I need some honest advice on my potential switch

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by m1990, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. m1990, Jan 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015

    m1990 macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2015
    Hi guys

    New here but longtime lurker of these forums. This could be a long post, so I apologise in advance.

    I'm in the market for a new powerful laptop computer. I've sold my desktop computer and will be relying on a laptop until I custom-build a new desktop.

    I've been an exclusive PC user all my life but I'm now considering to switch to Mac. For my home computer, I'm 80% confident that I'll custom build a high performance PC and likely install windows 10 (when it is released). There is a possibility that I will simultaneously install OSX (or whatever the latest Mac system is at the time) or even a slight chance I'll just run OSX only...but that is for another time, and will have heavily influence depending on my laptop choice.

    My current laptop is a typical Acer with Windows 8.1. I dont like Windows 8.1, Windows 7 was more my thing and Windows 10 looks like they are going back to Windows 7 a bit. I do not like the boring interface of Windows - Mac's look more colourful, more interesting and more pretty to me. I'd like something pretty for a change.

    Now my main concerns from switching to Mac is that I wont be able to do the same work and miss out on features that I've had with my Windows OS. These are some of the main things I'm concerned about:

    - My Windows Snap feature, as I know Mac doesn't have this. Am I wrong?

    - Will I be able to download all the typical files I usually do on my Windows OS and will they work? E.g. .flac, .zip, .RAR, .mp4, .docx, .doc etc.? Are there any file types I wont be able to open with a Mac that I can with my PC?

    - My keyboard shortcuts, will they work? E.g. Cntrl+Alt+Del, Cntrl+C/V/F etc.

    - What about software? I use photoshoot, Adobe Premier heavily and download many torrent files. Is all this typical use fine with a Mac?

    - I use an Android phone (Nexus 6), will I have any problems with a Mac?

    - I need a HQ screen. I've used a Dell XPS15 (super high resolution version) and it is a beautiful screen. I hear Samsung have some beautiful screens too. I noticed that the current Macbook Pro Retina has a nice screen, but will I be missing out of much quality (e.g. pixels/brightness) but switching to Mac?

    - In regards to performance, I'd go with the (almost) top of the line Macbook Pro model with 512gb SSD, 16gigs RAM, 2gigs graphics, i7 at 2.5gHz...will I experience any slowdown or overall slow speeds compared with top of the line Windows laptops with similar specs? E.g. the Windows laptop I have my eye on has the 3gb graphics card, 1tb SSD, 16gig RAM, core i7 at 2.8gHz? Will the Macbook Pro be noticeable slower or have performance issues compared to such a laptop?

    - Battery life seems to be amazing on Macbooks so that is a given, despite Dell claiming that its current XPS15 top of the line model has 7+ hours of life, the Macbook is a bit higher. All I need is 6+ hours and that would be great - so lets ignore the battery factor since we know Mac's are great for that.

    I think I've covered everything. I know I have a lot of questions, the biggest being what I would lose by switching to Mac. I'm scared of switching, I wont deny it, and I do need the core functionality that Windows is given me (snap windows, playing basically every file type I throw at it), being able to easily download programs to load/play/open files I need etc.

    Any kind of feedback would be great.

    Section part of my long post:

    If I should end up going with a Macbook Pro Retina, should I buy now (as in next week) or should I wait until a new replacement model comes out? I can afford to wait three-odd months, but I don't want to wait more than that. I noticed that earlier this year the Macbook Pro received a small update (nothing major or game-changing) - does anyone know when the next major update is likely to come? Also, have there been any solid rumors to what the next model will have? I don't want to buy now, then in two months a new model comes out which is far better.

    This is a long post and I know I've asked a million different questions. So, any feedback would be greatly appreciated! :)

    Best regards
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    1. Windows Snap isn't around, but with BetterTouchTool you can restore the functionality.

    2. All the regular files like FLAC, RAR...etc will work. Note that installing apps ins a different story. Most of the time, you would download a DMG file (disk image), open it, copy and paste the app that's in the DMG to the Apps folder, then eject and delete the DMG. Uninstalling apps is as easy as dragging it into the Trash.

    Sometimes, apps may be installed in the form of a PKG. This is very similar to a Windows EXE installer with a wizard.

    3. Keyboard shortcuts work. Everything that is CTRL in Windows is CMD in Mac, like Cmd+C, Cmd+X, Cmd+V...etc. Note that some shortcuts like Cmd+, and Cmd+Q is global and valid regardless of whatever app you use. Cmd+, (comma) opens up app settings, and Cmd+Q fully quits an app.

