Are the Macbooks worth it?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by zeero911, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. zeero911 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    #1
    Hey, I am a prospective college student who is looking around for a laptop. I have kind of fallen for the new Macbooks and the Macbook Pros..... but they are definitely a little more pricey than some of the PC notebooks. I am looking for a quality computer I can do all my schoolwork on, perform well on everyday things (internet and whatnot), and be a nice entertainment system (movies, games, ITUNES!). I also have been interested in trying to do some video work and maybe some recording. I want something nice that I can pretty much do anything on, with good quality, but I dont want to go overboard. So please if there are some people with some experience with the new macbooks, are they worth the price and which would be better for me?

    Im new to this so any advice would be much appreciated :)
     
  2. mayanka89 macrumors regular

    mayanka89

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    Midwest
    #2
    I just got the new 2.4 Macbook as my first new Mac. I completely think it is worth it, as I have spent far less time having to play around with the OS to make it work nicely.

    Also, the hardware is well-built and feels like it can last.

    I would suggest going to look at the Macbook in-store and seeing if you like the OS and the hardware.
     
  3. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #3
    FAIL as far as MB. No FW - at all. Which means it is worthless for any kind of serious recording or audio work, (or for that matter, for serious video editing - can't hook up external FW HDD).

    Your only option is to go for an MBP - which is a pain, and a lot more $$$.

    Sorry.
     
  4. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

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    Kitchener, Ontario
    #4
    Who said he was doing serious video editing or audio work? He was "interested" in it, that doesn't mean that he will become professional right when he gets the notebook...

    I love my MacBook (first mac too), runs flawlessly with skype running a video chat with my girlfriend, handbrake ripping movies, adium running, and firefox with a few tabs, all at the same time.

    I have the 2.4, so if you're running CPU intensive things like that, I would probably suggest going for the 2.4, but then again, benchmarks have shown that there isn't a huge difference. I just love the backlit keyboard :D

    No regrets at all buying it, but then again I paid 850 CAD for it :D my dad paid the rest lol

    I did buy it stock, since the prices for 4GB of DDR3 ram is going down pretty quickly, so I will be upgrading that soon.

    In the end, either one of the new MacBooks would be great, it just depends on if you think the backlit keyboard, .4 increase in processor, and the hard drive is worth the 300 dollar difference.
     
  5. mbleopard macrumors regular

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    Sep 8, 2008
    #5
    I just got the new 2.4 macbook the other week, it was a bit pricey, but after all the problems I had with my HP its worth paying more for a quality product.

    I would go and try both the mb and mbp out at the store, it was a hard decision for me but it came down to the size. The mb is lighter than the mbp obviously but it makes a big difference when your carrying it around on your back all day.
     
  6. robanga macrumors 68000

    robanga

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    Oregon
    #6
    The MB will work fine for everything you described and you will have the pleasure of working with OS X, without the drag of malware on Windows.

    There are plenty of the most recent cameras for that do not need firewire, indeed FW is gradually leaving the camera lineup on the consumer side of Sony and Canon. The flash and hard disk cameras require USB.
     
  7. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #7
    Yes, but cameras not the problem - it's the fact (speaking as an editor here) that you want to use FW hard drives, not USB drives. As an editor, you have a ton of material that you are copying and working with, and USB will drive you mad.

    For audio it's even worse. The USB specifications are just not good enough, and a lot of audio equipment is put through FW which is more stable and has better tolerances, so that a lot of work simply cannot be done through USB. Talk to some pro audio folks and you'll get an earful about the MB - u s e l e s s. It's either MBP or nothing portable from Apple.

    If you want to do some email, word processing and gentle use, then yeah, MB will work just fine. If you want to do serious work in audio or video editing, forget it. Even photography is iffy due to the horrible screen (it's way worse than the MBP or MBA screens) - unless it's used as meant to, which is to occasionally send grandma a snapshot photo from a silly birthday party etc.. Again, for gentle work and general putting about, yeah, it'll do.
     
