Considering Upgrading from Macbook to Macbook Pro - looking for input

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Heart Break Kid, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. Heart Break Kid macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto
    #1
    Hi folks,

    After searching the forums and finding one other thread from someone who made a similar move, I thought I'd ask here for some advice and input. I'm currently a medical student using a white Macbook 1,1. It's a 2.0 GHZ with 2GB ram (maxed out). The machine has served me very well, and outside a little incident regarding my wrist rest area discoloring (which Apple took care of), I have been incredibly satisfied with the purchase.

    I will soon be in the market for a new laptop, and am looking for one that will last me for at least 3 to 4 years or well into my residency. I'm not sure what specific medical applciations I will be running, but I'd like to have a machine that will be able to run a process intensive application or two if need be. Currently I'm using my computer for the basic web surfing, video watching, occasional gaming (World of Warcraft), photo management and the occasional editing of a home movie.

    For those who have made or know a friend of a friend who had made a similar move, what did your or that third party think? What can I expect in terms of responsiveness compared to the machine I'm using now? What are the things you were instantly amazed by and what things do you wish you had known prior to the purchase? In terms of "weight", how much of a difference did moving to a 15" model make on your backpack / briefcase / totebag etc?

    Prior to the white macbook I had a rev A 17" powerbook G4. It was the first 17" model, and that machine was with me for the 4 years I was in college. Can I expect a similar life with the new Macbook Pro?

    Thank you in advance for any insights you can offer!
     
  2. SFStateStudent macrumors 604

    SFStateStudent

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco California, USA
    #2
    I just recently made the switch to a Classic MBP 2.5GHz Penryn 250GB, and I plan on having this one for at least of 4 years. Though I've been with Macs for many years, I'm confident that this MBP is probably one of the fastest and most powerful notebooks I've ever owned. I have the MBAir as well, but my MBP is the portable workhorse. I would have gone with the new unibody, but I couldn't justify spending an additional $700 and w/o AppleCare, I got a great deal at $1544 OTD w/AppleCare and an HP Printer. Go for the new unibody MBP "17 due to show up in Apple Stores any day now. IMO :cool:
     
  3. otis123 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #3
    i just got a new mbp unibody yesterday, i upgraded from a ibook G4 so this is a HUGE step up for me, any mbp made in the last year should be fine for you.
     
  4. sehnsucht77 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    #4
    fellow medstudent here. had a G4 prior to my mbp and it should work well provided you maintain and care for the thing well. i also had a dell lappy alongside the G4 which lasted me 5 years. the MBP was on sale at my university co-op so i got it over the MB because that sold out first.

    what do you exactly mean by processor intensive? unless you need the mbp for photoediting, working on final cut edits or doing work on logic studio, i would say the MB will suffice for anything that you could possibly need for medschool work. other than surfing, presentation editing and reviewing journal articles, i can say that the mb would be more than enough for your needs. i do lab research as well and i use the MBP's OSX environment to do Labview edits away from the lab and it also doubles as my second DJ production computer where I run NI Traktor, Ableton Live and Logic.
     
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #5
    New MacBook or MacBook Pro would be just fine for you. Perfect, in fact.


    I guess you'll have to make a decision based on screen resolution, screen size, and how willing you are to carry around a physically larger and heavier laptop. Other than these few things, the rest of it doesn't seem to be much of an issue in your case.
     
  6. Heart Break Kid thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto
    #6
    It's been a long time since I've used a larger screen on a laptop, and haven't really had the opportunity to feel the "weight difference" when it comes to daily travel. In terms of weight, is it really noticeable in your bag? Im not one to carry around Robbins (a massive pathology text) in my backpack, but do on occasion carry a review text book or two. Will the weight be noticeably different?
     
  7. Heart Break Kid thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto
    #7

    Yes! This is exactly what I needed to know! Did you find the weight a significant issue for you? What kind of case did you end up purchasing? When I meant process intensive, I was just thinking about a little photoediting and the occasional home movie rendering. I dont htink I'll be running any really heavy lab utilities and what not on my personal laptop.
     
