My Macbook Pro Review

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by derajfast, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. derajfast macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    #1
    To sum it up :WOW

    I still think my powerbook purchase 2 years ago was my best purchase ever, as it was the first time using a mac since an apple IIe, but I do not regret buying my MacBook Pro one bit.

    A few regular issues:

    The Whine: Maybe 25% of the time when I reboot my computer, there is a faint whine (sounds like a processor), but I just turn the iSight on and then off, and its gone.

    Screen: Gorgeous. No extra brightness at the bottom either like some people were reporting. So much brighter than my original powerbook.

    Keyboard: Backlit much much brighter. Still the best made keyboard out there IMO. My shift key popped off, but that took the Apple genius all of .43 seconds to fix.

    Sleep: Wakes so much faster than my powerbook. No problems at all.

    Frontrow: So much faster than my iMac g5 isight. Smooth, no problems, and surprisingly good range.

    Airport: Haven't been able to test it out yet as I am in a dorm and we don't have wireless internet in the dorm rooms yet.

    I have to say that Apple's claim of 4 times faster really might be 100% true, if not an understatement. And this is in day to day tasks. Such as opening and closing iMovie, iPhoto, and iTunes. On my powerbook, it took about 2 or 3 bounces to open, and then about 6 seconds to load my songs in iTunes (80GB 14,000 songs). MacBook Pro= half a bounce, and about 1 second for my entire library to be loaded. Thats about 5-7 times faster I would say. iPhoto took about 5 bounces to open, and 9-10 seocnds to load my 8000 photos, and would never scroll "like butta" (had iLife 06 on it too). I just opened iPhoto on my MacBook Pro. 1.5 bounces, and 2 seconds to load everything. And it scrolls flawlessly. And this is with Adium, Mail, safari, and itunes all open. With all these open, my PowerBook would be bogged down even more. iMovie encoding is also much faster. It doesnt take 8 seconds to eject devices from my desktop (iPods, Lacie Drive, etc). MBP its instant, as with emptying my trash. Syst Prefs loads the instant i click it. Spotlight is so much faster. iChat opens instantly. Safari loads so amazingly fast, I think it is already open half the time.

    Now for Rosetta:
    I have 2 apps I use a lot under Rosetta; Office and Photoshop CS. Same versions on both the powerbook and MBP. I ran a test of certain filters, blurs, etc on a high resolution picture, under the most processor intensive settings. The average for the PowerBook: 2min 53 seconds. Same tests on MBP: 58 seconds on average. Thats under Rosetta, and running 4 other apps in the background. All I can say is wow. Office is not as smooth however, but its certainly bearable and not a problem.

    Processor Intensive Native Programs:
    The only one I really use that isnt made by Apple is handbrake. I use these settings to rip my DVDs: h.264, average bitrate=1000kbps, 2 pass encoding. I did them both on an iMac g5 iSight, my PowerBook, and my MacBook Pro. Powerbook tops out at 4.2fps, only when I am not using the computer, and averages around 3.1fps. The iMac averaged around 16-17fps while not using it, and 14-15fps while using it. The MacBook Pro averaged around 25fps while using it, and 33fps while not using the computer.

    Conclusion : In my experiences, I really think Apple's claim of it being 3-4x faster is completely warranted, both in certain tests, processor intensive tasks, AND day to day use. My machine absolutely flies. No complaints. Feel free to ask any questions
     
  2. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #2
    No Doubt about it, that was a great review. I can't afford a MBP now, but I sure as hell will consider it in the future.
     
  3. derajfast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    #3
    I was going to throw together an iMovie showing how fast it boots up, how fast things load, etc, but I am kind of busy now. But I wil in the future and host it at my website.

    I forgot to mention though that apps running under Rosetta do take a reasonable amount of time to load. Other then that though, Rosetta works as advertised, and even better in the case of my PhotoShop CS tests
     
  4. derajfast thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 24, 2004
  5. Sharewaredemon macrumors 68000

    Sharewaredemon

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Location:
    Cape Breton Island
    #5
    MacRumors is a slow place in the morning if you are on the East coast as a lot of us are still sleeping!

    It picks up a lot more around suppertime.

    Thanks for the review! Although I don't have one, I am jealous of you!
     
