Advice for a college student to-be? (Sorry, I know you hate these)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tocyk, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. tocyk macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2008
    Well I'll be attending college towards the middle of September, and I am very interested in getting either a middle line MB or a baseline MBP. The thing is, with all the rumors of updates this, and updates that, I am very hesitant on when I should buy. The problem also is, I have a lot of deadlines to meet.

    First and foremost, I would like to get as many of the benefits as possible. The free printer offer ends sometime in July I believe, so I'd love to make it in before then. Also, my college orientation is the beginning of July, and they ask for you to bring your computer so you can get it registered and it is rumored that you register for classes via your computer.

    Lastly, my teacher in video production is giving me a copy of Final Cut Pro. I'm not sure if I will be getting other Final Cut Studio programs, but I know I am getting Final Cut Pro. I was wondering if a 2nd tier MB would be able to cut it? I really am on a somewhat tight budget, and I'd prefer to buy a MBP if and only if it is a necessity.

    I know that was a lot to read, but hopefully you guys could knock some sense into me as to whether I should just wait, buy now, and which MB I should buy. I can "technically" wait, but I the earlier I get my computer, the easier life will be.

    Thanks a lot and sorry about the long read.
  2. Saikou macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2007
    Well, supposedly the "back to school" discounts are going to be the biggest Apple has ever had this year.

    (Source: )

    If you're going into any type of video work, you should definitely go for the Pro for numerous reasons. Main reasons being the screen real estate and the video card. I'd say wait until WWDC coming up on the 9th to make any decisions.

    But in the end it'll all come down to this: Buy it if you need it. If not, wait. There'll ALWAYS be updates around the corner, that's how this industry works. You could buy the current 15" Pro and be set for the next 5 years easily.

    There, I just summarized the next 50 posts in this thread. ;)
  3. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Not really; you didn't answer the question on the adequacy of the 2nd Tier MB. :p

    And the answer is yes.
  4. tocyk thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2008
    Ouch. It just sucks buying the baseline MBP, cause then I feel obligated to buy the 2nd tier one. Does the weaker graphics card on the baseline one greatly differ from the 2nd/3rd tier one?

    And if I were to buy a MBP, would I be able to run programs such as Motion and other stuff that come with? If I still couldn't, and a 2nd tier MB is adequate, I could sacrifice screen size in order to save a load of money.
  5. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Motion uses CPU only; you don't the GPU for anything...
  6. agentphish macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2004
    Wait until after WWDC june 9 for sure.

    Get the second tier one for sure.

    Max out the ram (aftermarket from OWC for sure.

    You'll get a college discount for sure.

    You'll get a free iPod or something for sure.

    You'll love your new Macbook Pro for sure.
  7. tocyk thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2008
    Assuming June 9th passes and there is no word of a update, is it safe to say there won't be a update somewhat soon? My friend's mom at Intel says the Montevina won't even be coming out until the 14th of July or something like that.

    I'm still a little torn. Does Apple have a policy where if there is a update within like 30 days of your purchase, that you can get the upgrade?

    Also, I am still torn between buying a MB or a MBP. What other uses does a MBP have over a MB besides the graphics card? I'm only being picky because I am a user on a budget and $2300 vs $1100 is a very very big difference.
  8. Tracer macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2007
    Buy the base Macbook Pro. The 8600GT's memory bus is 128-bit which means that unless your running at 2560 x 1600 you'll see no performance gain from the base model's 256MB Vram.

    Apple will not introduce product updates during the sales promotion.

    I'd still recommend the MBP over the MB due to the fact that you'll never know when you want to play a game or two that needs a graphics card.

    Expect to see Montevina notebooks in the fall from Apple.
  9. tocyk thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2008
    I'm already about 99% sure that the only computer game I will consider buying in the next 4 years would be Starcraft 2, a game that I expect should be able to run very well on a MB. I know it sounds like I'm trying to persuade myself out of buying a MBP, but it is really just to find a way to help myself not screw myself out of 1000+ bucks! The one thing I'm scared of is, I'll end up using a MBP the exact same way I'd be using a MB, and just totally not justify spending that money. Starting Sept 1st, my college is also allowing students to apply for financial aid in buying a laptop, a $1900 grant. I'd kick myself if I got it and I had just bought a MBP a month and a half ago (even though I shouldn't think like that :p)

    Could you further explain "The 8600GT's memory bus is 128-bit which means that unless your running at 2560 x 1600 you'll see no performance gain from the base model's 256MB Vram."

    I'm not savvy in this department, but why/why would I not run at 2450 x 1600?

    Thanks a lot.
  10. Matek macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2007
    Well I have to say I'm on your side. Like someone already mentioned, most of the applications you're mentioning don't depend on the graphics card, which means you will get practically the same performance with either the MB or the MBP if they have similar frequencies, hard-drives and RAM. You don't need to waste money on MBP perks like the illuminated keyboard, LED-backlighting, etc if you don't need them.

    The argument that you get more screen space with the MBP is quite valid, but if you decide you need that for video editing, I suggest you simply buy an additional display. This will be much cheaper than getting a MBP and you will also get a really nice setup - a LOT of space with the additional screen at home and great portability on the way. You can go up to 1920x1200 (24") with the MacBook, which should be plenty.

