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Really torn between MB & MBP


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#1
Weston

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Hi all! I've been a board stalker for a fairly long time (since September I think), but haven't registered till yesterday when I decided to start really investigating the MB vs. MBP. I'm very torn between the two and I wanted to get some feedback from some people who may have really used both for a longer period of time than just walking into the store-

Here's what I'm going to be using the laptop for---

In February I'm traveling to New Zealand for five months to study abroad, and I wont' be able to take my workhorse PC with me. I usually use my PC for all of my computer science development because I pimped it out (dual 19" monitors, 4200x2, 2gb ram, etc.), so I'm going to be making the adjustment of doing all this work on a laptop.

I currently own a 1Ghz powerbook which is fine in its ownright, but I constantly get the spinning beach ball on a lot of webpages now, and it's definitely not "snappy" when I do anything like watch a movie, or even play online poker. Everything seems to really slow down and I want to feel some better response even when I'm just surfing online.

So, here's my dilema. I'm very used to a 15" screen on a laptop, and so I'm weary to downgrade to a 13" as it seems like it would feel a heck of a lot smaller to me. I know a lot of people think this is a premium to have it that small, but I've never felt like my 15" wasn't portable.

I do like to play games, but I don't play them all that often. Mostly what I play are MMO's, and some are graphic intensive and some are not.

I use my computers heavily for programming and sometimes graphic development (photoshop), so the extra real-estate seems like it would be nice for programming.

So, you may be reading this and thinking- Why is this even a problem? Why not just go with a MBP for the more all around power--- Well, I've been reading a lot of the posts on here and people seem to be downgrading in a lot of situations from the MBP to a MB, whether it be because the MBP is more than they need, or the MB is just more reliable. I've heard the horror stories of the buzzing coming the laptop, the extreme heat, and a few other nuanses, but it seems like a lot of the stuff people complain about will be taken care by applecare once the fixes are made available.

Money is an issue, but at the same time it isn't. I can get a MBP for around 1600, and a MB for around 1200, so it's a 400 difference for me. Is that 400 dollars worth the extra real-estate and graphics processor? That's what I'd like to hear from all of you!

Thanks in advance everyone!

Wes

#2
Colonel

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Hi all! I've been a board stalker for a fairly long time (since September I think), but haven't registered till yesterday when I decided to start really investigating the MB vs. MBP. I'm very torn between the two and I wanted to get some feedback from some people who may have really used both for a longer period of time than just walking into the store-


I've been watching this site for a while too. I think it's been since about last Octobber.

Here's what I'm going to be using the laptop for---

In February I'm traveling to New Zealand for five months to study abroad, and I wont' be able to take my workhorse PC with me. I usually use my PC for all of my computer science development because I pimped it out (dual 19" monitors, 4200x2, 2gb ram, etc.), so I'm going to be making the adjustment of doing all this work on a laptop.

I currently own a 1Ghz powerbook which is fine in its ownright, but I constantly get the spinning beach ball on a lot of webpages now, and it's definitely not "snappy" when I do anything like watch a movie, or even play online poker. Everything seems to really slow down and I want to feel some better response even when I'm just surfing online.


I used to have a 1.5 GHz Powerbook and I'd get that beach ball all of the time. Not Fun.

So, here's my dilema. I'm very used to a 15" screen on a laptop, and so I'm weary to downgrade to a 13" as it seems like it would feel a heck of a lot smaller to me. I know a lot of people think this is a premium to have it that small, but I've never felt like my 15" wasn't portable.


Tust me. You won't be able to tell that the Macbook is 13" instead of 15". When I first used it at the store, I thought it had to have been 15". The widescreen display is what did that. It makes the screen feel bigger than it really is.

I do like to play games, but I don't play them all that often. Mostly what I play are MMO's, and some are graphic intensive and some are not.

I use my computers heavily for programming and sometimes graphic development (photoshop), so the extra real-estate seems like it would be nice for programming.


