In the Market for a New Macintosh

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by JoshRtek, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. JoshRtek macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2004
    Hello all,

    About five months ago, I was making the big decision between getting a PC or PowerMac as my new desktop. For value reasons, I went with the PC, and have been very happy with it. However, having recently made the move to Los Angeles to persue a career in film editing, I quickly discovered (and expected, of course) that everyone out here is using Macintosh.

    I love both PCs and Macs, and really do not prefer one over the other; they both have their strong points. However, when it come to laptops, I firmly believe that Apple has the upper hand in overall quality and value over PC laptops.

    At my place of employment, I'm constantly doing a lot of assistant editing and logging for various projects, and having my own laptop to type, move files around, etc., would definitely help out a lot.

    We run Avid Media Composer (Meridien and Adrenaline) and soon several Xpress Pro workstations and an HD Symphony. I have my own retail copy of Xpress Pro which I use at home on my PC desktop, and I'd probably be useful to have it on my laptop as well (taking the USB Key with me where ever I go...).

    My main dilemma is budget and size. I really want to stay under $2000 (after tax as well) for my laptop, which restricts me to the 12" (trying to stay in the PowerBook line). I actually prefer the 12" over the other sizes, for it's size and portability...but I'm curious if it would be wise to install and Xpress Pro on the lap, given its small screen size, etc. I would mainly be using the Avid functions on the laptop for assistant editing and logging, nothing having to real with hard core editing with effects and whatnot.

    Should I wait for the next-gen Intel-Mac laptops to arrive? Or should I get something now? What do you all think? Thanks!
  2. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    DO you need it? Is it a must have?DO you need it for ur job? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you should buy a laptop now, if u did not answer "yes" to any of these, then wait for a intel laptop.
  3. JoshRtek thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2004
    No, I certainly DO NOT need one now. I can wait.

    Admittedly, though, it sucks carrying around an IBM ThinkPad circa 1997 with a 3.5 gig hard drive and a 233 MHz Pentium II running Windows 98 SE (and looks a lot like those laptops in the deleted scenes from Aliens, LOL).

    Any idea when we can expect to see Intel-powered Mac laptops?
  4. dswoodley macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2002
    depending on what you may be willing to spend, you could look into a refurbished machine from the Apple Store - -should hold you over for a year and be easy on your wallet
  5. spinne1 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2005
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    Consider a used 15" from a reputable seller on ebay (ie not a store, but someone who owned and used the computer), or someone here on the marketplace site. You can get a 15" for under two grand, perhaps way under.
  6. wiseguy27 macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2005
    Steve Jobs said in WWDC that the portable line would see updates by next June (i.e., 2006). Including some buffer time for the updates to actually ship (and the fact that the demand for portables would be HUGE at that point of time), it might be August 2006 by the time most consumers see the computers they paid for. :)
  7. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    As far as anyone here knows, it may be June 2006+ before we see the new
    Intel based PowerBooks and those will probably have a few "issues" to iron out before they prove themselves worthy of the proven workhorse designation that the current PowerBooks have earned.

    If you can get by with the 12" PB's single mini DVI out and get the job done without any productivity sacrifices, then the 12" PowerBook may hold you till we see the upcoming machines.

    Even so, my gut feeling is that you'll be far better off waiting till you've saved enough for the 15" PowerBook 1.67 GHz w/128 MB VRAM. for
    professional A/V work.

    Obviously, if there's any way you can swing the education discount,
    that would help you with your budget.
  8. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    Since you want to spend under $2000 a refurb would be your best bet. You would get free shipping and a full one year warranty. I would also recommend additional memory since you do video editing. The Crucial RAM link above would be my recommendation. AppleCare is also a very good option.
  9. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Waiting for the Intels will be a test of patience, probably another 10 months at least, and why? I mean sure it would be the newest computer, but Apple does not forget about all the customers who have older computers. A Powerbook today will be supported in 2006-07 as much as a Pismo or old G3 laptop is supported today.

    Ok as for costs, have you looked into buying through a catalog? If you are a resident in California, and you buy a machine from out of state. THERE IS NO TAX! And you get the machine for cost, as well as shipping. Look into it, cause this would allow you to easily afford the PB 15" Combo.
  10. JoshRtek thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2004
    So would it be absolutely miserable to edit (with Final Cut Pro HD, for instance), on a totally maxed out 12" PB (talking, SuperDrive, 1.25 Gigs of RAM, and the 100 gig hard drive [although, I'd probably have my D2 LaCie running video through regular firewire for that...)... I'm going to try and save for the 15", but I honestly don't want to carry something that big around.

