main difference between macbook and macbook pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ethan101, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. ethan101 macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2006
    hi i was looking at buying a mb or mbp and am trying to decide which one i want. this will be the first computer i will be buying in a long time and if some one could help me with a breakdown of the differences between the two systems.

    i do not mind paying more money for the mbp if i am actually getting a better system.

    also i will be looking at the refurb models so would it be wise to wait for the core duo 2 over the core duo?

    in regaurds to macs opperating system leopard that will be out soon should i wait for this as well or is it a cheap upgrade from tiger?

    thanks again

  2. j26 macrumors 65832


    Mar 30, 2005
    The mbp is considerably more expensive than the mb, so we really need an idea of what you want to do to help you. The mmbp will be a better system, but whether you need one or not is another issue.

    As regards upgrades to leopard, I reckon that it's at least 4-5 months away, so if you want to hang on that long, feel free, but if you buy now, or in january, you are getting the whole mac experience, and it will probably only cost $129 to upgrade to Leopard (if you feel the need)
  3. annk Administrator


    Staff Member

    Apr 18, 2004
    Somewhere over the rainbow

    is Apple's comparison chart of MB and MBP.
  4. MSM Hobbes macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2006
    NE Hoosierana
    Couple other sites to help you decide:

    Of course, you have seen this link:

    But, overall you need to decide how much cost to performance ratio is.

    As someone else mentioned in another similar thread [if I recall the number's correctly :)], you get ~90% of the performance of the MBP w/ the MB, yet at ~60% of the cost.

    For me, I got the mid-grade C2D MB, w/ 2GB RAM. And, she screams. I've used a CD MBP, w/ 1GB RAM, and speed for normal uses is the same. Games, have not tried any on either system. For that, I've my 24" C2D iMac... :p
  5. adiosk8 macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2006
    since you cant look on your own

    the differences are:

    backlit keyboard
    MBP supports 3 gigs of ram
    dedicated graphics ( x1600 )
    Higher clock speed core 2 duos
    the casing
    Screen size
    motion sensor / light sensor

    I'm sure there are more, but these are the big ones that I can think of
  6. ethan101 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2006
    uses of my mac

    the main uses i will be looking at for my mb or mbp would be internet, music, dvds, navagation, word processing, and maybe some light gamming.

    however i will be using this laptop to replace my desktop pc (good or bad idea?)

    i was told that i could go with a mb and upgrade the ram to 2G for best results.

    i also do not want to buy a laptop and find out in a year that my needs have changed slightly and that i should have gone with a mbp.

    so the basic question would be is if i upgrade from a mb to a mbp what new possibilities are available to me?

    its an open ended question, i know but like i was saying i am fairly new to looking for a computer.

    also for example alot of the specs i understand slightly but things like 2gigs of ram compared to 3 gigs ..... i do not really know how much better a computer will perform with 3 gigs than it will with 2 etc.

    thanks for taking the time to help.
  7. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
  8. ethan101 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2006
  9. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005

    It's the graphics card - if you play a lot of games you might need the separate graphics card in the macbook pro. The macbook has an integrated one which is considered inferior to the mBp. In everyday use (DVDs, email, internet, video, audio etc), you won't really notice this so unless you know you'll need, chances are you probably won't.
  10. ethan101 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2006

    thanks PDE and others for you help i think the mb will do me just fine

  11. Cybergypsy macrumors 68040


    May 16, 2006
    Central Florida!
  12. ethan101 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2006
    can a macbook replace a deskop PC

    i was wondering with the exceptions of screen size and graphics card for playing games will a macbook replace a desktop pc?

    Just wondering your thoughts on this
  13. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    Absolutely, especially if you get a larger desktop LCD to plug into your macbook. Then you have a great, smallish and powerful portable, as well as more comfortable desk system with the big LCD.
  14. ethan101 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2006

    PDE your selling me more and more on a macbook instead of a macbook pro every time you post

  15. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005

    It's not that I don't like the macbook pro. I just think at this time there are some issues with it that I don't like and since the macbook pro is so much more expensive, it doesn't make sense to spend all that money unless you're really convinced it's worthwhile and you'll use the extra features. I think for most people and usages, the macbook is plenty powerful. The macbook pro is a nice machine too, but there are some things I really don't like about it:

    - the aluminum is very very thin and prone to denting
    -you can't change your hard drive easily (meaning if it suddenly crashes while you're travelling, you can't just go out an buy a hard drive and pop in, but must find somebody skilled to do it)
    -the LCD doesn't tilt back enough given the viewing angles of the LCD (it's quite difficult to get an optimum viewing angle when it's on your lap and just barely ok on a desk)
    - The grain and limited viewing angle of the LCD (this is subjective I guess)
  16. j26 macrumors 65832


    Mar 30, 2005
    Think about it. There's a $900 difference in price between the base model of each.

    You can get a base MacBook Pro, or with the same sort of money you can get

    A MacBook
    Extra ram (you will probably want more)
    An external hard drive to back up, store movies, stash your porn etc
    An external monitor
    A wireless keyboard and mouse
    Possibly even an iPod depending on how you go with the other things.

