I am torn... New Macbook or old Macbook Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by robotfist, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. robotfist macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2007
    I am an all around multimedia artist (filmmaker/musician/graphic designer). Currently I have a Mac Pro Tower that takes care of all my high-def video editing and audio production work.

    This next purchase is for a laptop system that can take care of my basic stuff or when I need to work on the road.

    My budget currently allows for either a:

    1. Brand new 2.2 GHZ Macbook with 250 GB drive, 4 GB of memory, and AppleCare Extended Warranty.


    A refurbished 2.2 GHZ MacBook Pro with 120 GB drive, 2 GB of memory, and no extended warranty coverage.

    Which should I do? Any advice? :confused:
  2. Dybbuk macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2006
    The MacBook has a lot of advantages over an EQUALLY specced MBP, so the fact that the specs are so uneven makes me think you should take the MB.
  3. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Jul 22, 2005
    Sounds like the MacBook would be the better option for you

    1. You have the Mac Pro for the big screens
    2. Even though it won't be your primary computer, 120GB will fly by. 250GB should be fine for short-term storage.
    3. you will notice the difference between 2 and 4GB of RAM with the tasks you'll be throwing at it.

    The only thing that's nagging at me is the graphics card. I don't know how the X3100 will cope with high-def video editing, so maybe someone with more expertise can explain this. If it isn't an issue, then the MacBook would be my first choice.
  4. robotfist thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2007

    The video card is my main hang up on the regular Macbook, too. The old MacBook Pro has 128MB of dedicated V-RAM while the new MacBook has 144MB of shared RAM. I can't find any speed tests with the new MacBook, only processor tests. I'm not going to be editing any full motion pictures on this laptop but I will be editing short films in 720P High Def using Final Cut Pro and cutting audio with Pro-Tools. I wish there were some video card comparison tests out there.
  5. macpluslaptop macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    Are you sure you'd be comfortable working with a MB? The screen size seems very limiting for any media or image work, and even though you have the Mac Pro for the heavy duty stuff, surely you'll want access to your images/media on the road. I'd take a long look at both screens at an Apple Store before I made a decision.

    You might also think about whether you want the glossy screen (MB) or the option of a Matte (MBP). And the graphics card does make a difference.

    But if you just want web capabilities and e-mail on the road, go with the MB.
  6. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    The video card is worth way more than the upgraded ram and hdd. What really matters if its a Core 2 Duo and if it has an 8600. If it doesnt have a Core 2 Duo then you have to think about if the bigger size matters more, if it does and even has an 8600 gpu then its no contest. Vram doesnt tell anything about the performance of the video card, what you need to know is the model.

    Forget about the hdd and ram, they can be upgraded (the ram should not even be considered as a plus, its way too cheap to affect the choice of a computer).
  7. robotfist thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2007
    I definitely want to be able to do graphics work on it.

    It's a hard decision because I have no idea which woud outperform the other.
    They have the same processor, but one has twice as much memory and hard disk space, but no dedicated video card. Grrrrrrrrrrrr. I'm sure no matter what I choose, the grass will always be greener.
  8. Airforce macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    I'd go for an old macbook pro over a new macbook. That dedicated graphics card is worlds better than anything the macbook will have for many years.
  9. Dybbuk macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2006
    Will you be doing some serious video editing? If not, the GPU could be negligible.
  10. archi penko macrumors member

    archi penko

    Nov 6, 2007
    macbook pro. definitely. because as everyones pointed out here, the shared graphics may be for shnizit for what you need to do. if ur gonna use it for folm editing, etc. a macbook is just wasting your $$$.
  11. robotfist thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2007

    Just bought the MacBook Pro. I know the new models will be released in January, but oh well. I wanted to buy a discounted refurbished one and now is the time to do it.

