MacBook Pro - to buy or not to buy!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Cattywampus_, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. Cattywampus_ macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    #1
    I have been eyeing up a Mac notebook for some months now. After being introduced to Macs at work some 3 years ago, I have grown fond of MacOSX. With the release of Apples new Intel based Mac notebooks, I have been ever more tempted into it. I am just so concerned though that if I were to drop the 1700 pounds on a MacBook Pro, would I really get the use out of it I would hope for.

    At present I am using a Dell Inspiron 9300 (1.73Ghz P-M, 1Gig Mem, 60gig HDD, Geforce 6800Go GFX). It is an amazing computer and I cannot fault it and I dont think that I would be getting rid of it if I do plop for a Mac. On my Dell I am able to run all the programs that I love, from Fruityloops for my amateur music productions, Photoshop, Illustrator and a whole host of applications. I am worried that If I move to a Mac, I am going to find myself unable to find programs that do the same job on the Mac. Obviously i know the main big named products are going to be available like Office, Photoshop etc but what about other little apps, for instance Winamp? Or Direct Connect? Are there mac versions of pretty much all Windows Software out there?

    My next question is, I understand that with all current applications for Macs being coded for PPC's, the Rossetta (sp?) layer will convert PPC instructions to Intel ones. What are peoples views on this Rossetta layer thing affecting speeds at which the programs do their job? I know this is only going to be an issue for a few months as new software packages will be coded universally.

    Next, this Boot Camp program that allows you to boot Windows XP on the Macbook. Has anyone used it? Does it run Windows Natively (i.e. at full speed without anything sat behind it doing something to the code or whatever)?

    Next, the PCMCIA slot, is that a standard size much like I would find on my Dell? Will I be able to use my Sound Blaster Audigy 2 PCMCIA card on the MacBook Pro?

    I have a couple of Maxtor 300gig External drives with pretty much all my data on them. The partitions are formatted in either FAT32 or NTFS, will MacOSX see these partitions and write to them without problems or am I going to hit problems?

    How do people rate the Wireless Card on the Mac? I trust that I will have no problems connecting Mac OSX to my Windows Network? How does the card compare with the Intel 2200BG that is in my Dell?

    Is it worth getting the Apple Care extended thingie?

    Jsut for reference im looking at going for the most powerful MacBook (2Ghz/1Gig Ram/ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 256MB GDDR3 memory GFX) - how does the Graphics card live up compared to the Geforce 6800Go in my Dell?

    Thats it for now, IM sure i will have more questions but if people would be so kind to answer them for now :)
     
  2. calebjohnston macrumors 68000

    calebjohnston

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    #2
    You won't be dissapointed with the MBP. Winamp, etc is all covered. iTunes replaces winamp.

    The iLife suite will give you garageband (much better than fruityloops and the like), DVD creating software, movie creating software, picture importing/management, and a host of other things.

    As far as boot camp, it is still in beta, which means there are problems. Many people have gotten it to work almost flawlessly though. It might not be completely done right now, but I'm sure it will be soon.

    MBP is a very good investment.

    The extended warrarnty is a good idea if you have the cash.
     
  3. Saluki Alex macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Location:
    Illinois
    #3
    Ok, I'll help you out as much as I can.

    Almost any application that you use on windows has a Mac counterpart, whether it be the same app that's been ported over or an app that does the same function.

    Not ALL Mac apps are coded for PPC alone, anything that's preloaded on your Mac will be a universal app, the exception is the test-drive for MS Office, but it's still a completely usable app, the speed difference isn't going to hinder you. The few apps that run under rosetta that I use are Office and MSN Messenger, both work well, I've experienced an occasional slow down, but again, it's not really a hindrence.

    Boot camp allows you to run XP natively, it runs from it's own partition on your hard-drive. I've never used it so I can't give you any first hand accounts on it.

    No, your PCMCIA card won't work on the MacBook Pro, the Mac utilizes ExpressCard 34.

    I'm pretty sure the data on your external hard-drives will be recognized by OS X, but somebody else will have to back me up on that.

    The wireless card is amazing, I get signal all over my house and outside in my backyard. Of what I've heard, it's much better than the signal the old powerbooks got. And I've had no problems connecting to my windows network, in fact, the only trouble I get on my network comes from my windows pc's acting up as windows pc's do. :rolleyes:

    I'd highly recommend getting AppleCare, especially for a laptop. If just for the fact that you get telephone tech support extended for 3 years. And when I've sent things into Apple for repair/replacement (iPod) the service was very prompt.

    I can't really help you out with information on the graphics card, I don't play games on my Mac or do any graphic intensive applications.

    Overall, I'd go with the MacBook Pro, it's an amazing laptop and the OS is by far the best out there, but you already know that. :)
     
  4. Cattywampus_ thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    #4
    Thanks for the info.

    I'm a little gutted to find I wouldnt be able to use my Audigy PCMCIA card on the MBP. What is the sound quality of the onboard sound chip like?

    Also a little upset to find that there are only 2 USB ports on the MBP. My Dell has 6 4 of which I use regulary (2 for Ext. Hard Drives, 1 mouse and 1 joystick). Could I use some kind of port replicator to convert one of the ports to 2 ports or something?
     
  5. yankeefan24 macrumors 65816

    yankeefan24

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    I'm not even sure if you can upgrade the sound chip on any apple (probably wrong). The MBP's sound card should be fine.

    Also, in your original post, Mac OS X can read/write to FAT32, but read only NTFS.
     
  6. blodwyn macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #6
    Just use a USB hub to fan out to your USB devices.
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    Sound is good. Output is like an iPod. But don't expect professional studio quality. For that you'd need and external firewire connected box with preamps, balanced inputs and so on.

    As for USB. The MBP was Firewire. This is beter for disks, video and pro-level audio and firewite diay chains so you only need one port. As for USB get a small hub.

    About performance under Rositta: The Core Due is more than twice as fast as you current computer. Rositta runs software at about 1/2 speed. Adds up to "even". But Office spends most of it's time waiting for the slow human to hit keys. Even your current computer is overkill for MS Word.

    There are two differnt way to run Windows software on the Intel Mac: (1) dual boot) and (2) in a virtual machine. There are now at least two virtual machine emulators, more on the horizon. So you can run you MS Windows software
     
  8. sjshaw macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    #8
    Re: Applecare

    You have until 1 year from date of purchase to buy Applecare. If you don't want to spend the cash right away, you can always buy it later.
     
  9. Bern macrumors 68000

    Bern

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    A Mac can do anything a pc can do except catch a virus or spyware.

    I too am hanging out for a MacBook Pro, but IMO considering they are a brand new hardware for Apple I'm happy to wait a year for any wrinkles to be ironed out.
     

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