High end Macbook Vs. low end Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by j-a-x, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. j-a-x macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

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    #1
    From what I can tell, the only difference in the high end 2.2 Ghz Macbook and the low end (2.2 Ghz) Macbook pro is the graphics card and the base ram/HD. Is that correct??

    Also, am I correct that the high end (2.2Ghz) white Macbook and the Black Macbook are identical except for the base HD in the black one (which can be upgraded in the white one). I calculated the price and it seems like the white one is $130 cheaper than the black once you upgrade the hard drive to 160 GB. Is it true that you pay extra for the color with the back one?
     
  2. Matek macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    MB vs MSB - you are absolutely right if you only take major specs into consideration, but the MBP has other small improvements and features that make it more expensive. To name a few: firewire 800, dual link DVI (allows for external displays with resolutions above 1920x1200), illuminated keyboard, express card slot and a thinner case. People who buy the macbook pro often appreciate these details, so I don't think it's fair to compare it with a MB. It's like saying some cheap noname laptop (e.g. chilligreen) with the same CPU/ram/disk as a brand name IBM laptop that costs a couple hundred dollars more is just as good.

    You got the white vs. black thing correctly though. The only difference is the disk drive, so you basically pay for the color. Apple is trying to make it a status symbol, because owning one says "Look, I have enough money to afford a black one". It used to be the same with iPod Nanos - the only way to get a black one was to buy the most expensive version.
     
  3. jackc macrumors 65816

    jackc

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    #3
    Yeah, I thought they would eventually remove the "black tax," but I guess not. Maybe the next revision will make it a moot point.
     
  4. mm1250 macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Umm, your also forgetting the BIG difference which is the display size. The MB is only a 13'' vs. the MBP is a 15.4'' WS display.

    That itself sets the two apart.
     
  5. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

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    #5
    Thanks for the info guys. Yeah, the screen size is obvious though. I was talking about performance. I've got a 12" powerbook and I like the portability. So I kinda like the idea of having a 13" screen, but then again the "pro" is thinner... but heavier.

    If the performance was the same, I'd probably go with the cheaper lighter one.

    The other difference is the graphics card, but I figure that since I don't play many games I won't notice the difference.

    I could probably deal with the 13" screen and buy an external monitor in the future if I really feel like I need it.

    The DVI connection isn't a big deal for me because I'll probably never afford a display that requires it. I'm just a poor grad student. :)
     
  6. Dybbuk macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Why did you point out that the MBP has a widescreen display when the MB does as well?
     
  7. Matek macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Although I generally do agree with you, I think that's not always good. While 2 GB of memory is always better than 1 GB of memory (running at the same speed, etc.), a 17" screen on a laptop isn't necessarily better than a 13" one, it depends largely on one's needs.

    Oh, and the MacBook's 13.3" is a wide screen too.
     
  8. TheStu macrumors 65816

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    #8
    I haven't really felt restrained by my MacBook, but if I had had the cash, and the foresight, I think I would have gotten the MacBook Pro. Not sure how well it would have held up though to the abuse that I have put my MacBook through. Though a lot of people on here have said that "Aluminum dents, plastic cracks/breaks" I have 3 cracks on my MacBook, all located below the vent, where I would postulate the plastic is the thinnest, and lots of surface scratches from use, but you can't notice those anyway.

    It really comes down to what you can afford, and what you can afford to not have. Do you really need the FW800? The backlit keys (not a make or break, but a nice plus for the MBP), the LED backlighting, the .08" thinner design, the stupidly better graphics, the higher res? If you can live without those then save the hundreds of dollars and get the midlevel macbook.

    The real problem with the new MacBooks is that now the refurbs will be (literally) yesterday's model, and as such will take a something like (IIRC) 5 fold hit on graphics as compared to the new ones. That's right, the new GMAX3100 is something around 5x more-better-er-est than the GMA950
     
  9. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

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    #9
    Thanks for your input. The difference, as far as I can tell between the high end Macbook and low end Macbook Pro with the same specs is approximately $500 (Educational pricing). I don't think the backlighting is important (I can type without looking at the keys), nor is the Firewire 800 (the only firewire devices I use are a simple hard drive and an old iPod). I doubt I'd ever use the expansion slot, and the 0.08" less thickness doesn't seem to be a big deal to me.

    The only thing I'm left thinking about is the screen size and the graphics card. I'm looking forward to seeing a review of the new Macbook graphics card. If it's half decent (somebody said 5x faster than the old one), its probably good enough for me.

    I'll mostly be using my computer for coding in Matlab, research, and photography, as well as general email/web/document type stuff.
     
  10. Matek macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Huh? Can you support that with any benchmark results? Most of the reviews I read didn't notice such difference. The only place where X3100 is "5x faster" is 3DMark 2006, but 100 3dmarks vs. 500 3dmarks is a purely numerical difference, because actual performance has no practical value. Playing Doom 3 at 10 FPS is just as unplayable as 2 FPS.

    Mobile graphics comparison
     
  11. TheStu macrumors 65816

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    #11
    That was probably what I was thinking of. I think that the site used to have that 5x thing on there, but they have since changed it around after more testing. I first saw this immediately after the X3100 came out though.

    But oh well, it is still better than the old, maybe it can handle 1080P playback now
     
  12. brettanderson macrumors member

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    Jun 26, 2007
    #12
    Here's a few other things to consider:


    1. The screen on a MBP is much higher quality then a MB. The screen on the MB is a step down from my old toshiba laptop, while watching movies and seeing pictures on my MBP is noticeably better.

