MBP or Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by aaronw1986, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

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    #1
    Hi. I am trying to figure out whether I should get a MBP or mac pro. I am for sure waiting until after the expo next week, and possibly till summer. I am a computer science major. The mac will not be my only computer, I have a PC laptop. I originally thought I'd be getting MBP, since I sold my powerbook. However, the sheer power of the Mac Pro is very tempting! The Mac Pro would most likely be overkill, but hey, it would be awesome and I'd have major bragging rights. I plan to use the computer for school work, Xcode, Aperture, FCE, boot camp and some gaming. The portability would be nice, as I'd like to use this as my main computer. However, I may be willing to sacrifice the portability, if the Mac Pro would perform much better, and suite me better.
     
  2. Rare macrumors member

    Rare

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    #2
    Hope you don't mind me asking, but how much are you looking to spend, and do you have the spec's in mind?
     
  3. aaronw1986 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #3
    right now I have $2500, and will be purchasing with student developer discount.

    MBP: 2.33 Ghz, 2GB RAM, 160 GB HD

    Mac Pro: 2.66 X 2, 2 GB RAM, 250GB HD, X1900 XT, bluetooth/wifi (Would upgrade to 4 GB's RAM when I get more money)
     
  4. daneoni macrumors G4

    daneoni

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    #4
    Mac Pro most def, more bang for the buck if you have a decent display. Plus you'll probably get 8 cores and possibly a lower price come Macworld.
     
  5. aaronw1986 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #5
    I just bought a 22 inch gateway LCD, so the display isn't a big issue.
     
  6. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #6
    Another vote of confidence for the Mac Pro:

    1. better :eek: for the $
    2. super protection against obsolence
    3. good resale value down the road
    4. plus you don't have to deal with the grainy LCD Apple uses :rolleyes:
     
  7. aaronw1986 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #7
    But, the mac pro is a lot more money, like 500 to begin with, plus adding more RAM. Is the cost really worth it?
     
  8. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #8
    Another way when thinking about it is...

    1. You can pick up refurbished MBPs for a little over a grand.
    2. Laptops have very "elastic" value, what you pay for by way of retail pricing does not reflect on how much it costs to make the thing.
    3. Your $2499 MBP may very well cost Apple only $1300 to produce.

    On the other hand the Mac Pro is very good value for money in the sense that you are really getting that money worth of juice, power, and reliability in that one package. Plus unlike Macbook Pros, the resale value of your Mac Pro is not going to go south to ~ $1K or so in just a couple month's time.

    It is really not wise to buy Macbook Pros new (even though the one in my sig is new, but that'd probably be the last one... lesson learnt!)

    Just go onto eBay and see how much Macbook Pros go for today, and see how old those machines are. Imagine yourself in the seller's position "4 month old Macbook Pro! Was $1999! Bid now!" and the auction ending at around $1000 or so.

    Not nice.
     
  9. bob5820 macrumors 6502a

    bob5820

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    #9
    I faced the same problem last October. Finally decided to go with the MacPro. They are both expensive, but I agree that with the MacPro I felt like I was getting more for my money. I also had concerns about using a MBP as a desktop, such as heat, lack of expandability and upgrades. I'm probably about 70 / 30 between desktop and laptop, and the lap top is almost always something light like e-mail or surfing the web. So the MacPro and my Dell laptop seemed to be the way to go. Only problem is that once I started using OSX I couldn't stand using Widows any more. In the end I went out and got a MB to go with the MacPro. Ended up giving Steve a lot more money last year then I had planned. If I had it all to do over I'd still go with the MacPro
     
  10. aaronw1986 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #10
    Well, yeah, ultimately, the best outcome would be Mac Pro and MB, but that's $900 I don't have right now. Can you tell me more about why you are happy with the Mac Pro decision? What do you use it for? Any gaming? I also feel like once I get it, I won't want to use windows....that's why a MBP would be cool, so I could always have OS X with me. I'd also feel like I'd have to buy a second monitor, as I don't think I can ever go back to less then 2 screens. If I get a MBP, I'd have that display plus 22 inch LCD, but with Mac Pro, just the LCD.
     
  11. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #11
    Trust me on this.

    You don't want to use the MBP's screen for extended periods. The MBP is so much faster than my other machine (a mini) but I still find myself using the mini so much more when I am home.

    It really depends on what you need it for, do you tend to work more at home or out on the road? Do you need the flexibility to expand your computing solution easily?