    4. All Adobe software work on Mac. Microsoft Office too. Macs are designed for heavy graphics/multimedia usage.

    5. Androids generally don't play well with Mac. The right way to enjoy the full benefits of the Apple ecosystem is to use everything Apple. Handoff, Continuity and iCloud syncing all work together well only if all your devices are Apple.

    6. The retina display on the 15" is a 220PPI display. The pixels are indistinguishable. It's got arguably the best display in the world.

    7. The MacBook Pro will actually be faster, because:
    - It uses a PCIe SSD. Apple is the only manufacturer that uses PCIe SSDs for now.
    - GDDR5 VRAM is always included in dGPU-equipped variants of Macs. The GT 750M in the retina MBP outperforms the GTX660M by quite a fair bit.

    8. Battery life is fantastic if you're doing regular work. Do constant video rendering and it drops to around 3 hours.

    Most of the time, on my 15" late-2013 rMBP (2.6 quad core i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD and GT 750M), I get around 8 hours under regular usage.
  3. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    No, you’re not wrong. OS X doesn’t have this. Honestly I never use it in Windows as the only Windows computer I use is my work computer and it uses dual screen which renders the feature nearly useless. Many Windows-y habits aren’t useful on a Mac, such as maximising everything. (So long as you see everything the window has to show, there’s absoluetely no point in making it bigger apart from taking up more screen).
    Download them? Yes, with no problem. Unless you have a wonky internet connection that only allows certain files to be downloaded (which you probably don’t). Use them? That’s another matter. For .doc and .docx, you’ll need Office for Mac, OpenOffice, or iWork (I personally dislike iWork, but many swear by it). .Flac is not natively playable by OS X (iTunes) but can be played using alternate players, personally I use Audirvana which has the advantage of bypassing all software and play the music file as it was meant to be played. One file type you absolutely won’t be able to open on OS X is .exe, that is a Windows native format.

    Ctrl+Alt+Del doesn’t exist in OS X, so that one won’t work for sure. As far as copy, cut and paste, they’ll work fine, but you will be using the cmd (command) key, not ctrl.
    You seem to be having the idea a Mac is completely different. It’s just an OS, it can do every single thing you did in Windows. It could be in a different manner, but it’ll do it. I’m not sure about photoshoot(or did you mean photoshop?), but Adobe Premiere exists for a Mac and works the same way. Torrent files are not problems either. I recommend Transmission as your client, very lightweight and easy to use.

    I don’t see why it would be. Google probably has software for Mac that’ll let you play around and sync your phone. I haven’t personally tried it as I hate Android.

    The retinas have arguably the best screens on the market right now. Remember, a Mac is just a PC in a pretty case. It uses Intel processors, Samsung blade SSD’s, Samsung or LG screen, Hynix memory, etc. They’re not all that different.

    I’d simply ask you : why? Does your typical laptop use warrant getting all that power or are you simply overbuying for the sake of overbuying? If your current laptop has a spinning hard drive, the simple fact of having the SSD on the MBP will make you feel like your new Mac is running circles around your old PC. Unless you succeed in bogging the system down, there’s no reason you should be experiencing any slowdowns even on the base model with no dedicated graphics card.

    Battery life is 100% dependent on your usage. The more power you require, the lower it’ll be. Depending on what you’re doing the battery could last you 8 hours or half an hour. That goes for any laptop on the market. Say you’re gaming, battery life’ll plummet. If you’re just snooping around on the internet, you could easily get in the vicinity of 7-9 hours. It all depends.
  4. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    If you look close enough. You can see the pixels ;)
  5. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009
    at a normal viewing distance you can't
  6. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Unless you've too much time in your hands, you wouldn't go pixel hunting :)
  7. iososx macrumors 6502a


    Aug 23, 2014
    5. That was true a few years ago, but today's Android phones like my Nexus 6 play wonderfully with my Apple ecosystem.

    It's just one reason I find for resource intense, demanding work I prefer my Nexus 6 over my excellent iPhone 6 Plus.

    My ideal mobile combo is my 2014 15" MacBook Pro Retina i7/16GB/1TB and either my Nexus 6 or iPhone 6+.

    I have both smartphones setup with the same apps and same integration with my Mac Pro NAS equipped home network. Both sync in real time to the same Cloud services.

    Even Steve Jobs admitted publicly that MobileMe (the predecessor to iCloud) was an awful failure. Something I as a loyal user was well aware of, I had high hopes for iCloud.

