Multi use laptop suggestions?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by slitherjef, May 6, 2017.

  1. slitherjef macrumors regular

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    #1
    So I've been interested in a new pc for a while, I've bounced around between building, a surface book, MBP 2015/16 but really can't decide

    I have a surface pro 3 i5 256 but it's not my suit, also have a 2012 non retina 15" MBP that I kind of use for photography and bill paying but it sits mostly. It's still running old software.

    Anyway on some occasions I'd like to fire up the Sims 4 or SimCity, as those are about the only pc games I play. Also would like a PC to just mess around with, nothing really serious, maybe some photo work as well.

    Any laptop suggestions for this? Would I seriously just be better off upgrading a new(er) MBP and installing Windows 10 on it?
     
  2. darksithpro macrumors regular

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    #2
    1. What's your price range, budget?

    2. What size of laptop are you looking for?

    3. Do you need higher than 1920x1080 for photo work, and do you want it to meet RGB spec as much as possible?

    4. Do you use mostly Windows, or MAC-OS?

    5. Do you care about dedicated graphics, or is integrated ok?
     
  3. slitherjef thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    1) budget? 4 grand would be a little too much...

    2) 13 to 15" ought to do it, probably 15" though

    3) resolution and color space should be good if I'm doing photo work and possibly video

    4) tough call, but macOS may be better for general work, windows for gaming

    5) for gaming, something that could run the Sims 4 with ease and maybe some GTA if the mood calls for it

    Maybe the better choice would be build a Windows box with an i5 for gaming and use a Mac for more serious work?
     
  4. darksithpro macrumors regular

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    #4

    That would be a good bet. You could build a decent Core i5 with an RX 480, or 1060 6gb for around 800-1000 with decent HDD and a nice monitor.
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #5
    I have a lower end SB and its a great machine but I think for price/performance I'd recommend a Dell XPS 15" machine. Plenty of power and is one of the faster (non-gaming) laptops out there. The 4k screen is gorgeous and should fit your needs for photo work

    The MBP isn't a bad machine but its not a gaming rig, Apple has never been serious about gaming on its Mac systems

    Why? if a Windows PC has a great GPU and CPU for gaming, then it should be more then adequate to handle "serious" work.
     
  6. DaveOP macrumors 65816

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    #6
    He hinted in his last post that he slightly prefers macOS for productivity. With a nice Macbook Pro, he could run Windows anyway. :)
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #7
    I understand, but my contention is that why buy two products when there are very good laptops in the window's realm that can do what he wants to do.
     
  8. DaveOP macrumors 65816

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    #8
    Oh I see. I would lean towards the suggestion of two machines as well, given his budget. He can get his gaming fix on a desktop, and then have great mobility with a laptop. His budget affords him that flexibility.
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #9
    To me, why spend 3 to 4k for two laptops when you can buy a dell XPS for under 2k and it does everything you need. YMMV, but I don't see the advantage of two laptops. In my experience with multiple machines people tend to gravitate to a single computer and largely ignore the other. YMMV and not everyone sees things the way I do. Just my $.02 :)
     
  10. oldmacs macrumors 68040

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    #10
    Why not put an SSD in your current MacBook? It will feel like new and you can put bootcamp on it.
     
  11. DaveOP macrumors 65816

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    #11
    I assumed the PC was a desktop, given the recommended specs.
     
  12. slitherjef thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    Wouldn't need 2 laptops per say. And you are correct many do tend to gravitate towards one device. Windows for one set of activities, like gaming and tinkering on, but slightly more serious work on something else, due to windows updates and such. I've been out of the windows loop for a while, I have a mid range surface pro 3 that while it's nice, it pretty much a very expensive iPad to me and needs to be updated every time it's turned on. Could I make better use of it? Probably. It was not quite what I thought it was and really awkward to use. Just me though.

    Can the XPS run the games I like? GTA, the Sims 4, maybe Minecraft? Is the driver and ram user serviceable?

    My 2012 MBP non retina has a SSD (256gb I think) and 8gb of ram I replaced.

    It probably won't be too hard to completely back the HDD up to a new external drive, and slide in a new larger SSD and maybe bump the ram up a bit more. My Lightroom catalog and software is tied to that machine however, most photos are on an external drive. Other then that, it's mostly being used for bills.

    I still need to update the os, I'm still running osx
     
  13. slitherjef thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    I got to play around with a 13" non touch bar at Best Buy today, I posted some thoughts on the device in the MBP forum (if you want to check the thread out, its "I went window shopping"), needless to say, the short amount of time I messed with the device, I liked it and am thinking about picking one up...

    A few corrections, my current MBP is a 15" model from 2011, with a 256gb ssd and 8gb ram I upgraded myself. I am currently running OSX 10.8.5 on it. Kind of nervous to update it. It does run pretty good (run light room, my catalog is on an external drive) and I am using it now to type these longer messages out. still and I suspect I could do a few more minor updates to it should I opt to, or run windows on it or something.

