I need purchasing advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by CaptainClams, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. CaptainClams macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2008
    I know everyone here probably hates these topics with a passion, but I really am having a hard time deciding what computer I wish to purchase for my upcoming fall semester at college.

    Now, here's the breakdown: I want a nice computer that I'll be using to code, interweb surf, listen to music, and play games (from oldies to new ones). As such, I need a pretty demanding machine. I really like the MacBook Pro, but if I were to get one I'd much prefer the 17" for its screen real estate, better graphics processing (I believe someone here said it gets less hot since its a larger heatsink). I'm just having a hard time justifying the cost that would run me, even with ADC it's still going to be $2-3 grand once AppleCare and other accessories are added in.

    As such, here are the current options I'm debating between:

    1) 17" MacBook Pro
    + Huge, hi-res screen
    + Can run games very well (from YouTube videos)
    + Damn sexy
    + Mac OS X
    + Great battery life (according to Consumer Reports a month or two ago)
    - Steep price is hard to justify

    2) 15" MacBook Pro
    + Mac OS X
    + Can run most modern games, although not necessarily at highest settings
    + Damn sexy
    + Relatively affordable
    - Seems to have more hardware problems than the 17" (this is just a personal observation on the forum, perhaps because less people own the 17")
    - Can't run games as well as other similarly priced machines

    3) Random Dell/Lenovo/Newegg Laptop
    + Affordable
    + Have high specs for the price you're paying, although this can be misleading
    - Ugly and frequently cumbersome. I hate those shiny metallic outside cases, and those bright neon lights that manufacturers use to "coolify" their product
    - Windows only (Well, maybe Linux at some point too)
    - This is not always the case, but piss-poor battery performance

    4) Build a desktop
    + Best bang for your buck
    + Great performance, usually
    + Lots of customization
    - It's a desktop, so no portability
    - I already built one computer and I don't want to go through the headache of building another
    - Windows only (sans Linux)

    That's a brief rundown of my current situation, and the situation has become a lot more urgent because my old computer's (which I built 3 years ago) power supply is dead, and I'm fairly certain its hard drives were also on a path to destruction (lots of classic Seagate clicks). Basically, I just want some opinions from you guys, or maybe you can contribute to my pro's and con's.

    Cheers, and thanks!
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    In the case of the MacBook Pro, have you taken into account the fact that not only is there a significant discount on the 17", but that you can also get back 400 additional dollars if you sell the free printer and iPod touch?

    Ah, you've taken into account the ADC discount. Yeah, that's even BETTER than the student deal, even with the iPod touch and printer factored in.

    Here's what you do.

    17" MacBook Pro: $2,319
    MacBook Pro AppleCare from eBay: $cheaper
    Printer: $Free (ADC still gets the printer rebate)
    What other accessories do you need?

    It shouldn't go over the price of the 17" from the standard Apple Store. I'd definitely go for that. Read my sig. I am. I'll also be getting a Mac Pro, but that's me. Too much for college? Nahhh...
  3. CaptainClams thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2008
    Thanks for your post, here's how I broke down the pricing of the 17" MBP:

    ADC Student Discount: $2319
    Student Discount AppleCare: $240
    4GB RAM from Newegg: $73
    External Hard Drive: $100-150
    Wireless Router: $45-75
    Laptop case/bag: $40-100
    Laptop stand (optional): $20-70
    Printer: Free

    Total: $2837 - $3027

    Pretty damn pricy, if you ask me! I just have a hard time justifying spending 3 grand on a freshmen year college computer, I mean you could buy used cars and make hefty college tuition payments with that kind of money. Of course, I love computers, so I really want to go for it, my parents will probably pay for about half of it.

    I didn't look into AppleCare on eBay, I'll scout that out now, thanks.

  4. GUILTIE macrumors regular

    Jan 2, 2008
    Won't you need to take the computer to your classes? If so I'd count the desktop and 17" out...
  5. CaptainClams thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2008
    Being able to take my laptop to class would be nice, but I'm not sure how frequently I'll do it, since I'll be a freshmen this year. I'm sure if I had a desktop I'd be fine without a laptop, but is the 17" really so large that I wouldn't be able to bring it anywhere?
  6. noodle654 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2005
    Never Ender
    Well I did number 2 and 4. But, if I had more cash and such, I would have gotten a decked out 17". 2 and 4 is great. I have my custom PC hooked up to my HDTV through HDMI and it runs games great!
  7. CaptainClams thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2008
    Right now I'm leaning towards the 15" MBP... but since I plan on playing some graphic intensive games, I sort of want to upgrade to the 512MB card. This is a pretty big leap in price, and then it makes it seem like "Hell, one more leap and it's a 17".... let's do it!"

    Is the mid-grade MBP worthwhile at all? Cheers!
  8. noodle654 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2005
    Never Ender
    I would get that free iPod and sell that...I would guess that you have one. You could probably get $200 for it and that could cover your RAM/EX HD. I would buy the EX HD on eBay, or make your own because its much cheaper. Also buy the AppleCare on eBay.

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