I think the MacBook was a "good attempt"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by one1, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. one1 macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I've rocked MAC's for about 6 yrs. I'm not the 30 yr veteran, but the second I laid hands on one I became a fanboy. I have a MAC sticker (somewhat hidden) on my Mercedes and I don't allow stickers anywhere near my Benz.

    I started out with a G3 12" iBook (that I am typing on right now actually). I love this old thing and can't stand to let it die. Even though I have had to go in and fix the logic board every 6 months on it for the past few years (any other EE's in the house?) I have done it with the promise of having the book around for convenience since it will fit in my briefcase.

    I bought it a big brother a couple years back when I visited the Apple store and fell in love with the big flagship 17" PowerBook. Best purchase I have ever made MAC wise. It's still mint and tough as nails, never an issue.

    So with the coming of the new millennium I stepped into the next level and bought a MacBook to stay updated (to an extent). I love the brighter screen of the MacBook, and I like the extra 1.3 inches over my iBook. The glossy screen is nice looking...... as long as you are indoors in a room with mediocre lighting. I appreciate the self loading optical drive, though it can cause issues with different thickness media.

    Then the cons start to outweigh the pros from here on.

    -Heat is a number one issue with these books IMO. Warped cases, excessive wear internally from high temps, lot's of annoying fan action trying to keep the CPU cool.

    - Build quality externally. Several issues with the plastics and design such as the now infamous "hole" that develops in the deck as a result of the top screen spacer resting on that spot. Yellowing issues reported. Bottom cases cracking, tied into the heat issue.

    - Build quality internally. Integrated graphics card on a duo core machine is disappointing, especially the one that was used. On PC machines the driver that is designed for this integrated sound card actually causes stuttering in the video and audio, I have fortunately not experienced this (yet) on the MacBook driver. The use of this video card by Apple on a machine that had so much potential was obviously done to keep the Macbook from stealing customers away from the MacBook Pro side of things. With better temp control, the MacBook could stick a fork in the Macbook Pro with a high performance graphics card because people would buy it for size. Why would Mac limit this market where they do not have a more portable smaller machine in the 13in range with good media abilities? Obviously something is planned for the future to be small in the 13in range with stand alone graphics card integration. I just don't believe they'd leave this market alone without a reason. Still, this is about the MacBook and here they leave users hanging.

    Though the build quality is a disappointment, the real issue I have with the MacBook is how much potential it had, only to be choked down. I bought this machine to replace my 17" Powerbook. I figured core duo, faster processor, more ram ability.... upgrade, ...........right? I mean, that WAS the point of buying a newer generation book. The graphics card is so BLAH that whatever potential the MacBook had to be a serious machine was instantly choked out of it and limited to it's graphics processing ability. Surfing the net is limited to whatever the integrated GMA will allow, photoshop is limited to whatever the GMA will allow, even coverflow.......

    No matter how much ram you shove in it, you are limited to whatever the graphics card will allow, which in the GMA isn't much..... as I found out after having to buy the computer and experience it for myself to know exactly how it performs. The verdict is that I went from a 17" flagship model that was "outdated" to a 13" mid grade model that was "current" and the final word is that my Powerbook would rock this macbooks world.

    I think Apple made a good attempt with the MacBook. I really do. It has enough specs to draw you in and get you excited, but is bottlenecked by design to limit the abilities to it's restrictions.

    My advice to MacBook potential owners is to realize that while the specs are impressive enough to make you interested, look deeper into the system at the limitations that bottleneck what could be a monster of a laptop in a 13" case. Duo core, 2+g, 3 and 4 gig ram potential, all of this catches the eye and draws you in to the purchase..... but realizing the integrated graphics card cannot process on the level of a 3 yr old Powerbook makes all that fury seem like a little puppy rather than the mean dog it is pushed as. These specs mean NOTHING if you cannot process the video and audio that could potentially be used with them. The GMA is a weak and flawed graphics controller that can choke even on some flash games making your 3 gig of ram and duo cores useless.

    My hats off to Apple for continuing their work to make better products for todays environments and keep with the flow, but in an effort to keep the MBP the top dog they have had to choke the MB's impressive specs into a limited package that will never reach it potential.

