - similar to cases, there are loads of companies that make accessories like this. Apple do their own, but its a lot more expensive. I don't own the one I linked to since I can't actually remember what brand/model it is, but they all do pretty much the same thing. Got it so that I can hook it up to my external monitor.

    Overall though, just like anything designed by Apple, accessories are often more expensive than the standard brands and its something you get used to after a while. I'd definitely suggest you buy AppleCare, iWork and some sort of case though - you'd probably struggle without. Hope that answers your question somewhat, if you've got any others I'll still be here
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    (Original post by Wookie42)
    Yeah, all the rumours point to them announcing the next design around the 11th of June - likely to see a thinner body, retina display but also the removal of the DVD drive, so if that's something you need you're probably better off waiting a while longer and buying one of the previous generation models for cheap.



    I know what you mean, its pretty important when you're spending this kind of money! Well I suppose it depends how you're going to be using it - if its just going to be sitting on your desk then I don't think I'd bother buying anything (except maybe an external mouse/keyboard). However, for carrying it around you'll probably want some sort of case or bag. If you mean accessories or software you need for it to run out of the box though, you don't need anything at all.

    Personally though, I have these:

    iWork - basically your OSX equivalent of Microsoft Office. Would definitely recommend it over buying Office.

    Apple Care - if you're a student you can get this heavily discounted, and its really worth it in my opinion. For a 15" Pro, you have to fork out £60 for it with education discount, whereas without the discount its well over £200. Apple are great with repairs and often don't charge for a lot of things, but getting an extended warranty is probably a good idea when you're buying a £1k machine.

    Hardshell case - just like any laptop/phone/etc there are a billion different cases you can get, but I've had one made by Incase for quite a while and I love it. I've not owned an actual sleeve or anything like that though, since I just put my lappy in my rucksack everyday (its got a built in slot thing).

    Mini DisplayPort to HDMI - similar to cases, there are loads of companies that make accessories like this. Apple do their own, but its a lot more expensive. I don't own the one I linked to since I can't actually remember what brand/model it is, but they all do pretty much the same thing. Got it so that I can hook it up to my external monitor.

    Overall though, just like anything designed by Apple, accessories are often more expensive than the standard brands and its something you get used to after a while. I'd definitely suggest you buy AppleCare, iWork and some sort of case though - you'd probably struggle without. Hope that answers your question somewhat, if you've got any others I'll still be here

    Thanks you so much wookie42, you've more than answered all my questions!
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    http://www.dabs.com/products/samsung...51340000&src=3

    this .
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    Have you used this laptop personally? Any special features?
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    My lecturer uses Matlab and he swears by Mac OS... So im inclined to say Mac
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    (Original post by djshine88)
    My lecturer uses Matlab and he swears by Mac OS... So im inclined to say Mac
    Thank you for the suggestion.
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    (Original post by pappymajek)
    Have you used this laptop personally? Any special features?
    Core i7-2675QM 8GB RAM 750GB HDD



    which MBP are you thinking of?
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    (Original post by H.C. Chinaski)
    Core i7-2675QM 8GB RAM 750GB HDD



    which MBP are you thinking of?
    I'm thinking of getting the 13inch one-Corei7, 8GB memory, 2.8GHz dual core.
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    Unless you're going for the 15" MBP I'd consider getting the Macbook Air instead; its so much more portable and the SSD makes it feel unbelievably fast to use (bootup, etc), although admittedly you can get a SSD in the Pro too. Although the Air processor is slower, I doubt you're really going to be running massively heavily computational stuff during an undergraduate degree. I do lots of computational stuff on mine and its plenty fast enough.

    You'll enjoy whichever one you get regardless, but look at both in the shop before you decide.
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    You have point about getting a Macbook air... I would advise you to get one. The SSD more than makes up for the average processor. Having said that tho - you could do what i did and fit an aftermarket SSD... You won't be disappointed - boots in 20 seconds.

    As well as that being said, if you do much software programming or etc, i would defo advise u to get a 15.4.
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    (Original post by djshine88)
    You have point about getting a Macbook air... I would advise you to get one. The SSD more than makes up for the average processor. Having said that tho - you could do what i did and fit an aftermarket SSD... You won't be disappointed - boots in 20 seconds.

    As well as that being said, if you do much software programming or etc, i would defo advise u to get a 15.4.

    Thanks for your advice, now I need more help choosing between a macbookair and a macbook pro. I'm definitely going to be doing some programming.

    "As well as that being said, if you do much software programming or etc, i would defo advise u to get a 15.4.[/QUOTE]"

    -Are you suggesting I should get a 15 inch macbook pro?

    What are the disadvantages of the macbookair over macbookpro?
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    (Original post by poohat)
    Unless you're going for the 15" MBP I'd consider getting the Macbook Air instead; its so much more portable and the SSD makes it feel unbelievably fast to use (bootup, etc), although admittedly you can get a SSD in the Pro too. Although the Air processor is slower, I doubt you're really going to be running massively heavily computational stuff during an undergraduate degree. I do lots of computational stuff on mine and its plenty fast enough.

    You'll enjoy whichever one you get regardless, but look at both in the shop before you decide.

    thanks you so much for the tips, still doing more reading around.
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    (Original post by pappymajek)
    What are the disadvantages of the macbookair over macbookpro?
    -Loss of raw power. While the air will feel zippy enough for the average user, intensive tasks will suffer when compared to the more powerful processors in the Pro line. I wouldn't be surprised if the MacBook Pros went the same way as the iMacs did last year and transition entirely to quad core, they'll blow any update to the air out the water on that front.
    -Capacity. The Airs are limited to 64/128/256GB SSDs, which can be fine for some people but not for others. MacBook Pros have conventional hard drive bays so can be filled with terabytes of data or solid state performance, or a combination of both at the expense of an optical drive.
    -I/O, most notably lack of ethernet and optical drive. A lot of university halls still only have wired connections, meaning you'll need a USB-ethernet adaptor for the Air, leaving you with a single USB port.
    -Shorter battery life
    -More difficult/impossible to repair/upgrade. Most of the internals are soldered onto the motherboard, meaning they can't be changed at a later date like with the Pro's HDD and RAM. Meaning if you ever need more power or something dies, you could be looking at paying through the nose for it.
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    For the price of a 15" Pro you could buy a 13" Air, a 24" external monitor, and a cable to connect it. Then you have the best of both worlds; an ultra portable laptop, and a proper display to work on when you're at home, without needing to buy a desktop computer.

    This is basically the setup I have and its perfect. The beauty of the SSD is that the Air boots up so fast that you just have to pull it our your bag, put the cable into the thunderbolt port, and the monitor is ready to use straight away. Couple it with a bluetooth keyboard and the magic trackpad, and youre ready to go within seconds.
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    (Original post by poohat)
    Unless you're going for the 15" MBP I'd consider getting the Macbook Air instead; its so much more portable and the SSD makes it feel unbelievably fast to use (bootup, etc), although admittedly you can get a SSD in the Pro too. Although the Air processor is slower, I doubt you're really going to be running massively heavily computational stuff during an undergraduate degree. I do lots of computational stuff on mine and its plenty fast enough.

    You'll enjoy whichever one you get regardless, but look at both in the shop before you decide.
    The other advantage of the MBP-it has a DVD-drive as well as ethernet-I still find myself watching a lot of DVDs so this is a big plus for me.

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