    If I was to grab a base model non touch bar 13" how much of a difference would I see? The price is very attractive at 1500 bucks. I know its only got 2 ports and for the most part that would be fine, unless I wanted to push a larger monitor and charge and use an external drive.
     
  14. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

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    #14
    Depends on which one. The XPS 13 and the 13 2-in-1 only have integrated graphics and probably wouldn't run GTA V well. The XPS 15 has a discrete GPU (a GTX 1050 to be exact) and so it's got quite a bit more grunt when it comes to gaming. The two 13" models have soldered RAM while the XPS 15 doesn't, and all of them use M.2 SSDs. With the XPS 15 you can also have both an M.2 SSD and a 2.5" drive if you want extra storage.
     
  15. slitherjef, May 29, 2017
    Last edited: May 29, 2017

    slitherjef thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    I still cannot make up my mind on this issue. The Mac looks more elegant but to me seems to need numerous work around and while trying to do much of anything with my current one, I feel a bit hindered, unless I'm doing something basic like web browsing, other then that, I feel the thing works against me.

    While editing some photos the other day, I tried to make a time lapse with some images from a go pro already on my drive while importing other images to light room from my drive and that was not the best ideas, the fans went full blast and 400+ images for the time lapse, I had to cancel out because I didn't want to wait the 50 thousand hours for it to finish! Seriously. Also noted my track pad is acting weird.

    Windows on the other hand has its own share of issues (to me), the almost constant need to tied to Ms servers, how it's cloud is being pushed. The bipolar os tablet desktop mode. Spyware and other crap. Updates that could almost be described as nightly builds.

    That being said I could build a decent gaming rig for the price of the base non touch bar MBP and just use it mostly off line or at least not browse.

    I kind of miss those windows 7 days...

    ----
    Edit

    I went back out to do a bit more window shopping and ended up spending more time with the 13" MBP at best buy, of which the base model non touch was on sale 200 bucks off and the touchbar 100 dollars off. The non touchbar with 2 ports is a deal breaker I think.

    I also played with a surface book again and really couldn't get into it. Two totally different machines for sure.

    I'll keep doing my research and wait to see if anything is announced next month.
     
  16. Altis macrumors 68020

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    #16
    I'm considering a new laptop as well to replace my 2010 17" MBP.

    Have you looked at the new Lenovo Yoga 720?

    Quad-core i7 7700HQ, 16 GB RAM, 15.6" 4k touch+pen display, GTX 1050, USB-C/TB3, can tent/tablet...

    In Canada it's CAD $1750 (around $1300 USD)-- the cheapest MacBook Pro (non-TB 13") is CAD $1900.

    Only drawback is battery life is in the 5-7 hour range due to the high power CPU, 4k touch display, and GTX 1050.

    Otherwise seems like a solid option that covers all bases. There's a 13.3" version as well that costs less, but doesn't have quad-core or dedicated graphics.
     
  17. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

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    #17
    That's still better than an old 17" MBP though, all things considered.
     
  18. Altis macrumors 68020

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    #18
    Oddly enough, I still get 5-7 hours from the original battery in the MBP... only ~230 cycles after 7 years. I'm the second owner -- from what I can tell, the first owner rarely unplugged it. :p

    I'm trying to decide if 5-7 hours is enough or if I should get something like the HP Spectre 360 15" that gets more like 8-9 hours, but is dual-core 7500U low-power CPU and 940MX -- and costs more.
     
  19. Pangalactic macrumors member

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    #19
    Sure thing! At 1920x1080 and high I can run even run Doom at 60 FPS, Metal Gear Solid at 40 and Witcher 3 at 40 - and these are much more demanding games! It's a very capable gaming machine!

    What do you mean by driver? The RAM is upgradable

    IMHO Dell XPS is the best 15 inch machine on the market at the moment. The only drawback for me is the speakers, which are surprisingly average compared to everything else on it. The 4k screen is dangerous because once you look at it you won't be able to look at any other screens :D top notch performance in Premier Pro & After Effects, battery life is around 6-7 hours of real world usage for me, the build quality is phenomenal, a very nice keyboard and a great design - I personally love it!
     
  20. MadDane macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    I believe slitherjef meant if the drive is upgradeable :) And I can tell that yes, on the XPS 15 the drive (SSD) is upgradeable. It is a regular M.2 SSD.
     
  21. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #21
    I agree, given what you get for your money, its a machine that's hard to pass up, and while I agree with you regarding the speakers being inferior (especially to the MBP), I'll also point out the camera. This is not an issue for me as I don't use it, but people who use the camera do not appreciate the position of it (because of the lack of bezels). Its basically looking up at people's noses.
     
  22. slitherjef thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    Hmmm since the iMac refresh that may now be a viable option, not talking about the pro model though.

    Being in to photography and light video I'd opt for the 27" and maybe toss a 1tb SSD in, upgrade the ram myself and store most of my stuff on external storage.

    The video card and processor I'm not sure about. Thoughts?
     

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