    If they would have just kept the leash off it's neck, it would have been a monster even with the obvious physical design flaws. If you need small space and a fast package, the MacBook is a sure winner. However if you want to pump it up and stay under $1000, I'd recommend the last generation of Powerbook. You'll end up with more for your money.

    You are obviously free to disagree with my perspective, but you can't change it's limitations or the fact that the 1st gen rev A macbooks were already more than the graphics card can handle so B, and C performance boosts are pointless with the exception of the few fixes to common issues. Don't buy them for performance. The specs of the rev A far outrun the GMA card. The rev D finally got a decent card, so kudos to that move.


    ........and I'm still a fanboy.
     
  2. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

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    #2
    I approve.

    However it doesn't change the fact that the first two revs of macbooks with integrated GMA 950 still hit a fairly large market segment, ie. all students and simple iLife users. All users above that level (you included because you have tried the power of the powerbook) would be fairly disappointed.

    I too dumped the macbook due to the horrible build quality I experienced, tiny screen estate and horrible graphics cards. All reasons that was the gap between the Macbook Pro and the Macbook product lines. So seen from a marketing angle, Apple really made a good choice (meaning their income increased).
     
  3. daneoni macrumors G4

    daneoni

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #3
    that was a long rant on the GMA965. However your arguement is somewhat flawed. You're comparing Two different product lines...a flagship desktop replacement and a mid-range consumer level notebook. There are bound to be differences. You should be comparing the macbook with an iBook or 12" PowerBook and the truth is the GMA outclasses both just like the 8600GT outclasses the PBs GPU

    Coming from a 17"PB you will be dissapointed becos you're not the target market for the macbook people who want to do serious photoshop will get a MBP. MacBook users want tons of photos,music, documents on their comp with the ability to email/surf and touch up some photos, shoot/amateur movies etc

    Granted current GMA drivers suck but hopefully this would be addressed in a future update just as was done with the mbp and imac cards

    Build quality issues is also not restricted to the MacBook the entire product lines from Apple can be/are affected. Mbps have latch issues, overapplied pastes and yellow screens. iPhones/itouches also have screen issues. iMacs have screen/GPU issues and condensing glasses

    Basically as you get more popular, bad eggs leave the factories and you start looking for ways to cheap out and save costs. Its bad but it happens
     
  4. one1 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #4
    While it is true that I was coming from the 17" PB, I left comparisons out of most of the rant to address the issues of the MacBook that stand alone without comparisons.

    The main point of it all focuses on the fact that Apple tells you "here is a faster book that is *better* than what you have, just look at these specs!" and my counter point to that would be that it is all -to an extent- useless to throw these impressive specs out there if they cannot be effectively used. It really all centers around the video/audio card since no matter what you stick behind it, will choke when it hits the card.

    I'm a photoshop user because I like to take pictures with my Canon Rebel XTi and tweak them. It's just a little usage, personal stuff on maybe 5 photo's at a time every few days..... nothing hardcore, so I wasn't completely maxxing out my PB's potential.

    Where my experience was tainted with the MB is where Apple told you this book had all these great specs that made the older books look blah in comparison, but did not make an effort to promote the knowledge that the GMA used in the first three MB's wouldn't allow you to use all the greatness they gave you specs on that drew you in to begin with.

    For someone like myself that was used to the PB, I was not aware of what the GMA950 was like until I got my hands on it. ......unfortunately. What was supposed to be a world of bigger and better was like a V-8 engine firing on 6 plugs.

    Still, it's not BAD as an entry level book. I just think this needs to be put out there for people that read the specs, get excited, and buy the book expecting more than it is capable of based just on the specs apple pushes for you to see. We DO expect more than we get when initially looking at a duo core machine. It something that hides itself and buyers should take note, because the specs will fool you.
     
  5. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

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    #5
    Apple actually never did this. They only stated faster and better in terms of processor change, nor did they ever make a comparison between the old g4 graphics performance or the new macbook.
    I am not to sure if they advertised with the 'stunning new graphics' which they unfortunately have a tendency to do and obviously would be wrong to do.

    Photoshop doesn't make any use of graphics whatsoever but are entirely cpu, hd and ram dependent, so your argument here is flawed. Your new macbook actually has better performance running photoshop emulated than your old powerbook did.

