MacBook vs. MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ladytonya, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. ladytonya macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2008
    Okay, prior to these new releases, I had decided to buy a mid-range MBP, mainly because of the screen size. I had picked the mid-range because of the faster speed and more RAM for not much more money. Plus I liked the look of the MBP as opposed to the plastic MBs. Now I'm torn. I really like the price of the MacBooks for what you get and the aluminum case looks good, but I'm just unsure about that tiny 13" screen. Sometimes the 15" screen on my husband's laptop seems small compared to my work 17" and my home 24" widescreen that I look at all the time. I just can't decide if I would be happy with 13". I am not a power used so I don't really need the power. It took me weeks to decide what I wanted and now I'm back to the drawing board. Any suggestions?
  2. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    Get the MP and hook it up to your desktop monitor - that'll give you tonnes of real estate! It'll be more portable when you need it, and you'll have enough room to work when you're at your desk.
  3. G5power macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2005
    Have you checked the refurb site for the closeout prices?

    Earlier the MBP 15" was $1349.
  4. ladytonya thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2008
    I saw the closeout site and that was tempting, but this glass trackpad is intriguing to me. I want new shiny toy! LOL!

    I never thought about hooking it up to the display when I'm using it at home, I've never done that before. Of course, with the laptop we have I wouldnt want to. It's an old Dell with non-existent power and my desktop is nice, even thought it's a PC.

    This will be my first Mac since 1997. I used a Mac Classic, my first computer, from 1991 until 1997, when I bought my first PC. Should have never bought a PC, but just got sucked in my the hype. Anyway, I want to go back. I'm sick of MS crashing every 10 seconds and random error messages. I'm just not good with decisions, especially ones involving spending lots of money.
  5. eidrunner247 macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2006
    Those really are good prices imo
  6. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    You can get what's called a KVM switch to let you leave a bunch of stuff plugged together on your PC, but still "steal" it for use with your Mac. My father just set it up on his and he's loving the ease.
  7. ladytonya thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2008
    I've had all afternoon to think about it and read up on things and I'm still torn. Basically, for my uses, the question is does the bigger screen really matter enough to me to spend that much more money? Decisions, decisions.....
  8. nhaque macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2008
    if your too used to looking at bigger screen, then please, do yourself a favor, buy the mbp. it's what you like anyway, plus the 15" is not that much bigger. Again, only if you can happily afford the extra $_$. :D
  9. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    You can even connect any of them to a big screen tv.
    But if you want the glass trackpad either one will have it, if you have the money go for the one with the higher specs, I think you will regret it later when snow leopard comes out.
  10. ladytonya thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2008
    That's part of my dilema. If money were really no object, I would buy the high end MBP with 2.8 gHz and all the bells and whistles. The money to purchase the new laptop is actually coming from my husband's financial aid for school. He is a first year graduate student in an online program and his school told him that they could only loan him enough to cover tuition and books. The only way to get any more money, even though it is a loan that we eventually have to pay back, is that we can make a one-time computer purchase. I desperately need a laptop for school myself. He already has one so his money goes to me! I submitted my request for the mid-range previous generation MBP and that's the money we're getting. If I would have had any sense at all, I would have submitted for the most expensive thing out there, but I was paranoid they would ask to see proof of purchase. Anyway, they're not wanting proof of purchase so I can buy basically whatever I want with the money they're loaning us. I could just get the mid-range MBP and have a little leftover, or I could go much cheaper and have lots left over for other stuff. The selfish side wants to spend it all, but the sensible side knows I shouldn't. I keep thinking I should go with the base MBP, but then I think it's really not that much more to the mid-level one. You wouldn't believe how many shopping carts I have put together on today! Actually, if you're read this far, you probably would believe it. Anyway, I am supposed to find out tomorrow when we actually get the money. I'll keep reading on here and doing my research and will have my decision made before that check arrives in the mail. Heck, if I decide on not making any changes to one of the offered systems, I might just drive to the closest Apple Store to get it! Mostly because I've never been in an Apple Store, but partly because I would like the change to see them in person before actually making the purchase. The closest Apple Store is 2+ hours away. Boo! Anyway, I do think I'll be going with the 15". I don't want to spend this much money and not be happy, especially this will be my laptop until it dies a slow and painful death........ Hopefully after many many years of faithful service!
  11. yrael macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2008
    West Coast
    13 inch macbooks are really nice for just about everything a normal person may throw at it. Yeah, obviously the resolution is really sucky, but if you're going to be using it for long periods of time anyways, you may as well hook it into an external which would solve all your problems.

