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MacBook Pro vs. Dell XPS 13 ... Which one?


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#1 francesco_zoso

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 10:48 AM

Hi all,

I'm currently facing the hardest question: 'Which laptop should I buy?'. I'm undecided between two models:

A ) 2017 Dell XPS 13'', intel i7 8th gen (8550U), 16GB RAM, 512 GB SSD

B ) 2017 MacBook Pro 13'', intel i5 7th gen, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD

 

My gut feeling, also driven by personal taste (and probably market), would lead me to pick up the Mac. But I'm still considering the dell, cause I recognize that on the paper it looks more performing.

 

About the requirements: I'm a physicist, and about to start to write my PhD thesis, therefore the use would be mainly:

- A lot of tying (LaTeX) … ok, no big deal I know.

- Running some simulations on Matlab.

- Data analysis on Matlab/Mathematica (time to times with big sets of data)

- Plots and graphics (both 2D and 3D) for figures editing

 

However, let me also say that I'm interested in the field of Data analysis, and Data Visualization, so I might end up dealing with a lot of graphics design tasks in the near future (in one year from now).

 

What would you guys chose?

 

I'm mostly worried by the difference in the processor: 8th gen i7 vs. 7th gen i5, although Macs are generally more widely used in the graphics field (as far as I know).

 

Thanks in advance!

Francesco


Edited by francesco_zoso, 27 December 2017 - 10:49 AM.


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#2 MadmanRB

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 11:13 AM

The Dell

 

Apple is a ripoff


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#3 r.a.d.

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 12:17 PM

Not to turn any coin, but a non-tech view from my own family & friend obversions:
A family member is a mathematics professor/teacher/around the world lecturer.
My brother is a designer/graphic artist and produced promo ads/posters/signs for many mainstream movies in the film industry.
Our friend is a nurse practitioner who uses her computer constantly for work related studies and applications.
All three use Macs (this is no plug for Apple) .
My suggestion would be to ask any of your colleagues what they use and why.
 
Whatever platform you decide on, especially for your plans now and in the future, my own (I'm a simple retired tradesman) adage is to buy the best of either that you can afford as then you'll only cry once instead of twice.

Also (probably speaking to your own choir) as you write your thesis: back up your efforts on an ongoing/frequent basis in case of a catastrophic computer event which can happen to either MS or Mac.

#4 r.a.d.

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 09:30 PM

francesco, am bumping instead of edit so you get auto notification, a previous thread addresses the choice with links to sites for your perusal where several other members chimed in:

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/661693/is-mac-os-better-than-windows-os/

#5 ranchhand_

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 11:01 AM

From your post, I gather that you are not a techie "geek".  You don't game, you don't love to tear into your system and try different "things", and you aren't interested in building your own computer. You just want a system that will leave you alone so that you can concentrate 100% on the projects that you will be undertaking. Money/price for the most part does not enter into the picture (within reason, of course!).

First priority, Main priority and Major priority: does each system you are considering have the software that you need to do your work? In the end, it is the software that you will be dealing with on a daily (and probably nightly) basis. Which do you prefer for the tasks you will be undertaking? If the Dell will not run the Apple software you are familiar with (or vice-verse) you are into a learning curve, and half way into the curve you may discover that particular program will not do what you need to be done. Now you are screwed.

Both Apple and PC are good systems; Apple specializes (and always has) in systems that are simple to run, and customer support is at the nearest Apple store.
PC offers a fast, stable computer, and you can choose, literally, from hundreds of programs out there. Forget Dell support and ditto for other manufacturers. If you have problems you are on your own, that is why there are so many support forums like the one you are posting on.

Examine the software you will need to do your work, and then choose the system that will run it. That is where your decision will be.


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#6 Kilroy

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 02:53 PM

I'd go with the Dell.  One of the major reasons being the size of the drive.  The install for MATLAB is 3 to 4GB and that size can grow depending on what toolboxes you need installed, I've seen 30GB MATLAB installs.  The 16GB of RAM should also make a considerable performance difference.

 

I don't know if you're going to run into drive space issues on the MAC, I know that 128GB drive for windows is painful.



#7 MadmanRB

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 02:59 PM

No space issues on OSX are minimal but it does add up after a while if one upgrades the OS.

Unix and unix like systems are very light on space.


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