Macbook VS Macbook Pro Help. New to Mac.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by FederalBmx, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. FederalBmx macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Hi. I'm a new poster but for a a couple of years I have been regularly checking macrumors out. All my life i have been a pc guy. the only time ive ever really used a mac was back in 4th grade during computer class and i was stubborn, decided i hated them because of the whole non left click and hold mouse on menu thing. Anyway im looking for a new laptop want to experiment with macs but at the same time use windows so i know i want one with bootcamp. Im only having a problem deciding between macbook and macbook pro. I want the best of both worlds. Which I know i cant have. I am a machinist and might possibly want to do 3d models and use it for mastercam. Does mac have any similar programs to solidworks and mastercam?

    Battery Life- I assume the macbook has the better battery life
    Graphics- Obviously the pro is the way to go in this department.
    Portability- and the smaller macbook wins here as well.

    Im thinking of just taking out a loan for a macbook since i have no credit history it would be a good way to get some haha.

    Some general questions i have are...
    Can the macbook run windows xp good? how about vista?
    Can the macbook run World Of Warcraft on decent settings?
    Does the aluminum casing on the pro affect wireless that much?
    Should I Wait for a refresh of both products before making a decision but i know i want one before i start college in the fall.
    Is the pro worth the extra money?

    Thanks in advance for the advice.

    Added-1-26-2008 Is the transition from pc to mac as forgiving than back in the day?
    Also is it true you change out the harddrive in the macbook pro?
  2. Lord Sam macrumors regular

    Lord Sam

    Glad you're coming over from the dark side

    Well, first I'd like to congratulate you for making the decision to switch. I promise you will not be disappointed. The choice between MacBook and MacBook Pro is a question of what you're after. If you need a solid, portable laptop capable of performing most tasks, you'll best be looking towards a MacBook.

    If you are wanting to run heavier, "pro" apps, and need a sturdy, tough and lighting quick laptop fit to cope with nearly any workload you dump on it, go for a MacBook Pro.

    As for buying now or waiting, there is some spectulation as to if the MBs and MBPs will be getting updates and multi-touch track pads. I think this is probable, and that if you can, you should wait until last minute (late August or so) before purchasing. If an update comes out between now and then, there won't be another coming until about 10-12 months from now at most.

    As for Vista, both run Vista and XP equally well under boot camp, but you'll notice the extra processor speed and RAM on the Pro. As to WOW, the MacBook is terrible for games, so if you plan to be spending time gaming, then you'll need to opt for the Pro. And no, the case does not affect WiFi as far as I know. But if it does, it isn't noticeable. I have access to both between the members of my family.

    And the transition is smoother than ever, with Apple pulling every stop to help switchers (just go over to an Apple Store and tell them you're a switcher. They'll be crowding over to help you). My advise is as above, and also to purchase one at an Apple Retail Store. :D
  3. ErikAndre macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2007
    Yes, congratulations on the move. I am PC/MAC Technician that services the Central Florida area, and I myself have moved to a Mac. I get the question all the time as I have a steady client base and I tell all of them to at least consider the Mac option on their next computer purchase. It's good though, because all my Mac spending is accumulated from Vista/XP repairs. :rolleyes:

    Anyway, I posted a thread with all the latest Mac specs that may interest you (click here). This has helped me on my next Mac purchase and I figured it would help you as well...

    Good luck
  4. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    Two bits of advice:

    1. Get the Macbook unless you explicitly need the Pro's graphics card.

    2. Don't take out a loan for a computer, regardless of which you buy.
  5. FederalBmx thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2008
    thanks for the advice guys. i really appreciate it. I think im leaning towards the macbook pro only for the graphics but the price tag sucks haha Im gunna take all of your guys adviceand future advice in consideration and probably make a decision when i decide to finally go to college. I might wait for a revision to make the final decision. Thanks again
  6. FederalBmx thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2008
    also if i buy a macbook pro how does the whole apple care thing work. i see apple care on ebay amd craigslist but could i buy apple care from someone else for alot cheaper and still use it on my macbook/pro. is there a time limit id have to register it by? thanks
  7. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    You receive one year free warranty on the new computers. During that year, you can purchase Applecare at any time before the 1 yr. runs out. If you're a student use the discount for Applecare
  8. Lord Sam macrumors regular

    Lord Sam

    Apple Care

    I'm not sure. Sry.
  9. Lord Sam macrumors regular

    Lord Sam

  10. airjuggernaut macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2007
    Honestly the Macbook will run WoW Just fine.

    I'm a gamer, I play CS: Source, Half-Life, Team Fortress 2 and even a little wow myself, and the mac is honestly runs all these games decently.