    Thanks for the advice everyone.
    This will be my first MacBook Pro.
  12. avincent52 macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2007
    good move

    I was just facing the same quandary, and I went ahead with a refurbed MBP because of the bigger screen and better keyboard. A friend who's also a videographer has a 17 incher that he loves.
    The other thing to remember--you can upgrade the RAM in the MBP, and storage, both internal and external, is cheap and getting cheaper all the time. But you're stuck with the video card in the MacBook.
    I also just think it's a better designed machine, more like a tool.
  13. spriter macrumors 65816


    May 13, 2004
    I think you guys did the right thing. I'm also weighing this up as I type - waiting on a reply. Basically it's a new MacBook vs used MBP 15 which I want for design work. Having previously had a MacBook, the screen is too small and I almost always used an external screen. In my case, I'll sacrifice a few .2GHz and a used model for a bigger screen and the rest.
  14. freewill macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2007
    I agree that MBP was probably the right choice for your use. I went to the Apple Store last night to compare video playback on the new MacBook (with the new X3100) vs. the 15" MacBook Pro (with 256 VRAM), just playing sample demos they had in iMovie. I was really surprised at how noticeably choppy the playback was on the MB as compared with the MBP (admittedly, at full screen on each). Even for lightweight home video work and such, I think this could be pretty annoying.
  15. KJdanReuben macrumors regular

    May 22, 2007
    I have the 2.2ghz MBP you are looking at, and had a MB, but not the new one, it was the original black 2.0ghz CD. Just for the screen, I would suggest the MBP. I have the matte display and I think it's brighter than the glossy that the MB had. It is gorgeous and the LED backlighting is awesome! Also, when I still had the MB and went to an Apple store and talked to the the guys about Final Cut Express earlier this year, they were wondering why I bought a MB if I planned on running FCE. If you wanna use Pro, I think that is another reason to go with MBP. The MB also doesn't have enough screen real estate. I got cramped just working in iMovie '06. It also noticeably slowed the computer down. I would say if you are doing any video work besides iMovie, go with MBP. Video is more graphic intensive than audio and photo. Plus, having dedicated video RAM means that your other RAM will all be there, not have 144mb sucked up by the integrated graphics. Also, you don't have to buy AppleCare right when you buy the machine, only as long as it's in the first year of ownership.
  16. iViking macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2006
    It's easy to get caught up in getting a shiny new macbook, (cheaper, too), but for video and photography you will kick yoursel for not having a MBP.

    For one thing, they weigh about the same. The MBP feels more fragile, but I still take it everywhere, anyway. MB wins on bullet-proofness and wifi reception.

    The screen is way better on the MBP, (aside from the yellow tint). Even with the yellow tint you'll love the higher resolution and bigger screen size and brightness. Think about every photo or document you edit only fitting on the MBP screen whereas you have to scroll up and down to see it on the MB.

    The MBP seems ancient by now since they've looked the same since the first Powerbook G4, pretty much, but other things you'll appreciate are the FW 800, the better internal speakers, the brighter screen, and the included VGA adapter.

    On the Macbook, if you do presentations you'll need to buy a VGA adapter and also another DVI adapter if you want to hook the machine up to an external monitor.

    I'm ordering a 2.2 MBP today, and when the newer ones come out, I'll just sell this one and upgrade.

    I love to stay portable but as someone that does video and photogrpahy work with lots of projects coming up, I've finally realized that I am always going to need the pro version of the laptop, even if the non pro version is more portable and has a bigger fun factor attached--mainly because you're not so concerned about it getting banged up.

    At amazon.com you can get it for $1850 after tax, shipping and rebate.

    For me the secret has been to use the MBP like a MB, anywhere and everywhere, fearlessly, and not baby it like the Porsche that it is.

    It can take a licking--just don't drop it or it's finished!
  17. Subiklim macrumors 6502

    Mar 31, 2006
    Manhattan, New York
    For what's it's worth, I just sold my current generation 2.2ghz MacBook Pro for the new Black Macbook. I do photo work, and I have no issues doing it on the 13.3" screen. I also prefer the plastic over the Al, and the keyboard is lightyears better, as is wifi reception. Really the only thing that the MBP had that the MB doesn't that I used was the FW800 port, but I really don't have an issue using FW400.

    The light keyboard is a gimmick, imho, but looks beautiful. I liked having the graphics card incase I wanted to play a game (which I never did), but the X3100 can play any game I'd want to play. Film editing on the MacBook is a nonissue too, though you may want to invest in an external screen (you wouldn't want do edit film or photos on the 15" screen either)



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