MacBook vs Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by altecXP, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. altecXP macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I have an SSD and 8GB of RAM already so those options don't impact my purchase at all.

    The only real part of the Pro that interests me is the firewire port, Is it really worth paying an extra $200 for that alone?

    The aluminum vs Poly carbon doesn't really matter to me, and I believe that aside from that they are exactly identical. Am I wrong in that?
     
  2. orfeas0 macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    backlit keyboard and sturdier design. nothing else since you have the ram.
     
  3. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #3
    Would be worth the money for the difference to me
     
  4. altecXP thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #4
    This sucks. 1/2 of me wants that firewire port and the other 1/2 wants the nice white casing.
     
  5. vistadude macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Not worth it just for firewire unless you have a video camera that requires firewire. USB 2 actually runs fast on the macbook, about 30 MB/sec or 240 mbps, good enough for rare backups.

    The white macbook is also a lot better for the lap, since it doesn't heat up much on the bottom.
     
  6. altecXP thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Well my main use for firewire is that I have a 1TB external storage drive, and and 1TB TimeMachine daisychained together.
     
  7. vistadude macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Well I guess than the pro makes more sense if you need those always connected or can't connect via USB. The white macbook looks a little better in my opinion, and I don't mind using USB to backup instead of firewire, but I only backup maybe once a month.

     
  8. Peterpot macrumors member

    Peterpot

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    #8
    I just got the white one and I really like it. I think the backlit keyboard on the pros looks nice, but is really more of a novelty. The brightness of the screen at night time actually illuminates the keyboard enough to type. I also think the screen is not as glossy as the pro, but I may be wrong in that.

    Either way I think the white one is a better choice if you're not too picky on the design of the aluminum vs the polycarbinate. If you're not picky on the design I find it really hard to justify spending an extra $200 on the pro.

    Also, I'm not sure about this, but does the white macbook have a ram limit of 4 GB?
     
  9. altecXP thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #9
    Apple won't sell with more than 4GB, but you can put 8GB in it.
     
  10. el-John-o macrumors 65816

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    #10
    I believe the current Macbook (not Pro) will only address up to 6GB of RAM though, is that correct?

    My understanding is, you can put 8GB in, but you'll only see 6.
     
  11. altecXP thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #11
    I think thats the last gen.
     
  12. iPhoneCollector macrumors 6502a

    iPhoneCollector

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    #12
    the macbook will do just fine for you, thou the macbook pro is cooler
     
  13. skiltrip macrumors 68030

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    #13
    If you need a firewire port, then yes, absolutely.

    For me, I need it. I use it for an external firewire drive and audio interface.

    If you have a definite use for firewire, get the Pro. The backlit keyboard to me is essential as well. It's much more than novelty.
     
  14. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

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    #14
    To me it's certainly worth the extra for the FW port alone. On a MacBook, the light from the screen illuminates well because the keyboard is white. On a MBP, the black keyboard is hard to see without illumination. The MBP is also slightly smaller and lighter; not a big enough difference to base a decision on unless it comes down to just that, but still.

    My personal recommendation: go with the MBP.
     
  15. mr.steevo macrumors 65816

    mr.steevo

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    #15
  16. el-John-o, Jan 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011

    el-John-o macrumors 65816

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    #16
    I don't wanna hijack this thread with my own question, but really quick, anyone who has real-world used both (or owned both), which is cooler to the touch, the MBP or the Macbook? I often hear the Macbook is, because it's plastic, not Aluminum, but on the other hand that plastic is a poorer conductor of heat, which in turn might cause the system to run warmer, which in turn might cause "hot spots". I'm considering the same, and among my pro's and con's is laptop heat. I'm currently using an old Windoze laptop that is very uncomfortable to hold in the lap, and nearly too hot to touch at spots. Just for grins, I'd like to know which one ACTUALLY feels cooler to the touch. (I messed with them at the Apple store, didn't notice a difference, but playing a screensaver or sitting at the desktop isn't intensive. I thought about opening a flash video to heat them up, but I was worried I'd get sniped from the back room by Steve Jobs. That and it was really busy.)

