Macbook Pro 15, or Switch to Windows?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by badbilly, Apr 28, 2019.

?

Jump ship?

  1. yes

    18 vote(s)
    54.5%
  2. no

    15 vote(s)
    45.5%
  1. badbilly macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2019
    #1
    Hi all,
    First off, I am a huge Apple fan and have been for the last decade.
    But, I would love some input from anyone that can share their experiences and thoughts as I look to buy my next machine, either a MacBook Pro, or I am thinking something along the lines of the Alienware 51M laptop.
    I have for a long time been running on Mac, with IMAC and Macbook Pro, using Parallels if I needed to access Windows.
    The reason I need to work on a laptop is that I am forever travelling and working on the road. I film and edit action sports films, and am in a different part of the country/ world every week. Lugging a tower and monitor around just doesnt work.

    For the past 4 years or so I have been using a '14 Macbook Pro (16gb Ram, 2.5Ghz, and NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M graphics (over 20k hours logged). I primarily edit 4K video, 3D Animation and just got a major VR gig as well as a big movie project greenlighted - the times of using a severely underpowered machine are over (thank god!)

    So here is where I am at, with a 5-6k Budget.

    1. Do I buy a new Macbook Pro, where I can sync all my devices, and transfer everything easily?
      Stats:
      2.9 (t-boost up to 4.8)GHZ 6-core i9 Intel
      32gb ddr4 Ram
      Radeon Pro Vega 20 4gb Graphics
      And of course, a stunning retina display.
    OR,

    1. do I put my money into a Windows OS such as the Alienware 51M, specced out
      Stats:
      Intel i9 8-core 5Ghz turboboost
      64GB ddr4 Ram
      NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2080 8GB GDDR6
      (1920 x 1080) 144Hz Anti-Glare IPS Display (not sure if this can compare to the iMacPro)
    Apps I primarily use are: Premiere Pro, After Effects, Lightroom, Photoshop, Cinema4D, 3DS Max, Unity.

    One issue I see with switching windows is that things are going to sync between computers/ my wife’s calendar and computer. Money wise though, it looks I can get double the performance (upgradable by the way) on the Alienware 51, but after being on mac so long, I get paranoid about things such as reliability, security (viruses etc) on the Windows OS.

    Does anyone have any insight/ personal experience with either machine, or making the switch? Where would you put your money?
     
  2. Thysanoptera macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2018
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #2
    Why don't you do both? Get 51m for the heavy duty professional editing/rendering tasks (keeping it in your wheeled carry-on, it is a huge machine) and also base MBP (or even MBA) for basic computing needs and good screen for previews. Get the 8 core i7 (won't be that much difference to i9) and 2060 (2080 will be ~40% faster but the 2060 will still be a whooping 8~9 times faster than your old 750m) - you'll save $1500, buy the drives yourself and upgrade as you wish - you'll stay below 6k.
     
  3. CE3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    #3
    If this big movie project will have you working on Premiere Pro and After Effects, you should probably go with a Windows setup and a NVIDIA GPU. While I find macOS to be very well-optimized for Photoshop & Lightroom (better than Windows), Premiere Pro is another story. For video editing on a Mac, FCPX is where it's at.
     
  4. leman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #4
    If you are considering Alienware, I assume that battery runtime and overall portability is not a concern for you. At the same time, why not get a large laptop workstation such as a dell precision or a HP Zbook 17? Alienware is a gaming machine. It’s not known for its reliability and the display is not the best.
     
  5. pshufd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #5
    I'm looking at this class of machine for trading. There are a surprising number of options in this space now and even build-to-order models with up to 12 TB SSD and 128 GB RAM. I am considering the Asus Mothership when it comes out. This class of laptops typically has a 17.3 inch screen and is quite thick for better airflow. They have legacy ports as well so you don't have to carry around dongles. These laptops often have 3K and 4K options too. They typically start at $3K. I would continue using my 2014 and 2015 MacBook Pros for the Apple ecosystem.
     
  6. currahee2100, Apr 28, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019

    currahee2100 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    #6
    They are completely two different laptop classes. It's like asking if you should get a sports car or a hybrid. You must decide if you want portability over power. Remember that macbooks are ultraportables and alienwares are desktop replacements. One is meant to be able to be carried around while the other is meant to be at a desk most times.

    That being said, I have an alienware R4 15 laptop and it's GREAT for gaming. In fact, at work I have a hotspot and bring the laptop with me. So I play vidya games at my desk on my lunch break. But here's what you need to watch for.
    1. Make SURE that the cooling is up to par. My laptop's CPU goes up to 96C.
    2. Know that the batteries on these things will drain fast. I've taken mine outside and it lasts for about 2-3 hours. Yours may drain faster.
    3. They are HEAVY
    4. You need to get a laptop bag or backpack that's 1 size higher than the screen size. Mine's a 15" but doesn't fit in my 15" laptop bag. It fits snug on a 17" bag I bought.