I've been able to play games and use Photoshop on my hackintosh with GMA 900. I think that GMA 950 will be fine.

So, you may be reading this and thinking- Why is this even a problem? Why not just go with a MBP for the more all around power--- Well, I've been reading a lot of the posts on here and people seem to be downgrading in a lot of situations from the MBP to a MB, whether it be because the MBP is more than they need, or the MB is just more reliable. I've heard the horror stories of the buzzing coming the laptop, the extreme heat, and a few other nuanses, but it seems like a lot of the stuff people complain about will be taken care by applecare once the fixes are made available.

Money is an issue, but at the same time it isn't. I can get a MBP for around 1600, and a MB for around 1200, so it's a 400 difference for me. Is that 400 dollars worth the extra real-estate and graphics processor? That's what I'd like to hear from all of you!

Thanks in advance everyone!

Wes


I think you should just get the Macbook, but that's just my opinion. Sure it's not as big as the Macbook or has as good graphics, but it stil works like a dream. You won't really notice a difference between the Macbook and the Pro unless you're doing something highly graphics intensive.

I'm getting one this Sunday. :construction:

#3
Joe The Dragon

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Go for the PRO with the Mac book you will need extra ram to make up for the on board video eating up system ram + plus it does not have good 3d.

#4
kevin_4e

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Here's what i said to someone who had a very identical question to yours

I bought my first Mac a few weeks ago which is a Black MacBook. I updated the ram to 1GB. If i had $500 dollars to do it over again and upgrade to 2GB, i would rather spend the money on a bigger hard drive and a ton of other stuff. 1GB of ram works as fast as i could ask for. I haven't gotten real heavy into bigger aps like CS2 but i have not seen any slow downs at all. This laptop works faster than any of my desktop PC's by far and that's in every signle aspect. I don't believe they will get a whole lot faster in the way of laptops, but i personally don't care. I'm not going to wait half a year for something very minimal to me. I don't game on any of my computers (that's why i have a 360) so i don't know how that works. My sister has a 15'' laptop and i'd never ever want something that big. The size has never became an issue but i did go ahead and spend $20 for the DVI adpater so i've got 17''+13.3'' when i'm at home. I'd say go for the MacBook and spend some extra for the performance.

Also i'll have CS2 and some other heavy apps to test out and see how fast they work and i'll let you know.


Some final words: I rarely and i mean rarely get the beach ball. Only at startup and sometimes in safari but thats all i can think of. I almost bought a 12'' powerbook a little while ago to save some money but the 12'' seemed way too small and very impracticle. I tested out the MB (which is obviously 13.3'') and i really don't care to go any bigger. As i said earlier i did go and buy the DVI adapter and i use it every once in awhile for using many programs at a time so that's a great alternative to upgrading to the 15''. Tell us what you do.

#5
boo50

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i'm fully agreed with kev4e15.
Better buy 2 gb or ram, that Ati X1600 instead of GMA 950.
and as for me laptop MUST be compact...
laptop is a mobile computer what must be small and light weight ....
and MUST have a long batterie life ! macbook is a champion on than..
because GMA950 don't need much power..
and 1280*800 is a good resolution.. it's enought too...

i think what macbook is the best laptop on the market...


#6
A Nonny Moose

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You're not going to be doing anything that will give a dedicated graphics card any kind of advantage over integrated graphics (Photoshop relies on the processor as opposed to the graphics subsystem). So go with the MacBook

#7
bwhsh8r

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MBP are having alot of problms so id check on that first ;) good luck and happy shopping



max

#8
Weston

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Wanted to thank you all for your help. I ended up buying a Macbook two days ago at an Apple store. Here's my quick little review- From purchase down to usage.

