1st Time Buying a Mac, Which One?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mac-and-Me, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. Mac-and-Me, Apr 10, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015

    Mac-and-Me macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2015
    Hello. I don't have a computer and need to buy one for online studying and would appreciate your expertise, as this is my 1st Mac. Thank you.

    The online school's technology requirments:

    Microsoft Windows Requirements

    Intel Pentium 4 2.33GHz, Athlon 64 2800+ or faster processor (or equivalent)
    128MB of RAM plus 128MB of graphics memory
    Windows 2000, XP, Vista or 7
    One of the following web browsers:
    Internet Explorer 6.0 or greater
    Apple Safari 5.0.3 or greater
    Google Chrome version (including 11.0.696.57 update) or greater

    Mac OS X Requirements

    Intel Core Duo 1.33 GHz or faster processor
    256 MB of RAM
    Mac OS X version 10.5 or greater
    One of the following web browsers:
    Mozilla Firefox 3.0 or greater
    Apple Safari 5.0.3 or greater
    Google Chrome version (including 11.0.696.57 update) or greater

    Software Requirements

    Macromedia Flash Player version 8 or greater (version 10 for test assignments)
    Sun JVM version 1.4 or greater (for select courseware)
    Adobe Reader (for viewing and printing certificates)
    JavaScript (should be enabled in your browser options)
    Hardware Requirements

    1024x768, 16-bit (thousands of colors) color display or better
    Standard Mouse and Keyboard
    Speakers and Soundcard (Select Courseware)

    I want to buy a Mac and not other brands even if they are better and lighter, now that I know I can get Microsoft on a Mac.

    The most important thing for me is lightness for portability. To the extent that I go through my bag daily to take out the tiniest of things that I don't need that day, just to make it lighter. I'm talking pieces of gum, a pen! Also because by the end of the day I am carrying with me a lot of other things like groceries.

    So the new MacBook 12" would be perfect, but the upgrade is only max 1.3GHz and my school requires 1.33!
    Do you think that the difference is finite and this computer is just enough for me?? If yes, then I would buy this computer in a heartbeat. Or is it definitely not powerful enough for the requirments and down the road I will start seeing system failures??
    I don't understand the meaning of these configurations, and don't know if the Ghz is what I should be looking at, but from my limited knowledge think if 1.33 is needed then clearly 1.3 won't suffice, yet also think oh its only .03 difference it's fine.

    If not then of course the MacBook Air 13" is the best compromise being 1.6 GHz minimum, and very light, has the new trackpad. But it does not have retina display, and because of that alone I don't want this computer.

    Then the MacBook Pro 13" is of course AMAZING from its power, I wouldn't need to upgrade at all, it has retina display, now trackpad, and is still of course portable. I was originally going for this Mac, when I wanted to get the BEST Mac out there, I was going to buy the 2.9 GHz model. Even though I know I can't get a better computer than this, now that I know there is a lighter option out there, I am not so excited to buy the Pro anymore. Yet if it is what I need for my studies, then I would.

    Yet when I think of the price of the MacBook, I can't believe you could buy the Pro, a much much better computer for the same price! It's crazy. But I guess I am paying for that extreme lightness. But I don't want to later be upset that I bought this new MacBook for all its glory of being light then it doesn't do much for me except run facebook and YouTube.

    So I am very confused and am staling to start my studies because I havent decided. And need to get a move on the 4-6 week wait if some of you think the MacBook is just enough. Thank you for any feedback whatsoever, I appreciate that you read my whole dilemma, sorry it's long. So excited to read your insights. Have a nice day! :):apple::cool:
  2. radioking, Apr 10, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015

    radioking macrumors regular

    Nov 5, 2012
    I wouldn't take those processor speeds literally. The Core Duo was over 8 years ago. A 1.1 ghz processor from today is much faster than a 1.3 processor from then. The new MacBook should be just fine.

