MB/MBP Decision Making Hell!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by a.c.earley, Jan 18, 2008.


What MB/MBP to go for?

  1. MB (upgrade manually), XBOX 360 + LCD Monitor

    17 vote(s)
  2. Current MBP & stick with this

    17 vote(s)
  3. Refurb MBP X1600 then get next MBP (sell then buy)

    3 vote(s)
  4. Keep..... on....... .... .waiting....

    18 vote(s)
  1. a.c.earley macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2008
    Guys...... :confused:

    I have been wanting to get a MB/MBP since March 2007 but waited until June 2007 (for Leopard that was delayed) and then Jan 15th (hoping that a MBP in a SFF would arrive). Now there are "rumors" of a new MBP revision Jan 22nd though they are probably just that as the curent MBP is still excellent IMHO. My pc sells on monday so it is decision time...

    Will use the MB/MBP for web, ripping DVDs, music, photos and some gaming. The only reason why I cam considering the MBP is for the gaming element. Otherwise it is overkill. Prices should be quite similar as I get HE discount.

    Here are my options:

    1. Current MB (upgrade HD & ram manually) + XBOX 360 + LCD monitor.

    2. Current MBP and stick with this

    3. Refurb MBP with x1600 and wait until new revision buy/sell.

    4. Keep..... on..... ..... ...... waiting.....

    Any advice is greatly appreciated! I know it is not exactly a "hellish" decision to make but it's all relative eh? Thanks, Austin
  2. tersono macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2005
    I'd be sorely tempted to go the refurb MBP route. You can pick up some real deals that way, and whilst you may not be getting the latest and greatest at least you know you're paying less for that privilege... :cool:
  3. iBecks macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2006
    Nottingham, UK
    You've waited since March 2007 until now, then waiting until the 22nd January shouldn't be too hard.

    What happens though if Apple don't update the MBP on the 22nd Jan, will you wait until the next anticipated/rumoured date?

    In your position, I think that I would buy the latest MBP, max out the RAM and stick with that. (especially with HE discount)
  4. Cybergypsy macrumors 68040


    May 16, 2006
    Central Florida!
    I had the new MBP, was not that impressed for what i do....did not like the keyboard or screen went back to a macbook and love it BUT just bought the air :)
  5. a.c.earley thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2008
    I think, that after Jan 22nd, I will not wait any longer as it starts to then become ridiculous!

    My only consideration with the current MBP is that it will lose the most value in the near future yet, on the other hand is the X1600 too "old" to play the more recent crop of games though best value? Good thing with the MB route is then that MB will hopefully last 5 years and plays (some) older games.

  6. BOSS10L macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2008
    Upstate NY
  7. a.c.earley thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2008
    HE Discount pal. 14% for students or someone that knows a student. You can get this one a year on systems per student.....
  8. BOSS10L macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Oh...educational discount. I'm a returning student as well. :D

    Good luck with your choice. I'm having the same issue myself right now. :(
  9. NickFalk macrumors 6502


    Jun 9, 2004
    Ah, the waiting game. :)

    My advice: Buy the recent Macbook Pro. I always buy the best computer I can afford at the time. It'll last longer and for your use it should really last you a loooong time.
  10. Nipz macrumors 65816


    Nov 1, 2006
    same for me!

    i waited for the MB for ages... got the best i could get at the time.

    2GHz 2GB ram 160HD and all that! love it to bits but i want a 15.4 Pro now so im trying to sell my BMB.
  11. Twe Foju macrumors 6502

    Twe Foju

    Dec 20, 2007
    you have waited since March 2007

    why buy now? you should wait for 2 more years, you wait for almost a year now, 2 years should be nothing, where MBP could be with quad core processors with 8 Gig of Ram

    i'd do that if i were you


    so, my answer is, number 4 for you, keep waiting

    cheers mate :D
  12. stomer macrumors 6502a

    Apr 2, 2007
    Leeds, UK
    What games are you intending on playing?

    If by 'games' you mean WoW, then a MBP would be fine. Otherwise I'd suggest you eliminate games from your buying decision. For 3 reasons:

    1. There are very few games released for the Mac.
    2. Even if you do install Windows, are there any current games out there that would perform well?
    3. Even if there are currently games that perform well, in 6 months time there'll be a lot less, and you won't have any upgrade path besides selling your laptop and getting a new one.

