Why buy a MBP?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ultra kyu, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. ultra kyu macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    #1
    First post so hello all...

    Ok I'm sure that the title itself has someone with a MBP up in arms, but keep in mind the question is for my specific situation (one which i'm sure loads of people are at least partially in however). With that being said, let's get on with it...

    So I run Adobe Creative Suite on my home built AMD 4400 X2 desktop just lovely. However, I graduated recently from university and my design jobs are really picking up causing me to travel quite a bit. I'm also heading to law school this fall and a notebook is required. So with those two items factored in, I need a notebook at least by August, but preferably ASAP.

    So the question is: So would anyone in my shoes (church's currently) buy a MBP over a similarly speced notebook running windows?

    Main concerns:

    I know people are running windows on the new intel macs so does that mean i could run CS2 properly on a Windows booting MBP?

    Does rosetta make Office less stable? I'm guessing law school will be no joke so should i fear office crashing and losing an essay or something like that?

    I'd appreciate some input thanks in advance!
     
  2. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Location:
    Stuck in the middle with you
    #2
    I'll be the only one to tell you this but honestly, if you're satisfied with windows and your main tasks are going to be Photoshop and Word, go with a windows laptop, as they'll be a lot cheaper. Also, I know some graduate schools have testing software that requires windows. You may want to look into that.

    And yes, you can boot windows on an MBP, but from what I understand the fans won't turn on so it's really not a good solution at this point in time. Also, keep in mind that any rosetta task is a RAM hog.

    If you really like the mac design or OS or anything like that, by all means go for a mac. But otherwise you might want to just stick to PC, as the machine will be cheaper and you won't have to buy a new version of Photoshop.
     
  3. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    #3
    Kind of hard

    Really, it's kind of a hard situation to be in right now. If you want a Mac laptop, you can get either a G4 Powerbook or an Intel Macbook Pro.

    The problem with getting a Powerbook, obviously, is that the Macbook Pro is already vastly superior to it and sooner or later, people are only going to be releasing apps for the Intel, which means your G4 will eventually be useless (potentially before you're ready for it to be useless).

    On the other hand, virtually no apps are Intel Macbook Pro native right now, including Office and Adobe products. The problem with buying a Macbook Pro right now is this: if you buy one now, it won't do you much good because most of your apps will have to be emulated, making them slower than a G4. By the time most apps have universal binary versions, Apple will have updated the Macbook Pro lineup 1 or 2 times, making today's Macbook Pro obsolete by the time any meaningful apps are even Intel native.

    Additionally, using a Mac in academia is tricky because in my experience, you will almost always have to use a certain application for your class that is Windows only (for me, as an engineering student, I need to use MathCAD for almost every class, which is Windows-only). It would suck to buy a new Macbook Pro only to find out that the application your professor requires you to use for a certain class is Windows-only, and you end up running Virtual PC all day. As mentioned earlier, you could just boot XP, but that procedure is still highly experimental and is subject to problems.

    My advice: Purchase a relatively-cheap-but-still-nice Dell, such as a 600m for about $700 nicely equipped (check bargain web sites for Dell coupon codes). Use that for a while until you become VERY familiar with the exact types of programs you will have to run for your law school. These inspirons come with enough processing power to run Photoshop also (1.8ghz Centrino, which is a very respectable processor). Then in a year, if you can, spend the big bucks in a 2nd or 3rd revision Macbook when all of the major apps (Office, Photoshop) are universal binary.
     
  4. steve_hill4 macrumors 68000

    steve_hill4

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    NG9, England
    #4
    I personally chose the MBP, but for your situation I would suggest as above, buying a reasonable beige box laptop to tide you over a year or so until intel native apps are common and that OSX 10.5 is released. If the rumour is true, it will have software built in to allow you to just open up a windows app within OSX and it will work. No Windows, no VPC, no Darwine, just Leopard.
     
  5. janey macrumors 603

    janey

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    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #5
    just wondering, but knowing someone from IRC who's applying to law schools and was mulling over a similar question -
    does the law school you're going to require windows? some do, some don't, some don't care, some make it a requirement you can't ignore (as in, if anything (hardware or software) fails to work due to you having a mac, you're totally screwed)...

    you'd most definitely be better off with a relatively new windows laptop because they usually meet the requirements for like all the law schools. some of them i've seen recommend getting Macs as they're fine, but won't allow you to use a Mac for exams (because examsoft or examguard or whatever that app is called is windows only).
     
  6. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #6
    I think that in ur situation, you'd be better with a PC. If you have problems in the academy such as "windows-only soft", get a MacBook Pro. I woundnt recommend installing windows on intel-based Macs now, but in a year the situation may change...
     
  7. janey macrumors 603

    janey

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    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #7
    until vista supports booting from EFI, you'll need a hack to get xp or vista running on any intel mac, and that's not guaranteed at all - far from it.... most definately better off getting a PC.

