Brother keeps trying to put me off.....

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Stetwin, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. Stetwin macrumors 6502


    Jul 8, 2007
    England - Co-Durham
    I'm not really sure why, but for some reason my brother keeps trying to put me off buying a Mac. Hes the only person i know that owns a Mac so his opinion is important but when ever we talk about it he just keeps telling me it wont be the machine i'll expect and that i could get a Windows PC for the same price with better specs,

    Here's one he linked me this morning:

    Display: 15.4 INCH WIDESCREEN DISPLAY (1280 X 800) + ANTI-GLARE
    Processor (CPU): INTEL® Core 2 Duo T7700 (2 X 2.40GHz) 800MHz FSB/4MB L2 Cache
    Memory (RAM): 2048 MB CORSAIR DDR2 667MHz - LIFETIME WARRANTY! (2x1GB)
    Operating System: WINDOWS® XP Home (inc. Genuine CD & License) (£59)
    USB Options: 4 x USB 2.0 PORTS
    Memory - Hard Disk: 160GB SERIAL ATA II HARD DRIVE WITH 8MB CACHE (5400rpm)
    CD/DVD Drive: 8x DVD±R/RW/Dual Layer (+ 24x CD-RW)
    Graphics Card: 256MB GEFORCE 8600GT + D-SUB + TV-OUT
    Sound Card: Realtek ALC268 2 Channel High Definition Audio + SPIDIF OUT
    Network Facilities: Onboard LAN & WIRELESS 802.11G NETWORK CARD (£13)
    Firewire & Video Editing: 1 X 1394a FIREWIRE PORT
    Battery: 6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery - up to 4 Hours Battery Life
    Power Lead & Adaptor: 1 x UK Power Lead & 90W AC Adaptor
    Dimensions & Weight: W x D x H: 355mm x 257mm x 35.2mm | Weight: 2.7KG
    Additional Features: 1 x Express Card Slot
    Warranty: 1 Year Return-to-Base incl 1st Month Free Collect & Return
    Delivery: Standard Insured Delivery to UK Mainland (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm) (Free)

    £959 inc VAT and Delivery

    Available at

    He tells me it will give me more bang for my buck, perform faster while useing PS, has dedicated GFX so i will be able to play most new games on it and has the bigger screen i had wanted......

    And the worst part is i think hes right, after looking over its spec compared to the Black Macbook its got me having second thoughts,

    I hate this because i had just got my sight set on the macbook and now im unsure again :(

    What would you guys do? And i know this is a mac forum but if you take your love for mac away what would you do?
  2. pknz macrumors 68020


    Mar 22, 2005
  3. Much Ado macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

    Sep 7, 2006
    Hi Stetwin,

    Look, it's very important that you think about this carefully and I'm NOT going to be a Mac evangelist and tell you that the Mac is the only thing you could possibly buy.

    Are you going for a MB or a MBP?

    What i'm going to do is offer a couple of pointers that you should consider:

    OS X - Tiger is, in my opinion, better than any version of Windows out there, including Vista. Your laptop would only run XP, would that really be worth it? When you could run XP on your Mac anyway? [Winner::apple:]

    Gaming- Here a MacBook falls flat on its face, to be honest. The integrated graphics card is not good enough, and that is my biggest problem with it. A MacBook pro would be much better, but more pricey.

    Form Factor- I don't know what that laptop looks like, , but i'll put my house on it not being as slick as the MacBook/Pro. And it's 2.5kg, which is quite a lot. Most probably it's [Winner::apple:]

    Screen- You need to actually check out the screen and see how it looks in real life before making up your mind. Sure, the MB screens are smaller, but that means more PPI and less weight, and the MBP screens are gorgeous in my experience. Think carefully.

    Wireless: MBs have 802.11n, and that's killer, and Airport is vastly superior to a lot of custom wireless cards. [Winner::apple:]

    Software: The iLife factor. [Winner::apple:]

    Support: Whether it's MR, or you'll find a lot of support from the Mac community. It's pretty unique. Gotta be [Winner::apple:]

    So the Mac is good in a lot of areas, (OS X!) but it still is down to you to decide what you need from the laptop, where your prices range is, and if you plan on gaming or not.