    2. The MBP has a much better viewing angle. In fact the viewing angle on the MB is annoying narrow, I constantly had to adjust my screen or else the images would be washed out.

    3. The screen on the MB is not well protected. If you press against the back of the MB screen - the top of the laptop with the apple logo, you will observe flexing. The images on the screen will ripple as you apply pressure. This does not happen on a MBP.

    4. Finally the speakers on the MB are horrible while the speakers on the MBP are above average.

    Overall, all these points highlight the higher quality and better build of the MBP.

    On the downside the wireless reception is worse on the MBP compared to the macbook.
     
  13. lucky3killer macrumors regular

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    Oct 24, 2007
    #13
    Don't forgot about X3100 does support hardware T&L and would reduce of demands on CPU and increase of core clock but memory clock is goes to CPU, still shared from standard ram.

    For Doom 3, Did you tried to config into low graphic setting, supposed to be improved in FPS, if high setting on GMA X3100 would cause more choppy and horrible lags, in case, GMA 950 is much worse.
     
  14. Brianstorm91 macrumors 65816

    Brianstorm91

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    #14
    MBP has that wonderful ambient light sensor for the backlit keyboard. How I wish that was in the MB.
     
  15. noodle654 macrumors 68020

    noodle654

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    #15
    Really there is no point in buying a base MBP anymore...you can get the same machine (processor) for $700 less. What was Apple thinking? If anything they should have done this.

    Low End MBP: 2.4GHz
    High: 2.6GHz
    High 17": 2.6Ghz
     
  16. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

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    #16
    What is T&L?
     
  17. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    May 21, 2007
    #17
    Why would the next revision render it moot? Apple can keep the black tax around as long as it is profitable.
    The macbook pro and the macbook are only seperated by a few ounces. It's hard to tell the difference between the two (in fact, in the store, the macbook feels heavier because it's smaller! :p). Weight is not really a point of difference between the two.
    Same as above.

    The macbook is widescreen too, and it's 13.3" ;)
    No, what sets the two apart is the glossy versus matte issue. I love matte and can't stand glossy. OP, if this matters to you, then be sure you think long and hard before making your final decision.
     
  18. Brianstorm91 macrumors 65816

    Brianstorm91

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    #18
    Well I just gave in and bought a BlackBook + BlackTax
     
  19. talazem macrumors newbie

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    Oct 10, 2007
    #19
    Does anyone know how the new graphics configuration will fare with powering 24" external Dell monitor? Not for gaming, but for everything else. Will it be smooth or choppy?

    I recently upgraded from a MB to the most recent MBP (bought a barely used one, so didn't cost too much). Using in closed lid mode, connected to the Dell 24". Very happy, except for one major problem: terrible wireless connection when the lid is closed. If you open the lid, everything is fine, and transfer rates/speeds are excellent. Close the lid, and it crawls (though it does function).

    For various reasons (including my 2-year old who seems to like to come and push it to close), I don't want to have to leave the lid open to work on an external. Thus I'm contemplating selling it and picking up the new MB (benefit from the post-grad student discount).

    Any thoughts? Especially from those few who might have already gotten one and connected a large (23", 24") monitor thereto?
     
  20. ojwk macrumors regular

    ojwk

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    #20
    MacBook will power a 24" Dell display fine, MacBook can't power a 30" display as that requires Dual Link DVI. Wireless performance is bad due to AirPort aerial being located in the inbuilt screen. The MacBook will have the same wireless performance problem I'm fairly sure as antennae is also located within the screen. I would advise using a wired ethernet connection for use in closed lid mode as its not like portability is a major concern when hooked up to a 24" display. Other options include getting a USB antennae. (I'm fairly sure I didn't just invent that)

    As for the topic at hand, the integrated graphics is the only reason I would buy a MBP over a MB.
     
  21. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

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    #21
    I agree. The display bezel-to-bezel is not very different, so if you have the money and the will, it's a no brainer. Oh and they are both WS displays btw.
     
  22. talazem macrumors newbie

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    Oct 10, 2007
    #22
    The reason I asked is that I read elsewhere on the net that some people have had performance problems with the MB and a 24" monitor. NOt that it doesn't work, but that after a day of use or so, things start slowing down (probably due to the shared RAM). A reboot clears it, but then it returns a day later...

    Any real world experience here?

    And my understanding is that the wireless problem I described in closed lid mode with the Pro does not affect the MacBook, due to the casing and location of the antenna. Again, can anyone with a MacBook comment on closed lid vs open lid performance of the wireless?
     
  23. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

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    #23
    Doesn't Apple recommend against that due to cooling concerns? At least there is no closed lid mode with my 12" and I read that it was a bad idea. At this point, I very rarely use an external display anyways.
     
  24. pscoble macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Nah 15 inchers and 17 inchers can do it fine Apple even gave an option for it in System Prefs. they didn't want you using it on the 12 or 14 inch iBooks or the 12 inch PowerBook bad ventilation I suppose.
    Oh yeah and if I were you I would get the MacBook Pro I always recommend this over the MacBook it is much nicer then the MacBook in many ways (look above for some) since my Mom has a MacBook I have dealt with both and my favortie part about the MacBook Pro is the screen it blows away the MacBook's screen in everyway.
     
  25. Cybergypsy macrumors 68040

    Cybergypsy

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    #25
    Having had all gens of macbooks and a recent 2.4 MBP , I sold my MBP because I like the screeen of a MB better....also the pro was over kill for me as I just surf and crap, Happy i sold it ....my new Macbook comes tomorrow :)
     

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