How Much Better is the Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Green10, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. Green10 macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2008
    So I have got some money to burn, and I think I'm going to get a new apple laptop. What I'm wondering is whether it's worth upgrading to the pro? I like the smaller size of the MB, but I worry that internal components (hard drive, etc.) are of lesser quality. What do you guys think?
  2. youssefm macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2008
    it just comes down to if u need the extra power or not, if you don't then spring for the 2.4ghz macbook, if you do then get the pro
  3. Piaget macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2008
    Like Youssem said, the main determinant for whether a Pro is more appropriate for you is whether you need the extra power, ie. what applications will you be running? If you willing be using any GPU-intensive apps or doing any gaming, the Pro is definitely the way to go. Otherwise, the MBs should be more than enough for normal browsing, word processing and other general use.

    Other factors to consider are screen resolution, screen quality, mobility and obviously, cost. I wouldn't say that the internal components on the MB are of lesser quality, but in terms of screen quality, the Pros are definitely superior (although, contrary to other posts, the MB are quite decent color wise). The Pros will have higher resolution, but will be less mobile.
  4. shady825 macrumors 68000


    Oct 8, 2008
    Area 51
    Yea its all what you wanna do. I could have bought the pro but portability is key for me. If the computer is just going to sit on a desk then sure buy the pro but carrying around a 17" laptop isnt to fun!
    Its your call really. Figure out what your going to do with the computer and where your going to be doing it. FOR ME the pro was just a bit of an overkill..
    You'll be happy with whatever you decide to buy! I promise!
  5. silverblack macrumors 68030


    Nov 27, 2007
    You beat me to it :)
  6. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

    Aug 10, 2008
    It's all in what you need like whats the others say. I LOVE the new Macbook and for some reason I don't care for the looks of the pro. I don't need a pro also, but maybe someday I might.
  7. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    Now that the MacBooks have the option of the backlit keyboard, I'd say it would depend on three things.

    1) will you need firewire 800 at all?
    2) will you need the express card 34 slot?
    3) will you need to play any games or do any video editing with Final Cut Pro Studio 2, or will you be using the Adobe Creative Suite 4?

    If you answer yes to any of those, then you might want to consider the Mac Book Pro or check out how to get around them with the Mac Book

    If you don't mind or love the 13.3" screen on the Mac Book and have $2000+ to blow, grab the higher end Mac Book and a backup drive.
  8. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    "better" is a relative term...depends on the person. Size vs. power
  9. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    Agreed. For the size, its pretty powerful. I'm amazed how powerful this system is compared to my old MacBook Pro.

    I was able to play CoD4, CoD5, NFS: Undercover, Sins of a Solar Empire, Civ4, and many other games at the same settings as the MBP, just at a 1280x800 vs 1440x900 resolution. My expectations of this laptop was highly misjudged because of specs written on a piece of paper.
  10. lms macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2008
    I bought a macbook a few weeks ago and used it for two weeks. I didn't feel the screen quality was acceptable. I traded up to a pro, and used it for a week before trading back down to the MB. My apple store told me they don't want me coming back. :D

    Here's my thought on the difference after using both: not worth the $700 for me.

    Yes the screen was better on the MBP. But my problems with the screen were really more about the way fonts are rendered, and since that's an OS thing and not a screen thing, I'm just going to have to get used to it since I love everything else about this machine.

    Let me state that I use Windoze boxes all day at work, and have a desktop box in my office at home. The MB is for surfing the web and reading email at night (and synching my iphone). So, my needs are pretty limited, and this is just about perfect for me. I can buy a lot of other stuff for $700.

  11. macadmiral macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2008
    if you are looking at the new unibodies, they are now so similar it just comes down to a few extra features. The unibody macbook pro is hardly "pro"
  12. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    +1. The only compelling reason for me to get the MBP over the MB would be for the ability to use a slightly larger screen with a slightly higher res.
  13. Ryuukumori macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2008
    Not completely true.

    Remember, if you are working with heavy graphics (photos or video), or multitasking with music recording, the dual graphics chips will serve you very well.

    Larger screen is a plus, and the firewire 800 for those specific hardware additions might be important to you.

    I have felt the same whether to go Pro or not for college, and I'm leaning toward Pro, because it's power I can't complain with. It will last me a very long time. Same for you.
  14. Jisuo macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008
    Only one graphics chip can be active at a time, so it's not like you're walking around with dual core graphics. You have to manually change which graphics you want to use, log out and log in again.
  15. Neil1138 macrumors regular

    Jan 21, 2008
    I'm going into college and I asked myself this very question also. I decided to go Pro. The macbook screen is ok but it is nothing compared to the macbook pros screen quality. Also, it helps to have the power of the macbook pro, especially for me cause i am going into engineering school and i need the power to run those intensive applications. Portability wasnt a problem for me, and i think thats the only argument the macbook has.
  16. shady825 macrumors 68000