    I am not even talking about doing geeky stuff like adding a different graphics card or something. Just upgrading more storage is creating quite a mess of connecting cables on my desk, a mess that I can certainly do without with either a PeeCee or a Mac Pro.
     
  12. Film Divine macrumors newbie

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    #12
    If you have the money to buy it outright, don't have bills to pay, and are using that discount I say got for the MBP.:)
     
  13. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #13
    Mac Pro. Do it! I bought the last rev dual-core G5 and it's great. I can only imagine how good the Mac Pros are, especially when loaded with RAM. My point here is- desktops are awesome. The power you get is amazing and they'll last you a long time. Get a used laptop cheap sometime later on.
     
  14. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #14
    I faced the same decision, I could've bought the Mac Pro and had a beast of a computer, but I would be forced to lug around a HUGE dell laptop or I could buy a MBP and use it as my main computer and buy the Mac Pro whenever I get the money. I went with the MBP because although it isn't the best bang for the buck it's a VERY nice computer with plenty of power and it doesn't get that hot when you have the correct settings. I feel that I made the correct decision because I get a great computer that has enough power for my most demanding tasks and I can take it almost anywhere with me and use that power. I'll probably be getting a Mac Pro this year sometime, but I'm content with my MBP and I can use it for extended periods of time without a problem.
     
  15. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #15
    I don't know.

    The Mac Pro is definitely an amazing computer. The Macbook Pro IMO is fairly mediocre, nothing special. It even has a crap 6 bit LCD panel, and on top of its 6 bit crappiness it has grains all over it.

    Seriously, the only real thing the MBP has over the MB are the following:
    1) backlit keyboard
    2) Firewire 800
    3) ATi X1600 Pro
    4) Larger screen size - although I wouldn't even use this as a selling point on account of just how crap the screen is.

    On the other hand what the Mac Pro has over the rest of the Mac family:
    1) Woah

    Like Aaron said, he is very tight on cash anyway. So I doubt he is the kind of person who will be going "Hmm! Good thing I got the Macbook Pro, I had no money to pay the utility bills and they cut the power to my home, but I have my gleaming backlit keyboard!"

    Come on! Get the Mac Pro, you know you wanna. If you need mobility, get a summer job or something and just buy a Macbook to complement it.

    Edit: either way I'd wait a bit first until the 8-core Mac Pros are released, or when the Core 2 Duo Macbook (Pros) are out in the refurbished store. Refurbished machines are really a great way to get an insane bang for your buck.
     
  16. aaronw1986 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #16
    I don't really wanna base my decision on the screen quality: 1. not all screens are bad in the MBP's 2. they may resolve this issue soon.

    I guess it's true I could buy a macbook this summer after working, but then I'd be spending a bunch of money. I need to save some! That would probably be the best combo though, Mac Pro + Macbook, but the Mac Pro will take all my money, plus I'll want to add more RAM.

    And the MBP having a X1600 is an important difference for me from the MB.
     
  17. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #17
    Anyway some MBPs (C2D) has shown up in the refurb store, so you might want to go take a look.
     
  18. mim macrumors 6502

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    #18
    I had the same delemia

    ...and I chose to get the Mac Pro too. Acutally, I'm a little surprised at the number of people giving the same advice. I've had a 15" Powerbook as my main machine for years now and originally I thought that I'd never have a desktop again. I love my powerbook to bits, but I do find that it's not quite powerful enough for a lot of the things that I want to use it for - video, 3d rendering, etc. When I'm doing this kind of work I also find that I'm sitting at a desk anyway, because I've had to get external drives and need to use a proper mouse, etc etc.

    I also find that when I'm using the laptop away from a desk, 90% of what I do is browse the web, check emails, run presentations...all pretty light weight stuff. In fact I often think that the 15" is too big to carry around. But for these kind of tasks the old powerbook is more than adequate. When Apple release a small tablet type machine, then I'll consider getting that in lieu of a laptop.
     
  19. amoda macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 9, 2006
    #19
    That really is the key sentence. The Mac Pro is definitely more powerful and will do coding and renedering much faster than the top of the line MBP. But you won't be able to take it to class and take notes with it or pull it out during a study session with your friends. But if you usually take notes with paper and pencil and study in your room most of the time then it really dosen't matter.

    Also since you already have a laptop you can just use that. It might not be the best thing around and you might like OS X better but if all you're using it for is web browsing then does it really matter?

    My $.02
     

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