High end MacBook or midrange MBP...What's more "worth it?"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by SteveRichardson, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. SteveRichardson macrumors regular


    Jun 26, 2006
    Okay I know a lot of people hate questions like this, but if you're one of them just move on...

    I am stuck between buying a black macbook with 2gigs of RAM and a 120GB and a 15.4' 2.16 ghz MBP with one 1gb RAM chip (to keep upgrade option open) and the 100GB hard drive (at 5400).

    Is there seriously any point in spending the extra money for the pro? I've heard it a million times that the macbook and macbook pro are too close together in specs right now(and I stress "right now") that it makes it almost worthless to buy an MBP outside of serious professional use.

    I would utilize applications such as photoshop/aperture, garageband (or prologic when the time comes), and iMovie/FC...

    I am very torn b/w which model to purchase and with the idea that if I do buy the MBP, an important model update will come right around the corner.

    Any ideas?:confused:
  2. regre7 macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    Ultimately only you can answer that question, as you know yourself and your needs best. We can only guide you.

    Look at the differences:


    Also, what peripherals do you use? Does the MacBook have the ports they need, or are they only on the MacBook Pro?

    As for wondering if there's a better machine about to come out.... there's always a better machine around the corner.

    Good luck with whichever machine you choose!
  3. SteveRichardson thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 26, 2006
    I guess the thing I'm having trouble with is the idea that I will be able to have options later on with the machine I choose now.

    I'm heading off to a music conservatory (Chicago College of Performing Arts) this fall to study classical voice performance and I want to have the option to use garageband/prologic to record/create my own music if I so please.

    One of my favorite hobbies is photography. I have a Canon Digital Rebel and love photoshop. I would like to be able to use applications like photoshop and aperture.

    Right now I have an iBook G4 800Mhz and sometimes it's very difficult to run programs like this. prologic and aperture won't run on my current system, and even garage band skips and is hard to work with. I want the assurance that I can run applications smoothly and looking at the past differences b/w the ibook and powerbook, I am skeptical to the power of the macbook in comparison to the macbook pro.
  4. regre7 macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    Okay, Photoshop is currently running under Rosetta (until CS3!), but I'm not sure whether the extra CPU power helps more than the extra RAM. I'm sure CanadaRAM knows. If the price is an issue, I believe G.SKILL has some pretty cheap 1GB sticks for about $70 on NewEgg. They're recieved nothing but good reviews (well, last time I checked).

    The extra "umphh" won't hurt, nor will the larger screen.

    One of the other major divides between MB and MBP is that the Pro has a dedicated graphics card. I'm not sure if this will benefit your pusuits, though. I think I'm at the limit of my amateuristic expertise. I don't even OWN a Mac yet:)eek: ), so make sure you take that into consideration.
  5. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    MacBook - buy with good specs, but you're still stuck with a smaller screen and lower quality GPU.

    MacBook Pro - buy with mediocre (for a MBP) specs and you get a nice BIG screen (very hi res!) and a great GPU, along with the alu design (which is great, very bump resistant as I have discovered). You can always upgrade the hard disk or RAM later....

    MBP hands down...
  6. SteveRichardson thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 26, 2006

    Thank you so much for your help.

    I really appreciate it.

  7. SteveRichardson thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 26, 2006
    Even with whine/moo/wireless internet range/heat complaints?

    or are those still much of an issue?

    Thanks for your input! I can feel myself leaning towards the MBP already, just didn't know what others would think...
  8. JackSYi macrumors 6502a

    Feb 20, 2005
    Ultimately, the MacBooks are the best Apple notebooks you can get for your money. Unless you have a compelling reason for the extra screen real estate and/or graphics card, get a MacBook. (Plus their hard drives are upgradable).
  9. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    You answered your own question. If you're using aperture and final cut then the pro is the machine for you. It's true that for many people, there will be very little noticable performance difference between the two of them, but given what you plan to do with it, you definitely want the dedicated graphics.

    As for coming updates... the earliest we could see new MBPs is 2 months. I bet we will see updates before october because other PC makers will have Merom in laptops, so apple can't still be selling yonah based pro machines.

    So if you can wait between 2 and 4 months, you should get a nice upgrade - merom, probably better graphics, some bugs worked out, maybe a faster superdrive. But if you need it now, the current MBPs are really great.

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