    Good luck!

    EDIT: Sorry for the crazy editing i had to do. There's a cat walking over my keyboard.
  4. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    As pknz, if you could give some info what you would be using the machine for, that would be great.

    With regards to PS, how much would you be using it? Although the PC would be faster than MB because of the faster CPU and FSB, the performance difference isn’t that massive and the app runs well on MBs.

    Out of fairness, I think it's right to point out that 802.11n is just a draft standard - if we're lucky it might be ratified later this year, but it's most likely going to be sometime next year.
  5. killerrobot macrumors 68020


    Jun 7, 2007
    If you're going to use it for gaming then get the PC, otherwise it's all up to you.
    I have a 2.3 17" MBP and it works alright with gaming, but it still hangs quite a bit over the net, and every once in a while while not playing online. (And yes its my computer, not the internet connection.)

    You could also settle all this like my brothers and I used to, the first to kick the other in the nuts as hard as possible generally wins the argument. :) Those days were so simple.
  6. darkanddivine macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2007
    What about the iMac 20"? That has more or less the same specs as that machine except obviously a bigger screen and a bigger HD. Admittedly that is where the price difference come in. Currently that spec on the 20" would cost you 1339. I think there would be enough longevity in that machine for you to justify the cost. If you really want to go portable then it will cos a bit more though!

    But on the mac or PC thing, it really is up to you. I constantly tell people who are thinking of upgrading their machines to get macs, but most don't, preferring to save the money but then the machines only tend to last a short while. My G4 has outlived most of it's PC contemporaries.
  7. KristieMac macrumors 6502a


    Jun 3, 2007
    Harrisburg, PA
    Having been a geek since, oh I dunno...birth, I've always been around computers, but never really interested in Macs. I was hardcore PC and that's all there was to it.

    I got my Mac a month ago, and I love it.

    I haven't tried out games on it yet, but for everything else I do, it's perfect. If you're really into gaming, you may want to go with a PC. But I'll never run Windows again, if I can help it.

    Apple has a 14 day return policy on the computers. If you're really unsure, get one and try it out. Just be aware that there may be a restocking fee if you return it.
  8. Sacred macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2006
    Get the PC the specs are better and it will offer more functionality in terms of choice of software! You're paying alot of money for a Mac Book in comparison to what you get. (Don't even get dedicated graphics!)
    And since you cant afford a MBP and don't like the aluminium case then get a PC instead :D
  9. afd macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2005
    Would your brother buy another Mac or a PC for himself I wonder. As the computer teacher in my school I get asked for recommendations a lot. I used to err towards a PC before even though I would prefer a Mac. The reasons were similar to your brothers- cheaper, more software, our school uses PCs etc.
    I have changed my mind now though and would now recommend Macs if you can afford it.
    Using a Mac is simply a better experience than using a PC, all the iLife apps work far better than any competitor on windows, and they all come with the computer.
    I have access to 2 work laptops, a 12" PB (over 2 years old) and a windows intel core 2 duo laptop with 15" wide screen. On paper the windows one should win, but I always go for the PB.
  10. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    *cough* somebody hasn't lived with a Mac *cough*

    Okay. I have several PCs, in fact I'm sitting at a desk at the moment with a Dell on the right and a Mac on the left (using the Mac). I've got the following:

    1 x MacBook Pro
    1 x MacBook
    1 x G3 iMac

    1 x Dell Insipiron 510m
    1 x Dell Dimension 8300
    1 x Packard Bell something or other
    1 x Toshiba Satellite
    1 x Sony Vaio

    Macs win hands down. Sure, they cost more if you simply look at the specs, but as an overall package, Macs are the most cost-efficient computers I've come across.

