MacBook Pro Retina vs PC

Robert27191

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 25, 2014
17
0
Hi,

I'll start of by saying I understand the basics of laptop technology and what makes a good unit/better unit, but I'm certainly not the most clued-up when it comes to heavy jargon.

My current laptop (an HP) is coming to the end of its life and I'm looking for a replacement. I work in a high-performance job that requires a very capable machine, and have it in use for at least 15+ hours a day. Along with that, I do some fairly heavy-duty music recording and editing.

I have been looking at getting a Macbook Pro with Retina Display (15"), but really want to know what people thing of any alternatives, if any exist. The Dell XPS 15 seems fairly good, but reviews of it complain about heat, noise and the trackpad - things which I know the MBP excel at.

The price is one issue - although I would pay it. There don't seem to be any alternatives for the specs I'm looking for (quad-core i7, SSD, minimum 8GB RAM), although some online manufacturers do build laptops for relatively low prices. I'd be slightly nervous about purchasing one without a known manufacturer/make behind it. Does anyone have experience of these?

I accept posting on here will likely get me mainly pro-apple comments, but I would appreciate your thoughts.

Thanks!
 

MuffCabbage

macrumors regular
Nov 11, 2012
179
0
Hi,

I'll start of by saying I understand the basics of laptop technology and what makes a good unit/better unit, but I'm certainly not the most clued-up when it comes to heavy jargon.

My current laptop (an HP) is coming to the end of its life and I'm looking for a replacement. I work in a high-performance job that requires a very capable machine, and have it in use for at least 15+ hours a day. Along with that, I do some fairly heavy-duty music recording and editing.

I have been looking at getting a Macbook Pro with Retina Display (15"), but really want to know what people thing of any alternatives, if any exist. The Dell XPS 15 seems fairly good, but reviews of it complain about heat, noise and the trackpad - things which I know the MBP excel at.

The price is one issue - although I would pay it. There don't seem to be any alternatives for the specs I'm looking for (quad-core i7, SSD, minimum 8GB RAM), although some online manufacturers do build laptops for relatively low prices. I'd be slightly nervous about purchasing one without a known manufacturer/make behind it. Does anyone have experience of these?

I accept posting on here will likely get me mainly pro-apple comments, but I would appreciate your thoughts.

Thanks!
Based on a 2012 MBPr:
Heat - absolutely not. This thing is terrible; it scorches legs.
Noise - Pretty quiet.
Trackpad - Great.

I would say absolutely think about the MBPr though.
Other than that, yes the XPS 15, HP Elitebook 850, Lenovo ThinkPad of your choosing, Kirabook, Acer Aspire S7.
 

ourmountain

macrumors regular
Jun 26, 2012
132
0
MacBook Pros hold up really well. The option to dual-boot is nice too.

That being said, they can get pretty warm if you're pushing them hard, so don't expect it to run ultra-cool.
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,224
3,359
I would always pick a Mac over windows unless I needed one for work. I know you can boot camp, but I would rather just use a PC if need be.
 

jamezr

macrumors G5
Aug 7, 2011
12,547
10,043
US
Here is one.....

Razor Laptop.....
It really comes down to what you are going to use it for......



----------

I would always pick a Mac over windows unless I needed one for work. I know you can boot camp, but I would rather just use a PC if need be.
I always come back to the Mac after doing a comparison.....
 
Last edited by a moderator:

severage

macrumors regular
Oct 13, 2013
106
1
Here is one.....

Razor Laptop.....
It really comes down to what you are going to use it for......

YouTube: video

----------



I always come back to the Mac after doing a comparison.....

That is a nice laptop, and I considered it before deciding on my rMPR, but just about every review said it had terrible battery life.


To the OP: I don't think you'll find any other computer that has the same level of reliability, battery life, customer support, speed, and longevity that a Macbook has for the price. Just about every Macbook competitor has to make compromises somewhere in order to look like they're one-upping the Macbook for a similar or lower price, but they almost always fall short.

Case in point: I've had to deal with Apple customer support multiple times for minor issues, and every time, they were always happy and willing to either repair or replace whatever it was I inquired about. I did the same for a Sony device about a year ago, and was promptly ignored or told it was my fault (dead pixels aren't my fault!!!).

To sum it up: Get the Macbook. I'm quite sure you won't regret it. You may not regret it if you get a Windows PC as well, but Apple has an established reputation for excellent customer support which other companies can't match, so if something with your computer does go wrong, you almost certainly won't be left in the dark (provided it wasn't your fault, and you are in warranty, of course:) )
 
Last edited by a moderator:

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,357
8,715
Prescott Valley, AZ
I think the larger question is not hardware related but software...

Consider the software that is important to you. Are there OSX versions? If so, are they comparable (or better) than the Windows version? If you'll change software packages in the switch from Windows to OSX, are there reliable tools for converting from one format to another? What about exchanging files with others?

