Buying my first Mac, and have some questions about the MacBook Pro.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Shadow Zujed, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. Shadow Zujed macrumors member

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #1
    Alright, so I just got my first iPhone (iPhone 4) in June and really like it. I am going into college this semester and need a laptop and decided to switch from PC to Mac because everyone I have talked to that has ACTUALLY used one and isn't simply a PC fanboy loves them. I want the same ease of use (and fun) that comes with my new phone.

    The only things I am worried about are what specs my computer should be, and when to order one.

    I was going to get a Mid-range 15" MacBook pro 2.53 GHz with 4 gigs of RAM, and a high-res glossy screen with iWork pre-installed.

    For specs, I figured I could just tell you guys what I want to use the computer for and maybe you guys could give me your suggestions. I want to use it for primarily browsing the internet, using Pages, Keynote, etc. I also want to use it for video editing, but I think that iMovie will be perfect for what I need, I won't need Final Cut or anything. I also want to play some games on it. I think I might want to get some games off of steam and such too. I won't be using it heavily for games or anything, I just want to be able to run some if I want to. Lastly, I wanted to learn to program and make apps for the iPhone. I was going to get some books on programming and maybe take a class on it this semester. So yeah, I might start designing apps this year after learning programming. So for what I want to do, are my specs good? Should I get less? I really don't know.

    I was also worried about ordering one now. I was reading the when to buy section, and noticed that the MBP is around midway through it's life cycle, is there anything special being rumored to be in the new models? I don't really want to but one, to have a new one with a bunch of cool new features come out in October. I could borrow a laptop until then if the next update was going to have major changes. If it was nothing special though, I would rather just order one now.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #2
    As for specs, the difference between the 2.4 i5 and the 2.53 i5 is basically unnoticeable, so I'd save the money there. My C2D MacBook can do all of what you listed, so I would suggest the 2.4 i5.

    And for updates, don't look for one too soon. The next update won't likely be anything impressive anyhow, probably just a couple speed bumps, maybe a processor update to the 13" (although that will likely be a decent way off). I'd buy now, and go with the base model. If you need a bigger hard drive, check out newegg, and upgrade yourself. You will save money and have the extra drive for backups.
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #3
    Even the base 13" would be fine. Actually, I would recommend that as it's more portable than 15" is (very nice in college) and it's also a lot cheaper. That leftover gets you a nice external monitor and an SSD. You did mention gaming but if it ain't anything extreme, the 13" is just fine. You can also get a console for gaming with the left over.
     
  4. Shadow Zujed thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #4
    Thanks for the replies.

    I am going with the 15" because when I was looking at the 13" they were just too small for me. I really just didn't like them as much. I don't mind carrying the 15" around. I also already have consoles for gaming, there are just some PC exclusives I might want to play with friends. I just want to be able to run them if I decide to get into them, not even at max settings.

    And I also forgot to add a question in my original post. My current computer is pretty much junk. There isn't anything that I actually wanted transferred over to the mac except for everything in iTunes. Can I just transfer all of my iTunes stuff over through my iPhone 4? Or is it more complicated than that?
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #5
    Recovering songs from an iPod
     
  6. bt22 macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I, like you, purchased my first Mac after purchasing several iPod's and iPhone. I originally had my heart set on a 15" MacBook Pro, like yourself. This past christmas my parents gave me money and I used that money to purchase my first Mac. I had a 15" Windows computer and thought I at least had to have a 15" Mac. After lots of research and looking at them in Apple Stores I ultimately decided to get the 13" MacBook Pro. From my own personal experience I am so happy with this computer, actually I love it. I have not regretted getting the 13" instead of the 15" one single time. It is so comfortable if on the computer and watching TV or even working at a desk. I still had the 15" windows computer and the few times I used it after getting my Mac I noticed it felt big and bulky, which it is compared to a Mac regardless, but i noticed I enjoyed the smaller Mac much better. I ultimately sold the 15" windows computer and got an iPad. Just my 2 cents....
     
  7. bt22 macrumors 6502

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    #7
    As far as transferring your music. An external hard drive or setup Home Sharing and transfer it that way.
     
  8. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #8
    All onboard the CS193P-Train. It's a stanford course you can "take" on iTunes about iPhone Application Development, partly by actual Apple Programmers.
    For the MBP, I'd go i7 and update the RAM after a while to 8GB from NewEgg or similar. If your enrolled in collage, make sure you get your MBP from the education store, they're cheaper.
     
  9. SidBala macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    I would recommend refurbed MBP 17. Programming is pleasant on this. If you want portability then definitely the 13 inch or 15.
     
  10. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #10
    If you want to get into Xcode, you definitely want a (cheap, ~200$) external 24" screen. You find yourself with Debugger, Console, Simulator and Editor Windows and much more, with an external monitor you save yourself lots of time and make things more convenient. It gives you also a nice little full resolution HDTV for very little money, so you can enjoy movies on a larger screen.
     
  11. palane macrumors member

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    Jan 13, 2009
    #11
    Why not refurb? Mid-cycle is a good time as refurbs have come on line from the last major refresh. With regards to screen size, consider the possibility of 13"MBP + external display.

    Oh, and you can copy over the files from iTunes on the PC. That or check out Senuti.

    BB
     
  12. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #12
    Whoa. Might want to read the first post and do some research before suggesting a $2500 computer. OP mentioned nothing that would require the i7 or 8 gigs (working in iMovie doesn't require much, and that's the most intense thing listed). No need to spend $900 more than what will work well.

