I am having trouble deciding which Laptop to Buy

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by AzWildcat, May 27, 2010.

  1. AzWildcat macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2008
    Hi Folks,

    Before you read this post, please not that I am not a Troll, I am not putting this up to flame one company or another. I am simply a consumer who is trying to get the most out of his money.

    I will be going back to school this Fall as an Industrial Engineering Masters Student at Penn State. I bought a 13" macbook back in January 2007 and have loved every minute of ownership. I am not a power user, but I do have some requirements:

    1) I am an avid photographer, so I will be running two or three different Post Processing Software at the same time (CS4, LR3, NX2)

    2) I will also be using solidworks/autocad on this machine.

    3) I would like to buy a D700 with a 50 F 1.4 lens (ideally I would need to 14-24, but I won't have enough money to buy this for a while) so, what with tuition, living requirements, camera lusts and computing needs, money is tight.

    OPTION 1:

    Buy a 15" Macbook Pro i7 processor


    intel core i7 (exact processor specs???)
    4 GB Ram
    500 GB HDD 7200 RPM
    AG Display
    2.54 kg
    7 hour battery life

    Cost: 2179 after Student Discount (don't want to consider the i5 because there is only $200 difference, so IMO the i7 is worth it)

    PRO's: Apple OS, Anti Glare Display, relatively light weight
    Cons: Cost, Graphics Card is not the best in the business, 4 GB Ram may end up being insufficient down the road

    OPTION 2:

    Asus G73JH-X1

    i7-720 QM CPU
    8 GB RAM
    Radeon HD 5870m Graphics Card
    500 GB HDD
    17" High Def display (Glossy :-( )
    3.63 kg
    2 hour battery life !

    Cost : 1550 from Newegg incl. s&h

    Pros: Cost and specs indicate great VFM
    cons: OS, questionable build quality? weight, Glossy screen = annoying reflections, battery life

    I would really appreciate any productive inputs you guys can offer. I love the apple OS and I'd be loth to be parted with it, but at the end of the day, the Asus offers some major fire power, if it can last two years, it would have done the job and the 500 bucks brings me a lot closer to my desired camera kit; but at the end of the day I am still extremely puzzled about what to do. Do the pros outweigh the cons of the Asus? what about of the MBP? if both are VFM, then which one would be better VFM for me? I really need help on this on !!!

  2. waloshin macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    Everyone here is going to say :apple:

    But buy what you will use, and need! :cool:

    But because you are running Autocad get the Asus!
  3. AzWildcat thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2008

    I know :) Believe me, I am one of the everyone here, although I do more lurking than actual posting, but, I am hoping that some people at-least are going to be objective about it !

    Can you please shed some more light on why the Asus will be better for Autocad? (90% of my work will be done on Solidworks, Autocad usage will be minimal)

    Right now, what is worrying me the most about the Asus is the weight (kinda heavy!); I have no idea how good Asus service and build quality are!

    What I didn't note, and probably should have is that I am a casual gamer. so the Asus seems more attractive in that respect. However, I used to own a Dell laptop during freshman year and the damn thing was a lemon, spent more time at Dell than it did at home! I can't afford that kinda crap during my MS.
  4. waloshin macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    First of all not the same cpu specs the Asus is a Quadcore while the :apple: is a Dualcore. The video card is 100 times better in the Asus so the Asus would perform better with autocad and solidworks. :)
  5. AzWildcat thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2008
    So the Asus has better specs, and is cheaper....BUT

    Cheaper is not always better. Would the MBP work for my Photo editing usage (extreme hardware usage) and more importantly is it worth the extra cash?
  6. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    Get the base model 15" with i5 2.4GHz high resolution matte display, iPod touch, and select a printer. Since the printer and iPod are free after rebate, sell them and you should be not too far behind the price of the asus and have a better machine despite it's lower specs. The i7 is $400 more than the i5 (I think $300 after student discount) and really is unnecessary. You should skip the upgraded HDD too. Wait until you actually need a bigger drive or put that cash toward a SSD in the future.
  7. AzWildcat thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2008

    Okay, I just checked again. You are correct, the difference is $300. The HDD upgrade is only $45 and it seriously speeds up the HDD (try asking Bridge to pull photos on a 5400 rpm HDD)
    I can live without the ipod (mine just fried but I suppose I can make do with my phone); but honestly, with the new ones just around the corner, who is going to pay me even half the cost of a new iPod? I surely wouldn't !

    Now here is the interesting thing. When you say I get a better machine, despite the lower specs, can you please expand. I consider the Apples to be superior primarily because of the OS and the build quality. Anything else you can shed light on? The freezing issues that the new processors have is worrying me a little !

    Thanks for your help!

    P.S To make matters a little more complicated, I have identical software for both OS's (long story)....if I had it just for Apple, it would be a no brainer

    P.P.S The windows version of Adobe is 64 bit....the mac is still 32, have to see if CS5 has changed anything.
  8. Amasashi macrumors member

    May 17, 2010
    An important question to ask is, why are you considering going back to PC after 3 years with Mac?

    Now I'm not asking this in a once-you-go-Mac-you'll-never-go-back way. All I'm saying is that if you've loved your Mac for the past 3 years, why not continue with a Mac? There must be some compelling reason for you to consider switching platforms again.

    I'm also an engineer (biomedical) and have a photography hobby (Canon 50D, 17-55 f/2.8, 50 f/1.4). I've found that I can use Boot Camp or parallels to run PC software, but there's nothing on the PC that can replace Mac photography software, even if it's just iPhoto. So, I use Mac.
  9. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2010
    It comes down to how much you love OS X.

    If you want and need OS X --> Macbook Pro

    You can port all your work to Windows --> Asus

    But personally, I'd consider simply a cheap desktop PC if you need real power. Then you can buy a core i7 quad core ( desktop cpu ) and a ATI 5850 ( desktop version ) which costs almost nothing that will destroy any laptop from Asus or Apple :p ( and even a $2000 iMac ). You custom build it ofcourse, don't buy it from HP or someone like that.

    And get a cheap 13 inch MBP for on the road. Should be possible within the budget of $2200 :p

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