MacBook Pro Girlie...Could use some advice :)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bgirlkat, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. bgirlkat macrumors newbie


    Mar 3, 2008
    Hey Everyone! I am awaiting my nice tax return (should be here any day now) and I am going to order my MacBook Pro that I have been trying to order for what seems like years now... (trip to Jamaica last year took my last year's pro money :) I have questions though and everyone on this forum seems really knowledgable so here goes....

    I am a professional dancer and have a ton of video footage that I will be wanting to edit upon immediate arrival of my that should help some of you have an idea of what I will be using it for. I also will be doing some photo montages for work purposes and working on the building of my website...I want to get the necessary upgrades now but I can't go way way over my budget as much as I would like to...

    First and foremost....I am getting the 17" with the glossy screen...any objections to glossy? I am sure no objections to 17"... :)

    Second, it worth the upgrade to the 2.6GHz? If not I think I will skip that one..

    Third, Memory...I plan on using an external drive for photos and Memory something that is easily upgraded later on someone told me it is just a chip you can replace?

    Fourth, Hard Drive...I have to be honest on this one I don't understand what these options mean and which one is best...more expensive best assuming? haha

    Hard Drive ?????

    250GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    200GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm [Add $50]
    300GB Serial ATA Drive @ 4200 rpm [Add $75]

    Apple Remote? Anyone been able to use this is it worth it?

    I don't see the option to get Office for Mac...what is the price difference between iwork..I see most people prefer office over that...

    MAIN QUESTION....Video Editing...

    I see the beautiful ad on Apple for Final Cut Studio 2 (which has Final Cut Pro 6) vs. Final Cut Express 4... Believe me I would want nothing more than to have that program on my Mac, is it something I should go for and do? Or do you think I will be happy with Final Cut Express 4...after looking at the site..Final Cut Express 4 seems so tiny and useless...but that is just me being a greedy software girl :) .mac easy to use? Is it worth it...I don't know much about building sites, but I am going to be using this computer to update my website that is being built so would .mac be useful for that?

    I would eventually want to build sites for other things I have going on...has anyone used .mac as a beginner site builder and had success?

    Can you renew Applecare later? I want to do it but am not sure if I will have the extra $$ right now for it. I would like to do that with my next paycheck :)

    Last Question.....what additional accessories will I need to get going? Am I going to be ready to go or is there anything else I need to allot money for?

    I am a student but I don't see on the Apple site what the exact discount is off of the price?

    Thanks!! SORRY FOR ALL THE QUESTIONS!! I want to get the best I can for my money from the get go and need all of your lovely comments for that! :)


  2. mbrydone macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2008
    Well I can answer a few of them:

    I love the glossy screen, but I would go to an apple store and see which one you like better, its completely user preference

    Apple care is renewable at any time as long as you do it within the first year

    To get to the education store click on the buy it on the MacBook pro, under the three computers there is a link that says "Get an Education Discount..."

    Hope this helps a little anyways
  3. bgirlkat thread starter macrumors newbie


    Mar 3, 2008

    That does help a little...I am going to print out my post and cross out my questions as they get answered!! haha So many! :)
  4. Achiever macrumors 6502


    Jan 23, 2008
    Lots of questions. Let me try to help with a few:

    1) As for the Apple education discount, go to the Apple Online store and you should see the link on the left side of the page for Educational Discount. Follow the link which will ask you for schools info. One you enter all of the basics, it will re-direct you to the store which will now reflect discounted education prices (the store is otherwise identical).

    2) Memory: add this aftermarket, not through Apple. MUCH cheaper. There are about 100 different threads for where to get it. OWC and Newegg are but two (I personally use OWC and am very happy with them).

    3) .Mac is a judgment call. It has some good stuff, but some people question the cost for what you get. You can sample it free for 60 days. Sign up on Apple's site. If you like it, it it usually least expensive if purchased from Amazon. Essentially, all you need is the renewal code that comes in the box and you will be re-upped for a year.

    4) As for productivity, you can certainly get Office for Mac 2008 (or 2004 off of ebay, etc.) but you may not need to. Depending on your needs, NeoOffice is a free download and is very compatible with the Office suite. It won't have all the bells and whistles, but the price is right. If all you will need is a word processor, then Abiwrite may also be a good, free option. I also have the iWork suite and love it. Pages fits most word processing needs and is pretty compatible with MS Word, Numbers is good enough of a spreadsheet for my needs and Keynote is simply the best presentation app available. Ultimately, your needs will need to be considered.