Step One: Buying the laptop was easy as apple pie at my local apple store. Took about 5 minutes to get a free Customer Service Rep, but that's because the store was packed (good for apple). Told him that I'd like to buy a 1.83 ghz macbook, and then he went into auto mode and starting listing off all the things he'd probably say to a customer who had never used a mac before (or wasn't technically sound). I stopped him half way, because I didn't need the whole info session on all their great products, warranty information, etc., but he did manage to sell me applecare (was going to wait a year to buy it, but they sold it to me cheap b/c i'm a student). He also reminded me about the Ipod nano deal, which was great- So, after showing them my drivers license and student ID about 20 times, they finally gave me the discounts and rang me up. In total, I paid 1500 for the Macbook Pro, AppleCare warranty, and a 2gb black Ipod Nano. Now--- Time for the deductions.

I can deduct about 380 dollars from that price b/c I'm selling the nano and getting the rebate, so that knocks my total cost down to about 1120 with tax... Which is absolutely fantastic when you compare it to comperable laptops on the market. On top of that, I'm willing to pay 300-400 more for an apple laptop than any other brand, because of all the laptops I see and repair at school, less than 1% are macs, and we're a campus of 60%-70% Mac users.

The second I got home I ordered 2 gigs of Ram, recommended by someone on here, for 165 dollars from New Egg (best component store on the internet). I'll be receiving that tomorrow afternoon, so I'll give you all an update on performance then, but even with the 512 I'm pleasantly surprised.

Step Two: Out of the box, the machine booted up wonderfully. I didn't migrate any of my data from my powerbook (which I'll get to in a moment), because I wanted a fully clean install. This is my first new mac product, as all the rest have been used, so I was disapointed with the loaded trial software, as that added nearly 4 gigs of uneeded {censored} to my laptop.

Aqua was INCREDIBLY snappy right off the bat, and in seconds I was surfing the web, loading needed software (MS Office), and downloading the widgets and gadgets I use. Yes, I did notice somewhat of a bottleneck because of the lack of RAM, but that was to be expected. For the average user, I'd say 512 is actually enough. While it's not fantastic, for someone who doesn't know better or expect more, it does everything you need. I've talked my father into purchasing one this week, and I don't expect him to upgrade.

I was tempted to load Parallels (I get a free copy through school), but decided to hold off until I got the upgrade in RAM, figuring it would kill me. Then again, I don't know what I will use parallels for, because the Mac is only not what I need when I'm running games.

Step 3: Boot camp is nice but not great. My experience was buggy, and had to install the OS twice. The drivers froze on me the first time, and killed my Windows partition. The trick was not loading the drivers off the CD, and rather copying them locally first.

I played Fifa 2006 and it was good on the best settings. Had some hiccups in spots, but common... It's onboard memory with only 512 MB of Ram... What do you expect? It was fun, and I was in my boxers in bed the whole time- Can't ask for much more.

Problems: I've got a cow in my laptop sadly. I am a sufferer of a mooing macbook, but I've read and heard that a firmware fix is on the way to get the fan to either stay fired up, or not come on till a hotter temperature. Other than that, the laptop is decently quiet- When the hard drive really gets going, it gets kind of annoying, but I'm used to that with my powerbook.

On a scale of 1-10, ten being the best laptop I will ever own, it's an 8. I am starting to believe that this is a transitional model, as the product seems to not be smooth around the edges (no pun intended). Would I tell anyone not to buy it now and wait for a new one to come out? Nope! I love my macbook, even with its quarky personality. If it thinks it's a cow... So be it- C'est la vie for now.

So, anyone who is thinking about not getting a macbook b/c of screen size or the video card.... Don't worry about it, and just get the macbook. You'll be pleasantly surprised with how great it is-

Wes

#9
tainice

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Thanks for your wonderful and funny mini review, but I have one question: how much real screen estate you lost in comparsion to your 15'' Powerbook? I use Indesign and Painter all the time, and I am always short on pixels despite owning a 20'' ADC. Now, people may say, go and get a MBP. Saddly, cannot afford one now, besides, I really want a "portable" computer accompanies to the library and other places. "Why don't you get a DVI dongle?" I am plannig to do so, but I want to make sure MP has at least reasonable room to work while I am away from my ADC. Thanks in advance.





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