Just another "Help me decide" thread

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by KarlHatred, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. KarlHatred macrumors newbie

    KarlHatred

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Location:
    Germany
    #1
    Hello folks,

    first of all, this is my first post and English is not my native language so go easy on me ^^

    I have been following the news and reviews about Macbooks visiting MacRumors, Macrumors forums, YouTube and Apple websites etc. etc. almost daily for over 5 months. I always wanted to buy a Macbook Pro but couldn't afford it... until now(since Apple or other dealers offering financing options).

    I wanted to buy a 15" Macbook Pro base model with Hi-Res matte display(that's the most I can afford) and wanted to add a SSD after a while when I can afford one(probably a 120GB OCZ Vertex 3). But after this nice update of Macbook Air models, I am having a hard time deciding which one to buy. :mad:

    I will use it at work for some beginner iOS programming, web development, graphic design(mainly Photoshop and maybe After Effects) and at home use it for usual stuff like surfing, reading, watching videos, some newbie video-editing for the family(iMovie?) and listening music.

    But I also would like to do some gaming which will be mainly WoW, Eve Online, Quake-Live, some Steam titles like Team Fortress 2, Left4Dead and maybe StarCraft II(I already have them all on PC but would be nice to have them when I have time and can't access my PC).

    The most deal breaking part for me is the GPU on both Macbook Air and Macbook Pro 13" models, that's why I wanted(or forced by Apple :p ) to choose 15" Pro.

    I hope I explained my situation well enough and hopefully some of the wise MacRumors users can help me decide. Thank you. :)
     
  2. Cicatrix macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #2
    I own a 15" 2.0 GHz model with a high resolution screen. I wanted a new 2011 13" MBA as well. I tested one out really good this weekend at BestBuy and I changed my mind. Instead my next upgrade will be another 15". Don't get me wrong, I think the Air is a great piece of gear, but to me the 15" is just a much better built machine. If feels better, looks better, and it has a higher resolution screen with the upgrade. It has faster processors, it really isn't that much bigger either. The MBA is so light it literally slid around the table to much for me. The MBA is a great laptop I think, but compared to the new 15" there really is no comparison. If I were you I would stick with the 15". I really think you will be glad you did.
    I can't wait until October when the refresh comes out with an all new redesign.:D

    One more thing, I bet if you wait a little bit longer, you would be able to afford the 2.2GHz. Be patient.
     
  3. KarlHatred thread starter macrumors newbie

    KarlHatred

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Location:
    Germany
    #3
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8F190 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Thank you for your opinion Cicatrix. Maybe I should test both models somewhere. But you can't just install games or photoshop in a shop to see how good the system handle them. :D

    If MBA would do my work and gaming fluently I would pick it and use the rest of my money on some software.

    Have you tried any of the software or games I mentioned on your 15"?

    And about the refresh; I thought Apple would bring new Pros in mid 2012 or later. :?
     
  4. Cicatrix macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #4
    I have not tried any of the software or games you mention. I use my MBP for pretty much nothing but audio work. Programs like Logic Pro, Reaper, Maschine, and various VST's. They can be quite a big hit as far as processing power goes but the MBP doesn't break a sweat. I had 30 something VST's going at once and it was a piece of cake for the MBP.

    I do think the MBP is more future proof as far as being able to run intensive programs due to the quad core processors in them. The reason I went with a 2.0GHz over the high end is because I don't plan on doing any gaming with it, so there really wouldn't be a noticeable benefit to what I'm using it for. There is the faster processor, but like I said, I can't even make my 2.0GHz to breath hard. From my understanding, for gaming I think the high end would be much more efficient because of the GPU.

    I guess the next best thing other than actually testing the programs to see if they actually work how you want is going into BestBuy and try to get a feel for them. Remember if you buy it, you have 14 days to return it if it is not working for you.

    As far as the next MBP refresh being mid 2012, that's anyone's guess. I'm just going by the typical refresh cycle statistics. Currently at 154 days or something like that. Average days for refresh is 215 I think? I think it will at least be early 2012.
     
  5. kappaknight macrumors 68000

    kappaknight

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    #5
    If you want to game, get the Pro. Not sure if you ever need to load optical media with those games, but if you do, get the Pro. Air is for people who need portability over power. Yes, it stands firm on its own legs but when you compare the two models, Pro is still more powerful than the Air. Plus, the 15" high-res has a lot more screen space than the 13" Air.
     
