Going to buy a MacBook Pro...advice needed!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Benenstein, May 26, 2012.

  1. Benenstein macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2011
    I have always owned a PC. My PC's are always having issues and everybody I know has a Mac and loves it. I was looking into getting a MacBook pro and I im a bit confused. Since I have always had windows, all of my programs are only windows compatible. I am going to purchase a program that will let me run OS X and Windows 7 on my Mac...so I figure that my Mac may need to be a bit "beefed" up to run both of them side by side.

    I was looking into getting the MacBook Pro 13" 2.8 GHZ dual core i7 and beefing it up to 8 GB of RAM.

    But, I was also looking at the 15" 2.2 GHz quad-core core i7.

    Does the dual core vs. the quad core make a noticeable difference in speed? I don't want to spend a lot more money on something that wouldn't be worth it.

    Also, what are a couple programs that you would recommend for Mac (such as virus protection, editing, word documents, etc) I'm completely clueless!!

  2. 007bond macrumors 6502a


    Dec 12, 2008
    DFW, Texas
    The Quad Core would be essential when using virtualization software. I suggest you go with that.

    As for the virus protection, I really don't think it's needed on Mac. But that's just my opinion. For editing word documents, I would suggest Microsoft Office for Mac. iWork is good, but Office will have better compatibility with your older documents.
  3. Benenstein thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2011
    Thank you. I just prefer to have a virus software...I know Macs are safer when it comes to security, but its better to be safe than sorry!
  4. Velin macrumors 65816


    Jul 23, 2008
    Hearst Castle
    If you can wait for the new line of MacBook Pros, wait. Retina display alone will be worth it, as will USB 3.0 and other great features. I would seriously consider waiting.
  5. Ay_Zimmy macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2010
    Long Island, NY
    I agree, its an awkward moment for Apple where I am just waiting upon the new releases of all their products. I won't be buying a single Apple product until the new line of each come out. However, the MacBook now is still a phenomenal laptop, but assuming you may be a student or during the summer time it isn't as a priority to have the MacBook right now, it is probably worth the wait.
  6. Benenstein thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2011
    Yeah... i'm anxiously awaiting the new refresh! Its going to be difficult to wait..but it will be worth it!
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You can certainly run antivirus on your Mac if you prefer, but you should be aware that it won't provide any protection that can't be achieved by simply practicing safe computing.

    Macs are not immune to malware, but no true viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any since it was released over 10 years ago. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which can be easily avoided by practicing safe computing (see below). Also, Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Lion have anti-malware protection built in, further reducing the need for 3rd party antivirus apps.
    1. Make sure your built-in Mac firewall is enabled in System Preferences > Security > Firewall

    2. Uncheck "Open "safe" files after downloading" in Safari > Preferences > General

    3. Disable Java in your browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox). This will protect you from malware that exploits Java in your browser, including the recent Flashback trojan. Leave Java disabled until you visit a trusted site that requires it, then re-enable only for the duration of your visit to that site. (This is not to be confused with JavaScript, which you should leave enabled.)

    4. Change your DNS servers to OpenDNS servers by reading this.

    5. Be careful to only install software from trusted, reputable sites. Never install pirated software. If you're not sure about an app, ask in this forum before installing.

    6. Never let someone else have access to install anything on your Mac.

    7. Don't open files that you receive from unknown or untrusted sources.

    8. For added security, make sure all network, email, financial and other important passwords are long and complex, including upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.

    9. Always keep your Mac and application software updated. Use Software Update for your Mac software. For other software, it's safer to get updates from the developer's site or from the menu item "Check for updates", rather than installing from any notification window that pops up while you're surfing the web.
    That's all you need to do to keep your Mac completely free of any Mac OS X malware that has ever been released into the wild. You don't need any 3rd party software to keep your Mac secure.

    If you still want to run antivirus for some reason, ClamXav (which is free) is one of the best choices, since it isn't a resource hog, detects both Mac and Windows malware and doesn't run with elevated privileges. You can run scans when you choose, rather than leaving it running all the time, slowing your system. ClamXav has a Sentry feature which, if enabled, will use significant system resources to constantly scan. Disable the Sentry feature. You don't need it. Also, when you first install ClamXav, as with many antivirus apps, it may perform an initial full system scan, which will consume resources. Once the initial scan is complete, periodic on-demand scans will have much lower demands on resources.
  8. davidg4781 macrumors 68020

    Oct 28, 2006
    Alice, TX
    Is a quad-core really necessary? I know we have been using Fusion and Parallels for years. I never have, but was the performance that bad on a Core 2 Duo? You could also run Windows natively using Boot Camp.

