Newbie having sleepless nights - help please!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by JPP, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. JPP macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2007
    Hello all

    I do hope that this sort of post isn’t becoming all too familiar but I am about to take my first step into the world of mac and would welcome your advice. I have never owned my own computer before but have worked with PC’s for years at work. However, I definitely want a macbook pro and know this much but my difficulty is in which one? And it’s almost causing me sleepless nights (not really but you get the idea)

    My dilemma is whether to go for the 15 or 17” version. I am pretty sure I need 2G RAM and the larger screen might be nice but the slightly bigger hard drive and processor seem negligible to me and I don’t use graphic heavy apps although I will stream a lot of movies and videos.

    Essentially I will be using the computer for making music, itunes, web browsing, watching and editing video (but only small files) web publishing, photo editing. But I won’t be playing games, doing graphic design, quark or anything like that although it might be nice to have the ability to do so in the future.

    My choice seems to be:

    1. Get the 15.4” macbook pro, 2.16GHz – I then have the budget to get accessories so will be getting: 1GB of extra RAM, Office, Mighty Mouse, .Mac subscription, Booq Folee bag and a few other bits and pieces


    2. 17” macbook pro 2.33GHz but no accessories perhaps just a bag of some kind

    So is it worth my spending the extra money on kitting out my 15” macbook with all the extras and that 1GB RAM or just using all my money and putting it into a 17”? I have had a look at both models and both are lovely but the 17” seems quite heavy and rather large and cumbersome and do will I be paying for technology I won’t make full use of?

    Can anyone help at all?

    I want this machine to last me a few good years as I won’t have the budget to replace on a regular basis.

    Any help would be much appreciated

    Thanks to all

  2. Planner Dude macrumors 6502

    May 31, 2006

    If you won't be using graphic heavy apps then get a macbook and max out the RAM.
  3. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    I agree with Planner Dude. Get a MacBook and max the RAM and still save money.
  4. JPP thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2007
    Hi guys

    thanks for that but don't you need a really good graphics card for video and film? I heard that you did for watching or streaming or downloading video content from the web? If not then I guess I don't need it!
  5. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    The MacBook's integrated graphics are optimized for video* - it's only 3G graphics that "suffer". By all means, get the MacBook Pro (I'd vote for the 15") if you want, but the MacBook is a lot cheaper and seems like it'd handle all of your needs well, especially as you'd be able to accessorize it and still come in under budget.

    * I use my slower Core (not Core 2) Duo Mac mini to watch HD video on my TV. The faster MacBook will do perfectly well in that role. :)
  6. strydr macrumors 6502


    Mar 25, 2005
    Personally, I have the 17, and I love it. If you decide on the macbook, do yourself a favor, and buy a external monitor. I set up a macbook for a friend a few months ago, and this is her only complaint. She loves the portability, but is running out of screen space.

    I say get the 17, use OpenOffice, and enjoy. Really, the best thing you can do, is get to a Apple store, and play with them all.
  7. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Yes, but... without additional RAM and accessories - and especially without a case - the 17", which is at the edge of the OP's budget - might not be a wise choice.
  8. macjackpro macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2006
    making music

    Using Garageband or Logic takes as much cpu power and Ram as you can throw at it. It depends how much music making you are going to do.

    I have a 15 inch macbookpro and I love it. How mobile do you need the computer to be? For what it is worth, with Tiger, the screen real estate of the 15 inch MBP is the same as the 17 inch iMac, and the 17" macbook pro has the same screen real estate as the 20 inch iMac.

    With Leopard there will be screen resolution independence.

    I'd get the 15 inch $2000 model and add a gig of Ram if you want a rec.

    But do go to the store and play with them. The store people are nice (except those 'geniuses').
  9. JPP thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2007
    You guys have been great - I have been to the store several times and have picked them both up with one hand and then two and then turned them over and loaded up some apps and so on but it's such a tight call. I supopose i am prevaracating because I have never bought a compuetr before and it's a big outlay for me, as it must be for everyone.

    I am leaning toward the 15". Portability isn't the overriding factor as I don't travel that much but it will be nice to have the portability even if it's just from room to room or to my local coffee shop. But the 17" does seem rather big and heavy. And I didn't know that about the screen estate in Tiger!

    I am just scared that i am going to get the 15" with all the accessories and think - oh hell, for an extra £200 I could've got a 17" with a faster processor and a bigger screen but then I guess where does it end - for an extra £200 on top of that i could get this, that and the other and then so on...

    I guess I'm answering my own question really aren't I?

    Sorry to be such a noob!
  10. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    You'd never see the difference. The bigger screen? Yes. The faster processor, with your usage? No.

    Of course, you could get a MacBook, a 24" screen from Dell, more RAM, and case... for less.

    Get what you want, of course. ;) I've got a 15" MBP and a MB. I love them both. The MB is more fun to couch-surf with. The MBP is a bit better for programming. Both are great systems.
  11. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    I have a 12" PB with a 19" external LCD monitor. It's the perfect solution for me. I also don't take it out of the house much but when I do it's nice to have the portability.

    There's not much difference between a 15" monitor and a 17" one. For £200 you could easily buy a 19" widescreen external monitor.

    Get the 15" and max out the ram.
  12. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    Video and film falls under 2D acceleration, you don't need a dedicated GPU to handle 2D :)

    The main advantage of having a GPU will come in rendering stuff that "do not exist", like 3D models!
  13. JPP thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2007

    Thanks to all of you for your great advice - I really appreciate it.

    I am leaning firmly toward the macbook pro 15" and plan to get it tomorrow.

    Just wanted to ask - I have signed up for the trial of .mac but was wondering if I can keep the email address if I don't pay my sub when the trial ends? Does anyone know?

    Thanks again - some great advice.


Share This Page