Looking into a MacBook/MBP for college, questions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Rice, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. Rice macrumors newbie

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    Jul 7, 2006
    #1
    I'm getting a laptop for college and I'm pretty sure I've decided on a Mac, but I've just got some questions as I've never used one and am not particularly knowledgeable about computers in general.

    First, someone (can't remember who, or I'd ask him for more info) told me that there were new versions of the MB/MBP being released this summer and that I should wait until they come out to buy one, which makes sense. It'd suck to buy a computer for 4 years and then have it be out-of-date within a month. The thing is, I've got to be at school August 30 and I'd like to have my computer by then. So, any specifics on what this new stuff that's being released is/when it's coming out would be great.

    Also, although I really haven't bought or played any computer games in a long time, I'd still like to know what my options are as far as games. I know it's possible to get Windows to run on a Mac, but, from what I've heard, that's probably more trouble than it's worth (and probably too hard for me to do, anyway), so I guess I'd like to know what games run on Macs without me having to revamp the whole computer.

    Last thing, I swear, is just what the main differences are between the MB and MBP. For instance, what can the MBP do that the MB can't, and why would I need one over the other.

    Thanks in advance,
    Rice
     
  2. Zeke macrumors 6502

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    #2
    I think the MBP is due for an update but the MB is brand new and not likely to be updated (except for possibly a minor processor speed bump). If the MB is what you're looking at, I'd say go for it. Otherwise, wait for the update. Also, no matter what you buy, it'll be out of date eventually. The old saying holds though, if you don't need it yet, wait.

    Didn't see the questions at the end. I've played some games on my laptops but nothing very recent so I can't help much there. Main difference between the MB and MBP is the graphics card. I haven't seen any problems with the integrated graphics of the MB but people who require more power for photoshop, or video processing, may need the MBP.
     
  3. extraextra macrumors 68000

    extraextra

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    #3
    MBP is due for an update, people are hoping it will be updated during WWDC (worldwide developers conference) which is August 7-11. I would definitely wait till August 11th to buy it, just in case they do something. However, most people are talking about Merom chips in the MBP, and those will be released by Intel on August 22, and Apple will supposdely release models with the Merom chip in mid-late September.

    The MB is too new, so probably no major updates to that. I highly doubt that it's going to get a Merom chip so soon, Apple probably wants to further differentiate the lines.

    If you're into gaming, a MBP is better. It has a dedicated graphics card (as opposed to integrated on the MB). People have reported success with games on the MB when using 2GB of RAM though. You don't have to do anything with Windows, if you don't want, things can run in Mac OS X through Rosetta, an emulator. Things will be a little slower (like Photoshop) but they'll work. Universal binary's of programs will be released eventually, so then they'll work at normal speeds.

    Other than the graphics card, extra ports, a slot thingy (forgot what it's called..), Aluminum casing, baclkit keyboard, and a option of a matte screen, the MBP isn't drastically different from the MB. If you're just going to do the basic stuff like internet browsing, writing essays, Photoshop, the occasional game, I think a MB would be fine. You can save the money and buy more RAM for your machine, which is what makes the most difference.
     
  4. amac4me macrumors 65816

    amac4me

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    #4
    Note that there are "RUMORS" of a MacBook Pro revision as coming as early as August at WWDC. The MacBook was released in May so I doubt Apple will push a revision on that model.

    If you can wait until WWDC I suggest you do. You'll know on August 7th.
     
  5. Zeke macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Rosetta isn't a Windows emulator. It's so programs compiled for PPC chips can run on Intel chips. If you don't want to install Windows on a separate partition with bootcamp, you can go the Parallels route (although I have no experience in either so...take it for what it's worth).
     
  6. Rice thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 7, 2006
    #6
    All right, thanks a lot for all of that, and yeah, since I have no need for it this summer I'll definitely wait until after this conference, as I should have enough plenty of time to get it before school. Also, can I use the student discount from my school at an Apple Store or is that only on the internet?
     
  7. Natsus macrumors member

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    Jun 7, 2006
    #7
    Since he only want windows for games, bootcamp is his only option.

    To answer the OP questions:

    The only major difference currently between the MB and MBP is the screen size, glossy screen, and the graphics card. If you want to play games, you'd want a MBP no question. Since you're going to Uni, you might as well get an educational discount. It's a $200 savings. Or you can get a refurbished model for a $400 savings but buying refurbished seems to be a hit or miss.

    Now getting bootcamp to work is really really easy. If you follow the directions posted on the apple site step by step, and take your time, you really shouldn't have any issues. There are a few things you need to be aware of.

    First, the date/time will be out of sync between windows and osx.

    Second, after installing windows, it will default boot to windows. You'll need to change the startup disc if you want it to default to OSX. You can do that in either OSX or Windows. Doesn't matter.

    Third, when you choose to Format Windows, understand that OSX will not beable to write onto NTFS. I've selected Fat32 for that reason. Some people don't care as you can still read NTFS files.


    So far, I've played, CS, CS:Source, War3, WOW, HL2, battlefield2 no problem. On a MBP, these games run flawlessly.


    Finally, since this notebook is for school, I would wait until august. They've JUST fixed the whine issue I believe (new logic board) and there are rumors that a new revision using the Memeron chip is due out early august.

    Hope this is helpful
     
  8. Natsus macrumors member

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    Jun 7, 2006
    #8
    hrm.. I'm slow in posting.

    anyway yes you can get the discount in a store. bring your acceptance letter just incase they ask for proof. One thing to becareful of. If you buy online, it will be the newest one as they personally make it for you. If you buy it in the store, it could be an older revision. I don't think there's a way to tell.
     
