Debating on taking the MacBook Pro Plunge

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JonathanK81, May 4, 2010.

  1. JonathanK81 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 7, 2006
    Hey everybody, I've been here for a while, and have been thinking about Apple products for a while now. I've always admired Apple and am wondering if it's time to make the jump. I currently have an HP dm3t, which is fine, but I'm just thinking of taking the leap to a MacBook Pro. My best friend, she has one and loves it to death. I've done all the research I could, and I know this IS a Mac forum, so I'm not expecting the most objective views, but for those that made the switch. What should I really expect? I'm currently running Windows 7, which I do like more than Vista. I have used OS X before when I was in college and high school. So I know my way around the basics.

    My concerns now are just like watching tv shows I have. I assume they should play without any extra software? I do occasionally burn isos, which I know I can download Burn for right? Beyond that, I kind of just want to know what I should expect. Beyond that, word processing and internet, which I know won't be a problem. I've done as much research as I could, but figured I'd like to hear firsthand from some members here. Thanks everybody!
  2. singhjeet29 macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2008
    Well this being a Mac forum as you said, there are likely gonna be a lot of pro-mac people. And I'm no different.

    I made the switch 2 years ago. And I've never looked back. The ease of use is definitely the foundation of the Mac OS, and its why I've stuck and plan to stick with it (and have converted a whole bunch of people in the process lol). From my perspective its a lot of little things that the OS is able to do compared to Windows that really shine. Like when I have two windows open, and even though I may be in one window, I can still scroll through the other document without actually clicking that window (Massive Productivity Booster). I enjoy the way everything for all the Mac applications are very nicely integrated (iCal, Mail, Safari, Contacts etc.). Learning the Keyboard shortcuts are paramount, but really make navigating the OS so much faster. Spotlight (the Mac OS search tool) is reason enough alone for the Mac purchase (for me personally), its able to search within documents, which makes finding out what lecture is going in class, when I've ughh missed a few lectures a lot easier.

    In terms of 3rd party applications, you've got pretty much everything covered. Regardless of what you need you can find a program for it, if you were ever worried about doing a certain task and not being able to do it on the Mac. I have found programs for everything I've wanted to do, and I do A LOT with my computer (other than Gaming, Har Har! Although Steam is coming soon =D).

    In terms of your TV show watching or Movie watching, there are some things you should do, unfortunately Apple doesn't provide a lot of Codec support in Quicktimes, but there are a couple of plugins you can quickly download (like Perian) which will make most video formats play. Unless you're an HD junkie (like myself) Quicktime+Perian should be good enough. But there are programs like VLC and MPlayer OSX (which I like better than VLC) for watching video files in the MKV format. Unless of course you just stream your Movies and TV shows in which case everything works fine.

    But you gotta weight the pro's and con's. The major con really being Price, there is an Apple Tax, but for me personally the OS and the experience is worth it. If you can save up for it, I would recommend it. Play around with your friends Mac some more and just figure out if you think you'd like it, the build quality is amazing and the OS is top notch, although Windows 7 is also very solid, compared to Vista *shivers* when I switched to the Mac side.

    Hope this aids in making your decision.
  3. vilasgn macrumors regular

    Aug 12, 2008
  4. Rithem macrumors 6502


    Jun 29, 2008
    No problem for tv shows. I watched mine until the DVD player broke (my macbook is 3 years old and running like a beast, HD youtube videos [excluding 1080p] and all)

    You just use disk manager or something like that for burning isos. It comes with the OS actually.

    I have Word 2008 and it works flawlessly and the internet... is well the internet. No problems or gripes there.

    I'm getting a mbp right after finals are over actually since my computer desperately needs to be replaced (plus I want a laptop that can run the upcoming steam for mac and Starcraft 2).

    You'll love it, I promise.
  5. ExcelonGT macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2008
    i'm LOVING my 15 MBP i7!! win 7 running in parallels just FLIES!! this machine is a powerhouse..(having the SSD doesnt hurt;)

    the hi res screen makes multitasking easy. i currently run Windows 7 x64 in on of my 4 "spaces" switching between Mac OS and Windows is seemless!!
  6. mesq macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2010
  7. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire, USA
    If you switch, just realize that a Mac and a PC are not the same and it might take you a bit to get used to the differences (i.e. you will probably not be as productive on your new Mac (or as happy with it) until you spend some time on it).