    Since I'm "taking away" from this thread, let me "give something back" too.

    One of the most noticeable, real-world performance increases you can get is an SSD (Sold State Drive). Now, Apple offers these from the factory but it's cheaper to buy and install yourself. Depending on the size you need, they range from $100 to several thousand. A 128GB can be had in the $200-$500 range depending on performance. (However, even the $200 SSD will be magnitudes faster than your existing hard drive.) The reason I bring this up, is the fact that unless you have an unlimited budget and can afford the very expensive large-capacity SSDs (your gonna spend as much as you spend on the whole macbook if you do that), you might need another storage solution, for less intensive apps, documents, videos, your iTunes library perhaps. The best solution HERE, would be a Macbook Pro, because you could buy a Firewire enclosure for the existing hard drive (~$20+), then you just pop in the old hard drive, and with the MBP, your going to get MUCH better performance on that external drive, bringing it close to internal drive speeds.

    There's another solution here, involving a bracket that goes where the superdrive is, so that's a thought too.

    Also, if you tend to have a massive amount of files, like alot of Music, Videos, Pictures (my girlfriend is into photography and shoots with a DSLR, so I use a 2TB external drive to store them), then the Macbook Pro's firewire port is going to come in handy down the road, if you buy an external drive (even IF you keep the mechanical internal drive). My drive is FireWire, eSata and USB 2.0, I use eSATA on the desktop (I wish the macbooks had that! It makes the drive as fast as an internal drive). Anyway, my motherboard didn't like the eSATA port one day so I stuck it in to USB 2.0, almost cried. Found a FireWire cable, still slower than eSATA, but MUCH faster than USB. I don't think I could handle using this thing on anything less than FireWire.

    -John

    Edit: I'm stoopid. You already said you have an SSD. Well, in that case, unless it's gargantuan, I'd go with the Macbook Pro so I could use an external firewire enclosure for the included Hard Drive for storage, OR get one of the superdrive brackets. Since I'm a cheapskate, probably a $20 enclosure over a $100 bracket + enclosure for superdrive. (Unless I just don't know where to look and those brackets are cheaper somewhere, totally possible.)

    Edit 2: If you live near a Microcenter, they are having a sale right now, $999 for a brand spanking new 13" Macbook Pro.
     
  17. copykris Suspended

    copykris

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    #17
    good to see 12 year olds are into macs too these days
     
  18. vistadude macrumors 65816

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    #18
    I just tested the need for a backlight and iThinkergoiMac is absolutely right. You easily see all the keys on a white macbook without the need for a backlight in the dark. Not that you really need to see all the keys, finding F and J is good enough for most people to orient themselves for typing, but it is really clear to read all the keys on a macbook during day and night.

    Also one thing I havn't seen mentioned much is that the white macbook won't run the 64 bit version of snow leopard while the macbook pro's can. It's not a big deal now since there aren't too many 64 bit apps for the Mac OS, but coming from a windows side where there are many 64 bit apps, the pro seems better that you at least have an option.

     
  19. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

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    #19
    This is a little misleading. 64-bit applications run as 64-bit regardless of whether your kernel is 64-bit or not. For example, AfterEffects CS5, which is 64-bit, can see and access all 6 GB of RAM I have on my MacBook, even though my kernel is still 32-bit. Go on any MacBook running Snow Leopard, fire up Activity Monitor, and you'll see several apps running as 64-bit. The rest of the OS is always 64-bit (except on Core Duo/Solo machines) under Snow Leopard.

    The main benefit of booting a 64-bit kernel is to allow it to address more memory and have more RAM itself for managing the overall RAM. However, unless you have more than 8 GB RAM, this isn't necessary. So while that is a valid difference, it doesn't mean much to the end user.
     
