MacPro vs. MacBook Pro 17in.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kylepro88, Sep 7, 2006.

  1. kylepro88 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #1
    Ok this is the thread of all threads for me. Let me explain my situation. I have $2000 cash saved up, and a $5000 dollar loan already approved. That gives me $7000 to work with for my new equipment. This is the basic layout:

    Canon XL2 (used) - $2900
    Basic Accessories - $163
    Light Kit - $817

    Thats about $4000 if you add it all up just about so that leaves $3000 for my new system, whatever that may be. These are my uses for whatever computer I get.

    Video Editing (Premiere Pro right now)
    Image Editing (Photoshop right now)
    Graphics Work (After Effects right now)
    Gaming (Cod 1, not that intensive)

    Those are my basic uses in the order of importance. Now I have been debating getting a MacBook Pro or a MacPro. The basic problem is I have 3000 to spend on a new system.

    Both come around to about 2800-2900 w/tax included so its really about priority. I have never owned a laptop and would be using it between Media work at Home and Media work at my job. I do media work as a job so I have a PC there for now, ugh. I was looking forward to using the laptop and the PC at work to get even more done but thats beside the point, disgard that as a reason to get one or the other. Basically what I want to know is what would I be sacrificing if I got the laptop and not the desktop? I know they are both fast but how much speed do I really loose with the MBP? I have to use my CRT for now with the MacPro which isn't that big of a deal since I have a great CRT.

    Another thing I worry about is if I get the laptop I will need and external HD which is more $$$. Also the heat issue, if I get the laptop I will be on it ALOT. I'm afraid it can't handle the type of work im going to be doing on it for that amount of time everyday without causing damage to it after extended periods.

    Upgradability and Lifetime? Seems like the MacPro would be a much more worthy investment in the future compared to the MBP. Seems like it would be much longer before I would need another Mac.

    Portability, the big catch. I thought I would need the portability but then realized I survived 18years without a laptop I think I would be fine without it now. I'm in my room 6+ hours a day working on the computer so the only benefit would be working somewhere that isnt my room. The only place I would be using the laptop in terms of having time to work on it would be at work (which I have a MacPro on the list for our new equipment for the upcoming year, but keep in mind I wont OWN that one, just work on it), and at home where odds are im in my room. So why get the laptop when the portability only stretches between 2 places really? I dont travel and I dont have time to use the thing in school anyways.

    Specs that I can afford:

    MacBook Pro, 17-inch, 2.16GHz Intel Core Duo
    Part Number: Z0CP
    1GB 667 DDR2 - 1 SO-DIMM
    SuperDrive 8x (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    Accessory Kit
    Backlit Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English
    2.16GHz Intel Core Duo
    iWork '06 preinstalled
    MacBook Pro 17-inch Glossy Widescreen Display
    100GB Serial ATA drive @ 7200 rpm

    Total w/tax: $2859

    OR

    mac pro
    One 16x SuperDrive
    Apple Keyboard and Mighty Mouse - U.S. English
    iWork '06 preinstalled
    Accessory kit
    Two 2.66GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon
    Mac OS X - U.S. English
    2GB (4 x 512MB)
    250GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT 256MB (single-link DVI/dual-link DVI)

    Total w/tax: $2827

    So what do you guys think? Don't worry about the FCS problem because I already got that from my school, I got lucky on that. Whats your take on this mess of a post? Please give me an honest opinion. After looking at the facts I almost am leaning towards the desktop now more than the laptop because I never realized just how little ide be using the laptops Portability availability. Ide have to use a 19in CRT with my MacPro for now which isn't really a big deal to me. I have a 2nd one that I brought to work that I could always bring back. So any thoughts, comments, suggestions?

    -Kyle, phew what a post.
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    Sounds like the Mac Pro's advantages outweigh those of the Macbook Pro. I'd go for the desktop.
     
  3. Krevnik macrumors 68030

    Krevnik

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    #3
    Since I got requested to comment on this... here is my take:

    Since this is going to be on a loan, go for the MacPro, as you will get more power now, and more power now translates into longer lifespan. Longer lifespan will give you a better chance to actually get that loan paid off in full before the machine needs to get replaced. Seeing that you will be doing work that will begin to stress the machine, I wouldn't make a laptop your main machine, you will find yourself regretting it down the road when you feel like the machine is underpowered and still staring at debt from it.

    Of course this is just my take. The MacBook Pro is quite a nice machine, but it fills a particular need for me: portable developer box for when I am not at a workstation, which happens quite frequently at the office due to meetings and the like. If I didn't have that need to do that sort of thing, I wouldn't have a laptop.
     
