Dilemma On Purchasing MacBook or MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nagaki, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. nagaki macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2008

    I noticed that there was a thread earlier similar to what I was asking, but I have a few more specifics that I'm hoping I could get more answers towards - I'd really appreciate your help, thanks!

    I have a MacBook Pro Core Duo 2.0 GHZ, but it's too heavy, and it's incompetent for my heavy design usage now, so i'm planning to sell it and get either a new HIGH END MacBook or BASE LINE MacBook Pro.

    Now, the only difference between the two models I've chosen is a dedicated graphics card (on the Pro) and the screen size (13.3" vs 15.4"). I work in Broadway of Vancouver so busing around with a MacBook Pro hasn't been the best of times. It's roughly a 45 minute bus time one-way from where I live. During rush hour, it's impossible to get a seat on the bus, which means that I'd have to stand for nearly an hour with the MacBook Pro, the A/C Adaptor and my other personal items lugging around my shoulder. It's painful.

    Aside from my office work, I also do freelance work and am continuing studies. So you know, portability is definitely what i'm aiming for.

    But as I focus on print design now, 300 pixels per inch requires quite a heavy CPU and GPU load. (I design up to 40" and higher.) I plan on brining a sample design file to an Apple Store and ask to test out the file.

    The other thing is that it's my only computer, so even at home i'd have to stare at a small 13" screen if I were to get a MacBook. I'm not in the market to buy an iMac or an external monitor at the moment. I'm constantly in and out of the house, and I quite frankly just don't have the time to plug everything in and unplug everything all the time.

    For some companies that I work for, image does matter so sometimes having a "pro" machine / equipment satisfies them and reassures that i have the necessary equipment to take on certain projects. But sometimes it is definitely more than just the image, and when I get intensive projects.

    The MacBook is smaller and lighter by 1lb from the MacBook Pro. In terms of the difference, what is the portability of the two models like?

    Possible Options:

    1) Buy MacBook + Keep Existing MacBook Pro, clear out HDD and personal data, HOPING that it will perform more powerful and save that for more intensive projects if this plan works. (But what am I going to do with two laptops, seriously?!) *Requires 'investment' of $2000 extra cash.

    2) Sell MacBook Pro + Buy MacBook & Invest in maybe multiple A/C Adaptors for work / home to lessen the amount I need to carry. What is your opinion? *Requires 'investment' of $3-500 extra cash.

    3) Sell MacBook Pro + Buy MacBook Pro *Requires investment of $800 extra cash.

    Also just wondering, is it maybe "smarter" to just upgrade a MacBook once a year or once every two models instead of going for the long run?

    I should mention that I do professional Graphic Design, thanks!

  2. mmulin macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2006
    Honestly, your options do not pose any technical merit to help you decide. Whatever option works most comfortable to you, only you know. Anyway, maybe good to give you some comments from my P.O.V.

    MB is definitely more portable. I still have the previous MB and used to have MBP as well. The difference in both made the MB my personal choice for mobility. Keep in mind that the new MB is even substantially lighter and the new MBP is slightly heavier in comparison to their respective previous models.

    As you actually may consider option 1, the "+$2000 investement", I am wondering why not actually thinking about an external display then? You can sell your old MBP, buy a nice display and still have a lower investment rate. Your needs as a professional graphic designer seems to warrant this a sensible choice. Other, considering that you keep your old MBP and have it run "clean", maybe invest in an external HDD, clone or backup your current installation, freshly reinstall it, and test if it works for you. Restore it to get it back into the previous condition.

    Option 2 & 3 seem similar. You may even reuse your old A/C adapter for the new MB. My older MB works fine with a MBP adapter and as a bonus even recharges it faster. Check the requirements of the new MB.

    Otherwise, I agree with you, have a test run of the new MB if it actually can handle your performance needs. The new GPU might be a large stride ahead but it is still not a discrete GPU as the previous and the new MBPs have. You may even loose out. The CPU performance itself did not increase much compared to the previous models. If you buy make sure to max out RAM. This may give you probably the best performance jump.

    Hope that helps somewhat.

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