  20. el-John-o macrumors 65816

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    #20
    That's what I thought, I was pretty sure it couldn't address more than 6GB of RAM, I didn't think about it being because of a 32-bit kernel, though.

    It's worth mentioning that Windows does not offeer that luxury. Windows XP/Vista/7 32-Bit will only execute 32-Bit applications, BUT I'm pretty sure you can install Windows 64-Bit on a Macbook. It has all of the hardware capabilities, and as I understand it, it's an issue of not having 64-bit drivers for a lot of the hardware, plus Apple locking it out on those models (the same reason my first 64-bit CPU powered PC didn't run a 64-Bit OS at first, no drivers!)

    If you have 8GB of RAM, I'd go ahead and get the pro, so you can use all of it, however, 8GB (depending on what your doing) might be more than you need.

    I have 4GB on my PC, which I spent $1,400 building, 4GHz Quad-Core CPU, HD5870 (at the time, fastest single GPU graphics card), DDR3-21800 RAM, 790FX chipset, but only 4GB of RAM. I don't need more! I do some gaming, admittedly not much, but I play games like Battlefield Bad Company 2, which push a whopping 2GB including the OS. At idle, my PC uses about 1GB of RAM (and that's Windows, OSX will be much less). I have a dual-monitor setup that I use for photoshop, 21MP DSLR photos, even several at a time for panoramas, also rarely gets close to 4GB. (I keep a little desktop gadget on to look at usage). Personally, I think massive amounts of RAM is overrated, currently, and probably for the next year, 6GB is enough for almost any task. However, if you think you'll use it, like dozens of high-resolution images at a time (you need a MBP if your doing that anyway, it has a higher color gamut), or maybe compiling tons and tons of code (then you need a faster CPU, like on the 15" MBP or something). Personally, anything a user who is considering a MacBook, and isn't dead-set on a Macbook Pro, shouldn't need more than 6GB of RAM.

    I'm not saying it's not capable, and it's just as fast as the MBP, but there are very few uses for that much RAM currently, and personally, I wouldn't go near any notebook with those sort of uses if I could avoid it.

    I'm getting the MacBook here soon, I'm getting some money back on my taxes, so I'm gonna use that, grab a 128GB SSD, 4GB of RAM, and a USB enclosure for the 250GB HDD. I'm choosing it over the pro for Price, aesthetics, temps (I did find out, the MBP runs about 20F warmer in most spots over the MacBook, most surfaces on the MacBook stay under 100F, except for the hinge at 120F, not too shabby).

    Let us know what you do! BTW, you can stick your 8GB you already have in a MacBook, it just won't address more than 6GB (I'm not familiar with how OSX handles 64-Bit software though, does it address 8GB despite the fact that the Kernel sees 6?, if that's the case it's completely a moot point, NO 32-Bit program, regardless if it's on a 64-Bit OS, can utilize more than 6GB of RAM)

    -John
     
  21. orfeas0 macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    something you rarely hear about is that the white macbook has a better wifi signal than the aluminium. i thought i should inform you about that, if you're still on the edge between macbook-macbook pro.
     
  22. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

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    #22
    It's not. My MacBook is about 3 years old, and has a hardware limitation that limits it to 6 GB RAM. The current MacBook does not have that limitation, and can address up to 8 GB RAM, just like the Pro. This is also stated earlier in this thread.

    Yes, Windows 64-bit installs just fine.

    To reemphasize, this is false. The MacBook can address up to 8 GB RAM. Also, 32-bit programs can't address more than about 3 to 3.5 GB RAM. No 32-bit program can address 6 GB RAM. So, as I said before, 64-bit applications running under Snow Leopard can access all the RAM you have, even if the kernel itself is 32-bit. I refer you to my example of AfterEffects CS5 (64-bit) running on my MacBook (32-bit kernel) being able to address all 6 GB (more than 32-bit applications can address) RAM I have.

    One can never have too much RAM.
     

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