    Oct 8, 2008
    Area 51
    The size/portability is what made me buy the MacBook.
    Sure a Pro would be nice but I like the size of the MB the best. Perfect size to bring everywhere.
  17. agurlnamedgoo macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2008
    I'm actually also curious about this and here's why...
    whe I was heading to college a few years ago, I originally wanted that gorgeous 15" PowerBook. But, being that I was studying English, everyone said get the iBook. I have loved my iBook... am still loving it right now lol. But, while it's great for things like Word and general browsing... videos suck its little life out! Streaming has always been bad... as has watching a movie and trying to do ANYthing else. And GarageBand? Forget it. I can't get songs to sync up because the processor gets behind and doesn't always register me hitting things as I'm hitting them.
    I would really like to take advantage of the newer computers' video capabilities... make some movies on my camera, as well as on the computer's camera. But is the macbook still bogged down by this, due to its lack of a separate memory card... or due to anything else? Because if it is, to me, that may make the MBP worth it.
  18. nope7308 macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    Unfortunately, I think it's the age of your iBook that's making the difference here. Coming from someone who owned BOTH the new MBP and the new MB, the performance difference is not substantial.

    In fact, if you upgrade to the 4GB of RAM on the high-end MB, it's pretty much identical to the entry MBP, save for the slightly improved graphics card and faster HD. Personally, the only (slight) difference in performance that I noticed was with startup/shutdown (2 sec-ish), but I attribute this to a slower rpm HD. I'm going to wait until SSD prices drop and then toss one in.

    Moral of the story - The word 'pro' is relative, depending on what you use the computer for. In my case, the high end MB is definitely a pro :D

    Oh, and I use the MB for essays, internet, movies, and intense photo editing. It passes all of my tests with flying colours.
  19. MacJenn macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2008
    If that makes you feel better to say the 2.4 Macbook is like the Pro then so be it. The Macbook Pro has a lot more than just what you mentioned and its graphic card is a whole lot better than the one in the low end Macbook. Wait a year or 2 and the low end Macbook graphic card won't be able to play the new games.

    If that is all you do then a $500 Dell from Walmart would of passed with flying colors.
  20. QueenZ macrumors 6502


    Oct 26, 2008
    The main reason why i would like to buy pro is 15'' screen :)
  21. nope7308 macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    I was referring the Alu MB with the 9400 (not the whitebook) and the low-end MBP.

    If you do a direct comparison, they are almost identical in performance features. Same processor, same fronside bus, same L2 cache, same RAM, same stated battery life (MB is better), same backlit keyboard, same trackpad/design, same HD... hell, the only difference is the 9600... and even then, I'm not sold. The only foreseeable difference would be gaming, but even then, there is no guarantee that there will be substantial improvement. After all, the MB can still play COD4 and what not. By the time the 9400 video card is outdated, so too will be the 9600 (it's really not that great compared to other offerings right now anyway).

    It sounds like someone doesn't want to face the facts... all your extra money bought you was a better screen, a slightly better video card, and a bigger, heavier frame (with less battery life). If you think that's worth it, then good for you.

    And there's no comparison between a $500 Dell and a MB. I bought the computer for various reasons, not just hardware configuration (e.g. OS, build quality, design, resale value, etc.).
  22. nope7308 macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    IMO, that's the only good reason for buying the MBP (unless you have a ton of money to blow). :D
  23. MacJenn macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2008
    Once again you left out many features the new Macbook Pro has compared to the low end (all reg alu Macbook's are low end to me) Macbook. I think it makes you feel special by saying your laptop is just as good as the Pro. Whatever floats your boat.

    Face reality? I got my new Macbook Pro for $1749 USD. I paid only $150 more than the 2.4 Crapbook. Reality is a lot of people got ripped off by getting the low end Macbook for $1599 USD when they could of paid $150 more and got the much better one. I know, I know. Most bought it for portability and not because it was cheaper. That is always the excuse.

    MacConnection and Macmall is selling the new Macbook Pro for $1749. Really good deal especially when it is only $150 more than the cheap reg. Macbook.
  24. nope7308 macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    What additional *performance* features are there? Please tell me... if we're talking about speed, the 9600 is the only difference. Even then, given most users' habits, the difference will not be substantial (save, perhaps, for gaming and/or heavy video editing).

    Anyone who thinks that a MB is a "crapbook" clearly hasn't thought things through carefully enough (the whitebook is still an excellent computer). If I really cared about the 'pro' label, then I would have stayed with the MBP (duh). If anyone has insecurities, it's most definitely you (just look at your sig!).

    As for the cost, well, prices are different here in Canada ($400 difference with the edu discount). So, that is a defunct argument and one that clearly does not apply to performance differentials. If you're going to go with a MBP, you might as well splurge for the 2.53Hgz model, IMO. And if you get the MB, you can easily buy an external monitor to offset the lower quality of the screen (and in my case, still save some money).


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