  6. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #6
    15" MacBook Pro. You will benefit from:
    Bigger screen
    Dedicated GPU
    More RAM
    Faster SSD with SATA-III
    Quad-core processor

    All of that will boost performance in everything you listed on your original post.

    For example, the high-end 15" with Hi-res display (1680x1050) runs TF2 on all High settings at full resolution without lag.
     
  7. bolen macrumors 6502

    bolen

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #7
    If you know for a fact that you will be gaming some you should definitely get the Pro over the Air. The Air sure is a kick-ass machine, it's a dream in many areas. But for gaming it doesn't get very far and you will get disappointed.

    If you are a bit low on cash as you're mentioning, and you're stretching for a computer in this price range I would argue that you should try to get as much performance as possible for your money. Especially if you get it through a finance plan. Let's say that you get a 2-3 year finance plan. In 2-3 years you should be able to still use your Macbook with satisfaction. If you are gaming, the Air might be sufficient for some games today, but in a year or two when you're still paying of the bills of the computer you will want to feel like it's still a capable machine or else it only will bring you anxiety.

    My $.02

    Good luck with your purchase, both are excellent machines!
     
  8. KarlHatred thread starter macrumors newbie

    KarlHatred

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Location:
    Germany
    #8
    Wow, I must admit I didn't expect so nice and long replies, advices and 2 cents. :eek:

    Thank you all for your comments.

    Now that I'm thinking of 15" MBP, I would like to know if there is a huge difference between Radeon HD 6490M and Radeon HD 6750M.

    Wouldn't 6490M be enough to play the games I mentioned? I don't need to play the games at ultra high settings but middle and high(if it can handle) would be more than enough for me. I'm not gonna play power demanding Crysis 2 or Battlefield 3 type games. I will probably have some other games from the App Store too, so I will have enough time killers :D

    Last but not least, I am not buying this notebook for gaming only. I can also take a deep breath and say "ok, forget the gaming :( and use it for the rest of your work and needs. You already have a high end PC for the games you idiot!". Would then the new MBA be enough to handle my needs? :D

    Thanks in advance.
     
  9. bolen macrumors 6502

    bolen

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #9
    If you can live with skipping gaming or down-prioritizing it into oblivion, I would expect the Air to be very sufficient for your needs. It's a great machine, all performance except graphics is pretty much on par with the 2010 Core i7 Macbook Pro with SSD.

    Just make sure that you're making the correct choice and isn't fooled by the cuteness of the Air. :)
     
  10. KarlHatred thread starter macrumors newbie

    KarlHatred

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Location:
    Germany
    #10
    Well said and thank you bolen. After a long time of thinking and comparing stuff like

    :confused: will it be MBA ultimate or MBP? :mad:
    :confused: anti-glare or gloss? :mad:
    :confused: if anti-glare, what about that gray bezel? :mad:
    :confused: if MBP: 2.0Ghz or 2.2Ghz? :mad:

    I have decided to buy the Macbook Pro 15" with 2.2Ghz CPU, hi resolution anti-glare widescreen(I hope I will get used to the gray bezel :() and 500GB 7200rpm hard drive. I will pay half of the price and the rest of it will be 10 months financing without interest(is this the correct word?).

    All required documents has been sent yesterday via mail. Now I am waiting for confirmation from the bank.
    Hopefully everything will go smoothly and I can be able to buy it.

    Again, thank you all for taking your time with your comments and helping me decide.
    I think all I needed was a little push ;) It really helped a lot.
    Even I end up without a MBP, at least now I know which one I want. :D
     
  11. bolen macrumors 6502

    bolen

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #11
    Cool! I'm sure you will be very satisfied with your purchase! :D The 2.2 GHz model is sweet and opting out of the glass display (gray bezel) will actually make the MBP a bit lighter (I don't remember the actual weight difference, but it's noticeable).

    Good luck with your new MBP! :cool:
     
  12. hooneyrob macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #12
    Hi, I've ordered the same machine but with glossy / 128GB SSD. I'd like the AG as the glossy can be a pain but I just cannot be doing with the silver surround. I'm like that with TV's and other laptops, just has to be black or my eyes get distracted.

    I'm odd, I know..

    Rob.
     

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