  8. brop52 macrumors 68000

    brop52

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    Michigan
    #8
    I agree. The F400 wasn't the best in terms of speed on the older machines either. Though yes if you need the stability of firewire for video transfers then you have to go with firewire. If it is a necessity the low end white MB can be bought now for cheap.
     
  9. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #9
    Just to make clear I'm not knocking the new MB - just that for serious audio, editing, photo etc. work, it's useless.

    Otherwise it's a fine machine. Nicely built, and a lot of fun. "Hey, Marge, come here, looky what I found on Youtube!!!!". "Grammy, here's a snapshot of Spot asleep in front of the fire, ain't he cute!!!". "Wowse, I can do all my grocery lists in an rtf file, and send them to my iPhone!!!"

    As long as you use the right tool for the job, it's fine - and the MB is a fine tool, as long as you treat it right for what it was designed, don't overtax it with multitasking better suited to the MBP... it'll work it's little heart out for you, but don't push it to the point of collapse! That's what the pro gear is for.
     
  10. aethelbert macrumors 601

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    Chicago, IL, USA
    #10
    And if you don't like Marge, tell her to put the computer on her lap for third degree burns. If you do, turn the volume to the max setting so that the audio can be heard over the blaring fans.
     
  11. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #11
    LOL! Yep, just about sums it up! We can add this too: "Oops, never mind, Marge, the wi-fi connection crapped out again!".
     
  12. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    U.S.A.
    #12
    I love my new MacBook. Really, I am glad it doesn't have the wasted port of that outdated technology called firewire. Seriously, everything comes in USB 2.0. I do not do audio or graphics work heavily, but I do own both a camcorder and camera that use USB 2.0.

    Forgetting the firewire issue also... The new MacBooks are INCREDIBLE AND STUNNING pieces of engineering and technology. The new unibody structure makes the new MacBooks feel like a surgical instrument. I always felt like my old MBP was a sturdy piece of aluminum, but once you hold the new MB you realize that the old MBP was really scraps of aluminum tacked together... This new machine is awesome.

    In fact, I downgraded from the MBP v 2,2 to the new MB v 5,1. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

    I love it. The only thing is I like super portability, so I will be moving to the Air with the next revision of the MBA. Hopefully, a 2 GHz CPU, 256 GB SSD, glass trackpad, and glass screen. Everything the MB has, I want the MBA to have. So, again saying something for the current MB.

    Go play with it at the store and you will see how great the new MB is. Only if you are in love with the firewire will you find complaints with the MB. Go Steve go, no firewire hogging up port space on the MB. YEAH!
     
  13. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #13
    Doesn't matter if FW is "outdated", it has specs that USB hasn't matched, so the fact that "everything comes in USB" doesn't matter (btw. not true, a ton of audio equipment comes in FW only). And nobody has to be "in love" with FW - we can hate it for all that matters - what's key is that for a lot of pro work (especially audio) you must use FW, and USB is simply not an option.

    So yeah, one can cheer for dropping FW, but that only works for those who don't need it, i.e. they use the MB for gentle puttering about, not serious pro work. Congrats, you got a piece of kit that's great for gentle puttering about, bravo!

    And that's not the only issue. The screen is simply not usable for serious photo work or editing in video if you are doing color correction etc.

    Apple has said it themselves. For everyday use by amateurs - MB. For pro work MBP, if you must have a portable (in fact for some work only MP will do).
     
  14. hogfaninga macrumors 65816

    hogfaninga

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    #14
    God I needed a laugh. Thanks.
     
  15. aethelbert macrumors 601

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    #15
    Enjoy your slower transfer speeds, mate! At least you'll be able to spend more time staring at the beautiful glossy screen, attempting to dodge the glare, while you watch the progress bar in Finder crawl along. And just FYI, USB 2.0 is more outdated than firewire 800.
     
