Current envy 15 user, want to switch to MBP, have doubts

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Drecca, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. Drecca macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    #1
    hey guys (and gals),

    I currently have an Envy 15, with some pretty high-end specs. I'm not a power user, but I do like to game a bit. WoW and Starcraft 2 (and Diablo 3 when it comes out) are the games I play. I also use my laptop for work, a lot. So I'm in front of it for hours a day, sadly.

    Reason I want to switch are annoyance and luxury factors. I have the 1366x768 screen and it just doesn't cut it. The laptop also generates a fair amount of heat, and black screens randomly. Also, the quick launch keys on the left hand side of the keyboard are a constant source of frustration.

    The specs I have are i7 1.6ghz, 4gb ram, hd 5830, dual ssd's.

    Ideally, I'd keep almost the same stuff into a Macbook, but the video card is a 512MB Nvidia. My DV6t HP has the same exact card, but it is 1GB (don't know why the MBP is 512).

    My question, apart from obvious benchmarks, how does that card hold up for gaming? Is it just better to go under bootcamp?

    Secondly, and most importantly, the buyer's guide on this site rates the MBP as a neutral buy. I don't want to shell out 2.5k for something that will be rendered obsolete in 2 months (rather then the 6-8 months we can get). Is is still worth buying today, or should I hold onto what I have and wait for a next refresh (which is rumored to be when?)

    And finally.. i have a "slice" battery for my envy which extends the battery an extra few hours. I know and sort of accept the MBP battery is sealed in. What do people do for extended periods of battery use? Is there an external one?

    Many thanks for reading all this, and thank you in advance.
     
  2. tiwizard macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    #2
    Generally with MacOSX things will be better in Bootcamp. Mainly driver issues.

    Probably not until 2011. If anything in 2010, it will be minor...
     
  3. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Isla Nublar
    #3
    When you switch to Mac, you will no longer have to worry about the obsoleteness like you did back in the windows days. Macs don't update every 2 weeks or so and they hold their value well. Your mac also will most likely run 2 years from now the exact same way it runs brand new out of the box. They are very well built machines and the OS is incredible. I switched two and a half years ago and haven't looked back. (Although being a windows tech I still have to use windows daily).

    As far as gaming goes, bootcamp is usually the recommended way to game unless the game is for both windows and mac.
     
  4. Xenophon macrumors regular

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    Apr 8, 2010
    Location:
    New Delhi, India
    #4
    Don't switch unless you feel the pressing need to burn some money just to have something different. In terms of specs, build quality and certainly for gaming, you will not gain anything when buying a mac.

    There's the OS, true. For me this is the biggest if not the only argument in favor of a mac. But forget all the myths about purportedly superior build/component quality/integration advantages that the fanboys love to talk about. It just isn't true. Some of the comments made above make me laugh, such as the 'macs do not update every two weeks'. It's true, Apple makes you overpay for obsolete hardware for months/years rather than weeks.
     
  5. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Location:
    Singapore
    #5
    OP: you didnt say if you will be getting the HD screen or the normal screen. at HD, expect about 30FPS using high settings for SC2.
     
  6. Drecca thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 30, 2010
    #6
    I would definitely be getting the HD screen (since the one I currently have isn't, and I regret it)
     
  7. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Location:
    Singapore
    #7
    ahh ok, you would expect some pretty decent performance if that is the case - playable at any rate.

    what other features do you require?
     
  8. TopHatPlus macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    Location:
    Southern Ontario
    #8
    hey and welcome to the rest of your electronics life =D

    so as far as resets and new products, mac has a pretty regular tendency of reseting once per year and usually in the spring, they used ot update a few times a year but then realized that people appreciate bigger updates less often. So that would buy you 6-8 months from now for a reset, and there is some rumoured new processor the sandy bridge coming out in spring of 2011, there is no mention of mac using them but we are all hoping, also note that macs hold there value much much much better then a PC labtop or computer. So if you bought it now and sold it when the reset happens someone would be happy to take it off your hands for $500 less then you bought it for, and for that kind of preference its a good deal. As far as the heat issue is concerned macs are not a lot different, there fast as stink but they do warm up quite a bit.