    Your best bet might be getting a cheap Mac (for the design work?) and a decent Windows-based laptop (for school).
     
  8. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    Russia
    #8
    Yes, I know that. When I said "installing" I ment that hacking process ;)
     
  9. blackstone macrumors regular

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    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #9
    I'm a law student myself. And as a law student, you use exactly 3 programs: CONSTANTLY:
    - Microsoft Word
    - Web browser
    - E-mail program

    These should not pose any problem on a MBP. I haven't seen any reports of Rosetta-induced Word instability, and both Safari and Mail are Universal. A significant proportion of law students at my school, including myself, use Macs even though the school officially discourages us from doing so, and we rarely run into compatibility programs.

    The only situation in which you may actually need a PC is to take exams, which happens exactly twice a year. Most U.S. law schools have adopted an awful program called ExamSoft, which is a glorified word processor with anti-cheating features that lock you out of the rest of your computer while you are taking the exam. I use an old IBM Thinkpad that I bought used for cheap, and it works fine for this purpose.

    So, my advice is that if you like the MBP and want to use it as your day-to-day computer in law school, you shouldn't worry about compatibility issues -- just make sure to keep an old clunker around to haul out during exam time.
     
  10. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

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    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Madison
    #10
    is buying a MPB now, and using your current computer for CS2 an option until a UB version comes out for OS X?
     
  11. ddrueckhammer macrumors 65816

    ddrueckhammer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Location:
    America's Wang
    #11
    My girlfriend has applied to law school for the fall and had to use a combination of Netscape and a Citrix server and Virtual PC just to get her apps in as a lot of the application process can't be done in Firefox or Safari in the U.S. (I don't really know the details cause she did it by herself)

    She also was telling me about ExamSoft and I was truly shocked to hear about it. Some of the Law Schools she is applying to will not allow Macs at all so you should check your schools for compatibility. My personal opinion is that public and governmental institutions should use open source standards and not lock users into one platform. For example, FEMA's web site had a form for relief last year (Hurricane Katrina) that was IE only! People really need to start making a point to complain if an agency either public or private doesn't have multi-platform and browser support. This goes for sites that use DRMed WMV for video too! I mean the squeaky wheel gets the grease right?

    http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1857297,00.asp

    That being said, we may just upgrade her 17" Rev D to a MBP sometime before the fall and I will install windows on it for her as I am a power user and it shouldn't be a problem. The only thing I worry about is changing the EFI may be something that can't be undone at a future date as it is part of the firmware...I'm sure Apple wouldn't cover a repair under warranty anyway. So maybe the best option is to wait for 10.5 which will probably have many more options for legitimately using Windows on your Mac. I would recommend an IBM or a Toshiba if you must go the Microsoft route as I have seen many more positive reviews for these companies products than Dell and speaking from personal experience, Dell tech support sucks...

    As an Engineering Student, I can tell you that there are some apps that I wished ran natively in OS X (AutoCAD, MathCAD, SolidWorks) but seeing as I can't afford to buy those softwares anyway I don't worry about it. If I needed to purchase one for a class I would either see If I could use an alternative like Vectorworks for AutoCAD or go to the lab as a PC to run these would probably be kind-of expensive. I guess I just like to be a rebel as I have an HP calculator i use in Math class, although it is far superior for Engineering work it isn't what most professors know how to use because it isn't as user friendly.
     
  12. kgarner macrumors 68000

    kgarner

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Location:
    Utah
    #12
    HP calculators rock. RPN forever.

    For the OP. If you are satisfied with Windows the get a PC. If you REALLY want a Mac then get an MBP and load Windows on it. Best of both worlds.
     
  13. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    #13
    To add a bit more information:
    The exam software being discussed is not the same at every law school, so it would behoove you to find out FOR CERTAIN what program is used. Some of them will run on Macs, others will not; the ones that are PC only WILL NOT run in VPC because that would defeat their purpose (you could run any other programs you wanted outside of VPC, so you would have a leg-up on PC users). And don't think there is rhyme or reason to which schools use which software (ie: public vs. private), because I know that, say, the University of Tennessee does not let you use Macs (well, you can, but you have to write your exams by hand which is "A Bad Thing tm"), while the University of Ohio does let you use Macs. Best to call the schools you are most likely to be attending.
     
  14. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #14
    My advice:

    1. Get the cheapest PC laptop that meets your school's requirement.
    2. Save the rest for a newer MBP.
    3. Avoid Dell and HP like the plague.
     
  15. ultra kyu thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    #15
    Thanks for the replies and input. It looks like i'll be shopping for Windows notebook.

    I just have to wonder why the MBP was reportedly in such high demand. Certainly I don't fault anyone who has the money to just buy the biggest & baddest notebook on the block for everyday computing, but I just assumed the bulk of interest in Apple's Pro line would actually be "pro" app users. And with almost no pro apps running natively, I guess I can't see the point of it. I know this discussion must have already taken place at some point, but I guess i question the logic of transitioning with your pro line instead of say the ibook.

