Hopefully a soon to be macbook pro owner please advise

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thefreakid, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. thefreakid macrumors member

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    Jul 11, 2007
    #1
    Hey everyone, I am relatively new to the mac scene, I have never owned a mac or used one. I will be starting college in august. I am enrolled to study architecture so basically I need a high end laptop in order to handle programs such as photo shop, autocad, rhino, 3ds max, and others. I have been looking into purchasing a macbook pro 2.4ghx 15" with my student discount but after reading through this forum I am very scared in purchasing a mac. My main concern is the battery life. I will be running windows on my mac in order to run some of the programs so my first question is how is the battery life on the mac? My second question is, is it hard to be able to use OS X, i have never used it before. I am however fairly good with windows and a good learner. My third and final question is, do you recommend me to get a mac or a pc? Thanks for all the help!
     
  2. Gandhi macrumors regular

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    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #2
    Battery life is improved over previous laptops because of two reasons - LED screen (more efficient) and Santa Rosa chipset (better energy management). Battery life depends on how you use the laptop. Heavy CD/DVD use and wireless internet will sap battery. Turn those off and you get longer battery life. My wife's rev A Macbook gives 4 hours on regular use (email, internet, IMing).

    While there are some differences, OS X is a better system to use and maneuver around. The hardest part will be UN-learning the bad habits one picks up from using Windows for such a long time. I switched in September of last year, and I am in school as well. Trust me when i say that switching to the Mac platform is the best thing i have done in my ~20 years of computing.
     
  3. noway macrumors regular

    noway

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    Jun 11, 2007
    #3
    im starting architecture with building engineering in sept and i adapted myself to OS X in less than a week. very easy, fun and secure OS IMO. I havent test autocad with windows yet... i'll get back to you for that. (i have the 2.2 model with 128vram over the 2.4 for the i dunno 600$ diff it wasnt worth it. 128vram is enough for 2d and light 3d CAD) so yeah battery is extremely good (on OS X at least) i get 4+hours wireless on and working on it (not sleeping lol) Enjoy your future MBP
     
  4. amusiccale macrumors 6502

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    Jun 5, 2007
    #4
    Battery life is, however, reduced in using Windows because of its higher CPU usage.
     
  5. sfisher macrumors regular

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    Jun 20, 2007
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    Albuquerque, NM USA
    #5
    Do not be afraid to buy a Mac. These forums are filled with complaints as you have seen, but what you do not see are the people that do not have problems. They have little reason to post about how great their computer is running :).

    I do not have a new Mac laptop yet, but my older iBook laptop has excellent battery life of over 5 hours on a full charge.

    Macs are so easy to use that you do not have to learn it. It takes a day or two to get used to, but then it just flows so easily that you do not even have to think of how to use it like you do with Windows.

    Almost everyone here will recommend a Mac because these are Mac forums :D. I was weary when I first bought my first Mac three years ago, but once I got it I realized that I can never go back.
     
  6. Big D Skins macrumors newbie

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    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Indiana
    #6
    First off the SR MBP is AMAZING!!! I really love mine. I was in engineering so some of the same problems I had with a mac will be the same ones you will have.

    First off, you will not be able to use Autocad with OSX. They do not support it. (I hope that as OSX gains popularity this will change, but at the moment most drafting programs do not work) The solution to this problem though is Boot camp, Parallels, VMware, etc. For Autocad I would say that parallels should work alright but, if you are doing solid modeling you will need to install bootcamp probably. I have not seen the new parallels release that supports 3D graphics so it might be better. I do know that all the Adobe products have Universal Binary applications available so they would work well with OSX

    Secondly, I do not know what the battery life would be with running windows (I don't run windows on my MBP now at least). With OSX I get about 4:30-5 hours of battery life. I must clarify with that I like to keep my screen brightness turned down about 1/3 of the bottom and that is just internet and chatting so do what you can with that. It depends a lot on what programs you are running at the time.

    If you know your way around a PC fairly well you should have no problem picking up OSX. One of the things you might have a problem with is you will be used to making things a lot harder then they need to be. Like setting up printers or wireless networks is a ton easier then windows.

    As for recommending a Mac or PC for you it will vastly be determined on what you will be using most. If you plan on doing a lot of drafting/modeling I would have to say either get a high end PC or run bootcamp. The only problem is then you have to restart each time when going between them. The Mac designs are excellent and that for me played a big role in my decision. As for me I do not regret changing at all and I will probably have bootcamp on my MBP eventually with all the drafting programs. But for you I think it will have to be your call.

    Hope that helps some!
     
  7. thefreakid thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 11, 2007
  8. Gandhi macrumors regular

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    #8
    Parallels

    Fusion

    I have used both, and recommend the latter.
     
  9. thefreakid thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 11, 2007
    #9
    with parallels do i need a fresh copy of windows to install along with that software? and which is better bootcamp or the parallels?
     
  10. Gandhi macrumors regular

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    Jun 27, 2007
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    TX
    #11
    Both parallels and fusion can access your bootcamp partition. Bootcamp requires a full version of XP SP2 (NOT upgrade version) or Vista. What most people do is use bootcamp and install XP on their Macs, and then use parallels/fusion to access that newly created bootcamp partition while in the OS X environment. That is how I have set it up on my wife's Macbook - works like a charm.
     
  11. thefreakid thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 11, 2007
    #12
    sounds great!, but if i set up a partition for xp do i have to create a large partition for it or can i just create a minimum partition since i can enter it from the os x menu, and can i save files to the os x while runing parallels?



    BTW, thank you for all your help everyone, this has made my decision so much easier. Im well on my way to becoming a new mac owner!
     
  12. newmacchick macrumors member

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    Jul 10, 2007
    #13
    To the OP: Consumer Reports recently rated a bunch of good laptops, and the Apple MacBook Pro came out on top with the most battery life, well above other Windows laptops. Most people here say the MBP gets about 4 hours, which is what CR said I believe...the Windows laptops were all 3 hours and less.
     
  13. sfisher macrumors regular

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    Jun 20, 2007
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM USA
    #14
    On that note, Consumer Reports also rates Apple's tech support as far better than numerous PC competitors for both laptops and desktops :D
     
  14. thefreakid thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 11, 2007
    #15
    :
    getting my macbook today hopefully :apple: thnx everyone
     
  15. Gandhi macrumors regular

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    Jun 27, 2007
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    TX
    #16
    You can share files in a special shared folder that can reside on your OS X partition. But you still have to install programs in the Windows partition, so you cannot get away with a minimum partition for Windows. You will need some space. And seeing that you will be using heavy-duty graphing programs, I would recommend getting the largest drive you can afford for the MBP. I do not know how much space such programs require. Fortunately, Macs do not ship with bloatware - just remove the trial versions of MS Office, iWork and Aperture and that is it. Some recommend removing language packs and printer drivers as well - but I would hold off on that until you are familiar with a Mac and know what you are doing before you attempt that.

    Another option, is to get an external drive and store all your files there. Again, you will still have to install Windows and all PC software on your MBP's internal hard drive, but you can have your files on an external drive. And if you do get an external drive, make sure it has firewire ports (preferably FW 800) for fastest access and transfer rates. Despite rated speeds, USB 2.0 is still slower in real world use compared to even FW400.
     
  16. thefreakid thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 11, 2007
    #17

    thank you for that, much apreciated
     
  17. newmacchick macrumors member

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    Jul 10, 2007
    #18
    Yeah I didn't understand that one since the last time I was on the phone with them they were extremely unhelpful...just wanted one daggone question answered, but noo. And the sales person said she'd transfer me to the right person, but she just put me back at the menu. :rolleyes:
     

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