    specs

    Resolution 1366x 768 - mac 1440x900 (high res 1680x1050)

    processor 1.7 ghz i7 - mac 2.66 ghz i7

    ram 4 gb ddr3 - mac 4 gb ddr3

    hard drives are what ever you choose

    gpu hd 5830 1040 MB - mac geforce gt 330 m 512 MB

    please note that that is all the 15" specs, obviously the graphics card is not as good but the rest is either at par or better, the screen would not only be higher res but it will look a lot more vibrant, and i do not know of any external battery extenders but you get 8-9 hours when setting are conservative.

    Unless you are really unsatisfied with your HP envy and you really want to switch to a mac asap, i am recommending you wait until the reset, it is also rumoured that the new sandy bridge processors will run a 1gb integrated graphics card, but that is all speculation and hopes. and if you get a mac to run windows to play star craft, WOW, and diablo 3 (i so hope it comes out soon) then theres just no reason to switch until reset.

    The mac will run these games pretty nicely and will multi takes so much better, and i LOVE all my my apple software like iphoto and how much apple products work together, ie i plus my iphone into my mac and it automatically syncs all my contacts from phone to computer and vise versa, and time machine is a godsend. I ordered the 15" high res 2.66 gh i7 with 512 MB gpu last monday, i have had a macbook for 4 years now and i love it, it is still faster then the HP my parents just bought my brother for uni, so if the computer will meet your needs then its a greta time, but don't rush into it if you spend more then 6 hours a day gaming on it >_<
     
  9. Drecca thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    #9
    Ideally, SSD, but that wouldn't be from Apple. OWC sells some very nice SSD's that have excellent performance months down the line.

    Other than the video card (and ssd), the mac already has everything I'd like. Still would like to know what people do for extended battery usage though. Like I said, I use it a lot for work, and will be doing a lot of travelling (airplanes, and a 24 hour drive) in the near future, and would like to keep my laptop alive. I do this right now by chaining batteries to the envy 15 (the slice, and a second battery).
     
  10. fobis macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    #10
    ^ This. I would never buy a Mac again if it were not for the OS. AppleCare is nice and all, yes - but it's something that you really shouldn't need if Macs were really well built computers. AppleCare is realistically nearly absolutely necessary because of Apple's shoddy QA/QC.

    Fanboy: "But you will never find a PC with such an awesome body and svelte contours!"
    Reality Distortion Field dispersed: "Oh, but you can. Look at the HP Envy series. Even their dv6 series looks decent"

    Fanboy: "But you can game on a Mac!"
    Reality Distortion Field dispersed: "Yes, you can - if you want to sacrifice performance. Otherwise, you'll be booting into Windows and gaming on a laptop that has a mediocre GPU when compared to the rest of the market, especially at the price you purchased your gigantic hunk of aluminum."

    Fanboy: "But Macs don't crash! Or get viruses! They're way better than a Windows PC just for that!"
    Reality Distortion Field dispersed: "... Have you used Windows 7? And stop looking at porn on your parent's computer. It'll save them a lot of grief, cash used on AV software, and ~$99 diagnostic services spent at Best Buy."

    Fanboy: "But Macs hold their resale value like none other!"
    Reality Distortion Field dispersed: "Well, yes. But only because Apple releases hardware updates a couple times a year, and because people are poor saps willing to pay a ton of money for 2+ year old hardware just because there is a fruit on the machine."

    Fanboy: "But the Mac OS UI is way better than Windows!"
    Reality Distortion Field dispersed: "To each his own. Some prefer Expose, some prefer Aero. Deal with it."

    Fanboy: "But Apple has such good customer service!!! You can't beat them!"
    Reality Distortion Field dispersed: "Relative to other manufacturers who completely outsource their technical support, Apple may have them beat - sure. But the 'outstanding' customer service non-withstanding, why are consumers forced to use them nearly immediately after their purchases and multiple times henceforth because of simply poor quality control? The only reason Apple now simply must have good customer service is because if they didn't, their reputation would sink quite violently since many of their products are effectively defective out of the box."