    Sadly those hopes were dashed in short order when I experienced nothing but a very poor experience. Now that I've wised up and given up on Apple's lousy Cloud I couldn't be happier. Anything is better than iCloud.

    I really like my MBPR, it's the fourth one in the series that has been just stellar. I keep buying new ones as they get faster and offer more storage. It's a necessity of my work, and I choose them because they're my favorite.


    Brilliant... I concur :)

    After reviewing your signature it occurred to me that you'd probably benefit if you had more storage and a few more Macs... Ha Ha Ha
  8. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    As others have pointed out, OS X's native usage is the "Command" key for everything that would use Ctrl on Windows (the Cmd key is unfortunately where the Alt key is on a PC keyboard - this was "thought up" at a time when Apple had to do EVERYTHING just a little bit different from the PC world).

    Fortunately, the Ctrl key is still where it should be, and it's relatively easy to remap it to have the functionality of the Cmd key.

    If you only use OS X 90% or more of the time, then I suggest leaving things where they are and just getting used to the native setup (it only takes a few days).

    However, I switch back and forth between a Mac and a PC on a daily basis, and I have the same ergonomic Microsoft keyboard for my Mac and PC, and it would get too confusing for me, so I remapped the OS X to use the Ctrl key as the Cmd key, and it generally works great (though when I see something like ⌘⌥⌃, I've got to think about it :confused:)
  9. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    I have an Android phone and tablet and a MBP. To get my music onto my phone/tablet, I have Google Play Music Manager. It monitors my iTunes library and adds any new tracks to my Play Music account. It does not go the other way automatically, though I CAN manually download the tracks and add them to my library.

    As for calendar syncing, no issue as long as you add your Google account on the Internet Accounts section of System Preferences and your Google calendar will sync. You can also get your mail in Mail if you turn that on. In fact, your contacts can sync to the contacts app also.

    You in no way NEED Apple mobile devices to make use of those features. The capabilities noted by another poster (handoff, continuity, iCloud) are new to the Mac world (except iCloud), and those DO need Apple mobile devices but as you haven't had those, you probably won't miss them too much (I haven't). Google has Google Drive, for which there is a Mac app that creates a folder on your drive that then syncs to your Drive account to make the files accessible from your Android device.

    If you want to try copying files to the Nexus from your Mac, you'll likely need Android File Transfer

    As noted, you'll need some kind of Mac-compatible Office application to utilize .docx, .xlsx, .pptx files. Your Mac will come with the iWork suite (if you buy new or refurbished) but you may decide to find an alternate.

    For video viewing, VLC will open just about ANYTHING and is the primary video player I use on both my Macs.
  10. m1990 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2015
    Thank you to everyone who has contributed to my thread with advice, it is all really good and I'm really impressed with the quality of the feedback I've got so far. Thank you.

    I guess my main thing I will need to work out is buy now or wait if a new replacement is around the corner (next 3ish months away). If it is, I might as well wait. If it is over 6ish months away, then I guess I'll buy now.
  11. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    Well, that's the tough part, because the best guesses are in the 3-6 month time frame. Whether it's closer to 3 months than 6 months is anyone's guess. While there's no way to know for sure, I doubt Apple will wait until Skylake, which would push new Macs back until the holidays 2015 at the very earliest, which would mean the MBP wouldn't have seen a major update for 2 years, and after the fiasco of delays for Broadwell, not sure they want to bet on Skylake being released as scheduled. But again, you never know with Apple.
  12. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Apple tends to follow Intel's roadmap, new processors aren't due until a june-ish timeframe, so I would not expect a refresh before then.
  13. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    True about following the roadmap, but unless you have insider info, hard to know about when. I've read everything from spring/Q2 to Broadwell-H being skipped altogether.
  14. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Flying over the rainforest at dawn - Priceless
    If you have a need now, buy now. Following the update game is pointless and there is always something better round the corner. New to Mac go for a mid range portable, resale is good if you don't care for OS X nor will it break the bank. If budget is not an issue go for the stock high end models, all will meet your need.

    If for gaming, not Mac`s strongpoint, sooner you dive in the sooner you'll know, next significant update I would say is 6-9 months away.

  15. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    A friend of mine runs his own production company, a small one, but he uses Premiere and has just changed his pre-unibody 17" Mackook Pro to the low end current 15" MacBook Pro so it will run fine.
    You can learn lots of Apple keyboard shortcuts if you want too. And as said Android works fine, you install a transfer programme onto your Mac and then just move your files around including music from ITunes.
  16. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    MobileMe was a massive train wreck. I'll agree with that.