  4. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Clemson, SC
    #4
    I second the desktop idea. laptops, IMO, are really only worth it if you NEED portability.. desktops are 1) cheaper for more power usually, and 2) upgradable.

    if you don't need to be able to take your computer with you, then the Mac Pro will be a much better investment. later, when it starts becoming outdated, you can simply pay for components as you can afford them, rather than having to pay for a brand new system.
     
  5. kylepro88 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #5
    Ok so the MacPro seems to be the way my mind is swaying right now. Now what about the display issue? I can probably get one but it would be 6 months or longer from now. I might be better off finding a Dell 2405 on ebay which are great LCD's I know. Im stuck with my 19in CRT until then. Like I said I have the 2nd but I kinda need it at work and plus I cant get the them to look the same anyways which annoys me to the point of just using one lol. Hmm now about the Video card and RAM. 2GB seems like its the minimum I would want to go, I decided not the get the 2nd Optical Drive because I can't find any uses for it really that would make it worth the extra 100. The 7300GT seems like it would be fine as a standard VC but how good does it really do? One thing I forgot to mention is ill be using SD footage most of the time in case that was swaying your 2GB answer.

    -Kyle
     
  6. ricgnzlzcr macrumors 6502a

    ricgnzlzcr

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    #7
    I think the Mac Pro is the best choice for you based on your needs and the amount of money you're investing. It's easily upgradable and is an amazing machine for the money.
     
  7. kylepro88 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #8
    2405 from what I read is way better than the 2407 so yes that article is true but the 2405 is a great monitor, I know many people that have one. I just don't have 900 to spend on a 23in ACD. I'm stretching my money as it is.

    -Kyle
     
  8. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #9
    If you make money on your computer, there is no sense in getting a subpar display to do graphic work.

    Yes the 2405 is a great display for a casual user.

    Also, the 2405 actually sells for more than the current 2407, in some cases. There dont seem to be many on eBay right now. You can get the 2407WFP for about $750(shipped including tax) not a bad deal, but it has some issues.

    Maybe stick with the CRT until you have some more cash? I tried to save cash by getting a Dell and it backfired because it didnt, IMO, give me the kind of image I am used to.

    Check out this page http://aryarya.net/wassyoi/lcdmemo.html

    There are quite a few S-IPS display out there. I think the Sony was priced pretty low at TigerDirect recently.

    Here is a Sony http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16824006084
     
  9. kylepro88 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #10
    What about the videocard like I said? From other threads people are making the single 7300GT sound like a POS. Also the 2Gb of ram, do you suggest that as a minimum for future purposes not just because of the now?

    -Kyle
     
  10. Krevnik macrumors 68030

    Krevnik

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    #11
    2GB is fine... and you might as well do it now.

    As for the graphics card... I wouldn't go with a x1900 unless you need it. Sure, it is pretty low-end, but what you are doing isn't GPU-heavy yet. In this case, you could easily upgrade to a cheap x1900 XT when you need one (used, possibly).
     
  11. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #12
    The card is fine if you arent doing heavy gaming. That is dependent on your uses.

    I got my Mac Pro with the 7300 GT because I dont game much and it is plenty for my uses. One thing you will come to know is that most people here just want the best, even if they dont need. So naturally they will downplay the lower card to justify their purchase.

    It is a great card for just about everything, including gaming where you dont need to have everything at max settings.


    Get the 2GB, if you feel you need more keep that in mind for the future. I wouldnt go any lower than 2GB for what you are doing though.
     
  12. kylepro88 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #13
    If I was trying to save money, would I see a dramatic drop in performance with the 2ghz vs. 2.66ghz? Obviously there would be loss but is it worth saving 270 bucks lol? Sorry for being so annoying but this is the most expensive purchase ever for me, besides my camera.

    -Kyle who plays COD1, BF2, and MOH:pA
     
  13. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #14
    Dont do it. I pondered dropping to the 2Ghz as well. You would be throwing away money IMO. The savings are not enough to lose that much performance.

    I saved some money by getting a 160GB drive, which was like $67. With that money I could buy a whole 250GB hard drive.

    Just out of curiosity, are you a student? You could use the education discount if thats the case. My Stock Mac Pro (except for the 160GB) was only $2371 tax included.
     
  14. kylepro88 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #15
    Yes all my prices were with the student discount. I save 200 dollars like you did. Its still expensive no matter what lol.

    So this is my final Config:

    2.66
    2GB RAM
    160GB
    1 Superdrive

    -Kyle
     
  15. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #16
    Awesome...It's fairly safe to say that you'll be happy for quite some time with that setup.
     
  16. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #17
    good choice. that's going to be a lot more useful for you, and last much longer, than the macbook pro. enjoy! :)
     

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