    So does anyone have any more suggestions for a windows notebook? Should I wait to see what's happening with the Turian X2 or stick with the core duo? Anything else as thin as the MBP? I check out a dell e1705 and that thing is a log.
     
  16. spencecb macrumors 6502a

    spencecb

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2003
    #16
    I don't like the fact that a lot of the replies on this thread are probably from people that have not even used an Intel based Mac. So, I would take these replies with a grain of salt, as they are probably not that accurate.

    I own a MacBook Pro, and I can tell you for a fact that this thing is no sloucher. Rosetta is under rated. Especially by those that have not even used it (at least on a regular basis). Sure, there is a performance hit, but it's not nearly as noticeable as what people are making it out to be.

    My MacBook Pro runs circles around my iMac G5 in Photoshop. Imagine what it will be like when CS3 is native. And I'm not kidding when I say that it runs circles around it.

    My MacBook Pro finishes a processor intensive task in Photoshop over twice as fast as my iMac.

    So take that for what it is worth, from a user that actually owns what is being discussed, and not by people that are just repeating what they have heard, which is not accurate.

    Hope that helps.
     
  17. Zoowatch macrumors 6502

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    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    #17

    but by the time the UB versions of MS office / Photoshop are out.... new and more powerful Intel Macs, including MBP, would have surely been introduced.... so why not wait until then and put your saving on an intel mac...
     
  18. w8ing4intelmacs macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 22, 2006
    Location:
    East Coast, US
    #18
    Then there's something wrong with your iMac.

    Word is definitely slugglish on my MBP (compared to my wife's 12" PB G41.5), but not horribly slow. PowerPoint is a pain when dealing with more than 10 slides with any amount of pictures, formatting and animations. Running both at the same time makes it worse (I have 1.5GB of RAM installed). Photoshop is usable, but barely. Definitely better on the PB. I'll be much happier when the UBs of these programs come out (which isn't until 2007).

    Of course, in the meantime, I'm getting used to Pages, and Keynote is way better than PowerPoint.
     
  19. spencecb macrumors 6502a

    spencecb

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    Nov 20, 2003
    #19
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with my iMac. I never said I was using Photoshop extensively, and maybe it does become sluggish. But in one test, doing a radial blur with settings on 100 and best quality, it squashes my iMac.
     
  20. w8ing4intelmacs macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Because your current Mac will be worth even less than it's worth now.
     
  21. janey macrumors 603

    janey

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    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #21
    If the OP is only buying one computer, the issue is not whether or not rosetta is slow/fast, it's the fact that some law schools require windows only software.

    And oh please, my Mac mini can kick ass, but that was only after upgrading to 2 gigs. Then translated and the rest of the apps running in rosetta promptly chewed up all of that and like 25 gigs of vram. Word isn't so bad, but powerpoint was a pain in the ****ing ass (using keynote instead, but it's messing up the slides), and photoshop, indesign and illustrator all run similarly on the mini as they do on my iBook.
     
  22. w8ing4intelmacs macrumors 6502a

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    East Coast, US
    #22
    Any reasonable amount of Photoshop use will bring the conclusion that it runs pretty slow in Rosetta.
    http://www.macspeedzone.com/html/hardware/machine/performance_in_the_raw/06/1_23.shtml

    Don't take this the wrong way, but when every review and performance test (and every person other than you) shows that the MBP and Intel iMac is way slower (on the order of 40%-50%) using Photoshop, forgive me for being skeptical when you say that your MBP "runs circles" around your iMac G5. Of course, if you posted video clips substantiating your claim, that'd be one thing. But as it is, the OP would be greatly disappointed if he bought an MBP on your suggestion expecting it to "run circles" around an iMac G5 using Photoshop.
     
  23. slazareth macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    #23
    My comment is just for the concern of speed. My MBP runs great. People only assume that it runs slower than a G4 in rosetta, but from my experience its quite a bit faster and even in rosetta my mbp seems to be closer to the G5 than the G4 side of speed.
     
  24. w8ing4intelmacs macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 22, 2006
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    East Coast, US
    #24
    It would be helpful if you stated what programs doing what activities are "closer to the G5". Scrolling through a 100 page document with pictures in MS Word? Using a Photoshop filter? A 10GB Photo slideshow in PowerPoint with custom animations? All of these are significantly slower on my MBP than on my wife's 12" PB G4 1.5.

    That said, even your statements as is don't sound anything like "runs circles around an iMac G5".
     
  25. nylon macrumors 6502a

    nylon

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    #25
    If you are going to Law School, I wouldn't by a MBP just yet unless you plan to dual boot with Windows. Examsoft software used by law schools for their exams is a Windows only program.
     

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