    5) Apple Care can be purchased afterwards. I would recommend it given the investment you are making in the computer. I BELIEVE, but am not 100% positive) that you have to purchase the extended Apple Care prior to your original warranty expiring, but I am not 100% sure. You may want to check with Apple for that.

    6) Hard drive stuff. Depends on your needs. The stock 200 GB at 5400 should be fine for your needs, especially if you are using external storage. The 250 GB at 7200 rpm will give you more space and be a bit faster, but it will also drain your battery life more and the speed difference shouldn't be THAT significant. Extra money probably not warranted here but again, your call based on your needs.

    7) Glossy screen should be fine (and arguably better) so long as you are not working with colors professionally. Pros, usually photogs, often claim the matte screen is necessary for true color rendering. Average users usually like the brighter colors better on the glossy, but beware that glossy also reflects light more, so consider your set up.

    8) Personally, I do not believe the extra ghz are worth the extra money. You should notice a slight speed bump, but again, weigh that against the bottom line. You should factor budget into this.

    9) Since I don't used FCE4 or FCP, I'll let others speak to that. I have heard very good things about FCE4, though, and it may be all you need for basic editing for a website.

    10) Accessories will depend on your needs (things like an airplane adapter or iLap, for example) but by and large the computer should be good to go out of the box.

  5. bgirlkat thread starter macrumors newbie


    Mar 3, 2008
    Wow..thank you so much!

    You guys are so helpful! Keep them coming! :)

    That helps a lot. I am really going to save a lot of money just by asking questions here. :)

    Anxious to hear what some Final Cut users think about the studio vs. the express. :)

    YEAH!! Can't wait!! I wish it was already here!

  6. Achiever macrumors 6502


    Jan 23, 2008
    Also re: the remote; it depends completely on your needs. Plenty of folks have had their computers for years and never take the remote out of the packaging. Others use it if their computers will be used to give presentations or as part of front row. It used to be included for free, but now that it's an extra $19, I would say try to live without it unless you know it fits a need. You can always get it later.

    Also, to correct my last post, the stock HD is 250 gb at 5400 rpm. This is obviously more storage than the 200 gb at 7200 rpm. The faster drive has less storage space for more moolah. Again, the speed difference may be nominal so weigh the cost against your needs. For me, the stock was fine. Others cannot wait to BTO the 7200 rpm. To each their own.
  7. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Let me see if I can answer a few:

    First, I hate glossy. The glare of glossy is just too much for any benefits it may provide.

    Processor upgrade: Doubt it's worth it. Back in my days of PC-buying, I would NEVER buy the fastest processor available. There was always a list of processor options. I would buy the fastest one that didn't have a huge price jump above it. $250 is a bit rich for an extra 100 MHz.

    Memory, hard drive: Don't get these confused. "Memory" is those little sticks you put in under the battery to make the computer a little faster. For video editing, I bet you can use a ton. The problem with upgrading later is Apple puts two 1GB chips in instead of one 2GB. Therefore to upgrade from 2GB to 4GB after you buy it, you'd have to replace BOTH. However, 2GB is pretty good.
    As for hard drive, get the upgrade for the 7200rpm drive. Since you're editing video, the extra speed it provides will be helpful. When you're done compiling the video, you can then throw it on an external hard drive.

    I use the Apple Remote a little bit (it came with mine) but you don't necessarily need it. You can always get it later. You can get a Student/Teacher edition of Office 2008 for $130-150 (and you can put it on 3 computers).

    Video editing: I would start by trying iMovie, which comes free with the MBP. If it is totally useless to you, then go buy one of the Final Cut products. I know very little about video editing, so I don't know how much I can help. But I can probably relate it to the difference between iPhoto and Photoshop. You can get Final Cut Studio 2 for $699 with an academic discount. Now this is unkosher if you're using it to make a profit on something. I don't know how you're going to use it, so that's up to you! :)

    I personally didn't like .Mac/iWeb for making Web sites. It was insanely hard for someone who used FrontPage for many years. I'm still trying to learn Dreamweaver. Oy.

    You can get Applecare added at any time up to a year after purchase. As far as extra hardware, I would get a wireless Mighty Mouse. You won't want to use a trackpad to do all that editing, and the wireless MM is very nice (even for the $70 or whatever it is).

