About to pull the trigger on my first Mac, but I have questions...

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Crexis, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. Crexis macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2009

    I'm a loooongtime PC user and I'm about to take a plunge into owning a Mac. I'm sorry to pull the newb question thread, but I've lurked here and a dozen other sites for weeks and can't quite intuit the answers to a last few questions.

    I'm going to try and go total desktop replacement with a MacBook White. I know they just updated the specs, but I'm hoping someone has enough recent experience to know what I can expect. My plan is to use BootCamp and install either Vista or XP for pretty much just gaming. I'll definitely upgrade to 4GB RAM.

    I know this thing won't be a serious graphics horse, but I'm not looking to have the latest and greatest sail (Can it run Crysis? Sorry - jk. The question seemed mandatory). I'm thinking just WOW, Team Fortress 2, etc. Will this system handle medium performance ok? (e.g., not fly on high settings, but not choke on low/medium) I know games coming out in the next couple years will probably make the 9400M cry, but if I like what I see in the next year, I'll undoubtedly go to a Pro within 18 months.

    Couple other things: Can it output nicely to a larger monitor, like between 19-22"? And completely random, but does anyone know if the Airport/Airport Express can support a USB Hub so we can share more than 1 item to the network?

    Thanks so much for your help in advance.:cool:
  2. illegallydead macrumors 6502a


    Oct 22, 2007
    The new whitebooks should be just fine for what you are talking about. I have the old GMA950 whitebook with 2GB of RAM and have Vista under bootcamp running just fine. I have a few games installed, and probably the closest to Team Fortress kind of thing you are talking about that I have is Portal. That runs just dandy ~medium settings, so most of those games should do you just fine, especially with the newer and better GPU.
    As for Crysis: I wouldn't get my hopes up, but it might just run it, who knows, I'm not a huge gamer or anything.

    I had my MB hooked up to my 32" 720p TV as my main/only monitor all of last summer, and I noticed no performance difference, so again, with a better GPU in the new ones, you should be more than fine.

    And I'm not 100% sure about the sharing other devices. You might be able to, but I have not tried this extensively yet, so I would save that question for someone else.

    Good luck!
  3. Bad Paper macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2007
    graphite clamshell
    I own one of the Napa Macbooks (ie: GMA 950 graphics), and I get maybe 20fps with all the settings on minimum in WoW. I haven't tried TF2 or Portal. Also, since it does software rendering, I am occasionally surprised when I see the game on my desktop Winderz machine. ("My troll is blue?" "This is what Ironforge looks like?") But there are tremendous differences between my machine and the current Macbooks.

    Why would you upgrade to a MBP in 18 months? Why not get one now? I bought my Macbook because before that I had a clamshell iBook that lasted about seven years. These things are very well made and last a long time; you'll get out of the constant upgrade cycle that traps Winderz users.
  4. Pixellated macrumors 65816

    Apr 1, 2008
    You say you're going Pro in 1 1/2 years. Why not just get one now instead?
  5. miggitymac macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    I agree...either stick with the whitebook or get the pro now.
    Why get both in a span of 18 months?

    For your gaming needs the whitebook (with new NVidia chipsets) will handle WoW nicely..but, as you said, it may be lagging in the gaming community by the end of the year. So, if you're a hardcore gamer and you want a true desktop replacement, go for the pro right now.

    If your plan is to stick with WoW and similar games for a while, save the money and get the whitebook.

    It'd be silly to get both in a span of 18 months.

    Edit: If you're a HARDCORE gamer, then you'd know that an Apple laptop (not even the pro) can't be a true desktop replacement...and for the same money as a pro, you can get a monster gaming rig on a PC platform.
  6. Crexis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2009
    Wow, thanks for all the quick responses.

    Yeah, it's kind of a catch 22. I'll upgrade if I like mac, which I know will be overkill in such a short period of time, but I don't want to throw all my chips in on a system that I am not 100% convinced of yet. I'd hate to throw away $2300 for a decently equipped Pro and not like the switch. This is just to test the water, and $1000 seems alot more reasonable.

    First and foremost, I'm a grad student. Otherwise, I'm not what I'd call the classic hardcore gamer. I play games a lot, but I've never felt comfortable throwing down large wads on high-end gaming rigs. I usually go a little over baseline and content myself with setting graphics sliders a couple notches down. I'm just trying to get rid of this two computer thing. I'm tired of having two systems that have so much redundancy.

    I really don't expect the MacBook White to be a graphics slaughterhouse. I just want to know it's moderately capable. Besides, the best laid plans and all that. I might want to replace the MB in 1.5 years, but I'll probably string it out longer.

    Bad Paper, the only reason us Windows people replace more often is if we're gamers. I've had several systems that work long beyond they're no longer graphically viable. A Gateway laptop we got in 1999 still runs somewhat well, and did a lot of work for us until 07.

    EDIT: I'm still interested in any feedback anyone has. Another thought: Would jumping up to the Aluminum be any better, with the faster RAM. I wouldn't think so... not for 300 more...
  7. miggitymac macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009

    I'd get the white book...it'll handle your casual gaming needs and last you for at least a couple of revisions for the pro. Then when you get out of grad school, hopefully you'll have a job that will allow you to get max specs on the pro (and by that time, it'll probably blow the current pro out of the water)
  8. children macrumors regular

    Dec 22, 2008
    if i were you, i would purchase a macbook pro, and if you dont like it, sell it on ebay. unibodies will retain its price for a while.. the resale price is much more reasonably than the pc's youre used to..
  9. SummerBoy macrumors regular


    Dec 19, 2008
    Go for the Mac Pro. Best gaming machine money an buy.
  10. Crexis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2009
    Thanks everyone for the info! I think I'm gonna go with the White for now. Just seems to be my best balance of intro/performance/budget. Thanks especially, illegallydead, for the comparison to Portal. Love that game.

    Think I'll be ordering it tonight! :apple: Thanks again!

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