    While Windows does have more software overall, it's actually generally of a much lower standard, and OS X has a far greater freeware catalogue, of which software is generally much much higher standard. Heck most of the freeware I use in OS X is more polished and 'complete' feeling than a lot of the software I paid for with Windows.

    In terms of hardware, while on the face of it, the Macs may look like they've lost out to the PC camp in terms of out-and-out performance per £, they're actually more cost-effective in the long run. Take for example, my G3 iMac. Bordering on 10 years old, and it still runs Tiger perfectly. Sure it isn't a speed demon, but I'd love to see you running Vista on a 350 MHz machine with an 8mb graphics card.

    Also, bear in mind that your PC will slow down over time, as Microsoft piles more and more features into the OS. Compare Windows XP on a modern machine to Vista, and you'll see what I mean. The difference is remarkable, and that's just over 1 generation of OSes. With my G3, I jumped from OS 9.1 (fairly speedy), to OS X 10.1 (which was a duff, kinda slow), to OS X 10.2 (very very fast) to OS X 10.4 Tiger (even faster), and all I had to upgrade was the hard drive (£30) and the RAM (£35). Other than that, it's had NO upgrades AT ALL.

    Now I'm not saying buying a PC is a bad move, there are situations when a PC is more suited to the job, such as large corporate businesses who need to kit out an entire chain of shops with a single network, or when you need to control the lighting in your house from a 'headless' machine sitting in your loft, or even just having a headless computer sitting under a desk constantly rendering animations.

    However, for everything else, Macs are superior, or that's my experience.
  11. killerrobot macrumors 68020


    Jun 7, 2007
    *cough* somebody hasn't tried gaming enough on a Mac *cough*

    Macs are great, but not the greatest in the every aspect.
  12. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Jul 22, 2005
    true, but not everyone is gaming all the time, and expecting real-life graphics out of it as well. I play halo on my macbook sometimes, and the graphics sure do suck, but it's enough to satisfy my needs. I game more than a majority of computer users as well.

    Gaming; get an xbox.
    Computing; get a Mac.
  13. Much Ado macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

    Sep 7, 2006
    That's true, so maybe it's not 'killer' (i was getting carried away :) ) but it's certainly not a bad feature.

    The above comment saying that if you want to game, get an XBox and if you want to get a decent computer, get a Mac, is very true.

    However, many like gaming on PCs, and the Mac simply is not ready for that.
  14. Sacred macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2006
    Sat using my MBP right now ;)

    I've only got the one mac and so many PC's I've lost count (think i've got 8) my macs great for browsing the web, playing things like Diablo II and Warcraft III, talking on msn or any other day to day task that I might want. And to top it off its portible so I can use it in bed and the 17" screen makes it big enough to watch DVD's.
    However its just not good enough for real gaming with games like FEAR, Oblivion etc etc where my main PC can run any game full specs without breaking a sweat (and my main PC's over 4 years old).
    Coupled with the fact OP's only wanting a MB without any dedicated graphics card, hes not going to be able to do any gaming at all really.

    IMO its a case of:

    Windows Laptop/Desktop = Cheap comapred to a Mac, lots of software choice, great for gaming. Downsides spyware and viruses :p (although I run no security software on my home PC and have yet to ever get a virus or any spyware)

    Macintosh Laptop/Desktop = Expensive in comparison to a Windows based machine, limited choice of software although great choice of development style tools, not too good for gaming due to limited choice and in the case of a MB no dedicated graphics card, but they just work! no problems with software, constant updates through a much easier system than the windows one, the OS runs faster, no viruses/spyware. Can run windows through bootcamp although I've found it to be too unstable for things to be fully functional.

    Major downside to a Mac is that if you enjoy gaming alot then you're going to either have to shell out an additional £1.5k for a decent gaming PC or £450 for a PS3 or the likes
  15. Kaiser Phoenix macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2005
    OSX is so great that I dont believe how i went without it till now! I used to be a hardcore gamer but i switched to console gaming as that hobby was beginning to cost too much and many games were getting ported over to PS3, Xbox etc

    I use my mac for everything and it does everything perfectly.

