MB or MBP for long term usage

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by micol124, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. micol124 macrumors member

    micol124

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    #1
    So I have to upgrade my lovely 12" Powerbook, which, at 4 yrs old, is starting to get a little slow. I am waiting for the new MB/MBP to come out, but here's my Q:

    I am planning on using this computer for the next 4-5 years. My Powerbook is still kicking but had I puchased the top of the line of 2004, I would have had 2Gb RAM vs 1.25, and a 1.5Ghz processor vs 1.33, and I am thinking the computer would go just a little smoother with Leopard on it. So, now that I am looking at Mb/MBPs, I am thinking the MBP is more likely to keep up better with software upgrades and demands that will come in the next few years than the MB. Am I wrong? What do you guys think?

    I even thought about getting an MB and then replacing it in a few years, but I am not sure 1) whether it will cost me more, 2) what the retained value of MBs is...

    HELP:confused::eek::rolleyes:

    Oh, i should say I am starting Vet School in a week, and I will be using my computer for the usual word processing, net surfing, movie "backing up", and some movie and picture editing (as if i had time, but if I did, I would play around with it!):D
     
  2. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #2
    My first piece of advice would be to wait for the upgrades and then decide. Try to nurse your Powerbook along for another month or so, as most people seem to be of the opinion that some manner of changes (speed bumps, capacity increase, aluminium all around) may be in the works. If you don't care for any of the new offerings, go for the refurb option as you will have the peace of mind of knowing that they have been rigorously tested individually and come with the Apple warranty.

    Secondly, re the precise model, it really depends on what you wish to do with it. I've a MBP and love it; it is future proofed to a certain extent, and is more powerful and comes with better performance (and more attractive aesthetics) than the current MB, but the real glory of the MBP is in the superb screen. If you really need an excellent screen, shell out for it. If not, go for the MB.
    Good luck with it. Cheers
     
  3. micol124 thread starter macrumors member

    micol124

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    #3
    I guess future proofing is what I really want, and you seem to think on the same lines as me, with a MBP being a safer bet because of the higher degree of upgradeability...
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #4
    I'm sorry, but even if you had bought a top of the line 12" PB at the time (1.5 GHz instead of 1.33 GHz, a bit more RAM, etc), your system would still have an equally difficult time with Leopard.

    There's no such thing as "futureproofing", and I laugh every time someone says they'd pay the extra $300 or so to get the 2.6 GHz C2D processor instead of the 2.5 GHz or 2.4 GHz version for "future-proofing". I understand if someone is paying the extra money for the other added features, or the slightly better performance he/she will get today using today's software. However, don't bother "future-proofing" when the systems you're comparing all offer the same technology.

    However, in 4 years, people are going to think back to 2008's laptops and realize how little difference there is between the CD MacBook and MBPs, the C2D MacBook and MacBook Pros, 2 GB vs 3 GB of RAM, etc.


    I bet if you took your 1.33 Ghz version against my old 1 GHz 12" PowerBook, you wouldn't see a difference when booting up Leopard. They'd both be slow. For example, your system may take 55 seconds to do boot up while mine takes 57 seconds. Around 3 years ago, using OS X 10.3 (Panther), maybe the difference would have been 32 seconds VS 40 seconds (i.e. much larger). That won't be the case later on though.
     
  5. Jiten macrumors 6502a

    Jiten

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    #5
    You have quite a few options actually since many speculate that there will be a upgrade next month. You can basically purchase the new laptops or you can buy the older models for a discounted price. So wait until next month just to be safe.

    Like everyone here, I agree that you should not really worry too much about "future proofing" your stuff. the 300 bucks for 100 MHZ buys your nothing and I would rather just upgrade my RAM and my HD (probably) and simply be done with it.

    Considering that Apple's direction with Snow Leopard is leaner and faster instead of more features and bloat, any Macs you purchase today should run faster in the future (in theory).
     
  6. gusious macrumors 65816

    gusious

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    #6
    Go for the MBP. Trust me.

    But buy it when the new ones come out(as rumors say 14Oct if i remember correct...).
     
  7. MowingDevil macrumors 68000

    MowingDevil

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    #7
    futureproofing

    This is true, I remember being pissed when I bought the 7600 @ 120mhz and a few months later they came out with an updated one @ 132mhz!!! :eek:

    In hindsight it didn't make an ounce of difference. Just seemed to at the time...
    Freaking 12mhz, lol.
     
  8. hogfaninga macrumors 65816

    hogfaninga

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    #8
    Actually the MB is easier to upgrade. Both the current MB and MBP are capable of 4GB's and you can add a better HD on both easily(much easier though on the MB--about 10 minutes--I upgraded my RAM in 10 minutes also).

    The biggest difference to most is the graphic card. Unless you do some graphic intensive games or apps then the MBP is a waste of money IMO. Now if you got money to burn then do what you want.

    On the looks question. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think the current MB's look better than the MBP, but that shouldn't factor in your decision that much.
     
