2.0 MacBook + upgrades or base 2.0 MBP

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by JonHimself, Jun 3, 2006.

  1. JonHimself macrumors 68000

    JonHimself

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #1
    I'm getting rid of my iBook G4 this week and will be purchasing a new mac laptop. I am torn between two options and am looking for some insight. My first option which I was thinking of doing in the first place, was to purchase the 2.0 GHz MB, upgrading the ram to a 1gb and the HD to 80gb. It would cost me 1515$ cdn with the education discount. The second option which I recently began to consider was the purchase a macbook pro. I would get the basic 15.4" 2.0GHz, 80gb drive and 512 ram (with the intention of buying a 1gb stick in the next few months). This would be 1999$ canadian, again with the edu discount. I've always liked the powerbook and just assumed that after having the iBook I would naturally purchase the powerbook because it would be a great upgrade. The problem that has come up, is that the new macbooks are quite an upgrade from the iBook. The one thing I was really looking for in the powerbook was the DVI out, optical audio and higher resolution (I have the screen spanning hack so that wasn't an issue). But now the macbooks have all of those things. I'm not really sure what the major benefit (for me) of getting the mbp would be at this point. I don't really do much heavy editing of audio or video but any that I do do could be handled by iLife (I would like to use final cut to try it out though, which I understand the mb can't do). I think most of my problem is pyschological. I think that by buying the mb I wouldn't think I was actually upgrading because I still have the white plastic laptop instead of the shinny silver one, I just really like the look of the pb/mbp. What are your thoughts about the extra 500 to get the mbp? Is it any more or less "future-proof" with leopard,etc than the macbook? Are there any benefits of the macbook pro that I'm forgetting about?

    Hopefully someone can help me out...
     
  2. Xander562 macrumors 68000

    Xander562

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    #2
    well it all comes down to your personal use. if all your going to be doing is using iLife, then the MacBook will be perfect for you. if you are thinking about getting into the higher-end video editing things (you mentioned Final Cut Pro) then the MBP is the computer for you. What you need to do is sit down and ask yourself what exactly are you going to use this computer for. Basically, the Major difference (in terms of hardware) between the MB and the MBP is the Video card/chip. Hard Drive space can be expanded w/ an external HDD. and memory can easily be upgraded in both machines. Besides the option for a 2.16 Processor, the screen size and video cards they are basically the same machine.
     
  3. AntonicKnight macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    #3
    First of all, I don't really see why the MacBook is supposed to be fit for iLife work, and home-user stuff, while the MacBook Pro would be the pro machine... it's really only the built-in/dedicated video card issue. If you do "pro" work that doesn't rely so heavily on graphical acceleration, why would the MB not suffice?
    So, why choose for an MBP despite the higher price, if you don't need the X1600?
    First: screen differences. Isn't the MacBook Pro's screen supposed to be better (aside from a higher resolution) in terms of viewing angle dependence, homogenous colors, and brightness? Also keep in mind that although upgrading from a MacBook (13.3 in) to a MacBook Pro (15.4 in) gives you 2 extra inches of viewing space, the total form factor only increases by about 1 inch both in width and height. That's because the MBP has a much smaller border around the screen.
    Second, what about build-quality difference? I personally think the MBP, being a "pro" portable, is stronger in terms of what it can endure.
    The last difference you might want to consider is more of a long-term concern: the AppleCare price. For the MacBook, the price is substantially lower than for the MacBook Pro. I always plan on getting the extended warranty for any laptop, so it's only fair to include the AppleCare price difference in the price comparison for both laptops.
     
  4. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Working for MI-6
    #4
    Personally, I would go with the 2GHz MacBook Pro- it has a dedicated GPU, is thinner, has a larger screen, looks better (in my opinion) etc....



    P.S.- since I own one of the machines in question,
    I might be a tad bit biased. ;) :D
     
  5. dongmin macrumors 68000

    dongmin

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    #5
    This would be an absolute fallacy. From a performance point of view, the only advantage of MB-Ps are their graphics, specifically 3D graphics. Video editing has nothing to do with 3D graphics hardware. So you get zero performance boost with a MBP, as far as FCP is concerned. Don't believe me? Here's a benchmark from Creative Mac:

    [​IMG]

    So if video editing is your primary concern, by all means get the MacBooks, load up the RAM, and upgrade the HD to a 7200 rpm drive. The only advantages of the MBP I see is the graphics hardware (which basically only applies to 3D-intensive games), the larger screen, and the option to get a matte screen. The MacBooks, thanks to being a newer design, have certain features that MBPs lack: magnetic latch, easiser access to the HD and RAM, and longer battery life (yes, there is a flip side to having less powerful graphics).
     
  6. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #6
    How many times have you dropped your iBook? or dropped something on it?

    Basically the MBP substitutes some of the MB's durability for some extra I/O ports, a larger screen, different keyboard, and a GPU.

    The architecture is basically the same, just configured a tad differently.

    The only performance boost will be GPU related, and a nominal boost for faster CPUs.
     
  7. SheriffParker macrumors 6502a

    SheriffParker

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    The land of love
    #7
    The macbook will be fine for video editing. The Core Duo will do most of the rendering and playback, so a strong video card isn't really necessary for final cut pro. Same with photoshop (when it finally becomes UB). All the 2D software is just processor hungry, and the Macbook will perform almost on par with the MBP.

