An honest review from a Mac Newbie

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by GuitarDTO, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. GuitarDTO macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2011
    I thought I'd post a review as I know I had a bunch of questions when I was considering a new Mac, and was often scared off by a lot of the negative talk about temperature, glossy screens, benchmarks, airport cards, etc. I didn't just become a Mac owner, I dove off the proverbial Windows cliff. I am not just using this for internet browsing either, I'm using Apple Logic, Aperture 3, Guitar Pro 6 very frequently, as well as the usuals like iTunes and the normal internet stuff.

    My setup in this review:
    -15" 2.2 GHz i7, 4 GB ram, 7200 RPM 500 GB hard drive, Glossy High Res screen
    -27" Cinema Display with numeric Keypad
    -APOGEE One Audio Interface
    -Apple Magic Mouse

    So yes, right off the bat the one glaring negative is all of that was ridiculously expensive, but man do you get what you pay for.

    First the laptop. I'm still astonished at how fast this is. I agonized over going solid state or not, but I stuck with the 500 GB 7200 RPM and am glad I did for the money. I don't know what kind of speed boost you get with solid state and I admit that, but I genuinely don't fathom how I could be much more pleased than what I have now. My computer starts in a whopping 10 seconds after pushing on, or restart. 10 seconds. If SS makes that 2, 3, or 4, I still don't think I care because I'm coming from a Dell that took almost 45 seconds. From sleep, it wakes up instantly. There is no discernible delay whatsoever. Same with programs, they open in maybe 2 seconds. Even Logic and Aperture, two very large programs, are up and running almost instantly. If you are in the market for solid state or regular HDD, please don't agonize about speed if you go regular HDD. I needed the extra space of regular HDD for Logic, Aperture, photos, etc, and I couldn't be happier. If you don't need the extra space, I'm sure the SSD's are amazing as well.

    -Performance wise, much of the same. There is no delay performing tasks of any kind in Logic or Aperture. I've had both programs going at the same time, with Safari and iTunes open as well, and things don't change. I feared I would need more memory, which I plan to upgrade to 8GB at some point, but overall with all of my main uses going at the same time, I still have over 1 GB of free memory, and the processor wipes through any task I throw at it. The heaviest processor intense tasks are when I am using Logic, and playing guitar through my Apogee interface. The CPU really starts cranking then if I monitor it in Logic, but it never hiccups.

    -It gets hot. This is the "hottest" laptop I have owned. When the CPU gets moving in Logic and Aperture, I can hear the fans picking up. It's not distracting at all to me, but you can hear it. The bottom is hot to the touch, so I downloaded a temperature monitor which told me the CPU was around 65 C, which from what I gather is completely normal. I don't mind the heat for the performance, but this isn't a "rest on your lap" laptop while using programs like Logic.

    -The glossy display to me is amazing. I have zero regrets. Yes, it has reflections, but I went to the apple store first, and wasn't bothered with the display even in the glare happy store lighting. Part of why I went glossy is I wanted the apple cinema display which is only glossy, since it has the most hassle free connection and plays super well with the MBP (I was considering the Dell U2711). I plug the MBP in, the display instantly lights up. I love the simplicity. The display itself is amazing. I just need to color calibrate it still.

    -I have been really impressed with the airport card thus far. It picks up the internet instantly when waking from sleep (took about 20 seconds with my Dell to restart the internet), and it is FAST. I just upgraded my router to a Netgear N600, and I am getting identical speeds wireless that I was straight into the modem, over 32 MBPs (using both and road runner speed test)!!!

    -The Magic Mouse.....I'm indifferent. I LOVE the scrolling. I hate going back to a non-magic mouse that doesn't have touch scrolling. I don't like the clicking that much though. It's a little clunky sometimes and things I right click when I didn't mean to. It's also slow when set to the fastest tracking speed. I know this can be fixed with BetterTouchtool though.

    Overall, I spent over $4k on all of this. I can genuinely say I don't have one ounce of regret. I wouldn't change anything, wouldn't make any other configuration choices, etc. I really considered an iMac instead and using my Dell still as a laptop, but if you have the money, I'd highly recommend going with the laptop and external display because the portability is amazing to have. Let me know if you have any specific questions. :)
  2. GuitarDTO thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2011
    Forgot to mention the trackpad. If you are new to mac, you will never want to touch another laptop without a trackpad. I'm sure existing MBP owners are like "Duh" ; )
  3. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    Hey, nice review!

    I was wondering how GuitarPro 6 is?
    I bought version 5 like two-three years ago (?), but it has always felt like "beta software".
    I have to run v5 in rosetta or it crashes all the time on my mac (still crashes from time to time).

    I'm not sure if im gonna drop cash on an upgrade if version 6 still is buggy.
  4. GuitarDTO thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2011
    I love GP6 so far. I'm not a heavy user in terms of making tabs for entire songs, so can't really comment on its more detailed uses, but as far as reading tabs that are available online, and ease of tabbing your own ideas quickly, I think it's absolutely perfect for that. What kind of uses do you put it through?
  5. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    Great review. I've yet to use the mbp on my lap while doing intensive work so didn't have heat issues.
  6. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    That is great to hear!
    I have the same computer as you, except for the screen (mine is antiglare), and I am very very happy with it as well. :)

    Would you recommend the Magic Mouse?
  7. eaf7s macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2009
    Haha I often multitrack record in Logic with the computer on my lap :p

    In all seriousness, great review. Might I recommend the Magic Trackpad as an alternative to the Mighty Mouse? I have a large external monitor myself and I was worried about using a trackpad rather than a mouse on it, but I have to say that I am unbelievably glad that I did. It's an even better experience than the built-in trackpad if you can believe it, and navigating the large display is as easy as anything. I have zero problems editing in Logic with it too :) and bonus: you get to retain ALL of the multitouch functions (i.e. exposé without touching the keyboard--a must for me).
  8. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    My uses are pretty basic too, 90% of the time i use it to read tabs downloaded or given to me, and 10% putting down own ideas and such, only problem has been stability, not features.

    Not had any crashed yet?

    I also do some recording, but only Garageband for myself. I simply has no time for play active in a band anymore :(
    I used to use logic, but my last version was 4 i think, with the ADB dongle, back when i had a beige g3.
  9. GuitarDTO thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2011
    I havent had any crashes in Windows or Mac with GP6.

    As for Magic mouse, I actually am strongly considering a magic trackpad for desktop use! So far I'm not quite fluent in Logic though using the trackpad and prefer the mouse.

    As far as recommending the magic mouse? I'd still say its worth a shot to determine for yourself. I didn't return it yet so I suppose that says something ; ) I did try Better touch tool for a bit, and it definitely sped up the tracking, but overall I was overwhelmed with how many options there were with BTT so I ended up deleting it and just sticking with the slower tracking. I've gotten used to it.
  10. Apple 26.2 macrumors 6502a

    Apple 26.2

    Jan 1, 2011
    What up, 212?!
  11. eaf7s macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2009
    Let me be the one to push you over the edge for the trackpad, then. Best 60 bucks I've spend on my computer setup. Once you get used to it, it's great. In fact, in a lot of situations, including Logic editing, I find that I'm a little more accurate with the magic trackpad.

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