    Thanks though for all the suggestions...BTW, how do I get to Apple's refubished site? Thanks.
  11. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Go to the AppleStore, scroll down till you see a red tag that says "Save" on the right side. Thats your ticket to the refurbs.
  12. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    The 15 incher is not that much bigger than 12-incher. It seems smaller than a PC laptop in my sig and its definalety lighter. Don't forget that it has a very cool wide screen! :D
  13. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    You need to check the system requirements for Final Cut Pro HD suite.

    The application, templates and loops total 45 GB's

    As far as I know you can run the application on a PowerBook, but some of the HD features will need to be disabled.

    Final Cut Express, iMovie or iDVD is another story.
    You'll be fine with almost any PowerBook.
  14. weg macrumors 6502a


    Mar 29, 2004
    Wow.. whatever you say about your Thinkpad, it must be of incredible quality, since it's still working flawlessly afer 8 (!!) years.
    I hope my Powerbook G4 that I bought recently will last that long. Well, probably there will be no more PPC software around 2013 :(
  15. JoshRtek thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2004
    Yeah, the ThinkPad's in mint condition actually. My dad bought it in '97 and never used it until about three years later, when I found it, and used it for nothing rather than writing, a mobile map for long car rides (I installed that AAA map program on it), etc. It doesn't even have a burner, combo, or DVD anything, just a good old slow 24x CD-ROM. Not even built-in modem or ethernet!

    Anyhow, it's embarrasing when my iPod Mini has a bigger hard drive than my laptop...the thing needs to be replaced.

    I'm thinking of springing for the 12' Powerbook soon, as soon as they do another update (even though it might be before the Intel switch). I figure, it'll be enough to run Avid Xpress Pro with the RAM maxed to 1.25 Gigs and a BTO 100 Gig HD (Final Cut Pro HD...does it REALLY take up 45 gigs of HD space fully installed?).

    Mainly, I want the computer to A.) replace my current laptop, B.) allow myself to get familiar with Macintosh OS X (I know it well, but not like the back of my hand, which I can claim for all the Windows OSs from the past decade), C.) a cheap platform to learn Final Cut Pro HD on (I'm an Avid guy, and like Mac OSX, I don't know FCP as well as I'd like to...), and D.) do some rudamentary editing on-the-go (for Avid XpressPro and FCP).

    I figure I can always get a cheap, decent 17" CRT to use in concert with the 12"'s tiny 1024 x 768 screen (using the Mini-DVI out connection). Any suggestions, comments? Thanks again guys for all the help.
  16. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    Final Cut Studio Sytem Requirements

    Requirements per Apple

    Macintosh computer with an 867MHz or faster PowerPC G4 or G5 processor; HD features require 1GHz or faster single or dual processor G4 or G5 (authoring HD DVDs requires a G5 processor)
    512MB RAM; HD features require 1GB of RAM or more (2 GB recommended)
    Display with 1024 x 768 or higher resolution
    AGP Quartz Extreme Graphics card
    Motion requires the standard graphics card in any Power Mac G5 or iMac G5, a 1.25GHz or faster PowerBook G4, or a 1.25GHz or faster flat panel iMac. One of the following graphics cards is highly recommended: NVIDIA GeForce FX 6800 Ultra DDL or 6800 GT DDL (NV40), ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 (RV M11), ATI Radeon 9800 Pro (R350), or 9800 XT (R360).
    Mac OS X v10.3.9 or Mac OS X v10.4 or later; Mac OS X v10.4 or later required to use Core Image Units and 16 and 32-bit float rendering in Motion
    QuickTime 7 or later
    4 GB of disk space required to install all applications
    Additional 41GB required to install all optional templates, loops, content, and tutorials (may be installed on separate disks)

    DVD drive for installation
    Playback of DVD Studio Pro 4-authored HD DVDs requires a G5 processor, Mac OS X v10.4 and Apple DVD Player 4.6 or later
    Replication of DVD Studio Pro 4-authored DVDs requires a DLT drive

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