Convince me to buy a MAC.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by YoYoMac, Dec 22, 2004.

  1. YoYoMac macrumors regular


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chattanooga, TN
    Ok, Long story short, my Alienware Laptop ($3700) died after only a year and a half of use. I live in China, so I can't send it back to Florida to get fixed any time soon. I'm getting sick of this whole "PC" business. My nextdoor neighbor, a mac owner for a long time, has introduced me to the world of macs, and so far I'm fairly convinced that I should invest in one. But I want some other opinions.

    He has a Rev A 15" powerbook, which I have played with for a few minutes at a time. I was impressed that it was a year old and it seemed pretty responsive. I'm used to a 3.0 ghz "desktop replacement" model. The fact that I couldn't put my old Alienware on my actual lap never really entered my mind until he set his nice shiney PB on my lap. It was light, thin, and worked great. But I still have some questions in my mind.

    How long will the current PB line last? I mean, I've been reading about the Dual Core and G5 for weeks now. I guess I should rather say months. I am planning to wait until MSWF, but if they don't release anything to impressive, what should I do? I don't want to be without a laptop any longer. It's been 3 months now since my laptop died and I've been stuck with my wife's 12" Averatec "Poodle" laptop. I say poodle because it's so small that my fingers get cramped when I type a lot. (Like now)

    How long will the current PB line be "gaming worthy." Are they gaming worthy now? I am a total game freak, but since my Alienware died, I've lost some of my interest in the PC games. Mainly because I can't play them. But I think that once I get a mac, I'll want a few of the titles that I used to play a lot. Warcraft 3, Unreal Tourny 04, Spinter Cell, Sim City 4, and Ghost Recon. How well would say a PB 15" 1.5 with 512 Ram and the 128 V play those games? Can I expect it to perform as a PC laptop of the same specs?

    I'm sorry this is long. :eek:

    About the screen of the 15" The resolution is kind of low I think for a 15" widescreen. Will it be restricted to this screen resolution if I use an external monitor at home? On the road, i think the resolution would be okay, but at home for long periods of Movie editing, Photoshoping, Web develepment, and Garagebanding, I think I'd want a little more screen room.

    My final question is, has anyone ever bought a Mac in Thailand? :) China prices are 15% higher than any other country, so I have a 3 week window in Thailand to buy a PB. How long does it usually take to get a upgraded PB? I'm going with the 128v, 5200RPM, and I'm NOT taking the superdrive. 2 weeks? 3 weeks?

    I guess I'm just writing this because my wife is sick of me mentioning it. But if anyone has any reasonable answers to my questions, I'd be grateful.

    Also, this forum rocks. I love reading your posts on what you think will happen in January. I'm trying to be a pessimist, but its hard.

    Again, sorry this is so long. It's my first post, so I gotta take a lot of space. :)
  2. CaptainCaveMann macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2004
    Viruses,spyware,adware enough said. But i will add more, how about not having a bunch of crap on your comp you dont want or need like trial software all over the place as if it was white on rice.Pardon that. A unix based os as well. Apples got it right when it comes to the os.
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Only one cure for that but wait to see how the land lies if you can... bear in mind anything they announce won't be available immediately but it may push prices down of other models.

    Are you sure you want a Mac, then?
    Limited & often expensive range of games, limited video-cards (many say)...

    Edit: Just realised I did a very poor job of convincing you.
    Get a Mac: you know you want one. You've been bitten and nothing less will do.
    p.s. Love the handle!
  4. YoYoMac thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chattanooga, TN
    I am a game freak, but since my laptop died, I've been using the PS2 for most of my gaming needs and I think I'm going to stick with it. Also, when I return home in 2006, I'd probably just get a desktop for games anyway. But how would a PB play those games at this point in time? The games that I listed.

    Also, just for fun. I'm going to post some of my original article in the Alienware forums and see what people say. I'll try to get them to convince me to NOT buy a mac. I have a feeling I know what they'll say already. :)
  5. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Sep 21, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    Getting a build-to-order machine shipped to another country is likely to be difficult, unless you know someone who lives in that other country and they're willing to place the order and receive it for you.

    If your PowerBook budget is anything like your Alienware budget was, you could get a 17" with 2GB (non-Apple) RAM and all the other trimmings. But saving $1000 is also a good idea, especially if that extra 1.7" of width, 0.7" of depth and 1.2 lbs / 0.5 Kg is too much to handle.