    Before the fanboys publicly chastise me, let me say that my late-2006 MBP is still running, albeit with a few caveats. Since I got this laptop, my SuperDrive has been replaced 3 times without improvement (the last one worked for a month and then didn't work again when I tried a couple months later out of warranty), my logic board has been replaced 2 times, my keyboard has been replaced 2 times, my inverter board has been replaced once (which seems to have broken again 2 weeks after AppleCare expired), and my battery has been replaced 4 times. It's a "quality" piece of hardware, but I love it for the OS.
     
  11. TopHatPlus macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    Location:
    Southern Ontario
    #11
    Fanboy: "But you will never find a PC with such an awesome body and svelte contours!" obviously true
    Reality Distortion Field dispersed: "Oh, but you can. Look at the HP Envy series. Even their dv6 series looks decent" - thought it was a mac commercial until i realized there was a terrible plastic shell vs the mac aluminum

    i do not understand why you break all that stuff down as fanboy - reality, non of what he said was false and most of it was preference, this is a mac forum i believe so it does not make him a fan boy it makes him a proud owner? my parents let me drive there 2010 CTS and i tell EVERYONE how nice it performs, am i fanboy no, but it drives SO nice.

    i apologize Drecca most people don't slobber on posts like this
     
  12. ouimetnick macrumors 68020

    ouimetnick

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Location:
    Beverly, Massachusetts
    #12
    The Envy line is made of aluminum.
     
  13. nineohtoo macrumors 6502

    nineohtoo

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    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #13
    While I think you're spot on with all your other points, you just prove why Macs hold their resale value better than windows machines.
     
  14. TopHatPlus macrumors 6502

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    Aug 1, 2010
    Location:
    Southern Ontario
    #14
    One of the world's smallest, lightest laptops; features a powerful Intel Core i processor, metal finish, 14" (diagonal) display, discrete graphics, slot-loading DVD burner, back-lit keyboard, and Beats Audio
    Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
    4GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
    320GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-370M Dual Core processor (2.40GHz, 3MB L3 Cache)
    1GB ATI Mobility Radeon(TM) HD 5650 switchable graphics [HDMI] - For Dual Core Processors
    Backlit Keyboard
    Beats(TM) audio for superior sound

    metal finish means it could have a metal based paint on it, does not say aluminum
     
  15. Drecca thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    #15
    Pretty sure my envy is made of magnesium, but it does have its build quality issues (a "pop" on the right hand palm rest being one of them)


    What do people do for extended battery usage? That's my biggest (secondary) concern apart from the video card.
     
  16. Xenophon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    Location:
    New Delhi, India
    #16
    I carry an extra battery with my macbook but obviously for the pro that's not an option. If you fly business you can just plug it in.

    For an external 3rd party solution, google Hypermac. Fwiw, my wife's macbook pro has a real-life battery lifespan of about 4 hours, working, connected to a network.
     
  17. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #17
    The MBP i7 is better,
    you can have dual SSDs with Optibay,
    your HP has better graphics (the MBP VRAM isn't dedicated) still respectable though, The MBP also has dedicated VRAM and more VRAM doesn't make it better if you have "enough" and 512GB is good enough. The 1GB thing is a gimmick
    wait for next refresh, probably Sandy Bridge and likely to have Radeon 6000 series (a 6780 got leaked and it is the most powerful single card ever made)
    http://www.hypershop.com/ their best one fully charges the MBP 15" 3 times! (you pay for it though)
    We may also get the Liquid Metal cases http://www.liquidmetal.com/media/ball_bounce_DSL.mov
    1) The Envy was literally designed to lure MBP users, so yes it (tries) to match the exterior, if you can stand Windows it's a great laptop
    2) I'm content with out of date games since my MB is a work device
    3) I have a Windows XP workstation and it crashes every other week despite not being connected to the internet since 2008
    4) If you sell your Mac every three years the cost of ownership generally works out to less than a dollar a day (if you have edu discount+iTouch credit and install upgrades yourself it can be less than a quarter a day)
    5) UI is opinion (I prefer Exposé)
    6) http://www.electronista.com/articles/10/08/30/asus.jumps.to.1st.dell.finishes.last/
     
  18. Xenophon macrumors regular

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    Apr 8, 2010
    Location:
    New Delhi, India
    #18
    Easy fix for that IF you don't need some specific win-only application for your job and are not a gamer: linux.

