Thinking about college

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by .JahJahwarrior., Jan 1, 2007.

  1. .JahJahwarrior. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    #1
    Hey, new user--first post! Nice forum.

    I'm graduating HS in 2007 and am thinking about college. I'm running XP on a PC, 2.4 or so cpu, 500mb of ram. It's a thing I've been putting together for a while, same case for the last four years but most of the components change. For example, everything blew up when I turned it on about 8 months ago. I had to replace everything except the case and the cd drive, and this cemented in my mind the decision to NEVER go pc again. When I rebought XP (trying to reinstall the stuff is too hard, I sat on support with an indonesian person for almost four hours the last time this happened because they thought I was a pirate stealing software. cheaper just to rebuy the stuff.), I discovered it came with NO useful programs. I can't even watch a dvd without paying $15 for "codecs." No way. Screw pc, I am going mac and if I cannot afford it, I'll go linux. That said, I'm planning on taking this computer with me to college. I'll get a switch for my monitor and keyboard and all that so in my dorm room I can have double monitor and stuff. So I need to figure out what to buy.

    I do some video editing and like a big harddrive. I want something cutting edge now so that it will last me just fine for all of college. I want a very good protection program so that, pretty much no matter what, I can get this thing replaced or repaired fast if it needs it. I don't want a slow computer. I do some photography too and need to know (actually, I want to go try out both) if glossy or matte is better. I also need to know if there is a smiple way to get both computers on a "network" so to speak, so that Ic an easily move files between them, keep them both updated with relatively the same data. For all I know, I could end up never using the desktop, or I could end up using it equally, Id on't kow.

    Should I get a refurb MBP or the highest end MB or a middle grade MBP or what? As far as a budget goes...I don't have one set yet. I already have most of my college figured out, money wise, and I can afford to spend money. I'm also lobbying to get my parents to chip in a little bit :)
     
  2. emptyCup macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    #2
    Since you want something cutting edge, and you don't start college until Fall, the obvious thing to do is wait until Leopard and new models a released in the Spring. I believe that once you have proof of acceptance at a college you can get a student discount.

    Matte or glossy is a personal decision. Most people seem to prefer glossy but see them for yourself if you can. The iLife software that comes with a Mac is very good. Networking is easy. There are many threads here about how to do it. Wait until Spring to make a decision about model but do not wait until right before school starts. Give yourself some time to get used to your new machine and make sure that everything is working correctly. Best wishes.
     
  3. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #3
    Hi,
    You may find iMovie (part of iLife) a bit limiting, as you already have some experience in video editing.

    You should have a look at Final Cut Express. FCE is reasonably priced and the spec is very good.

    FJ :)
     
  4. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    BTW You can use VLC to watch DVD's on your PC, and it's free ;). I would probably agree about Final Cut Express, but I'd give iMovie a try first as it's free and included.
     
  5. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #5
    Hi,
    I suggested Final Cut Express to the poster as he already has some experience in video editing and of course once mastered it is easier to make the transition to Final Cut Pro (if required).

    I do agree that he should try iMovie first in case it does all that he needs.

    FJ :)
     
  6. .JahJahwarrior. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    #6
    I've used FCP HD on a mac before, but what I use on my PC is piece of crap stuff. it's so crappy, I don't even remember the brand name, something "studio 9." It's pretty much useless iwthout the ability to burn dvds, which I can't do even though I have a nice dual layer burner. (thank you Mr. Gates!) iMovie will be better than what I've got and I'll probably end up getting final cut express at some point.

    videolan works but mediaplayerclassic works a tad better for me. I have both and have used both and all it's made me do is realize that I use NOTHING microsoft other than OS. Why pay so much money for an OS? Nothing that comes with it is usable, and everything's that usable and needed doesn't come with it. Oh, I forgot, the calculator thing is actually pretty useful.

    I'm planning on waiting till late summer, I already ahve acceptence letters from three universities (UCF, USF, FSU) and am trying to decide. :) Leopard will be out in spring, but when in the spring is everyone thinking? If I had a good week with my machine before I left for a dorm, I'd be ok. Just enough time to get oriented, move files over, and watch a movie or two. I'm pretty technologically able, so it won't be too hard of a switch. I've also used a mac a little bit before.
     
  7. cynerjist macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    #7
    i remember buying my pc before going to college. that was a great time.

    like others suggested, i would wait until you are about to go to buy it. you will get a better product for your money and the student discount. as for what to buy, you need to do some research and you've come to the right place.
     
  8. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #8
    Enjoy your new Mac.

