Need A Push Over The Ledge

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by NateDogX, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. NateDogX macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    #1
    Hello everyone,

    Longtime reader but first-time poster here. I've had my eye on a 13" MacBook Pro for some time now, but with the latest hardware "refresh" lacking an i3, i5 or i7 upgrade in that model - and the fact that the 15" and 17" models are too expensive for me and my needs - I've found myself questioning if I should get a 13" MacBook Pro.

    My needs are minimal. Just Internet, a few flash games (MAYBE SC2 and Diablo 3), some light photography and minimal video editing, but I do like to have several applications open at once as I like to hop around.

    My question is, should I still get the 13" MacBook or look to another manufacturer outside of Apple?

    Apologies for being another one of those "should I do it" guys, but I need a little push to take the plunge into my first Apple computer.
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #2
    The current generation of 13" MBPs and the one before that, and the one before that, and the one before that, and the one before that, ... are fully capable of doing what you want.

    Increasing the RAM is a better choice if you want to run multiple applications at once.
    I have an "old" C2D 2GHz iMac with 4GB of RAM and right now have 14 applications open. It sometimes lags, but that is due to the HDD, which seems to near its life's end.

    An i3 would not be much faster as a current C2D is, so the iX craze is just for spec whores, especially with your needs, as those don't require any top-end CPUs. A C2D is more than capable.
     
  3. fuzzielitlpanda macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    #3
    Please take a look at this benchmark for the Asus U30JC (uses an i3 processor + 310m):

    http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops/asus-ul30jc-1a.aspx?mode=benchmarks

    As you can see, 3dmark06 has a score of about 3,700. I ran the same test on my 13" MBP 2.4GHz and got about 4,700:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=9671915&postcount=25

    Although I couldn't find what resolution they were running at + the Asus has the 310M instead of 320M, the new 13" MBP runs as good/if not better. Don't let the fact that it's using a Core 2 Duo instead of an i3 keep you from purchasing. It's still better than the previous gen
     
  4. stefan1975 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    #4
  5. NateDogX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    #5
    It's tormenting, isn't it? This is my first Mac. Having had an iPhone and LOVING it for awhile now, I feel ready to incorporate another Apple product into my life. The price makes me weary when there's more specs to be had with other manufacturers. Then there's the Angel/Devil battle of whether to go with the oh-so-aesthetically-pleasing Apple computer or the perhaps more functional PC.

    Oy.

    I'm leaning toward Mac, though. I gotta say. They're just so damn cool!!
     
  6. NateDogX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    #6
    Anyone else want to lend their .02? I sure would appreciate it!

    (shameful bump)
     
  7. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #7
    What it comes down to is, do you want to use Mac OS X or Windows?
    The hardware is important, but often seen as too important, because the best hardware can't make pigs fly.

    As this is a Mac OS X centric forum you will see a lot of people favouring Mac OS here.

    Have a look at the following links to see if Mac OS X might be to your liking:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    MacOS X keyboard shortcuts
     
  8. Hellishness macrumors 65816

    Hellishness

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #8
    I agree with Spinnerlys^

    I would also like to say that I am in the same boat as you (minimal needs, but waited anyway) and I really want a Mac. I like the hardware and the OS. I like (love) the battery life (10 hours!!), and I think that a 13" MBP is worth more than $1,200 to me :).
     
  9. PAC88 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    #9
    my .02 cents

    I came from an ibook g4 and it was nice.. I've been waiting for this update to come for months and months.. long story short.

    I was ready to buy a new 15" hi-res antiglare MBP at my apple store. they told me they had them in stock when I called, when I got there they didn't have any. the apple sales people don't know anything about what they sell.. apple takes forever to update products.. prices on the 15" went up, on top of making anti glare an even higher premium.. and after spending $2000, I still can't get an express card slot? So, after all this I just got so annoyed and said forget it.. I won't support a company that pulls this kind of BS on their customers.

    so today I custom ordered a Thinkpad t410.. It has everything I want on it and more. So I would recommend looking at Lenovo Thinkpads, they are my favorite windows based notebooks. Built like tanks and extremely customizable.

    macbooks are nice but right now they don't offer what I want.. I might come back to them in the future when they offer more compelling options. my opinion at the moment is.. don't buy an apple unless you need the osx operating system.. that's just my opinion.
    but if you like the 13" and don't mind glossy screens.. you will probably be very happy with it..
     
  10. RcktMan77 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #10
    Here are my $0.02...

    In notebook computer design there are compromises one has to make while some aspects of the notebook are favored over others. Apple has the philosophy of providing an aesthetically pleasing, balanced performance, and long-lasting battery mobile computer design. One could say appealing to any one of these three things over the others may sacrifice the value or importance of these others.

    Apple's notebook designs use a very low-profile, lightweight, and durable enclosures. Then they say, well this is a notebook/portable computer, so battery life is an important aspect of this type of computer. Then they go and incorporate industry-leading battery life into the design. Now, you have eaten up some space in the already limited low-profile enclosure. Unfortunately, now you have a compact space where heat management is an issue. Well Apple wants a quiet operating computer for the user's benefit, so the amount of space for cooling is somewhat limited; thus, you have to make some sacrifices in the high-performance internals...