    If you want to play games, best to get a console. No upgrade costs, no driver issues, and there are plenty of good games out there.
  13. elcid macrumors 6502

    May 5, 2007
    Back in the day I ran WoW fine on my MB. 40 man raids would be rough, but those are a thing of the past.
  14. Jord89 macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2007
    I've been waiting to buy a Macbook Pro since about November, also hoping for something to happen this year at Macworld, but I'm tired of waiting. The way I see it, whether I wait a few months for the new one, or get the current model, I'm going to love it. So I'm ordering my low end Macbook Pro in a few hours.
  15. a.c.earley thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2008

    Stomer - You are a genius. I think I just needed someone to tell me this. So, I am going to order the Macbook white 2.2Ghz tomorrow. Bought:

    2gb OCZ RAM kit - £28.00
    250GB WD HD - £78.00
    Icy Box white 2.5 SATA HD Enclosure - £10.00
    Macbook with discount - £713.00 (!)
    Applecare 3 Years - £47.00

    Total Cost: £876.00 - Should last about 5 years I reckon

    I will take out the 1GB ram that comes with it and put it straight on ebay. The 120GB HD will be put in the white enclosure for Time Machine backups.

    For games, an XBOX 360 & LCD Monitor (so cheap these days).

    Overall, perfect for me and fantastic value. No more nasty computing (my first Apple machine and really looking forward to it) & no more driver issues nor graphics card updates (just plug and play quality gaming).

    Oh, and of course, the final touch.... an 80's style rainbow apple logo over the the modern lit one on the inside of the laptop case. :D:D:D

    Thanks everyone.
  16. 147798 Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    You'll be quite please with this choice. I've been (over) analysing a MB/MBP purchase. Went with MB2.2, maxed the RAM and am getting a Hitachi 7200RPM 200GB drive next week. I've been benchmarking the MB against MBP owned by others I know (WITH the current OEM drive in). The MB won't play games (so go console), and I've had a display hiccup from time to time when doing heavy video editing, but it's so much more portable, the keyboard is nicer, and the Applecare is cheaper. I tried encoding a movie shot in 720p HD video -- same project on both the MB and 15"MBP, and the encoding times were EXACTLY the same. So, the processing power is really quite equivalent. This is all BEFORE I get my new Hitachi drive, which should outperform the OEM drive AND I'm not voiding the warranty by replacing the drive.

    However, I would say go w/4GB RAM. It's really not much more, and your machine will want to go past 2GB from time to time.
  17. a.c.earley thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bking. Thanks for the reply. Good to know that the processing power of the two machines is pretty much identical.

    I have just ordered 2GB - I though that this would be ample for my needs!

    Now I want 4GB!!!!! LOL! :p

    Could you please (or anyone) re-assure me that 2GB will be near optimal for my needs?!!!


    Also, what does everyone think of the apple mouse - good or bad? Reason I ask is that I am miles away from an apple stockist.
  18. skyrider007 macrumors 65816


    Aug 5, 2007
    I have the wireless mighty mouse, it's great. However after 6 months of usage the nipple scroll thing gets clogged up and doesn't scroll anymore. Had to clean it extensively. That's about the only flaw it has. Otherwise it's a great bluetooth mouse.
  19. bigbadnewill macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2007
    I think the apple mighty mouse is ok. Some people feel very strongly about it, but for me it's just quite a good mouse.

    I now actually use my wifes graphics tablet on her iMac and i LOVE it. I never thought it'd be good, but it's so much quicker once you get used to it. Only thing it lacks is scroll, but the newer ones have this.

    If you do any picture editing etc, i'd highly recommend one!

    And stop being Satan...you're making me think that I need a Macbook :D
  20. stomer macrumors 6502a

    Apr 2, 2007
    Leeds, UK
    2GB should me sufficient for the time being. There are certain apps that can consume large amounts of memory, such as vmware, parallels, Eclipse etc... As long as you're not using any of them on a regular basis then you should be fine.

    Yeah it's a pretty good mouse. A bit over priced though. The little ball is quite nice, it allows you to scroll horizontally, which is great for columns view in Finder. This is much more usable than the 'tilt' technology found in other mice. As another poster has said, the little ball does get clogged from time to time.
  21. bigbadnewill macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2007
    Also, how the hell did you get £713 for the 2.2GHz? When i do it it's way more :(

    I want your discount!! :D

    Did you have to ring apple up to find out the price on that?

  22. a.c.earley thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2008
    Thanks again Stomer - great advice.