    Look at this page: http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core2-Duo-P8800-vs-Intel-Core-M-5Y71

    The 1.2 Core M that's in the 512gb MacBook is actually faster than a 2.6 ghz Core 2 Duo from 2009.

    The only thing I would consider is you may want to look into using an external monitor with mouse and keyboard when studying at home. That could be a problem with only one port on the MacBook. It could still be done with the right dongles though. Trying to do a paper and research on a 12" screen would drive me nuts.
  3. ricede macrumors regular


    Aug 16, 2010
    If weight is everything then go for the Macbook. Apple do design the CPU well. So even though it says 1.1 it will boost to 2.4 which should cover you ok. Downside - its only got one port, so if you need to connect to other things you will also need to buy an adaptor.

    The Macbook pro is a beast & you won't need to upgrade it for a longtime. It has all the ports etc & is powerful. If at some point you need that extra power & it will be there for you. It has a better FaceTime camera if you want to do Skype etc. It also has a magsafe connecter ( This has saved my mac a few times from dropping on the floor ). However it is twice the weight of the Macbook.

    It is always a compromise. They are both great machines but are designed for different needs.
  4. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Seems like your online school has not updated their system requirements for over half a decade.
    Any macbook sold right now is utter overkill for what they are asking.
    Go to the :apple:store, forget about the specs and pick the model you want.

    Enjoy :)
  5. Mac-and-Me thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2015
    Thanks! How much I'm thinking about bringing this computer out with me every day, I never considered the best scenario for home. Must think about that eventually. That link is having an error, but I see your point is the computers from nowadays are that much more faster for much less core ghz than before. Thanks!
  6. Mac-and-Me, Apr 11, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015

    Mac-and-Me thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2015
    Hahaha I laughed so hard! :) No wonder radioking said that was 8 years ago, I was so confused, why are they talking about the past?

    Maybe the school is making sure that anyone anywhere with anything that can be called a computer can enroll.
    So clearly I am clueless when it comes to these computer specs. You opened my eyes!
    And all this time I'm debating which current OVERLY EXCEEDING Mac is suitable; crazy & hilarious!
  7. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    This. Apple does not make a laptop that doesn't blow all those requirements out of the water. Pick the one you want. I think you are a MBA candidate.
  8. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2014
    I'd be a bit careful about this. My 2008 c2d iMac with an ssd can easily outrun my wife's 2014 Air with a 1.7 i7 and 8 gb of ram. Both with 10.10.2. That's for photo's editing during travel, the only thing I do on it. The Air had a fresh install done to see if I could improve upon this. A few months ago replaced it with maxed out rMBP. That took care of the problem.
  9. silvetti macrumors 6502a


    Nov 24, 2011
    Play a Youtube 1080p video and then come talk to me...

    My 2009 c2d mini would fan out with 720p videos, 1080p wouldn't even play it...
  10. Anand953 macrumors regular

    Mar 28, 2015
    My 2 cents.. Forget the Macbook.. Go for the MBA or rMBP depending on your preference for Retina display... Personally I would pick up the Macbook Pro.. Its very light for the kind of specs it carries when you compare it with other machines available in the market..

    Also with sufficient ports available (including HDMI), you will hardly need to invest and carry adapters

    Rest, you are the best person to decide what you want.. Buy what your heart says dude !!:D
  11. Mac-and-Me thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2015
    Thanks for your input! Yah of course in a rMBP you are getting SO MUCH for a very portable computer.
  12. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2014
    I do it all the time. Perfectly fluid. I also play 1080 daily on a 2010 2.53 ghz mini we use for media. Totally fluid. Your mini has a problem.
  13. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    Ha, looks like they haven't updated the system requirements for many years. Pentium 4 was out such a long time ago...

    Get the 13" Pro if you want a retina display or a 13" air if you can live without it. I'd stay away from the macbook until the next revision at least.
  14. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    It's not that the requirements are out of date; they probably just haven't changed. If a Pentium 4 worked fine back then and they aren't doing anything more demanding, a Pentium 4 will work fine now. Thus, it's still the minimum.

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