  9. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    #9
    I think for long term, you'd go with the MBP. The video card alone should survive you the next 3-4 years.
     
  10. hogfaninga macrumors 65816

    hogfaninga

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    #10

    Tell that to many of the current owners who are having serious trouble with theirs. Many think that card is a ticking time bomb.
     
  11. timeconsumer macrumors 65816

    timeconsumer

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    #11
    While I agree with the points listed above, in the MB vs. MBP I think the better "future proof" is the MBP (the base model)

    The reason I would suggest that is due to Snow Leopard (I realize it's awhile but the OP mentioned 4-5 years so it has to be considered).

    Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_OS_X_v10.6

    Some key points:

    • Grand Central: a parallel-programming technology[7] by Apple that aims to have the OS take full advantage of multi-core CPUs and Graphics Processing Units (GPUs).[4]
    • OpenCL (Open Computing Language): allowing developers to code applications to use the GPU for non-graphics purposes

    I actually was considering a MB, but after reading that wikipedia article, I decided a MBP would be a better option for me as the MB does not have a dedicated GPU.

    Perhaps people who have more knowledge of Snow Leopard can chime in here and let us know their opinion on the current spec MB vs. MBP and how well they'd think both would handle Snow Leopard.
     
  12. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    #12
    I'm an owner of this so called "ticking time bomb" also. So far in the month I've used it, my GPU has never seen anything below 60 deg C even overnight on idle. Its always 75, sometimes upwards of 85 deg C. Under gaming, I've hit max of 92 deg C w/ 3000 rpm fan (fans wont go any higher unless i manually do so). I never turn off the machine, the only time ive turned it off was to install the extra ram and upgrade the hard drive. I've put it to sleep many times, sometimes 5-10 times a day. I leave the system on overnight. I'm still waiting for this GPU death.
     
  13. hogfaninga macrumors 65816

    hogfaninga

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    #13
    I haven't read that, but I seriously doubt Apple will make Snow Leopard in a way that Macbook owners can't use it. That would be counterproductive. Plus the new Macbooks most likely won't have a dedicated graphics card either then in your scenario they would be out also. Doesn't make sense.
     
  14. hogfaninga macrumors 65816

    hogfaninga

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    #14

    Read the numerous threads on it on this site. I don't have a dog in this fight obviously, but it will take a lot longer (in most cases) than a month of heavy duty usage. Dell and HP have acknowledged the problem as well as nvidia. I'm sure Apple will change it in the new update, but that doesn't do anyone who owns the current one any good unless they replace them(graphic card) with the new ones(they should).

    Hopefully you won't have any major problems. The MBP is a great laptop.
     
  15. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    #15
    It should actually makes it faster since it can use the ENTIRE cpu (cpu is also shared for video rendering) for processing. For the ppl who have a dedicated video card, it might be able to offset some processing load to the GPU.

    The MBP is a great laptop. I love it. But so far, I'm not gonna worry about the video card failing because worrying about it would stress me out more then the gpu diode.
     
  16. hogfaninga macrumors 65816

    hogfaninga

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    #16
    True. However, Snow Leopard is supposed to be less bulky which should make it faster on all systems. It will easily work on the Macbook. Of course most things should work better on the Pro, but then again you pay a lot more it. For most people they won't see a big difference. On most things people use a laptop for, there is very little difference besides the size of the screen and the better graphics(backlit and a few other things are just little extras--I got backlit on my Macbook though I rarely use it--just plug my light in a USB port and it works great).

    I'm a big fan of the Pro. I just think most people don't really need it. It is a luxury. People can spend their money how they want though. I had a Pro, but sold it after realizing I didn't really need it. I bought it on impulse. Don't do that. I hope people really address their needs and then buy the system that is best for them.
     
  17. cazlar macrumors 6502

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    #17
    I made a similar jump earlier this year. My 1Ghz 12" was getting to be just too slow, and I was ready to go for a MB or MBP. In the end, I got both (for a while at least). I picked up a 2.2Ghz Blackbook refurb for $1099, and used that for a month or two, before that became my parents new machine (cheaper to buy it here in US than in Australia). Then I picked up a 2.4Ghz low-end MBP ($1699), which I'm using now. And I had them both side by side for a few weeks.

    For me, coming from the 12", I thought I'd not mind the smaller screen on MB vs the MBP, but once you get used to the bigger one it is very hard to go back to a smaller one (when I occasionally use my 12" for example). The MB is dead simple to upgrade the HDD, a feature I wish the MBP had. I do absolutely love the light-up keyboard though on the MBP. And I've even done some gaming on it (though it turns out I can't play FPS's on PCs with a mouse very well anymore - my hands just cried out to use a console controller!).

    Overall, I think the MBP will be better in the long run if you plan to use it more than 3 years. At the very least, you will appreciate the bigger screen, unless you really value portability/weight above all, or if the cost is a big issue.

    But all signs point to an update soon, so wait either way. You'll either get better computers, or a price-drop on existing stock.
     