  16. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    Silicon Valley
    #16
    Ok let's lay down the facts:

    FireWire is useful, for the AVERAGE CONSUMER (hint: MB's audience) it is not necessary. FireWire has a theoretical speed of up to 800Mb/s. You will NEVER reach that speed unless you have a RAID setup via FireWire. For all other purposes, USB 2.0 is 480Mb/s and FireWire 400 is 400Mb/s.

    USB is more widespread ... for the AVERAGE CONSUMER. Say you got out and buy a phone or an mp3 player/iPod. Does it have firewire? No. For the consumer, FireWire is moot. But for professionals (god forbid the "pros" who use MacBooks) you shouldn't be looking at a laptop for serious graphic/audio/etc work at all. The Mac Pro is what you are searching for.

    So let's end this pointless debate over FireWire vs. USB. USB is more widespread in everyday electronics, not "pro" stuff. Apple has a separate line for that. Consumers should find the MacBook just fine.

    Some people mention transfer speeds. Tell me this: Do you transfer files everyday and is it a mission critical task? As in if you wasted a few seconds for USB instead of FireWire, would the entire world come to an end?

    FireWire has its uses, but NOT in the AVERAGE CONSUMER product. It would be nice, but even I haven't touch my FireWire port. I once used my iBook G4's FireWire port to transfer from a Sony camcorder, and it was tape based. I could of easily used USB but I only brought the FireWire cable. Nowadays, some camcorders (HD ones) either have a HDD or flash slot. You can stick the flash card into a USB reader. Or access the HDD using USB. Some of the state-of-art ones use FireWire. Consumers probably won't spend that much.

    To OP: Sorry you had to read all of that just to get some advice. For college, the MacBook is the most popular notebook to bring. Thin enough to call it light, small enough to call portable. It should be fine for even semi-pro-ish video work. If you have a video camera (not a camcorder, but a camera with video functionality) you should be fine. Just be sure all your equipment is USB.
     
  17. zeero911 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    #17
    Lol well I have definitely learned a lot more than I knew about firewire, but I never really used it, or heard about it, so I probably wont miss it. I guess Im just new to this stuff, and I think I would really like the macbook but in terms of entertainment, like watching videos or playing games how do the two stack up? How well will the MB get the job done? Because I am going to be a college student and use it for those purposes, but I want to have a quality machine I can really enjoy.

    P.S. Thank you Snow Leopard your post was quite helpful :)
     
  18. erikislame macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    #18
    All your everyday computing will run very smooth. Videos, music, gaming, photos and photo management (Even without firewire OH MY GOD!). It's a damn solid machine.

    Most games will run decent at medium settings:

    reference http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=603369
     
  19. ProwlingTiger macrumors 65816

    ProwlingTiger

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    Jan 15, 2008
    #19
    I purchased an early '08 Macbook, and even though it isn't the new revision, I'm still damn pleased with it. Never once have I had my confidence shaken in it. It's my Excalibur: always ready to serve me.

    It's not my high-end machine, and I never intend to push it as such. But it has taken all I've thrown at it, and then some. I've yet to find a casual PC laptop, or desktop for that matter, to match my "casual" Mac.

    As I've said before, this has been the BEST tech decision of my life. The effects on my future tech-life have been forever altered as my experience with Mac has committed me to converting my entire family to Mac and Apple. I never want to return to the dark, abysmal "other side."

    A few things I'd like to point out though
    Windows:
    They will run Windows. I have on occasion ran a variety of Windows versions, though I am loath to do so, thus I resist doing so as much as possible. Only recent instance I've need Windows was for using AutoCAD software, but I'm currently researching Mac alternatives.

    On Firewire:
    When I upgrade to a uni-body Macbook, I will insist it be the Pro model. I feel firewire is a strong benefit, as I do a lot of data transfer and it keeps it tidy with external hard drives. Granted, this is not necessarily true for everyone, and a new uni-body Macbook w/o firewire may suit your needs just fine.
     
  20. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #20
    If you NEED firewire, you are a professional and should buy the professional line of MacBook. I love Steve's reply about the drop of firewire... It makes me laugh to see all of the crying babies about their firewire being gone. Don't like the new MB, don't buy it. I don't care because I am like the 90 percent of us who use USB 2.0.

