Help deciding btw. macbooks

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by andrewb, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. andrewb macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2008

    So I am about to go to college for music and I was told that I would need a Mac so that I could run Finale which we would use in the music program. I had never considered a Mac before as I knew nothing about them. I am not overwhelmingly computer oriented so all the talk of RAM and specs goes over my head unless stated like it should be to talk to a 4 year old. But I am wondering: Which Mac should I choose, MB or MBP. I do some online gaming (WoW and Ultima Online) and I will also need it for general college things and music editing. SO assuming that I will upgrade the RAM myself....what should I get in my first Mac that would be an intelligent choice for me and my college experience?


    First time Mac-er
  2. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    According to the system requirements, a Macbook should be fine. You can upgrade ram and drivespace from Newegg.
  3. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    I looked at the system requirements and it looks like that MacBook or any dual core laptop would be more then enough. I got my RAM from NewEgg.
  4. faintember macrumors 65816


    Jun 6, 2005
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    As a past student of music, my 1st gen Macbook took care of Finale, Cubase, Logic, Max/MSP, Peak, etc.

    I would recommend at least 2GB of RAM for WoW as well as for audio apps. An external monitor is quite nice if you work on scores often (I use a old 19" for editing) and a external HD for audio work/system backups.

    Good luck with the music.

    P.S. Finale runs under Windows last time I checked.
  5. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816


    Jan 25, 2005
    I'd say if you can afford it - go for the pro. Here are my reasons:
    • Extra CPU power - but it doesn't make much of a difference.
    • Dedicated graphics card - this WILL make a difference to your gaming experience.
    • Higher resolution screen - you can fit more onto your screen at once. Great for audio programs that are set up for dual screens.
    • Firewire 800 port - you may not need it now, but for external hard-disks FW800 is incredibly fast.
    • Aluminum casing - eliminates the problems with the Macbook casing. White scratches, black shows up smudges

    Ok so there are the reasons for choosing a MBP. However there are some disadvantages, which make the Macbook a decent option:
    • MacBook is much cheaper
    • MacBook is smaller which makes it more portable
    • You can easily replace the hard drive in a MacBook
    • The MacBook still has enough CPU grunt to be able to do what you need

    Whichever you choose, just remember that you can get substantial education discount when ordering from Apple. So here's something to bear in mind - CPU difference is minimal. For example you wont really notice going from 2.2 to 2.4GHz. But you will notice going from 1GB to 2GB or even 4GB of RAM. This allows you to have more applications open at once, and do things like applying effects to audio quicker. One last thing, if you are planning on recording audio, a 7200RPM hard drive is worth a purchase. This allows you to run more simultaneous audio tracks, which may prove useful for scoring. By that I mean physically recorded instruments, not software or MIDI instruments.

    Oh and the following link may prove useful -
  6. ethernet76 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2003
    MBP for the sole reason WoW on a macbook is nearly unplayable.
  7. jjasonwrght macrumors member


    Jan 12, 2008
    It is not "nearly unplayable" like you say. There have been so many mixed reports like this, and its not true. I played WoW for a good 2 hours on my friends MacBook, and it had medium settings and a great framerate. Maybe not for the super freaks who play it and think they need their frame rate to be in the 70's. It IS playable, and runs like it would on my winblows desktop.
  8. Mac Donald Duck macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2008
    MB is good to play but with MBP you have a better gaming experience it depends how much you want to pay for a notebook (for your main pc i suggest you a MBP its powerful hardware makes it more Polyvalent than a MB.
  9. hockeysc23 macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2007
    But the TS said he wanted a laptop for school and his major not gaming. It seems that in a majority of threads when someone asks for help with a MB vs. MBP everyone throws in gaming.
  10. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816


    Jan 25, 2005
    True. But I bought a MacBook thinking that I'd be happy with it. I thought well I don't game anymore so it'll be fine. 7 months later and I sold it to buy a MBP, which I should have got in the first place. You may as well get the best you can afford now and then keep it rather than having to ditch it later and lose out financially.

    Obviously in this case, gaming is not the main criteria. But I outlined a few points where the MBP may be better, particularly with regard to the screen real-estate.
  11. CaptainCaveMann macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2004
    If you can afford the pro why not get it? If you can't you will be happy with the macbook I suppose. :)
  12. TheYankees1903 macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2008
    The Pro Trumps The Macbook

    If you can afford it go for the Pro it has a lot more under the hood so to speak. If not go for a Macbook. Best of luck.

    TheYankees1903 :apple:
  13. Domofloge macrumors regular


    Jan 5, 2008
    New Jersey
    I'd say, go with a MB and save yourself some money. I mean the specs for Finale will definitely run well on a MB. MBP are a lot more money and with that comes a better computer, but for what you need, a MB is just perfectly fine! :apple:
  14. jhande macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2006
    John Gruber has an excellent link, and exercise attached, that illustrates why this particular issue is so excruciating for Apple buyers.

    WRT Apple's products, I fit the profile to a 'T'.
  15. andrewb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2008
    Okay just for some clarification:

    1. I will need this comp for my work mainly


    2. If i cannot play WoW on my comp I will be a little disappointed...but i will recover

    3. My family is not rolling in dough and I am not sure if we (my mom) can afford the all depends on what scholarships i get....:)
  16. tveric macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2003
    Will this be your only computer? If so, I don't see how you could go with a 13" macBook with what you've described.
  17. faintember macrumors 65816


    Jun 6, 2005
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    1. It can handle most anything audio related you want to throw at it. Mine ran a interactive audio/video installation for a week with no issues, crashes or restarts. Finale is, in no way, CPU or GPU intensive.

    2. WoW, with all the settings on low is very playable. I averaged 15-18 fps and still held 13-15 fps in 25man raids. This was with a ton of mods and Vent, iTunes and Safari running as well. Not sure about Ultima Online as I never played it.

    3. If money is an issue, the MB will meet your needs for the least amount of money. Since you mention Finale, if you plan on doing composition seriously, I would try to add some sort of external monitor, as score editing large ensemble pieces/large format scores can be tiring, but doable, on the 13" screen.

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