  18. drummerlondonw3 macrumors 6502a

    drummerlondonw3

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    #18
    well I think cazlar beat me to it on mentioning the screen and also the backlit keyboard which I had omitted

    I think one of the biggest factors, which hasn't been mentioned yet, is the difference in the screen. Personally, the difference for me is more important than the lack of graphics card. Even things like the really good speakers on the MBP were a factor for me - oh and being able to play C+C well!!

    I think that as you are moving from 12" you might feel more at home with the 13" MB but I would go and test the 15" in an Apple shop and see how it feels. I guess it depends a lot on what you do with it but just wanted to highlight one of my deciding factors when I was buying

    With the regard of usability and upgrading, as has been said the MB is actually more (easily) upgradeable but wth regard to the processors and RAM they have been similar for a few revisions.

    In real world terms there is very difference between the 2 systems (especially blackbook vs base MBP) is very slight

    For what you have described I think either would be suitable you have to look into what other factors, i.e screen, keyboard design, size, weight, case design etc

    if you have any direct questions about my experiences with the current base MBP please either ask here or PM me

    d:apple:
     
  19. yrael macrumors newbie

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    #19
    I don't really think you can predict how the prices of laptops will change in the next 4-5 years. I mean, the Powerbook originally sold for how much? and now it can sell for about 500-600 (ebay and craigslist anyways).

    I think that the only reason why you might like the macbook pro is perhaps the improved screen it has over the macbook. If that warrants the cost difference then by all means, go for it. IMO I think that both will age well over time, both in software and in prices.
     
  20. timeconsumer macrumors 65816

    timeconsumer

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    #20
    Very true. I was just speculating for the most part as I haven't researched Snow Leopard enough. Since the next revision of Apple laptops aren't out yet, I can only speculate that the current spec MBP will run better than the current spec MB for future Mac OS's since it appears they're going to have more interaction with the GPU. However, future releases of the MB may have better onboard graphics that will work better with Snow Leopard.

    And perhaps I should have stated that I'm not saying the MB will be "out" of running Snow Leopard, I was just trying to point out that the current and possibly next revision MBP will run Snow Leopard and future Mac OS versions better than a MB.
     
  21. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    #21
    Honestly, I'm not that big of the fan of the pro. I like the system because its powerful, thinner then most laptops and obviously, OSX.

    I'd personally prefer the air because of the style, but the performance lacks what I do. I guess I could use the MB instead of the MBP, almost 9/10 I use the system doesn't require 3d graphics. But I got the MBP instead of the MB because of that 1/10 when I do need the 3D graphics. I'm glad then that I have the power when I need it.

    But back to the OP's statement, if you are seriously considering using the same laptop for 3+ years... i'd go with the MBP. Save your troubles later on for the video card for newer programs/games/etc.
     
  22. ppilone macrumors 6502

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    #22
    MBP For Your Main Machine

    I made the switch around January of last year and went with a Macbook (seeing as how I'm a student and thats all I could afford). Trust me I love the Macbook and I don't totally regret my decision. My only problem is since I now use my MB as my only machine I wish I had gotten the Pro. The closest thing I do with graphic intensive work is some virtualization of Ubuntu and XP so I know I don't need the graphics card but what really gets me is the screen size.

    I really should have gone with the 15" Pro (but even that resolution isn't very good - which is why I'm hoping for a revision soon) since its the only computer I work on. Not sure if this answers the OP's question but another thing to consider - if its going to be your main machine make sure you're comfortable with the screen size.
     
  23. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #23
    The 12" PBG4 never supported more than 1.25GB of RAM because they all had 256MB of RAM soldered to the logic board and one SODIMM socket. I have the last 1.5GHz model ever made, and it maxed out at 1.25GB (256MB integrated + 1GB stick). However, the later model iBook G4s supported 2GB. Figure that one out.

    I still use the 12" for things like writing when I need something super portable. So, it hasn't lost its usefulness quite yet. But it'll stay on OS 10.4.
     
  24. micol124 thread starter macrumors member

    micol124

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    #24
    Thank for the many replies! I ama little bit more sure of what to do than before... BUT! I have a lot more info now.

    I guess the main reason I am thinking of MBP is that I like to play with large picture files and videos, and eventually I will have the need to sound editing (so, I ride horses right? and I was not video myself and use that video to time a choreographed soundtrack I will make and then use it in competions... :eek: I know I am crazy, I know :p) BUT I also am not sure when I will need this feature, but of well :)

    Now, one more Q: is the graphics card upgradable in the MBPs? Because if it is, I am thinking I should definately lean toward a bottom of the line (thanks for the info on this one :D )MBP, but if it isn't, then I might lean more towards a MB... although the Snow Leopard thing kind of leans me toward the MBP...

    Well, I'd better stop typing before I conjure images of the tower of Pisa in your mind :)
     
  25. timeconsumer macrumors 65816

    timeconsumer

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    #25
    No, unfortunately the graphics card is not upgradeable in the current MBP. However, if it was, it would still be a very difficult upgrade to make as I'm pretty sure it would involved soldering.
     

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