  6. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #6
    thanks for the review

    while i don't think the mbp could be four times faster, i would be very excited if it was twice as fast since the powerbooks i have seen have been very impressive

    with the intel imac, i find some of the apps are a little faster and some a little slower on the native side, and rosetta is slow but it's an emulator like macworld says though apple doesn't like the word ;)

    and there really isn't much of a difference overall with the intel imac over older imacs, but i think that is a good thing because os x worked fine with the G4 and G5 processors in all their machines

    on paper, your new laptop looks like the biggest quantum leap since the powerbook never had a G5 processor in it, or a dual processor in for that matter, so all of a sudden to have a dual intel processor is very exciting, especially for a laptop since the core duo was designed for a laptop with performance AND good battery times in mind

    i am happy to hear you like your laptop because after having read a lot on this site which was so critical and negative of the model, it's good to hear what works for it

    give apple inc a year and i think they will have everything ironed out since the move to intel was a gigantic task and like any big transition, it will take time...i have heard whispers that apple eventually will make make rosetta work so fast that one could run photoshop on it and not notice, even with big tasks...if that's true, it would be great

    given all the opinions i have heard about powerbooks vs mbp, i would still buy a G4 powerbook today (the 12" inch model) if i had to choose since i do have adobe and macromedia apps...but six months or a year from now when the whole line of macs are converted, i guess we will all have to buy mactel and like i mentioned before, known bugs will be ironed out more or less
     
  7. sunfast macrumors 68020

    sunfast

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #7
    Excellent review. I want an MBP more than I did before I read it!
     
  8. derajfast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    #9

    in the few tests i ran though, photoshop was MUCH faster on the MBP than the powerbook, even under rosetta, and maybe a second or 2 slower than the imac g5
     
  9. derajfast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    #10
    The only thing I was dissapointed about was the start up time. Although much faster than my PowerBook, it doesnt seem to start up as fast as everyone said it did. Probably because i have 88gb of music now, and 6gb of photos

    but waiting a few extra seconds to turn it on really isnt a big deal
     
  10. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #11
    here is what i would do if i got a mbp...probably revision 2 or 3 in 1-1 1/2 years

    for internet/email/ms office i would use os x, for games i would use microsoft windows via boot camp, and for photoshop either one or the other depending on:

    1) if adobe makes a cs suite for os x on core duo natively, or
    2) if adobe ditches os x core duo natively and only continues cs suite on windows vista natively

    it's like trying to read the future a little early, but that would determine which adobe suite i would get

    i don't mind rosetta for microsoft office for mac, but start multiple filters and layers then there is no way any form of emulation is acceptable when you can do it natively, whether it is native os x or native windows...and now you can run cs suite natively on the mbp and mactel imac with boot camp

    but i would find little reason to use microsoft windows for the internet, when os x could do it much more safely and i wouldn't be online with windows unless apple somehow dumped os x altogether

    the only time i can be online with windows relatively safely is if i do it with windows 98 since it's almost as small a target as os x these days
     
  11. iHeartTheApple macrumors 6502

    iHeartTheApple

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    Feb 13, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #12
    Agreed! :)
     
  12. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    Jul 9, 2000
    #13
    so i checked out this machine today in an apple store and they had windows already on it

    it was fast on both platforms
     
  13. derajfast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    #14

    wow!, i was going to ask that if people thought they would put it on there in the stores

    i really thought they should put it on the comps in the stores as itd increase switchers, but didnt think they would since they said they wont support it, or sell it

    but kudos to apple....great idea
     
  14. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #15
    while i much prefer os x to windows, it was still cool seeing xp run natively on a mbp and i thought it would be nice to have that machine for all uses, including gaming where xp rules the roost

    pc world only gave the mbp a 79 out of 100 but that was before boot camp which will double the machine's capability and versatility in many people's eyes
     
  15. derajfast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    #16
    i also forgot to mention the battery life

    i can get like 3.5hrs continuous use w. display halfway, and airport/bluetooth off
     
  16. slazareth macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    #17
    Adobe will release CS3 in 2007 sometime. I'm guessing in January if we're lucky it will be announced and possibly shown off by Jobs. Otherwise, I see it coming out sometime around this time next year. Which is quite a while really, but considering Adobe and (previously) Macromedia Apps will be integrated so much better I'm definitely willing to wait to have it all working right.

    As far as Adobe ditching the Mac platform? Hah! I would bet that a huge portion of Mac owners are active users of Adobe software. Adobe won't ditch a platform that a large portion of their customers prefer.

    I personally have a macbook pro and it runs wonderfully. Right now I have Illustrator and Flash running (as well as other things like studiometry-ppc, suitcase-ppc, safari, adium, mail, etc). They are eating up some fat amounts of Virtual Memory and RAM, but they are moving along at managable speeds.