    Bigbadnewill - my discount is 14% - you should get the same in higher education though there is a slightly lower rate for further education and teachers. If you call apple you get applecare a bit cheaper as well. I was going to get the 2.0Ghz model and do the same upgrades as this turned out to be £601 new! No Superdrive though, so really I am effectively paying 110 quid for a superdrive and 0.2 more Ghz. Man, if they could just put a superdrive on that thing!!! You don't need a macbook....... ;-) Or do you......?!!! LOL! Just messing, your mac looks more than able. I just need a laptop as I am on the go or I would have bought an iMac like yourself.

    Light gaming is acutally an option on this machine. Pro Evo, KOTOR, GTA San & Rise of legends amongst other things. Just about to order now though will hold off on the mouse for now as going to see if I actually need one....

    YES! I can now get on with my life after 4 solid days of research!!!!

  23. bigbadnewill macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2007
    hehe, i know how you feel about the research thing. When we bought my wifes iMac we waited and researched for ages. Ended up waiting until the new aluminium macs came out and just bought the 2.8GHz version since we could. :)

    As for the iMac, as mentioned, it's the wifes and i hardly get chance to use it :( Hence my NEED for a Macbook. hehehe. I don't play games, so that would never be a problem for me there. Just need dual boot as a lot of my electronics programs for uni are only windows compatible.

    Good luck with your macbook though! I too wish they would offer the superdrive in the lower end machine, guess it's all a money making thing.

    If i persuade wifey to let me get one i'll definately be ringing and getting the 14% if possible. And also apple care, i think it's a must for students, especially when it's so cheap.
  24. 147798 Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    I have the mighty mouse for my iMac. I do like it. But, I don't use it for my laptop (most of the time, I'm in front of the TV when doing laptop work). Actually, there are some pretty neat gestures the track pad supports, and once you do a little research and practice, in some ways it's nearly as versatile as the mouse.

    On memory -- 2GB will be sufficient. My iMac is an old 1.83 w/a 2GB limit. It gets the job done. As mentioned, single apps such as virtual machines will eat that up quickly (consider running XP INSIDE OSX with some apps open. You know XP needs 2GB itself, now add OSX, the VM and other applications).

    The issue it not usually any single app, it's running many apps at once. Once your machine gets over 2GB needed for memory it begins to use the disk for memory, writing "idle" information to the disk (i.e. bits about programs that aren't being accessed at that moment, but are still open). The problem is, when you click on that open program to do some work, the computer has to read the information back from the disk, which is much, much slower than reading from RAM. If you are running a TON of stuff more than 2GB, then the system will really seem much slower. If you have 4GB, then it doesn't need to write to disk, and can keep everything in RAM.

    What are some common applications likely to cause this?
    • Video editing
    • Picture editing (especially working with RAW format files)
    • Professional applications like Lightroom, Aperture, Final Cut Express (let alone Pro), etc. will certainly push the limit
    • Virtual Machines

    I frequently have open all at the same time: Safari, Firefox, iMovie, iPhoto, iTunes, Mail, Quicktime and maybe an MS office App. I regularly exceed 2GB, though I don't think I've ever exceeded 3GB. HOWEVER, there is a memory performance boost in using matched pairs of memory sticks (i.e. 1+1GB or 2+2GB not 1+2GB) related to "dual channel" architecture (google it, or look on wikipedia if you want the details).

    So, if you are buying new memory, imho, might as well spend what's really a small amount (say, $50 more?) to get 4GB instead of 2B.

    Having said all that, if you really, really can't get the 4GB at this time, absolutely get 2GB. 1GB is simply not enough. Enjoy!
  25. a.c.earley thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2008
    Thanks bking

    Cheers for the comprehensive reply especially the dual channel - I was aware but good to know nonetheless. That was a nightmare with PCs though not anymore!!! Luckily, I plan to no video editing, picture editing, using pro applications or virtual machines. I will use boot camp for gaming.

    You are probably right about adding 4gb (it was only 28 quid more!) as opposed to 2 but I am a man of sweet spots when it comes to computer hence 250gb and not 320gb. I may change to 4gb at the end of the year if needed and up the HD to a TB if there aer too many movies on there! God bless a free 3 months to I Love Movies (3 disc). But again, only if these are the "sweet spot" in terms of price:performance.

    Like you say 2gb will be sufficient and for my needs 4gb will make little difference. Thanks for the details though.

    It has now all been ordered and should get here Tuesday at the earliest. I am considering taking a 72 hour course of sleeping pills so that I wake when the postman arrives......

    Anyone have any expereince of gaming in Boot Camp on the current macbooks?

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