    I hope you firewire junkies get a solution of some sort. Maybe take up both usb ports for a combo firewire converter cable. But I am glad my MB is not marred by the firewire port. If not, quit crying and buy the Pro.
     
  21. andsaviorself macrumors newbie

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    Nov 30, 2008
    #21
    well, I am not a professional. I'm a film student (and trust me, there are many of us. along with with anyone going to school for audio related things) and I don't have the money to dish out for a Pro. I also don't want something to lug around that's as big as a Pro. I do, however, need Firewire for transferring video and hooking up a camera. you don't need to be a "professional" to NEED Firewire. I just upgraded from my iBook and I was going to go for the new MB until I saw the lack of Firewire, which made me go to the black book. I know a lot of others who were in the same situation, and they aren't "pros".
     
  22. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #22
    Like I said, I hope they come up with a combo cable converter or something. Some talk of an Ethernet to Firewire solution. For me, I am glad it's not there. So, until then, you will go with a BlackBook, but the point is Apple is NOT going to lose business. Everyone will cry and complain and they will end up buying a Pro if they absolutely need it. That is the Apple way.

    Geez, not like they took the battery out of it and are requiring a power cable at all times. You have to remember that Apple is a "Greatest Good For Greatest Number" type of company. Whatever makes them the most money in the long run is the way they will go. They have done the math and figured they can sell more MBP this way vs the number of lost buyers. And they will succeed because they are the only ones playing the Mac game...

    I know it makes you all mad, but I like not having firewire. I like all of the ports fitting on the left side. I love it! I am sure I would be mad if I used anything firewire but my drives and devices ALL use USB 2.0. And that is Steve's point. Over 90% of us use USB, and the rest of you are forced to buy a Pro or go to Vista. But Apple has done their math... count on that!
     
  23. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #23
    One thing I get sick of is every post about the MB, people cry about no firewire. Just learn to get over it already. It's a fact of life...
     
  24. MasterNile macrumors 65816

    MasterNile

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    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    #24
    Sorry but I have some problems with what Scottsdale said, I don't really care about the lack of FW since I don't plan on upgrading my MB anytime soon but I don't like the spread of misinformation

    You can not just use 2 USB ports to equal 1 FW port, they're completely different protocals and do not transfer the same, that's why even FW400, which has a lower maximum speed than USB 2.0, still comes out to be 1.5-2 times faster than USB 2.0. Also to have a Ethernet port function as FW with an adapter the port has to be made for it, which I do not believe these are or Apple would have mentioned it.

    ....all the ports fit on the left side just fine on my white 2.0 MacBook w/ FW400
     
  25. melissaur macrumors newbie

    melissaur

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    Location:
    Decatur, IL; Boston, MA
    #25
    I don't get it, really. This argument has been worn out. But if you're using a FW drive (or really any FW device), are you really using a mobile computer for its mobility? And if you're doing those things on a daily basis...you're not going to buy a macbook. At least not for your primary computer. I wouldn't suggest that he stray away from the new macbook for this fact alone. He's not an editor working on read/write heavy work.

    I just don't think if you're doing serious audio or video work, you should by a MB or a MBP really, as it doesn't make a TON of sense.

    Now, all this is being said from a graduating film student working heavily in avid, after effects, photoshop, encore, etc. on a new macbook. Ironic, right? And yeah, I plug in my hard drives/external display when I'm working, and yep, I wish I had FW (because I'm a heavy user). But here's the thing: once I graduate and settle in a different city, I'm buying a Mac Pro.

    Also, I came from a powerbook FW400, so USB 2 (480mbps) wasn't any different for me personally, having not EVER primarily used fw800. And never did it seriously hold me back.....I mean for that to be an issue, I really feel like you have to be TOTALLY spoiled, or a professional.

    Just my opinion. Also, OP: you're coming to mac forums for advice on windows vs. mac. You're asking a bit of a biased audience.;)
     

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