    You should never trust a manufacturer's advertisement of their own products. It's like believing any Microsoft product will work better than your previous one and also come in a new non-bugged flavour.

    Well this is what the macrumor's forums are for. And also always get any hands-on experience with the product through relatives, friends etc etc before buying.
    If you don't know what you want, take the same step as your previous laptop, in your example a macbook pro since you came from a powerbook.
     
  6. denz455 macrumors member

    denz455

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    #6
    just an amatuer question to be thrown out there, you guys seem like pretty experienced people on the macs and ive just purchased a Macbook 2.2 120g etc and for the extra money, do you think it was worth considering the macbook pro before my purchase?
     
  7. noodle654 macrumors 68020

    noodle654

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    Never Ender
    #7
    It depends what you do. If you do heavy CPU work (3D imaging, all that stuff) then a MBP would be great. If you just surf the web, MacBook.
     
  8. johny5 macrumors 6502a

    johny5

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    #8
    It all boils down to what do you want to do with your Mac? there are lots of "which Macbook" threads on this forum to help you out here
     
  9. one1 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #9
    Photoshop was actually a point made to show that I didn't use the PB to it's full potential as it was processor wise, as stated. My issues with the MB are highlighted in the OP discussing flash games and other internet issues. :) The standard complaints with a weak video/audio integrated controller.

    If I had experience with an SR MB I'd be able to give you a better opinion of what I think, but without the experience of someone who has specifically used one and is sure of how it performs with the newer graphics card in the rev D's it's hard for anyone to say whether or not is is enough for you. Really that is something only you can make the determination on. All I can say is buy as big as you can afford. If the MBP was an option financially I don't see why a better book could ever be a bad purchase and should always be a consideration. I can say I appreciated my flagship model PB much more than the MacBook.
     
  10. denz455 macrumors member

    denz455

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    Location:
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    #10
    well thats the thing, i didnt really purchase the macbook for a reason. to be completely honest i just got sick of microsoft. I needed a change and the apple macbooks are in a good price range. When i recieve it im not sure what i will do other than be the average internet browser sitting at his desk.

    sorry for interupting the forum and barging in, its just the other forums were so quiet. sorry again.
     
  11. one1 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Judging by your response I'd say the SR MB is a fine purchase for your needs.
     
  12. one1 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #12
    While I am uninterested in the "legalities" of it, as I am not a legality - I am a consumer, I will answer this. Apple does compare everything they do to their previous models in what Steve Jobs has said thousands of times in every keynote I can recall "The MAC Experience". The improved experience of better video and audio integration, the overall experience in general which is a direct reflection of how the book performs overall - which is heavily dependent on the graphics card in this model more than most since it is audio and video combined in a single unit which is built into the board permanently and provides no flexibility or ability to change the MAC experience provided of this book.

    This is indeed a factor of "The IMPROVED MAC Experience" over the previous models.

    :) .....and I still think in any form the MacBook is a good attempt.
     
  13. iheartcanada macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #13
    My Macbook...

    The Macbook i bought in June of 2007 is great. I have never had any issues with it not being able to run any app I have ever put in it. Photoshop works great (cs3) and i run games on my windows partition. Maybe your expectations were too high?
     
  14. one1 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #14
    No it simply means it works for you. Kudos on that. :) The issue of the GMA card isn't dependent on the apps as much as it is other areas of interest that have been outlined. One of the biggest factors being your photoshop does not contain audio, which affects the video side of this card in a dramatic way. On VISTA you can use a machine with this card on something such as a flash game and it will stutter and stumble with the audio on under USB drivers, but simply hit the mute button and it runs smooth as silk.
     
  15. denz455 macrumors member

    denz455

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    #15
    is there a forum which shows pictures of peoples macbook setups in there home.
     
  16. one1 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #16
  17. airjuggernaut macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    To be very honest, the x3100 gets a lot of bad rep for no reasons. It is a pretty decent Video card.
    The card can run Counter Strike Source at 30 fps on FULLY HIGH settings and on 1024 by 768, with no problems. I know CS isnt the most demanding game, but its still pretty good that an integrated card can run it at such a level. I personally don't do intensive photoshop work, but for what I do, do such as simple signatures, backgrounds, etc Photoshop is speedy.
     