    However, I'll go out on a limb and say that iCloud is far better. Now I can just work on any iWork document halfway on my Mac and if I've to go out in a hurry, I can just grab my iPhone or iPad and continue where I left off. And when I reach home, the changes would've been synced to my Mac already.

    And if I've no Apple devices around me, I can just simply fire up Chrome on a Windows PC, go to iCloud.com and access all my iWork apps and documents and continue my work.

    My signature? Lol...I'm a software developer and a cinematographer. Believe it or not, quite a lot of times, I find myself using all 12 of them.

    100TB of storage is quite enough for me (in which half of them are backups), for now. But when my company switches to 6.5K footage with the Arri Alexa 65, I'm going to have to look for even more storage.
  17. m1990 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2015
    Thanks again guys for the extra information and recommendations.

    I think I will wait a month to see if any news comes out about a new MacBook Pro (give the rumors a chance to set in). If nothing seems to be coming out all that soon, I'll go get a MacBook Pro Retina. My eyes are on the 2.5ghz version, 16gb ram, 500gb SSD and 2gb graphics. Hopefully I can upgrade the SSD to 1TB but we will see.

    I found a store that lets you replace your model if a new one comes out a few weeks after your purchase, so that is some good news.

    A bit nervous about making the change but excited at the same time! :)
  18. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    You can BTO and get the 1 TB but you usually can't do that through stores, you'd have to buy directly from Apple.

    I don't think you'll get any news in the next month. As another poster noted, Apple follows Intel's processor rollout roadmap, the soonest we'd see a new MBP is likely mid-year (June/July), most likely after Intel releases the next round of CPUs. Any upgrades before then will be PURELY incremental of 100-200 mHz but unlikely this will happen.
  19. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Just so you know, you have to buy the SSD at purchase, nobody makes upgrades for this generation retina, the SSD is a blade type (looks like a RAM stick) and uses a proprietary PCI-E connector.
  20. m1990 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2015
    Thanks for the info regarding hard drives, I will have to check out the made to order options for the MacBook pro then to see what I will have to do to get a 1TB version.

    I'll check it all out, thanks again!
  21. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2008
    Keep in mind you can check the Apple refurbished section for higher-spec'd units as well. They are as good as new with a full warranty. (Currently a late 2013 with 1TB is available, which is identical to the current model apart from processor speed.)

    I would consider how much you need the internal space with you all the time, versus storing projects on a portable drive. It is a easier to find deals on the stock configurations, and you can choose a retailer like B&H with discounts and no sales tax. (The $500 bump to 1TB + $cost of buying through Apple can buy a lot of external storage.) And it is possible that there will eventually be upgrades for the internal SSD.

    And if it ultimately turns out that OSX just doesn't work for you, you can always install Windows on it and have a very nice PC laptop.
  22. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    I highly recommend :apple:. Worlds better than the competition.
  23. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    My advice:

    Don't overthink this.
    Decide on what you need and just get it.

    You will want AT LEAST 8gb of RAM, of course.
    If you use apps that manipulate LARGE files (pics, movies), get 16gb RAM.

    Buy ONLY an SSD. Get as large a drive as you feel comfortable spending the money for.

    It may be several months at least before we see any revisions in the MacBook Pro lineup.
    Old saying applies: "If you need now, BUY now."

    You can get "more for your money" if you're willing to buy an Apple-refurbished model.
    They come with the same 1-year warranty and the same support as if they were "new".
    Check "refurbme.com" for prices and availability.
  24. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014
    Most has been said already just a comment on performance vs Windows:

    ( I come from 'that side' too and have only switched over to Mac last year)

    OS X seems to be a much more efficient operating system compared to Windows (7). I have installed Windows on all my Macs in addition to OS X in Bootcamp, so basically it runs there as it would on a 'normal PC'. And every time I do run Windows (which is not often, but I have to for some applications / ebanking etc.) I am amazed how much slower the exact same machine is, how much hotter it gets and how quicker it eats up the battery. There are still things I prefer in Windows (in particular the file system in OS X still annoys me) but the overall user experience is so much better in OS X that I am converted.
  25. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    I wouldn't hold out for rumors. There were practically none before the late-2013 rMBP was released in October that year. Apple made no mention of it at any events until the iPad event in October. Nothing at WWDC in June or the iPhone event in September. Some of us on this forum had a massive thread going where we kept each other company through a long wait and very few rumors up until the very end.

    At the very least I wouldn't expect anything until June or sometime in the fall. They'll wait for Broadwell since they've put out two versions with Haswell.

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