    Aside from that and earlier post, an external monitor is always a good idea. I love my combo of 13" and external monitor (although I haven't been able to use the monitor much since coming home from school, as I don't have a personal desk.) I would recommend it even if you get the 15"
     
  13. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #13
    He stated he want to get a 2.53GHz 15" MBP. That's the i5 one, the i7 one is +200$. The 13" screen is too small for him. He'll be fine with the 4GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive, I only suggested to upgrade that if needed. "After a while" could easily be misunderstood, I meant "as needed".
     
  14. Shadow Zujed thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #14
    Thanks guys. I am going to try to go by the Apple store tomorrow to check out the high-res vs regular screens on the 15", and to check if a 13" mbp would fit my needs. You guys have me thinking the 13" might be fine.

    Also, what about solid state drives? I looked them up to see what they actually were, and they seem nice, but are they really worth the money? I mean, all I am understanding is that they boot faster because there isn't a disk in them having to spin, and because of that they are more durable. Am I missing something? (I obviously don't know much about computers. :rolleyes:)

    And I was also wondering about iLife and iWork. Are they not being updated? I noticed that it was iWork and iLife 09. Are they not doing an update this year?

    Sorry for all the questions.
     
  15. millertime021 macrumors 6502a

    millertime021

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    #15
    Hi res screen all the way. It's the best upgrade for the cost. Plus if your going to college use the $150 you save from the education store and use that to negate the screen bump.

    I got the i7 through the education store. Saved $200. That's why I went i7 over i5.
    Plus better resale and/or longer usage on my end.
    I want it to last me through college and I just finished my freshman year.
     
  16. millertime021 macrumors 6502a

    millertime021

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    #16
    Also, SSD's are great. They have insanely fast boot times and open programs crazy fast, however they are high in price and low in storage. For your budget, I wouldn't get one now.
    Maybe if you have the computer in 2 years, see what the prices are and go from there. That's my strategy.
     
  17. Shadow Zujed thread starter macrumors member

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    #17
    How much time would I be saving if I got a SSD compared to a hdd at 5400rpm or 7200rpm (That is how you measure the speed right?) :confused:
     
  18. opera57 macrumors 6502

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    Feb 15, 2009
    #18
    Sounds like it will be perfect for your uses, and 15" is definitely the way to go. I used to have a 15" MBP but now have a 13" Macbook air, and I really miss the larger screen size of the 15", it was much more comfortable to work on! [​IMG]
     
  19. MyAccount macrumors newbie

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    #19
    That depends. You should compare read/write times, in which case SSDs largely vary.
     
  20. Shadow Zujed thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #20
    Alright, sorry but last question.

    I have decided to just go with the baseline MacBook Pro 15" the only upgrade I am getting when I buy it is a high res display. So please take that into consideration.

    I have some friends that are wanting me to get StarCraft 2. I have looked into it and really want to get it when it comes out. I have never played PC games before considering I have never had a decent PC. (as a matter of fact, the PC I have now is on a top ten list of worst PC's ever made. :( ) SO I don't know anything about specs when it comes to games. Will the baseline 15" Macbook pro be able to run SC2? Will it look better with a high res screen? And on what kind of settings?

    Thanks! And sorry again for all the questions. I am planning on ordering it tomorrow!! :D

    EDIT: I asked the SC2 question on another forum and they told me to see if it was a dedicated or integrated graphics card, and if it was a chip set that the graphics would have to be low. What does this mean?
     
  21. wywern209 macrumors 65832

    wywern209

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    do you rly want to know?
    #21
    many people on the forum here are playing the SC2 beta with decent settings but i don't how it would fare with the high res screen. you might have turn settings down a bit if you want to play on native res.
     
  22. VivaV macrumors member

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    Feb 3, 2010
    #22
    Sorry - can't help with your final question re. specs for games - but I will chime in on the 15" vs. 13" debate. For me the big difference is that with the 15" display (and its better resolution) you can have 2 screens open at the same time - which is really useful when writing papers etc. and you want to reference to an research paper/internet page etc. at the same time. I can't do it on my 13" and it is a pain having to flick back thru pages. I have taken to using my partner's 15" MPB when I have a big paper to write.

    You also asked about refreshes to the line - and I can tell you that for the past 4 years when I have been tracking it - there has been some sort of refresh in the fall. I doubt that it will be a big change (like a physical change) - but I wouldn't be surprised if the specs upgrade. From my recollection, the new models were introduced it time to still take advantage of the free ipod for students - so probably around the end of August/beg of September.

    So if you can, I would def. advise to hang around. Also keep checking in the Apple refurbished store (which have the same warranties as regular Apple purchases) where you may be able to get more bang for your buck - esp. if there is a refresh in the line (although with the student discount/ipod/free printer it is not a given that you will get a better deal).
     
  23. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #23
    A dedicated graphics card is a small version of a PCIe card. Integrated graphics are - as the name indicates - integrated into the chipset, and not as powerful as the integrated 320m ones. The 15" and 17" MacBookPros have dedicated, more powerful GT330m graphics.

    Get the best of both worlds and install yourself a Seagate Momentus XT for about $130.
     
  24. Shadow Zujed thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #24
    Alright, thanks again for all the responses the only thing I still need answered is whether or not the high re screen will give me trouble with StarCraft 2. Can anyone answer this?
     
  25. millertime021 macrumors 6502a

    millertime021

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    #25
    Honestly probably not worth the cost of the upgrade for most people. At least at this time.
    YouTube and google some vids on the speed difference.
     

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