    Unless you really need a good graphics card (most people don't) or some of the other pro features (doesn't sound like you do), you are far better off getting a nice set up like above. Then you can really use it as a desktop replacement.

    I'd suggest the 2.0 gig white MacBook as it seems the best value (faster processor, bigger hard drive and cheaper to upgrade the ram).
  17. Rend It macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2003
    United States
    Updated comparison chart

    FWIW, the link above to Apple's comparison chart was for the previous MB/MBP line. The new one is here. Scroll down, and click the "Complete Specs" tab.

    Although I'm still trucking along with my AlBook G4 from 3+ years ago, my sister recently switched from a HP notebook to the Macbook (Core 1 Duo) and she loves it! I agree with just about everyone here that the Macbook offers the best bang-for-the-buck. The backlit keyboard on the pro line is definitely cool, but I only rarely use it. The other upgrades that go along with the MBP line (Express Card, FW 800, graphics, etc.) are of very little use to a lot of people. I'm also a little surprised Apple hasn't devised a way to give the Al enclosures better WiFi reception. Maybe they'll start using zirconia in future models. :p
  18. Apple Corps macrumors 68020

    Apr 26, 2003
    ethan101 - to give a balanced view to the points made by PDE, the Macbook has:

    exhibited RSS (Random Shutdown Syndrome)
    flickering screens
    splits and cracks in the plastic casing
    no choice for a matte screen
    less screen space
    no Firewire 800 port
    no ExpresssCard 34 slot

    So it has its own set of issues to consider. I have had the 17" MBP, currently have a 15" C2D MBP and will be adding a MB probably within a couple of weeks. I would make the decision based on your USE and not on any quality issues between the two - many people have Excellent 15" C2D MBPs - they are great machines. Choose based on what model will do the work you need done for the minimum $$$$ outlay.
  19. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    much better graphic card in MBP, thats about it. others are all not significant.
  20. nermal0 macrumors regular

    May 31, 2006
    I'm using a MB CD right now, and I'm thinking about upgrading to a MBP C2D. I want the bigger screen and the backlit keyboard, but I'm unsure if that is worth the money. Please, anyone who used MB and MBP recently: does the extra screen space really make a difference? Does the backlight really work that well?

    I'm thinking of getting an external LCD monitor instead, anyone using that in combination with MB?
  21. YS2003 macrumors 68020


    Dec 24, 2004
    Finally I have arrived.....
    It's like a difference between PB and iBook. Both are good at what they are targeted and designed for.
    MBP is a better overall machine compared to MB. That is no surprise given the additional features such as a faster chip and dedicated graphic card.
    I think MB is for care-free use (like an iBook, which I did not get too concerned about its well-being even though I treated it well nonetheless), while MBP is pro use which requires certain professional courtesy to the machine.
    For myself, I don't think I will buy MB and stay with MBP. I learned my lesson with iBook which I bought as on-the-road usage even though I had 2 Al PBs. I just sold it as the consumer grade notebook is not powerful enough for my usage.
  22. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005

    I think most problems with the first generation macbooks have been taken care of, except for possibly the cracked casing that people are experiencing. As for the display, yes, there is a substantial difference between the two and if you need to work on it as your main display, I would say that it's too small. If you use it together with a large desktop display at home and as a portable for travel and moving around, I think it's great. The macbook pro display is luxuriously large, but that also means that the whole computer feels quite large compared to the macbook.

    There are pros and cons with both computers. I think you just need to go with your gut feeling when you've tried them out.

    Good luck
  23. Apple Corps macrumors 68020

    Apr 26, 2003
    No one can answer some of your questions other than you - it is a very pesonal choice depending on your applications and eyesight. The backlight is a nice feature and works well from my experience. I drive a new Panasonic AX100U HD projector with it - no problems. I just finished a two hour HD presentation and the MBP C2D actually stayed COOL - VERY IMPRESSED !!!!!
  24. nermal0 macrumors regular

    May 31, 2006
    Thanks mate! I guess you are right, MB with external display is a nice combination for work. As I now have the chance to sell my MB for a good price, I'm just wondering about a MBP upgrade. I tried it out in the Apple Store London a few days ago (now the biggest Apple store in the world, quite nice!) and the MBP keyboard felt a bit cheap. The MBP case is aluminum, but they keyboard is all plastic and feels like that. There is also less tactile feedback as on the MB, and some keys of the demo model in the shop were actually dead (K and E just didn't work). I really love the MB keyboard, it feels excellent. I'm using it since May and I can't really let go of it :)

    Furthermore I'm worried about shocks from static discharge on the MBP because of its metal case. It happened to me on my Thinkpad a lot, I got painfully shocked through the keyboard! The aluminum case also gets noticeable warmer than the MB plastic, I wonder if this gets incomfortable on the wrists after a while.

    Still, I'm craving for a bigger display (even when I'm travelling) and that nice backlight... so it's a very hard decision! The feeling in my gut is mixed :eek:
  25. coday182 macrumors regular


    Jul 26, 2006
    Jamestown, IN
    and you forgot the coolness factor.... how many people have a whilte laptop? lol.

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