Macbook Pro for college? Or keep the PB?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mariahlullaby, May 6, 2006.

  1. mariahlullaby macrumors 6502a

    mariahlullaby

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I am a switcher (I got my 12 inch Powerbook about a year or two ago and love it) and I need some advice concerning my setup. I currently have a 12-inch 1.5 ghz PB hooked up to a 23" cinema display. I love it. I'm going to be attending NYU in the fall and am wondering about how this set up is going to do.

    I really, really, REALLY love the tiny footprint of the 12" computer, but it's running pretty slow even though it's maxed out on RAM. I have the cinema, an external hard drive, speakers, and an iPod hooked up to it, as well as use lots of large programs such as Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, Flash, etc. (and often at the same time). I get the little beach ball a lot, even just when I'm switching between programs or opening a page on Safari. Unforunately, I'm afraid this is due to the low RAM (1.25 GB, maxed out) and the VRAM.

    While I am hesitant to sell my baby, as I've had it only a year, I'm thinking about getting a MacBook Pro. I don't know how much I can get for my computer (great condition and the upgraded RAM). I really can't spend more than extra $200-300 on the MacBook Pro as I am EXTREMELY tight on cash. Will the new processor, VRAM, and faster HD significantly help my problems? And is the 15" bulky? I will be taking the computer to class probably every day (and I'll be going to NYU, so lots of walking).

    My budget (IF I sell....the only problems with my PB is it slowing down often) would be the price I get for the PB + $50 Apple gift card + selling price of an 2GB Nano ($150?) + Selling price of a Dell Axim X50 + maybe $200 MAX.

    Also, does anyone have any suggestions for an efficient way to go between the laptop and hooking it up to all that stuff? Are the BookEnz docking parts any good? I will be probably hooking it up/unhooking it almost every day and it might get to be a pain.

    THANKS GUYS!!!
     
  2. mulletman13 macrumors 6502a

    mulletman13

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Los Angeles.
    #2
    Well, you could sell your 23" display and move down to a 20" and save about $300/$400.... :)
     
  3. Kace macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Location:
    Sydney
    #3
    looking at your budget and the setup you have, i would recommend you keep your current set up as is. besides all those apps you use arent universal yet.
    i personally think trading a powerpc for an intel when you use photoshop, macromedia products is not a good idea. having both is the way to go, :)

    hope that helps...
     
  4. mariahlullaby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mariahlullaby

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #4
    I would rather lose an eye. Via a rusty spoon. :p

    Thanks for the suggestions guys, I'm still just playing with the idea.
     
  5. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #5
    i totally agree...keep your current setup by all means...or at least wait for 1) adobe/macromedia apps to go universal/native, and 2) rev. 2 macbook pro

    and congrats big time, mariah, nyu is da bomb :)
     
  6. Play Ultimate macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    #6
    Until Adobe goes Universal, I don't see the advantage, especially given your tight financial situation.

    Regardless of your decision, I would hold off until September after the MacBook Pros are revised. (Granted you won't get as much for the your PB, however with Apple using Intel chips, upgrades will occur more frequently which will continue to put downward pressure on older system prices.)

    Down the road, you might also look at some of the tower systems (maybe a older refurb G5) if you decide to purchase something; keeping the PowerBook for travelling and classroom work.
     
  7. mariahlullaby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mariahlullaby

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #7
    I was thinking of holding out until the Apple "Back to School" savings are out. I have until September. Do you think it would be a better idea then?

    And if not that route, do you have any suggestions on how to get my PB to run smoother? It slows down ALL the time now and it drives me insane. It freezes up every now and then and I can't even force quit, just have to manually shut down the whole thing.

    Thanks.
     
  8. Dustintendo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2005
    #8

    it sounds like maybe your ram might be screwed up, try reseating it, and if that doesnt work try different ram



    also try repairing permissions
     
  9. interlaced macrumors 6502a

    interlaced

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    #9
    I also suggest double checking your RAM. I have the same specced 12" and I usually run an external HD, monitor and speakers, a usb hub with all 4 ports used and I also run the bigger programs without much beachballing.
     
  10. BurtonCCC macrumors 65816

    BurtonCCC

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Location:
    Wheaton/Normal, IL
    #10
    I'm in the same position as you except without the Cinema Display. I'm going to be selling my 12" PB to my friend and that money will go towards a fully-loaded 17" MBP. Yes, the 12" is great for taking notes (I brought it to every class), but I do so much with photos that the screen size is a major drawback.

    I think the only thing that's different in my situation is that my friend is giving me even more than I paid for my PowerBook; $1500 when I paid $1350. This is because of all the games and software I have that I bought (and didn't buy ;)) and all the music that I painstakingly ripped and collected and videos that I encoded myself. Also, I've kept it in perfect condition and I'm including two cases with it.

    I'll be getting mine in August because my school usually takes an additional $200-$300 off Apple's Education prices, which is a great deal. I'll be buying my RAM from a third party vendor to save money. If you're going to put more RAM in your MBP and need to save money, buying RAM from Apple is the wrong choice. Buy it from someone else.

    Daniel.
     
  11. Bubbasteve macrumors 65816

    Bubbasteve

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Location:
    Charleston, IL
    #11
    I would personally stick with your Powerbook seeing that it's relatively new. If you want the MacBook Pro for the intel processor why not get a low end Mac Mini and hook it up to your 23" display?
     
  12. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #12
    I agree, hang on to what you have for another year if possible.

