Macbook or MBP? (for gaming + school purposes)

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by mcchiefkins, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. mcchiefkins macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2008
    Hi, im a senior soon to be going into college, and ive been using a Mac mini for about 2 1/2 years now and its served me faithfully, which has made me give my trust to apple. Now though, im going to need a laptop( portability for college) while at the same time, im looking for a gaming unit. Nothing like with top-shelf graphics, but I want to be able to play WOTLK and Diablo 3 at smooth FPS with pretty high settings (Mac Mini bless the poor thing but i got around 18 FPS average in WoW). My question is that with the school discount, I can get the 2.4 GHz MB for $1500, but with the Student developer discount (costs $99) I can then get the 2.4 MBP for $1600 (plus $99 for developer discount) coming out to $1700. I was wondering is it really worth it to get the MB when the Pro is only $200 more ? It seems strange to me, but the main reasons I would go with the MB is the size of it, and while its not the MBP its still a high quality machine, but the Pro is only 200 more, and it has a dedicated graphics card, which is very important to games. I was just hoping some might weigh in about this, and give me a clear opinion to help me out.
    Thanks all
  2. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    The pro is going to have a better screen. The non-pro has better battery life (from what I've heard). Going from a 14" Samsung laptop to a 15" Apple laptop, I can tell you that the MBP is hefty (in comparison), so don't underestimate size and weight.

    As for games, no one knows what D3 will need, as far as requirements go. If you want to be able to play games and have them look good, you should get the MBP.

    Your other choice is to build a gaming PC, you can make a decent on for around $350 (using ATI HD 3200 onboard video card), then just upgrade the video card when D3 comes out, and get the smaller MB.
  3. shady825 macrumors 68000


    Oct 8, 2008
    Area 51
    If your really serious about gaming i would have to say the Pro.
    School work and LIGHT gaming would be fine on the MacBook.
    You said portability is a factor so keep in mind the sizes. 13 inch vs 15 inch.
    The 13 is alot easier to carry around in my opinion.
    For me, spending the extra money on the Pro JUST for gaming, wouldnt really be worth it.
    Either way im sure you will be happy!
  4. PedroQ macrumors member

    May 12, 2005
    i have exactly the same doubts as you, I need a laptop for college as well, and i'm still deciding between a MB or MBP,and it's being really hard for me.

    I have a big education discount on both, and although i love my brother's unibody MB (its great size), I want it this machine to last at least for 5 years.

    I'm willing to sacrifice portability for the sake of longevity (and a better screen)

    My question is, is the 15" MBP that hard to carry around?

    Thank you guys.
  5. Surely Guest


    Oct 27, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I think that if you're really serious about gaming then go with thejadedmonkey's suggestion. I don't think serious gamers buy MBPs.

    If it were me, and if I could get a MBP for only $200 more than the MB, I would get the MBP.
  6. esco macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    If you're carrying the MBP around in a backpack (that doesn't have too many books) or a separate bag, then it's not really a problem. But if you're using a messenger back like a Timbuk2, then it does tend to get uncomfortable.
  7. Molopo macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2008
    A laptop lasting 5 years is pretty laughable...By that time, there will be laptops less than a third the size/weight of the Alu. MB that perform better. I guess the real question is whether you will still want the macbook after 5 years.
  8. Ryuukumori macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2008
    I'd say go for the MB. I had once had a feeling similar to yours. But recently, I had been given the opportunity to build a custom PC gaming rig, for everything. I find games to be a BIT uncomfortable on laptops anyways. It always feels nice to have a work station on a desk, with a BIG chair, and playing games. Feels similar to a console.

    Laptops are great for mild casual gaming, but mainly for the workload in college. I have talked to a few friends too, who are currently in college, and they say laptops in college use are for the typical day-to-day papers, internet use, etc. You wouldn't really want a powerhouse to class each day, would you? :)

    Hope this helps. A MacBook will play your games fine, but a custom desktop would be a killer!
  9. WayOutWest macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2008
    Lexington, KY
    Had the same problem with a slightly different situation. I had already been in college for a little over a year and a half when my year and a half old Vaio croaked on me. absolute POS from start to finish. I thought about doing the developer discount thing and spending the extra $200. I played (since quit) WoW when I was considering a Mac. I waited for the unibody MB/MBPs to come out, saw them and made my decision for the 2.0ghz MacBook for several reasons:

    -I don't game THAT often (though I really want to be able to play D3 when it comes out, like baaad)
    - The portability of the MacBook is insane. I regularly throw this in my Incase slipcase, then into my backpack and go to class. Sometimes i forget its even in there. Which can be a bad thing;) It is noticeably lighter than my brothers blackbook as well.
    -The screen size is perfect. I regularly watch Netflix/Hulu/DVDs on it.
    -$200 is relatively a lot of money. couldn't justify it with the aforementioned reasons.

    Unless you are a design student or something the MacBook will be perfect for you. I have literally never experienced a laptop this suited for a college student.

    btw, I got 35-40fps on WOTLK at medium-high settings. Great considering its a laptop not designed specifically for gaming. All in all, its up to you. Consider your desires and needs, they are different.
  10. sporadicMotion macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2008
    Your girlfriends place

    Even a MacBook can get heavy after a day of toting it around on your shoulder. A backpack is the best way to comfortably carry your laptop around for prolonged periods of time. I keep two bags for my machines. A backpack for days when appearances aren't important and a messenger bag for meetings.
  11. sporadicMotion macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2008
    Your girlfriends place
    5 years is a long time to expect a machine to last. Is this notebook going to be your only machine?
  12. PedroQ macrumors member

    May 12, 2005
    I also have an iMac G5. The mb Would be my primary machine, as the iMac is pretty old by now.

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