I might want a MBP - am I mad?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by DJS1234, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. DJS1234 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    I currently am the happy owner of a generation 1 Macbook (White CD2.0 1gb RAM, 60GB HDD, SuperDrive etc etc)

    I bought it the day it was released last year and it has been fantastic so far. Now recently a few niggles have come up that make me think - hey maybe a Macbook Pro would be a good idea instead. Here's the things I long for on the Macbook -

    Slightly higer screen res - I have started getting into my digital photography more than I used to and the Macbook doesn't give that much screen real-estate for photo editing and archiving.

    VMWare - whenever I seem to push my Macbook performace-wise the fans just go very loud and it gets very hot (iStat reports about 60 degC) on the CPU) it can be annoying as I really like using VMWare for Linux and Windows bits and pieces. I know I really need more than 1gm of RAM to virtualise OS's properly but I expected the Macbook to deal with it better than it does. I also have a Dell D620 pretty much the same spec as the Macbook and it does very well with VMWare workstation 6 on XP and barely gets warm. (But we dont want to use the Dell do we:cool:)

    I've noticed the high fan noise on a few other more performance apps as well, it's as if the amchine is coming out of it's "comfort zone" and isn't too happy about it.

    I wouldn't buy straight away as I'd rather have a bundled Leopard License in a couple of months as supposed to another Tiger License that's going to cost me £100 to upgrade in October but I thought I'd ask you knowledgeable people whether it sounds like I'd be better off looking at a Macbook pro? Or rather am I expecting too much from a humble Macbook?

    There's probably a few other things as well, if I remember them I'll post up but would be grateful for your input. How are the new MBP's I only really remember the original ones with whiny fans and that you could fry eggs on they got so hot - have things changed now?

    Cheers
    Dan
     
  2. kis macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #2
    I just switched to a 1st gen Blackbook from a MBP C2D (long story - wanted an additional big-screen iMac for photo editing, couldn't have one unless I gave my MBP to my wife :) and to be quite honest, I really don't see much of a difference in performance here. I added a 120gb harddisk and upped the memory to 1.5gb. The latter gave the the Macbook the necessary boost. I'm using it with vmware fusion myself - and with the increased memory it runs really fast, no complaints whatsoever.

    For your photo editing needs, the MBP's screen is still much too small. If I were you, I'd stick with the Macbook and go with a 20 or 24 inch iMac instead - perhaps you can get a cheap white one with a matte screen, has a much nicer panel for photo editing than the brand new ones.

    performance-wise, the only difference between the MBP and the MB is the dedicated graphics board of the former. And that won't do you any good in Photoshop.

    kis
     
  3. phanboyjohn macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    #3
    You're not mad, but I'd agree with a previous poster and say you can do fine with a MacBook--get 2 GB of RAM and you'll be set. The Pro's better for gaming and (maybe) video editing, but if you're looking at mostly virtualization issues/screen real estate, I'd consider an external monitor and more RAM.

    I'm always tempted to upgrade up, so I know what you're feeling, but it really seems from your needs that a MacBook will be more than adequate.
     
  4. DJS1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    #4
    thanks for that Kis, another option would definitely be a bigger, faster hard drive (I'm thinking 7200rpm if heat allows) and double the RAM to 2gb - both my ram slots are full so just buying 2x1gb from Crucial would be the best way to go.

    My other half has a 20" iMac G5 2.0 - a little long in the tooth but still great with the iLife apps so I could just set myself up a user account on that - which makes me wonder if I need the Macbook at all - if I were to switch to the iMac for iLife duties the Macbook would be an expensive internet browser.

    Also whenever Apple actually gets round to remembering the UK exists as far as the iPhone is concerned (Can you tell I'm a little pissed off with that situation now!) I'll most likely get one of those and it could well fill the gap of the Macbook....

    Decisions Decisions eh!
     
  5. DJS1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    #5
    Also another niggle is my Macbook palmrests have discoloured quite a lot which seems to be a well documented issue from a search I just did so I may give AppleCare a call later on see if they can be off assistance (My Macbook is out of warranty now so I'm not holding out much hope - a trip into Regent St. Apple store may help also...)
     
  6. teflon macrumors 6502a

    teflon

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    #6
    Actually macbooks can take up to 3gb of ram, so you might consider that if you're into PS heavily. Get an external monitor and you'll be all set. It should tie you over until they put penryn + ability to take more ram + better integrated graphics in mb, which would give you a bigger performance boost. But that probably won't happen for a year :(. Btw, you can use your monitor when you do upgrade, and always have dual screens :).
     
  7. DJS1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    #7
    how can the Macbook take 3gb RAM, didn't know you could get 1.5gb sticks? - The Apple store only lets you buy a max of 2gb.

    Crucial's memory advisor says 2GB max for the CoreDuo White Macbook?

    Great if it can though...
     
  8. teflon macrumors 6502a

    teflon

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    #8
    Oh wait, I thought it was a C2D :eek:. Sorry, my bad.
     
