First time Mac Buyer

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Dreyesbo, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. Dreyesbo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    Location:
    Mexico
    #1
    Hey guys,

    Just wanted to ask for advice in buying a Macbook Pro. I've had an iPhone for the past year and a half (first a 3G, then recently the 4), and I love it. And the recent iLife/Lion announcement pushed me over and convinced me to buy a Mac. Mainly, because of how it syncs with the iPhone, which has become my way to organize stuff in my life (Calendar, contacts). Plus, the chance to develop for the iPhone I've wanted to try.

    I'm leaning for the Macbook Pro, as it is the high-range laptop, to substitute my current HP, 4GB RAM, AMD Turion X2, Windows 7 PC. I don't hate Windows, but I feel that it's performance is hindered by how the PC is assembled. I can't run games or edit in After Effects with it getting bogged down. Plus, the battery dies completely every 10-12 months.

    I'll probably wait for the refresh that'll probably come early 2011 (and perhaps until Lion is released), but I want to get an idea of what to look for.

    Main things I'll want to use
    • Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop
    • Light gaming (Starcraft II would be my most high-end game)
    • Run a Windows virtual machine (I've to use some Windows-only programs in my school)

    So, in short, I'm looking for a good laptop that I can use for years without it becoming completely obsolete (I know that it's hard with Apple, but we can do nothing about it), and I wonder which Macbook Pro is the right one.

    (Sorry for the long post! I figured the more information, the better :) )
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Hard to say because we don't know the specs of future MBPs. Possibly the base 15" will be the sweet spot for you as it will likely feature a discrete GPU.

    Revive this thread when you're close to buying something, then we can help more
     
  3. Dreyesbo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    Location:
    Mexico
  4. laurim macrumors 68000

    laurim

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    #4
    Personally, I would say the 17" if you are deep into video editing. You'll enjoy the extra screen real estate for tools and the express slot, that's only on the 17" currently, would be great to add an eSATA card so you can use high speed external SATA hard drives to store footage. Choose the minimum Apple ram when you order and go to Crucial to buy enough ram to max it out. For video editing, you'll want to upgrade the hard drive to the 7200 rpm one. I always buy Apple Care and it has always paid off. Macs rarely break but when they do, the repair cost savings usually pays for the Apple Care. In the three years of Care I usually have that one incident that makes me glad I have it.

    I use VMWare Fusion for Windows apps but you could also just use the free Bootcamp to boot the machine into true windows mode. The reason I like Fusion is you don't have to create a dedicated pc-only partition on the hard drive and you can work in mac and pc at the same time and drag files back and forth. But, I haven't tried it for gaming so you may want to use Bootcamp for gaming anyway for peak performance. Fusion will work with a Bootcamp partition, too, so you could use both depending on what you are doing. Fusion is on sale right now for $49-after a $30 rebate
     
  5. pukifloyd macrumors 6502a

    pukifloyd

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Scottsdale
    #5
    +1. 17inch is an awesome machine. It's not that big or heavy. And don't ever forget to buy AppleCare.
     
  6. IL2AZ macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #6
    I'm in a similar situation, I would like the MBPro for the portability, but the iMac display is just too awesome, especially for viewing/editing photos. Also there is quite a price difference between the iMac and MBPro, so... Maybe the iMac this time around, and an MBPro a year or two down the line. For me, unfortunately its the price and display right now.
     
  7. MyDesktopBroke macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    #7
    No MBP will run Starcraft 2 as good as on Windows - just a heads up. The OpenGL support for OS X is getting better, but it still lags behind. And Apple's drivers aren't the best in the world, either. And the video cards in MBPs aren't meant for extensive gaming. I have the 330 in a 2.66 i7, and it runs SC2 fine at mid to high settings. It looks great to me, but some people will always complain - they want ultra and nothing else will do.
     
  8. chris200x9 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    #8
    >implying macs are not assembled in china like every other computer
     
  9. Dreyesbo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    Location:
    Mexico
    #9
    Great advice, thanks! I've heard of VMWare Fusion, so I might as well use that; I'm not to comfortable with creating partitions. Didn't even knew about Apple Care, I'll definitely buy it then.

    I was leaning towards the 15' one, but a larger screen size wouldn't hurt. I think I'll let my wallet decide that one down the road :p

    Mid-to-High range is fine with me. Just knowing it runs fine helps :) I'm banking on the video cards being best for HD video editing, and from what I've heard, they'll be enough for the use I'll give it.

    Perhaps I'm wrong, but I have a feeling that the way Apple builds its hardware to work with its software, fully integrated, it's better than the variety of setups the PC have.

    Thanks for the advice guys!
     
  10. Epsilon88 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    #10
    You could go with the high res 15" instead of the 17 for more portability.
     
  11. laurim macrumors 68000

    laurim

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    #11
    I'm assuming you are a college student when you say "at school". Definitely check out every opportunity to use your student status to get lower prices on everything. Apple is a big supporter of students so they provide colleges with special deals and usually have a back to school deal where you get a free iPod with a computer purchase. They have a special store for students:

    http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/findyourschool?mco=OTY2ODQzMg

    They may even offer special financing to spread out the payments so you can more easily get the mac you want.
     
  12. Dreyesbo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    Location:
    Mexico
    #12
    Reviving this thread, as the new Pros are back :) Since creating this thread, I've been following the developments, and I think I'll go for the High-End 15' (with 8GB RAM and antiglare screen). Mainly because I feel the 15' is the perfect size for carrying around without losing horsepower, and I want to future-proof it the most I can. Plus, the extra RAM will help when running VMWare or Parallels.

    Just wanted to know what you guys think (keeping in mind my first post), before I take the plunge and buy it.
     
  13. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #13
    Low-end 15" might be sufficient but if you have the $, go for the high-end. I would get the RAM from aftermarket as it's cheaper.
     
  14. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000

    eternlgladiator

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    #14
    +1. Don't pay apple for the ram upgrade. You can get the same upgrade for less than 100 bucks and perform it yourself in 5 minutes.
     
  15. Dreyesbo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    Location:
    Mexico
    #15
    Okay, thanks guys :) I'll get the high-end 15, and I'll buy the RAM later elsewhere. Can't wait :p
     

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