Help with choice of MacBook/MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by didb, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. didb macrumors member

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    Apr 26, 2009
    #1
    Hey, I'm a first time apple buyer. So, some advice would be really nice.

    What do I want to do with it? Well, it would be good if I could run Adobe Dreamweaver and Photoshop at the same time without everything freezing up, plus I want to use Microsoft Office probably, talking about Word, Excel, maybe Powerpoint. That's about it. I already talked to an Apple Genius. They told me I 'definitely' need a MacBook Pro for the Adobe Suite because of the dedicated graphics or whatever (I had no idea what she was talking about...). If anyone could explain that to me.

    So I thought, let's go with a refurbished MacBook Pro then. Mmh.... sounds easier than it is, because suddenly there are so many variants. What difference does a 2.4ghz to 2.53ghz or even 2.8ghz processor make? do i want to give the money for that difference? And all the different types of RAM and sizes. What do I really want to invest in to get a long lasting product that fits my needs? Surely, I would rather pay a little more than having too less... u never know what u r up to in one year... but if there is not that big of a difference: It IS kinda pricy.

    I hope there are some people out there that can shed some light on my matters. Thank you for your help. I really really appreciate it! ;)
     
  2. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #2
    The 2.4 and 2.53 have an unofficial limit of 6 gigs of ram. The slightly newer 2.66 and 2.9 models officially support 8 gigs. The 2.4 has a video card of 256 megs of video ram, the others have the same card with 512 megs. The 2.4 has half the L3 cache of the higher end models, and of course, a slightly slower processor. Otherwise, they're pretty much the same.
     
  3. Brien macrumors 68020

    Brien

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    Aug 11, 2008
    #3
    For what you need, a MacBook would be fine.

    A refurb'd Unibody is probably a better long term investment. a 2.4ghz would be just fine. It's smarter to save the $ and get more RAM anyway.
     
  4. didb thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 26, 2009
    #4
    Honestly? Sounds pretty cool ;) ... BUT... What difference does it actually make? Is the slightly (or enormous, no clue) difference in hardware in proportion with the by all means quite higher price? Might I just choose the golden middle? What would it be that you recommend to somebody like me? What would you do if u'd be in my situation?
     
  5. didb thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 26, 2009
    #5
    Why then does every sales assistant from apple tell me I need that 'dedicated graphics'?? They say Adobe would NOT even work on a normal MacBook. The requirements ARE MacBook Pro. They kind of should have a reason if they tell that to people, right?! Do you know if there is a possibility to compare those laptops side by side in a store with those programs running on it? I mean, I just can't imagine it? Must sound stupid to you people that work with it every day :)
     
  6. Brien macrumors 68020

    Brien

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    Aug 11, 2008
    #6
    I don't think 6 vs 8GB of RAM is much of an issue. 8GB of RAM for these machines is still several hundreds of dollars.
     
  7. Brien macrumors 68020

    Brien

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    Aug 11, 2008
    #7
    Sorry for the double-reply, but I didn't see this until after I refreshed.

    People at the Apple Store (and some people on here) will try to convince you that nothing less than a 2.93GHz 17" MacBook Pro with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD will suffice.

    Honestly, I used to run all the CS3 apps on a 2.0 Core Duo MacBook. Right now I'm running CS4 on a 2.8ghz MacBook Pro, and while it is snappier™, unless you're doing intensive 3D work or working on large files (both of which I do) a MacBook will do just fine.

    That being said, as per my previous suggestion, a MacBook Pro allows for a little more wiggle room in case you do end up using it beyond what you had expected. Then you avoid having to upgrade, like I ended up having to do.

    Either way - get AppleCare.
     
  8. didb thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 26, 2009
    #8
    Ok... I'm sure I'll be more than allright with 6gigs of ram. My recent windows one had 1gb.

    And, btw, I'm sure you people have better things to do then giving advice to difficult people like me :) ... but ... therefor i'm even more thankful for those time u spend to help. I have to say it is some kind of an investment that i don't want to regret in a year, if you know what I mean.
     
  9. didb thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 26, 2009
    #9


    Ok ... that makes progress :) ... so. i do want to go with a "low-end" pro. any suggestion you could make about the specifications?
     
  10. didb thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 26, 2009
    #10
    well... actually ... i could also imagine to go with the high-end macbook ... if i just would know what the difference in the graphic-card is. it also says, the display(pro) is much more convenient. 4gb of ram (at least) is a point though, right?
     