  18. Sceneshifter macrumors 6502

    Sceneshifter

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    #18
    on the side, is that the new CS you're talking about, or the one from back in the nineties?
     
  19. CashGap macrumors 6502

    CashGap

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    #19
    I get your points, but...

    OK, you figured wrong... not their fault. You went from an early pro machine to a recent light consumer machine. Think of it this way... I have a 1977 F-250 300ci six cylinder two wheel drive for hauling wood. Hauls two tons. I buy a 2007 F-150 5.4L 4x4 and I'm disappointed that it barely hauls a ton, what about all the Ford ads talking about upgraded suspension, best load handling in its class, etc.? Thirty years and five times the MSRP and it hauls half as much? The specs were misleading... four wheel drive instead of two wheel drive, 5.4L instead of 5.0, eight cylinders instead of six... where's my improved wood hauling performance?

    That's not Ford's mistake... it's mine.

    Possibly their highest unit sales notebook ever and the "face" of much of the mac switcher phenomenon? That's a good attempt!

    I do understand your concern, but realize that 9 of 10 Macbook buyers would glaze over at a discussion of video cards, and would not pay a $100 premium for a better card. Truly, for their use, the $100 would have been wasted. It simply would have priced the $1,099 machine at $1,199 without adding any APPRECIATED improvement in utility, therefore, the machine would have been a worse perceived value.
     
  20. airjuggernaut macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Counter Strike Source. The latest and greatest from Valve.
     
  21. carlgo macrumors 68000

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    #21
    You bought the F150 1/2 ton and wondered why it wouldn't carry as much as an F250 3/4 ton?

    While we are at it, why did you think 4WD would carry more than 2WD? What did you think the connection was? And you expected a 5.4 V8 to be much better than a giant high-torque 6 cyl? Why?

    And you believe those truck commercials where they dump huge piles of rocks and iron in them from high altitudes?

    Similarly, do you believe computer commercials where happy smiling people watch full-screen 3D video on their laptops? Did you ever notice the "picture simulated" warning in the corner?

    And these forums are full of complaints about built-in graphics and all that. I am no expert at all, but just reading these posts now and then would indicate that you gotta pay more if you think this could be an issue.

    BTW, how in the world can you put so much wood in a truck that it will over-load? I have over-loaded with sand, rocks, concrete and pavers, but couldn't possibly fit enough wood in one to over-load it. And I have tried.

    Are these real problems for you? If so, you need to do some research before you buy big-ticket items of any sort.
     
  22. CashGap macrumors 6502

    CashGap

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    #22
    Actually, I don't haul wood and my only truck is a Ford Lightning. It can't haul much, but it's faaast.


    I was trying to make an analogy... 17"PB analogous to '77 F250, MB analogous to '07 F150. "Specs" are better on the '07 but it would be wrong of me to think that every improved spec somehow improves fitness for my task, wood hauling. Also wrong of me to think that every suburbanite hauling two bags of dogfood back from WalMart in their F150 would have been better off if Ford had built it with rock-hard springs and an 8,000GVWR.
     
  23. one1 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #23
    Not to nitpick your analogy, but a high compression computer managed engines of today with half the cylinders would destroy an old carb engine.

    Regardless the comparisons do not cover the faults.
     
  24. daneoni macrumors G4

    daneoni

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #24
    its true tho that nothing beats a dedicated video and video is a core component of the OS. If Apple hadn't become so popular they'd probably have Nvidia 8400 GS in the MacBooks....in an ideal world

    What we can hope for now however is updated drivers for the X3100 card which are very decent cards

    One thing is for sure though if the rumored UP laptop at MWSF has a decent GPU I'd buy one and sell my BlackBook. In all honesty I only got a blackbook because I have another desktop to do heavy lifting with
     
  25. Macula macrumors 6502

    Macula

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    #25
    Jiddick ExRex, my apologies for this loose thread but I noticed in your signature that you now have a "perfect SR Macbook Pro". Does this mean that you got one with no yellowing? I remember you in earlier posts complaining about this issue.

    Thanks.
     

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