    See if you can borrow your friend's Mac and give it a test drive. Then post any questions / issues you have with it.
  8. Tanegashima macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2009
    Without any extra software isn't garanteed, but as soon as you install Perian or any other alternative (quality free open-source software) you are good to go anywhere!

    Or go with Movist: that I like more than QuickTime.

    Not needed, the Operating System can burn ISO's right out of the box.

    Yes, no problem.

    If you want to get a good computer, get a mac!
  9. JonathanK81 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 7, 2006
    Thanks for the replies everybody. So Perian is definitely what I'm looking for. I do watch quite a bit in divx/avi format, and I love my MKV as well.

    I guess I have another question for you all. I know everything about Safari, but just to double check. I currently use Firefox, does everybody recommend I use Safari then? Or would some of you recommend I still with Firefox as the web browser of choice? Thanks again everyone. I have decided to get a mac. I would love an iCore processor, but I love the 13.3 formfactor. Now off to find a good case. I really want the Speck SeeThru, so I need to find a TSA compliant case that fits the MacBook Pro with a SeeThru on. Thanks again!
  10. Rogue. macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2010
    Telford. UK.
    Having just switched from being a loooong time Windows user, I am very pleased with OS X.

    Yes there are changes, but you will soon pick up on the differences and because the Mac is so simple to use, remembering the new way of doing things is easy.

    Old habits die hard though, I removed Safari and Mail and replaced with Firefox and Thunderbird and using weave still manage to keep my PC desktop and MacBook Pro's browser synced.

    Do I think it is value for money....? Maybe.

    Can you get a better specced Windows machine for less...? Definitely.

    Would I go back to a Windows laptop....? No way.
  11. DesmoPilot macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    I use both Windows 7 and OS X on a daily basis. Personally, I've grown to like Windows 7 a tad more (but anyone who says one is way better than the other is a moron and or fanboy, or just generally has no idea what they're talking about), but that's not to say I dislike OS X in the least - I enjoy using both, both have their strengths and weaknesses.

    If you're coming from the windows platform, expect to have a love/hate relationship with OS X (for about a month at least) til you get the hang of it; but once you do, you'll feel at home.

    Also, getting to know the Terminal overtime can be crucial for a good OS X experience (and is one thing I notice is hardly mentioned).

    No need to worry, OS X has a VLC client. ISOs, none free that I know of, but there is toast.

    EDIT: regarding Safari vs FireFox; keep and use both, Safari sucks with some websites (you'll know one when you hit one), for those just use firefox.
  12. thecheda macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2006
    Los Angeles

    Go to the store and play around with the Macs. Revisit if you have to. Make sure you buy if you're comfortable with the change in program choices. Of course, like mentioned above, you can install win 7. But if you're going to be running Windows, why not just keep the pc you own.
  13. singhjeet29 macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2008
    I like Safari a lot, I like the Top Sites feature that they completely ripped off of Chrome and I love the cover flow history search. I'm not the biggest fan of firefox on the Mac, but it does have those ad on's but you can also get ad on's for Safari as well, such as Click2Flash (which I only recently found out about - Flash is one thing that will bog down Safari to a crawl at times) or Glimmer (which just ads ad-blocking and site retrieving functionality) neither are musts, but for my heavy browsing, they're convenient.

    Chrome is also another power house browser that ranks as my second favourite, and I can easily recommend that to anyone else. Google knows the web and they know how to make a browser for it. Its not as flashy as Safari w/ the coverflow history, but its functionality is all there. And its fast. But like the Windows version it takes a lot of Ram.

    Anyways try all 3. They're all solid web browsers. Just remember 3-finger swipe (left is back and right is forward - its complete and utter genius). Enjoy your mac when you get it.
  14. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    Wouldn't matter on the browser, but I find that Firefox is compatible with all the sites that one needs to visit :]

    As for the case, I don't think anyone has reached that topic as of yet :p
  15. ExcelonGT macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2008
    I bet you enjoy being ignorant...
  16. JonathanK81 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 7, 2006
    I didn't want to start a new thread on this, but I just realized looking at the packaging on my external HD......can anyone shed some light on it. I have a Seagate FreeAgent Go external. On the back it says if I need a mac version to go to their site.