    As far as the education discount, it's $200 off the MBPs. I think there's a link on the left side of the Apple Store for educational users.

    Hope this all helps.
  8. match311 macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2007
    I have a question for you. Do you need a laptop cause the 17" is not that portable? If you do not need a portable device the I'd say go with an iMac. Its got a bigger screen, comparable specs and less money.
  9. RevolutionOne macrumors member


    Feb 5, 2008
    Essex, UK
    I'd like to add that students get quite a big discount on AppleCare when bought with the machine. I know in the UK its about 80% off when bought with the Macbook pro. Again in the UK it's 15% off a macbook pro. I don't know how it would translate over there but it should be pretty similar.

    As for .mac, I always buy it cheaper on ebay :) Usually Apple does money off .mac when bought with a machine too (or printer, ipod etc).

    I personally prefer the glossy screen too after much comparison between the two (I worked in an apple store full time for 4months..). If you're getting into video/photo editing have you looked into the higher resolution display?

    For the hard drive I would stick with the 250gb one. Many people report that the 7200rpm drives are not much of a speed increase over 5400rpm drives. I personally dont see the value in the 300gb drive as it's slower and doesnt gain a huge amount of space.

    I would definitely agree about getting the RAM elsewhere, apple are really overpriced for RAM. I would go for 4gb to max it out.

    Do you live near an Apple store to have a good play around with the macbook pro's? You can also get education discount in stores too plus they keep it all in stock.

    Stores also do personal training called one to one which gives you an hours training a week for a year on any apple software, final cut included. I'm not sure how much it costs over there but here in the UK its worth every penny.

    Accessories i would suggest are a case, wireless mouse, external hard drive, speakers maybe?
  10. mogzieee macrumors 6502a

    Feb 8, 2008
    London, UK
    Well I would have answered them all but seems like I was beaten to it!

    Well my comment is about the glossy screen - it's very very very nice. I had a PC lappy with just a standard screen - it was ok i suppose, but then i upgraded to a MacBook with a glossy screen and it was absolutely FAB for EVERYTHING.

  11. sixth macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2006
    As soon as I saw a post titled "Macbook Pro Girlie" there would be a ton of posts very quickly....real nice guys! :)

    ...Enjoy your machine, only thing I would ask as the guy above did, make sure you are ok with a 17 incher, its a big screen....
  12. GirthP macrumors regular

    Oct 1, 2007
    Nice headspins!

    I'd say the same about the size too. Are you sure you want to deal with 17" everyday? It's a lot of Mac.

  13. 4God macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2005
    My Mac
    Okay, my turn. I say save some $$$ and go with the middle model. For only $2344 with edu. discount you could get the 15" model with the 7200 rpm 200 Gb hard drive and 2.5GHz processor. Of course as others mentioned, go with third party extra RAM. The faster internal drive makes a difference even if you use an external scratch drive. It increases the data transfer rate across the FW buss to it's max I/O. This helps when rendering to your scratch as well as capturing to disk.

    Also, if you only go portable from time to time and use it mostly in one place, you could always add an external monitor for more screen space. Oh yeah, and about glossy or matte, I say go matte. That's just my opinion but having used both I really like the matte better especially if you're gonna be working in highly lit areas. Just my 2 cents. :)
  14. bgirlkat thread starter macrumors newbie


    Mar 3, 2008
    Ha Ha

    Thanks guys!

    I know it is a big screen, but I think I will be a little happier with the bigger screen with the video editing. I do travel, not every week or anything. My parents both have 17" screens on their MBP's I like them a lot. As far as portablility if I can go for the 17" screen would 2" make a huge difference? Like I said I am not on a flight every week or anything so for the most part using for school around the house and the editing/website stuff....

    (Dad also has that 24" one at home..which is completely ridiculous and overwhelming).

    He is good with doing research for me, but I wanted to see what others thought, plus he is not too much into the video editing so I thought I would get some opinions on here too.

    Don't you think for the videos and any photo edits the 17" would be useful?
  15. bgirlkat thread starter macrumors newbie


    Mar 3, 2008

    Okay now you guys are making me think on the screen deal a little more...I am starting to agree with you...

    I have my ruler out trying to see how wide it would be and 15" is seeming pretty big come to think of it...

