On the fence- rMBP or PC?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by marc55, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. marc55, Oct 27, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013

    marc55 macrumors 6502a

    marc55

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    #1
    I'm looking for some constructive insight here; my current Dell Studio XPS 1640 is approaching 4 years old and its beginning to show it's age, so I'm starting to think about replacement. Overall, its been a good computer, and the only real problems up to now have been a few replacement keyboards. However, recently its been running hot, so Dell basically rebuilt it last week under the extended on site warranty with a new motherboard, palm rest, keyboard, heat sink, and fan; unfortunately, the video on the refirb MB failed after a day, and I am now awaiting another MB. Needless to say, I was disappointed the MB failed so quickly, but I guess it can happen. At least it's usable in the safe mode. I've got to say Dell support overall has been good, but refirb parts concern me.

    I've always used PC's, but now that I'm retired, I really only use it for surfing, email (Outlook), storage of pictures, important scanned papers, writing letters in Word, and tracking finances, etc., in Excel.

    One thing I've noticed about the MBP is there is no built in optical drive? I guess that's the latest thing to keep these newer computers thin and light. However, I was surprised the Super Drive doesn't read blu ray? What was Apple's thought process- Retina display, but only able to watch DVD movies? Our current computer comes in handy for watching moves when camping. Have you really missed not having a built in optical drive? Is there anything else I could not do on the MBP vs a PC?

    I know from having an iPad, Mini iPad, and iPhone that Apple builds quality devices, and am wondering if that extends to their MBPs?

    Making the switch to a rMBP is a tough decision, and buying another PC (not specifically Dell) is obviously the easiest choice, so hopefully folks with repair experience, and folks who own/owned/use/ both will weigh in as to the overall quality and user experience of MBPs vs equivalent higher end PC's.

    Again, I'm only looking for constructive comments to help me make a decision, and not a flame war; thank you.
     
  2. sarakn macrumors 6502a

    sarakn

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2013
    #2
    Hi Marc,
    I've been a PC user all my life and have only owned Dells - laptops and desktops. My current Dell laptop is a Studio XPS received in 2010 and I have Dell XPS desktop. The Dell desktop is rarely used these days and just sits in the home office. As a consultant, I travel weekly and use my laptop 99.9% of the time.

    This laptop is also showing its age and wear and I decided it was time for a new one in February. I wanted something different, something reliable and was going to get another Dell but it seemed more of the same. I've always wanted a mac and I've heard they're very reliable. I was considering purchasing 2 laptops - one for home and one for work - until I was told I can run windows on a mac. The decision was a no-brainer.

    Macs are very reliable and stable. I'm not going to go on about viruses and such because we already know the popular mantra. A big reason I chose macs was I wanted something that did its job - something that would not require me to fix and update so often. I've upgraded my system enough times, tweaked it, etc and I just wanted something that worked very well.

    Dells are great machines, but I just got tired of dealing with the windows part of things. If I can afford one less headache, I'm taking that route.

    I was never an apple user, but using an ipad convinced me that Apple had a lot to offer.

    Buy a 13" and try it out. If you don't like it, you can always return it to the store at no charge within 14 days.
     
  3. Scott7975 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    #3
    I agree with the guy above "try one out and if you don't like it then return it within 14 days".

    Im new to Mac as well. I will be receiving my 15" this Thursday. I also bought my wife the 13" that I have dabbled on a little bit. Overall I am happy I switched so far. Very good quality and OSX blows the pants off of Win 8. You can also have the best of both worlds and put Windows on a Mac and use both OS's. The build quality on these things seem amazing to me. Instead of holding a cheap piece of plastic. I feel like Im holding a lightweight machine.

    It will not take you too long to get use to the OS. There are videos around the web you can find to help you make the transition.

    here is one that I like: http://www.apple.com/support/macbasics/pctomac/

    It explains how you do some things on a Mac, that you are used to doing in Windows.
     
  4. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #4
    It depends on what you want out of a computer - there are a bunch of programs that won't run on OS X, but generally these are expensive things like Visual Studio or CAD programs, and if you have to ask, you aren't using them.

    However, there are 2 areas where Apple drops the ball, IMO. Area #1 is in price to performance ratio: Going with something like the Razer Blade laptop is both more powerful and $600 less expensive, in a case that's just as good looking as the rMBP.

