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Not looking for a debate. Just an answer.


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So its come time for me to get a new laptop.

I don't know if I should get a 13" or 15", retina or no retina, maxed out specs or not.

Heres what I aspire to use it for.

  • Programming ( Java, C++, Swift, ect..)
  • I plan on working in the security field, network and mobile.
  • I want to be able to run programs and such to create algorithms for cryptology.
  • Occasionally run VM's

If I was to get a 13" I would also get an external monitor to use as well.

Since I am in college I tend to travel a lot between Georgia and Tennessee. So portability around campus and travel is important. I only mention this because if anyone could tell me if there is a big difference in the 13" and 15" retina weight! Thanks!

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I was debating if I should get a the 13" or 15" macbook pro, I ended up getting the 13" and im definitely happy with it its the best laptop I have owned so far and I usually get a different laptop every year. I don't think a 15" would be what you want the screen size doesn't make that much of a difference to me shockingly (and I use 4 heads on my development machine). Go with the 13" you wont regret it. However, I'd wait about a month or 2 because apple should be releasing their updated line of macs soon

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Looking at what you're planning to do with it I'd focus just slightly more on getting a lot of RAM than on getting a kick-ass CPU.

Given your plan to go into the network and mobile security, I'm expecting you to want to run a VM a little more often than just 'occasionally' and a number of tools used can benefit greatly from having a lot of RAM at their disposal. Programming aswell, particularly Java, tends to benefit more from having lots of RAM around than the latest, greatest CPU and I wouldn't be surprised if your algorithms for cryptology can be a little more rough around the edges when you have a lot of RAM to play with.

The main differences between an i5 and an i7 is that an i7 has more on-board cache and slightly higher clocks. The i7 drawbacks are that it costs considerably more and tends to use a lot more power. I'd recommend the i5 for your usage scenario. Spend the saved money on an SSD.

Edited by Cooper
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