    I will be doing a lot of work at starbucks and just around so maybe I should go with the 15"

    p.s. thanks about the headspins :)
  16. design-is macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2007
    London / U.K.
    I think unless portability is a HUGE issue, you should get the 17" if you have the money...

    But that's just what I ordered, and I don't do work in Starbucks...
  17. zeiter macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2008
    take the 15'' if you want to bring your laptop everywhere. A friend of mine has a 17'' laptop and god, i wouldn't bring it everywhere i go. Nice website in construction between :)
  18. bgirlkat thread starter macrumors newbie


    Mar 3, 2008

    Is really not a HUGE issue..

    So here is what I have gathered so far...

    17" screen glossy

    Skipping the upgrade on the processing

    Going to do Memory upgrade through either newegg or OWC not Apple

    I am still up in the air about the Hard Drive it seems like a lot of people think the stock will be good...even for vid editing. Def agree on the 300gb one useless not storing things on the book anyways...using external

    going to get the Final Cut Studio 2 on the education discount $699, probably add iwork.

    Others to get wireless mouse, external drive...but it seems like other than upgrading memory the stock is looking like the winner....? suprising. I thought I needed to add all these extras...but you guys are really clearing things up for me.

    CAN'T WAIT!! I should have it by next Tuesday at the latest!! :)
  19. bgirlkat thread starter macrumors newbie


    Mar 3, 2008

    Nevermind...I see the screen upgrade reasons above...

    def go with the Hi-Res LED
  20. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    I find myself lying in bed using the Apple Remote to access my movies and music across the room most nights of the week. Front Row is pointless without the remote. Secondly, I love being able to walk in my room and press the play/pause button to either sleep my computer or wake it up. :)
  21. WindowsOrMac macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2008

    remember that the measurement is diagonal across the screen.

    video editing, buy this:

    17" Hi-Res LED (the 17 inch models actually push the 8600gt m faster than the 15 inch models even though they have the same initial specs)
    4gb ram (from OWC)
    7200 RPM 200GB drive

    Get Final Cut Pro (express will just frustrate you with its lack of features for importing/capturing video, key framing filters, not displaying timecode when you want to capture and not having color correction, lack of many options regarding rendering/exporting and post production plug in support).

    You will also need an external drive. I'd recommend a 1Tb drive, maybe 2 and an external display (24" if you can, I'd recommend a Dell 24" or Samsung).

    This is if you know you will be doing a lot of video editing. If you have the money, just go with the high end and love every moment.

    If you need to cut back, first place to cut back is 2.5Ghz. Second place to cut back would be the software/external display/external drives (initially, but you'll eventually need all of those things if you continue with the video editing) and don't purchase apple care until a year is almost up so that you can get 4 years of warranty instead of 3.
  22. bgirlkat thread starter macrumors newbie


    Mar 3, 2008

    Thanks WindowsorMac....that was a good post.

    I can not wait! I am so excited about this. When you say Final Cut Pro....I can just go with Studio 2 and get that version....what do you think about Studio 2? Worth the extras? Or can I just buy the Pro version without Studio 2?

  23. bgirlkat thread starter macrumors newbie


    Mar 3, 2008
    What do you think?


    so I figured it up...and this is what I got

    MacBook Pro, 17-inch Z0F2 1 $2,959.00 $2,959.00
    Accessory Kit 065-7490

    Backlit Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English 065-7487

    SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) 065-7480

    2.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 065-7471

    2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB 065-7475

    200GB Serial ATA @ 7200 rpm 065-7485

    MacBook Pro 17-inch Hi-Resolution Glossy LED Widescreen Display

    I think I will go ahead and get the machine I want and then wait a week and order the Final Cut Studio 2 with some additional funds. That way I don't skimp on the computer but I still end up getting everything I wanted...I think just having it in my hands will motivate me to save and get Final Cut Studio rather than skimping on upgrades just to get software. ..

    Pretty good price though for the total machine I want....

  24. Ryox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2007
    yeah that sounds good for what you need.
    Personally I'd keep the processor at 2.5 since I don't think you need 2.6 but that looks great
  25. deadpixels macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2006
    if you gonna do video 200gb is on the small side, you should get a bigger HD or some external, choose with multiple interface or at least firewire or firewire 800, it'll give you a better sustain transfer rate than USB2 --> important for video.

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