    Here's what I like about my MBP:
    1. Battery lasts for 10 hours and you can plug in a power delivery battery pack to extend the battery life
    2. It's really light
    3. Performance was ok for the price. Mine would have been sold by Apple for 1999, but I got it from best buy for 1399.

    If your budget is 4-5k, I would get the alienware and then buy a 13" MBP for portability.

    EDIT: Wow those are desktop CPUs. That alienware is meant to stay at a desk and nowhere else.
     
  7. Queen6, Apr 28, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019

    Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Flying over the rainforest at dawn - Priceless
    #7
    I'd follow the performance simple as that. I Switched to using Windows gaming notebooks for work purpose a couple of years ago and haven't looked back. Mac's don't have the performance and have become overly limiting with reliability issues.

    Majority of gaming notebooks are designed with sustained performance and cooling in mind, no portable Mac is remotely close. Alienware 51M is a big notebook although not as big as I thought it would be, just be mindful it's desktop components also require desktop power so it needs two power packs which may be a struggle to deal with on the go.

    I only work internationally so whatever I use has to fly. Tend to prefer the midsize 17" gaming notebooks as the larger 17" machines are too bulky and the thinnest ones tend to have some compromise one way or the other.
    3100CB (No Taskbar).jpg
    ASUS ROG GL703GS - 8750H, 32Gb, GTX 1070, dual drives

    Beauty of these systems is they are designed with enthusiasts in mind so adding RAM, drives etc. is generally easy and with very little work. I travel with two systems one the ROG the other a 12" 2in1 for meetings and on the go stuff where battery life matters.

    As ever research pays as you don't want it running overly hot and throttling similar to the MBP. My notebook will spike up to the mid 90C, once the fans spool up it rarely passes 80C, mostly less and I work between the Sub Tropics and Tropics so ambient is relatively warm.

    It was just an off the cuff conversation that turned me to these notebook's. If your workflow doesn't require Xenon processors, ECC RAM Quadro graphics etc. the cost saving over a portable workstation is significant, nor to this date has reliability been an issue...

    Q-6
     
  8. agaskew macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    #8
    Why not consider either a Thinkpad, for example an X1 Extreme, or P52/P72?
     
  9. throAU macrumors 603

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #9
    I say this as a mac fan, but if you need to buy NOW and need a 15" machine the only sensible option is to jump ship as the current machines are a liability.

    If you can wait until they fix the keyboards, consider waiting.
     
  10. groove-agent, Apr 28, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019

    groove-agent macrumors 65816

    groove-agent

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2006
    #10
    Mostly I think it comes down to your dependance on MacOS, which is a huge deciding factor for most.

    I love the minimalistic UI of MacOS and fits with my work flow as a creative professional. Plus, there are a lot of great MacOS apps that would be hard to replace on Windows. For example, I prefer paying once for FCP rather than a subscription to Premiere which really, when you add up the monthly fees over three years for example, it does save you a fair bit of money.

    Mostly though, if you have many other Apple products, you can't beat the integration between them. Being able to text or answer calls with your MBP, unlock your laptop with your watch, handoff web pages between devices, Apple Pay from your watch, start/stop music playback by tapping your AirPods, airdrop and more. It's hard to place an exact value on this synergy when considering a switch to Windows.
     
  11. throAU macrumors 603

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #11
    This is the only reason i haven't jumped already. But there is a breaking point and i'm pretty damn close.

    Money isn't the biggest concern - i need my portable machines to work, and the current hardware is just untenable.

    Luckily however the creative apps on macOS (only) for me are a "nice to have" rather than essential.

    I am more in the network admin space and for that any unix box, like a Linux machine is good enough.
     
  12. badbilly thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2019
    #12
    Battery runtime is not a real issue, as most editing/ animating is done from a hotel, airport, on the plane, where power outputs are. I would love a full workstation, but unfortunately cant lug that around.

    Im not familiar about Alienware reliability, but I know gaming machines can make great animation stations.
     
  13. leman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #13
    That is a strange thing to say when you are considering one of the heaviest gaming laptops on the market ;) An Alienware 51M is around half a kg heavier than a ZBook 17 for example (which in itself is a very large laptop). Of course, a gaming laptop is going to be faster since its clocked more aggressively and also I don't think that there are Turing-based Quadro GPUs for mobile yet.

    Anyway, in my opinion the biggest disadvantage of a gaming laptop for you kind of work is the display. I'd assume that since you are in digital media business, image quality is important to you. Gaming laptops are rather lacking in that area since they focus on other things such as refresh rate. The M51 specifically has been shown to suffer from poor contrast, brightness, and its color coverage is not really competitive either.
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #14
    I made the jump, simply because of the high price that apple charges, and for that amount, we're getting a flawed and defective machine.