    I would think it really depends on what programs you're using. If you're really planning on making the switch to OS X, are these programs available on the Mac? Sometimes you can get them cheaper, but like for Age of Empires III it's about $40 more on OS X.

    Depending on what you're using it for and how much money you want to spend, Office 2008 will give you loads of compatibility but, at least compared to Office 2004, I love iWork. I just use it for personal stuff or typing out things I'll either print or send as pdfs, so compatibility isn't an issue for me.

    The first couple of weeks or so are going to be weird, but after that you'll never want to go back.
  9. mehanika, May 31, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  10. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    an additional security item to those above, make 2 users, one admin, and one normal user, and do your surfing/internet stuff as normal user

    the additional cores are useful mostly for rendering video, handbrake ripping, etc. I'm a video/filmmaker so quadcore is my min but you have to be realistic about what you're gonna do as a user

    Also, virtualization and video games might use those cores.
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    There is currently zero risk of getting a virus, since none exist in the wild for Mac OS X. Trojans, on the other hand, are easily avoidable by prudent user action.
    First, antivirus apps will provide zero protection against hacking. Second, the chances of an average user being hacked are ridiculously remote. There is nothing on an average user's Mac that is of interest to most hackers. Finally, there is just as much risk of being hacked on Windows as on Mac OS X. In both cases, the vast majority of users will never be hacked.
    And yet there are thousands of instances of malware on Windows and only a handful on Mac OS X. The market share myth is hogwash.
    There is little to no security benefit in running a standard account vs an admin account.
  12. caligomez macrumors regular


    Feb 8, 2011
    San Juan, PR
    I have used virtualization software (Parallels) on both a 2010 MBP dual core i7 2.66 GHz and a 2011 MBP quad core i7 2.0 GHz.. I can tell you that I did not notice much of a difference between the two, as long as they both had 8GB of RAM. This last part is essential for a smooth experience (while running Lion). In both cases I went from 4GB to 8GB and it was a world of difference. But with both systems at 8GB of RAM, the difference is not very noticeable when running Windows 7 with Office for Windows, some Web Apps, and other windows specific tasks.

    However, if the Windows 7 apps you will be using are CPU intensive (like creative suites or editing software), then by all means go for the quad core.

    Besides, there may be an option for a 13" quad core MBP in the next refresh, so as long as you have the 8GB of RAM (don't buy it from Apple, BTW) it'll just be a matter of price, size preference, or screen resolution to base your decision. Although quad core on the next 13" MBP is just me speculating of course, and not guaranteed..

    Enjoy your new Mac experience! It'll be more joyful than what you're anticipating! ;)
  13. jmazzamj macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2009
    As a experienced user in standard virtualization, mainly word processing, translation software (CAT tools) database, coding and the likes, I can tell you that quad core processors are not really needed for standard virtualization and if you really need those 2 cores, then you'd be better running Windows natively (Boot Camp).

    What would give you REAL benefit while using a virtualization sw are RAM and SSD, this being your priority (but they really make A LOT of a difference anyway).

    I say so after using the aforementioned sws on a 13" 2010 MBP, an 11/13" late 2010 (both had 2 GB RAM), an 11" 2011 1.6 Air (4 GB RAM) and a 15" late 2011 2.4 MBP (8 GB RAM) and the fastest to me was the 2011 Air thanks to the SSD (2010 editions were come second and were pretty fast too).

    The real question is, are a videogame player? If yes go with the 15", otherwise if you can live with a 13" display, go that route, especially if you can hold on 10 days and see what Apple has designed for us...

    Just think about this: PC manufacturers are catching up with MacBook Pros thin design (I'm not referring to aesthetics) just now and those are 3 years and a half old, the Air design last even longer (the original model was released early 2008). Just think about it...3 years ahead of competition...we can easily end up with a Ultrabook with a 35 W processor inside...

    P.S: No, I'm no fanboy, I like well designed products and I don't share the "Apple way" completely, my iPhones are JB.

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