  11. SPEEDwithJJ macrumors 65816

    SPEEDwithJJ

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #11
    I agree. A unibody MacBook can run Adobe Dreamweaver and Photoshop.
     
  12. didb thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 26, 2009
    #12
    At the same time though? That's what I had forgotten about.
     
  13. SPEEDwithJJ macrumors 65816

    SPEEDwithJJ

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #13
    I've not run both at the same time on my 2.0GHz Alu MacBook but I would think that both should be able to run at the same time. I suppose someone else will be in a better position to answer your question.
     
  14. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #14
    from the adobe dreamweaver system requirements page:

    Mac OS
    PowerPC® G5 or multicore Intel® processor
    Mac OS X v10.4.11–10.5.4
    512MB of RAM
    1.8GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on a volume that uses a case-sensitive file system or on flash-based storage devices)
    1,280x800 display with 16-bit video card
    DVD-ROM drive
    Broadband Internet connection required for online services*
     
  15. Brien macrumors 68020

    Brien

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    Aug 11, 2008
    #15
    Well, the high-end MacBook is $1,599. The Low-end MacBook Pro is $1,999. Or you could get a refurb'd mid-range MBP (2.5ghz) for the same price.

    For $400, you get a bigger screen (and slightly more battery life), a bigger harddrive, and the dedicated graphics card, which will run everything a bit faster, and also let you play games or do 3D work (if you wanted).

    If you don't think you'll need the better graphics card, a MacBook is probably a better choice. You have to ask yourself if you think you'll be

    - working with lots of Photoshop documents at once
    - playing lots of games
    - doing 3D work (Cinema4D, 3dsMax, Maya, etc)
    - need lots of screen space

    Those are the big ones. If any of those is a 'yes' then get the MacBook Pro.
     
  16. didb thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 26, 2009
    #16
    At an acceptable fluid speed you mean?!
     
  17. didb thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 26, 2009
    #17
    Thanks! Makes a YES for the pro. Now i just need to know which of those :). 2.5 as u said plus 4gb ram as i figured... Good decision? Anything else?!
     
  18. Brien macrumors 68020

    Brien

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    Aug 11, 2008
    #18
    Yeah. Dreamweaver is a RAM hog though.

    Sounds like a good choice to me. L3 is the same on the 2.5/2.6/2.8/2.9ghz machines.
     
  19. aleni macrumors 68020

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    Jun 2, 2006
    #19
    compare the screen in the apple store. the macbook is inferior compared to the pro, the screen is thing that you everyday see, so it's better to be good.
     
  20. Sponsi macrumors member

    Sponsi

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    #20
    Not sure if this kind of post is allowed, but @ OP: I'm actually selling my MBP Aluminum 2.4GHz, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 250GB with Applecare. Post back if you're interested, or just PM me.

    I've ran multiple applications at a time including - Adobe Fireworks, Dreamweaver, Skype, and iTunes without any issues.
     
  21. SPEEDwithJJ macrumors 65816

    SPEEDwithJJ

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #21
    I thought you said that that MBP is not for sale a few days ago... :confused:
     
  22. Sponsi macrumors member

    Sponsi

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    #22
    Hey fellow NBRer ;). My sister was suppose to keep it for herself but changed her mind. I have a iMac on order, and I don't need two computers.
     
  23. FieryFurnace macrumors 6502

    FieryFurnace

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    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    #23
    I'm running CS4 on my MB daily. :)
    No problems with Dw, Ps, Ai and Firefox running at the same time.

    Just get a nice big screen too, 13" and 15" aren't that big,...
    I am using a 22" and that seems to be the perfect size (for me at least).
     
  24. Loalq macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    #24
    I just bought a 2.66 Ghz MBP unibody but to be fairly honest I believe that in terms of processing capacity it is probably too much for my needs (I will be only using internet, iphoto, watching movies...). I decided for it mostly because of the 17" screen and the battery, but most important of all, because I wouldn't regret the price anyhow (really not showing off, sorry if it may sound like).

    I also had in mind that I want this MBP to substitute my wife's 2007 2.4 Ghz MB in one year, which is a great machine (but again, the screen is too small for me and battery life is not good).

    I also have a one year old iMac 3.06 Ghz which for me is the perfect machine, definitively the best screen of them all and a reliable speed. The drawback is that I have to go abroad for one year and can not take this heavy machine with me, hence the newly acquired MBP.
     

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