    As for Alienware, they're owned by Dell, but outside of that, I cannot offer any opinions. I've owned dells before and I've had positive experiences with them, but that was years ago.

    I'd also look at MSI, Razer, and ASUS, they all have comparable hardware as the Alienware.

    If you install Apple's iCloud for windows, it offers a level of integration that might be what you're looking for, i.e., calendar integration with outlook.

    The cost disaparity is shocking. I bought a Thinkpad X1E, 1GB of storage, 32GB of ram, 2.6GHz processor, 3 year warranty. I paid 2286. The MBP similarly configured would run my into the 4,000 range. The thinkpad has upgrade/replaceable ram, storage, and battery where as the Mac does not. So in the end, I get faster, cooler, upgradable machine for much less :)
     
  15. pshufd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #15
    The high-end laptops that I'm looking at have 3K or 4K screens as optional. Yes, they come with a HD by default but things are getting better in the display category.
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #16
    Razer just updated their 17" Razer Pro laptop, and for some baffling reason they chose not to offer a 4k screen, even though its little brother has a 4k option. Most laptops provide 4k as standard or as an option. While the MBP's contrast, brightness and gamut are excellent, the retina resolution is a bit dated now in 2019 when most other companies offer 4k
     
  17. cardfan macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    #17
    It’s not a trivial thing to switch OSs. The Mac gives you both worlds. I’ve got a 2015 MBP and if it died today the only other laptop I’d look at would be a surface book or pro. But most likely I’d go with an MBP 15”. Maybe even intend on reselling later for the rumored 16” one.

    Software and OS matter more to me. You’ve spent the last decade with a Mac. Try not to listen to the chatter.
     
  18. leman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #18
    I wouldn't say its dated, its just different. Quality wise, for the user, there is no difference between 220 PPI (MBP) and 235 PPI (A 15" 16:9 4K laptop). I'd take increased color depth and wider dynamic range over higher resolution any time of day. More importantly, the MBP is still 16:10 and not the cheaper mainstream 16:9 (like these new 4K displays). For practical purposes, the MBP display is better for almost anybody — the aspect ratio is more balanced and of course, the macOS software is still way better in dealing with hiDPI screens.

    At the same time, Microsoft does it better, the 3:2 aspect ratio they offer is superior for work.
     
  19. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #19
    Dated in the context that the industry is moving (has moved?) on to 4k. Heck, look at Apple's 5k iMac, there was chatter for a time about seeing an update to the MBP's display, either for 10bit or better resolution. I'm not knocking the display in general, because it is gorgeous, but I think its a mistake not to offer a 4k laptop.
     
  20. pshufd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #20
    I use macOS the most, then Linux, then Windows. I will go months without using Windows. That said, I can use any of these. Even Solaris or HP-UX or VMS. I think that I still have access to a VMS system.
     
  21. BenTrovato macrumors 68030

    BenTrovato

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #21
    I still love the aesthetics of Macs but for what you pay, the performance is garbage - pardon the term, I couldn't think of anything worse :) I was never a Windows fan but it just performs so much better for me for about 1/3 the price.
     
  22. YaBe macrumors 6502a

    YaBe

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2017
    #22
    Bought a Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro (yes I know ....a copy) and never looked back.

    650 Dollars, and well worth more than that, dual SSD (one installed + one i added myself +100$) and current cpecs, it's no Mac, but I could buy 3 or 4 of them for the same price.

    EDIT:
    I guess it also depends on the SW you use, for me it was easy as Affinity and Adobe are cross platform, so little adjustment there.
     
  23. pshufd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #23
    You're paying for the functionality of the software and for local service. If I have a problem with a Windows laptop, I have to mail it in if there isn't a service depot nearby. I really like the ability to bring it into the local store for any kind of service. Dell used to offer in-home service because they didn't have stores. I don't know whether or not they still do that. So if I had a Windows laptop, then I'd need a backup as my downtime could be longer than with a MacBook. My local Apple Store often turns around service overnight. I guess that they have second and third shift techs.
     
  24. Isamilis macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    #24
    Unless you have specific apps that only available in Mac, why use Mac with higher price? I would suggest to get Windows machine. Other things to consider might be virus (which you need to install anti-virus and get your laptop slow down and eat its battery because of that), and also the laptop design (trackpad, aluminum body, etc). One more, you might also consider the new Macbook Pro has less user-replaced components (compared to 2015 version and earlier), plus the butterfly keyboard issues which has not been solved completely.

     
  25. pshufd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #25
    I use iTunes and several iCloud applications. It's nice to have the native apps on macOS. I also like native Unix as my work environment is Unix. So I'd need both if I were to go in that direction. That's one way to double performance - just use two MacBook Pros.
     

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30 April 28, 2019