Intending to buy a laptop and looking at the MacBook, few questions...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Garrettmania, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. Garrettmania macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    #1
    Alright, so I'm in my second semester of college and I need a laptop (I wanted one last semester but didn't need it...) I'm majoring in Network Administration and also a second degree in Computer Programming.
    Although I constantly hear (from my parents and some of my friends) that Macs are for graphic designers only, I'm going to ignore that because I know it isn't true. I'm asking for an unbiased opinion, I just want to know what would be right for me, I know each have advantages over the other.
    I am looking at a Sony Vaio or a MacBook. First question is, which would be better for me? I have a lot of software for my PC already such as Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Premium. If I got a Mac, I can't use it on both my PC and a Mac, would it be worth it to buy CS4 for the Mac, or would having CS3 on just my home PC be suffice? Also if I get a MacBook, which one would be better for me? The 2.0GHz with standard keyboard or 2.4GHz with backlit keyboard? There isn't a big difference in price, just a difference in keyboard and also a great difference in price. The only reason I still consider getting a Windows based machine is because I have so much software already for the PC platform. My final question is, what are your personal thoughts on having a PC and a Mac (two platforms).
    Hope these questions make sense. Thanks!
    Garrett
     
  2. svndmvn Guest

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Italy
    #2
    The 2.0GHz Macbook is, IMO, of great value, and your money would be best spent on RAM rather than on the backlit keyboard and the extra .4GHz. Even though 2GB would suffice to start with.
    Any present Mac is good for dual booting, Mac OS X comes with boot camp, which allows you to partition your hard drive and with a Windows License/CD you can install it and choose the operating system to run natively.
    You can start using the windows software probably and try the demos of the Mac alternatives, if there are any, and choose later on if it's worth buying the full versions.
     
  3. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #3
    To me, it's a no brainer decision. The Mac will run Windows AND Mac OS. The Vaio will not. That means you can develop software for both platforms on the same computer. When you get to the testing stage, you'll almost certainly want to test PC software on PC only machines, but you already have one, and I'm sure you won't have any trouble borrowing access to others. Once you install Windows (XP or Vista) on the Mac, you can run all that PC software on the Mac, so you don't need to buy anything unless you don't have a copy of XP or Vista that can be installed. I bought an OEM (for installers) version of XP on Amazon for $90. Works like a charm on my 2.4Ghz Macbook (white). Make sure you get the right version software. You cannot install just any XP or any Vista.

    If CS3 currently works fine for you, there's no reason to upgrade to CS4. In other words, just because they make it, doesn't mean you need it.
     
  4. CMelton macrumors regular

    CMelton

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #4
    I was in a very similar situation to you when I started at University and in the end I went with a macbook. I have a "whitebook" that I currently boot into both windows and OS X, depending on what I'm working on, using Bootcamp and it works really well. This could also save you money as an OEM version of Windows (Vista or Xp, you're choice) is much cheaper* than CS4 and you could run your current CS3 licence, as well as all your other software, on your windows partition and use it when necessary.

    *(If you have a windows install disc you could transfer your licence to your macbook under Bootcamp and save yourself this cost to)

    This could also possibly allow you to have a bigger budget for your laptop itself - by that I mean if you don't have to buy an expensive CS4 licence then maybe you could get the 2.4.

    And no Macs are definitely not just for graphic designers, I'm an Aerospace Engineer.

    Just my thoughts.
     
  5. FieryFurnace macrumors 6502

    FieryFurnace

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    #5
    And don't forget, you can get Windows XP/Vista/Server 32bit/64bit for free from your school if it is part of MSDNAA. :D
     
  6. duncanapple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #6
    My opinion, besides all the obvious advantges of a mac vs pc in general (this is gone over in length at macrumors lol) - IF you go with the mac, def go for the 2.4. In the case of the pro, 2.4 to 2.5 may not be a huge deal, but 2.0 to 2.4 is, especially if you prob want to get an honest 4+ years use out of the machine, since its for school.

    Second, yes you can run boot camp and then your PC copy of Abobe CS3. But a better option to avoid having to dual boot so often (or at all if you never need windows) is to switch your adobe license to OSX. I have read on here that adobe with let you "crossgrade" your license from one operating system to the other (in your case PC to Mac) for a nominal fee - I *think* I heard $50. Student prices may be less. Either way, if you have CS3, no need for CS4. But then, I am a casual user.

    Good luck with the mac, I have the same 2.4 Alum Macbook you are considering, and I love it. Build quality is light years ahead of my old macbook.
     
  7. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #7
    I own the new unibody MB 2.4, and I absolutely love it. In addition, you can buy a refurbished unit and get a nice discount. The 2.0 is $1099 and the 2.4 is $1399. The refurbished are like new and have the warranty for a year. You can also buy the AppleCare to extend the warranty out to three years. Sometimes universities offer big discounts on new MBs too.

    Best wishes with a MAC. I definitely would go that route. You can install Windows Via Boot Camp or run it virtually within OS X.

    And good luck with college.
     
  8. Garrettmania thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    #8
    Thanks for all the responses.
    I think I'm going to go for the 2.4 MacBook. Right now I'm getting a lot of heat about wanting a Mac because my mom thinks it's a waste of money and I don't NEED a Mac and could do just fine with a PC.
    Another question, how well would VMWare Fusion (or Parallels) run on a 2.4 MacBook with 2GB of RAM running XP on VMWare Fusion (or Parallels)? Which is better, VMWare Fusion or Parallels?
    Thanks again!
    Garrett
    EDIT:
    Also, I'd buy it thru Best Buy, because then I can get accidental coverage with Geek Squad (AppleCare doesn't have accidental coverage :[) and I need it because I've got some fricken crazy friends that might spill a beer on it or knock it off where it sits (or I will when I'm working in the stock room where I work)
     
  9. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #9
    It's a debate as to fusion or parallels. I stick with boot camp. If going to run virtually, definitely need to upgrade the RAM to 4 GB. Mom's are sometimes wrong; in this case, your mom is wrong. That MB is not overkill. Not like you're going with a $4 grand gaming notebook. Congrats on your decision.

    Best wishes with your new MB!
     
  10. briegull macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    #10
    fusion

    I bought a macbook pro a year ago from PC/MAC Connection, 2 gig. They threw in VMware Fusion. I run Photoshop on the PC side because I had it (and spider) and Quicken, but not a lot more, any more. Photoshop runs just fine (this is PS7, so I can't speak to the creative suite per se.) I installed my old version on it, no problem. I have had NO problem running any PC program on the PC side - I had Dreamweaver installed there for awhile but decided to get a mac version. I have a hot key to switch "spaces" - one is reserved for Fusion, so i go back and forth. I don't think there's any reason to have 4 gig of ram; 2 works fine. And I haven't had a crash, a virus, or ANY trouble in this entire year of constant use. I don't have to defrag or close things because memory's getting slow. About the only problem I've had is occasional lags in videos on Firefox when I haven't shut IT down for a couple of days.
     
  11. skye12 macrumors 65816

    skye12

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    #11
    The new upgrade of the plastic MB with the new 9400 graphics engine makes it
    an incredible deal. Throw in 4GB ram and upgrade to a larger 320gb 7200 HD and you're set.
     
  12. svndmvn Guest

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Italy
    #12
    possibly 6 or 8GB of 800MHz DDR2, and an SSD or 500GB HD?
     

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