  8. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #8
    Use what you've got until it no longer serves it purpose. Unless it's broken, or you know that you'll have to use software that it can't handle, keep it. You're money ahead getting a bigger hard drive or new battery (if needed) than you are dropping $1400-$2500 on a new system that you may or may not need later on.

    If your macbook has applecare remaining, and it breaks, great; problem solved. If it breaks without applecare coverage, or you know it won't handle software you need for your studies/job, get a new system then.

    Apple, as you know, has consistent price points for its models and adds features as technology advances. If your current system meets your needs and you can hold off for more time, you'll get more cool stuff for the same money later on, like OS X 10.6, quad processors, holographic displays and inputs, and God knows what else. Who knows, they may come out with a tablet in the next year or two, which may cause you to kick yourself every time you make rounds.

    Your needs will probably change as you finish your studies and enter the work force. Right now, I'd have to suggest a unibody macbook because of its rugged design and portability factor. But if you're sitting behind a desk in eighteen months, a mbp would be a better choice because IMO a larger, nicer screen would outweigh portability as a prime factor in your decision.

    I certainly know what it's like to be smitten with gadget lust over a new, shiny, expensive product with a white apple on it. I also know what it's like to be paying student loans for seven years of higher education. Love the one you're with and hold onto your money if you at all possibly can. Good luck!
     
  9. xoggyux macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    #9
    if you dont need top-end (or if we can call 8600 top end) graphics, go for unibody MB , got similar stats, look remarkably similar and cost $700 less, i think that the 8400 graphics it comes with, will be enough to keep up with WoW at medium settings but I cannot grantee since I dont play it, however if your current MB can handle it, a new MB will certainly.
     
  10. Heart Break Kid thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto
    #10
    I plan on hanging on to this laptop as long as possible. Ive only started considering the change recently when I had a few technical hiccups with my machine. After spending $400 on service and repairs, I figure its probably a good idea to start looking into it. Yes, part of looking at the macbook pro is gadget lust, but there is a significant part that is associated with a genuine desire not to want to spend anymore on repairs. Unfortunatley my Apple care has run out. The computer is functioning fine right now, but who knows if that will be the case in April / May when I plan on making my purchase.

    In terms of going for the unibody 17", I dont htink I can justify spending that much :D Sure the gadget lust in me wants it, but I think the 15" 2.4 or 2.5 should satisfy my needs now and for a few years.

    Someone mentioned the change of processors. Is that something I should expect in the next 6 to 9 months?
     
  11. sehnsucht77 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    #11
    the MBP is a bit heavy despite having a thin chassis but having carried my desktop replacement dell around for a while in addition to my medical books did not really produce a noticeable difference in weight between my old laptops and my new one. my G4 was a small 12" lappy which was nice but it was ultimately too small for using multiple windows in labview or mathematica. for these purposes I hook up to a larger 24" monitor which I keep at home. the 15" screen on the mbp is just right as far as mobile screen-real estate goes.

    for cases, i like not having a separate laptop bag to carry my stuff around since i walk and bike to school. less bulk was key so i started looking for a nice rigid case to help protect my laptop while in my bag, a chrome metropolis messenger bag. i never had a case for my dell or my G4 so over the years they developed a few dings from being banged around in the bag not to mention got dusty a lot from just being exposed to everything i had around me. i got a booq m2 for my MBP which is not a soft case per se but it does have a soft interior lining. the selling point for the booq was that it had a rigid outside covering, offered good side protection from impact and nice big ykk zippers. i am not anal about scratches and keeping the laptop pretty like some (i bought the laptop to use it, not keep it as a museum piece) but i do have concerns about losing my data which I guard with my life...because, well, it is technically my life's work. so, yes, booq is a good case and i got it used which was great at 20 bucks. i've been using the m2 for almost 4 months now and it works great - rigid and well made.

    my mbp has a 2.53 processor which is more than enough for labview/ mathematica, logic, ableton and traktor. i would have bought the MB but that already sold out at my school coop. the mbp works well and it helps me accomplish what i need. if you can help it, try looking for used laptop cases. there are enough fanboys/ fangirls out there swapping stuff out all the time so the merchandise is pretty much brand spankin' new!
     

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