New Laptop: C2D vs. i3/5/7 vs. (gulp) PC

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Xyp, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. Xyp macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2010
    Hi all.

    I'm buying a new laptop within the next few months, and I have questions for the group. I've been lurking around here for weeks now, trying to get at least a little knowledge before I post a question like the one coming below. Let me get a few things out of the way first:

    - There's no real rush to buy, other than my own impatience... however, my own impatience is considerable at this point. From what I've read, there are <ahem> a few of you that can relate. :)

    - I haven't owned a Mac since OS 9.x, and don't really know anything about Macs since then other than what I have read, which is also considerable, everything from commercial sites (cnet / engadget / etc.) to forums such as this one. To be bluntly honest, I really only know enough about computing in general to get myself in trouble; I have historically replaced my own RAM (albeit in a Dell), and know just enough about keeping a machine in working order so that I've been able to make my Inspiron 5100 (XP SP3, P4 2.8GHz, 1 Gig of RAM, Mobility Radeon 7500C) last me the past 6 years. You can imagine how slow it is for even menial tasks at this point.

    Sooo... my question for the group is this: Should I be waiting for the i3/5/7 MBPs? My computing needs, processor-wise, peak with the use of an audio recording program (Protools / Garageband / Vegas / Audacity, etc.) for home recording, and streaming movies from Netflix. Other than that, I just want something that will LAST, as I've been able to get this Dell to do. I'll be surfing / word processing / whatever on it, too, of course; it'll be my main computer. I should toss into the mix here that I'm also going back to grad school starting in the fall- I won't have time to be messing around with computer issues.

    Which leads me to the consideration (that was brought up in another post) of "working out the kinks"- we almost have to assume that the new MBPs are going to have some issues just based on the fact that they're the "new model". Overheating? Component compatibility? Something else I'm not thinking of? Anyone disagree with this thought?

    Then there's timing: should I be waiting a few weeks no matter what (at this point) so that I'm not spending top dollar on the C2D machine when I can get an i5 for the same price or a C2D for cheaper in a month? I think this was likely the impetus for the "Buyersguide" portion of this site in the first place...:rolleyes:

    Not being able to make sense of Clocking numbers (Geekbench, etc.) on my own, how much faster will the i3/5/7 MBPs be than the mid-level 15" C2D (that's the one I've got my eye on)? I'd love to have the latest thing for my own ego, and I can wait for it... but would it really do me any good in the long run?

    Having said ALL of this... there ARE PCs out there that are running the newest processors and have the bells and whistles that (I think) I'm after, for a couple hundred dollars less- and I'm talking about Sony and Lenovo here, won't be buying another Dell or HP. So knowing what I know about Windows (i.e. that I'm vaguely satisfied with XP in the absence of anything better, but thoroughly scared sh*tless of Vista and 7 based on friends' woes) compared to OS X, my bent at the time of this writing is to abandon Microsoft and re-orient myself to the faster / more stable / better looking Mac OS, no matter what the processor. I realize that I'm asking a biased group... but can I get an amen? Am I right, here, or would it even matter for the fairly simple things that I want to do with the computer in the first place?

    I really appreciate anyone's input... and please accept my apologies if this has been gone over before (um, it HAS to have been)- I did look around and didn't see exactly what I was looking for.

    Thanks again.
  2. tbobmccoy macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I'll be happy to help you with your problem.

    First let me suggest that you stay away from a PC if you're leaning Mac. I had that exact computer for many, many years before it died and I switched to my MacBook and it was like dying and going to heaven after I switched my files over. I love, LOVE my Mac and will never buy another PC again.

    If you're going to keep that computer around for a long time (and by the sounds of it, you will), then wait a few weeks and get the i5/7 MacBook Pro. The performance difference might not be big right now, but in the long run, it'll matter more than the week or so head start you'll have with a C2D machine. You want state of the art for the kind of money you put out for a MacBook Pro, and you should make sure you take advantage of their product cycles rather than getting sucked in at the tail end.

    Those are my two cents. I have a busted MacBook right now that I'm aching to upgrade, but I'm waiting until I can get the most for my money, and that'll be at a refresh announcement. :cool:
  3. Dan73 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 30, 2009
    I won't go deep into this but I'm pretty sure that you wouldn't even notice a difference between the new intel chips vs the C2D's unless you were doing some intensive processor work that would take an hour or more, or had the two side by side doing things (even then the difference would minute because the limiting factor would be the hard drive). Though personally I'm not the type of person that can buy last gen things if I can help it.

    As for Windows... Vista ran well after the first service pack. I think most people just jumped on the "vista sucks" bandwagon. I would never use XP, its just old, it was good, but Win7 is much better. Even something like a driver crash, in XP you'll get a lovely BSOD meanwhile Vista/Win7 will try to restart the driver. But in the end Windows vs OS X is more of a personal preference than anything.
  4. FnuGk macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2009
    It could not have been said any better :)
  5. Cam42 macrumors member

    Jun 28, 2009
    If you can deal with the old machine you've got now, then I'd wait for the new MBPs, if not, then go ahead and jump for a current model. You can always return or sell it if something mind-blowing comes out.

    And remember, Macs are PCs too.
    PC=Personal Computer. ;)
  6. ARF900 macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2009
    I would wait if I were you, personally I didnt wait because I know that when apple does its next big thing (non spec wise) I will want it, so I dont need my MBP to last more than 4 years, wait for icore, and you will have a current processor for longer.
  7. robotkiller macrumors 6502


    Oct 25, 2009
    Even if you go c2d wait for the refresh to know what you're missing

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