    FJ :)
     
  9. D34th macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #9
    If you are thinking about doing photography or some kind of video editing for college, then I would go with a MacBook Pro. You could customize it to the perfect settings for you. If photography and video editing are just hobbies, then I would chose the MacBook. I am running both Aperture and Final Cut Express on my MacBook (2.0 C2D) and they run perfectly fine. As others have said, you might be just fine with iMovie so try it first, but it seems you have some experience with video editing so you will probably find it limiting. The main difference between the MacBook and MacBook Pro is that the MacBook Pro's video card is not integrated so all the professional applications, such as Final Cut Studio for video editing, are supported. People have said that the pro apps will also run on a MacBook, just not nearly as well. Final Cut Express is supported on the MacBook and it runs fine and would be good for almost just as advanced video editing as FCS. So really it comes down to 1) How much money you will be willing to spend, and 2) What you will honestly do with the machine (i.e. just wanting Final Cut Studio versus Final Cut Express actually being sufficient). This is all assuming that you are looking for a laptop.

    If you don't mind a desktop, I'm sure you would be fine with any one of the iMacs, or if you really wanted to you could jump to the Mac Pro. Both machines support all pro apps, so really this would be up to you. But the Mac Pro doesn't seem necessary unless you are doing really hard core photography/video editing...

    But no matter what machine you get and what you do with it, the most important thing for the machine would most likely be RAM, and I'm sure anyone will say that...

    P.S. Coming from personal experience, a laptop is much more practical for a college student. Also, who knows what machines will be out by the time you buy one...

    That's just my two cents...
     
  10. .JahJahwarrior. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    #10
    My dad is reccomending a good desktop and a small PDA with a keyboard for when I'm "out and about" but I'd really like a laptop. Even if I don't take it out everyday, it lets me bring everything home, or a few hours away, or to the library, or wherever. Too much flexibility to let it go to waste!

    They are both hobbies but I'm working to make them produce money for me :)

    What I'm wanting to know is how fast these processers are. I've got a 2.4 ghz processor in this desktop....numbers wise then, a 1.83 seemslike it would be slow. But it's dualcore. And everyone says these things are freaking fast. Is there any simple way for me to know if I'll be happy with speed? With a slower cpu I could afford more memory, easily 1gb maybe 2gb. And there's a CD and a C2D, right? I'm guessing the latter is the newer and faster one? And I hear that regardless, programs open slow on macs.

    I've been searching for articles on whether or not macs or pc's are better for college students and there arne't any really at all that seem to be helpful. There is still a chance I'll be forced to go pc but I really don't want to . I'd rather go with a slower mac than a pc. does anyone know of a really good article that looks at both brands unbiasedly?
     
  11. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #11
    Hi,
    You can't directly compare Mac Processors with PC processors.
    I have a PC laptop with Intl 2.6 Mhz Pentium processor and it's quite a bit slower than my 1.83 Mhz C2D Mac Book.

    The laptop would be much better for college. You can take it with you rather than wondering if your desk top will still be there when you return.

    FJ :)
     
  12. mrplow macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    #12
    So to answer your original question, here are two things to consider.
    Portablity and Graphics.
    The integrated graphics suck (you won't notice this in just using OS X, don't worry, but games and what not are lacking-osx or windows) but they save your battery, which helps you achieve around 3-4 hours of battery life. The Pro of course has the x1600 which in my opinion is a champ (relatively). However, this of course is a drain... additionally the size of the pro is larger (barely heavier), so how much do you plan on lugging the machine around?

    For me the macbook is the preference- i like the keyboard ALOT more and it's size is a pro rather than con. It really comes down to what you want... you seem to be quite knowledgeable, so why come here and let someone else make your decision. As far as refurbished models go however, I'd shy away- not that you'd screw yourself getting one thanks to the warranty, but I've had to send every refurb iPod back I've ever gotten. It's not easy going to college and being without a computer for a week. finally. amazon.com is the cheapest place to buy (new). Right now I think the base macbook is around 969 and then theres a 75 rebate (and its free shipping *and* tax free-- apple's edu discount essentially just cancels out tax)
     
  13. Jay42 macrumors 65816

    Jay42

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2005
    #13
    Apple loves to release products for back to school....I would wait until then to make your decision.

    The glossy screens look really nice if the room is completely dark, but I think most photo professionals prefer a matte display since reflections can be very distracting no matter how good the glossy coating is.
     
  14. .JahJahwarrior. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    #14
    What you all are saying is I might be fine with just a MB and not a MBP. Interesting, becuase I hadn't considered a MB at all, figuring I'd need a MBP. Hm... well, with it "loaded" pretty well (120 gig drive, FCexpress, 2gigs of ram) it'd be about $1700 right now. That's probably pretty affordable. I'm definitely not buying anything now, I'll wait and I'd probably try to go in to a store to actually buy it.
     
  15. StealthRider macrumors 65816

    StealthRider

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    Yokosuka, Japan
    #15
    I would say go for a mid-range MBP, since this will be your main machine for at least a couple of years. You'll want a GPU :p
     

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