Macbook or Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hshukla76, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. hshukla76 macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2009
    Hi Everyone, I am sure this question has been asked a thousand times, please don't flame me for asking. I am looking to buy a Macbook, and I am not sure if I should save 400 dollars and go with a Macbook, or spend the extra money and get the macbook pro.

    I would like to do some basic home video editing and some basic home audio recording. I would like something portable that is easy to carry into NYC. I have a work PC and would like to be able to bring my macbook with me into the city and not break my back.

    I plan on upgrading any machine to 4gb of RAM, I have external storage so that is not really a concern. My main concern is if I want to do any of the video and audio editing on the Mac will i be limited on a Macbook. Currently I have a dedicated Windows Desktop with 4gb of RAM that I use with a 16 Track USB mixer and I record a5 peice band and mixdown tracks on a desktop. I would like to be able to replace the desktop with a laptop. The Windows desktop is a 2.0 Ghz core2 Duo machine. So from that perspective a macbook should work.

    What I am afraid of is that I am going to plunk down 1600 bucks only to find out that I need more horsepower to do the things I want with the machine.

    I had a macbook pro about 1 yr ago for work, it was great - worked awesome, but it was not the lightest thing in the world and when I was carrying a 15 inch Windows PC and the macbook - my shoulder would kill.

    Does any one out there have a macbook that they think is under powered ? if so why? any one that is trying to do things like audio editing and video editing on a Macbook, and it works flawless? let me know. Thank you all in advance for any help that you can provide. I know these type of posts get asked all the time. 2k is alot of money these days and I want to make sure I make the right decision and I dont want my wife to kill me.
  2. hshukla76 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2009
    Thanks Kastenbrust, I had already looked at that and the comparison chart on Apple website. That chart is helpful for getting the specs of the machine, but I was really looking for some opinions for users/owners. Thank you for your response.
  3. MacJenn macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2008
    Buy the Pro if you can afford it. It is the superior machine and the screen is nice not like the reg Macbook where the screen is horrible. Plus you get a lot with it.

    I'm a small girl and had a Macbook before I got the Pro . The weight is only 1 pound more and the footprint isn't that much bigger. You men complaining about such a small weight and size difference makes me laugh. I guess some men are weaker than me (5'4 110 pounds).
  4. kastenbrust macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2008
    North Korea
    Both machines are very similar, it basically comes down to that video editing you want to do, is it amateur or professional? If its professional, (final cut studio etc) your going to need the Macbook Pro because of its graphics cards, and theres no way you could do professional video editing on a Macbook, not quickly anyway.
    However if its just home family movies and adding subtitiles, i'd save the money, get the Macbook and upgrade the RAM yourself to 4GB.

  5. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    I'm in the same boat. Specs and benchmarks are great but they don't mean as much as an honest opinion by an actual owner.

    Anyway, in my weeks of contemplation between the two then these are the things worth noting:

    Screen: Despite having a brilliant 13" LED on the Macbook Air, Apple chose to put an inferior screen on the 13" Macbook. Blacks tend to get washed out. So if you plan to do actual media work on screen then this will affect you. The easy solution is to plug into a monitor. In my budgeting then $1300 Macbook + $300 24" LCD is still cheaper than the MBP.

    Also, as far as screen size goes then 13" to 15" is a nice upgrade. But consider that the Pro is only 1440x960 which is a silly size to put on a 15" screen. I don't know why they didn't make it 1600 instead.

    GPU: The 9400M is a very impressive chip even though it's integrated. I've been using it on my wifes Macbook and it's handled everything I've thrown at it.. The 9600 on the Pro is definitely better BUT on thing I just noticed is that the $2000 MBP only comes with 256MB while the $2500 version is the one that comes with 512MB. That's a real rip off for todays systems.

    Another big deal with the 2 GPU's in the MBP is that it's not as easy as flipping a switch. It requires a reboot which some will view as annoying. It is rumored that Snow Leopard may change that, but it's also possible that you may get left in the cold and it will only work on the Gen2 models.

    Size/Weight: People trying to sell you a MBP will try to make you feel bad for being "weak", but the truth of the matter is that every ounce counts. And even though the MBP is only a pound heavier, it is still a pound that you may not want to carry.

    As for size, I traveled recently and the 13" fits fine in a plane while the 15" can sometimes be a pain. Especially these new ones which have a lot more bezel than necessary.

    Ports: It really sucks that Apple marketed us into Firewire and now are forcing it to be a premium feature. I know many people NEED it, but to me then maybe it's a sign of the future. So I'm planning to ignore firewire and just stick to USB. The Express Card Slot is nice to have though and I really wish it was on the MB because it would have solved so many problems.

    So there you have it. For me, I prefer a smaller computer connected to a monitor when necessary. And the Macbook seems to be perfect, but I am considering the MBP simply for the better screen.
  6. hogfaninga macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2008
    Chestnut Tree Cafe
    I knew if I bought the reg unibody Macbook I would regret it later. I'm glad I spent a little more (I got the dev. discount which made it a lot cheaper) and got the high end unibody Macbook Pro 15''. I played with my friends 2.4 alu Macbook and it is nice, but I wanted a nice screen this time along with the other goodies. Plus when Snow Leopard comes out it will use the gpu a lot more which will benefit the Pro's graphic card. So future proofing was important as well which always benefits the better spec machine (Pro). The size and weight difference isn't too great and IMO is way over exaggerated, but to each their own. I traveled with mine 2 days ago (airplane) and it was great. I have the Macbook and the difference isn't anything to me.

    Whatever you get it will be nice. Good luck
  7. xhambonex macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2008
    Well its pretty simple really, you buy a macbook and you may run out of power for your editing. You may do basic stuff now, but if it were to evolve you would become limited with a macbook purchase. Me I'm not a fan of the new designs, why the screen/keyboard. I pay more attention to fingerprints and the glare and that bugs me.

    As far as size and portability, well I carry mine a couple miles each day, does it bother me, not at all.

    Another option look for discounted last gen MBP, I just picked one up for 1400 and it was 2.4GHz 2GB RAM, the basics, except I got a matte screen and I like the older keyboards way better. Plus 2 firewire, 2 usb, 1 DVI, and express card slot, can't grab all that in the new MBP.
  8. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    To me it seems like the larger screen would be beneficial to you. That is what drove me to choose a MBP over a MB.
  9. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    What GPU mode do you keep it in most of the time?

    Future-proofing is a very important thing to consider, but the OS won't utilize the 9600 if you don't have it activated. And most MBP owners I know stick to 9400M mode because of battery life and less heat.

    Hopefully tomorrow answers some questions about 10.6 and current gen systems because I have no idea what to buy.
  10. ggibson913 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2006
    Get a cheap Pro

    My recommendation is to get a refurb/clearance last generation pro. This will give you the most bang for your buck. They come with the same warranty and I have never been disappointed in the refurbs I have purchased. Plus you will still have Firewire and DVI for external monitors.
  11. hogfaninga macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2008
    Chestnut Tree Cafe
    I use the 9600 most of the time and I get good battery life (only about 40 minutes less than when I'm using the 9400--not a big deal to me) and no heat issues at all when running the 9600. Runs pretty cool even in some medium graphic intensive games.

    As I said, if I was the OP I would buy the MBP if he can afford it. Future proofing it alone is the good reason why (along with the much better screen quality, dedicated graphics, etc.). Snow Leopard will run better on the Pro. That we know because of the dedicated graphic card.

    I'm in no way bashing the reg macbook. It is alright IMO, but just showing the differences between them.

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