I made the switch from Windows to OSX 6 years ago, and there has been a dramatic reduction in problems, annoyances, and irritations... virtually to zero.

The only tarnishing point is that my late-2011 15" Macbook Pro suffered from the GPU freeze up that is an epidemic that Apple refuses to acknowledge as a defect. (so it sits waiting for a solution)

Depending upon your needs, you could buy a Macbook Air AND an iMac for the cost of a rMBP. I shopped around and waited for deals and did that very thing.
 

Robert27191

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 25, 2014
17
0
Thanks for all the replies - apologies if this is in the wrong section.
I have a couple of questions based on the replies so far - would be hugely grateful for any further responses.

1) I work almost exclusively on Microsoft Office. I have heard VERY mixed reviews about Office for Mac, ranging from very good to very poor, including saving documents as PDF can sometimes cause a filesize increase of 200%. Does anyone have any experience working with it and have any comments?

2) I have found that any MBP competitor does seem to skimp on one aspect to make up for another. However, does that make the Mac worth the price? (I know that's subjective - just looking for a general idea people!)

3) Looking at internals, is it better to have an i5 running at 2.6 or an i7 at 2.0? I'm quite happy to have 8GB of RAM rather than 16GB, but just wonder what people think.

Many thanks again.
 

Shuri

macrumors 6502
Nov 23, 2011
330
0
Thanks for all the replies - apologies if this is in the wrong section.
I have a couple of questions based on the replies so far - would be hugely grateful for any further responses.

1) I work almost exclusively on Microsoft Office. I have heard VERY mixed reviews about Office for Mac, ranging from very good to very poor, including saving documents as PDF can sometimes cause a filesize increase of 200%. Does anyone have any experience working with it and have any comments?

2) I have found that any MBP competitor does seem to skimp on one aspect to make up for another. However, does that make the Mac worth the price? (I know that's subjective - just looking for a general idea people!)

3) Looking at internals, is it better to have an i5 running at 2.6 or an i7 at 2.0? I'm quite happy to have 8GB of RAM rather than 16GB, but just wonder what people think.

Many thanks again.
1) MS Office on my 2011 MBP is slow since day one.. i7 2.2 Ghz Quadcore; It's poorly made software (for the mac). Wouldn't buy again.

2)In my opinion Laptops that cost much less than a Macbook Pro are far from being equal to it. I understand there are people spending less time with their computers, so they don't want to spend that much money either. But this is a Laptop: It's not that easy to put so much power into a so small design (as compared to a desktop computer); this needs a lot of engineering being done and this costs money.
When I see cheap laptops whose displays are shivering all the time (because it won't fix the position 100%) I think I would dump such a thing within one day of usage.

3) You would need to look at the benchmarks of each processor. Higher clock doesn't necessarily result in a higher performance, so it is possible that the i7 would be faster.
 

Robert27191

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 25, 2014
17
0
1) MS Office on my 2011 MBP is slow since day one.. i7 2.2 Ghz Quadcore; It's poorly made software (for the mac). Wouldn't buy again.
Is there a newer version of Office since then? I'm definitely concerned about this - it's perhaps the one issue that might put me off. I need Office for work.

2)In my opinion Laptops that cost much less than a Macbook Pro are far from being equal to it. I understand there are people spending less time with their computers, so they don't want to spend that much money either. But this is a Laptop: It's not that easy to put so much power into a so small design (as compared to a desktop computer); this needs a lot of engineering being done and this costs money.
In which case, do you have any suggestions as competitors to MBP?

3) You would need to look at the benchmarks of each processor. Higher clock doesn't necessarily result in a higher performance, so it is possible that the i7 would be faster.
The i5 is dual core and i7 is quad core - make any difference?
 

Shuri

macrumors 6502
Nov 23, 2011
330
0
Is there a newer version of Office since then? I'm definitely concerned about this - it's perhaps the one issue that might put me off. I need Office for work.


In which case, do you have any suggestions as competitors to MBP?



The i5 is dual core and i7 is quad core - make any difference?
Yes, mine is not the newest version of Office, so you might look for an opinion of someone who used the newest one.

Lenovo and Asus make very good machines. But imo they don't reach 100% the MacBook in terms like the trackpad (which is unmatched to date, which can be due the touchscreen "hype") or a clean system. (They drop their own software on top of windows, something Apple logically doesn't have to do.)

Depends on the task, but considering this the i7 should be faster all in all.
 

severage

macrumors regular
Oct 13, 2013
106
1
Office is generally not considered to be well-optimized for Macs. So, if that will be one of the things you use your computer primarily for...well, thats hard for me to decide. I dont know how office runs on a newer Mac (I dont use Office), so I can't say for sure.

But Macs are certainly worth the money.
 

Robert27191

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 25, 2014
17
0
Someone has recommended the FUJITSU LIFEBOOK E744 to me this afternoon.

Any thoughts?

On first look, the main things against it are the screen is clearly well below that of the MBP, it also looks a bit hefty.
 