    Seriously, get a mac, windoze really doesnt cut it. Even vista is crap for games.
  16. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Feb 12, 2005
    This has been wheeled out by many people for several years now, but the "more software" argument is pretty much bunk for most of us. How many word processors do you need? What about graphics programs? The majors are all available for the Mac and unless you absolutely must run a piece of software that isn't available on the Mac, most people can meet their needs and can choose from a number of options available. Add the fact that Macs now use Intel processors and that makes the "more software" argument completely irrelevent.

    Also, once again the included software package (iLife) with every Mac is ignored. Doesn't this count for anything? I don't understand how you can ignore the 800 pound Gorilla in the room as long as you're talking about functionality.
  17. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    The resolution on that screen is pretty low, same as the macbook 13.3" screen, probably a big reason for the difference in price.
  18. korndog2003 macrumors regular


    May 31, 2007
    Keyser, WV, USA
    The macbook pro is much better than the macbook
  19. odinsride macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2007
    That's disgusting
  20. flowagner macrumors member


    Jun 1, 2007
    Vienna, Austria
    i second your first two paragraphs. i've been a professional gamer (quake 3), thus always was into gaming machines. windows pcs preferrably. so when i started university i saw many fellow students having mac computers ... this kinda led me to 'think different'.

    i tried out the macbook pro of a friend of mine and was impressed. the speed you get everything done with because there is just no delay in anything. you just do not have to switch off your notebook and boot it up - just open and close it without losing that much battery. it's just comfortable working on a mac. i've been much more productive since i've got a mac.

    so two weeks ago when holidays started over here, i decided to start playing games again and installed boot camp and command and conquer: tiberium wars and conterstrike. c&c runs smoothly without _any_ bumps at the max resolution and full details on my 15' mbp (2.4 sr, 256mb gforce, matte).

    it's the best machine i've ever had - i had a macbook before - and it's damn reliable.

    i am not an apple fanboy but personally, i'd never switch back again unless my boss would want me to (at work only. at home i'd be using a mac for sure). not only that they look awesome and sleek, they are really good machines. when i'm on trips, at work, at university or anywhere but home, the macbook pro has always been the perfect companion. at home, i hook it up on a 24' samsung display, jbl creature speakers, an apple keyboard and mouse and it's really smooth working on it.

    so, since i've been using a 15.4 windows notebook and a macbook before, i can tell you that the macbook beats every single windows notebook when it comes to usability. i had the machine everywhere with me because it weighs almost nothing and fits in everywhere just perfectly. windows notebooks are generally okay but for the price you suggest, you won't be getting anything that good. if you are really into buying a windows notebook look at lennovo, toshiba or perhaps dell and sony notebooks. sure there are cheaper models out there but i guess you want something you can rely on even half as much as on a mac.

    decide for yourself, macs are awesome machines. pcs can be but in many cases, pcs lure you with good specs and good prices but you just cannot count on them when you need them most. this is my experience with my laptops.
  21. Much Ado macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

    Sep 7, 2006
    #21 can get that configuration on a MBP too, guys. At 15.4"

    But as i said, the MacBook will have a higher PPI.
  22. barr08 macrumors 65816


    Aug 9, 2006
    Boston, MA
    My iMac with bootcamp has been a fantastic pc gaming rig.

  23. killerrobot macrumors 68020


    Jun 7, 2007
    First off you're still switching over to windows to play. Second off, it's still not the best gaming system although it might be great for you.

    I HAVE A MBP, it is not the best gaming laptop around but I do prefer it over others for other functions.
  24. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop

    Err.. no you can't get it in 1280x800 native, you can enable it but it is not the native res (1440x900). For the screens it is all about the native res and in the case of the laptop at the top it is pretty low. Which I was stating is probably a reason as to why it is cheaper.
  25. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    No, the 15.4" MBP has a native resolution of 1440x900.

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