    The other area Apple drops the ball is in support. Sure they have Apple stores you can drive to, but you have to drive there, drop off your laptop, and then pick it up - sometimes this can take a week or longer. Dell (and most PC companies) offer next business day on-site warranties for the cost of AppleCare, and they'll get your computer up and running the next day. If you're running a business, AppleCare alone is a reason to avoid a mac.
     
  5. sarakn macrumors 6502a

    sarakn

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2013
    #5
    How many guys do you know called Sara. :)

    ----------

    Very true. In over 12 years as a dell owner, they've only had to come out to me 3 times. The first time was my fault: I touched a screwdriver to the desktop harddrive without grounding myself, the second time was the laptop keys were falling off; and the 3rd was also cosmetic on the laptop. The laptop is currently being held down by butterfly clips(see my pic), so maybe it's time to try a different company.
     
  6. Scott7975 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    #6


    My apologies Sara. I briefly looked at your screen name when I read your post. Im a gamer and my brain thought of a different pronunciation reading all the letters.
     
  7. terzinator macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #7
    I'm gonna have to go and disagree with you there.

    Applecare has been awesome, and generally, the Genius Bar visits are quick and painless. In and out with a repaired or replaced machine or device. For three years, no questions asked.

    To the OP, you can run Windows on a Mac, but I don't think anyone's figured out how to run Mac OS on a PC.
     
  8. Scott7975 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    #8
    Isnt that what a hackintosh is? Definitely more difficult though.
     
  9. sarakn macrumors 6502a

    sarakn

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2013
    #9
    No worries.

    ----------

    Reminds me of those s**tmobiles with Mercedes Benz emblem. You know it's not a Merc, we know it's not a Merc, so why do it?
     
  10. bobr1952 macrumors 68020

    bobr1952

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    #10
    I would think that if it is close--on the fence--you might as well stick to what works for you--in this case a PC. For me, and probably for a lot of others who switched, we were not on the fence--but really wanted to try something different--not geeky enough to migrate to Linux--so we chose the next best thing--Linux-based OS-X. Sure, I love the hardware and the form and function of my rMBP--as I did with my iMac--but in the end, it is OS-X that keeps me satisfied.
     
  11. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    #11
    Yes, Dell support is good in my experience but it needs to be for the very reasons you cite. I jumped the PC ship in 2007 but my wife still clung to her creaky $349 Dell laptop until its last gasp 4 years later. After the funeral she adopted an old 2008 MacBook which still faithfully marches on.

    Approaching geezer status myself. Most everything you cite above has mac equivalents in MS-Office which has a version made specifically for OSX. But really... when I officially retire, all ties with the workplace will be severed and I doubt I'll have need for such things. Perhaps neither will you? Other than Word & Excel (which I'll keep simply because of a 30+ year habit), I picture myself being totally, "Enterprise" and Windows free.

    I still have one but haven't used it in 2 years. :)

    A long time ago I ripped all my DVD's and converted them to MP4 movie files. I have a small USD drive with over 400 titles on it including all those home videos taken over a lifetime. That external drive I can take anywhere and of course I have backups on another external. Oftentimes I'll simply transfer selected video files over to my iPhone and play them on the big screen TV via an AppleTV... or just plug the mac directly in via an HDMI cable.

    For me, Optical Media is just too inconvenient these days.

    For my needs, I certainly couldn't find a task that I couldn't do on a Mac. (I'm not a gamer though).

    I have used literally every laptop known to man (ok, that's a stretch). I could not get most of them to last beyond 18 months without some kind of quirk or major problem. I have a closet full of defunct Dell's, HP's, Compaq's, Toshiba's, Lenovo's (Yes, even Lenovo's :eek:). Some are mine, some were my kids'.

    Since 2008 I've bought no less than 5 MacBook Pros, all of which are in use today by the family (or someone we've gifted them to). Three were bought for kids in college as freshmen and will get them through graduate school if need be. They bring them to me over breaks and I remove their girly and gaudy sleeves, "hose" them off and update their apps after which they look and run like new.

    With regard to Apple's build quality, that saying, "You can pay me now or later" holds very true. I have saved a fortune in laptops. (Someone with your advanced "wisdom" will know exactly what this means :D)
     
  12. marc55 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    marc55

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    #12
    Thanks for the input so far guy.

    Is Apple's quality beginning to slip? I only ask because in reading this forum, it appears the new MBP's are experiencing Freeze up's, and that really concerns me considering the price point for a rMBP.

    Also, I remember reading in one of the threads that Apple would not replace a battery on an older MBP; is that correct? Is there a certain age where Apple will not repair the MBP's?