    Currently my Activity Monitor is showing:

    Wired: 195MB
    Active: 611MB
    Inactive: 831MB
    Free: 406MB
    VM size: 15.84GB

    The top 5 processes by RAM usage are...
    Illustrator CS2 : RAM-299MB and VM-1.74GB (rosetta)
    Flash 8 : RAM-181.79MB and VM-935.51MB (rosetta)
    WindowServer : RAM-128MB and VM-481MB
    kernel_task : RAM-113MB and VM-1.22GB
    Studiometry : RAM-104MB and VM-706MB (rosetta)

    I have Adobe CS2 as well as Macromedia Flash and Dreamweaver 8. I'd be glad to run any kind of benchmarking for people. As I also have a P4 2.8GHz PC with 1GB RAM. And I have access to Dual 2.0GHz G5's at school.

    Holla back!
     
  17. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #18
    official link please?

    i want to believe you on that, trust me

    ...the mbp, especially a rev 2 or 3 in the future, is definitely a contender for me right now

    is it four times faster than the powerbook it's trying to replace? well, tell that to pc/mac world and the 79 they gave it...i suspect it's considerably faster though

    what i would like to see on the mbp is more ram capability...and for adobe to commit to a "cs 3 suite" or something very much like it...that's all, really

    -jef
     
  18. slazareth macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    #19
    http://www.macnn.com/articles/06/03/24/adobe.cs3.due.in.q2.2007/

    here you can read on macnn with a link to forbes.

    The 4 times faster is all relative and in all actuality its prob closer to 2x faster but I have no tests that I've done to prove this, I can just tell that its faster. I think that apple boasts the 4 times faster because they got the numbers running some benchmark program that was developed well for intel processors.

    If your thing is to wait for rev b or rev c then that's fine. Just don't be the guy that never buys because he's waiting for the next big update. I had to fight myself so hard to hold off buying any apple computer for almost a year (I was about to buy when the announced the switch and decided to wait), but I knew that the intels were coming. If you're waiting on something that you know is coming, its worth the wait. If you're waiting on a dream then I'd go ahead and order if you need it. If you can wait, wait. I probably could have waited, but it was definitely far more convenient and productive for me to buy now.
     
  19. sjshaw macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    #20
    Thanks for the review. I'm so close to pulling the trigger, but I have to wait a few more months to see what happens.
     
  20. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #21
    i do buy...performa 600, performa 601 powered ppc desktop, several apple II's, quadra, IIgs, ibook, intel imac, power mac, dual power mac, power tower pro

    being a tech, i like for people to both buy 1) rev 1s and 2) any machine that boots windows...and sometimes i have to pinch myself and ask "and i get paid for this, too"...and no, i don't have to charge $120 dollars an hour like the plumber and i have often thought about learning that trade

    either way, i have to clean up people's deep doo doo ;)
     
  21. derajfast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    #22
    To add to the review.

    Yesterday, I wanted to see what else it could handle. So i opened up my applications folder, and double clicked every single application (except 2 of the 3 office apps......had word open). All 42 other applications opened. And this is what I find the most amazing thing about this computer. Every single program opened, and in amazingly fast amount of time. And the programs that I played around with briefly while open were only nominally slower than if nothing else was running. Using expose under that was flawless, as was toggling between programs. Granted, I have 2gb of DDR2 memory on it, but I was EXTREMELY surprised at how it could handle so many apps simultaneously.
     
  22. derajfast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    #23
    Another addition:

    I overstated the ripping of handbrake on the g5 isight. I said it was around 15fps. That was under 700kbs, not 1000. Under 1000, it gets about 5-6kbps. The Macbook Pro gets about 4-6 times that, with many other programs open.
     
  23. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #24
    deraj,

    your macbook pro sounds like the machine to have, and for me, with os x and bundled apple apps, i should be just fine if i were to get the machine

    for anybody else, who either don't like os x or the apple apps, the machine could still run windows and those apps

    my wife could be up and running with cs2 tomorrow running at full speed by simply having the windows version of the suite running in xp and adobe does a great job with their titles on mac and pc format

    i just do hope adobe goes native os x with cs3 but that's for another thread and there are rumors on the net on both sides of that issue
     
  24. bluedevil14 macrumors regular

    bluedevil14

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #25
    about the whining noise:
    To me, that seems like the kind of thing that happens to windows computers all the time. Yes it is annoying but if i do such and such it stops. IMO, that was one of the greatest things about Apple computers, that instead of having to do such and such, those little things just didn't happen. I really do not want to have to turn the iSight on and off everytime I turn on the dang computer.
    Anyone else agree with me on this?
    This noise is a major draw back in considering the MBP.
     

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