Jumping ship from the PC World

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Omar Comin' Yo, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. Omar Comin' Yo macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2012
    First off, I am new not only to this forum, but have never owned an apple computer. I accidentally found this site by typing in 'mac rumors' on google when I was looking up info on the iphone 5.

    I've owned various PC laptops over the years, and am about to upgrade a very outdated Sony Vaio. Since I am starting to learn Final Cut (a bit of a hobby), I thought it would be convenient to just jump ship and buy an apple laptop. I also like the stability of the OS, as I have had problems with each new release of Windows.

    I am a bit unsure on what type of laptop to get. I spend a great deal of time with Final Draft, and do light photoshop work, as well as interneting. I'd also like to toy around with Final Cut, as I am teaching myself how to learn the program.

    Since I really don't know much about the power of these laptops, would a Macbook Pro be my best bet because of the upgradeability of the HD and RAM? Or will a Mac Air suit all my needs? I went to the apple store today and played around with each one, and although I did fall in love with the Retina screen, I'm not sure it is really necessary for what I need to do. I don't have a desktop computer, so this purchase will be my sole computer.

    I'm not sure I understand the power difference between the Air and Pro aside from the i5 and i7 processors as listed on the website.
  2. Dwhite78 macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2010
    Go for the 2.6/512/16 rMBP, you will be VERY happy with it.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Any Mac model can easily accommodate your needs, as described. The MBP does have the advantage of upgradability.
  4. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    The dual-core MacPro is slightly faster for CPU intensive tasks than the Airs are. The quad-core pros (retina and old school) are an order of magnitude faster for CPU intensive tasks (like rendering video)

    Geekbench results:


    You can download Geekbench for Windows and run it on you VAIO to get an idea of the difference. Certainly any current MacBook will beet the pants off your outdated PC, but some also beat the pants off each other!
  5. Omar Comin' Yo thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2012

    I absolutely loved the Retina earlier this weekend when I was at the applestore. The screen quality is a real head turner, although I'm not sure exactly if a majority of the web is ready for that type of tech just yet.

    I was sort of debating between the

    Air, 128 GB, 8 RAM - 1299

    The Pro and Retina are so close in price, which is another tough call. The Pro I looked at was the lower end 15" with the RAM up to 8 GB and the High Res Screen. I think the difference was 200.
  6. Slivortal macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2012
    The CPU is only one part of the speed equation, though - an SSD is also an important factor to receiving top-notch speed performance (and is something that won't come up on Geekbench). I feel that the SSD usually bottlenecks before a half-decent processor.

    Personally, unless you're planning on upgrading your MBP to an SSD, I'd recommend the MBA or the RMBP for that reason alone.
  7. Haiku214 macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2012
  8. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    Since it's your first Mac, I wouldn't jump in head first if I were you. For the best value and a great taste of Apple engineering, take a look at the 13" MBA. Dollar for dollar, it's the best value in the Mac world right now.
  9. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    I'm personally a big advocate of Airs and rMBPs over MBPs (and even my mini has an SSD).

    However for rendering video, the CPU is a huge factor.
  10. Omar Comin' Yo thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2012
    Yeah, that is what the apple salesperson said. He suggested to either get the Air if I didn't want to spend money on the screen, or if that didn't matter, get the Retina. I just wish I didn't spend so much time with that screen, its gorgeous.
  11. SDAVE macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2007
    I would either get the base rMBP with 16GB RAM or a non Retina Hi-Res anti-glare 15" MBP (2012). Get the one with low RAM and HD so you can upgrade it yourself (16GB RAM + Your choice of SSD).

    Note that if you get the rMBP you can't upgrade.

    I would not get the Air if you are going to do any serious work like editing on it. It might handle (light stuff) but it will slow down to a crawl since it has no discreet GPU and it's very low powered compared to the Quad Cure i7's in the rMBP and 2012 MBP. Also the Air GPU uses shared RAM so you lose that too.

    And PC to Mac transition is great. You'll never go back.

    I'd been building and using PCs since 1995 and when I moved to the Mac in 2005, I never wanted to go back. Was tired of being an IT guy for my own hardware. The Macs just let me do work..

    The rMBP will be a good investment for you. It will pay off.

    If I were buying a new MBP it would definitely be an rMBP. After playing with it at the store, it seems closer to the Air (weight wise) than one would expect.
  12. mohsy90 macrumors 65816


    Feb 4, 2011
    New York
    Obviously everyone would recommend the retina but get a laptop that caters to your needs instead of buying a 2K+ machine that might be more than what you need. If you're not concerned about real estate and hard drive space then the 13" air is a good fit.

    If you want a 15" screen, quad-core processor, discrete graphics card for gaming or graphics heavy programs then the retina is a no brainer.

    A lot of people are jumping to the retina, with close to 90% not really "needing" it.
  13. Omar Comin' Yo thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2012
    I am basically editing footage in Final Cut just to learn the program. Can the Air handle at least that? I would imagine when I become pretty good with the program, I'll want to upgrade.

    I also have a 1 TB portable HD, as the upgrade in HD on the apple site is rather pricey for the Air and Retina.
  14. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    The Air handles Final Cut perfectly.

    You're also right about retina, it's a bit ahead of its time at this point. It's going to take a few years (at least) for the software to catch up.
  15. SDAVE macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2007
    Air will handle stuff, but not when you want to get more advanced. The max you can do it on is a dual core CPU (2.0Ghz). And even then it's fairly expensive.