    I actually have a pretty nice PC with a Dedicated GPU, but im giving it to my brother, because my mac runs all of my games just fine :)

    Hope this helps.
    and Please don't take out a loan, I know you might be responsible, but I've seen what Loans can do to people, and It's not nice .
  11. -Noodles macrumors regular


    Oct 18, 2007
    not exactly sure why or maybe if you need the portability of the laptops but for the price of the mac book pro you may consider the 24" iMac (they're really nice - gf just got one) and they can meet all the needs you listed. That is if you don't require it to be portable. If portability is a must then I would go for a 15" mac book pro as it will last you a bit longer in terms of hardware and give you better performance.

    remember to buy through the education store on so you can get your discount. And lastly buy the warranty - especially if you're getting a laptop - so many things can happen to a laptop ..:rolleyes:
  12. peterjhill macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2002
    Seattle, WA

    I have purchased 2 machines in the past 5 years using a loan from a credit union I belong to. I think it works out pretty well. The interest rate is way lower than what a credit card would charge. (mine was 7% or so). I paid off the two computers in about 30 months each at about $180 per month (though I paid more to pay it off quicker).

    Now the second loan is about paid off right when I am thinking of getting either a macbook pro or air. I imagine I'll just keep getting a new mac every 30 months or so... that is about how long a laptop feels fast.

    As for macbook versus macbook pro... if you cant afford the pro, the macbook is fine. I personally like having a real GPU. I play wow and I'd rather have a fast framerate all the time with everything turned up with a decent number of mods...

    I expect they will rev the macbook pro soon, so I am going to hold off for now.
  13. curiosa863 macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2006
  14. lauriechelt macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2007
    The UK
    I was in a similar position and went for the macbook...i dont regret it either!!!

    Mine's fast with 2gb of ram so if you get the new SR MB and put in 4gb i'm assuming it'll fly and wow should work fine!
  15. Lord Sam macrumors regular

    Lord Sam

    Yes, that's true. If you go for the MB, you can always buy online and choose the built-to-order options, which make it similar to the MBP. But if money is a deciding factor, don't get the black version. While it is much, much cooler, the "Black Tax" is ridiculous.
  16. Paix247 macrumors 6502

    Jul 26, 2006
    I had a MacBook Pro, sold it for an iPhone and MacBook, but now I'm waiting and waiting and hoping for a new MacBook Pro ASAP. Is is a superior machine in every way IMO. Good luck!
  17. crazycat macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2005
    A Macbook will run everything you need but it wont be able to play WoW. I myself am a huge WoW player, i have been playing since closed beta and i am in a raiding guild (we raid SSC, TK and BT). I like my MacBook but if you are anything like me you will be installing addons and you will need the power of a MacBook Pro.

    I think you should go with the Pro since you will be using it to play WoW, if you have a gaming PC then a MacBook will be more then enough. I just do not want you to expect a good gaming experience and not getting it. I do play WoW on my MacBook but i just use it to check my mails and the Auction House.

    Good Luck.
  18. peterjhill macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    It is possible to play wow on a MacBook, but you will have to compromise on all the graphics settings. You would also, as the previous poster mentioned, limit your mods to only those you really needed.

    I have three 70s I PvP with, and when I compare my mac mini with as similar proc PowerBook, there is a huge difference in performance. We are talking 640x480 with lowest everything. A new MacBook will do alot better, but it is a compromise. Its also much cheaper.
  19. Lord Sam macrumors regular

    Lord Sam

  20. quixotic macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    I used to be a MEMS engineer, and have worked with a few 3D CAD programs. I was never able to find a suitable OSX program with the same level of capability. I also wouldn't recommend getting an obscure CAD/CAM program just so you can run it on a Mac, having SolidWorks experience will be more valuable in terms of getting jobs.

    Just run bootcamp to do your CAD work. Luckily, SolidWorks does have a viewer is available for Macs, so when your done, you can still rifle through your designs on a Mac. It's very possible vendors will release OSX ports of their software, ANSYS was very close to doing this a few years back.
  21. FederalBmx thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2008
    nope i havent made a decision. haha. I figure i may as well take my time so i make the right decision and i dont regret which one i buy. and ill save more money for it at the same time. I'm leaning towards the macbook pro still but i in light of all the rumors of updates I may wait until they are updated.

    Thanks for all your advice guys. Its really helpful and i appreciate it.
  22. Lord Sam macrumors regular

    Lord Sam

    That's probably true. Glad to help. Gives me something to do on the weekends. :)

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