New to Mac from PC. Advice on which Macbook pro to get please?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by whitespaces, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. whitespaces macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2009
    Hello all, I've been a PC user for over 15 years now but having bought an iphone 3G around 6 months ago I have been so impressed I'm now considering getting a mac instead of a new PC esp as I want to develop for the iphone. A list of what I need to use mac for is below:

    -Develop iphone applications and general programming/development
    -web browsing/email/general word/spreadsheets/photos etc.
    -possible music track production/playing around (e.g. I'm interested in making electronic music - though this isn't a priority)
    -I also need to be able to run Windows XP, faster (if possible but definitely not slower) than my current PC (AMD 4000, 1GB RAM, NVidea 5700+)
    -I won't generally be travelling with the laptop - just using it around home, having said that though I still would like to easily be able to move the laptop around the house - so not so keen on the 17inch model (unless you advise otherwise).
    -I want to be able to connect the laptop to my 32" LCD via VGA port and hopefully get a 1920x1080 resolution if this is possible

    I've been looking at a Macbook pro 13" or 15" but unsure which would be best and whether to go for the extra graphics card on the 2.66ghz 15" model - or would the most basic 13" model suite my needs? I'm concerned that the 2GB RAM may not be helpful when running windows apps - what do you think?

    I'm not interested in games - I've got my xbox 260 for that (although it would be nice if my son wanted to play some 3d game that he could do - but this isn't a priority).

    My final question is - I notice that I can upgrade the HDD on the mbp to 7200rpm for an extra £60 ish - does anyone know if this does give quite a performance boost and also how this affects the battery?

    Many many thanks for any help, it is much appreciated.

    Best wishes

  2. Lanbrown macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2003
    The 13" is greta for portability, so if it won't be leaving home, the 15" would be fine as well. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. The new 7200rpm drives take a little more power then the 5400RPM counterparts.

    You will want to get more than 2GB of RAM if you want to use VMWare.
  3. rich.smith macrumors member

    Aug 21, 2008
    Either the 13" or 15" would meet your needs. Depending on how much RAM you want to assign to the VM, you should have probably have 4 GB of RAM. I don't think the HD speed is that important. If money is no object, I'd go with the 15" since traveling is not a big priority.
  4. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    I think a lot of Mac newcomers come from the iPhone scene and they get impressed that they venture on to the Mac world.

    for your first Mac you should go with something fairly low cost like a MacBook Pro 13". Then after you get your feet wet you can upgrade to something bigger if you need it.
  5. gavin83209 macrumors regular

    May 24, 2009
    You should be able to do this on any Mac.
    I'm not sure how AMD processors stack up to Core 2 Duos, but any MacBook Pro should offer respectable performance.
    You'll need to buy a Mini Display Port to VGA adaptor. Apple sells these for US$30, but they can be found cheaper elsewhere. They are uncommon, so ordering off Apple or Amazon is probably a good choice.

    I have done light sound editing on my PowerBook, and that has absolutely nothing to do with the graphics card. You'll want to bump the RAM to 4 GB if you want to run Windows side by side with OS X, though. You would be better off buying from a third party, but I don't know going rates in the UK, so good luck with that. I would personally recommend a 15" model, but it is all personal preference. If you live near an Apple Store, then I would recommend that you go in and have a look at each of the computers there before you buy.

    A basic graphics card should do fine if that is the case. Don't expect anything to run smoothly at high detail settings, but the 9400M can handle most games on low to medium, or so I hear.

    A good question. Bumping my old 4200 RPM hard drive to 5400 RPM did have a large effect on performance, and very little effect on battery life (maybe ten minutes, not much). I would imagine that there would be a similar effect with even higher RPM rates.
  6. whitespaces thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2009
    Many thanks everyone for your advice, based on this I'll prob go for 15" with 7200 hdd but going to go to an apple store and check them out too.

    Thanks again

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