Desktop Replacement

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by phalewhale, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. phalewhale macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2007
    Hey, I'm getting my hands on one of the new 15" MBP's soon but I'm starting to wonder if I should have ordered one of these - the Sony VGN-AW11Z/B. They are reviewed here and cost less than the 17" MBP and just a little more than the 15" I've ordered. It looks a lot more powerful though, plus it has a large matte screen. Obviously it's biggest downside is that it doesn't run OS X. Maybe a hackintosh job?

    I'm beginning to wonder if this is what I should do...
    Interested to find other peoples thoughts.
  2. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    18.4" display? That things a battleship! I think I'd get an iMac first. I've had the 17" MBP models (hi-res) and while the screen space is always nice they just too large to use except on a desktop. I'm much happier with the new 15". It's ergonomics and quality are so much better than the previous 15" for me that the screen space sacrifice is worth it.

    If you need a portable, that Sony is going to stink. If you don't need a portable the iMac gives more power and costs less.
  3. rychencop macrumors 65816


    Aug 17, 2007
    no kidding. it's not portable by practical means. get an imac if you're considering something that big, or stick with the 15" mbp.
  4. miamialley macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
  5. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    Good luck trying to put a 18.4" screen laptop on your lap without your legs going to sleep! It also has the same CPU, memory and discrete graphics card as the MB Pro, but it doesn't mention the cache of the discrete video card? Also the Sony does NOT have the new Nvidia 9400m in it, so when you want to conserve battery or have a quieter and cooler machine you can't as your stuck with the 9600.
    At 18.4 it may as well be a desktop IMO. I would also expect the screen to go at a higher res then 1080.
  6. Jimbo99 macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I checked into the Sony AW-series myself. Hackintosh may be unlikely. The Sony uses the same discrete graphics processor as the new MacBook Pros. But it uses the supporting chips of the Centrino 2 chipset, which Apple bypassed in favor of those of the new NVidia chipset. So you may be missing a number of essential drivers.

    The main attraction of the Sony is the beautiful 18.4" screen -- great for playing Blu-ray discs if that's what you want. But note that the screen has a 16:9 aspect ratio (1920x1080), vs. the 16:10 ratio (1920x1200) of many of the 17" models on the market, and of the current MacBook Pros. You may consider the 16:9 ratio, and the loss of 120 pixels in the vertical direction, to be less desirable for editing documents.

    They use 800 MHz DDR3 RAM instead of 1067 MHz DDR3. But that should only slow overall system performance by a few percent, which is no big deal. And it lets them offer an 8GB option for a lot less than what the 1067 MHz memory costs. Surprisingly, the review doesn't mention the speed of the dual hard drives, but you'd want to make sure they're 7200 RPM vs. 5400 (which would cost you about 20% in overall system performance). If they're 7200 RPM and configured as a RAID-0, then that would give you substantially higher performance, while sacrificing some reliability. I asked Sony sales in the U.S. whether this was a RAID-0, but they didn't know. But the thing I really didn't like is that they're using the Intel 5100 WiFi card (instead of the slightly more expensive and much better 5300 card), and people have not been happy with the 5100. The review also fails to mention whether you're getting 32-bit or 64-bit Vista. The problem with 32-bit Vista is that it limits you to using 3GB of RAM. And Vista Business/Ultimate may give you better networking capability than Vista Home Premium. Sony does, however, offer a warranty that covers you in case of liquid spills or if you drop the laptop.

    On that machine, the things that reduce battery life are mainly the small standard battery, the big bright display, the lack of an integrated graphics processor which would allow you to use "switchable graphics" (to let you switch to a lower-power graphics processor), and the dual hard drives. Sony offers an "extended" battery for more money.

    If you're considering a laptop in that class, you should also look at:

    which focuses mainly on the ThinkPad W700, but explains in more detail the various issues to consider when purchasing that type of machine. It also talks a fair amount about the new MacBook Pros, the HP Elitebook 8730w with it's new DreamColor display, and the Dell Precision M6400. Plus it has links to a customer satisfaction survey that compares Apple, Sony, and the other major notebook brands.
  7. okrelayer macrumors 6502a

    May 25, 2008
    I saw that Sony at the Sony style store a few weeks back. It has a wonderful screen, but its clunky as hell! An iMac would be more portable than that! haha

    I got the new MBP 15inch and I love it. Its a perfect match between portability,power, and screen size. Video is very crisp on it to!

    Its personal preferance of course. Having OSX, and the sleek Apple design is a big deal to me. What do you plan on doing with your notebook anyways?
  8. freewareking101 macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2008
    Desktop Replacement

    Go for the Highest specs for the replacement of your desktop, with this idea your model will stay longer in the marker. I'm pointing to the replacement of peripherals in case you need to replace it.


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