    What I'd do if I were you is get a basic iBook as a sort of learning experience, use it for a few months, and then when the revised PowerBooks come out (dual core or whatever it may be), pass the iBook on to the wife (who by then will probably really want the iBook anyhow). That plan falls apart though if your wife has PC-only applications she needs for her job.

    The reason I'm suggesting this plan is it will make the waiting much easier.

    Please post a link to that thread. :)
  6. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    I don't play a lot of games on my machine.

    Why don't you spend a little time in this forum?

    Read a little, do some searches, ask some questions... I hear they're nice people over there. :)
  7. MikeLaRiviere macrumors regular

    May 25, 2004
    YoYoMac, can you link me to the Alienware forum? (I'm a Mac user, but gaming is of interest to me and my brother is looking at Aliens.)
  8. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    All the games you listed will run fine on that Powerbook, but not as well as they did on your Alienware.
  9. CaptainCaveMann macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2004
    Didnt you read his horror story about alien ware? They suck dude dont waste your money. Build a gaming desktop yourself wayyyy better.And if you want a gaming laptop but the dell xps or whatever its called it got awesome reviews from :D
  10. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    for the games and other apps in general you will probably want a bit more than 512mb of ram though, OS X likes ram, can never have enough
  11. CaptainCaveMann macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2004
    Please dont post that crap here. Im sure most of us already know a lot about windows laptops thats why were here in the MAC forum ;)
  12. MikeLaRiviere macrumors regular

    May 25, 2004
    I know. Frankly, my brother will probably get something from iBuyPower, which will cost less than building it himself. My last homebuilt didn't end up working well (probably an OS problem, it was a beta version). But I'm curious to see what they say in the Alien forums.
  13. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    As other have said, the gaming on the PB will fall far short of what you're used to (aside from WCIII - I swear you could play that on a TRS-80 Model III and still get excellent performance...). If gaming is critical to you, the PB will not make you happy.

    However, if gaming is important but not critical, the PB will play fine but will provide you with a wealth of other joys. Safety from spyware, viruses, and the like is one important benefit (and, yes, Macs will eventually fall prey to those things, but never on a PC scale). Integration of so many applications (like iLife) is another. It's a bit maudlin to say, but I think it's true that you will actually enjoy using OS X in and of itself in addition to any particular apps. I use Windows every day, and I like some of the apps I use, but Windows is always a means to the end of using those apps to me - Windows itself provides me with no joy whatsoever. OS X is actually fun to use. It's an amazing difference... I hope you find out.
  14. maya macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2004
    somewhere between here and there.
    There is no need to convince YoYoMac, into either converting to the Mac OS platform since the who idea that this person posted here in the first reason shows that they have a lot of interest and just want reassurance.

    If you are going to buy one or not, its an investment and every users experiences differ even with the same OS and machine.

    All the best in your purchase. :)
  15. Jsmit macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2004
  16. YoYoMac thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chattanooga, TN
    Don't worry, I'm not going to post any of it. But I will give the link.

    For the guy who's brother is looking at AW. Tell them to stop right now. If you just gotta have a super blazing Laptop, I'd go with Dell or Sager. Sager right now seems to be on top of things in the pc laptop realm.

    I guess I should make it clear that even though I said I'm a game freak, now that I haven't had my laptop for awhile, my enthusiasm for games has curbed slightly. I'm not gonna really care about the new games, I can't buy them here anyway, unless I go buy a copy of the streets for .50 cents that doesnt' work.

    I think that Maya is a remarkably perceptive poster, becuase I think I have made up my mind, I just want some reassurance. :D
  17. MikeLaRiviere macrumors regular

    May 25, 2004
  18. MikeLaRiviere macrumors regular

    May 25, 2004
  19. lordmac macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2004
    Santa Cruz, CA