    You may want to try running Tiger Cache Cleaner to see if that helps your system get rid of some gunk.

    If you have any AV software running in the background that can also put a major drag on your system.

    Disable any fonts you aren't using on a regular basis.

    You may also want to clear up your HD strorage files and consider running
    DiskWarrior to see what's going on with your directory.

    You have a great portable, so it may be better to keep what you have now
    as your primary portable system, then save up for an iMac or upcoming
    Intel Tower as your primary workstation.
     
  13. desenso macrumors 6502a

    desenso

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    #13
    If your concern is running Photoshop and Macromedia programs fast, then yes.. you should wait.

    However, if you want a fast and awesome computer that keeps you nice and warm, then definitely go for the MBP. I love mine.
     
  14. mariahlullaby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mariahlullaby

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #14
    Can someone explain to me what the problem is with running Adobe/Macromedia on the Macbook Pro? Sorry if I seem dense :eek:

    I'm still thinking about it; I'm gonna check out the Macbook Pros at the Apple store at some point and see how their screens are as well as the size.
     
  15. Badandy macrumors 68040

    Badandy

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Location:
    Terminus
    #15
    Adobe programs such as photoship are emulated useing Rosetta emulation software. That means it is slower and you need a BUNCH more RAM than the PowerPC versions. Once everything goes universal binary (PPC and Intel) then the MBP will be hugely faster
     
  16. mariahlullaby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mariahlullaby

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #16
    Oooooh, I see scratch that then. So wait a few years then I guess. Damn, and I was getting all excited too. Thanks for the info!
     
  17. mariahlullaby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mariahlullaby

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #17
    Couldn't agree more. And MC's a Mac user! :p
     
  18. BurtonCCC macrumors 65816

    BurtonCCC

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Location:
    Wheaton/Normal, IL
    #18
    I hope you don't call Mariah Carey "MC." :rolleyes:

    Daniel.

    EDIT: I hope that's what you're talking about.
     
  19. mariahlullaby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mariahlullaby

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #19
    I guess I'll hang on to my PB. Maybe by the time August rolls around the MBPs will have been updated and it will look a little sweeter to me. I just wish this PB could be upgraded (why oh why did they discontinue the 12" models?!!)
     
  20. Els macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #20
    I bought my 12" PB in october, hesitant because of the upcoming Intel-Macs, but I couldn't hang on to my Rev A 12" PB. Now I'm happy I upgraded so I can hang on to this baby until the Rev B MacBooks are here. Still, having a 7 month old computer that's actually outdated and sluggish and is supposed to be part of Apple's pro-line makes me more than a bit p***ed.
     
  21. chosenwolf macrumors 6502a

    chosenwolf

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #21
    I used a 12" iBook for college (still attending) and the display size was just not doing it for me. So I sold it and bought a 15" 2.0ghz Macbook Pro. Due to all the issues with it (heat, whine, etc.), I was forced to exchange it...

    for a 17" MBP 2.16ghz dual core. Whether that will be overkill for me I still don't know as I haven't received it yet. IMHO, the 12" is only good for short periods of usage (like checking e-mail on the go, surfing for something specific, etc.) I can tell you that the 15" wide aspect is the perfect sized laptop overall.

    I think a 15" 1.83ghz MBP will suit you well. You can get around $1100 for your 12" 1.5ghz PB (assuming it's got the superdrive and 80gig hd, not combo and 60gb). You can find a MBP 1.83ghz dual core for around $1700 (if lucky) to around $1850 on cl. You have to fork over at least 5-6 bills but it will be well worth it, trust me. The MBP is a killer machine!
     
  22. Els macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #22
    I've returned to college and love the experience of using my PB instead of scribbling illegible notes the way I used to do in a former life. Since the PB is my only computer a larger screensize would be nice, but weight is a serious issue and even the 12" seems heavy enough for me. I'd just want it to be faster and better screen quality would compensate for the size.

    Ideally I'd have dual core iMac for a desktop machine and a small fast laptop for lugging around. I would consider a 15" MBP as a compromise though.
    How's the whining and overheating in the 1.83ghz 15" MBP? I've had a whine in my previous 12" and it irritated the ** out of me.
     
  23. mariahlullaby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mariahlullaby

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #23
    Yes, originally I was going to get a KILLER PowerMac G5 to go with the 23" and keep the laptop for portable stuff. However, I've now decided to go to NYU instead of an instate school meaning I can't get a whole new computer because money's tight.

    Hopefully there will be something new out by August and I can get it then. If not, I'll just wait until Adobe goes universal.

    How's carrying the 15" around? I plan on hitting the Apple Store to check it out, but I'm just curious. I don't mind lugging the 12" around, but carrying a 15" computer all day around NYC could be a HUGE pain.

    BTW, what other major software besides Adobe and Macromedia products need to emulate on these new machines?
     
  24. ipacmm macrumors 65816

    ipacmm

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #24
    I had a 12" and 15", the 12" is the easiest one to carry and is the best to bring place to place but the 15" isn't as bad as you might think because it is thinner then the 12", so it will be longer but thinner which to me isn't that bad to carry around and I haven't really noticed a big difference, I now carry it in a case which also helps.
     
  25. dswoodley macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    #25
    the setup you have is optimal for a college student, small machine on the go, but lots of screen space when you need it.

    As for speeding things up, i know my machine purrs like new when i reinstall a Tiger combo updater. Keep mailboxes clean. yes, disable obscure fonts you'll never use.

    I will keep my 12er as long as i can.
     

Share This Page