    I have again done my research, but what do I do? I know my HD is formatted NTFS. And I have about 300GB of stuff on it that most of which I planned to copy over to the new MacBook. I know that Macs do FAT. And can only read NTFS. So how does that affect me? Can I copy over the files I need from the external HD to my Mac HD and then be fine? Then reformat the HD later into FAT? Or what do you all recommend? As I said, I have about 300GB of files I want to copy over, not all of it, but quite a bit of it I want moved to the MacBook Pro when I buy it.
  17. johnnymg macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2008

    I still have 4 Win machines and I sort of dread turning them on. Windows has a LOT of baggage.

    OSX is simple and efficient.

  18. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Truth is you already have a nice computer with your HP. Windows 7 on that HP will be about the same deal as OS X on a MBP. Both are stable and nice OSes at the moment. Now here's the real problem... the truth is you have the absolute best OS for entertainment. I have an MacBook Air, not a Pro but my kids both have MBPs, and my MBA flies with Windows 7 on it for watching HD videos, Flash videos, and etc.

    Apple's OS X has a real disadvantage when it comes to video performance. Apple finally just gave third-party developers access to h.264 for OS X, but it's still going to be a while before it's widely used and acceptable performance compared to Windows 7. For example, when I am watching an HD video on my MBA in OS X, I use 4X as much CPU usage as I do in Windows 7. Flash is the exact same way. Flash is exceptional in Windows 7 and it's majorly problematic for OS X.

    I believe it all starts with the drivers and I don't believe Apple goes for performance with graphics. I think stability is the concern for Apple in OS X, and I think that's a big reason why the Macs run Windows 7 so much better than OS X.

    Now, a lot of people are going to be pissed off about this post, but I am just being honest. I absolutely LOVE my Macs. But if there's one thing that Windows just dominates OS X at, it's the exact thing you want to do most - HD/Video playback/Graphics intensive...

    If I were you, I would recommend using your HP for another six months. Wait and see if this h.264 API access leads to better graphics performance on Macs. Also, see if the next MBPs get a better CPU with 2X/4X the Intel HD GMA graphics capabilities. Supposedly later this year, Intel will introduce new CPUs that have a lot better performing graphics. Remember this new 15" MBP uses the CPU uses the Intel HD GMA for graphics which isn't anything to brag about. In addition, its dedicated GPU is a 330 GT which isn't very good either (compared to competitive GPUs). Everyone was expecting ATI GPUs in this MBP update and it didn't happen. Bottom line, if you wait this out six months, you might get a MBP that's a lot more capable for your intended uses. In the meantime, you already have a nice Windows 7 PC that will do the job for HD videos better than OS X on an MBP.

    Since this is a Mac forum, let the flaming begin. But anyone being objective will tell you this is a fair assessment and waiting cannot be a bad thing especially when you already have a capable computer.


    One last thing - If you're absolutely set on buying an MBP because you want it for the shear joy of the design, install Windows 7 on it and run it from Boot Camp. That way you can enjoy your video entertainment in Windows 7 and you can get used to OS X for the other stuff.
  19. JonathanK81 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 7, 2006
    Hopefully someone can answer the External HD question. I know the mac can READ NTFS. Basically all I want to be able to do, is plug the external NTFS Drive into my mac, copy my files from it to the Mac HD, and then that's all. It's just my music collection and some other files I need copied over. I can reformat the external HD later. That's possible right? Again, I know it says the Mac can read NTFS just not write, so I assume this works, but wanted clarification and to make sure. So again, all I want to do is plug my NTFS drive into the Mac, copy all my files over, and that's it. So I SHOULD be able to do that correct? I just won't be able to write any new files to the external HD until I reformat it correct? Thanks everyone!
  20. bigjobby macrumors 65816

    Apr 7, 2010
    London, UK
    I believe that is the case. I did this with some of my music and photos but I did this over ethernet. You are correct in saying its read-only from an NTFS partition unless you use some funky bit of software which I read in some thread.

    Just to add, if by chance a MBP cannot interface with your external drive, what you can do is attach it to your HP laptop and create the share and then do the copy. Do-able but transfer rate is sacrificed.

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