    Sorry to ask so many questions, but I consider this a big change; thanks again.
     
  13. SpitUK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    #13
    Don't worry about the issues, Apple are great at fixing these things quickly. I would go for the 15" anyway and that isn't having as many issues.

    The reason Apple doesn't let you use Blu Rays is down to the fact that they have their own HD content delivery system...iTunes. They believe in the digital download future rather than optical.

    My father who is 76 just changed from being a 20 year PC user to a new fully decked out 27" iMac. He loves it and although it took a little getting used to surely that is half the fun :)
     
  14. marc55 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    marc55

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    Oct 14, 2011
    #14
    Are you indicating that I could not watch a Blu Ray movie on something like a Samsung external drive?
     
  15. SpitUK macrumors 6502

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    Mar 5, 2010
    #15
    The only way of watching a Blu Ray on the Mac is if you install windows on it. There are no Blu Ray drivers as far as I am aware on OSX.
     
  16. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #16
    I tend to be a Mac centric person, although I've owned PCs for the last 18 years and recently buit a game dedicated PC. My interest in Windows has always been gaming options. For the last 16 years I have been using MacBookPros (plus whatever they were called before MBP) while traveling with Windows installed on them. A single computer that covers all of my computer based needs- that is a no brainer and I've had no issues Windows running on my Mac. I should clarify, I've had less Windows based issues on my Mac then I've had on my PCs. ;) And Apple's Customer Service is top notch, the highest ranked in the industry according to PC Magazine. I walked a MacBook into an Apple store that was out of warranty with a video problem, but it was a known issue, and they replaced the motherboard for free. I could be wrong, but I don't see Dell doing that.
     
  17. marc55 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    marc55

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    #17
    I just don't understand why Apple doesn't make life easy for their loyal customers, and things like this are part of the reason I haven't converted from PC yet.

    I understand Apple wants to maximize profits by making you buy movies through iTunes, but how hard would it really be to have Blu Ray drivers? If Windows can do it, why can't Apple?
     
  18. amarcus macrumors 6502

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    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #18
    More difficult then you'd think. Ignoring licensing issues, supporting blu-ray's DRM in OS X would require some fairly large and not necessarily user-friendly changes. For instance Windows had to create the much maligned Protected Video Path. Where among other things, digital outputs are either disabled or polled every 30ms to ensure that no prohibited devices are attached.

    Adam
     
  19. Huntn, Oct 28, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    The Misty Mountains
    #19
    Is it hard to watch BluRay movies on your Mac? This link makes me ask the question.
     
  20. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

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    Canada
    #20
     
  21. amarcus macrumors 6502

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    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #21
    No, not if you want to just watch the main feature. An external blu-ray drive with any of the 3rd party osx playback software (e.g. Mac Blu-ray Player) should suffice barring the occasional incompatible disc. But if you want to see the menus and the disc as it was intended then (to the best of my knowledge) this isn't possible yet.

    For clarification: I was speaking earlier about Apple officially supporting Blu-ray discs.

    Adam
     
  22. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    #22
    There is no "but". Why can't you fathom that this is exactly why Apple never adopted B-Ray and why they have dropped all internal optical media?

    Some times the answer is right under your nose. :)
     
  23. VI™ macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 27, 2010
    Location:
    Shepherdsturd, WV
    #23
    It goes back to price for performance. I can build a power house PC that can perform as well as a Mac Pro for a fraction of the price. It won't have server grade hardware, it'll just be regular i7 chips that are OC'ed, with high end consumer GPUs and no extra bells and whistles like blue tooth. As long as I can get the drivers working with the hardware correctly, It'll give me a computer that can run OS X a lot faster than any other mac for the price.

    And with the car analogy, for some people just going fast is what matters. It doesn't matter if their car has a nice enterior, bluetooth, a sun roof, headlight washers, heated seats, etc... I can spend $30,000 on a 400 hp mustang or $60,000 on a 400hp Audi. The Mustang will have the power of the Audi, but not the refinement.

    And I'm purchasing a 10/22 rMBP. I've had them in the past and I switched to a mini as that's all I needed at the time, but I'm going back to school to finish my IT degrees and certs and I like being able to run OS X and other OSes off the laptop. Not to mention, a lot of IT departments are not supporting iPhones and iPads if they're not supporting Macs as well. I also am a photographer and I like the way Adobe's programs work on OS X.
     

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