    Then again, I'm leaning towards a MBP myself, so maybe I shouldn't be talking
  12. ladytonya thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2008
    Thanks, yrael. I'm leaning towards MBP. I just can't get used to the idea of a 13" screen. I know I can hook it to my widescreen display, but then I'm tethered to the computer desk. I like to work in other rooms sometimes and even outside. I probably won't make my final decision until I actually have the money in hand, but the more I read around here and the more I just look at the pictures of the MBP, I think that's what I want. Additionally, I just found out I might be getting a free mini-DV camcorder so I would really need FW to use it.
  13. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2003
    Brunswick, MD
    I vote MB Pro

    I've used quite a few Macbooks and Pro models over the last few years, and I know for my purposes - there's little doubt. The plain Macbook doesn't quite cut it for me. It's a "nice" machine for typical use (net surfing, MS Office, etc.). But I want the firewire port for sure. (Target mode is a very cool feature to have when you need it, as well as wanting the ability to connect to a DV camcorder and my M-Audio Firewire 410 box for audio!) Beyond that, I want the bigger screen and the ability to have the dual "SLI" mode with both video chipsets simultaneously. I do like to game once in a while - and for 3D games, you need all the video chipset power you can get. Most laptops can barely keep up with the latest games.)

    It kind of sucks there's such a big price difference for just the video improvements and the firewire port ... but at the same time, good, fast video always costs a premium price, even on generic PC desktops.

  14. iCries macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2008
    the 5400rpm hard drives are they responsive? Because there is only 5400rpm options and the expensive ssd for the macbook, and 7200rpm + the ssd for the mbp, I'm just asking because I want it to be snappy, so does anybody have experience regarding this over here?:/
  15. Ryvius macrumors member

    May 4, 2004
    My humble advice -- please don't take offense at the quasi-lecture:

    1. Don't spend loan money needlessly that you don't have to. I'm in grad school too, I freelance photography on the side. I know how money is tight. Rainy day money can never be overrated. :)
    2. You mention how you like your work 17" screen -- why not consider a MBP 17"?
    3. You didn' specifically list what you needed out of the MB/MBP besides a nice big screen for ease of comfort and maybe some video editing. Why not go for a used or refurbished MBP 17" and get the best of both worlds -- solid performance, great screen and great price?

    Hope this helps!
  16. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2003
    Brunswick, MD
    re: 5400RPM drives?

    Yeah, I have some experience with this.

    I've upgraded from a 5400RPM drive to a 7200RPM in a couple different laptops, including an aluminum Powerbook G4, and I've compared my 1st. gen. Macbook Pro's 7200RPM with a 5400RPM drive in a friend's MB Pro.

    Honestly, the 7200RPM drives do better in any benchmark tests you run, and you can probably time things like your OS X bootup on a stopwatch and prove that the 7200RPM drive gets things up and running at least 2-3 seconds faster.

    But as far as a 5400RPM feeling "sluggish"? Nah... You're hard pressed to be able to tell if you're using a 5400 or a 7200RPM in normal use of the machine.

    Depending on the drive makes and models being compared, some 5400RPM drives have enough cache memory built on them that they actually outperform some 7200RPM drives in seek operations.

    The only laptop drives I can tell are painfully slow are the old 4200RPM models which you don't see anymore ,except in older machines.

  17. dougnewman macrumors 6502

    Aug 9, 2006
    Long Island, NY, USA
    4200rpm drives were quite recently available in the MacBook Pro. My father has a recent MacBook Pro with one (provided by his employer) and it's awful.

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