SMDBill

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2013
253
1
Thanks for all the replies - apologies if this is in the wrong section.
I have a couple of questions based on the replies so far - would be hugely grateful for any further responses.

1) I work almost exclusively on Microsoft Office. I have heard VERY mixed reviews about Office for Mac, ranging from very good to very poor, including saving documents as PDF can sometimes cause a filesize increase of 200%. Does anyone have any experience working with it and have any comments?

2) I have found that any MBP competitor does seem to skimp on one aspect to make up for another. However, does that make the Mac worth the price? (I know that's subjective - just looking for a general idea people!)

3) Looking at internals, is it better to have an i5 running at 2.6 or an i7 at 2.0? I'm quite happy to have 8GB of RAM rather than 16GB, but just wonder what people think.

Many thanks again.
I'll just touch on the value/price portion since so may othes are hitting capability, hardware, etc. One often overlooked aspect of a Macbook is its long-term ability to hold value. You can use one for years and then sell it for a high price while most PC laptops are by then just disposable. It makes it nice to sell via many different methods online and use those funds toward your next Mac. Even 2-3 year old machines still sell for hundreds of dollars, with very old models still retaining value over time. So while it may cost more than a competitor up front, you'll realize that difference on the tail end when you sell and then upgrade. It becomes a wash unless affordability is out of range upon purchase.
 

gotluck

macrumors 603
Dec 8, 2011
5,638
1,014
East Central Florida
I like that some modern PC laptops can swap the components fairly easily, even gpu. I would only pick a model such as that over a Mbp. There won't be much, if any cost savings.

I have an hp elite book 8740w and it's great. Much bigger than a Mbp but you can push it hard and the temps remain pretty good. Depends what you want. Larger PC workstation style laptops will probably run cooler , but I never use it on my lap anyway.
 

Truefan31

macrumors 68040
Aug 25, 2012
3,417
658
You could get a rmbp and get parallels or bootcamp if u wanted windows on it for office. I would suggest the Mbp cuz it's pretty evident it's a great laptop
 

Robert27191

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 25, 2014
17
0
Thanks for the replies all.

I'll be honest, I am quite in love with the MBP, but I'm just not sure I can justify the money, particularly without the option of upgrading it in the future.

I'm leaning slightly toward an Asus or Dell XPS15, maxing them out with 16GB RAM and quad-core i5. This would still be less than the MBP and would allow for further updates in the future.

Thoughts?
 

TechZeke

macrumors 68020
Jul 29, 2012
2,362
1,971
San Antonio, TX
The Dell XPS 15 is going to cost the exact same as a rMBP with the same specs. For example, the $1949 XPS may have 16GB of RAM, but it only has 32GB SATA SSD and a 1TB HDD, not a 256GB PCIe SSD. In fact, a 256 GB PCIe SSD is worth more than the storage in the XPS combined times two. While the XPS 15 does give you the 750M it's only a Intel HD 4600+750M, it's not like the high end rMBP that uses a Crystalwell CPU with the Iris Pro + the 750M. The Crystallwell equipped CPUs are much more expensive than standard Haswell CPUs.
 

Freyqq

macrumors 601
Dec 13, 2004
4,014
166
Thanks for all the replies - apologies if this is in the wrong section.
I have a couple of questions based on the replies so far - would be hugely grateful for any further responses.

1) I work almost exclusively on Microsoft Office. I have heard VERY mixed reviews about Office for Mac, ranging from very good to very poor, including saving documents as PDF can sometimes cause a filesize increase of 200%. Does anyone have any experience working with it and have any comments?

2) I have found that any MBP competitor does seem to skimp on one aspect to make up for another. However, does that make the Mac worth the price? (I know that's subjective - just looking for a general idea people!)

3) Looking at internals, is it better to have an i5 running at 2.6 or an i7 at 2.0? I'm quite happy to have 8GB of RAM rather than 16GB, but just wonder what people think.

Many thanks again.
MS Office 2010/2013 in windows is superior to MS Office 2011 in OSX. Windows has more of the office programs, and the programs are better coded with more features. However, 2011 in OSX is still about 90% as good, as long as it has the office program that you use.

In addition, dualbooting with a mac works really well, as long as you have an intel GPU. If you have a dGPU (nvidia), it is locked into the dGPU in bootcamp. This reduces the battery life, though performance is improved.
 

Traverse

macrumors 604
Mar 11, 2013
6,727
2,925
Here
The only tarnishing point is that my late-2011 15" Macbook Pro suffered from the GPU freeze up that is an epidemic that Apple refuses to acknowledge as a defect. (so it sits waiting for a
If you take it in they may acknowledge the problem and exchange it. It worked for me and I got a high end rMBP.
 

OldITGeek

macrumors newbie
Aug 2, 2012
29
3
Just started using Office 365 on the MAC, working great.

Have a 2012 rMBP 15" 16Gb ram, upgraded Disk to Transent 960GB SSD