    I would also look at the Refurbished store for a 2011 MBP then get a 256GB SSD and 16GB RAM and pop the internal HD into a FW800 enclosure. It will cost you about $300 to upgrade. These machines are fast and pretty much new with 1 year warranty (+ 3yr if you get apple care)

    A disadvantage: no USB 3.0.
  16. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    It can handle anything... it's a question of speed. If you want to recode video to a lower bit rate for distribution, that takes serious CPU horsepower, but editing without recoding would be fast.
  17. Omar Comin' Yo thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2012
    So, essentially an Air would be fine for now (smaller screen, nowhere as nice looking, but SSHD and adequate power for my needs), but down the road I'll have to upgrade if I want to do more advanced work with Final Cut?
  18. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    I don't use Final Cut or play games, so I'm not the best source, but I'm a longtime MacBook Air user and the 2012 has handled everything I've thrown at it. I have the i7 with 8GB RAM. I use Windows 7 in a virtual machine (mostly for Quicken but also Office).

    What type of PC are you coming from? The main differences between the 13" Air and the Retina MacBook Pro are the screen and the dual-core vs. quad-core processor. Neither the Retina MacBook Pro nor the MacBook Air are upgradable internally (except there are some 3rd party SSDs for the Air and likely will be for the Pro eventually).

    The non-Retina MacBook Pro is upgradable, though. I have replaced HDDs with SSDs, and the RAM is also upgradable. Of course, you don't get that beautiful screen, and the SSD is optional.

    What kind of budget do you have? The i5 MacBook Air is about $700 less than the Retina MacBook Pro with the same 256GB SSD. If you don't need the horsepower or the screen, it could be a good choice. On the other hand, the Retina MacBook Pro is likely to last a bit longer before you need to replace it, since it has twice the CPU as the Air and a better graphics processor.
  19. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    I had a 13-inch MBA until recently (2011, which isn't as fast as the the current, and it was the i5 processor). I don't edit video, but it was absolutely fine for Aperture and everything I threw at it except for recoding video (like taking a 1080p 10GB movie and recoding it at a lower bit rate) - although to be fair, tasks like that take a long time even on a top i7 if you care about quality.

    Obviously I think everyone should have a retina, but I'm not going to pay for it for them. If you're thinking you'll make the upgrade later, remember that Macs hold their resale value better than PCs - you can buy an MBA and resell it in a year for not a whole lot less than you paid for it. You can also buy one and return it with 14 days, so if it's not suitable for your needs you'll find out and not run any risk.
  20. ekovalsky macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2012

    That's exactly what I got and am thrilled. I was also a long time Windows/PC user and dabbled with OS X before without being too enamoured with it. After a week with the rMBP I absolutely love it. I am still amazed at how powerful the hardware is, it runs relatively cool, silent unless pushed really hard, and battery lasts a very long time. And the screen is just amazing, glare is controlled much better than other glossy displays too.
  21. Omar Comin' Yo thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2012

    I was under the impression that the Air only came with the i5 processor. At least the 13" models I was looking at did. The 11" model is way to small for me.

    I am using a Sony Vaio that is over 2 years sold.

    I can spend whatever I need to, but obviously, don't really want to shell out 3k for a laptop. Its my first apple laptop so I am just trying to get as much information as I can.

    Prior to my visit to the apple store, I was set on getting a normal Mac Pro laptop because of the upgradeability. Now, I'm torn between the Air and Retina. It seems like the more research I do, the more indecisive I become.
  22. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    You can get a 2.0GHz dual core Core i7 for an extra $100. It is about 15% faster than the i5 on the Air. It is technically a build-to-order only available online, but a lot of stores have them in stock (at least in bigger cities).

    The Retina MacBook Pro has a quad-core Core i7 at 2.3GHz. It is quite a more powerful processor than the i7 in the MacBook Air. The i7 in the Air is roughly equivalent to the i5 in the base 13" MacBook Pro. Actually the 13" Pro would be slightly quicker since it has a faster base speed (2.5GHz vs. 2.0GHz) and a faster GPU.
  23. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    There are different (more powerful) configurations available at the online store.
    All the MBAs can be upgraded to dual-core i7s.

    One advantage the retina has for video editing is that you can have an edit window that's full 1080p and still have all your controls and tools showing.

    See screen shot here: http://apcmag.com/images/2012/macbook_finalcut_retina.jpg
  24. Dwhite78 macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2010
    that's always how it goes, at least for me anyway!

    Since I looked over the fact that you're doing fcp dabbling with the MacBook, I'll give you my experience.

    Mind you this is only editing family videos, but I have a 2011 13 inch MBA, while it handles FCP just fine, it does not render things terribly fast, and exports take forever. My experience with FCP, and Lighhtroom were my primary reasons for selling my 2011 MBA and buying a 2.6/16/512 rMBP.
  25. jaguar451 macrumors member

    Aug 21, 2002
    A nice comparison of the 2012 13" Air vs Pro is at http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/06/faceoff-13-macbook-pro-vs-13-macbook-air/

    I lean for upgradability (Pro) over Air features, but really depends on what is important to you.

    If you do a lot of your intensive work at your desk, I assume that you'll have an external monitor, so screen size may be less important when comparing either 13" to a 15" MBP or rMBP (although Quad core and dedicated graphics card might be important for you vs portability and $$$....)


    Ditto. I have a 2008 unibody MB. Will get me an additional Mac ~August (need a second computer for wife & kids; I want something faster....)

    Probably getting a MBP, either 13" 2012 or 15" 2011.

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