    Intel is bringing in Montevina (laptop platform update) at the beginning of July, which means Apple should update their laptops soon after that. Performance-wise, this won't be a big update, but I'd still wait for it since Apple haven't redesigned their laptops for quite a while now and many people are expecting updates in this area.

    The only thing you shouldn't count on are games. Starcraft 2 will suck on the MB's integrated graphics card, so if you are really excited about it, you should go for the MBP.
  11. Tracer macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2007
    Lower resolutions require less VRAM due to the fact that there are fewer pixels to display.

    Therefore extra VRAM is only beneficial at higher resolutions and considering the MBP's resolution of 1440 x 900, 256MB VRam is more than enough.

    Check here to see that all of the MBP's regardless of VRam perform very similar at lower resolutions. The only thing that changes is that the Upper 15" and 17" MBP's have video cards that have higher clocks than the base MBP.

  12. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    That’s the best advice anybody has given in this thread or is likely to give. It’s a big mistake, it seems to me, to use what is coming as a reason not to buy what you need now.

    Apple’s top of the line laptops, now the MacBook Pro lineup, are true workhorses. I didn’t replace my old PowerBook G4 until it was 5 years old. It still looks brand new, works perfectly, and my grandson regularly uses it. I replaced the PowerBook only because I wanted to be able to run a few Windows apps on my laptop. That required an Intel chip, of course, which the PowerBook didn’t have but the MacBook Pro does.
  13. tocyk thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2008
    I think I've decided to buy a MBP. Do you guys have an opinion on whether to buy the 256mb or 512mb one besides the other above poster?

    Also, is there a general consensus on which type of screen is better? The widescreen vs matte? Thanks.
  14. shurgie macrumors regular

    May 16, 2008
    Don't go for the glossy, I have heard only bad things about it. And to expand as well on the rest of this topic when doing video editing you should be keeping your videos on another external hard drive anyway, professionally that is what is suppose to be done. But I am not sure what kind of editing you are doing. As for the 256 and the 512 are you talking about the graphic card?
  15. gangzoom macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2007
    My first piece of published art work done using photoshop was produce on a powerbook 1400, running at 133MHZ, with 64MB of Ram!! The current MacBookPro is serious pieces of kit (much faster than my £2K+ Dual G5 setup), any updates in the future isn't going to get you higher marks on your film projects...but getting hands on, and playing about with FinalCutPro ASAP will!!!
  16. TheCookie macrumors regular


    Jun 9, 2008
    Since you hate these...

    ...I thought I'd mention a related question about customizing a new MBP here.

    5200 rpm HDD vs. 7200 rpm HDD

    Anyone have any thoughts or insight? I've heard the HDD speed can be a bit of a bottleneck on the MBPs, but haven't found any evidence to back that up?
  17. MattZani macrumors 68030


    Apr 20, 2008
    The base MBP will be fine, seeing how you were looking at the MB.

    Only thing that wi affect you is the 200Gb Hdd, but as people have said, having a couple scratch disks is the done thing (putting all unedited footage on the external, and keeping finished vids on the internal)
  18. Rivix macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2005
  19. tocyk thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2008
    Well now I'm being picky and confused again. If a normal MB could run programs such as FCP, Logic, etc., then what is the point of having a MBP if I'm not interested in games? Would I be better off getting a 2nd tier MB?

    Sorry about ANOTHER post *shoots himself in the face*, but I just want to pick the right computer since I doubt I'll be able to buy one again for half a decade.
  20. shurgie macrumors regular

    May 16, 2008
    For the post above about the glossy/matte, I've been told not to go glossy.

    For the above post about why a MBP, well I'm in the same boat going to college in August as well, but I'm waiting on the July deal to get the MBP. What's selling me is illuminated keyboard, and the multi-touch keypad. For me it's worth the price and performance wise it will be better.
  21. atelierjpn macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2007
    Definitely matte.
  22. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Heres my suggestion:

    Don't look at the price right now. Take a look at the mac book specs and ask yourself if it will last you 4 years. My guess with video editing a lower end macbook would do ok, but it would not be the fastest choice. I remember the mac pros at school running motion and having some slowdowns. (Things change though this was 3 years ago.)

    I myself would suggest the macbook pro because I don't like to upgrade often, I like to buy something good and have it last awhile. Being in school too I would suggest you insure it because a mac is a nice target to thieves.

    Now, as far as your choice for laptop screen glossy vs matte is a personal preference. Anyone really relying on color accuracy will not edit on a laptop screen. What I would suggest is if you will be doing a lot of computer work save yourself some eye strain and purchase a nice 22inch monitor from newegg and run extended desktop mode. That way you can use one screen (laptop) for your tool palettes and the other screen (monitor) for your real work. This is a great way to have the convenience of a desktop with the size of a laptop and 22inch monitors are cheap now. This is how I am set up at work since my living area at work is smaller then most college dorm rooms :) My office isnt exactly huge either.
  23. mankar4 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 23, 2007
    the primary reason that I use a 15" mbp rather than a mb is to do side-by-side documents on the screen. This is something you will be doing A LOT if you're in engineering or science. Believe me, it's awesome.

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