Looking to do some college shopping - help!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by davemb, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. davemb macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2008
    Alright, so I'm hunting for my second Mac before I head off to school in late August. My first computer was a middle-line iBook G4, which was great for the money but slowed down in a pretty big way after the year 3.5 benchmark was passed. With that in mind, I decided I wouldn't balk on the extras that make the computer more powerful and more likely to hold up in coming years as a result of costs.

    Problem is, I can't decide between the MacBook and the Pro. Is it worth the extra money for the graphics card upgrade and perhaps a .1 higher gHz processor? Moreover, I'm not sure if I want a 15" computer. I currently have the 14" iBook, but the 15" widescreen makes the Pro look like a monster in comparison (plus I always regretted going with the 14" over the 12" back in the day). This is something I have to lug around, and that has to fit on desks in class, but I don't know that I want to sacrifice performance for the sake of the computer size.

    I'm not a computer gamer by any means, but I may be taking some film/film making classes during my four years. As for apps, I will probably be making frequent use of Adobe programs (InDesign, Photoshop), but that aside my most-used will certainly be the usual for a student: web surfing, chat, word processing, tunes, and some torrenting. I hope that helps to provide some picture of what I'll be using the computer for.

    And another thing: does anyone know when the next MB/MBP update will be? I'm willing to hold off on buying (certainly until I decide between the two), but there are some update possibilities that could make or break my position. Like, if they come out with a smaller-sized MBP, I'm sold on that. But if it's just a tech spec upgrade, it is still something I'd like to wait for, assuming it hits before August 20th or so.

    Well, that's what I've got. Any advice you can give would be great! :D
  2. bigrell486 macrumors 6502


    Jul 10, 2006
    Go Pro!

    The extra screen space will help you with your film/photo editing.

    I do understand your feeling about the 14" ibook but the problem with those were that the screen was the same resolution as the 12"; so you really did only lug around a bigger machine.

    The Macbook pro is big and powerful and the Graphics card will help in the future if not immediately for rendering tasks. Where as the Macbook steals Ram and Processor cycles for the same tasks.

    I own both and I love the Pro model much more.
  3. ktbubster macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2007
    If you do end up doing film editing and stuff you'll appreciate the graphics card, not to mention if CS4 really does take advantage of gpu like they say it will.

    You would be fine with a macbook i'm sure, but really, the macbook pro isn't that much bigger then the macbook... it's a pinch thinner and a inch or so bigger on length... but not much heavier AND it's a higher resolution, like was mentioned earlier wasn't the case with the 14inch ibook..

    I had a 14inch ibook when i first came to college and I too regretted not getting the 12inch BUT

    THe macbook pro is actually LIGHTER then then ibook 14 by .5 lbs. Sure that's not tons, but it is a bit (only 1.4 inches actually) longer, but also a little over half an inch shorter (depth wise cause of widescreen) AND .35 inchs thinner.

    That really does actually seem like a lot once you compare them side by side and get the feel of the new comp.

    When I went from my ibook to my dad's powerbook 15.2 it really seemed smaller, although the screen seemed SOOO much more beautful :)

    Sooo i don't think you'll regret going larger, as it'll still be a nice drop in size for you... but what you need? you could get by with a macbook, but if it's your only computer at college, and you want to future proof....

    go PRO. You won't regret it :) They fit FINE on desks. I had one for a year before downgrading (loved the pro, didn't need the power, needed the money :) but going back soon))
  4. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    Don't get the MBP unless you've got a specific need for OSX+GPU+Laptop. Otherwise, you're letting marketing talk you into buying a two thousand dollar computer to check mail.

    As someone who recently graduated from college, I'll tell you there are far more valuable things the extra money could be spent on in the next year (books, food, plane ticket home, etc). Debt is real, and having cash hanging over your head is no fun.

    If that's a small amount of money to you, by all means, go for it. But if it isn't, you should really go with the MB (or a PC notebook with a GPU if you need the GPU more than you need OS X).
  5. rustyb99 macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    In my opinion, if you plan on doing any film editing in school, and are going to be sing photoshop and others as well. I would go with the pro. In regard to film editing, a macbook wont run the full final cut studio, only certain programs. And the pro is just a great machine. you will love having the extra power.
  6. davemb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2008
    Money is not an issue for me - my parents agreed that this would be my combination graduation/18th birthday present, and they understand the importance of having a computer that won't give me a hassle at any point during my time at college. Plus, I had bought my first computer with my own cash, and the deal was that they would cover whatever my next one would be.

    Alright, so the feeling is to probably go Pro. So I should also wait as long as possible in hopes that they update the line by late August, no?
  7. RainForRent macrumors 6502


    May 31, 2006
    Greenville, SC
    Definitely go Pro if your parents don't mind footing the bill. That will certainly hold you out through college. As far as waiting in case of a revision, that's the situation anytime you buy a computer. I got my MBP, then they changed from the CoreDuo to the Core2Duo, then upped the resolution and added DL-DVD... there's always something new. But if your iBook is doing you fine for now, get the MBP just before you go to school, and sell the iBook to someone at school.

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