    Wow im amazed by the lack of mac bashing that went on on that forum thread you posted on the alienware forums. And the bashing that did go on sounded like it came from someone rather stupid as none of it was backed and were just commen mis-conceptions. BUt there were actully quite a few posters with helpful advice. Of course the responces here were better in my opinion :). As for reasurence you will love the mac its so much better for doing basic tasks quickly this is due to the fact that it all just makes sence and prefferences are were u think they should be and so. Its just a much more enjoyable computing experience. Its only lacking is the games but even t his is not so bad if your willing to wait for the newest games. Also unfountunitly most games dont run as well either becaus e they are poorly ported. The exception to this is of course is Blizzard games such as warcraft 3. Blizzard dose a wonderful jod of porting them and realeasing them along with updates at the same time as the pc versions. I am a huge fan of blizzard for this, though I am a bit curious as to why they are so good about gettting there games out for mac when other companies are so bad at it. Also I beleave the resolution on powerbooks is just as good as its pc counter part. And you can can go to bigger resolutions when connected to a external moniter( I do it all the time with my 12" rev A. powerbook.)
  20. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I enjoyed reading that thread over on the Alienware board. It seems like the best argument people could come up with is that Macs have a one button mouse :p. Anyway, it sounds like you don't need much convincing anyway, but I just wanted to add my reassurance. I switched to the Mac about 3 months ago because my PC was in the shop 8 times in less than 2 months with hardware and software failures, even though it was a $2500 machine when new and was billed (much like Alienware stuff) as being top of the line. The only thing that has not been replaced in it since I've owned it is the case, power supply and video capture card, everything else has had a catastrophic hardware failure. I couldn't be happier with my Mac (12" Powerbook), and there's simply no way that I'll buy another Windows machine again. Macs are not perfect (no computer is), but they are like a Lexus compared to a Geo in my opinion (without the price difference).
  21. YoYoMac thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chattanooga, TN
    Nice analogy.

    I really appreciate all of the quick response from people here.

    Just to clarify, those are not the official Alienware forums.

    The Alienware forums can't be accessed unless you are a owner. Another thing that should have tipped me off when I bought the thing. If you can't get into the forums, you can't see all of the problems that people have. You wouldn't believe how many posts go into the technical support section. And how many don't go into the "praise" section. Really sick company.

    Another thing that totally off topic; why can't I post in the political disscussion forums?
  22. edwardcheah macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2004
    its not as hard as you think to order a BTO machined shipped to abroad, i live in malaysia and if you have apple stores or apple re-sellers you definitely can order a BOT machine. i recently ordered a BOT Imac G5 and it only took 3 weeks.

    Trust me get a mac, i justed swapped for PC to Mac and its amazing.
  23. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    YoYoMac I use both Windows and Mac platforms, both laptops and desktops.

    Observations/Comments (No particular order):

    1. To me, my Macs simply work. My PC's on the other hand...

    2. If you must use Access, get a PC. Virtual PC is way too slow. Otherwise, PC or Mac, you can run the rest of the office apps (Word, Excel and PowerPoint).

    3. Apple has the best laptops IMHO.

    4. You can build a cheap PC that does most office like tasks.

    5. Stick with the Mac for anything graphic. PC's simply suck in that arena.

    6. A great solution on the Mac side, is a PowerBook (12 or 15) with an external LCD monitor (20 or 23 inch). I personally have a 15 with a 22 inch Cinema display. Works great.

    Hope this helps.

  24. Beijingbastard macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2004
    Well, I also live in China (in Beijing, more accurately), and I'd say there is no need to go as far as the Peninsula to get a new Mac, when prices in Hong Kong are pretty low, too, compared to mainland Chinese prices. That's why i'm waiting, oh, waiting for that new Powerbook ;)
  25. crachoar macrumors 6502a

    Mar 22, 2004
    People in this forum tend to usually assume 'decent gaming experience' means '15FPS, low detail with the high-end BTO configurations'.

    I consider 'decent gaming' to be at least 40FPS on medium detail. I own both Apple computers and PCs, so my review will be completely unbiased.

    Warcraft III will run on practically any modern mac. A new powerbook especially. You're good there.

    Splinter Cell, from what I recall, was terrible on the PC. Poor port. The OSX version (which is two years later, I might add) is no better. It's actually a little worse it seems. This game is unplayable and extremely laggy.

    UT2k4 on high (not max) detail ran smoothly on my Powerbook, although I had a hiccup here and there. I haven't tested it in a few months, hopefully Apple solved some problems by updating the OGL drivers.