  9. eidrunner247 macrumors 6502

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    Arizona
    #9
    Save time and gas money and just buy it online. I'm an advocate for buying the refurbished ones, just because they are a bit cheaper. And one other thing to keep in mind. Even if you did buy a Macbook (pro) now, just because a new revision comes out doesn't make the old one out of date. Granted, try and buy at the best time, but my ibook can still handle the basic apps that i need it for in college. Office, internet, etc. and even basic games that can be addicting (iConquer?)
     
  10. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

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    California
    #10

    Ya the easiest thing to do is just buy it online. That way it's brand spanking new out of the factory (and the latest rev. too), plus it'll be easier to use your student discount.
     
  11. Rice thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 7, 2006
    #11
    Natsus, thanks, that about covers everything that I needed. I think I'll spend the extra money and get a MBP, it sounds like that'll last longer and I also really want a bigger screen. Oh, and what does a glossy screen do for you that a normal screen doesn't?

    EDIT didn't see those two posts advocating internet purchases, but yeah, I'll most likely do that, I was just wondering if I ended up cutting it too close and didn't want to worry about shipping times if I could just run to the mall and grab one.
     
  12. extraextra macrumors 68000

    extraextra

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    #12
    Yes, I know. I didn't explain it very clearly in my reply though, I mashed it together withthe Windows bit. Sorry about that!
     
  13. Natsus macrumors member

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    #13
    the regular MB comes with glossy screen only. Though some people like them, they're very reflective compared to a normal screen. It can get very annoying if you're trying to use your laptop in anything other than ideal lighting settings. The MBP however gives you a choice of glossy or non-glossy. Again, it's a preference, but I would choose the non-glossy.
     
  14. Rice thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    All right awesome, yeah I'd love to be able to work outside with this thing so I'll probably go non-glossy.

    Thanks again.
     
  15. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #15
    Rice I am in the same boat as you are man. Except I have used macs for many years.
     
  16. RebelNija macrumors newbie

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    Jul 11, 2006
    #16
    I just start at the university, and I was going to get the macbook for the sake of size (15.4" is a bit big) but I didn't really want to sacrifice all the preformance. Someone told me that they were going to release a 12" pro in late august / early september to coincide with the memron. Has anyone else heard about this? If so... are there any projections on cost?
     
  17. feelthefire macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 13, 2006
    #17
    Make sure you check with your school's computing department and check their minimum specs, or if they require a specific computer type, model, or brand. Some schools do require this or at least have minimum specifications, so I'd take a look at that and make sure you're getting a computer you can use/ will work on the school's network before you hand over the money.

    That said, to use your educational discount in an Apple Store, you must have a valid student ID or a copy of a class schedule in your name, or a letter from the registrar certifying your enrollment. Acceptance letters aren't usually accepted because they tell apple nothing about your actual educational status- just that you were accepted at college, not that you actually go there. Many places ask for an ID or a letter from the registrar certifying your enrollment, so it's a good idea to get one and just put it in a place where you can find it when you need it.
     
  18. macconen macrumors newbie

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    Apr 18, 2006
    #18
    I have the same "problem", but I don´t have money for MBP, so I´ll buy Mb when I´ve got enough money and I don´t need it yet, maybe late august will be my time to get one. Buy it online, easier, fast and they´ll bring it to your door...
    i dont want to wait anymore.
     
  19. itcheroni macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    There has been some talk of a small pro but that's just wishful thinking. I doubt they'll release a pro soon because they've already filled the price range with the black macbook.
     
  20. JackSYi macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 20, 2005
    #20
    If you want a MBP wait for the redesign. For MBs, wait for upgrades on specs.
     
  21. BAspecialCake macrumors member

    BAspecialCake

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    #21
    I would wait...

    But then again, remember, something better is always around the corner.
     
  22. Bern macrumors 68000

    Bern

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    #22
    I guess you could wait, but then you could be waiting for ever until the "next revision" comes. Like they say; Tomorrow never comes :)

    I replaced my 12" Powerbook with a white MacBook 2Ghz, 2GB ram and it's an awesome machine. The integrated graphics card handles tasks very well including playing the Sims 2 with both expansion packs, Photoshop under Rosetta and digital painting using Corel Painter IX.5 in XP Pro (using Bootcamp to create the partition).

    Just to let you know :)
     
  23. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000

    Littleodie914

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    #23
    Agreed. I had put off buying a new notebook for college for a while, telling myself every update "Oh, but the next ones will be even faster!". Well sure, that's true, but what's the point? They're just going to keep getting faster.

    The question you should be asking yourself is, "Will this computer in its current revision suit me well enough for 4 years of college?". I voted yes and am expecting my Macbook Pro this Thursday. :cool:

    If Apple releases new ones in August, that's fine with me. I know I've got a great computer that will suit me just fine for 4 years.
     
  24. Jedi128 macrumors 6502

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    #24
    I am in the same boat as well. I am going to try to wait it out for Merom processors... I have to move in by Aug 23, but there is an Apple Store just 5 miles away from my University.

    Boot Camp is very very easy to do. Even if you dont feel like you know anything about computers its not complicated. Remember, this isnt Windows.

    Also, for basic college things a good ol' Macbook should be fine, but if you can't live without brand new games then you'll want the Pro. You might also want the Pro if you want it to last for 4 years. It's hard to say, they are both pretty sweet machines though.
     
  25. Bern macrumors 68000

    Bern

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    #25
    Of course the MacBook would last 4 years as well.
     

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