Best Apple Notebook to buy for these requirements?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Shotgun OS, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. Shotgun OS macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2006
    Im going to be buying a notebook soon, and I was wondering which Apple notebook to buy. I'm on a slim budget, which I'm aiming at up to 1,099$. The main reason I'm going to buy this computer is because I need a new portable computer to take to school and handle graphics and video editing, as well as some audio editing.

    I want to be able to multitask and run the following applications like cake along with iTunes, Safari, and iChat open:
    -Photoshop CS2
    -Illustrator CS2
    -Imageready CS2
    -Final Cut Studio

    I also want to be able to watch Movies full-screen.

    Main questions are these, I suppose:

    1)Are Powerbooks too outdated? Is the G4 processor past its time? Will it be able to Leopard when it comes out? Is the nVidia graphics card any good?

    2) I heard Macbooks are slow at mult-tasking on Photoshop and various apps. Is this true? Would I have to fully load it with RAM? I don't believe the Intel graphics can handle my requirements....

    3) I might be able to splurge on a refurbed MBP CD. How do these notebooks stack up against the other 2? Would I also have to load it with RAM to get smooth runnings on multitasking?

    Thanks everyone :)
  2. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    Good choice!

    All you need is VLC.

    Not even worth considering considering the prices they are going for on eBay.

    Intel graphics will more than handle your needs as listed. GPUs are really needed for stuff like Autocad/3D rendering and gaming, for Photoshop Intel graphics is fine.

    It does steal a bit of system ram though.

    Processor wise a refurbished MBP CD is probably no faster than a C2D MB, in fact even slower, however you go get the advantage of a GPU in case you need to play games.
  3. iJUNKY macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Belfast, Ireland
    i have an original CD MBP 1.8 Ghz, 1 gig of ram.

    I run all of those apps through it, not at the same time, but i would frequently be working on photoshop and final cut pro at the same time and it works fine.
    i would go for a MBP if you could, even for the extra screen space and better graphics.
  4. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    On processor bound applications the 1.83Ghz MBP will likely perform worse than the MB though.

    Besides for the kind of work he intends to do, he will likely find the MBP's screen very lacking!
  5. Philberttheduck macrumors 6502a


    Mar 15, 2006
    HB, CA
    The refurbs are Rev. A, so it's expected to be a little slower. However, I think they are still worth considering. Core2Duo isn't completely "40% faster" (or whatever the claim is) than the old ones. If you look at the thing, they're comparing a C2D 2.33GHz to a CD 2.16GHz, so the argument for GHz should be looked at differently (it's faster, but C2D is not necessarily better than CD).

    Concerning the OP, I'd go with a new 17" MBP. The prices are steep but considering the work you're going to get into, definitely a bang-for-your-buck investment. It's fast, coming with 2GB of RAM. The video card, while not great, is adequate and should be able to handle all your GFX needs. Remember, the resolution on a 17" MBP is comparable to 20" LCD monitors (1680x1050), so you'll be able to get the most out of your screen.

    EDIT: nvm. Your budget is definitely working against you. I guess a new MB would do well enough. Just max your RAM with newegg or something.
  6. bbydon macrumors 6502a

    May 18, 2005
    i think its the most important thing for those apps
  7. Butthead macrumors 6502


    Jan 10, 2006
    why would the MBP screen be very lacking? Explain in detail. Is not the MBP screen both larger & higher res.? Those two considerations far out weigh anything else, and higher performance GPU in the MBP will definitely make a difference with FCP/Suite, in particular Motion.

    I agree with iJUNKY, except I'd add the full 2GB of RAM to the system if using those pro apps, absolutely 2GB. 7.2k rpm HD would be other other major upgrade I'd do next, 160GB 7.2k when they are released later this spring/summer.

    see this:

    but then read this: (and what happens when you upgrade to OSX 10.5 where the difference may become even greater).

    And see this for comment on more v. matched memory

    This link:
    comment on how drive capacity affects performance as the drives fill up.

    Personally, I'd tote around a 17in just for the increased screen real estate if using those pro apps. Go see the sizes in person, with those pro apps loaded and see if you can put up with the smaller screen sizes. But with the limited budget, I'd go for the MBP 15, use Fan Control to keep it cool, and maybe use the acceleration utility to upclock the X1600 GPU in the older MBP15, which was limited to a lower frequency than the MBP17, because of heat issues (apparently resolved in the C2D MBP15)
  8. Shotgun OS thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2006
    Well, I thought it over a bit more. Since Im spending so much money, I should probably get something really good.

    Im looking at the 15.4" 2.16 ghz MBP CD with 1 gig memory and 100 gig hard drive for $1,600. I will end up popping another 1 gig ram into it eventually.

    I need a computer that wont be outdated within the next 6 years.

    Is this a good choice/deal?

    Or I could just save my money, pop 2 gig of Ram into my iMac and carry that around everywhere I go. :rolleyes:

    Thanks for all the help! I really appreciate it.
  9. Shotgun OS thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2006
    After looking at those graphs posted by Butthead, it seems the MB performs very well when compared to the MBP. Has anyone actually tested or used these and seen a difference in performance?
  10. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    I would hold to find out how much the CS3 upgrade is going to run, then
    go ahead and get at least a 2.0 GHz MacBook with 2 GB RAM.

    Supposedly Creative Suite 3 will run 80% faster in it's Universal Binary version than CS2 under Rosetta emulation.

    If you're doing a lot of production work, you'll want the added performance
    of a Core 2 Duo processor and the extra RAM.
  11. Cybix macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2006
    Western Australia
    I think your MBP's screen is lacking, mine isn't, it's absolutely excellent. (gen1, week 7 or something). PERFECT.

    Get a MBP, you sound like a power user, running apps like that, etc.

    if you dont have the money, save up some more, then do it.

Share This Page