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Actually, I was looking into that and I discovered that macbook pros will outdo alot of windows based setups of greater cost in benchmark tests The cost of owning a mac is also significantly less, and in the end you will end up paying less. The initial cost for the mac hardware is more, but the software is much better designed, resulting in higher benchmark test results and better performance.
An article on the cost of macs:
An article on the comparative power of macs:
Obviously the statistics on these are slightly older, but its still an interesting read. The source *might* be slightly biased too.
As an electrical engineer, I think you should go with whatever can run the programs you need it to. However, if you want something to last you, you should probably look into macs, as macs don't have as many hardware and software related issues as compared to pcs. A mac would be easier for university because its hardware and software are designed together and will probably work together better than a pc bundle. I imagine ease of use would be important at university because there can be huge amounts of wasted time when stuff stops working on a computer. They're also supposed to be extremely sturdy due to the unibody design.
In fact, even if you want to get windows, don't bother with a PC. Get a mac, as windows will run better on it anyways.
This is just from my own experience and knowing people who own macbooks and macbook pros.
refurb is the way to go, because apple warranty is sooo sick.