MacBook Pro 13" Touch Bar or Razer Blade Stealth?

TheHazzaaHD

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May 14, 2014
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Hello,
So I've been looking at a new Laptop for University, and I'm stuck on which of these two to purchase. I study Computer Science so will be doing programming and other assignments on here, I will likely install Linux if I get the Razer Blade Stealth, but if I get the MacBook I would stick with their OS.

I've broken it down to these two as I want something that's light, portable, yet powerful for what I need it for. I wouldn't be using this for gaming, unless I decide to install the occasional less demanding game like Football Manager.

MacBook Pro 13" (Base Touchbar Model - 256GB SSD):
http://www.apple.com/uk/shop/buy-mac/macbook-pro
Cost: £1574.40 (inc. student discount)

The New Razer Blade Stealth 12.5" (4K Model - 512GB SSD):
http://www.razerzone.com/gb-en/gaming-systems/razer-blade-stealth
Cost: £1,472.50 (inc. student discount)

Thanks for your advice,
Harry.
 
OS X is a GUI running on top of a modified version of BSD Unix. So if your CS department only requires some form of Unix, you can use OS X natively instead of having to run Linux. And anyway, you probably want to be running any secondary OSes in a virtual machine rather than dual booting. So if you do have to run native Linux, either system would work.

http://www.howtogeek.com/190773/htg-explains-whats-the-difference-between-linux-and-bsd/

Be aware that the new MBPs have both the memory and SSD integrated into the motherboard. If you buy the base model, you are stuck with the base model forever. I believe (you should research to confirm) the memory on the Razer is soldered, but the SSD is a standard PCIe M.2 and can be upgraded.

Apple does opt for the Intel CPUs with Iris graphics. So I would expect the MBPs' 3D graphics capability to be slightly better than the Razer's despite the Razer being slightly newer. Neither of them are really worthwhile for serious gaming though. You'd need to rely on an external GPU.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Computer-Games-on-Laptop-Graphics-Cards.13849.0.html?type=&sort=&archive=1&perfrating=1&or=0&itemselect_6473=6473&itemselect_7435=7435&gameselect%5B%5D=420&gameselect%5B%5D=414&gameselect%5B%5D=411&gameselect%5B%5D=409&gameselect%5B%5D=405&gameselect%5B%5D=407&gameselect%5B%5D=402&gameselect%5B%5D=398&gameselect%5B%5D=396&gameselect%5B%5D=386&gameselect%5B%5D=384&gameselect%5B%5D=377&gameselect%5B%5D=375&gameselect%5B%5D=371&gameselect%5B%5D=366&gameselect%5B%5D=332&gameselect%5B%5D=329&gameselect%5B%5D=293&gpu_fullname=1

For serious programming, you want a second screen anyway, so I expect you'll plug into a monitor on your desk and the laptop's screen size won't really be an issue. Also, I'm not sure 4k is really necessary for a screen this small running Windows. The ultra-high PPI screens are necessary for OS X because it doesn't use subpixel rendering. Windows does use subpixel rendering for fonts, effectively tripling the horizontal resolution when it comes to font clarity.

Here's the Notebookcheck review of the two. Looks like they are very closely matched.
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Apple-MacBook-Pro-13-Late-2016-2-9-GHz-i5-Touch-Bar-Notebook-Review.185639.0.html
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Razer-Blade-Stealth-Subnotebook-Review.160204.0.html
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Razer-Blade-Stealth-i7-7500U-Notebook-Review.182060.0.html
 

canadianvice

Honorable
Jul 25, 2012
234
1
10,910
47
You will have to run Linux in some capacity for computer science, especially if it's your primary computer.

Macs are popular as many of the unix tools used are already integrated into the OS, but I find that the Linux solution gives you more flexibility with dual boot in particular.

I would suggest the Razer blade, as it also has more horsepower for some of the programming projects you'll be doing (particularly if you go into a software engineering spec).

One thing to evaluate though, depending on your situation, is screen size. I roll a surface myself, and 12" is simply not good for programming. If Razer has a slightly bigger offering w/ a lower res screen (I think they do?) I would strongly suggest looking at that. Just my experience.
 
OS X is a GUI running on top of a modified version of BSD Unix. So if your CS department only requires some form of Unix, you can use OS X natively instead of having to run Linux. And anyway, you probably want to be running any secondary OSes in a virtual machine rather than dual booting. So if you do have to run native Linux, either system would work.

http://www.howtogeek.com/190773/htg-explains-whats-the-difference-between-linux-and-bsd/

Be aware that the new MBPs have both the memory and SSD integrated into the motherboard. If you buy the base model, you are stuck with the base model forever. I believe (you should research to confirm) the memory on the Razer is soldered, but the SSD is a standard PCIe M.2 and can be upgraded.

Apple does opt for the Intel CPUs with Iris graphics. So I would expect the MBPs' 3D graphics capability to be slightly better than the Razer's despite the Razer being slightly newer. Neither of them are really worthwhile for serious gaming though. You'd need to rely on an external GPU.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Computer-Games-on-Laptop-Graphics-Cards.13849.0.html?type=&sort=&archive=1&perfrating=1&or=0&itemselect_6473=6473&itemselect_7435=7435&gameselect%5B%5D=420&gameselect%5B%5D=414&gameselect%5B%5D=411&gameselect%5B%5D=409&gameselect%5B%5D=405&gameselect%5B%5D=407&gameselect%5B%5D=402&gameselect%5B%5D=398&gameselect%5B%5D=396&gameselect%5B%5D=386&gameselect%5B%5D=384&gameselect%5B%5D=377&gameselect%5B%5D=375&gameselect%5B%5D=371&gameselect%5B%5D=366&gameselect%5B%5D=332&gameselect%5B%5D=329&gameselect%5B%5D=293&gpu_fullname=1

For serious programming, you want a second screen anyway, so I expect you'll plug into a monitor on your desk and the laptop's screen size won't really be an issue. Also, I'm not sure 4k is really necessary for a screen this small running Windows. The ultra-high PPI screens are necessary for OS X because it doesn't use subpixel rendering. Windows does use subpixel rendering for fonts, effectively tripling the horizontal resolution when it comes to font clarity.

Here's the Notebookcheck review of the two. Looks like they are very closely matched.
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Apple-MacBook-Pro-13-Late-2016-2-9-GHz-i5-Touch-Bar-Notebook-Review.185639.0.html
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Razer-Blade-Stealth-Subnotebook-Review.160204.0.html
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Razer-Blade-Stealth-i7-7500U-Notebook-Review.182060.0.html
 
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