    However, UT2k4 for OSX cannot (as of, 2 months ago, when I last played it) display the detailed shadows and a few other effects (not sure if this is an OGL problem or not). So you're stuck with crappy looking blob shadows, unless this has been fixed in a driver update recently.

    Also, the sound in UT2k4, especially the OSX port, is screwed. This is still being worked on by Ryan Gordon. Who knows if it will ever be 100% fixed. Doubtful.

    Ghost Recon, I recall having some problems on my Quicksilver. Performance left something to be desired (much like Soldier of Fortune II). I chalk it up to the mac 'porting companies' (that's all they really are) being lazy (not good at their jobs). Never cared to install it on my powerbook. Ironically, the best experience I've had with GR is on my Xbox.

    The same goes for Halo. Amazing experience on the Xbox. Terrible on both PC and Mac.

    PCs are definitely better for gaming - they usually perform better, and you have a larger variety (not to mention, games actually come out when they're supposed to) - without a question the winner in the 'games' category.

    Also, the centrino chip is excellent for long battery life. The G4 will run dry, usually in 2.5 hours, if you're not doing anything too taxing. The Sony Vaios are very thin and 'stylish', if that concerns you. The powerbook isn't the only computer with 'sex appeal'. The only thing I've yet to see a PC maker copy is the ever-so-pretty 'backlit keyboard'. Either way, that feature alone makes me so very happy.

    As far as 'PCs sucking for anything involving graphics', that's just fanboy hype. Any computer is fine for graphics. Ignore such statements.

    Basically, the only deciding factor is 'how much do you dislike Windows'.

    The fact that it's 'unix-based', probably doesn't apply to you, and whenever somebody brings it up, I don't think they really know what they're talking about. Ignore that as well.

    Also, the 'spyware / virus' thing isn't really a problem with Windows unless you're stupid, or somebody who uses your computer is stupid.

    The only time I've ever gotten a virus with XP is when my friend was on my computer.

    Although, OSX is pretty 'secure'. Either that, or no malicious programmers really care.

    OSX has it's share of problems though, as do the powerbooks. The current crop of AlBooks have problems where the keyboard becomes loose (since it is held onto the computer with tape). Pretty pathetic for the 'Mercedes of computers'. Don't buy into the 'PBooks are flawless' hype. They're not at all.

    The books tend to run hot, and can actually burn your lap (and make you sterile! Weee!).

    And yes, the 15" resolution is depressingly low. I don't know why Apple does this, but it makes even baby Jesus cry.

    I think that a lot of people here bash Microsoft and PCs in general, without reason. Not that I haven't wanted to punch Bill Gates a few times in my life, but Apple (especially in recent years) has kind of 'dropped the ball' a little, and the quality is starting to slip, since they're spending all of their money on the iPod, rather than fixing everything in OSX. I notice more and more 'windows-like' issues as the months go by. Little things that should work, but don't (iSync comes to mind as being one of those problems).

    And Apple has it's own 'blue screen'. Two of them in fact. The 'spinning beachball of death' and the 'grey forced shutdown with 6 or so foreign languages pasted on top of a big power button graphic' screen.

    I've actually had my macs hard crash more than XP. Not that it happens on a daily basis, but still, a fact.

    As it was mentioned above, no computer is perfect. And when it comes to 'raw power', the Powerbooks are a bit behind. However, they're still decent computers, and it's still OSX (reason enough to own a mac). If you enjoy the OS more than XP, can afford to throw money away and are ok with not having the ability to run as many apps as your PC could (especially when it comes to games), then go for it. OSX is pretty well organized and feels 'right' for the most part.

    Your powerbook could be useful to you for four years if you needed it to be (if the HD, LCD or logicboard didn't burn out by then). If you're just using it to do simple things that is. However, for 'mid-high-end' tasks, I'd say 1.5-2 years.

    If you're not going to be using this Apple for games, intensive graphic / video / music editing, then you may as well just get an iBook. They're more sturdy anyway. Besides, you're not getting the Superdrive - why even get the PBook? (and yes, I know you can get them with iBooks now)

    Personally, I just like the feel of OSX over XP, so I try to spend more time working in it.

    Just don't go into this thinking that the PBook will solve all of your problems with computers and cook your breakfast. It won't.

    I hope this helped you a little. Excuse random typos and ramblings (haven't slept in a long while).

    Good luck with your next computer purchase.

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