    I agree the Envy looks like a nice machine. The looks are blatantly copied from Apple, that's for sure but who cares?

    Due to the lower initial price I'd guess it would be the same for a pc laptop, certainly if you can get by with linux/openoffice/VLC. If you include the cost of AppleCare -which is a necessity imho- I'm not sure if you're right but let's not argue the point. Exclude AC and one snafu with an expensive component will blow you out of the water.
     
  19. Drecca thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    #19
    Two things I've read about, and tried to find solutions for but couldn't.

    The MBP will automatically detect it's on battery and slow itself down. Is there any way to forcibly make it resume normal function on battery? What about on AC (i.e is it configurable at all?)

    Adding ram. ram from Apple is pretty overpriced. Is it easy to replace ram and HD in the MBP?
     
  20. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #20
    The MBP 15 and 17 inch has dedicated VRAM!!
    Still the 5830 is better. 1GB vs 512MB VRAM does NOT matter on a 1680x1050 screen, don't let yourself getting fooled by this number! VRAM is cheap anyway so Apple should have fitted more.
    Anyways the 5830 is at least 30% faster anyway.

    Battery is very nice on the new MBPs, I did a 8 hour day at the university taking notes and still had 15% battery left (the "hour" is 45 mins at the university here)
     
  21. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #21
    I have made a lil' menu on my dock with a few applescripts:

    do shell script ("pmset -b 3")

    -b means battery (can be replaced by -c for AC)
    the number is 1-4 where 1 is most saving, and 4 is highest performance

    I just have a few for different settings.

    Changing HD and RAM is so easy that I'd manage to explain my granny over the phone how to do it :D
     
  22. davidlv macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Location:
    Kyoto, Japan
    #22
    The MBP does detect that it's on battery and some energy saving settings are automatically changed to conserve power, but these can be set as you wish, screen dimming, hard disk sleep etc, in the System Preferences application, and the MBP will NOT automatically slow itself down, as in "it does not reduce the CPU speed." Desktop Macs have that option in the Energy Saver preference pane (user selectable), but that option is not available on my mid-2009 MBP.
    Adding RAM is actually very easy, there are some really small screws on the back, need a good "00 Philips head screwdriver, like that in the Vessel mirodriver tool set, and if you swap the HD you will need a Torx 6 screwdriver. Take care to put the screws back in their original locations and be careful, it is easy to scratch the back if the screwdriver slips, that is why you really should buy a good quality screwdriver rather than any ol' cheapie.
    :cool:Remember, while there is certainly no perfect laptop, the MBP is far ahead of the Envy in terms of design and look-and-feel, that is why there are fanboys and HP only gets envious.:cool:
     
  23. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #23
    As for graphics, be prepared to play the latest games on medium a lot. You're also limited to a single HDD, and if you choose to use a SSD, the performance won't be as great because OSX lacks trim support. Otherwise, OSX will probably provide a smoother experience for you.
     
  24. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 27, 2010
    #24
    The battery makes the Energizer Bunny look anemic...

    I do apologize about VRAM
     
  25. thecarrot macrumors member

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    Jul 20, 2010
    #25
    You sir, are mistaken. It is quite possible to have an SSD + HDD combo, or even a dual SSD combo on a MBP. Also, there are various SSD options that have a garbage collection function which will allow the SSD to last longer. Furthermore, SSDs without TRIM support are still just as fast for a great deal of time, its just after a while they MAY slow down a bit. Even then though, its barely noticeable to say the least.
     

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