  9. bennyboi macrumors regular

    bennyboi

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Location:
    West Coast
    #9
    My 2¢

    Hello!
    Just wanted to say don't worry about the fan noise- you'll get the same exact thing when you start pushin a macbook pro. It sounds unhappy, but I've pushed a powerbook's fan to the extreme limits of after effects, fcp, logic, you name it for 4 years now (we're talkin 3 and 4 day renders with fans going crazy) and I'm only upgrading now because I want an intel chip. Never had problems. Don't be afraid to demand that kind of performance from your macbook. In my opinion, they kind of like it being that's what they're made for! :)
    You won't notice much difference with a mbp. I definitely agree with getting an external monitor - go to dell.com for inexpensive yet quality monitors. More ram is always good too.
    As for the discoloration- that's a trophy and a show of dedicated use my friend. Like a rock star's tattered jeans I guess :rolleyes:
    Anyways- enjoy your macbook! It's ready to go the distance
     
  10. DJS1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    #10
    interestingly I asked one of out Mac guys at work who used to work for Apple long ago and he advised me to go to a C2D Macbook as the performance/heat dissipation is greatly improved and not nearly as much early adopter problems as displayed with my MB. Could be an idea especially as the money I put towards a copy of Leopard in October could go some way towards upgrading to a newer Santa-Rosa MB.. again - intriguing idea
     
  11. The Stig macrumors 6502a

    The Stig

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Location:
    On the track
    #11
    C2D MBs will only take upto 2gbs of ram too. Where do get your information?

    The first gen of MBP will take up to 3gb, the current model takes 4gb, but the MB will only take 2gb.

    The Stig
     
  12. teflon macrumors 6502a

    teflon

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    #12
    The C2D MBs can recognize up to 3.3gb of ram. Apple didn't put it as an option because (I suspect) they wanted a bigger gap between the MBs and MBPs. But the C2D MBs uses the same processor (socket M meroms) and platform (napa) that the MBPs did.
    http://guides.macrumors.com/Understanding_Intel_Mac_RAM

     
  13. kis macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #13
    I probably wouldn't do it because the performance gain is only about 10% AFAIK; but your co-worker is right about the heat thing. The C2Ds tend not to get as hot as the earlier CDs - but maybe that's just because the fan turns on all the time - don't know. My former MBPs fan turned on quite frequently, actually.
     
  14. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #14
    Actually I disagree with this thread. Parallels on this MacBook really slows it down (2.0 GHz, 1 Gb RAM latest model), while my friend's MacBook Pro (2.33 GHz, 1 Gb Ram latest model) absolutely wipes the floor with this MB when running even Vista under parallels.
     
  15. DJS1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    #15
    I've just upgraded the MB to 2GB RAM with some memory I had lying around the place. Lets see how this affects things!

    If I did go to another Macbook I dont think it would be until January - see what MacWorld SanFrancisco would bring - never know it could be a speed/hard drive/spec bump still nothing decided yet see how I get on. Might try a new HDD (7200rpm) as well.
     
  16. Bern macrumors 68000

    Bern

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Location:
    Australia
    #16
    I disagree as well. I went from a first generation MacBook to a new MacBook Pro and there is a huge difference in performance. I noticed that Photoshop runs so much smoother and efficiently. Having a higher resolution screen is a must and plugging it into an external screen doesn't cause that slight screen dimming that happened in the original CD MacBook.

    I don't understand why people say there isn't much difference between the two, but then again I did go from a CD MB to a C2D MBP with a 256 graphics card.

    But if someone asked me if they should go from a CD MB to a C2D MBP for Adobe use I'd tell them yes.
     
  17. DJS1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    #17
    also as regards the heat of my Macbook, at the moment it's great, a bit warm but not excessive at all - I've got Firefox and itunes open yet in an hour or so with no additional apps it can become a cooker - it's as if the CPU just suddenly starts kicking out heat which it doesn't when first turned on...

    By the way im writing as if I hate my Macbook here, believe me I really really do love it! despite a few 'niggles'
     
  18. DJS1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    #18
    I only really use iPhoto and might try Aperture/Lightroom in the future if I fancy it although iPhoto is great for my level of expertise. In theory the MB really shouldn't be far behind the MBP - similar front side bus speed, similar processor architecture and speed, same hard disk speed (Possible although not necessarily from factory) Those 3 factors dictate most of the system unless gaming/rendering etc where the video card can kick in. The MBP should be ahead but not really by that much on hardware alone on paper anyway!
     
  19. kis macrumors 65816

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    Aug 10, 2007
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    Switzerland
    #19
    Vista crawled under Parallels on my 2.16ghz with 2gb RAM - that's why I switched to vmware which is a lot faster.
     
  20. w0by macrumors regular

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    Apr 29, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #20
    Mbp

    I have a new macbook pro with the Rosetta chipset and I use it as my desktop. It's fast as heck.
     
  21. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #21
    I have the latest MB C2D and an MBP SR. The main difference apart from the GPU is that the MBP runs on average up to 10C less warmly than the MB, which is not surprising when you consider that they are basically the same laptop, but the room for heat dissipation in the MB is so much less, coupled with one fewer fan to do the job with. Add to that, the plastic shell of the MB is a better insulator than the aluminium of the MBP.

    This means the MB is noisier on average (the 55C-70C range) as that poor fan has to revolve faster. At full whack, things even themselves out, though.
     

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