    Another thing to think about is that now that the intel macs can boot windows, you can play all the 3D games you want. If you plan on maybe playing any games in the future, go for the pro. If you need to do 3D modeling or 3D animation, the same thing applies.... you'll need that video card.

    The screen size on the Macbook is 1220 x 800 I believe, vs. the 1440 x 900 on the 15" Pro. After doing a lot of final cut on my iBook G4 (1024 x 768) I can definitely say you'll want the bigger screen. Editing on a small screen kind of sucks. BUT, the Macbook is already a step up from your iBook, so you would feel a sense of having more desktop space..

    If you aren't really serious about video editing, and are just dabbling, I would go with the macbook. The 2GB of RAM you'll be able to afford would make your MB outperform your MBP with 512 MB on almost every task.
     
  8. JonHimself thread starter macrumors 68000

    JonHimself

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #8
    Thanks for all the insight... It's good to know that the mb would handle video editing somewhat close to on par with the mbp, if not as good in some instances. As for the gaming, I can't really see a situation when I would play a game on the computer, so the 3D acceleration that the dedicated graphics card would provide isn't necessarily a selling point. The things about the mbp that I do like are the larger screen, the overall design (colour, thinness, light-up keyboard), and that I can get a matte or glossy screen. I'm not sure if I like or dislike the glossy screen but it's good to know I could get either.
    I think the problem I'm having is that I want the mbp, not that I need it. I think it may be overkill for I would like to but I just prefer the look of it over the macbook. So perhaps it's just a matter of if the extra cash is worth getting the macbook pro. It seems based on what everyone has said that the performance of the two (for what I would be doing) is at least comparable and that the mbp holds no clear advantage over the macbook.
    Another thing I was wondering was about the brightness of the two screens. I have seen the mb screen and it is really really bright. How does the 15" mbp screen compare to this? Would the glossy be (or at aleast appear) brighter than the matte? Is the mbp matte screen brighter than the mb screen? I was really hoping for everyone to say to just go with the mbp so I could justify it a little easier, but it appears as if the mb with the extra ram might be the way to go. Seeing as if I get the mbp I wouldn't upgrade the ram right away, would that really slow down basic operations? I'm using 512 on the ibook now, but would it be a really big slowdown having the 512 on the mbp? In a few months I would be buying a gig of ram anyways.
    Oh, and the last question was about the processor in the mbp. I know (or I think I know) that it is socketed in the iMac and soldered in the mac mini and mb. What is it in the mbp? Would I be able to upgrade it in the future?
     
  9. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #9
    Sadly, the Core Duo in the MacBook Pro is soldered onto the logic board. :(
     
  10. 7on macrumors 601

    7on

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    Dress Rosa
    #10
    Word on the street is that anything under Rosetta suffers greatly with anything less than 1GB of RAM.
     
  11. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #11
    The old upgrade companies will probably jump back in offer the remove and replace option -- something they have done in the past, and probably still do on some machines.

    It's a pain, and not cheap -- so not something worthwhile for minor bumps.
     
  12. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
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    #12

    That would be very nice if upgrade companies offered this type of service for MacBook Pros and for MacBooks. It would not be cheap I am sure, but it would be nice to have the option to install a faster cpu in your laptop.
     
  13. Caitlyn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2005
    #13
    Get the MacBook Pro. The machine has a bigger screen, faster hard drive, dedicated/bigger VRAM, thinner design and is no scratchable. It's just future proof in general. You'll love it!
     
  14. JonHimself thread starter macrumors 68000

    JonHimself

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #14
    Again, thanks for all the advice. I spent the extra money and went with the pro, as many of said, overall it is a better laptop (though that is still up to the individual). I will be purchasing a gig of ram in the next few months to really complete the deal and then I think i will be more than happy.
    The actual machine is stunning, I played around with them in the store but now that I have it back at home it really is beautiful, for lack of a better word. The only thing I noticed is that when the lid is closed the screen is warped (like a smile). I remember reading something about this on the powerbooks somewhere on the forum but I'll have to go back and look for it now.
    I asked about the whine, heat, mooing, etc that some of the laptops were having problems with and the guy at the apple store said that they were on the 4th revision/release of the mbp and the issues are now non-existent. I haven't heard anything yet, it feels as hot as my current ibook (which is still pretty warm) so I guess there are no complaints there.
    Thanks again for all of your help though! Hopefully someone can let me know about the warped/curved lid when it's closed...
     
  15. celebrian23 macrumors 65816

    celebrian23

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Under the sun
    #15
    The warping is simply due to the fact it's aluminum. You heat aluminum...it will warp, because it is such a soft metal. You've given me hope...I'm so nervous about my mbp tomorrow! :eek:
     
  16. JonHimself thread starter macrumors 68000

    JonHimself

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #16
    Haha, no need to be nervous... lol. Perhaps they really do have the issues under control and just aren't talking about it (I guess that would mean they would have admit there was a problem in the first place...). Another thing about the mpb that has really impressed me is the sound from the speakers. It's suprisingly good for laptop speakers! Is there just the two speakers beside the keyboard? Or is there a third by the hinge?
     
  17. celebrian23 macrumors 65816

    celebrian23

    Joined:
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    Under the sun
    #17
    The sound is a big deal to me- I'm no audiophile or anything, but when I heard the macbooks speakers I was disappointed. Yay MBP. In 18 hours I'll have my very own! :eek:
     

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