    Apple usually picks on the mobile graphics processor and in the case of the 13" enclosure model they chose to hold back on the processor also. Most people aren't, or shouldn't be, using a notebook computer for intensive 3-D graphics manipulation tasks. If they are, then their use is limited on a portable computer, and if it is their primary purpose for the computer, then they are targeting their needs to the machine incorrectly--they need a desktop. So gimping the mobile processor capabilities while maintaining relationships with current business partners is a logical performance compromise for managing internal temperatures. Likely, the choice for including a legacy C2D processor was a decision made to appeal to a certain type of user's needs as well...

    Sure, you could plop into a notebook enclosure the latest specs across the board, and additionally add on a huge battery to match the battery life, but the product you end up with is going to unwieldy, large, heavy, and noisy. You could also lose some of this heft and sacrifice battery life. Ultimately, you have to make the decision of what is most important to you in a notebook computer: performance, battery-life, and portability. Choose the two that are most important for your needs and buy a product accordingly.
     
  11. NateDogX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    #11
    Being that this is my first Mac, the OS comparison (while totally valid) doesn't really apply to me since I haven't spent any serious time with OSX beyond a few gestures here and there and gazing at the awesome visuals. I'm fairly computer savvy and am not intimidated by the Mac's differences to Windows.
     
  12. whitenoise macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    U.K.
    #12
    I too am in the strange position of waiting for 5+ months for this and then being left unhappy with the decision I have to make.

    I'm drawn by the design of the macbook pro's and find the OS interesting, especially after hearing so many positive things. I was gonna spend my £'s on the top spec 15".

    Only problem is I am a moderate gamer and while I may not be using a notebook as my games machine while at home, the ability to game while out and about - if I want to - is important to me. I was seriously hoping that the graphics card would have a bit more juice :(

    I was looking forward to trying a bit of home audio recording, getting some of the that creative stuff going, that mac's are known for....but with that graphics card....and at a premium price....with so many higher spec pc's......apple don't make it easy do they! btw, battery life isn't a real issue for me as I am never more than 12ft away from a power socket. - sad, but true story.

    Anyway, since I'm in the U.K. your $0.02 will be no good....but if you have a little over £0.01 to offer, I would be happy to be talked into it. ;)
     
  13. tkingart macrumors 6502

    tkingart

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2010
    Location:
    West Coast
    #13
    Maybe it's just me, but the 13" screen was just too small. If you can afford it, or save up a bit longer, I would highly recommend the 15". It's "just right".
     
  14. therealseebs macrumors 65816

    therealseebs

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #14
    Tough call. Honestly, my advice would be to find someone who's selling off a 15" from the previous generation so you can get something with better video than the low-end, at a reasonable price.
     
  15. NateDogX thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 29, 2010
  16. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #16
    For your purposes, these laptops are overkill unless you have to count seconds in your daily computer habits.

    What it comes down to, and repetition is key: Mac OS X or Windows.

    If you want the fastest computer, specs aren't everything, as the UI and how you interact with it can slow you down too, doesn't matter if you use a 128 core G69 or an old G3. Your hand moving the mouse will not be faster with more RAM or more CPU cycles.
     
  17. Zadillo macrumors 65832

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #17
    It really depends what your gaming needs are - the GT330M is certainly no high-end GPU, but it can certainly handle gaming quite well:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZOOuLDTcas

    I would think it would handle the needs of a moderate gamer just fine, and for someone who was a hardcore gamer, a 17" gaming laptop is probably going to be needed anyway.

    -Zadillo
     
  18. Zadillo macrumors 65832

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #18
    Most of the laptops in that article are in the 6.5-7.5 pound range at least, and are fairly thick. As they say at the end, if you're not too concerned with battery life, size or weight, there are plenty of good and relatively inexpensive options.

    The thing of course is that this has been true for a long time. I don't really understand why articles like this treat this as some sort of revelation.

    The more interesting comparison in my mind would be too something like the Sony Vaio Z11, which is around 3.5 pounds yet has similar CPU and GPU options to the 15" MBP in a 13" form factor. You also pay a price premium for this model, but it seems more relevant to me.

    Apple's strengths are supposed to have to do with thin and light form factors, and the 15" MBP is still generally unique (the main competition is the 15" HP Envy 15, which has significant heat and battery life issues) in the 15" form factor front. But the Vaio Z does make you wonder what else Apple could be doing.
     
  19. NateDogX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    #19
    Alright, well, I've decided to get a MacBook Pro. Yay! Now the last hurdle is whether to get the 13" or 15". The determining factor could be whether my little lady's sister-in-law's cousin (former college roommate) can get me her Apple discount and, if she can, which of the three versions she'll be able to get for me.

    If it's not much, I'll have to settle for the 13", but if she can somehow manage to spring for 25% off, I'll pony up the extra cash for the 15" base model. I'll keep you guys posted on what happens. Thanks much for the help!
     
  20. datapanda macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    #20
    I seriously doubt you'll get a 25% discount. That's too much. Good luck! :D
     
  21. NateDogX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    #21
    There are three levels of Apple employee discounts.

    1. 10% that they can use whenever.
    2. 15% that they can use 3 times per year for friends and family.
    3. 25% that they can use once a year on any Apple system.

    Just depends on how good of a relationship my GF's sister-in-law has with her cousin. I'm hoping they're EXTREMELY tight.
     
  22. MBHockey macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

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    New York
    #22
  23. NateDogX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    #23
    Well, folks, I did it. I just bought my 13" MacBook Pro. I got it through Amazon.com, got the base model, and will have it next week. Couldn't be happier after all that I've read and considered over the last several months.
     

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